Walmart Takes a Second Look At Used Games

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Walmart Takes a Second Look At Used Games

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Walmart is once again looking to break into the used videogames business and this time, they're not screwing around.

Walmart revealed in mid-2009 that it was dipping its toes into the used games market, looking to carve up a slice of the sweet, sweet moolah pie that GameStop had been keeping all to itself. It hooked up with a company called e-Play that provided kiosks for test stores that rented games and movies for $1 per day and also purchased pre-owned games at fixed rates. It was a fairly predictable bust and by February of this year, the company had pulled the plug on the project.

But it's not ready to walk away from all that profit margin just yet. The retailer confirmed today that it's launched a new initiative in five test stores in conjunction with a new partner called Game Trade. "Walmart is always looking for new ways to help give customers more convenience and savings, and we continually test concepts with new products and businesses in stores and online," the company said in a statement to IndustryGamers. "We are currently working with Game Trade, a start-up services provider, in a lease agreement to test their Game Trade stores in five Walmart locations."

"These locations will offer previously-owned games, movies and entertainment hardware at competitive values," the statement continued. "Game Trade stores will accept trade-ins of media and other entertainment items for Game Trade store credit or cash."

Walmart says it has no plans to roll the program out to other stores until it "understands more about customer response, which [it] will monitor with great interest." Will the company have better luck this time around? Using a "store within a store" concept with real people and real customer support is a big step above and beyond automated kiosks, which sounded like a non-starter from the word go, and the lure of hefty pre-owned profit margins will no doubt keep Walmart in the hunt.

The reaction of major game publishers if it becomes a real pre-owned player will also be interesting to watch. EA, Activision and Ubisoft may be willing to drink GameStop's milkshake with programs like Project Ten Dollar but will they risk alienating a retailer with the muscle and market share of Walmart?

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Would not surprise me. It makes money, and, they are into making money....

There goes the days of game stores been the sole suppliers...

we will soon live in a world controlled by wall mart and google

right

the one thing i want to more than anything is get used games at walmart
*sarcasm*

but in actual fact
walmart can bite me
actually i went to a eb games and the game was cheaper than the same one at walmart the one and only time it will happen

i am also not pleased with our soon to be overlords named walmart

Now we can get our beer, firearms, and GTA games all in one place!

(don't forget machetes, can't forget machetes)

Oh well that fine and dandy but (and there always a but)...My damn walmart hardly even have "new" games!

I don't even buy new games at walmart... no impact here!

You show them big pushy publishers who's boss Wal-Mart, really!

I still would go to a real gameshop, that's when the passionate people talk about games 24/7 and show you the latest tips and tricks. Begone Satan!

Who is this... "Walmart" you speak of?

Amazon is my lord and master, and he will NOT be denied!

Will the game industry take another hit from this? Used game sales seem to be the bane of a lot of video game companies financial points.

I'm getting really sick of all the editorial ink being wasted describing used game rental and sales being a "problem" that needs to be "curbed."

Used games sales are not a "problem," any more than used book or used CD sales are a "problem." Apparently unsanctioned copying (nee "piracy") isn't the press-grabbing bugaboo it once was, and they have now resorted to attacking a perfectly ordinary feature of a properly functioning marketplace. The only reasonable response to a game publisher complaining about it is, "Tough $(EXPLETIVE). You should have paid more attention in econ class."

Second: GameStop are $(EXPLETIVE) twerps for charging outrageous prices. Their prices for new games are MSRP (what, no economy of scale, guys?), and their prices for used games, regardless of condition, are about 10% below that. Big whoop. There are also too many stories of their employees being treated poorly. I never shop there.

Third: I would like to see WalMart fail in this endeavor, as WalMart are reprehensible for other reasons. However, I suspect, after some tweaking, they'll make a go of it -- selling not to gamers, but to non-gamers (mothers, grandmothers, etc.) looking for gifts for gamers at a "low" price.

So Gamestop,7-11 and Wal-mart are going to fighting over the used game market this year

Awesome. This has absolutely no effect on me. Nice to see some news that doesn't effect me. Thanks Andy... I can call you Andy?

