Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Where's the Best Place to Sell Video Games?

Over the last several months Amazon, Best Buy, and Toys R Us have joined GameStop and Game Crazy in the used game buying market. Gamers now have five national retailers to choose from when deciding who to sell their games too, plus eBay and Amazon Marketplace. Which of these seven options gives the best prices for old games?

We randomly chose 100 games for PS2, Xbox 360, PS3, PSP, Nintendo DS, or Wii and calculated the average price each store would give you for every game. The results are below:

StoreAverage PriceStore Won't Buy
Amazon Marketplace*10.110
Toys R Us8.7810
Best Buy8.4654
Game Crazy5.0216
Game Stop4.093

* eBay and Amazon Marketplace prices are after subtracting selling fees

Column Definitions:
Average Price - The average price for 26 games that all seven stores offered prices on.
Can't Sell - The number of games that the store won't buy from customers.

Click to Compare Prices on All Games

Other Factors to Consider When Selling Games

  • Best price on average even after subtracting ebay and paypal fees
  • Every game ever made can be sold
  • You have to deal with shipping, payment issues, and customer service

Amazon Marketplace
  • Second best price (after subtracting Amazon selling fees)
  • Almost every game can be sold. Niche systems like Neo Geo, Vectrex, and even Atari 2600 don't have listings
  • You have to deal with shipping, payment issues, and customer service

Toys R Us
  • Best prices of all the stores
  • They don't pay for 10% of the games we tried
  • Will take trades on all systems from PS2 era & next-gen consoles
  • Every vintage game is the same price, $0.50 for Earthbound
  • They pay you via Toys R Us gift card
  • Offers instant online quotes

Best Buy
  • Wouldn't buy back 54% of the games
  • Good prices for the games they do purchase
  • Will take trades on all systems from PS2 era & next-gen consoles
  • You can trade-in electronics too
  • They pay you via Best Buy gift card
  • Offers instant online quotes

  • Worst prices of the online stores
  • Doesn't buy 32% of games we searched
  • Will take trades on vintage games too
  • They pay you via Amazon gift card
  • Offers instant online quotes

Game Crazy
  • Better prices than GameStop
  • No online quotes
  • Will take trades on all systems from PS2 era & next-gen consoles
  • They can pay in cash or store credit
  • Not in every market nationwide

  • Worst prices of all the stores
  • No online quotes
  • Will take trades on all systems from PS2 era & next-gen consoles
  • They can pay in cash or store credit
  • More than 4,300 stores in the United States

This is part of our video game collecting 101 series.


We randomly chose 100 video games for PS2, Xbox 360, PS3, PSP, Nintendo DS, or Wii and found the prices for them on September 14th 2009. The list included 42 PS2 Games, 9 PS3, 20 Nintendo DS, 7 PSP, 13 Wii, and 9 Xbox 360. The list includes a wide range of games like Fallout 3, Animal Crossing Wild World, Marvel vs Capcom 2, Pokemon Platinum, and My Chinese Coach, Mini-Ninja's, and Cars.

When calculating the "Average Price" we only used the 26 games that every retailer offered a price for.


Anonymous said...

another great article. confirms what we've all long-suspected, that game stop is the worst place to do trade-ins.

Anonymous said...

Not surprised at all about GameStop being at the bottom. I keep telling my friends to either hold on to their games or swap/give them to someone they know. Not worth it at all to sell them at any of their stores.

Matthew said...

The problem with eBay is not so much dealing with idiots, as it is actually selling something. There is nothing worse than the disappointment of taking the time to write a good listing for your Game, and having it sit there because you weren't willing to sell it for 90% less than you paid for it.

Personally, I've had good experiences with a website called Swag Bucks, because not only can you add any game in their inventory to your "to sell" list, you can then print the label off and send them off in your own box. What you get in turn is virtual money that can be used to buy games for every system, and even consoles and accessories.

I much prefer the online trade experience to doing it in store like I foolishly used to. I even thought Game Crazy gave much more for trade-in's, but all it takes is a couple of new game trades for you to figure out that they're only marginally better than GameStop.

Give Swag Bucks a shot, because they don't just offer games - they have lots of apparel, collectibles, books, gift cards, etc. It's something you have to be diligent about though, if you do sign up. You use the Swag Bucks search engine (Which is just Ask+Google in one engine) instead of others, and you get rewarded for it. It's a great system.

JJ Hendricks said...

I think the reason Gamestop can offer the lowest prices on the trades is the convenience. It is very easy to bring a game into their stores because they have locations everywhere and the consumer gets the money right then. They don't have to wait for the money like they would with an online trade-in.

Instant gratification and convenience allow GameStop to offer lower trade-in values.

MW said...

