GameStop to Overhaul Trade-in System

gamestop (1)

GameStop has always been the butt of jokes due to the lackluster trade-in program, and the way the different franchises would gouge prices. Trade in your cherished edition of Skyrim for $0.45, and see it on the shelf the next day for $35!? Okay, that might have been a bit extreme, but that’s basically every joke ever written about GameStop right there.

GameStop, however, wants to change that. Launching August 18th, the company promises to simplify the trade-in program, eliminating several of the different variables that decided pricing. Games will now have a fixed, flat-rate trade-in price, with the only variables being:

  • Cash or in-store credit
  • Regular member or Power-Up Pro member

Doesn’t quite make sense still? Well let’s take a look at a chart that Kotaku managed to get their hands on.

gamestopFrom what it looks like, you’ll still receive more if you trade it in for GameStop credit, something that does make sense from a business standpoint, especially with the rise of people using GameStop as a way to pawn stolen merchandise.

Even better, the base value of the games is going to be raised by 20%. For example, a game you might have gotten $10 for in July will net you $12 after August 18th.


It’s pretty clear that GameStop wants to create a more positive image of their franchises, and to start eliminating the reputation the chain has for gouging consumers on trade-in values in order to gain the most profit when they resell the game later.

This rehaul of the trade-in system is also eliminating the word ‘trade-in’. In order to simplify it for people who don’t understand what the word ‘trade’ means, GameStop will be using strange words such as ‘sell’ and ‘sold’ to describe the trade-in process. The hope for this is that by making it redundantly clear that you are selling the game and receiving money in the process. People will realize that they can get some value off of games they don’t play in a store where they’ve already been buying used games for years.

art by Daniel Shealey (
art by Daniel Shealey (

Here’s some more information from an internal GameStop document regarding the new changes.

How do I talk about this with the customer?

The key point for this to work is the team member knowing what to say and how it resonates with the customer.

Piggy backing on how you engage a customer about the change use the following as possible talking points during the greet, floor or cash wrap touch points.

Then the team member says- “Have you heard that cash isn’t the only way to pay here at GameStop?” More than likely the customer will look puzzled and then the team members say- “When is the last time you sold us anything?” Or “When is the last time we bought anything from you?” This is the opportunity to educate the customer that their items sitting at home are worth currency that can be spent in your store. Keep in mind that 2/3 of our customers don’t understand what “Trade In” means.

The main opportunity is to have the customer leave with the last thing on their mind being that what they have at home, sitting around possibly collecting dust is worth currency-VALUE- in our stores. During the last interaction either on the floor or at the cash wrap, the team member needs to say- “Thank you for coming in today, don’t forget that cash isn’t the only way to pay.” If the customer paid with a credit card they will more than likely look and ask what? The team member responds with “When is the last time we bought some of your items?” Or “When is the last time you sold us something?” Getting the customer to remember the last thing they hear from your team member is that what they have at home can be used as currency to buy goods in your store is the biggest take away.

One of the things that isn’t quite clear from this information is how the weekly sales will be affected. GameStop often offers special trade-in deals in their weekly fliers to entice consumers to trade sell old games towards a new title or system.

Either way, we’ll keep you posted on anything more we find out about this new change. What do you think of these changes GameStop is rolling out?

Bio CardKayla

Kayla Swenson is an aspiring author and former DJ from Seattle, WA that procrastinates far too much with video games to get a book out. When she’s not gaming until carpal tunnel sets in, she’s working on dreams of being a voice actor as well as a published writer. Fond of RPGs, she will happily disappear into the void to tackle whatever bad voice acting awaits. Contact her at the email above, or on all major systems/networks as Beltravi.

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