You know, whenever "Games" and "Walmart" appear together in a thread, I always find myself noticing just how different the megacorp Walmart is in Canada (or at least Western Canada) compared to the US. They just don't have that big of a market share out here. Hell, they only started carrying actual groceries (previously just junk food) in the last couple years. And so when I hear about how WalMart has enough clout to affect the games industry, I laugh. Up here, Future Shop (Best Buy), London Drugs, and even The Source (formerly Radio Shack) have more presence. Of the five or so WalMarts in my city, you would be hard-pressed to scrape together a dozen mainstream titles, and never do they have more than three or four copies of a game.

Edit: Guess I should have specified above that I was speaking of PC games (the only real game, sayeth me, one of the PC Gaming Elite class). But even in console games, they can't compare to Future Shop, Best Buy, or Toys'R'Us.

Khell_Sennet:
You know, whenever "Games" and "Walmart" appear together in a thread, I always find myself noticing just how different the megacorp Walmart is in Canada (or at least Western Canada) compared to the US. They just don't have that big of a market share out here. Hell, they only started carrying actual groceries (previously just junk food) in the last couple years. And so when I hear about how WalMart has enough clout to affect the games industry, I laugh. Up here, Future Shop (Best Buy), London Drugs, and even The Source (formerly Radio Shack) have more presence. Of the five or so WalMarts in my city, you would be hard-pressed to scrape together a dozen mainstream titles, and never do they have more than three or four copies of a game.

I would rather buy from WalMart though. At least the one in my city has an electronic department run by a guy who is too smart to be there, so I buy from him when he is there if the price is right. I only buy new stuff there though. I buy used at my local game store.

As for Future N00b and Radio n00b and n00b buy, I hate those stores with a passion.
I only go there if I have no other choice.
They shove warranties

I work at a small independent games store. This is a devastating blow, because my boss is a new father who struggles every month to turn a profit. Gamespot might be the only "real" competition in the market, but at least with only one big fish in the pond we we're getting by.

I urge gamers to stick to small businesses. No Walmart employee is going to help you hunt down the best game for you, no Walmart manager is going to take the time to learn your name and listen to your cool gaming anecdotes. Besides, if there's anything I hate more than corporate conformity its when corporate conformity tries to muscle its way into a business it doesn't understand.

We don't even have in Scandinavia. yay for evil American chains not being able to swim.

well store in a store is nothing new Harvey Norman's and Dick Smith Electronics have been doing it for years and years

Harvey Norman's is a furniture store that split computer furnishings and Tv's stuff like tat into a separate section and then some how started out selling computers and then games and now there are checkouts in between the entrance to the electronics part of the store and the furniture part of the store and then out to the exit

and Dickies have their consumer electronics part an then there is another alcove for assorted wire and connectors for home electronics enthusiasts r what ever you do with that stuff

Sonicron:
Who is this... "Walmart" you speak of?

Amazon is my lord and master, and he will NOT be denied!

Amazon is where the rollback prices are sans ebay anyway

Walmart doesn't even exist in this country, puny walmart go lay down.

Crunchy English:
I work at a small independent games store. This is a devastating blow, because my boss is a new father who struggles every month to turn a profit. Gamespot might be the only "real" competition in the market, but at least with only one big fish in the pond we we're getting by.

I urge gamers to stick to small businesses. No Walmart employee is going to help you hunt down the best game for you, no Walmart manager is going to take the time to learn your name and listen to your cool gaming anecdotes. Besides, if there's anything I hate more than corporate conformity its when corporate conformity tries to muscle its way into a business it doesn't understand.

I understand your concern, but with any luck they'll have the same cluelessness as Gamestop of offering $10 for a week old new release and then slapping it back on the shelf for $55, all you'll need to do is make sure people know your store exists and it offers far better deals!

Generally, people prefer smaller stores, it's only laziness that sends them to supermarkets, if you can offer better service and better prices, you'll be fine against them.

danpascooch:
Now we can get our beer, firearms, and GTA games all in one place!

(don't forget machetes, can't forget machetes)

I wish we could get beer and firearms in places other than liquor stores and sporting good stores here. Although, access to the $7 machete is pretty handy. They aren't even behind the counter.

Wow we can get guns, drinks, games and weapons of any type all in one place a soviets dream!

This one of the few reasons I love the UK. You buy games from Game. They do regular and pre-owned for decent prices and are a hell of a lot cheaper than the likes of say HMV. So basically all you need is a local Game store and Steam and your gaming needs are sorted.

