Can pre-owned prosper online?

Selling previously played titles online may open businesses up to a nationwide – or even worldwide – customer base, and provide an extra opportunity for making margins.

However, the practice of trading games online doesn’t come without its challenges, specifically the postal aspect of such a service.

There is always a risk associated with buying games blind,” said trade information site The Game Guide’s editor Chris Ratcliff.

Generally, members of the public just want to sell or trade-in a game and walk out of the shop with money or another game in their hand. They cannot always be bothered to post off a game and wait for a gift card to be credited to them.”

The view that online trade-ins could deter consumers who are used to quickly selling games in-store is one that is shared by specialist online games retailer ShopTo.

Online trade-ins will always have issues and delays involved, which many consumers will find intolerable compared to store trade-ins,” said ShopTo’s marketing manager Phil Driver.

While the idea of simply posting games as opposed to going into a store might seem easy, the reality is that consumers have to wrap the item, possibly insure it, travel to a postbox or post office and wait for it to be processed – which may take several days – before being credited."

To read MCV’s feature about the online pre-owned sector, click here.

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