Though it may seem an odd choice in the era of digital downloads and consoles that very-nearly abolished used games altogether, Wal-Mart has announced that it plans to begin accepting game trade-ins as soon as March 26th in 3,100 of its stores.
The news comes via GameSpot, who attended a recent Wal-Mart conference call hosted by Duncan Mac Naughton, the company’s chief merchandising and marketing officer. Though the service should offer a potentially interesting alternative to GameStop and Best Buy, there is a catch: you can only trade for store credit.
Of course, Wal-Mart doesn’t see this as a bad thing, and maybe you shouldn’t either. Because Wal-Mart sells such a wide range of products, you really can buy anything you’d like with the store credit. While you can also do this with the cash you get from GameStop, it does require leaving and heading to another store. Also, it remains to be seen if Wal-Mart’s credits will amount to more cash than GameStop generally offers. If so, they may be on to something.
Traded games will be refurbished by a third party company, and there will be a set process to how a game is exchanged. GameSpot detailed the process in their report, as can be seen below.
Here’s how Wal-Mart’s used-game program works:
- Customers bring their working video games, in the original packaging, to the electronics department.
- Associates scan the UPC code on the case and evaluate the game for obvious damage such as deep scratches or cracks.
- The customer is then provided with a trade-in value for each game to accept.
- The total value accepted by the customer is awarded immediately and can be applied at checkout in a Walmart store or Sam’s Club, or online at Walmart.com or SamsClub.com
We’ll be sure to post more info as it develops. If I can trade my copy of Lords of Shadow 2 for some Blu-Rays and a bushel of Wal-Mart bananas, then sign me up.