The supermarkets here don't really delve into games. They stick them next to the DVDs, slap an arbitrary price on it and hey ho. Although Asda is owned by Walmart so it could be interesting to see where this goes in a few years.

so it looks like they are leaving the kiosk idea behind and going with a full blown little kubby *you know the ones infront of the store* which is a far better idea.

My Avatar says it all.

Quick way to make money buy used game at gamestop sell it to walmart!

In the year 2012. All will shop at Walmart for every need. Then they will all blow up simultaneously. Thus issuing the apocalypse.

I think its funny that walmart wants in on this just as big publishers are starting to pull out all the stops in fighting the used game market.

No matter how you feel about after-markets in general, the fact the videogame aftermarket typically means "in exchange for your recently released game, and we'll give you $5 off a newer game. We will then put your used copy on the shelves for $45 to $58." This isn't people selling their old crap at flea markets, or libraries offering books for free, this is the height of price gouging. Its actively subverting the viability of new titles in the name of a retail chain turning an even greater profit.

I don't even like buying new games at Wal-Mart. The only place I get games is at Gamestop. I got screwed so many times going to Slackers that I don't even bother. You trade stuff in there and they give you USED CREDIT which is only good towards USED merchandise. Wonder if it will be the same at Wal-Mart.

joeman098:
we will soon live in a world controlled by valve

fixed.

BlindMessiah94:

I would rather buy from WalMart though. At least the one in my city has an electronic department run by a guy who is too smart to be there, so I buy from him when he is there if the price is right. I only buy new stuff there though. I buy used at my local game store.

As for Future N00b and Radio n00b and n00b buy, I hate those stores with a passion.
I only go there if I have no other choice.
They shove warranties

Best Buy is usually my first stop when looking for a game. They're the cheapest, and most likely to carry anything. EB/Gamestop has all but abandoned PC games, and I don't like buying a product that has been opened (for those who don't know, they typically keep empty boxes on the shelf, with discs behind the counter). I typically avoid WalMart simply because I can't stand the typical WalMart customer. Fat trailer trash carting around a half-dozen welfare cheques kids, all of whom are off in their own world, oblivious to how they are blocking the lane or holding up the cashier. Between them, the screaming kids, and the unintelligible and heavily-accented yabbling over the PA system, it's too much annoyance to suffer through for a mere game.

Khell_Sennet:

BlindMessiah94:

I would rather buy from WalMart though. At least the one in my city has an electronic department run by a guy who is too smart to be there, so I buy from him when he is there if the price is right. I only buy new stuff there though. I buy used at my local game store.

As for Future N00b and Radio n00b and n00b buy, I hate those stores with a passion.
I only go there if I have no other choice.
They shove warranties

Best Buy is usually my first stop when looking for a game. They're the cheapest, and most likely to carry anything. EB/Gamestop has all but abandoned PC games, and I don't like buying a product that has been opened (for those who don't know, they typically keep empty boxes on the shelf, with discs behind the counter). I typically avoid WalMart simply because I can't stand the typical WalMart customer. Fat trailer trash carting around a half-dozen welfare cheques kids, all of whom are off in their own world, oblivious to how they are blocking the lane or holding up the cashier. Between them, the screaming kids, and the unintelligible and heavily-accented yabbling over the PA system, it's too much annoyance to suffer through for a mere game.

I avoid EB games religiously. They make a habit of destroying childrens' dreams and ripping kids off.

I was in there once an a bright eyed bushy tailed kid, probably 8 years old wanted to sell an n64 and 5 or so games to buy something new.

They offered $2 each for the games and get this...

$1 for the console.

He would have received around $10 total. He was so distraught and the cashier made him feel like an idiot. As if $1 was the norm for the consoles and the kid should really have done his homework.

The kid was about to trade it in when I stepped in, scolded the cashier and told the kid to take it to a local gamestore I knew who would pay them much more than that. At worst I told him I would buy the console off of him for $20 with his his games.

They are really just the worst corporation.

Say what you want about Walmart, competition has never been a bad thing.

Low Key:

danpascooch:
Now we can get our beer, firearms, and GTA games all in one place!

(don't forget machetes, can't forget machetes)

I wish we could get beer and firearms in places other than liquor stores and sporting good stores here. Although, access to the $7 machete is pretty handy. They aren't even behind the counter.

I know right? Sick black blade too

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