News Article

Walmart Announces Foray Into Pre-Owned Games

Posted by Jowi Meli

Program begins on 26th March

Walmart has announced today that stores across the United States will begin participating in a new pre-owned video game program as of 26th March this year. Citing the $2 billion used game market as incentive to enter its own bid, Walmart promises an easy trade-in program that follows much the same business model as others in the industry. Unlike game speciality stores, however, the department store giant’s effort provides the added benefit of being able to apply credit obtained through trades to anything sold at Walmart or Sam’s Club.

To follow the trade-in program later this year, Walmart will be offering these “Certified Pre-Owned” games both in stores and on its website. These will be refurbished, “like-new” products offered at prices reduced from the average retail MSRP. “While new releases will remain the focus of our gaming business, we’re glad to give customers the option to buy pre-owned games,” explained Duncan McNaughton, chief merchandising and marketing officer for the company’s U.S. branches.

What do you think about this latest venture into the massive market of used video games in the U.S? Will you be participating when Walmart widens its options for gamers later this month?

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User Comments (74)

SheldonRandoms

#3

SheldonRandoms said:

And then Gamestop counters by becoming a multinational retail corporation that runs chains of large discount department stores and warehouse stores AND they also have this deal. Checkmate Walmart ;)

Bolt_Strike

#4

Bolt_Strike said:

If they're going to be selling them at a reasonable price, I'm all for it. If they're just going to be doing $5-10 discounts like Gamestop does, then no.

EDIT: Basically, they need to stop ripping off gamers with the used game market. It's absolutely absurd how Gamestop will only offer you $5 when you sell them your game and then turn around and sell it for $45.

King47

#5

King47 said:

I would rather pay the extra price at target or meijer then go near a Wal-Mart. I also don't bother with used games, unless I can't find them otherwise. So this will not get me to go to Wal-Mart.

Moviefan2k4

#6

Moviefan2k4 said:

The only way I'd deal with Wal-Mart's new policy is if they started selling used retro games en masse. Otherwise, no.

CanisWolfred

#7

CanisWolfred said:

This will be good for anyone who doesn't have a close enough Gamestop or other used game stores...which is the only reason to go to Wal-Mart for Games, IMO...

Mus1cLov3r

#8

Mus1cLov3r said:

Great! I go to wal-mart more often than gamestop, and I'm more likely to get a pre-owned game than new.

dkxcalibur

#9

dkxcalibur said:

I have absolutely no faith in this being good. My local Wal-Mart can't even stock the "new" games so I doubt they will stock their shelves with used games. They still have Wii/DS games that are priced way too high (I'm not referring to 1st party titles that always retain their value). Plus, a lot of the new stuff resembles used stuff already!

Technosphile

#10

Technosphile said:

Fine by me, but unfortunately good games never show up in the used section at big stores like Wal-Mart. Check out these areas at Target and Best Buy, and all you will see is the worst shovelware garbage that you can't believe anyone bought in the first place (Mary-Kate & Ashley DS games, awful Sonic titles, etc).

marnelljm

#11

marnelljm said:

I don't usually shop for games at Wal Mart. I will though if their used game prices are significantly lower than Gamestop prices.

wicked636

#12

wicked636 said:

I only buy used if I cant find it new.Also has to be in great condition.Just wondering why does most here not like walmart?Aside from workers not knowing basic stuff.

Darknyht

#13

Darknyht said:

Great, now there is yet another store in the used market to dilute the distribution. I struggle now to find Wii U titles (new or used).

TheHunter

#14

TheHunter said:

My only options for games in my town are Gamestop or Wal-Mart, I'm glad I won't have to set foot in the Gamestop for trade-ins anymore.

Mikau94

#15

Mikau94 said:

I hope they have a broader selection of consoles instead of only selling the current and previous gen items like Gamestop.

shigulicious

#16

shigulicious said:

Sweet. I work for Wal-Mart. So I'll be getting an employee discount. Cheap, awesome games are awesome.

GooRoo

#18

GooRoo said:

I hope they offer a good trade-in value out of the gate. I have a copy of NBA Live 14 for PS4 just itching to take a permanent vacation from my home. :) On the other hand, I collect Nintendo titles so I won't be trading any in.

