When it comes to buying and selling used video games, Gamestop has failed to win me over. The store pays criminally low rates for used games, especially recent releases, and it’s all the more infuriating when you see that same game sold back again for more than double what you’re offered. A couple of weeks ago, the store quoted me roughly $25 to buy back Afro Samurai, which is currently sold used for $55.
Any competition is welcome in my book, so I hope Toys R’ Us’ experiments with buying and selling used games works out. Joystiq confirmed today that the toy giant is trying the idea in “a couple of New York stores,” according to a company rep, not including the Times Square location. Another blogger spotted one of the stores in Nanuet, N.Y.
Details are scarce, because Toys R’ Us doesn’t like talking about its test runs, and at present no one is saying how the rates compare to Gamestop. Still, as Joystiq points out, used game sales account for 42 percent of Gamestop’s profits, and sales are expected to reach $2 billion this year. If another major retailer wants to step in on that turf, so be it. As much as it pains me to buy video games from a toy store (you know, the infantilization thing), I can’t argue with saving a few bucks these days.
For now, I’m selling my games back through Gamefly, the mail-order rental service, which offers solid trade-in rates towards the cost of a subscription. Used game sale prices are also better with the service, to the point that you can buy a game with the money from two used ones and still have some leftover credit. Two used games would rarely, if ever, cover a $55 purchase at Gamestop.