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Target Launches Used Video Game Trade-in Service
Target Launches Used Video Game Trade-in Service
August 25, 2010 | By Colette Bennett

August 25, 2010 | By Colette Bennett
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    29 comments
More: Console/PC



Major U.S. retail store Target has announced that its retail locations and online webstore will now be accepting trade-ins of used console and handheld video games, following similar moves by other big box retailers such as Best Buy.

The program launches today in Northern California and will be available in more Target locations by next month, with 850 stores planned to offer the service before the end of the year. The Target website will also accept trade-ins of used electronics and DVDs.

Store credit will be issued for the trades, which also may include used iPhones, iPods and cell phones in addition to video games. All items will be evaluated at the Target Mobile counter inside Target stores -- often located directly next to the video game section -- and any credit issued can be used immediately.

With used games bringing high margins to specialty retail stores like GameStop, other retail chains are looking closely at the practice. For example, electronics retailer Best Buy launched a similar program in June of last year, offering kiosks in its retail stores that allowed customers to trade in games for store credit.

However, GameStop's CEO Paul Raines recently commented that "we simply have not seen an impact." Raines noted that some big box retailers have only announced plans to start dealing in used games, while others have started used game businesses, but on a very limited scale.

The announcement by Target comes as it has been concentrating on improving its video game offerings, revamping its electronics departments and adding 30 percent more floorspace in an effort to create a better shopping experience for video game buyers.

Target spokesperson Joshua Thomas told Gamasutra during a May interview discussing their video game department that Target "does not have any plans to go into the used game business" -- but the firm has evidently changed its mind since then.


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Comments


Alan Rimkeit
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Man o man, with all the hating on used game sales this is really going to cheese off all the devs and publishers...

Sherman Luong
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This would be a killer for Game Stop as well.



Imagine now I can turn in a game for $40 dollar credit so I can shop for groceries and clothes.

Mike Lopez
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Let's hope this creates trade-in credit price wars for used games.

Carlo Delallana
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Digital distribution ftw.

Marcus Miller
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Yes. Now that retails like Target and Best Buy are stabbing them in the back, console makers and game companies are going to push for digital distribution for the nexgen consoles.

Hayden Dawson
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They can push all they want but the customer will be the arbiter. There are still huge numbers of those 'cheating' people without any internet service, let alone with in house IT backbones to support the downloading of AAA retail titles,



Perhaps that is yet another reason for extending out the life of this generation...a prayer that 5-8 years from now, every house will have that 3D TV and an inexpensive T1 hookup.

Alan Rimkeit
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How are people supposed to download Blu Ray sized games off of their home networks? We are talking 20+ GB's in size here people. These are NOT DVD sized games.



Comcast has a 200 GB cap. That is GENEROUS. Other ISP's have MUCH LESS. Some like Cox have as small as 5-10 GB PER MONTH. SEE THE PROBLEMS HERE? What are your customers supposed to do when they want your newest game, it is 15-20-30 GB's in size, and their monthly cap is all GONE? O.O

Jonathan Jennings
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...wow this would be great news if craigslist and ebay didn't exist. I really don't know why people trade games to the stores, it's such a waste. you can buy the games for cheaper or sell them for more using the aforementioned websites. not to mention it's all cash and no tax ....craigslist FTW.

Hayden Dawson
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There are lots of real life and practical reasons.



The ''conveinience fee" of selling to a reseller, is one many are willing to pay to get everything sold in one place and at one time. You also don't need to worry further about added costs such as shipping, trips to the post office or the random customer service issue or challenge. Further, if you stack the right promos and deals, it is not that hard to get $30+ or more trade value for the top titles. That certainly is in the ball park of the top value you would be reselling that $60 title for.....unless you also are asking your customer to shell out $55 for that near new title.



From a buying standpoint, you are getting known quality (you can check the disk and case quality) at a known price. Your may be paying $50-55 for a great looking disk, but that the same 'price' (or cheaper in a customer's eye) to a $30 game, +$10 shipping for a disk that comes marked up. You also know who you are dealing with, which is usually not known perhaps at all through ebay or craigslist.



Not saying all transactions through these are bad, or that if you are knowledgeable you can't get ahead; just showing why that mother of 4, or why a guy in a neighborhood might choose to walk into their corner GS.

Jonathan Jennings
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that's an excellent point Hayden, I tend to forget that not everyone shopping for games is one of us die-hards.

Fiore Iantosca
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"...wow this would be great news if craigslist and ebay didn't exist. I really don't know why people trade games to the stores, it's such a waste. you can buy the games for cheaper or sell them for more using the aforementioned websites. not to mention it's all cash and no tax ....craigslist FTW. "



Been saying this for years and on forums. I just can't understand it. Gamers are either ignorant and/or lazy. Why else would they GIVE away money like that?

Eric Geer
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Why can't Devs and Publishers Term and Condition their games to include a clause that if a game is sold for resale at a retail location, that __% of the sale will return to the Publisher and _% of the sale will return to the Developer?



I don't know know enough legalise to know if this is possible or not. Anyone one?

E Zachary Knight
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No they cannot do that. That violates first sale rights. Developers/publishers are only able to control the initial sale and they are legally blocked from regulating any further sales of their product.

