Many think that when it comes to the used game market, their only choice is GameStop. And while it’s true the brick and mortar retailer may be the Apple of the used game market, that doesn’t mean you don’t have options as a consumer.
Case in point, my favorite used game retailer, Play N Trade.
Last week was a downer for me. My local Play N Trade, which had only been open for a year, and provided excellent service and deals, shut down. There’s a few more around the Portland area, but they’re all a pain to get to compared to this location. I’m sure the usual culprits can be blamed- the economy, the proliferation of online renting and trading services, etc. But I really think the biggest reason is lack of awareness. I think if the average consumer would take a better deal if they knew about it. This is where Play N Trade falls short. The brand awareness of Play N Trade is virtually non-existent. The only reason I knew about my former location was dumb luck- glancing over at a strip mall I never really paid attention to, and suddenly noticing something different.
So, why the big deal over a chain of stores that hardly anyone knows about? Play and Trade is individually owned and operated. The money generated stays entirely within your community, and contributes to local economic growth. Also, being locally owned means no set retail prices, no set trade-in prices. My first visit, I received an extra $10 for what I was trading in just because the owner and I got to talking, and he dug on the fact that I was a comic artist.
Short of this becoming a big fluff piece for Play N Trade, let me get to the point: if you find a local retailer, or even a small online retailer, that treats you good, and offers great deals, spread the word. The little guys need all the help they can get, and their continued success comes back and benefits you in the long term.
Off the top of my head, here are some smaller retailers and trading services that could benefit from some extra business…
While I’m indifferent towards GameStop, I’m a big fan of competition and healthy business. Don’t just settle for what you know- get out there, and do a little digging. It may end up benefiting you in the end.