Just after big box retailer Target unveiled its entry
to the used games retail space, U.S. electronics and software chain Best Buy said Thursday that this weekend it will begin accepting used game trade-ins starting with 600 stores nationwide in exchange for store credit.
The ramp-up follows a long period of testing for Best Buy. Word that the company would test out used games emerged in 2005, as the retailer looked to take a piece of the lucrative used game market from leading specialist retailer GameStop. The company plans to eventually expand to more than the initial 600 stores.
Best Buy will begin buying used games on Sunday, August 29, and customers will be able to buy used games from stores "soon," presumably after the retailer builds up sufficient inventory.
The company said it will accept an initial line of "over 100" titles, and for regularly-rotating "select" titles (as highlighted in the company's weekend flyer), the company will offer a $20 Best Buy gift card in addition to trade-in value.
Best Buy currently accepts trade-ins on its website, where customers send games to the company free of charge, and receive a gift card 7-14 days later. The retailer said the trade-in values at stores and online will be identical.
For video game retailers, GameStop is the one to beat in the used game market. For the quarter ended May 1, the company reported $570.8 million in gross profit -- 48 percent of that came from used video game hardware and software. GameStop additionally offers gamers cash for trade-in, as well as store credit.
Target said this week that while it's starting with Northern California, it plans to expand its own program to 850 stores. In a recent GameStop earnings call, execs with the company said that rivals with trade-in programs located adjacent to GameStop stores did not visibly impact
used game sales at those locations, although company CEO Paul Raines stressed "we take them seriously; we watch them closely."