Walmart has announced that they will be competing with GameStop. They will start accepting used video games for trade-in and will sell used games. Starting March 26th all Wal-Mart’s in the US will accept used games for gift cards or in-store credit at Sam’s Club and Walmart locations. You can also trade-in games online starting now.
Walmart will take a different approach on trading games, however. They will not implement the method of shelving games immediately after purchase. Walmart will send them to their warehouses for repackaging and resale in “Like-New” condition. While the flashy customer service aspect is nice, gamers should be concerned with how this affects the price points of resale.
With the extra costs to Walmart, trade-in values for the games could be lower to recoup their losses. But at present, Walmart seems to have higher trade-in value than GameStop on their website. For a quick check, I took two old games for the Wii (NFS Nitro and Dirt 2) and compared the resale value. When we called up GameStop, they told that they will give $3.00 and $1.50 respectively. They didn’t care about if the game was in an original box or not. Walmart told us if you have the original case, they would pay $4.40 and $3.65 respectively. Not a huge difference, but definitely higher.
So what’s the catch? f you don’t have the original cases for these games, Walmart pays up $0.00. This seems true for all the games I tried to put in, even GTA V. So for gamers, the retailer choice will come down to the money. If they just have the game and nothing else, it seems like GameStop will remain the resale king. But Walmart’s grand selection and higher trade-in value could be the difference. In addition, the online trade-in is a nice perk for the 21st century, although GameStop also allows you to buy online and pickup at the store. Of course, you still might actually want cash over a gift card, in which case GameStop still prevails for the wallet.