Starting March 26th, 2014, you can trade in your used games for gift cards at Walmart. Those gift cards can be used at any Walmart or Sam’s Club store – both in store and online. In addition, later this year, the pre-owned games will go on sale, also both in store and online.
What’s different about Walmart trade-ins compared to places like Gamestop? Well Walmart claims that:
The traded-in games will then be sent to be refurbished and made available for purchase in like-new condition at a great low price.
What that actually entails is anyone’s guess. At most, maybe that means they buff out some scratches on a disc, or repair/replace a case. In that same news post Walmart says that they will accept games that are in the “original packaging.” That may mean that they only want games that require minimal refurbishment, so as not to replace a paper insert/cover.
However, one may suspect that part of Walmart’s refurbishment may include something along the lines of a new paper insert, or at least something added to it so the Walmart name and logo can be on it. Then again, that may not be the case because Walmart says that each refurbished game will be labeled as “Certified Pre-Owned,” which may only be a sticker.
Depending on the prices Walmart will give for trade-ins, Walmart could be stiff competition for places like Gamestop, which are already beginning to struggle.
What is likely the most interesting thing about this move, is that you will be able to trade in your games for money that can be used on anything in Walmart’s stores, a service unique to Walmart – except for Amazon, I believe. The difference being, of course, Walmart has physical locations to go along with an online presence.