Anguspuss

#19

Anguspuss said:

they tried this in uk walmart Asda now they are trying get rid of stock after giving up.

MAN1AC

#20

MAN1AC said:

Just think of how much crow MS would be eating if they didnt change their initial Xbone policies :( This is pretty cool though. Its interesting to see what major retailers are doing to combat the transition many gamers are making when leaning towards digital purchases or not wanting to pay full prices for software

unrandomsam

#25

unrandomsam said:

I wonder what Nintendo's finances would be like if people instead of paying the new price that Amazon charges for a used copy bought new. (They have stated that they think people buy 2 or 3 games a year most of the time).

Tasuki

#27

Tasuki said:

I wont be doing this. For one thing I hate Walmart as much as I do Gamestop plus I have a bunch of other places in my town to go to trade in games that's neither of them. Still for people who only have these two places in their town it's nice to have the option of where to go.

gatorboi352

#30

gatorboi352 said:

Wow. Digital downloads need to start stepping it up and in a hurry. Steam is the only one doing it right, and news of this today only hurts that front on the home consoles.

Hy8ogen

#31

Hy8ogen said:

@Unca_Lz But $5 for a mint recent game is robbery imo. For me I'll either keep the game as a collection or sell them on Craiglist/Kijji. Selling games back to Gamestop/Ebgames is plain stupid unless they have those 2 for 50 deals.

LordGeovanni

#33

LordGeovanni said:

Wow. So much Walmart Hate, and so much Gamestop Hate.

All I have to say is that I live in one of those "states that are entirely sub-urban" and I have a Gamestop next to a Walmart, next to a Kmart, next to a Target and out of those four, I like the Walmart and Gamestop the most. On one hand, Kmart always is old games (Like a generation and a half behind) and poor maintenance in the store. Target, on the other hand, is a little more expensive than Walmart and also refuses to help out any charities or groups in the area. Including the US Veterans. Doesn't make me ever want to support them.

I really don't see why people get upset about Gamestop. It is a company, not your best friend. Sure, a (somewhat) popular game that was released a week ago may be worth more than $5, but they still have to SELL it to make a profit. Then, there is the cost of holding the game. Say it is a popular Nintendo game? Then they offer more. I know that I could sell Nintendo 1st Party games for $20 or more. But if no one buys the game for a month, they have to reduce the price further and further. They still have to pay the electric, rent, and employees. So that ~$30 they make might still cost them another $22 just to sell the game for that "profit".

It isn't robbery, it is business. Why don't YOU go buy up games and sell them at a profit?

EDIT: Forgot there was a Bestbuy there as well, but they never are near the prices of others, usually has an extra $10 minimum upcharge compared to Target. Which is about $55 for a $40 game brand new in my area.

unrandomsam

#34

unrandomsam said:

@LordGeovanni They are parasites in the way the deal with used games. Refusing to stock stuff new which in turn leaches away money that should be with Nintendo. Amazon on the other hand is a great company. (Stocks new - best prices - best customer service).

BinaryFragger

#36

BinaryFragger said:

@LordGeovanni

I hate GameStop for completely different reasons. I've had several instances where they flat-out refused to sell me a new release because I didn't have a pre-order. When that happens, I go to the nearby Toys R US where they'll gladly sell me a copy.
More recently, I went to GameStop to get a case for my 3DS XL and the clerk wouldn't take "no" for an answer when he asked if I wanted to join their rewards program. He just kept pushing it and pushing it. I ended up saying I don't need a rewards card for a store that I'll never visit again. I'd rather get my stuff from Toys R Us or Amazon from now on. Even Best Buy has much better service than Game Stop.

Manaphy2007

#38

Manaphy2007 said:

i would never shop at target, i shop at walmart most of the time and when i do pre-orders i use amazon

2Sang

#39

2Sang said:

It's all capitalism boys (and girls). Gamestop is benefiting and so are you when you trade in those games. Sure, you won't get as much as you THINK you should get, but if they gave you what you think you should get, they'd be out of business a long time ago. It seems that unless they change their used game strategy and be more generous, walmart will take them over.

unrandomsam

#40

unrandomsam said:

@2Sang It is an unnatural version of Capitalism. That basically involves scamming (Both of such as Nintendo and of the customer). That is why they are parasites middlemen who provide nothing of value. Just because you can rip people off doesn't mean you should regardless of who you are.

