Goozex - Game trading vs traditional methods to get videogames
Where do gamers go?
The choices you have as a gamer are:
- Buy (Online, Ebay, used, Gamestop..)
- Rent (Gamefly, blockbuster...)
- Trade (Goozex, Switchplanet..)
Renting in the past at your brick and mortar rental place can easily set you back more then $5-$7 every week like Blockbuster. There have been other online rental game sites that charge a monthly fee like $20/month for one game out like Gamefly. Renting isn't all together bad but playing videogames isn't like watching movies. There is a considerable larger amount of time invested in videogames then in movies. Most movies range from 1.5 hours to epics of 6 hours. Where most videogames you could get a good feel for a game in 3 hours but most sports games and long role playing games could be played for more then 70 hours.
This is where Goozex steps in. Goozex allows the gamer to keep the game as long as you want but have the option to sell it too. There is only a $1 transaction fee if you request a game on their network. So basically you can trade in your older games and build up Goozex credit until you get enough for a newer title and just pay the $1 transaction fee. All shipping costs are handled by the sender so if you are requesting a game you only pay the $1 and not the shipping and handling. There is no monthly membership so you can stop at anytime or go at a slower pace. This is ideal in the sense that you could play the game until you are actually sick of it then send it in for credit. So you're not rushed to get as many games played on the network because you can play at your own pace. Plus you OWN the game. At that point it is yours.
The network is peer to peer in that you can only request games and send games to other members. There is no single central warehouse and the pricing of the credits of the system are in points (100pts = $5). The pricing of the game is determined by market demand, release date, initial cost of the game, and a couple other factors. Most xbox 360 titles will go for 800-1000 pts which translates to $40-$50. This isn't bad for a used game. You could probably save a little bit of money if you bought it at a used gaming store but then you would have to pay tax and actually go to the store. Goozex gives you free shipping to you with no tax charge. You also have an option to buy credits if you want but I wouldn't recommend that unless you have no games to send in or nothing of yours is being requested. The game prices will fluctuate and you will see the price change in your history. I've had a couple games I requested and I can see that price increase/decrease. It doesn't happen that much but some games change +/- 200pts depending on market demand.
So why use Goozex instead of a used videogame store or an auction site with games like Ebay? You just need $1 to pay for the transaction fee. Most people don't like to continually shell out more money for a game and then feel like the games they bought are depreciating at a very fast rate. Selling your game for cash anywhere will not give you that much. Selling it to a store they will mark your game up to make money. Selling it online at an auction site will incur fees and you still have to pay for shipping. Goozex at least you get to trade in games you are done with and still get some value out of it as it will lead to other games you really want. There might be more difficulty in sending older sports titles as those don't have much demand once their season is up like trying to sending in EA sports Madden 2005 will be a hard game to sell to someone on the network. Even if you were to put it older games on ebay you will have a hard to moving it and you will have to pay per insertion. On Goozex you will be able to list it and it will just stay there without having to pay insertion fees.
Each videogame is packed with information like reviews from Gamepro, some tips/trick, game description, and some even have instructions. The best feature is the ability to see how many copies of a game are listed on the network verses how many are being requested. This will let you know if you have a game people want or if you can possibly get a game on the network. Goozex determines who gets the game by matching up users. There is a waiting list that is generated and when you add a game you will see in what place you are waiting for that game. This is a fabulous idea as impatient gamers can tell if they should expect a game soon. There is also a distinction between games you want now and games you have for holding. Both will show you your place in line so you're not forced to get every game you want now. This is a good way to build up a wishlist and then have your core set of games your really want now. It is ideal to have a very large set of games you want now so you will have a very good chance of getting a game soon. I was requesting Crackdown for the Xbox 360 and I was 60th person in line. Turns out I got the game in less then 2 weeks. Just because you're really deep in line doesn't mean you won't get the game soon. The system can deliver newer games in a short amount of time which is a huge bonus for gamers that want to play newer games but don't want to buy them at the store. You have the option of trading just the game, the game with instructions, or the full package that includes case and instructions. This is helpful as some gamers tend to lose instructions and/or cases. The value of the game doesn't go down as the credits don't reflect what is included. This is because the user requesting the game can have the option to request only full packaged games, games with instructions, or just the game itself. I have not had a problem with getting full packages as I've gotten over 49 games and I've sent out 54 in under 2 years of being there.
