Thoughts on big box trade in values and game store reactions

I keep getting asked if Walmart taking trades is a concern to me.  I know it’s a concern to a certain chain, but we don’t have a hard time beating their normal trade in prices.

So, here are my thoughts as a small, 2 store Mom & Pop megachain:

Competition is good.  It keeps us all on our toes and makes us all strive to do better.  It’s better for me as a consumer.  It’s better for me as a store owner.

While there are many areas we don’t compete with Walmart or the other chain (classic gaming, for example), new releases are an overlap.  After checking the trade values on the Walmart site (yes, it’s out there, so we can verify if you feel we’re out of whack), I’m not really concerned.   I found many that are lower than our trade in values.  There were two that were higher and to be honest, there might be times taking their credit would be better for you. I can’t justify buying something at nearly no margin with a potential to not sell it.  That said, I just checked 25 or more games (hoping, honestly, to dump some stuff and buy some office supplies with the credit they give…..WOOT!) and we still beat them in all but 1 game (oh well, maybe someday).

So, today, if you really want to sell your Assassin’s Creed Black Flag, it appears that Walmart is offering around 38 dollars for it in store credit, depending on platform and whether or not you have the box, which can be used for groceries, clothes, office supplies or more games.  There, I passed that on for you.  The rest were less than I paid.  Don’t worry, Walmart isn’t going to drive my pricing.  The market does….I drop trade and price when retail drops, or when demand drops.  We figure that’s the honest way to do our business.

I read also that the big game chain will be raising their trade in values for stores near Walmart stores for their new “Never walk a trade” program (here’s the original article I’m going to quote from)

“We did just launch a program called ‘Never Walk a Trade.’ The program includes many features, one of which includes empowering our store managers and associates to offer customers– when they believe it is needed–the best value for their pre-owned video game and consumer electronic products. This program is focused on helping ensure we continue to provide the most valuable trade-in offers against all competitors and not lose an opportunity to meet our customer’s needs based on trade-in value.

The reason we introduced this program is because we want to continue to elevate customer awareness of the unique proposition of the GameStop buy-sell-trade model.”

I just want to congratulate them on their decision.   While we believe that it is always necessary to make the best offer we can for your trades, the other store will do it now when they believe it is needed.   I honestly hope they do it more than “when they believe it is needed”.  I hope they have fun empowering their employees and customers.  It’s not easy, mistakes get made, but it’s so much better to work with people to meet their needs than it is to be a robot and “beep boop boop bop” at them.

Another area we cover that Walmart won’t is cash.   Walmart will only offer store credit, for cash you’ll still have your game stores (and as is often the case, cash is less than credit).

Don’t forget to watch our site and social media for trade in promotions where our cash values are higher.  Being a small, family owned business has its benefits and our flexibility in our buy prices is often driven by supply and demand!

Happy gaming, folks!

-Stace

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