WaLzgiStaff

#41

WaLzgi said:

@Hy8ogen Provide an example that everyone wants to buy back (because keep in mind that demand determines the price) that is $5 ;)

jrob23

#44

jrob23 said:

Walmart is gross. Years ago I would go there for something I found on sale but now it looks like Beirut. Cannot believe it is still in business

Hy8ogen

#45

Hy8ogen said:

@Unca_Lz Check mate my good sir. I tend to keep or trade my games for another game anyway so it rarely affects me. If I sell them, they must be horrible games that I hated it with my whole gut.

Also with the New EBgame platinum membership policy, I don't even need to sell games anymore. If I regretted my purchase, I can just return them within 7 days and get a full refund in in-store credit. And no I do not abuse that policy because I'm pretty sure they have a black-list of some kind.

JaxonH

#47

JaxonH said:

Well, I don't trade in games but I DO occasionally buy used. Walmarts are like McDonalds and Starbucks- they're everywhere. So this is a good thing for gamers. More access to lower prices games. I'm guessing it will be similar to how Best Buy does trade ins and used games, except Best Buys are only in larger cities and almost always a hassle to drive to. Well done Wal-Mart.

WaLzgiStaff

#48

WaLzgi said:

@Hy8ogen Yeah, I don't understand why everyone hates used games when EB/Gamestop is actually more lenient with them. And yes, refunds are subject to manager approval (i.e. you can't return game after game for full refunds).

Also, I said that last post because I can get $20-$30 for some game trade-ins to Gamestop

allav866

#49

allav866 said:

I'll still go to GameStop for pre-owned games, unless Walmart sells Xenoblade Chronicles for a fair price. Then again, GS sells the discs in perfect condition, almost like they were new, so I'm still wondering if it's fair to say their pre-owned price is unreasonable.

jdarrell

#51

jdarrell said:

I've got a feeling whoever made this decision hasn't actually done any real work in a Walmart electronics department before.

hcfwesker

#52

hcfwesker said:

In the rare moments I do buy used games, I only buy used games on eBay, so this doesn't affect me. It's cheaper on eBay, and plus they dont put annoying retail price stickers on the GAME LABEL INSERTS. These end up tearing the game insert labels when you try to peel them off, which is my biggest pet peeve for not buying used games from retail. Plus the retarded pricing of only $5 off for used games when compared to new, I'd rather just get the new copy for just $5 more, complete ripoff.

kensredemption

#53

kensredemption said:

Hopefully this'll give those cocky, conniving barstewards at GameStop a run for their money. GameCrazy forever!

LordGeovanni

#54

LordGeovanni said:

Alright, while this is a reply comment, I am NOT directly saying anyone is wrong or that their post is mistaken. Please take my words as such.

@unrandomsam
We live in a capitalistic society. (While I live in the USA, I do speak about everywhere. Why pay more when you can pay less? Everyone just wants to make a buck.) That is run by a model called "Supply and Demand". When a product is produced, such as Nintendo making a single copy of a game, they SELL to the Middle Man (GameStop). If that game never sells, Nintendo still got the $. The Middle Man may refuse to buy other games from that Producer, and therefore the Producer will have problems. Either way, for that product, they still got paid. The Middle Man then takes that game and SELLs to the User (You in this case). THAT is Capitalism. If you can find another Middle Man to sell you at a lower cost, you will BUY from them. As it is, the Middle Man is attempting to SELL at the highest cost they can.

What is "Unnatural Capitalism" is when the Producer has competition where they already hold the rights to that product. You seem to think that it is the Middle Man at fault. They are not. it is the User (YOU). If you refuse to trade the games back in, there would not BE any used games that "leach away money that should be with Nintendo". The Middle Man's JOB is to make the Middle Man money. You CANNOT get upset with them being in a business to make money. That would just be stupid.

@BinaryFragger
I cannot say your experience is wrong. That would be false. As it is, did you look into the amount of games that they had? The whole concept of the pre-order is so that you are guaranteed the game when it is released. If I pre-ordered a game and some kid ranted and raved until they sold my copy to him I would be REALLY upset. Possibly, they HAD no copies for you to buy. I could be wrong, however I have NEVER had an experience like such.

