If you are currently an avid gamer, or have been within recent memory, then you definitely have at least stopped in at a Gamestop store. By most measures they are the most successful franchise in the brick-and-mortar arena of gaming, and they also have an online presence. There are more than 7,000 stores around the world, including the countries of New Zealand and Australia, in case you just happen to be visiting in the Land Down Under. As of late 2018, the rumors of Gamestop Corporation being on the auction block have been heating up, but so far there have been no serious offers. A couple of years ago the company reduced the number of stores by 3 percent which may be a sign of future things to come. Should the company be sold, you can expect some changes to be made. There’s no reason to panic but it is important to keep up with the state of the industry, especially if you are an avid gamer. You’ll need someplace to turn your video games into cash.
The Reason Gamestop is Still Operating
In fact, converting old games into cash is one of the biggest reasons for the persistent success of the company. For many people it is a one-stop shopping location where you can get a decent offer for your old video games and immediately convert that into the latest ones. The general reputation of Gamestop is that there is at least one employee at every store who is at least a casual gamer and knows what’s going on. We all know online forums cannot always be trusted, and with the local presence and long history of the franchise it has proven itself as a source of reliable information. If you are new to gaming or have never thought about using Gamestop as a place to cash in, there is a simple way to get started. However, it does require you to go to a local Gamestop store and deal with real people. If you have become disoriented because you have been spending too much time in the darker corners of your home, take a few minutes to readjust to the light before heading out.
How to Convert Games into Cash
When you stop in at a store, ask to sign up for the PowerUp Rewards card. The PowerUp is actually a code for cash because that is where the value of the card lies. The basic card is free, but there is also a Pro version you can get for $14.99 a year. The Pro version is for serious gamers. The magic number is 10% because that is what you will get in savings when you buy a used game (sorry, doesn’t apply to new ones) and when you trade in your old games you can add 10% on top of what the non-Pro card holder gets. For every $100 the basic guy gets for a trade in, you pocket $110. So as you can see, you need to do a lot of trading to maximize the value of that $14.99 annual subscription fee.
(On a historical note, there once was an Elite Pro status members could have earned, but that program was discontinued in August of last year. It might be another sign that the company is being careful with its money.)
Both the Basic and Pro versions of the card allow you to spend those accumulated points on Gamestop gift cards or buying some of the cool collector’s merchandise you see around the store. This is especially useful around the holiday season since you can get a fellow gamer something they will like and appreciate. It is like putting cash in their pocket since the games they buy using the Gamestop card you gave them will be converted into credits for their account. It’s a win-win for both of you.
Though Gamestop is a brick-and-mortar franchise, they also have an online presence. It is recommended that once you have your PowerUp card in hand you go online to look for any specials or deals that suit your game-playing style. You can check back often to look for any new deals when you are ready to trade in your next batch of games.
How Much Cash Can You Get?
Now that you’re off and running, you want to know just how much cash back or credit you can get from being a PowerUp member. The basic calculation is you will get about 30% of the used price (not the new price) as a credit towards your account. That number drops down to about 24% if you prefer cash in hand. So you’re looking at roughly $1 for every $4 you spent on a new game. But remember the trade in value of those used games will decrease over time, so the older the game is, the more likely you will get less for it.
Beware of websites that say you can get more than what the store is actually paying out. First, the information on a website is not always correct, and sometimes they will inflate the numbers to draw visitors. There may be local Gamestop stores that have these types of offers available, but you need to double check everything. Second, you can get creative and use your Gamestop account to cash in other ways. More on that later. For now, keep it simple so you have realistic expectations.
If you go to their website you will find the list of games they accept. The major platforms – XBox One, PS4, XBox 360, Wii U, and 3DS – can be found there. If you are a virtual reality owner you will find some offers for that as well. But you will also find opportunities to trade in a variety of electronics, including smartphones. Instead of auctioning that old smartphone on eBay you can choose to add to your PowerUp gaming account and buy a game or two (or three) with the trade in value. Plus, you won’t have to wait 5 days to see you money and there’s no customer to hassle with.
We don’t think you will want to abuse your member privileges by trading in a defective game or electronic device, but Gamestop does have certain conditions to be met before handing over that valuable cash or account credits.
- Your electronic device (smartphone, etc.) does have to be in full working order to get the full credit. A huge benefit is that even if it’s not in full working order you might still be able to get something for it. So don’t be so quick to trash your old electronics, and if you see that old smartphone lying in the street pick it up and see what you might get for it. When it comes to money (or account credits) any number greater than zero is where you come out ahead.
- Games or electronics that are newer will get you a greater amount of cash or credits. We had to put this in here even though it is obvious to most serious gamers. Holding on to old games for a year and being disappointed when you go to trade it in is not something that should happen.
- It is possible you will not get anything for your game. The reason for this is that the price of a used game is driven by supply and demand. If everyone has a certain game, then the demand will be very low and so will the trade in price – if it has any value at all. Take a few minutes to go online and find what the demand is for the game you are thinking about trading in. it might not be worth the gas money it takes to go to the store.
Other Important Tips
To make your trip to Gamestop easier, you need to pay attention to this very important point: sales associates do not set the prices of the trade-ins. In other words, if you have a talent for bartering and getting the best deal, your skill will be useless at Gamestop. It makes things simpler for the employees, and the customers won’t have to wait in line listening to someone haggle over a few dollars. Gamestop’s system works for a reason, which is why it is the go-to place for trading in games and other electronics.
Taking a long term view of using Gamestop, you need to see where your gaming interests are. For example, if you are someone who spends days playing EA Sports Madden Football or FIFA Soccer, they come out with a new version about once a year. The closer you are to the end of that year, the less you will get for your game. If you prefer other types of games such as Civilization, Super Mario Brothers, or Zelda, you are likely to get more for those games even after a year. You also need to look at the game console you are using to help determine the expected value of your used game. If you have a collection of old, vintage games, particularly of the PC type, you probably won’t get anything for them. (It’s weird, but in most cases these days you have to be online even to play a single player game.)
Earlier it was mentioned you can get creative with your Gamestop PowerUp membership. The truth is, even gamers need to buy basic things such as gas and food, and there are ways to maximize your use of your points to buy the basic essentials of everyday life. To do this, it is strongly recommended you have a Pro level PowerUp card.
The most important thing to know in this pursuit of happiness is that you can transfer your Gamestop points to other businesses that actually are not related to gaming. For example, if you want to stop in at Burger King or fill up your tank at a Shell gas station, you can transfer your points for a gift card redeemable at these businesses. (Realizing that not everyone loves Burger King or Shell, here is the link to the full list of business you can transfer your points to. Keep in mind that this list will change, so you will want to check in with it every now and then.)
Some of the offers require you to go to a Gamestop to get your alternative reward, while some can be downloaded online. There are a few of these gift cards that come with a bonus attached, so even if you are not interested in the alternative choices, it is worth browsing through to see if you can get a deal.
If you love making things complicated and getting paid for your trouble, you can combine different offers from your Gamestop points. For example, you can buy a Shell gas card with your points and find another card such as CardPool or CardCash where you can convert the Shell gift card into actual cash. You will want to see the example here to see how it works in real life, but you should also check out similar sites and ideas.
You don’t have to be one of those people who loves to play games but is shocked by the price of a decent console game. There may be some titles you want to keep forever (not always a bad idea) but for the most part, especially when it comes to sports games, you want to have your fun and move on. If you are a serious gamer it is possible to spend a minimum amount of money to play all year around – except when you have to go to work or school. Whatever your gaming situation, Gamestop is the number one choice for converting old games into new cash.
Written by Bill Vix
Read more posts by Bill Vix