New Used Games Marketplace Aims High

New Used Games Marketplace Aims High

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SwitchGames, a new site for trading and buying/selling games, doesn't just want to compete with its rivals in the used games market. It wants to change the entire face of the games industry.

"It's a greater movement, this shifting of power," SwitchGames founder and CEO Jason Crawford said of his site, a new face in the suddenly competitive used games market. In the past couple weeks alone, the used games racket, which is currently dominated by retail juggernaut GameStop, has gotten a little bit more crowded. Amazon and Toys R Us have announced plans to try their hands at the business.

The "shifting of power" that Crawford is talking about is what he sees as his site's advantage over its big-name competitors. Instead of acting as an outlet for buying and selling used games, SwitchGames figures itself as an open and, moreover, safe marketplace for gamers to do their own business. "Gamers don't perceive their games as equity," Crawford said, explaining that gamers see games more like movie tickets with one-time prices than like houses, which they can buy, sell and leverage the worth of.

So, your copy of Saints Row 2 can be like a house. On the site you can put it up for trading, and, eventually, buying and selling. The process is straightforward - you just list the games you have and the ones you want. Then you make trades, which the site can match for you or which you can arrange for yourself. You can trade multiple games for single ones, and vice versa.

Signing up is free, as are the site's social networking and community features and of course the actual trading, but if you pony up a few bucks, SwitchGames will make sure your exchange is extra-safe: instead of the traded games going directly into the postal service and risking getting lost, they'll go to SwitchGames, who will check out the condition of the games and make sure there's no funny business going on before sending them along their way.

Anyone who's ever gotten scammed on eBay or Craigslist (me) should be relieved to hear that the company's taking extra measures to make sure you don't get screwed. Indeed, "safety" is one of the key words for Crawford and his team.

As for the controversial issue of used games themselves, which publishers and developers have frequently argued cut game makers off from due profits and only serve to fatten retailers' pockets, SwitchGames has its own shot at an answer. When you buy/sell a game on the site, you can choose to make out a portion of the cash to the publisher. According to Crawford, publishers have been receptive of the idea if a bit skeptical.

For Crawford, the site is an "end-to-end solution for the industry." That could be true, and it is no doubt an interesting project. Not to mention it's nice to see a new and independently-minded face among all the big corporate ones. Whether it'll catch on or not, only time will tell.

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This is a really good idea. I'm surprised no-one took advantage of it before now actually, as it's based around an older barter system than retail. Definitely signing up.

Sounds like their making a videogame stock market.

Good to see another player in this niche market, should keep things nice and competitive, the winner in the end being the consumers...

But I don't think that the option to donate profits to publishers will catch on, that's a silly idea if you ask me.....

Awesome! I might check it out. At last, I will be rid of Lego Star Wars! And for (hopefully) more than $3!!!

That might be a bit too optimistic, though.

I hope they have some kind of policy on PC games. I don't want to get ****ed out of my money because of a bad DRM scheme.

Edit: I tried signing up. They don't have an option for me to select that I'm Canadian.

So this is basically like your friend having a game you want, and you have a game your friend wants, so you switch games for a bit for no cost?

Correct me if I'm wrong on that, but if that's true that that's awesome! I'll probably not use this though, but (if what I said is correct) this is awesome.

Jumplion:
So this is basically like your friend having a game you want, and you have a game your friend wants, so you switch games for a bit for no cost?

Correct me if I'm wrong on that, but if that's true that that's awesome! I'll probably not use this though, but (if what I said is correct) this is awesome.

Well, you don't just let the other person borrow it, you trade games, for keeps. And yeah, you can trade for free, but if you want to do the thing where you sent it to the company and they check things out to make sure it's kosher, it costs a few bucks (need to check exact amount).

Keane Ng:

Jumplion:
So this is basically like your friend having a game you want, and you have a game your friend wants, so you switch games for a bit for no cost?

Correct me if I'm wrong on that, but if that's true that that's awesome! I'll probably not use this though, but (if what I said is correct) this is awesome.

Well, you don't just let the other person borrow it, you trade games, for keeps. And yeah, you can trade for free, but if you want to do the thing where you sent it to the company and they check things out to make sure it's kosher, it costs a few bucks (need to check exact amount).

I find that so fitting considering I'm jewish.

Have a cookie (a KOSHER one :D)

Seems like a very good idea, may have to check it out.

Jumplion:

Keane Ng:

Jumplion:
So this is basically like your friend having a game you want, and you have a game your friend wants, so you switch games for a bit for no cost?

Correct me if I'm wrong on that, but if that's true that that's awesome! I'll probably not use this though, but (if what I said is correct) this is awesome.

Well, you don't just let the other person borrow it, you trade games, for keeps. And yeah, you can trade for free, but if you want to do the thing where you sent it to the company and they check things out to make sure it's kosher, it costs a few bucks (need to check exact amount).

I find that so fitting considering I'm jewish.

Have a cookie (a KOSHER one :D)

Alright, a "Safe Trade," as SwitchGames calls it, costs $6.95, not bad, especially considering that the site will pay for your postage when you do a safe trade.

Keane Ng:

Jumplion:

Keane Ng:

Jumplion:
So this is basically like your friend having a game you want, and you have a game your friend wants, so you switch games for a bit for no cost?

Correct me if I'm wrong on that, but if that's true that that's awesome! I'll probably not use this though, but (if what I said is correct) this is awesome.

Well, you don't just let the other person borrow it, you trade games, for keeps. And yeah, you can trade for free, but if you want to do the thing where you sent it to the company and they check things out to make sure it's kosher, it costs a few bucks (need to check exact amount).

I find that so fitting considering I'm jewish.

Have a cookie (a KOSHER one :D)

Alright, a "Safe Trade," as SwitchGames calls it, costs $6.95, not bad, especially considering that the site will pay for your postage when you do a safe trade.

Though, if you can just trade with them for next to no cost, why would anyone buy/sell?

It seems to me that it might be incredibly risky if you want to trade, but don't want to use the "Safe Trade". You're basically counting on a complete stranger on the internet to be honest. What if I send my game to someone, and they don't send me their game in return? If the accounts are free to sign up for in the first place, getting banned doesn't seem like much of a punishment if someone gets a free game out of it...

I wonder if this could -really- work..

 

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