@JJ Hendricks I've never left a GameStop feeling gratified after receiving $4.09 for a week old game.

GamesOgre said...

JJ, Thanks for the great research!

As a gamer, retro video game collector and eBay reseller, I've spent a great deal of time figuring out the best way to buy and sell games. I'm happy to know that your data matches my experience. And, now that we have new options for selling games, it's great to know how those options stack up.

For new and used games, I've done best selling on eBay. In my experience Amazon is great but takes a little more commission. Naturally both of those options take work and patience on the part of the seller.

There's always good ole Craigslist, flea markets, pawn shops, etc, but it's nice now that people have some easy options for selling both new and vintage video games.

Thanks again! --Mark

Anonymous said...

I prefer Amazon by far because it is much easier to list and sell games without having to create descriptions, take photos, etc.

Anonymous said...

What about the some other webistes that buy them in bulk? like:

Garots Media - http://www.garotsmedia.com/sell
New Town Video - http://newtownvideo.com/
Second Spin - http://secondspin.com

Anonymous said...

@mathew yeaaaaa u will never leave any store especially GameStop getting 4.09 for a week old game, try more like a 3 year old game that there are already 15 of in the store

Anonymous said...

What does Toys-R-Us do with the vintage games?

JJ Hendricks said...

@anonymous - I think Toys R Us sells the vintage games in bulk to some other used game retailers. I don't know who, but they don't sell vintage games in their stores or online.

Anonymous said...

Dont go to Game Stop or Sell on ebay. At Game Stop you will get less for your game than it is really worth. On ebay you may get the price that you want for your game, however you will be inundated with fees. All of the ebay fees will bring your profits (real money you get at the end) down.

My personal opinion is to sell on www.videogamefans.net. It is a site specifically dedicated to video game auctions. The market place is only video game related and therefore your audience will be targeted. Also their fees are half that of ebay and no final value fees.

Check it out anyway, they are giving all new customers a 5$ credit just for signing up and you can use the credit to pay your seller fees.


Anonymous said...

I would never go to Game Stop. If you just bought a brand new game which sells for 59.99, and decide to sell it in a week or three days after, they'll give you 24.00 dollar store credit, and even less in cash.

They also don't trade in older games, I think the oldest platform they'll take is PS2, since their still selling PS2 games now.

I would think ebay is the best place to go. People pay good money there, not to mention they don't discriminate about the age of the game.

Anonymous said...

GamesOgre I tried Craigslist, and I don't get too many bites. I posted an ad about rare retro games and I price them accordingly. The result, nobody wants to pay for them. They expect to pay 5-10 dollars for each game, even if it has a VGPC price value at 100 or even 200 dollars.

Not to mention, the people I spoke to, got very mad when I mentioned the price, then I ask them how they find their rare games. They say it's through flea markets and garage sales. So, basically their bargain hunters who are used to paying 2-5 bucks for a game.

So, how can anyone selling expensive games win? For some reason, I would rather pay the ebay fees than put up with Craigslist BS.

gamertech789 said...

when i wanted to sell 10 gamecube games at gamestop, i thought i would at least earn like 50-70 dollars total, but gamestop is just the worst, most of the games where around less then a dollar for each game, basically less than 10 dollars, don't get me wrong i love gamestop for its used games, but when it comes to selling your games to gamestop, its just isn't worth it...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous~ I am trying to sell all my pokemon ds games I know gamestop sucks but I am only a kid I cannot go online and sell because I don't know how to. Also I don't have a toysursus near me . I only have a best buy,and gamestop what the hell should I do?

Anonymous said...

What pokemon games do you have for the ds?

Anonymous said...

vintage stock is cheepo depot

Anonymous said...

you are all ball suckers

Anonymous said...

@gamertech789 I know the feeling. I went to sell a bunch of games when PS2, GCN and the Xbox were the main consoles. I got less than $5 for my bunch. I just took the deal because I didn't want those games around. Also managed to sell like $100 worth of games there by their price. I wonder what it really would have been.

Anonymous said...

-___- i wanna sell my games so i can buy a gift for my girlfriend at christmas but i dont wanna do it at gamestop cause they'll barely give me anything, any suggestions on where i can sell the games and get cash without having to auction it ?

David said...

I use Player's Choice
http://www.playerschoicevideogames.com They even take classic games.

ZiggyD said...

Your findings echo my experiences. I have always gotten the best return through eBay. As long as you know how to list them properly and present your listing well you can do quite well.

Anonymous said...

try this one... http://www.swallowgames.com/ ...i used them , was very quick

Anonymous said...

Also worth trying out www.tradeyourstuff.co.uk or tradeyourgames.co.uk as well as swallogames.