Eric Geer
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Thanks for the info. It's really a shame that they can't do more--well..for any industry really-film/books/etc---especially with the amount of trade that happens and the number of hands a single game/movie/book goes through before being "retired"

Sean Kiley
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Im going to go against the current here and say that this growing after sale market is bad, short term gain for long term pain.



I like getting cheap games as much as the next guy, but not if it keeps my favorite developers from making their next game.



DCL is going to get a major push from this.

Jonathan Jennings
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I don't uspport used game selling/ buying ot harm the developer and really if I really think a game iwll be great i will certainly buy it new like i did with bo0ty yakuza 3 and red dead redemption. however on a college students wages my choices are either wait for a price drop ( 7 months on avg before the NEWgame matches prices I want ) or just not buy it at all. while i can see the damage buying use causes especially considering a game can go through the hands of multiple people before finally being kept. I think devs should focus on stopping piracy more. If we compare the number of people who experience a used game after the initial purchase and the number of people who download torrents and such after the initial purchase i am sure the difference would be vast.





anywho I agree i don't like to see my favorite developers die off but have there been any concrete examples of a developer dying due to a surge in used game sale as opposed to just not getting game sales period ?

Todd Kinsley
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I don't want to hear publishers complain about this. If games were not so expensive in the first place, people wouldn't be so quick to jump on the used game bandwagon.

Carlo Delallana
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I guess game development can scale back to the N64 era where we have low poly characters with simplistic textures. I think you can sell that for $5.99 or less, that should make people happy about not paying high prices for their games.

Alan Rimkeit
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Games used to cost $60 in the N64 era. But I guess if you made them that way today it would be very cheap and "retro". Lots of people would like it.

Eric Geer
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The prices arent really too terrible, especially with the current look at our country. Prices are similar...maybe a bit cheaper than the 5th Gen $50-70--sometimes more. I'm not sure why you are complaining so much.

Hayden Dawson
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The customer has changed drastically this generation. Gaming is the mass market/family entertainment medium of choice, it is not just the refuge of a few well off kids or us hobbyists. Such folks will react differently to prices.



And there are other differences. Outside of wii shovelware and a handful of absolute stinker failed titles, it is hard to find a new price point lower than $29.99. Ps1 and Ps2 generations all had those $14.99/$9.99 bargain bins where one COULD find a gem that sadly had gone under the radar. To find those price points this generation, one pretty much is limited to old used.



If the companies really want to engage the customer, take those long paid off and cost accounted for back titles, print em up on the cheap and let a customer buy a new $10 XB360 or PS3 game.

Mike Lopez
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That is inaccurate. Console games retailed for $50 back then. It was only with the move on the current gen and higher storage and explosion of content that publishers colluded to raise the MSRP to $60 in most cases.

George Monroy
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LOL @ this news. The developers can do nothing now. Best Buy and Target are taking used games. What if Walmart does this too? You think the devs are going to go all digital download? You are crazy. The retail stores can say they will stop carrying the systems if they do that. How will devs sell games if nobody sells systems. The retailers have the power and the ball. The devs are out of luck.

Carlo Delallana
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Then we game on the cloud!



Sometimes it takes a cataclysmic event to usher progress. If more brick/mortar stores push for used game sales then the business has to adapt. A good section of the casual game business is already doing digital distribution.

Hayden Dawson
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But me thinks if the industry adaps this way right now, it shall adapt itself out of business. You can not just wave a magic wand, make a few left field statements -- as in this weeks lovely message from THQ -- and have your customers make changes they have no desire, wish, or in many cases capability to make.

Carlo Delallana
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Depends on which customer I guess. The traditional notion that "core" players are the ones to advance or open new avenues for play are being challenged by casual players on emerging platforms such as Facebook and iPhone. Those consumers have clearly embraced digital downloads and cloud-based gaming. All this in addition to other online-based digital distribution MMO and Free-to-Play games.



Me thinks the industry is already adapting...

wes bogdan
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I hope to see actually high trade in prices not like gamestop and i'd be nice to see other options than a giftcard

like payment on your target card or even cold hard cash. The target near me is going to remodel after christmas so by this time next year eletronics will be on the other side of the store and it's a pardon our dust remodel so not when it's closed.



Supposedly dec 26th-may timeframe.

wes bogdan
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On the digital distribution front when am i going to forgo downloads for cloud based gaming so you simply sign in to ps +,live or whatever nintendo comes up with(yes nintendo wants a service to) purchase the "rights" to play and get instant access to your games on their servers. The only thing you'd need is a box,input device,internet and HDTV so the box would store your profile,game saves and purchase data so when on instant access with no game freezes like carts,cd,dvd or bd's.



I wonder how far we are from a ps,xbox,wii cloud system and i wonder if it could be a ps,xbox and wii cloud box as no discs,no dl only profile and game data so i could in theory have 1 box with live,psn and wii because it'd all be on their servers so no conflicts with channels,xmb or dash because i'd simply connect to all of that and would only need 1 gateway not 3 it's a brave new world in the clouds....

Alan Rimkeit
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Well, if you want to know what Kaz Hirai from Sony thinks take a read of this....



Sony's Hirai: we're over 10 years away from disc-less PlayStation



http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2010/08/sonys-hirai-more-than-
10-years-away-from-digital-playstation.ars


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