GameStop Is Overhauling Trade-Ins, Will Offer More Money

GameStop Is Overhauling Trade-Ins, Will Offer More Money

GameStop is overhauling trade-ins and launching a new program that will wind up giving people more money for the games they sell, Kotaku has learnt. The new initiative, which will launch on August 18, will simplify GameStop’s trade-in structure, reducing the complexity of what has become an unnecessarily obtuse service.

No longer will you have to put your money toward pre-orders or promotions in order to get the most bang for your buck; instead, any games you sell to GameStop will come in at a flat rate, only varying if you want cash instead of credit, or if you’re a member of their subscription program.

To make things simple, here’s a visual diagram from internal GameStop documents I obtained from a source this evening:

In that chart, think of “0%” as the base level. Instead of having to worry about putting your trade-in money toward new items or Game Informer subscriptions for extra bonuses, all you’ll have to do is trade in your games for optimal value. You’ll still get less money if you take cash instead of store credit, and you’ll still get 10% more with a Power Up Rewards (PUR) subscription, but all of those other bonuses will no longer apply.

As a result of this change, GameStop will now offer more money for games you sell them. Starting August 18, the retailer will bump up the “average base value” of games they buy by 20%, according to documentation I’ve obtained.

So that copy of NBA 2k8 I traded in on Saturday might now be worth $US0.30 instead of the $US0.25 I got for it.

Or, for a more relevant example, a game that would get you $US10 in store credit today (without promotions) might snag $US12 starting August 18.

“By eliminating the higher end price of products we buy and raising the lower end, we are able to raise the overall value the customers will receive,” reads a GameStop document that was passed around internally today. “With this program, we will not have complex multi-tiered trade promotions for the associates to remember and less maths for the customer to understand what they are getting for their games.”

This new initiative marks another step in GameStop’s global effort to get people buying and selling used games. Some have criticised the ubiquitous gaming retailer for taking games at a fraction of their costs and marking them up exponentially to sell to other customers, but others love the convenience of being able to dump a bunch of games on GameStop’s counter and exchange them for cash or credit.

Get used to hearing about this program, too — starting August 18, you can also expect to be harangued by GameStop workers in totally new ways, as the company attempts to phase out the term “trade in” in favour of words like “buy” and “sell.”

Here’s another excerpt from internal GameStop documentation I’ve obtained today:

How do I talk about this with the customer?

The key point for this to work is the team member knowing what to say and how it resonates with the customer.

Piggy backing on how you engage a customer about the change use the following as possible talking points during the greet, floor or cash wrap touch points.

Then the team member says- “have you heard that cash isn’t the only way to pay here at GameStop?” More than likely the customer will look puzzled and then the team members say- “When is the last time you sold us anything?” Or “when is the last time we bought anything from you?” This is the opportunity to educate the customer that their items sitting at home are worth currency that can be spent in your store. Keep in mind that 2/3 of our customers don’t understand what “Trade In” means.

The main opportunity is to have the customer leave with the last thing on their mind being that what they have at home, sitting around possibly collecting dust is worth currency-VALUE- in our stores. During the last interaction either on the floor or at the cash wrap, the team member needs to say- “Thank you for coming in today, don’t forget that cash isn’t the only way to pay.” If the customer paid with a credit card they will more than likely look and ask what? The team member responds with “when is the last time we bought some of your items?” Or “when is the last time you sold us something?” Getting the customer to remember the last thing they hear from your team member is that what they have at home can be used as currency to buy goods in your store is the biggest take away.

We’ve reached out to GameStop for comment.


  • Hopefully now people will stop spamming those “selling walls of games to Gamestop for 5 bucks” meme.

      • I don’t know, even if its $7 a wall, I still lose money flying to the US to visit a Gamestop…

        • GameStop owns EB games, so the change might flow on to here is Oz, but then again that FU australia tax might kick in and stop it

          • Doubt it will change here, EB isnt getting a bad rep like gamestop is for giving tiny ammoutns of money. (Not saying it doesnt, just that it isnt getting a bad rep).

          • No it is – it just hasn’t reached Internet circles yet – I was talking with my brothers last week and everyone is getting steamed at low trade ins offered for last gen games vs the back to the bad old days pricing on next gen titles.

            I predict that later this year when a new wave of people jump onto the new systems you’ll see the complaints flying thick and fast

          • Well, it’s not great for the new consoles games either… I mean, when they came out I remember trading in in Killzone for $40.. But then again, it was new at the time.. Idk.. I still feel that either:

            1) We should see a greater return, seeing how much they charge for pre-owned games (Normally only +-$10 less than new titles)


            2) Pre owned games should be cheaper.

            I think I’d be happy with either of those things.

    • It seriously is that bad though. I’m thinking of selling my physical console copies of games I’ve since picked up on Steam, called up EBGames and they’re offering $2 for games like Bioshock, AC and other classics (even more recent games were only ~$5).

      PS: hihi

  • The most frustrating thing (well… One of them, anyway) about working at EB is trying to unravel the trade jargon and pass on the message as to what the trade value actually is. Simplifying the system by giving a flat rate will benefit customer interactions and Dave in arguments.
    Sometimes the POS gymnastics you’d have to do to work around all the trade restrictions boggles the mind. And going through the receipt after the fact with the customer when they don’t understand what’s just happened to them is even worse. Being convoluted gives the impression that you’ve done them a disservice – when something doesn’t make sense, they assume it’s deliberately so in order to fleece them.
    This will benefit the clerks, at least – and they’ve got it bad enough already. They work at EB Games, for fuck’s sake, things can only go up from there.

  • So does this apply to Australia as well?

    I dont understand why this was posted…..

    • Everything from the US site is posted here and marked accordingly.

      It’s paid for by Allure so they throw it up relevant or not. You came in and clicked on it and they get ad revenue so it’s working just fine for them.

        • Ahhh, there used to be little flags next to the author’s names. They must have ditched it.

          There’s only about 3 authors making original Australian content (Mark Serrels etc) and one Australian author writing both (Luke Plunkett).

          • It’s still marked accordingly:
            Little tiny display pictures for Almighty Australian Masterrace
            No little tiny display pictures for US peasants, and Luke Plunkett who works for the US peasants.

    • I really wish they’d just stop. It’s usually awful content. they should only post it on the (rare) occasion it’s actually worthwhile and relevant to Australia.

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