Best Buy Going After GameStop’s Profits?

On a recent visit to my local Best Buy I noticed a peculiar look rack of video games.  On the end cap of one of the video game isles was a rack full of PS3, Xbox360 and Wii games all wrapped in a yellow shrink wrap.  My first thought was this was their new bargain bin procedure to bring more attention to the games that didn’t sell.  Upon closer inspection though of the price sticker I noticed these were all used games.

You may have read previous news about Best Buy starting to buy back your used games for prices that compete with GameStop.  By sending games in via their online program, gamers will get Best Buy gift cards back for the specified value.  It’s obvious that their intentions were to follow Game Stop’s winning formula but this is the first I have seen of it coming to fruition.

And how do these used games compare to that of GameStop?  Usually if I am to buy a used game I am very picky about the quality of the game box and instruction manual.  Since Amazon has been offering so many great deals on new games lately this has no longer been a concern of mine.  But if I was to return to used games then I would probably be less likely to buy one from the big Blue & Yellow.  Having them in a off-color shrink wrap makes it difficult to inspect your used purchase, and I’d rather not go through the hassle of having customer service open it for me.  Secondly the prices don’t seem much better either.  Best Buy was selling Modern Warfare 2 used for $39.99 while a quick look at GameStop.com tells me I can already get it for $10 less.

While it’s easy to understand why Best Buy would start this program, seeing GameStop’s profits from last quarter, I have to question how many people will actually shop at Best Buy over GameStop.  I have always viewed BB as the place to buy fancy new electronics, not hand-me-downs.

Let us know what you think of the used games market.  Do you think Best Buy will be stealing customers from GameStop?

Written by Bryan

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