DeltaTri’s guide to selling and trading

Games trading in the UK today is big business. Looking at the rapid growth of GameStation over the last few years proves this. There are however many internet sites that can offer you a portal to a new games trading/selling universe you never knew about – and is great for replenishing your games, and something I have personally been doing for a few years now. Therefore I offer my opinions/strategies for making your games work for you. One warning however: this is just advice, trades/sales online do go wrong from time to time, so be careful and never trade with someone you have the tiniest doubt about. Oh and before someone asks I don’t work for GameStation!

High street shops

– GameStation

GameStation have revolutionised the way we trade sell games here in the UK. They are an easy service to use and offer very fair prices generally. The general rule when trading in shops is – if you part exchange you are going to get more money for your games, if you want cash then you will get less money (and you require photo id!). GameStation are good because of their database. It’s constantly updated, meaning 2nd hand games come down in price all the time. This is great if you are buying games, not so great if you are selling. However they do make it easy to work out how much you will get from their great website: www.gamestation.co.uk. If you want to trade a game in, then enter it into their website search facility, then look at its 2nd hand price. Generally if a game sells for over £10 then subtract £6-£8 from the total and that is your trade in price. Here are a few examples.

1stprice = new. 2nd= 2nd hand price. 3rd = estimated worth
Resident Evil (GC) – £9.99, £6.99, £3-£4
Splinter Cell (Xbox) – £17, £6.99, £3 -4
Project Gotham Racing 2 (Xbox) – £37, £23, £15-£17
Kung Fu Chaos (Xbox) – £15.99, £12.99, £6-£8
Freedom Fighters (PS2) – £17, £12, £6-£8
Tony Hawk 4 (Xbox) – £9.99, £6.99 £4-£6
Brute Force (Xbox) – £19.99, £9.99, £7

This shows my bottom estimate for these games prices. Resident Evil and Splinter Cell were very popular games at their time of release. Therefore loads of people have now traded in the game making them not worth anything really when selling them. You have to think about how popular the game is when trading to GameStation, as if they have loads of copies then you are not going to get much for trading that title in. When trading in a title like IKARUGA on GC, it’s much rarer, thus the price doesn’t come down so quickly as with other games. A good example of this would be James Bond : Everything or Nothing. I traded this into GameStation 2 weeks ago – new price £37.99, I got £27.99 for it, I saw today its selling for £20.99 2nd hand. Why? Because they have loads of copy’s of the title now as it was so popular, and thus they are now selling them off cheap. In the space of 2 weeks the price has dramatically fallen, and when trading it is important to anticipate these sort of trends. For example, you will still get £30 for trading in Ninja Gaiden this week, but I guarantee in a few weeks, loads of people will have traded it in due to the difficulty level of the game; therefore its 2nd hand value will drop dramatically. If you are going to trade it for most money, do it now (week beginning 1st June) as in a few weeks time GameStation will have anticipated this and react accordingly. Its all strategy, and if you can try to see how I am thinking, you can really start to get the best prices for your games in GameStation. It might seem a little extreme, but the system works, and you can buy, finish and return a new title over a few weeks and get it for considerably cheaper than it would be to rent the title. Also you can bargain a little with GameStation staff, allowing for example, for you to get a little extra money if you have a limited edition game etc.

A good tip for GC owners is to look inside the box of a 2nd hand GC game to check see if the stars token is in the box as people usually don’t bother with them, and GameStation don’t remove them!

They also accept part exchange on consoles and accessories at decent prices (not online trading prices but better than GAME’s anyway). Anything from PS2’s to Dreamcast keyboards (although you wont get much for one of those), which is great. They usually have a board in their display windows telling current trade in prices/selling prices of 2nd hand hardware, which is really handy as they don’t like people phoning up asking how much they could get for items. I recently even saw a Nintendo GAME and WATCH in store (dual screen), selling for £85, they will give you £60 for one, which is well above eBay prices at present.

The downside to GameStation is the lack of import games, but you cant have everything I suppose. Oh and they give you store credit notes also if you trade and cant decide what you want there and then!

