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Pre-owned goes mainstream

Publishers hate it, but punters love it – and now it’s official: pre-owned is everywhere.

The number of outlets offering second-hand games and trade-in services has grown by 1,000 stores this year, MCV research has shown.

Tesco and Argos have both taken second-hand schemes national in recent months.

Meanwhile, MCV can reveal Asda will also add the service to 234 stores after it introduced an eye-rasing ‘FIFA for 97p’ trade-in deal last weekend.

It’s a marked increase on the second-hand games market of 2009, where our data suggested 2,000 stores – mainly specialists – offered the service.

But how long will this pre-owned boom last in the face of publisher attempts to slow it with second-user charges?
Specialists don’t know the answer – but don’t care, either. Instead they say it has legitimised an otherwise contentious part of the trade.

Our pre-owned business goes from strength-to-strength – it’s a strong and growing part of our mix,” said GAME CEO Ian Shepherd. No one can be bold enough to claim such a thing as 100 per cent share. Is there room for others in the market? Yes, there probably is.

Competitors come in and only add credibility to the trade-in and pre-owned end of the business.”

Grainger Games’ Phil Moore added: I think the fact that the grocers are getting into pre-owned will be an interesting slant for customers. I think that will push it into the minds of people who might not have seen it as a viable retail option.”

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