GameStop Shrugs as Best Buy Enters Used Game Biz

In a move that has been anticipated for some time, big box retailer Best Buy has jumped into the used game business, reports Best Buy will apparently be using a kiosk system similar to that now employed by Wal-Mart.

Used game trade leader GameStop is not bothered by the new competition, however. A spokesperson for the retailer told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

GameStop understands that trading in used games and consoles is a highly-assisted activity. We are very confident in our business model that allows our expert associates to help consumers trade in product, a fact not addressed with a self-serve process.

Meanwhile, reports that analyst Colin Sebastion of Lazard Capital Markets sees no threat to GameStop with Best Buy’s move into used:

While we believe that Best Buy’s entry into the used video game market will create a new overhang on shares of GameStop, we expect Best Buy’s initiative to expand the used videogame market rather than take significant share from the speciality channel.

GP: With the Best Buy announcement we can expect the obligatory round of hand wringing from certain game publishers and developers.

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  1. 0
    Austin_Lewis says:

    Same here, although yesterday when I went in on my way to lunch, they admitted they had no idea if Hannah Montanna on DS was a good game or not.  Someone was actually looking to buy it.

    I have to say, most of the gamestops I’ve been to have had at least a few gamers there.  Sure, occasionally you find the fuck up, or the stereotypical ‘fratboy’ who talks about Halo like it’s gold, and then mocks Team Fortress 2 or Left 4 Dead.  But for the most part, I enjoy shopping at my local gamestop.  Hell, when they have slow days, occasionally I’ll sit out front of the store in my car and bullshit with them about local concerts.

  2. 0
    Saxy says:

    Yeah, I did the same thing.

    And is it just me, or is mine the only gamestop that’s actually a nice place? I mean, the people actually know what they’re doing, seem like gamers who are interested, stuff like that.

  3. 0
    wintermute says:

    "GameStop understands that trading in used games and consoles is a highly-assisted activity. We are very confident in our business model that allows our expert associates to help consumers trade in product, a fact not addressed with a self-serve process."

    I had a couple co-workers look at me funny when I burst out laughing at this.  The people at my local gamestop are actually pretty cool and knowledgable, especially compared to most of the other gamestops I’ve been to, but even they don’t do much to "help" people trade in their products.  They just take your games, scan them through the system, then tell you how much you’re going to get in store credit.  When a game’s not in the system, they reject it, just like a kiosk would.  Only difference between a kiosk and a clerk is that the clerk will make conversation with you about the games your trading in, which can sometimes be annoying.

    I still don’t trade my games in anymore, I can make more money selling them dirt cheap to co-workers than I would trading them in at gamestop.  You get a game that’s around a year old, and it’ll only be worth 10 bucks, tops, as a trade in at gamestop, anything older than that and you’re hitting the bottom of the barrel.  Now, if BestBuy offers a reasonable trade in price for used games, then I might consider trading them in again.

  4. 0
    JustChris says:

    I see your point on the guitar shop….I walked into a Best Buy and went ‘wtf’ at their meager selection of keyboards and guitars. And they should probably stay off from drums completely. However, I don’t think the same fate would necessarily be true for the used games section simply because it’s new to them.

    Used games would expand their merchandise selection, but they’re not entering totally new niche here. Best Buy already has a good video games section, there is not much effort involved in adding a few used game shelves into the mix. And I typically don’t ask Best Buy staff for video game suggestions…even GameStop is better at that.


  5. 0
    Austin_Lewis says:

    I have a friend who owns a guitar shop.  Not a big name dealership, not a franchise, but one shop.  He specializes in Guild, Gibson, Alvarez, Fender, and a few lesser brands, so he has a cheap offering for beginners.

    A few months back, I (owning stock in best buy) got an email explaining their future movement into guitars.  I laughed and laughed.  When I went to my friend’s shop to purchase strings, he said he was a bit afraid.  I told him next time I was in a city with the Best Buy/Guitar shop combo, I’d check it out.

    Last Winter, I found myself in Minneapolis.  At the Mall of America, the Best Buy does, in fact, have an attached guitar shop.  However, their wares were crap, most poorly maintained, and the staff lacked basic knowledge.

    This is exactly what I see happening with their bid to enter the used game biz.

  6. 0
    questionmark1987 says:

    I see it as sort of the same thing as when people complain that something in a game was not changed after someone mentions it on a forum and the devs saya they are aware of the occurance. Sometimes being aware doesn’t mean caring, being upset about, or wanting to change, but the masses of gamers who hear these comments about being aware or keeping an eye on used sales from developers automatically think they’re all trying to take away the consumer ability to sell second hand or to buy used.

    Most devs are aware of the second hand market and are doing things to lower their games second hand sales. Some examples: special items, clothing, characters, etc. you get from registering a product when you buy it. Exclusive content for pre-ordering. DLC.

    These are all anti-second hand market, but no one complains because consumers just see it as more stuff or a different distribution model.

  7. 0
    beemoh says:

    >hand wringing

    Improving, but I fail to see how a group of people saying that they’re aware of something that exists constitutes "hand wringing".


  8. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Well the process takes time, when they refine the process and you get instant credit after doing a few games(and if a bad item shows up they take that money back as quickly).


    I am a criminal because I purchase media,I am a criminal because I use media, I am a criminal because I chose to own media..We shall remain criminals until Corporate stay’s outside our bedrooms..

  9. 0
    wrench says:

    Not a real surprise. The CEO of Gamestop was the lead speaker at a video game retailer convention last year. The topic of his speach was how used games is a generally untapped gold mine. Wish I could find a link to the convention website. Was around middle to the end of last summer.

  10. 0
    eston says:

    While I can’t help but laugh at the idea that your average GameStop employee is some sort of "expert" in the art of trading preowned games, I pretty much agree with their statement about this. I personally would not be comfortable trading my games in to an automated kiosk rather than dealing with an actual person.

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