– GAME

GAME are awful and they are very unethical. Never trade in a console to GAME as they will rip you off. An example of this was when my flatmate tried to trade in his PS2 console. They told him to bring everything down and they would do him a deal. They tried to convince him that the PS2 with his extra controller and memory card would count as just a PS2 trade in. When taken to GameStation he managed to not only get more money for the console itself, but get £9 for the extra controller and £9 for his official memory card. It worked out at about £30 more than what GAME offered, and they do try to catch you out every time you go in there to trade something in.

When buying 2nd hand games from GAME they rarely update their price tags (at least in the 6 stores I generally visit) therefore you will be overcharged for a 2nd hand game, unless it’s just been put on the shelf. Compare the 2nd hand price to the new one, and if they are very close (say within £5 of each other) then the price tag is not up to date. Just don’t let them convince you that it is! They don’t accept separate hardware either. There is a reason why GAME’s 2nd hand section has been depleting over the last year: GameStation offer far better value for money simple as that. Their trade in prices vary, and it is difficult to estimate what you will get for a title, and when you are there, they do try to talk you into trading games for very low prices. It works both ways however, sometimes their system isn’t up to date on a particular item, and you can get £20 for a title they sell new for £10. They also don’t offer trading slips, so if you can’t find a title to match the value of the stuff your trading, then tough; that’s your money gone according to them. GAME does have one good point however. That is they allow you to return a game no questions asked for a period of ten days. This would be useful if you were buying a game you are unsure about. GameStation do allow you to return titles after a few days with the recept, but it is not guaranteed as it is with GAME. As far as trading goes I would avoid like the plague! But its personal opinion I guess and there is no guarantee all stores are as bad as my local ones are!

– Independent Stores

Independent stores usually offer a different trading system, where by you pay £5 and you can do a straight trade for a different title. Usually this falls into a gaming class system from 1-4. For example a 1 game would be a new title, so you pay £5 and hand in another new-ish title to get that other new title. A 4 title (say Hitman 2) could only be traded with another 4 title (i.e. Turok evolution) and generally isn’t worth the £5 for the trade. Every store does it differently, some asking for more money i.e. £15 extra to trade a band 3 game for a band 1 game.

Another problem with independent stores is their lack of financial funding, so when trading in a PS2 for example, they might only be able to offer you £40, as they have to make a profit from it. Games are usually bought for £5 if they sell new for £20 and £12 if selling for around £40. This means they are generally to be avoided, although the one positive thing about them is they let you trade in import games, and also let you trade against import games.
Online

– General tips for trading and selling on forums

Forums are a daunting place to get started with trading. There is an awful lot of trust involved when trading. Feedback threads help this process a lot, but mistakes do happen sometimes and its important to realise this. But if you take the risk then 99/100 you will gain from it. In my experience I have never been on the receiving end of a bad trade/sale. But I once posted a game without checking it first and it turned out to have been scratched by a friend of mine when he was drunk. If this ever happens I find apologising first, offering compensation of some kind and be prepared to refund/return goods. Never spend the money before you know the trade is complete!

The best bet to get started on a good reputation is to sell something to an already respected trader with flawless feedback, and then YOU send the respected item first. It’s always a risk, but if u can show that kind of commitment then people will respect it and it all opens from there. If someone has done trades before and has a good reputation then you should never have a problem; just make sure the feedback has the same screen name on each site. I.e. on all forums my name is deltatri3 so people know it’s me on all sites. ALWAYS LOOK FOR FEEDBACK – do not be afraid to say no to someone who has none!

Always state the game title, format, region (NTSC/PAL), condition, where you can post to (i.e. UK only), where you have feedback, the price you are looking for and if postage is included or not included (if not offer estimate as to how much it would be).

Post by recorded delivery, that way there are no excuses and you have a record of: (A) posting it for insurance purposes. (B) have a proper address where someone has to sign for something; meaning if the worst comes to the worst you have something to show the police. To send a game should cost £1 for 1st class recorded delivery and usually takes only a day or so within the UK. If the item is heavy then it will have to go by parcel force, which takes 4 days, so be sure to inform the person you are dealing with that this is the case.

