Amazon Trade-In Takes on GameStop
While there are a number of local businesses that will accept game trade-ins, one of the best known (and with the widest distribution) is GameStop. Often players on a budget will come with a stack of games in hand in order to offset or eliminate the price of the new "hot" game. I remember when the PlayStation One came out (showing my age here) I was able to trade in five games from my SNES and 3DO in order to get a break on the price. Well, now Amazon.com is getting in on the trade-in game.
The big problem with using Amazon (or any online source) for trade-ins is shipping. In a realm of dollars and cents, tacking on shipping is a price many gamers won't be willing to pay. Amazon has eliminated that concern by offering free shipping. The way this works is that you go to the Amazon trade-in page, locate the game you want to trade-in, print out the shipping label, and drop the box in the mail. You need to have the game, the original box, and all the materials. You will also need to provide your own shipping box. If you make a mistake and ship the wrong game (or put stuff in your shipment that isn't meant for Amazon), they will ship it back to you free of change. It may take 14 days, but it will come back. You've got 7 days from the time you print your label to ship the game. This is because Amazon often changes their trade-in list and prices. You can't promise to ship a game when the price is high and then sit on the game for 6 months.
A quick comparison of trade-in values between GameStop and Amazon showed Amazon consistently a few dollars more than GameStop. With free shipping, the only additional cost is that of the box. But gamers are a notoriously impatient group and may not want to wait for Amazon to receive their game and issue them the Gift Card. Gift Cards are limited to game purchases and are credited to the gamers account (gamers must be 18 years old and also must live and have a shipping address in the US). On the flip side, gamers will be able to trade-in games at their leisure and build up credit. Each shipment to Amazon must contain $10 worth of games. This means you may need to trade in more than one game in order to reach the $10 limit.
This service seems to be a no-brainer for most gamers. If they look up the prices on Amazon.com and find them higher than GameStop (or other local merchants), they can ship them off. Even if Amazon decides not to accept the trade-in because of game condition, missing materials, etc., they ship it back free of charge. All the gamer is out is time (the return shipment may take up to 14 days according to Amazon). They can always try and trade the game in locally after. The caveat is shipments from outside the US will not be returned. So gamers that think they can get in on the deal but don't have US residence (or at least a shipping address in the US) will be out of a game. Amazon only takes a limited selection of PS3, PSP, XBox 360, Wii, PS2, and DS games. Legacy games and games from older consoles will have to be traded locally.
The Amazon Trade-In Program allows you to receive an Amazon.com Gift Card in
exchange for your eligible items. Participation is simple. Here's how:
- Visit the Amazon Trade-in program page at http://www.amazon.com/tradein.
- Search for items eligible for trade-in.
- If your item is listed as eligible for trade-in and is in acceptable condition, and you wish to sell/exchange your item at the displayed price, then click the
- Review your trade-in items and quantities.
- Make sure you read and agree to the Trade-In
Program Terms, then click the Submit your trade-in button.
- Select or enter the address from which you ship your items and where items
will be returned if they are not accepted.
- Click the Print button to print a packing slip and pre-paid
- Ship your items as described below under Packing
and Shipping Your Trade-in.
- After your submission is received and verified, you will receive an Amazon.com Gift Card deposited in your account.
You can view your submission history, status, and payment information in Your Account at http://www.amazon.com/your-account by clicking the "Your Trade-In Account" link.