Walmart Gets Into Used Games Biz

Walmart Gets Into Used Games Biz

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Retail giant Walmart is testing a videogame buyback program that makes use of in-store kiosks that will accept used games for credit.

Walmart, otherwise known as The Official Store of America, has partnered with Ohio-based company E-Play to make a foray into the money-filled world of the used games business. So far the venture is only in a pilot program: E-Play has leased space in a paltry 77 Walmart stores to install "Video Game Buyback" kiosks. The kiosks rent game and DVD rentals at the rate of $1 per day, but, more significantly, also take used games.

The way it works is you step up to the machine (maybe after picking up a 300-pack of Top Ramen for $10), scan the barcode on the case of the game you want to sell, at which point the machine will make you an offer for how much it's worth. If the deal's swell to you, you insert the disc into the kiosk and drop the case off into the attached case-catching bin.

After the machine magically examines the disc to make sure it's in acceptable condition, it'll dole out the agreed upon amount of money to your preferred credit card. Walmart says that if the program is a success E-Play will make it so that machines also provide store credit.

So what happens to your copy of Quest 64 (you can't actually sell N64 games) after you've dumped it into the magical machine? E-Play wouldn't tell when asked by Gamasutra, only saying that there are a "couple different methods" for reselling the games.

Without a clear way to make money from selling these games, it seems that Walmart and E-Play aren't exactly trying to compete with the GameStops and Amazons of the world here.

"I can't see this having tremendous appeal to hardcore gamers, unless the credits are substantially higher than those offered at GameStop," analyst Michael Pachter said. "Even if this takes off, it's not going to make much of a dent in the used market. ... I don't see it being a big deal."

Still, if you happen to be at Walmart buying ammo for your hunting rifle, getting some Dunkin Donuts or just buying a ginormous thing of cheese puffs, doesn't it seem convenient to go ahead and dump off your copy of Madden NFL 2001 too?

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Smells like Walmart is hopping onto the used game biz the cheap way, leaving the consumer to most likely get screwed in the process. If I'm gonna trade in a used game for credit and/or money, I want to deal with a flesh and blood person for the chance at bartering a bit. Anyone taking interest in this that lives near a Walmart getting a kiosk: it might be in your best interest to research E-Play and see what their business really is.

I am intruiged and frightened. One step closer to the world of Armored Core where mercenaries fight for giant mega corporations...

samsonguy920:
If I'm gonna trade in a used game for credit and/or money, I want to deal with a flesh and blood person for the chance at bartering a bit.

You are very lucky to have a used game store that has some semblance of customer service. Where I am the majority are either GameStop or GameCrazy. Both generally offer you the list price or nothing for your games. For all their "flesh and blood" salespeople do you might as well have a machine for most of it.

Well that is the sad part about used game sales. One man's treasure is another man's trash/profit. In the end you really have to decide if you want to sell your games or be a packrat.

How does the machine know if the case you have given it is the correct one? I bet quite a few people will find ways to exploit this system.

Couldn't I just scan the bar code of a game box and then drop in a blank CD?

Internet Kraken:
Couldn't I just scan the bar code of a game box and then drop in a blank CD?

i can see this happeninging a lot considering the people that work at Walmart

Skizle:

Internet Kraken:
Couldn't I just scan the bar code of a game box and then drop in a blank CD?

i can see this happeninging a lot considering the people that work at Walmart

And I will do it a lot

i so you could just give him blank cds all day, by scaning a 50$ barcode from your iphone, then reapeat.

I keep all my games, even the crap ones. Thataways I have something to bash on every once in a while :D

samsonguy920:
Smells like Walmart is hopping onto the used game biz the cheap way, leaving the consumer to most likely get screwed in the process

As opposed to the current GameStop business model?

samsonguy920:
If I'm gonna trade in a used game for credit and/or money, I want to deal with a flesh and blood person for the chance at bartering a bit.

What magical world do you live in? The game stores in my major American metropolitan area give you a price they procure from their cash register for any used game. You take it or leave it.

This may be bad, at least for people who work in video game stores like me(not Gamestop). I work in a small store called Hastings and used games are like our only edge against the beast that is Wal-mart. This could suck horribly.

Heh, I sell my games online so I'm used to getting at least half of what I paid for them. I've even turned a profit or two selling online.

But yeah, Walmart service+ Walmart-quality used games+ Walmart-quality people trading in the games= pretty much the worst place to buy used games at. I bet they'll be even worse than GS after a little while. One of the only good things about buying from Walmart is that you can buy a new brand-name product sometimes for a bit less than somewhere else, and you can buy new games pretty much with confidence, since it's never been played and wasn't made by Walmart. With a used games kiosk, you lose those advantages to some extent.

Besides, it's ALWAYS been notoriously hard to return things at Walmart. Considering how often I've had to return games to GS because they didn't work, I can see this becoming a big issue.

As one of the few people who does not live near a Wal-Mart, I guess I don't care. But also, selling online will still be a far better profit.

this will probably get ugly...

Like most of you I'm also wondering how the machine will verify the data. I guess it could try to read the disc, I'm not sure if that works but seems to be the only real way to validate the game. What I'm really wondering about is what they're going to do with all those used games. I guess they would use part of them for the rental service, but what about the rest?

Veishan:

samsonguy920:
If I'm gonna trade in a used game for credit and/or money, I want to deal with a flesh and blood person for the chance at bartering a bit.

What magical world do you live in? The game stores in my major American metropolitan area give you a price they procure from their cash register for any used game. You take it or leave it.

Where Aslan is King and Talking Mice stand up for my honor. :) It would be nice if there were a bartering system for used games, though that is the lost dream.

ffxfriek:
this will probably get ugly...

Like the people who go to Walmart. OH SNAP. Seriously though Walmart's in the country towns are fucking scary as shit

 

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