Sites like Ebay.co.uk state that you enter into a contract when you bid for an item, this means if anything goes wrong then you can be compensated easier. Forums do not have this luxury, but it’s the chance you take when in hunt of a bargain!

– Methods of payment:

Cash: don’t send cash, it’s a big no no as Royal mail will steal it guaranteed.

Personal Cheque: again can go missing but much more secure and it takes a long time to send then clear.

Bank Transfer: my preferred method, either by internet banking or telephone banking. Its quicker than cheque and nothing goes missing. If you are asked for an account number, sort code or branch name don’t worry as nobody can do anything bad with those. Just NEVER give out your card number or the last 3 digits of your security number located on the back of your bank card.

Postal Orders: great for the seller, bad for buyer. Costs the buyer money, but seller gets cash in hand instantly when going down to post office.

PayPal: An instant method of payment, needs 2 people both having accounts. You can be charged when purchasing through PayPal (usually 5% on eBay) so be aware of that! I don’t use it myself as there really is no need in my view. I have also never been able to not buy a product from not having it.

– Where to sell and trade

It is important when trading/selling games online that you know what forum to advertise on. Ebay.com is different and costs money to list your item. Forums are free to list on so obviously you can list items on several different sites at once. Using the GameStation 2nd hand guide from above, work out how much your game is actually worth (at a minimum) and advertise accordingly. On sites like Ntsc-uk.com people are very aware of current prices, therefore you will only get the minimum usually, however if you advertise an Xbox game on a GameCube website, you generally get a little more for it as people aren’t so clued up on the games current price and vice versa. You generally have to wait a little longer for a reply though! This works both ways, if you are wanting to purchase a cheaper game then visit a very active site such as ntsc-uk.com and don’t be afraid to haggle!

If you are trading then obviously it is better if you pick the most specialised site to your format! No use trying to trade an Xbox game for another Xbox game on a GameCube website! 🙂

– Featured websites

Here are some top trading sites I use all the time.

– www.ntsc-uk.com

The best trading site to start with. Loads of members, loads of rare goods all sold at great low prices. Its mostly imported games that are traded (region stating is very important here). They have a very good feedback section also, many many very trustworthy members and very pleasant people too I might add!

They have very strict rules however- only games, no links to eBay, trading threads must be updated, and people expect prompt replies!

You also have to register with the site before you can view the trading forums, so they are there, you just have to look for them!

– www.darkzero.net

Our trading forum is just getting off the ground, however we have a no rules policy, therefore you can advertise anything, even by links to eBay and offer a feedback system also. A no rules trading forum is hard to come by these days trust me! Plus I can offer exclusive advice to selling should you need help, and that’s exclusive to darkzero.net folks!

– www.thedvdforums.co.uk

Like ntsc-uk.com but with far bigger number of members, more active, and you can sell anything in their general classifieds forum! Again strict rules, everything must be done in full view of all members. I have sold phones on the site with no problems, even when I had no feedback (most members know ntsc-uk.com and will look well upon ntsc-uk feedback)

– www.cube-europe.com

Good Nintendo trading site, but the trading section isn’t moderated and thus you do get a lot of deadbeat bidders making jokes. If you can see past that its best for trading, not selling. Most members are first time traders so its always good to make sure the rules of trading are defined with them before hand.

– www.ebay.co.uk

If your going to sell/buy on eBay, read the rules! Read the product description and if anything goes wrong then at least you have some security on your side. If selling then place a reserve, otherwise you could see your product being sold at a price point that is really low, and you would have to sell it. One example of this is when I myself purchased a dance record first pressing from the 1990’s which was very rare and I got it for £14. Today it’s estimated at £150, and the seller knew this, he just forgot to put a reserve on it. With eBay there is no backing out as there is a legal contact when you agree to bid/sell.

Make sure you check methods of payment available! Read peoples criticism if they have given the person who is buying from you/selling to you and if it sounds dodgy cancel your relationship with them before the bidding ends!

– www.xboxswaps.co.uk

Lacking in members at the moment but has potential.

Anymore? E-mail me.