Which? survey finds games depreciate more quickly than cars

Stores paying as little as 30% of purchase price on trade-ins, just days after release

A survey conducted by consumer group Which? has found that some stores will pay less than 30 per cent of the retail cost of games when trading them second hand for cash or store credit, meaning that they lose value more quickly than cars.

The organisation took a number of titles of different ages in for trade-in at various retail outlets which deal in second hand games, and found that Game was offering only £16.70 for a "mint condition" copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops, bought for £44.99 three days earlier.

The survey also discovered that second hand specialist CEX consistently offered the best prices for trade-ins, both for cash and for credit, whilst Game and Blockbuster gave the lowest quotes. No mention was given of comparable prices on trading sites such as e-bay.

The mark-ups on second-hand products was found to be extremely high in many cases, with Blockbuster offering customers only £6 for copies of Red Dead Redemption which were being sold on for £29.95.

Supermarkets, a new player in the used market, seemed to offer very competitive prices on many titles, although tended to limit exchanges to store credit rather than cash.

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Latest comments (7)

Aodhan O'Donnell7 years ago
I can't say i'm surprised, I stopped trading in games years ago. Being offered 50 cent for Lord of the Rings was the last straw.
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Rick Ellis Tech Director, ArenaNet7 years ago
Wow, what a complete waste of time and money.
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Dave McDave Studying Game Design, University of Abertay Dundee7 years ago
Alternatively wait until a new copy drops below £15, play it for a month after which it can usually be sold on eBay for the same as the purchase price. My last 3 years of gaming have cost me about £50.
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Josef Brett Animator 7 years ago
Always wait a month or two. Game prices 'depriciate' in shops fairly quickly too!

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Jeremy Glazman Programmer 7 years ago
I'm not sure that games "losing value" is a proper interpretation here. As I expected when I read the headline, and confirmed at the end of the article, the games have low trade-in value but then they are greatly marked up again when resold as a used product, in which case the retailer profits MUCH more greatly than when they sell a product new.

So the games obviously still have value, but their resale prices are artificially controlled by the profit margins of the retailers. I know I've seen Gamestop buy back games that had only been released days earlier, only to put them back on the shelves for just $5 less than the new price.
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Luke McCarthy Indie Game Developer 7 years ago
Comparing to ebay prices would be fairer, since trade-ins are a total rip-off. You also have to take into account that these days retail prices drop quite soon after release.
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Mark Hill Studying Computing & Networks, University of Abertay Dundee7 years ago
I think a comparison of what a game store sells it for in both cases, not what they buy it for, would be a truer comparison of value.
Plus, let's not forget the unfortunate PC gamer, whose game depracates to £0.00 the instant you so much as crease the shrinkwrapping.
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