Amazon Wants to Buy Your Used Games


Some game developers and publishers are vehemently opposed to used game sales, and for them, Amazon's announcement of a new used-game trade-in program is nothing to jump for joy over. For everyone else, it just might be.

The Good
More options is always a good thing, right? The obvious comparison here is to GameStop, and Amazon bursts out of the gates with over 1,500 eligible titles. But the real surprise is how the trade-in values compare. Amazon appears to be offering more than both GameStop and Game Crazy on most titles. For example, Little Big Planet (PS3) fetches $29 at Amazon versus $26.25 at GameStop and $22.73 with Game Crazy. In that same order, Left 4 Dead for the Xbox 360 pulls in $26.50, $24, and $22.73 respectively.

Even Better
Higher trade-in values don't mean much when all it does is fund return shipping, but Amazon foots the shipping bill. The way it works is once you've found your game(s), just print off a pre-paid mailing label and mail it in. You'll receive an Amazon gift card (credited to your account) for the value of the titles, which can be applied towards anything Amazon sells, and not just videogames.

Potential Pitfalls
Free return shipping and higher trade-in values are sure to delight gamers, but will they be patient enough to wait for Amazon to receive their games and credit their account? GameStop's major advantage lies in having retail stores sprinkled all across the country, so if you're interested in trading in old games for new(er) ones, GameStop offers instant gratification. Amazon also requires a minimum $10 trade-in value, so if you just have one or two dated games you're looking to unload, you're out of luck. And finally, Amazon also stipulates that you must "include original packaging (e.g. the manual, cover art, and case)"; GameStop does not. If your games are denied for any reason, it can take up to 14 business days before they're returned.

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