Trade Video Games : Swap Xbox 360, PS3, Wii And Save Money
Why Trade Games?
Swapping old, unwanted, disliked or just plain played-out video games for new ones you've been wanting to play but haven't been able to afford is such a no-brainer I'm amazed more people are not doing it.
At $60 a time for a new Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 game, this is becoming an increasingly expensive hobby and one which is liable to get more costly when the next generation consoles hit the shelves. Most of us can simply not afford to go rushing out to pick up the latest releases especially when there a whole bunch of new titles coming out at once whilst at the same time, titles we'll never play again sit gathering dust on our shelves.
Doesn't it make sense to swap those old unwanted discs for something new? It took me a while to get into the idea of trading my games online but once I got started I realised this is by far the best way to save money on video game purchases.
Where Can I Swap My Video Games Online?
There are a number of great reliable game swapping sites online which all have different features and pros and cons to using them. So far, my favorite is Leaptrade because that site doesn't require you to find someone to swap with directly, but instead, gives you points based upon the value of the game you swap which can then be spent on one of similar value...or two of half the value...or ten at one tenth the value!
Leaptrade is not the only site of this type however as there are many other sites which incorporate different ideas and some which allow you to swap things like books, movies and other stuff as well which I will detail later.
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How Does Video Game Trading Work?
When I first started looking at the possibility of swapping video games online I was a little sceptical. I was worried about the chances of getting scammed by some unscrupulous loser who would keep the game and never hold up their end of the bargain. I'm sure the thought has crossed your mind too...or at least it has now!
You are right to be cautious. There are some pretty poorly regulated game exchange sites out there which operate more on trust than anything else. These are the ones I bumped into a couple of years ago and was not convinced to take the plunge by the lack of assurances provided on the condition of the discs I would receive or the honesty of the other swappers.
More recently, however, I was once again reintroduced to the idea by an accidental but fortuitous discovery of a game swapping service which looked a lot more professional in its set up and which offered much more security for its swapping community. That site was Goozex (review below) and after getting hooked on that one, I found more which I will share my opinions of below.
Goozex Review : Swap Video Games Online
Goozex is the first game trading site I came across and is still my favorite.
When you join, you will be asked to create a list of discs you want to receive from all the major consoles, both handheld and the big boys including Xbox 360, PS3, Nintendo Wii, PSP, Nintendo DS etc. as well as PC and Mac discs. More recently they have added a whole bunch of retro systems into the mix including the Sega Saturn, Dreamcast, Nintendo Gamecube, Sega Genesis, Atari 2600 and more. In another section you will list all the titles in your collection you are ready to trade.
All games are given a point value based upon such things as their age, the average price on the used market and the level of demand the title has. For example, a brand new release will have a point value of around 1000 points, whilst an old unpopular sports game will be as low as 100 points.
The system will then check to see if anyone is requesting the titles you have listed and if so, you will be sent an email telling you someone wants one of your titles offered for trading and where to send it to. Send it, and receive positive feedback (i.e. do send the disc out and make sure its one that is in acceptable condition and most importantly, that it works!) and you'll get the points it as valued at added to your account which you can now spend to receive someone else's game..and you can do this over and over again.
Using this system, you can choose to trade in 1 new game (1000 points) for 10 older ones (100 points each) or a straight swap for another 'full price' one (at 1000 points), or swap a bunch of your older discs for one new release...the options are there and it's great to have them.
Goozex charges a $2 transaction fee for each completed exchange only when you receive the game but aside from that there are no other fees or charges on the site. You can also choose to buy trading points if you want at a rate of $5 per 100 points which might be worth it if you only need a few more points to get the title you want but is otherwise an expensive way to go about things. Most users of this site find they can take advantage of sales and whatnot to rack up points for much less than $5 each.
I really like this site. Its simple to use and the simple points based system makes it so much easier to trade games online than some of the other sites where you have to do an "I'll swap my X for your Y" style negotiation which gets tedious with all the jokers out there looking to win with an unbalanced trade in their favor.
Joining now gets you one free request after your first trade.
Cheap Ass Gamer
As a member of the forums at CheapAssGamer.com you can list all the video games you have and set up trades with other forum members. You'll have to be prepared to negotiate here, which has advantages and disadvantages - one great advantage being you can perform 2 for 1 swaps or 3 for 2 etc. and swap other things too like strategy guides etc.
Not only does this site have a video game exchange section but also loads of useful information on where you can find great deals and otherwise save money on your entertainment. Check their deals section regularly for some great savings.
I'm not a particularly active member of this site, mainly because I use too many others which are more specialized but it is one of the largest and most popular on the internet for bartering a whole range of random products.
The nice thing about this particular swapping site is that it isn't just focused on one form of media, but also allows you to swap books, DVDs, baby clothes, watches, iPads...in fact, just about anything legal can be swapped.
This site has gone through some format changes in recent times but generally, the idea here is list the things you want to give away, then go find something you want and contact the person listing it to see what they want in exchange for it. You then get to hash out a deal where you may have to offer several products to get one back or vice versa. You can then choose to meet up in person if you are close enough to do the exchange, or choose to swap through the mail if not.
For me, this is all a little too much like haggling over a rug in a persian market for my liking but if that sounds like your idea of fun, then this is a great way to get rid of all kinds of household junk and get video game titles or anything else in return for it.
So...Go Join In The Swapping!
So now you get the general idea of what video game swapping websites are out there and hopefully can see how much money could be saved by participating in their exchange communities. Think about it: 1 new Xbox 360 game costs $60. Play it, swap it for another and you've saved $60. Swap that one when you're tired of it and you've saved another $60! All you've paid is postage and whatever swapping fee is involved (as little as $1 at Goozex). That's a saving of $120 and you've only just got started! So what are you waiting for?
The Game Trading Zone
In the days before Goozex offered the ability to trade old Dreamcase and Gameboy Color cartridges I used this forum style game trading site to clear out my shelves of older system titles. This place has been around for a long time, more than 10 years in fact, and has a very active user base with some members having made hundreds of trades and some having made thousands.
The design takes a little while to get used to because it looks quite complicated and cluttered on first impressions. Once you've played around with it for a while though...well, it's still complicated and cluttered but you get used to it!
This site isn't particularly newbie friendly both in terms of its difficult design and with trading in general. You will be making one to one exchanges here and will have to haggle with other members on the site who aren't going to trust you until you get some positive feedback under your belt. To do this, you will have to send out your end of the bargain first, wait until they receive it and then wait for them to send their side of the bargain to you. It's quite slow and there's no guarantee that these established members aren't going to try to screw you over either.
The main problem with this game swapping site is a lack of protection for its members. All trading is done on the honor system and for the most part, it works well but there are always the jokers who will try to rip you off. Trading only with members with high positive feedback and a large number of past trades can protect you here as a new user but basically, proceed with caution if you use this site.
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