As for the Rewards Program, that is just a consequence of Capitalism as well. The Middle Man (GameStop Main Company) hires lesser Middle Men (Individual stores) to sell. That is not just Games, but also services. In 10 of the different retail stores that I have worked at, all 10 have had some system that they pushed. If it was their Credit Card, or Batteries, it didn't matter. Failure to meet their quota could cost that cashier their Christmas Bonus, Raise, or even their JOB. Try not to cause them problems just because they are trying to keep their job. (NOTE: This is my opinion, and is NOT based on the situation that you had, as I was not there. They still COULD have just been a jerk...)

@Hy8ogen
I did not initially respond to your comment, however I spent some time thinking about it so maybe I can shed some light on the situation. Let us talk about a game that JUST came out. $40 Yoshi's New Story. We have to separate this into two groups because Nintendo doesn't play ball as well as others, so let's us also say Bravely Default JUST came out as well. Both are $40, right? GameStop may give ~$10 for a trade in of those games for the first ~2 weeks. Then, they will sell them for ~$35. GameStop offers a 10% discount for members of their Rewards Program. If you buy in, you drop the cost of that game by $3.50. If you know your coupons, GameStop offers a $10 discount on Used Games if you cash in points. I will NOT say that EVERY game has that coupon used, but maybe 10% of buyers have one. So that would be ANOTHER $1 loss on average. That means that a Rewards Member that uses there Coupons only buys a game around $30.

If they bought the game at $10, GameStop only makes $20. With THAT, they still need to pay rent, ($1000/month around where I live), PLUS Utilities (About $200/month for electricity around here), PLUS Employees want to get paid, right? So ANOTHER $8.25/hour/employee. GameStop (around me) never has less than 2 employees working. I also spend time talking to the employees to find out the newest games to watch for. I can tell you that they MAY make a sale like I was talking, (~$20 profit), once every 2 hours. That is 4 work hours alone. Or $8.25 times 4, ($33). As it is, They LOSE money at that rate. And that is at that large "profit". The little "sale" that they do like the Rewards Program is JUST enough for them to squeak by most the time. And even if there is a bigger "profit" than that, why shouldn't a company be allowed to make money?

Why did I separate Nintendo from other companies? Because Nintendo retains value. If that GameStop FAILED to sell that game in a month, it would probably have to DROP the price and cause that GameStop to lose the little bit they may have made of that game. Bravely Default is a game that is CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED and yet it has had a drop in price to about $38. By this time next month, I expect the price to be below $35. And GameStop will have to be below that price to sell used. What if there is another month? It will probably be even lower than that! Nintendo is the only company to avoid devaluing so often and that is because they care about that. Whenever I try to sell a Nintendo game, I usually get $25 for that point alone. GameStop knows that the value doesn't depreciate.

@hcfwesker
There are some sprays that you can find to get the stickers off of plastics like the cover plastics. Take a look, they are worth it if that is a pet peeve.

Bolt_Strike

#55

Bolt_Strike said:

@Unca_Lz No, what's absurd is the amount of profit that they get from trade ins at the expense of the consumer. This system does not benefit gamers at all, your trade ins are near worthless, and the discounts are too small, you still have to pay out the donkey for a used product. If this is what it takes for Gamestop to stay in business, then there's something seriously wrong with their business model.

WaLzgiStaff

#56

WaLzgi said:

@Bolt_Strike Why is profit bad? You act like Gamestop is supposed to be some freaking charity that pays a lot for trade-ins and makes next-to-nothing on used games. I'll have you know I can trade in Super Mario 3D World for $35 now, and it will be sold at $55. How am I being ripped off?

Also, if you don't like a new game and want to get a different one...TOUGH. If you don't like a used game, you can exchange or return it (to a certain extent as approved by the manager). You might want to recheck the facts before you jump the gun and agree with the internet about a quite ignorant topic.

WaLzgiStaff

#57

WaLzgi said:

@LordGeovanni Actually I believe some stores set up a credit system with the publisher of a game where the publisher gets a cut of the profit if the game is sold. This won't stab the retailers in the back if the games don't sell.

