Will Wal-Mart Hurt GameStop’s Trade-In Business?

Well Wal-Mart is massive, and I’m pretty sure you knew this already. The biggest thing about this program is what they offer in return. Prices will basically be the same as other stores ranging from a few dollars for “older games” and 35 dollars for that game you bought last week. All trade-ins will be for store credit, and not cash. Prices are not what we are talking about though.

Wal-Mart is already touting that customers can utilize the store credit for the entire store. You don’t have to utilize it on new games, but instead can utilize it for food, sports gear, or whatever else you find in the store. As a consumer that seems a lot more enticing than simply trading in a game for a new game and repeating the process.

However I personally don’t feel GameStop needs to fear anything. Wal-Mart isn’t well known for selling video games as is. It’s rather a pain to find something specific, especially if it’s older than a month. Their customer service isn’t geared toward gaming at all. The only real thing they can do with this program is push it really hard marketing wise and make it well known.

Even then I still don’t feel comfortable with it. I’ve had more than my fair share of issues with Wal-Mart and their video game department. I’ve had pre-orders somehow not exist at all, I’ve been charged twice for a game (and after two years of complaining, Wal-Mart still insists the second copy will arrive at some point and won’t refund my money), and almost everytime I walk into the game section I’m met with terrible customer service. Not that big of a deal elsewhere in the store, but video games are locked up so you have to deal with it. When trading in a video game, customer service is rather important.

Plus we also have to remember other major retailers have ventured off into this area before, and GameStop still remained King. GameStop is just the obvious place you go when you don’t want to sell the game yourself. Will Wal-Mart change that? Or the obvious follow up Target will eventually make?