Amazon Announces Game Trade-In Program To Compete With GameStop

If you don’t like GameStop, how about Amazon? On Thursday, they announced their new “Video Games Trade-In” program (www.amazon.com/tradeingames), where you send in your used games for Amazon gift card credit. What we like about this is you don’t have to spend the money on more games if you don’t want to, so you can convert old games into anything Amazon accepts gift cards for. What we don’t like is you can’t just get cash back—but hey, if you hate GameStop, here’s an option for you.

Apparently the announcement sent GameStop shares falling, but the jury is still out on what kind of lasting impact the program will have on Amazon, or if they’ll even continue it after the beta period. Analysts have noted that GameStop tried and abandoned a mail-in used game program in the past, and CNN Money quotes one gamer who says he’d rather stick with a brick-and-mortar store:

One game player posted a comment on Amazon’s site complaining that the Internet retailer doesn’t provide sufficient incentive to lure him away from GameStop. He said Amazon’s trade-in values are on par with GameStop, but that he can get immediate gratification at GameStop stores rather than have to wait for a new game to arrive by mail.

If you’re agnostic about GameStop and Amazon and just want the best deal, for now at least you might want to give Amazon a try:

Game analyst Colin Sebastian of Lazard Capital Markets wrote in a note Thursday… “Our survey of 10 games on both sites suggests that the Amazon merchant is offering a slight premium to GameStop for a number of trade-ins.”

Update: to clarify, there is no physical gift card mailed to you. Amazon’s exact phrase is, “An Amazon.com Gift Card will be deposited into your account upon receipt of games.” They’re giving you a store credit, basically. (When you redeem a real gift card, the same thing happens—credit is deposited in your account.)

“Amazon.com’s Trade-In Store Launches with 1,500+ Eligible Titles” [Game Room Blog @ Amazon]
“Amazon Takes Aim At GameStop With Trade-In Program” [CNN Money]
“GameStop pounded as Amazon steps up to compete” [MarketWatch]
(Photo: Brymo)