If you’re looking to save some money on video games, you have plenty of options, from local stores to huge online retailers, all offering gently used games for all platforms, as well as consoles and handhelds as big discounts. This week we’re looking at five of the best spots to grab good deals on used gaming gear, based on your nominations.
Earlier in the week we asked you to nominate your favorite places to buy used games and consoles. You turned in tons of great suggestions, from the local to the international. Now we’re back to highlight the top five, in no particular order:
Whether it’s online at ShopGoodwill.com or in a brick-and-mortar store, it’s no surprise that Goodwill is a great place for deals on used video games and consoles—both old and new. Odds are there’s a store near you, and while you’re not guaranteed any specific selection—or even a section dedicated to games—if you find a good one, especially one in a good neighborhood, you’d be surprised at the gems you can find for budget-friendly prices. If shopping online is your thing, ShopGoodwill is an auction site where you can bid on the items you want. Since the site is run by Goodwill, they actually have the items they’re selling, take pictures of each before they go up for sale, and list background information you can actually trust—as opposed to someone else’s photos or some stock photo instead of the real thing. Of course, the prices online are just as good.
In the nominations thread, many of you recounted your experiences at Goodwill, and pointed out the great bargains you picked up, both through the online store and in brick and mortar stores. Of course, Goodwill isn’t a game retailer, so not everything there is—or is even promised to be—in working order, or even checked to make sure they work, so you have to be careful. That bargain 360 at your local goodwill, or the N64 you see on the website may be at a great price, but you should be ready for it to not work, or require a little coaxing first. On a personal note, a few years back I picked up The Fallout Trilogy (the first three games, mind you, Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout: Tactics) on DVD for something like a buck, and Far Cry 2 for something like three dollars—all at my local Goodwill. They’re worth checking out. Read more in its nomination thread here.
eStarland is a huge online retailer (although they do have a brick-and-mortar presence, but it’s really one location just outside of DC) that sells everything from newly released titles, preorders for future releases, and old school retro classics—not to mention the hardware to run them on. Their prices are more than competitive, especially in the face of huge used game retailers you may already have in your neighborhood, and they’re well-loved in the community for offering great prices to buyers and cash or credit to people with old games or consoles to trade in. They’ll even reimburse your shipping for your trade-in. If you’re local to their Virginia store, they throw open the back room every weekend for tournaments, events, and a convention-style person-to-person showroom where you can find all sorts of gems, direct from other collectors and video game fans.
Those of you who nominated eStarland called out those latter points specifically in its nomination thread, and it’s worth noting that if you do live in the area, you can pick up online orders at the brick and mortar store as well. They host special events, and even if you’re across the world, you can still take part in the bargains available in their online store or trade in your items. The company has a customer service and sales team that works with customers all over the globe. The nomination thread also noted that if you’re a fan of video game collectibles, anime, artbooks, and other merchandise, eStarland has that in droves as well. Read more in its nomination thread here.
JJGames specializes largely in retro gaming and retro consoles, so expect to find tons of used NES and SNES consoles, or even a new Gamecube to play all those old games you just dusted off the shelf. Just because they deal in the classics doesn’t mean that they don’t pay attention to recent games—although you won’t see current gen hardware like the PS4 or the Xbox One for sale—their listings stop with the PS3 and the Xbox 360. JJGames offers free shipping on all orders in the United States, and incredible—seriously, incredible discounts on classic titles you may not have thought you could find elsewhere (except perhaps out of someone’s basement on eBay). Plus, for each of their consoles, they have a library of games available to sell and ship within a business day or so. The company has been a labor of love since 1999, is a small business with a handful of dedicated employees, and it’s been chugging along, making both classic and modern game fans happy ever since.
