Tips for Maximizing the Trade in Value of Your Used Video Games

NES-Console-SetThere are two times of the year that get gamers truly excited about their video games: the holiday season and spring. Why is that you might wonder? Each year the hottest, most-anticipated new video games are released on the top consoles for sale during the holiday shopping season or in the early spring.

With the release of each new game, gamers are sent scrambling to find the funds. Video games are an addictive financial pit for many gamers. At a cost of $60 on average for brand new games, buying the newest game right away when it comes is a significant hit, especially if they are buying a few new releases at once.

Inevitably, those older games have to end up somewhere. Like any good toy, the old used-games become less popular with gamers once the new releases arrive. An entire industry has sprung up around trading and selling used-games, so how can gamers get the most profit possible when trading in their used video games?

The following steps will help any gamer navigate the trade-in experience to help ensure they are getting maximum profit from their used games, in the process giving them more money to buy the latest releases.

Don’t Cling to Old Games

First and foremost, there is no good reason to cling to an old game that you’ve already conquered. Sure, there are a few games out there with quality replay value thanks to online gaming, but few of them are worth hanging on to for months on end. Once you’ve defeated a game to your satisfaction, consider trading it in immediately. Why is that?

Because just like a car, the longer you hold onto a used-video game the less value it will have at trade-in. When games are still new to the market, their trade-in value is higher because their resale value is higher. If you’ve beat a game one week after buying it and don’t find yourself playing it, trade it now to get maximum profit from the transaction.

Trade in Bulk, Remember all the Pieces

When you are looking over the stack of used video games and deciding which ones to trade in, see if you can think of a decent reason for keeping ALL of them. If you can’t, then take all of them with you to trade them in. You’ll get more money from the transaction, giving you more money to put towards the purchase price of a new release.

Additionally, it might not make a huge difference, but try to find all the manuals and inserts that came with the game and include them. If you treat your discs kindly too, that will help as overly abused discs can lower the trade-in price with some retailers. Every little bit helps.

Do Your Research

You wouldn’t sell your used car without bothering to find out what to charge first would you? No, you wouldn’t, and you shouldn’t sell your used video games without doing some research first. There are a variety of websites available to help you determine what your used games are currently selling for on eBay,, and Amazon.

One example is Video Game Price Charts. This website will tell how much specific video game titles have been selling for with various retailers over the last 90-days. In that same vein, consider smaller or less obvious game trade-in retailers. GameStop is THE player in the used video game industry, but there are other players. Best Buy operates a trade-in program and there are others that can be found with a little online sleuthing.

Know When to Sell Specific Games

Not all of the titles in your used video game collection are going to lose value at the same rate. There are a lot of factors that will play into the depreciation of your used video game collection when it comes to trade-in value. Certain video game franchises come out with new versions annually, most notably sports franchises such as Madden and MLB The Show.

The best way to maximize your trade-in value on these games is to make your transaction well before the new version is due to hit shelves. Industry professionals have found that most sports games lose 80% of their value once the new version is launched. The average video game loses 70% of its value of one year.

Trading before waiting too long, and unloading games before new versions come out are the best ways to protect your trade-in values.

Think Outside the Box

There are no rules and regulations that stipulate games have to be traded with a retailer or sold to them for store credits. A cottage industry has popped up, following the lead of eBay and Craigslist, which allows gamers to trade and sell their video games directly to other video gamers. Retailers have overhead and bills to pay, you and another gamer shouldn’t pay the price for that.

Sites like Amazon, or eBay allow you to establish free accounts and trade and sell your video games with other gamers. Now, eBay will charge listing fees for you to sell your video games to other gamers. But sites like The Old School Game Vault, and GameTZ offer a more unique experience.

On these sites you can connect with other gamers looking to trade one game for another. Just because you don’t value a used game anymore doesn’t mean it doesn’t hold value in the eyes of another gamer. Using these websites might just turn out to be more beneficial than taking a small pittance from a retailer to apply toward a new release.

The biggest takeaway in all of this is to be patient. Don’t just rush out to GameStop because you have an old game or two you want to eliminate from your collection. Take a day or two to research online and see if there isn’t a more profitable route you can take with those used games. You might be surprised at how easy it is to get more value from your trade-in with some effort.


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