Once you have accepted to send a game, you are automatically credited the value to your account. Updated Jan 2008 Actually, you don't get the instant credit until you have done a couple of trades and have been an established user. It doesn't take many trades to get to that level. Until then, you have to wait for the requester to get your game and acknowledge it was in working order before you get your credits. This slows down trading for the initial newcomers but is necessary to protect from new users looking to abuse the system. End Update You don't have to wait for the game to be received before to get your credits because Goozex protects all transactions. This is the best selling point to the system. You will get a game that works and it only cost you $1. If you have ever used an online auction to buy games, it can be a very tiresome to try and get your money back for a broken game. Goozex at first will limit the amount of requests a new user can make. This is a good thing as new users tend to not know what they are doing and Goozex wants to protect the veteran users. After you have a couple sent in games under your belt you will be able to request up to 20 games but I don't see anyone having enough money to request that many games. Goozex member's feedback is very handy which lets you see how well a member has acted on the site. This is pretty handy because when you have a match to send off a game you can have to option to decline sending in the game to people if you wished it so. If you get a game and for whatever reason the sender went above and beyond and you want to give that member something extra you can actually tip them 50 points. This tip will show up in their feedback and you can show your appreciation to the sending by tipping. Some members really do a good job of sending games as they will contact you with tracking information and make sure you're happy with your game as if they are selling it to you directly. This type of user interaction makes it a very comfortable place to trade games.
Goozex Origins by Goozex Member SPJglitches
The website has grown over time and the Goozex team has added more features. They do listen to the users because they did add the inventory item count per game which is fantastic. The have also started a podcast type broadcast in where they discuss the direction of the site plus respond to where the site is growing. Goozex encourage users to share the service by giving free points away to help new users test out the service. Members of Goozex are rewarded for helping share the service by giving them free trades. It's a win/win situation because members stay active and they continue to encourage growth of new members which then grows the system library of titles.
A large Olympic style gaming contest was held and supported by Goozex. About 30 + people participated and was run and organized by a few Goozex members. I participated in Mario Kart, Rockband guitar/drums, and super smash brothers. Over a 30 day period out of 3 teams my team won. Goozex decided to reward every single member of that team with a free t-shirt. Now that is above and beyond what you would normally find in any trading site. There is a strong community at Goozex that fosters friendship and competition.
Most of the time they will have on going promotions to get new customers to test out the system. The most common one that runs is giving the new customers 1 free Trade Credit and 100 points ($5).The gamer who referred them gets 1 free Trade Credit.
Where Gamers go
Why NOT to use
For this site to be a perfect 5 star site I would like to see:
1. More users (will there ever be enough?)
2. More retro gaming console support (nes, snes, saturn....)
3. $1 is still not free. I'm a member of another site that has no transaction fees yet still protects the members.
4. Video game trailers for each game
5. More community interaction (user reviews, recommendations...)
All the above are small tweaks to the system that is already very functional. The main reason someone would NOT want to use this system is time and money. If you have money why wouldn't you just buy the game new down the street? Why wait? The main draw to the site is how much money you can save and the community there. If your not interested in connecting with other gamers and plan to play all your games alone then the only reason to use the system is money. If you wanted to save money but are impatient then this sits is NOT for you. Most new release games takes on average of 1-2 months. Why? You are placed on a Que. The order of the Que determines when you get the new game, but more importantly is how many are available? Most people will play a new release for a certain amount of time before listing their games. That could be more time than one might want to wait. Say you want a popular game that normally runs 40 hours to complete. You gotta factor in that a player like me would take over 1 month to beat a game like that. More popular games of course like Madden will hit the system quicker but that is also a bad thing. If you hold a game too long it will depreciate in value just like on the streets. Trading for early on might be for 1000 points but in a couple months with the market being saturated it could be 500 points in no time losing half of it's value. Not entirely the fault of the system but some games just won't move depending on your timing.
Current Simultaneous Transaction on the Network as of Mar 11, 2009 = 4793