Anonymous said...

so i want to sell 7 games but gamestop is giving less then 1/4 of the games current price and from what i hear about ebay i dont wanna deal with that shit and same with craiglist any idea of were i can go to get decent deals for my games? btw im under 18 so online i dont is the best choice

Ra of Water said...

I sold about 20 niche titles for the DS directly to amazon (sims spin offs and disney games). All I paid for was a box to ship them in. Five days later, I was $95 richer. Not even Ebay would have been so quick!

JJ Hendricks said...

@ra_of_water - Selling to Amazon is very fast, but you will get a lot less than selling on ebay or selling on Amazon. As our analysis above shows, you get about 50% as much when you sell to Amazon directly. You would have received about $180 if you sold them on eBay.

It all comes down to your priorities, if you want ease and speed then selling to Amazon is great way to do it. But if you want the most money out of it, taking a bit of time to list and ship the items on eBay will get you the most money.

Anonymous said...

Gamestop sucks dick.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I agree gamestop sucks. Well, the only way to get most of money is to just go on ebay.com and sell things there. It might be a hassle at first, but all you have to do is take pictures, answer customer questions, and ship it. Also be careful of scammers. There are lots out there. If you get a email from Nigeria, be careful cause many scams have been happening there. Hope I helped.

Anonymous said...

i guess something else to consider for ebay is, how long will your game take to sell if you put it up for auction or whatever?

Anonymous said...

gamestop should offer more

Anonymous said...

ShaylaPanda- I want to sell my Deal or No Deal DS game but I don't know how... I'm under 18 btw.

Anonymous said...

Another way is to trade your games at gametrade.com. You can trade them person to person and get value for value....and its free!

Unknown said...

Has anyone tried Trade4Cash.com? They seem to buy anything and their prices are certainly better than Gamestop. Just wondering if anyone has used them and what they thought of the expierence.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the advise

Unknown said...

Honestly where I'm at your options are, Gamestop, Gameco, Vintage Stock, EBay, Amazon, toys r us (but they don't take trade ins). The only way to even come close to breaking even is EBay, and that's only when you sell above what others are because of the fees bs. Honestly there is no good option, Amazon people will not buy from you with a new account, and tradinng into amazon...you might as well stab yourself with a fork. Honestly the only options are wait for a promotion that Gamestop does (50% trade-in bonus) if you can get something there, and obviously have a pro power up rewards card (it is well worth it), if you can't do there either settle with vintage stock, sometimes cash and credit are only a few dollars difference , or you can mess with the hastle of eBay and if you don't set a price, you're going to end up oweing money and getting nothing in the end with fees and shipping.

Anonymous said...

I have found alot of old games about 300 or 400 of them and i want to find out how much they are worth some are sega and nintindo.Where to go to find out on the web???? And where to go to sell them??? call or text 9106167555

Anonymous said...

I have the consoles and controlers too pads?? abunch of stuff. 9106167555

Unknown said...

Thanks for this advice to sell games..
see more : http://www.quizdeal.com/

Third Line Designs said...

I checked most of these websites and honestly they are bad.

I just think that Amazon, eBay, and Craiglist are the best or probably only good places to sell your video games.

Other websites may disappoint you with their lower price offer if you trade in your items.

giftcardsrus94 said...

You are so awesome! I don't suppose I've read a single thing like this before. So wonderful to discover another person with some unique thoughts on this topic. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that is needed on the internet, someone with some originality!

Anonymous said...

Gamestop during any 50% bonus special (anyone who has done this knows it's awesome)
Cashforgamers for the old stuff GS doesn't take


eBay if you already have an established account with good feedback.

This is my routine and I have been selling and trading video games for a long time.

Brandon P said...

I see this article is many years old, but the companies first talked about are the same. I do have good success sell my games on eBay here and their. Price Charting is a great resource for finding "buy it now prices" and market research. Thanks

Unknown said...

I have several Gameboy Advance and Gameboy Color factory sealed games that I am unable to find a realistic value for. Pokemon Crystal is on eBay for anywhere from $500 - $25,000 all CIB but nothing I can find for a factory sealed unit. This website says only $1500 so what should I do? This is old new stock, never opened so I know it's worth money, but how much is fair without gouging?

JJ said...

@unknown - Brand New GBA and GBC games can sell for a bunch of money. Especially if they are graded. To decide on the value, you will need know the condition. How good is the seal? How good is the box and corners of the box? If it is all great condition, then ask for the top end of the historic sales or even higher to start off with. Prices for these have been increasing a bunch lately so you don't want to underprice it because there isn't very much sales data.

If I were selling a great condition sealed copy of Pokemon Crystal right now I'd ask for at least $6,000. And lower the price from there based on condition.

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