Every year it’s the same routine: gifts are given, some are liked and some aren’t, and then there is the inevitable wait in the return line at whatever store the gift was purchased from. In order to avoid a DMV-like wait that ends in a no-return-policy or bad refund, here are some stores that video game parents and friends can return games to, and how they stack up against each other.
GAMESTOP. This is the one that most consumers know. Surprisingly, while their process is easy, they won’t take all of your games (usually because they already have a surplus of said title), and according to a slideshow by Dan Seitz on Uproxx.com, ‘while they were eager to take them, they weren't eager to give me more than ten bucks apiece for them. Ultimately, for the six titles on offer, Gamestop wanted to give me approximately $45 in store credit, and roughly $35 in cash.’ Those numbers sound like a good deal. Also, the staff is friendly and willing to help.
GLYDE. An online retailer that is largely unknown, at least to the writer at the moment. I barely remember the ads online saying that using Gamestop was equivelent to being kicked in the crotch. Much like Amazon, you put the game online, once it’s bought you use a prepaid mailer, and then collect the cash. This one pays the most: games are paid in almost full, or full current-market value, and you are given cash—no gift cards or credit. The one downside is time—‘popular games will go fast, but you might be waiting weeks or even months to get some of the less popular games out the door,’ writes Dan Seitz.
AMAZON. This is a very friendly, easy-to-use option for most people. You make an account, place the item online for a price (usually a suggested price is made), and then wait for someone to buy it. The few downsides, as pointed out on Uproxx.com, include: ‘its game trade-ins are handled by a third party, so it can take a week or so for you to actually get your store credit. Also? Amazon will only offer you an Amazon gift card: you can't get cash.’ But on the upside, it is a quick service, and many games are sold at a fair market price, not a rip-off like the next giant will pull.
BEST BUY. For a store that is currently in the red in terms of stocks and popular opinion, Best Buy’s used game policy is low. As everyone here knows, the service is difficult to find and, once found, often unknowledgeable and unhelpful. Then they often site some games (usually unpopular or older titles) as ‘damaged’, so they can’t accept them; and the few that they do, they only give you a Best Buy Gift Card—no money—and usually a $50 game will only be given a $15 gift card. I see no Best Buy in the near future.
CRAIGSLIST. You should know what to expect from an Internet sales website that isn’t Amazon. People will haggle, and people will be mean. If you put up a $60 item, people will mistake it for a $6 item (‘you put the 0 in the wrong place’) or expect free shipping or for the item to be driven or some other ridiculous expectation. Be wary, and be ready to laugh over the blunt stupidity or negligence of some people.
LOCAL RECORD/USED MOVIE STORES. Oftentimes, these small mom-and-pop stores will buy back used games. Sometimes. And like the other examples above, it’s only if they don’t have a surplus of the games already on hand. First thing to do, before you lug any huge gifts their way, is check to see if they carry games. Ask them. If they do, then go in. They may not pay the biggest amount or be the most helpful, but as a last ditch effort, they may work.
In the end, the choice is yours. If you want the most pleasurable experience, go for Gamestop; if you want the fastest service, try Amazon or a local used store if they sell games; if you want the most money, try Glyde.
For more on used game outlets, check on Dan Seitz’ article.