In its nomination thread, you highlighted the fact that JJGames specializes in retro consoles and games—and it only takes one look at the front page to see why. When you can pick up a new SNES for around $50, or sell your own old consoles and games directly to the site (they don’t just take any trade-in though—you can learn more here) for resale, it makes sense they’re a diamond in the rough of used game sales. Still, we’ll go out on a limb and note that their new stuff is modestly priced as well, and you should check it out if you’re looking for a decent deal on a replacement console or some older titles. Read more in its nomination thread here.
Amazon is kind of an obvious contender here,. Their interface may not be the easiest when it comes to looking specifically for used games and consoles, but they do have them for sale from individual sellers and Amazon Merchants who are more than happy to offer great discounts over the same products new. Best of all, they’re usually listed right along with the new item, so it’s not hard to find a used version of something if you’re looking for something specific. Besides, because it’s Amazon, you can be fairly certain to find just about anything for any platform you’re interested in. It doesn’t hurt that Amazon is a great place to sell your used stuff as well—not so much because they offer the best trade in prices or the highest returns if you’re an Amazon Seller, but because they make the process so painless and easy.
In its nomination thread, I called out those points, and many of you filled in the blanks by pointing out that Amazon is a great starting point and a solid baseline for understanding what you can get at what price. Plus, if you’re looking to make a quick buck off of your old games, they do make it easy to maximize your returns, assuming what you have for sale is in demand. Broad selection, easy shopping, and often fast shipping with Prime, and you have a decent contender—or at least someone worth keeping in your back pocket when you go shopping elsewhere. Read more in its nomination thread here.
Glyde is a popular destination for not just video games, but also phones, tablets, and ereaders. They also go to great lengths to make the trade-in process easy, and made an appearance in our guide to hassle-free places to trade-in your games. They match individual buyers up with specific items they’re looking for quickly, even though they do all of the brokering themselves. They don’t sell consoles (at least, not yet), so you won’t find a use PS 2 to go with the games they have for sale, for example, but they do have tons of games listed and plenty of people selling their old games there. Still, they have a great selection of titles both old and new, including current-gen games, which in general have been tricky to find used at modest prices. They also make it easy to browse and shop—you can easily just scroll through games for any platform and see their starting prices. All of the games listed on Glyde are secondhand, so there’s no competition with new titles for pricing.
In the nomination thread, many of you noted that Glyde’s sales and buying process are remarkably easy and painless, and their customer service has been known to bend over backwards to resolve disputes and help people out. Glyde fans point out that they’re a great place to get rid of your stuff quickly if you want to make a few bucks, but it’s fairly common knowledge that their sale prices aren’t always the best, and they take a solid chunk of your sale in fees, so keep that in mind before you go shopping (or selling.) They may not be the fastest option, but they are one of the most polished, seamless, and easy to use. Read more in its nomination thread here.
Now that you’ve seen the top five, it’s time to put them to an all out vote to determine the community favorite:
This week’s honorable mention goes out to 2nd and Charles, a brick and mortar retailer that offers great prices and has a huge following of fans—just isn’t in that many locations just yet. It earned a lot of support in the call for contenders thread, and before you write them off as a local-only retailer, check their locations page—you may be pleased to discover one near you. They operate on the old school buy/sell/trade model, and are more than happy to appraise your used consoles and games (not to mention books, CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays, and more) when you bring them in, and if you’re on the hunt for something specific, their stores are like magical wonderlands of hidden finds and gems you may not find anywhere else, just sitting on the shelves. Don’t take my word for it—read what everyone had to say about it in its nomination thread here.
Want to make the case for your personal favorite, even if it wasn’t included in the list? Remember, the top five are based on your most popular nominations from the call for contenders thread earlier in the week. Don’t just complain about the top five, let us know what your preferred alternative is—and make your case for it—in the discussions below.
The Hive Five is based on reader nominations. As with most Hive Five posts, if your favorite was left out, it didn’t get the nominations required in the call for contenders post to make the top five. We understand it’s a bit of a popularity contest. Have a suggestion for the Hive Five? Send us an email at [email protected] !
Title photo by Ian Muttoo .
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