Best Buy Testing Used Games Market
By Tom Ryan
In stores in
Georgia and Texas, Best Buy is testing the use of kiosks to allow customers
to trade in used video games in exchange for store credit. Customers can
buy, rent or trade in games as well as movies in some stores for a gift
card redeemable for anything in the store.
On his blog,
the chain’s chief marketing officer, Barry Judge, said customers can insert
their used game into a kiosk that will scan it for functionality. If acceptable,
the kiosk will immediately issue a voucher that is redeemable for a Best Buy
"It’s a pretty
slick system and one of the few trade-in programs to provide instant gratification;
you get the gift card on the spot and can redeem it on anything in the
store — not just another game," Mr. Judge wrote. "We’ll also be testing
the sale of used games in those stores, and some of the kiosks will even
rent games and movies."
About 17 percent
of Best Buy’s revenue comes from entertainment software and the move is
seen as an attempt to gain market share from gaming leader, GameStop. Sales
of video games and consoles grew 20 percent in 2008 to $18.8 billion but
are expected to be flat to down slightly this year amid the downturn, David
Magee, an analyst with SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, told the Atlanta
But Mr. Magee questioned whether Best Buy’s kiosks will be able
to compete with GameStop’s personable service and expertise.
GameStore has been buying, selling and trading used games for more than 15 years.
"Best Buy is
a great company and will get some slice of share from somebody, but they’ll
have a hard time getting a meaningful share from GameStop," he said.
The AJC found
a Best Buy kiosk
offering a $3.20 credit on the game "Into the Inferno" from the Avatar:
The Last Air Bender series. GameStop’s trade-in price for that game was
$5, excluding any frequent buyer cards or other discounts.
Mr. Judge concluded
in his blog, "We’re
excited about this test, especially because we know how deeply passionate
our customers and our employees are about gaming, movies and entertainment
overall. And the trade-in and used value propositions will give those passionate
customers even more choice and value at Best Buy."
Questions: What do you think of Best Buy moving into the used video games
market? Are kiosks the right approach? What do you think of Best Buy
testing the kiosks for buying, selling and trading for movies as well?
- Best Buy
aims kiosks at gamers – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
- New Places
and Spaces – Used Games Launch – Barry Judge’s blog