LordGeovanni

#59

LordGeovanni said:

@Unca_Lz
Well, that is good to hear. I am sure there was a way for unsold games to be returned to Producer, but I was always told that it gets bothersome. I know that the GameStop by me has a handful of Wii games that never sold from their New state and have just been sitting there for 2+ years. Good to know that they haven't been a huge draw on the store.

babyguess

#61

babyguess said:

This is good news for the used gaming industry. Walmart entering the market will hopefully drive the price down on used games.

I only buy new games from either Amazon, Best Buy, ToysRUs, Target or GameStop (never at Walmart). I have no loyalty, whichever retail store gives me the best deal that's the company that gets my business.

Although, I keep a very good relationship with my local GameStop store since I get all my posters, standees, even free old DS games (outdated) freebies from them. :)

hcfwesker

#62

hcfwesker said:

@LordGeovanni I'm not talking about the outside plastic for the game cover box, I mean they pull out the paper insert from within that plastic sleeve, and put THEIR price tag over the barcode of the original and on the front as well; and slide it back in the plastic sleeve. Besides, I'd rather pay the extra $5 for a brand new copy, as I've already said.

FantasiaWHT

#64

FantasiaWHT said:

Sounds great to me. More competition is better.

One thought for everybody complaining about Gamestop's margin on trades - you're assuming that every copy they take in trade they sell for the original used listing price. That's simply not true. A substantial number of the games they pay $25-$35 for will wind up selling for $18 or less.

UnseatingKDawg

#65

UnseatingKDawg said:

I doubt my place of work is going to offer any deals better than GameStop. If anything, I see them doing the same or worse.

Brown77

#66

Brown77 said:

I prefer digital download whenever possible. Only buy a disc (new or used) if it's a BIG price cut

LordGeovanni

#67

LordGeovanni said:

@hcfwesker
I am afraid I do not know what I can tell you. It tends to not bother me as much as others, however I know it bothers me quite a bit already. I could see how that is quite frustrating. I was actually lucky enough to find a Gamestop on a family trip to Florida where they just didn't bother to take the sticker off of its original backing and they literally just slipped it into the cover. That was more laziness than company reasoning, doubt I will ever see another like that...

freaksloan

#69

freaksloan said:

Right now nothing is better than Amazon Warehouse Deals - It is were I buy almost all my games for the 3DS and Wii U. If you check regularly and are ready to buy when you see what you want, you can get anything you want. I have gotten recently Pokemon X and Y, two Animal Crossing New Leafs and 2 Mario Kart 7 from anywhere between $20 to $25 and all were in like new condition. I just got the Disney Infinity Starter Set for $21, the box was never even opened.

I doubt Wal-Mart will beat Amazon, but I will given them a shot. Gamestop sucks for used games and I don't even bother with them. At Wal-Mart I would have to pay sales tax, so their deals would have to be extra good.

mhsillen

#70

mhsillen said:

I would rather give my money to walmart instead of the xbox sony fanboys at gamestop. Although if I can find an independent game store they would get my business.

Barbiegurl777

#71

Barbiegurl777 said:

I like wal-mart there ok. :) I also like looking in the clearance bin for under $10 in the video games section. ;) See what nice 3ds game I might have looked over & get it really cheap lol. :D

Best Buy does this same thing too. We were in there about month ago if that & I went to look at video games they had used games right next to new ones. I was really suprised because I didn't know best buy sold used games before. I'm guessing this will happen at all the stores at some point which is fine by me. I'd much rather give my money to wal-mart or best buy before I would gamestop. :)

Happy Gaming! (^_^)

audiobrainiac

#72

audiobrainiac said:

WOW here we go.....
When i trade in games or buy used ones, most of the time i support local small businesses only, rather than the evil gamestop. Plus small businesses give me way more credit for my games. I hate "Wally World" as it is. No way i'm gonna go there for games.

AshFoxX

#73

AshFoxX said:

Only way this would translate to a good thing is if more stores kept the electronics section open 24 hours. Some of them do, but most in my area shut it down after 10... I only know this because I work days, and my wife regularly drags me there to 'get out of the house' at 2am.

LordGeovanni

#74

LordGeovanni said:

I wanted to say to anyone reading this that I found out that Walmart stores ship the games to their main company. None of the games sold to them are actually sold at that store! Sad to hear... It is easier to find rarer games when they dont get moved around...

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