If you’ve ever tried to sell on a video game to a high street store, you may have been disappointed by the price offered. Our recent investigation backs-up that feeling, adding huge used game mark-ups to the equation.
Used video games are an interesting proposition. You can’t take second-hand DVDs to HMV and expect to get money in return. Yet, not only is this a common practice for games, it’s a growing business.
Supermarkets are now in on the action, letting us return our pre-owned games for either cash or store credit. But are we actually getting a good deal?
I’ve asked whether pre-owned game sales are only good for retailers before on Which? Conversation – high-street retailers enjoy healthy mark-ups and don’t send any of the cash back to the games makers. But apart from whether game creators are losing out on used game sales, are we?
Video games lose value quicker than cars
Well, one of our recent investigations at Which? delved into the prices high-street stores pay for used games and it’s not good news. The research found that brand new games lose more value in three days than a car does over three years.
Using Which? Car’s depreciation calculator, a Ford Focus can lose up to 60% of its value in three years, compared to the recent game Red Dead Redemption, which lost over 70% of its value in just three days.
Blockbuster offered just £6 in cash for Redemption, after we bought it new for £27.99. The store went on to sell the pre-owned game for £29.95 – a massive mark-up of £24! It’s a similar story at many other high street stores, which you can find out about in the full investigation.
Are we being ripped-off?
No wonder retailers are happy to grab second-hand games out of our hands when they enjoy mark-ups like that. Is it fair to give us a few pounds for our games and then sell them on for huge profits?
Well, when I want to get rid of one of my games I put them up for sale on a website like Amazon or eBay. This lets you set your own price and you’ll only have to pay a fee to the online retailer, which is usually pretty reasonable.
In fact, I’ve found that I can buy a recent game from an online sale at a great price, play it, and then sell it on for a small profit later on. That definitely puts me one-up to the high street!