Gamers looking to trade in their older titles will have a totally new place to head to soon. Wal-Mart, the world’s largest chain of retail stores, has announced that it will enter the video game trade in space alongside GameStop and Best Buy.
Wal-Mart announced the new trade-in program earlier today, noting that it’ll kick off the new in-store service on March 26th. As described the program works exactly the way users might expect. Wal-Mart shoppers will need to bring their used titles to the electronics department in their local Wal-Mart store. There Wal-Mart employees will examine the game to make sure it’s not damaged and that it is in the original packaging before they accept the trade.
The really big thing here is that the trade-in value can be used in-store at local Sam’s Clubs and Wal-Mart locations immediately. Users can also redeem the credit online for purchases at both retail outlet’s websites. This is important because of the sheer volume of items that a Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club Store carries each day.
At launch, the program will only be available at 3,100 stores in the United States. That means that users will definitely want to call ahead before taking a trip to trade-in their games. Users will also definitely want to examine whether what Wal-Mart is offering users is better than similar programs from other companies.
GameStop pioneered the video game trade-in program. Users who head there get more in trade-in value than what users find at other companies with trade-in programs like Best Buy and Amazon. GameStop also offers a rotating slate of deals each week. As such, even if the base trade-in value for a game isn’t as high as one might like, the company boosts it again if someone is trading in a used title towards an upcoming popular game. It’s also worth noting that GameStop doesn’t require the game to be in its original packaging. That’s something Wal-Mart will require.
All told, it’s great that more companies are opening their doors to gaming-specific programs. It’s a testament to how popular the activity has become in recent years. Unfortunately, we’ll need to wait until we see Wal-Mart’s trade-in value for popular titles before it’s considered a win for consumers. It’s offered a video game trade-in service on its website for sometime, however trade-in values there tend to be lower than the competition.
The company says it plans to roll out used video game sales to its stores sometime later this year.