Unless you are a serious collector, at some point, you’ve probably thought about getting rid of a few (or many) of your old games. Whether you’re running out of shelf or closet space, getting ready to move, ready to acknowledge that you realistically won’t play that stack of games anymore, or want to fully enter the world of digital game libraries, there are plenty of avenues available to part with a portion of your video game collection. Not all of them, though, are great options. For games that still have some monetary value, most would like to maximize their return. Time is money too, though, so convenience matters. And for those games you literally can’t give away, there is a way to dispose of them properly, rather than tossing them in a dumpster.
Let’s take a look at the best methods for getting rid of your old video games, for profit, convenience, and eco-friendliness.
Sell ’em back: Yes, GameStop is still your best bet
Sure, you’ve probably heard people complain about GameStop’s trade in values in the past, and while the business can justify sometimes marking up games two to three times as much as GameStop gives in credit, it’s also understandable why this bothers some people. The bottom line, however, is GameStop generally offers a higher price per game than other major retailers. Companies like Best Buy, Target, Toys R Us, Amazon, and Walmart have also jumped into the world of buying and selling used games, but no one has beaten them on the one metric that counts. GameStop is also the only major retailer that offers cash for used games (all the rest offer store credit). You get 20 percent less if you take the cash route at GameStop instead of store credit, but even then you’ll most likely wind up right around what you would receive for a pile of games at any of the other major retailers.
While selling your old games and consoles to GameStop won’t maximize your dollars, the convenience factor at least partially makes up for it. While we recommend using GameStop for convenience, that’s not to say that GameStop always gives the best value on every game. If you are only trading in one or two games, it’s best to do a bit of research before choosing a place to sell your old games. GameStop, Walmart, Target, and Best Buy list their trade-in values for each accepted game online. On Amazon, trade in values are listed on product pages. Toys R Us doesn’t list trade-in values online.
It’s important to note that if you are selling older games (pre-Xbox 360/PS3 era), GameStop is the only major chain that accepts “classic” titles. That being said, if you have a bunch of classic games that you want to get off your hands, you may want to check out some of the options below since you might possess, unwittingly or not, a rare title or two. By and large, when selling your games to major retailers like GameStop, it’s best to bring in games for more modern systems like PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Nintendo 3DS.
Don’t forget about local retailers
Chances are, you probably live near a GameStop or big box retailer that will buy your old games from you, but there’s also a chance you live near a local retailer that specializes in multimedia products, you should look into that as well. Not everyone has an independent game shop in their area, but if you do, chances are, these shops want to buy your old games, and that might even give you more money to show you that. Local retailers are also more likely to take older generation games, and cartridge-based games off your hands.
Eliminate the middle man
If you don’t need to unload your unwanted games right away, and you are willing to put a little extra effort into the process, becoming the seller yourself will almost always get you the best price. In terms of online secondhand marketplaces, the first two that come to mind are eBay and Amazon. Both venues let you set your own price, but keep in mind, you are responsible for all boxing up the game(s) and shipping them out. For some, this may be more hassle than it’s worth. However, there is a considerably more convenient option that still allows you to set your price.
If you’re on Facebook, and we imagine you are, there’s a good chance that you can join a local Buy, Sell, Trade group. These groups have become a Craigslist of sorts for the social media era. The best part is that given the local nature of each group, you can talk on Facebook, agree to a price, and meet up to exchange cash for games. You don’t have to go through nearly as many steps as it takes to list games on Amazon, let alone eBay, and these Facebook groups are less sketchy than making deals via Craigslist. Of course, we still recommend meeting up in a public space.