With Wal-Mart diving into the billion-dollar pre-owned video game market, GameStop may have difficulty keeping pace.
Initially, GameStop CEO Paul Raines said he wasn't worried about Wal-Mart's endeavor. However, a new initiative launched by the major game retailer tells a slightly different story.
It's called "Never Walk a Trade" and the pilot operation will run through the course of the coming week. GameStop stores located near Wal-Mart will be participating in the program; quite simply, they're offering an extra 20 percent trade-in credit to consumers. They confirmed this program to GameSpot :
"We did just launch a program called 'Never Walk a Trade.' The program includes many features, one of which includes empowering our store managers and associates to offer customers– when they believe it is needed–the best value for their pre-owned video game and consumer electronic products. This program is focused on helping ensure we continue to provide the most valuable trade-in offers against all competitors and not lose an opportunity to meet our customer’s needs based on trade-in value.
The reason we introduced this program is because we want to continue to elevate customer awareness of the unique proposition of the GameStop buy-sell-trade model."
Translation: "Blah blah blah, we've been ripping off consumers for years and we got away with it due to a lack of competition." See, I remember working at an EB back in the day, when they would routinely offer 50 percent of what the game was worth; now you're lucky if you get 1/3 of what it's worth. The trade-in values have gone down while the actual price (typically only $5 or $10 less than new) has stayed the same.
So, as much as I despise Crap-Mart, I have no sympathy whatsoever.