Trading Games

by Wencke Schuncken


Trading of videogames and game related products
First of all I’ve started this article not only to explain the negative, positive site of trading but also to tell some trading experiences, which motivated me to write this article in the first place. Secondly I wanted to inform you, the reader, how to trade in a proper way without being disappointed in the end and how to get games cheaper compared to a retail price in the local game shop. But before we move on, let’s have a look at the definition of trading. According to the English dictionary it's defined as:
To engage in buying and selling for profit.
To exchange one thing for another.

Reasons for trading
There are multiple reasons why gamers want to trade their goods:
You're a gamer and no collector and you want to exchange games to play new ones
You're a gamer and no collector and you want to sell the games
You're looking for a game but don't want to pay the full retail price
You're a collector and want to get your collection complete or as big as possible
You're broke and want to earn some money by selling games

Types of traders
While trading, you'll meet different kind of trader types. The funniest one, in my opinion are the "mother" types as they are looking for cheap games for their children which don't have that much pocket money. Maybe they're real moms and trying to get good games for a decent price, but I also met "mothers" which don't have any children. An example is about a mother who wanted to trade a game with me and we had lots of contact via e-mail as she wasn't satisfying about the games I was offering. And then she replied with, no I already played that game and that's not my type of game. She never mentioned anything about her son again…Okay I can understand the reason why she pretended to have a son as many traders get soft and trade the games for a lower price then they would with other traders. And the mothers' ads are also quite amusing to read: "I'm looking for FIFA 2005 for my son's sixth birthday. As it is planned to give for his birthday the game needs to be in mint condition." Or what to think of this ad: "My son is looking for FIFA 2005 and he's saved 10 euros of his pocket money. Who can help my child?" Sure it makes you weak if you read these kind of ads and you have the game available for trading (worth 20 euros) … but be prepared, I've warned you about the fake "mothers".

Another type is the spoiled fanatic gamer trader who would be better of selling the games instead of trading them as they already played everything which has been released. All games bidded for trade are useless and the onlu comment of the fanatic gamer would be: Sorry, already in my possession, already played and so on. Or they're mentioning games to trade for which haven't been released yet…

The most irritating traders are the ones which are never satisfied, no matter what you offer or you must be crazy to pay the price they want for their games. I call them the "goldmine" traders as in they think that their sitting on a goldmine and ask ridiculous prices for their goods. More about this kind of trader can be read below in the "experiences" section.

What to think of "Under disguise shops" traders? Yes, lots of them are online and some of them are really annoying as they know how to marketing their products over and over again without a price drop or negotiation possibilities. The ads are huge and contain a lot of titles, mostly linked to their web store. If you looking for example Animal Crossing and you type it in on the ad site, the first 100 results relates to the "Under disguise shops". I call them that way because they advertise on private forums and market places under a personal name. In that way they are allowed by the systems to place ads and don’t have to pay tax over the transactions.

Trading Experiences
Since a couple of months I'm really getting addictive in trying to get my favorites games for a decent price or trade them against other games. But it really drives me insane sometimes, because ...

Reactions of people who misread your add. For example, you want to trade in a Mario game for a Resident Evil game and the repliers come back at you stating that they have the Mario game you're looking for. Wrong, I want to trade my Mario game in for the Resident Evil Game and not the other way around. These kind of reactions through mail, msn or on the forums drive me insane. Can't people read?!

Reactions of people who think they're sitting on a goldmine (a very rare and worth full object in their opinion) and advertising it as THE RARE game every collector wants to have. As a newbee or just a smart "cheap trying to get things person" you're bidding a low price for it. I did that with some Nintendo 8 bit games but the reaction of the seller was absolutely not acceptable as he stated that I was an imbecile due to my low bidding and that nobody else should try to come up with such a ridiculous low bidding price. And note, the games for sale weren't even RARE or very worth full, oh no. The seller states (and many other sellers as well) that their games are rare because many people ask for these titles. Wrong. A game is rare when the production of the game was low during the release and not a lot have been sold. But then I'm not talking about the 8 bit Zelda's, Mario's and so on! These are not rare unless they are still originally fabric sealed. Talking about sealed products, don't be fooled by people who state that the product is fabric sealed, this can be fraud. I can seal any product at my work and state that it is fabric sealed, but is it the original seal? Makes me wonder as I have a Nintendo 8 bit game which is really fabric sealed and it's not just some seal, oh no, Nintendo is written big in it and the seal is really thick.

Dealing with kids isn’t such a good idea either. Maybe you don’t know that you’re dealing with a kid until something goes wrong with the trade, That happened to me while I traded a new game against an older game + 5 euros. The trader received my game and I received his game, but no 5 euros were included. I searched through the manual and other paper included but found no money. I’ve contacted the trader and his reaction was; “I asked my mom for the money, but she got really angry about the trade and I don’t have 5 euro so I only sent the game, sorry”. I was stunned, not about the 5 euros but the fact that I was dealing with a kid and got this type of reply. I gave it a rest and started playing the game, still a little bit confused, angry and wondering if it really was a kid or some cheap excuse for not paying.

If you’re planning to trade online, please be cautious. Always check several sites (shops, trade houses, forums) to get a price indication or what would be an acceptable game to trade. If a trader doesn’t include a full description, ask for a detailed description. Ask if the game is playable, CD scratch free, boxed and includes the manual as well. Also ask for a picture if it concerns a pricy item and if you want to know for sure what you’re trading. An 8 bit nintendo boxed Zelda for 25 euro may sound good for a collector, but what if the collector doesn’t know that the box has a big neon price sticker on it? That’s disappointing trading and could have been avoided, just by asking the trader for details. Another point to focus on is the shipping of trade goods. Always check if you’re bidding on an object if it includes shipping costs and where the seller, trader is located as it could be foreign or even better, your neighbor! If you decide to ship please use decent packaging material and if you’re suspicious you can always ask for a receipt. It increases the price but it’s a guarantee that the trade will be successful.

Trading to me is comparable to Christmas: present time! Waiting and checking out the mailbox, curious if something has been delivered. Up to date I always received the packages in a good condition, except for the 5 euro story. It’s the ideal way to get the games you want for an acceptable price or exchange for games you don’t like. Another positive thing about trading is meeting other gamers, if you’re not dealing with a “under disguise” shop, “fake” mother or a “goldmine” trader. Also keeping in touch after a good transaction can be useful for future trades. Once a trader, always a trader!

If you have any funny, sad or super deals or trading advice and you want to share it with us, please use the below comment box!