New Site Brings Buyers, Sellers Together As Equals
Do you ever get that feeling that you’re being taken advantage of when you trade in or buy used games at the big stores? Do they give you $20 worth of store credit for your lightly used title before selling your game for $50 five minutes later? Gamestaq aims to change all that, with a new way to buy and sell games that they say puts buyers and sellers on equal footing.
If you love games you can play on the web link bingo games then there are so many games out there on offer. We try and bring the sellers of great games together with the buyers that love to play them. Why shouldn’t we have fun and make a bit of cash.
We traded questions with Joe Gindi of Gamestaq.com about his vision for how fair used game transactions should work, and why gamers that use normal methods are just throwing their money away.
GiN: So Gamestaq aims to be a different (and more fair) way for gamers to sell their used games. Can you first tell us how you see most used game transaction working, like when a gamer takes their used copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops into Gamestop?
Gindi: The used game transaction at the retail level is the same today as it’s been for years.
A gamer takes his COD: Black Ops to the counter at Gamestop. Based on Gamestop’s trade in value system, the gamer trades in his game for about $30 store credit.
Gamestop then puts the used game back on the shelf for about $55, making an average of 50% gross on their used game transactions.
GiN: How does Gamestaq work that makes it different?
Gindi: At Gamestaq users will be buying and selling their games directly with other gamers. This helps eliminate the retailer’s markup while giving the savings back to the gamers. But we didn’t set out to create an eBay for video games. We knew we had to create a model that is customized for gamers and used games. At Gamestaq there are no auctions or trade points. There will be a single price for gamers to buy/sell at, and Gamestaq takes a small transaction fee from each user.
GiN: How do you determine what the fair market value for a used game is? Is the seller of that game locked into that price on Gamestaq or do they have some control over making a higher or lower offering?
Gindi: We scour and aggregate used game pricing from around the net. Including e-tailers, auction sites, and marketplaces. The data gets imported into our pricing algorithm which generates a Gamestaq market value for every game.
Sellers can only offer their games for sale at this set price, and every transaction is completed at the fair market value.
GiN: You say that you are concentrating at first on newer games. Do you put out a call for certain games or can anyone opt to sell any title through Gamestaq?
Gindi: Buyers and sellers can only transact on games that are in our database/catalog.
We’ll be adding games to our catalog on a weekly basis, and we also accept requests from our community to gauge which games they are looking for us to add.
GiN: From the buyer’s point of view, are they looking at a marketplace, where they are told, for example, that five copies of The Saboteur for the Xbox 360 are available, or do they need to interface with the seller directly?
Gindi: From a buyer’s point of view, they are looking at a retail website.
They browse the catalog or search for the title they want. No matter how many sellers there are for a single game the buyer will only see a single product page for that game. The price is set, like any e-tailer, and the user clicks Buy-Now and proceeds through a 2 step "checkout."
The buyer never needs to navigate his way through multiple sellers of the same product, or deal with bidding on an auction. He never needs to communicate at all the the seller. Gamestaq handles the entire transaction behind the scenes from capturing the buyer’s payment, to following up with the seller for shipment, and providing a verified shipping label for quick delivery. We try to make the transaction as simple as possible to our users, on both sides of the transaction.
GiN: How is shipping the game handled, given that each game isn’t first sent to some central warehouse?
Gindi: The buyer enters his shipping address at checkout, and we generate a prepaid USPS label to the seller. The seller just needs to print out the label, pack his game, and drop it into a mailbox. The package arrives to the buyer’s door between one and five days, depending on their distance from each other.
GiN: How can a buyer using your system be assured that the game they are getting is in good, working condition and that they are not being scammed by a seller? Does Gamestaq protect buyers in any way from a fraudulent or even a disputed transaction?
Gindi: Gamestaq guarantees every transaction. What does that mean? Well, we set a quality standard for our sellers that any game they post up and sell must be fully playable, and include the original box art and manual. If the buyer receives anything other than this, Gamestaq will step in to either refund the buyer or replace his game.
We have protective measures in place to help prevent fraudulent transactions, and to take remedy ourselves and the buyer when such a transaction does takes place, which is rare.
GiN: How does Gamestaq make its money?
Gindi: We charge a small transaction fee of $1-$2 to both the buyer and seller.
We believe that both the buyer and the seller are benefiting evenly from our model, and therefore it is only fair that they split the transaction fee, or as we call it internally the community fee.
GiN: Everyone it seems is getting into the used game market. Do you think that Gamestaq has a better buying and selling model than others in the market?
Gindi: As gamers, David Melamed, co-founder of Gamestaq.com and I discussed over and over many different marketplace models in order to come up with the one that WE would enjoy using the most. Before writing a single line of code we mapped out and argued through the entire experience, so that gamers like ourselves could come buy and sell their games in a fast and simple way.
Post for sale with two clicks; Buy at the price you see; Never deal with the other side of the transaction.
GiN: There has been a huge pushback from major publishers including Nintendo and EA trying to stomp out the used game market. They have even gone so far as to add in content for "first time buyers only," and note that this is only the opening round in what may prove to be a protracted war. Do you think publishers have a point, or is the used game market fair to all parties? Are you worried that their continuing efforts will harm Gamestaq and the used game market in general?
Gindi: Used games have been around for decades, with gamers buying, selling, and trading their games with friends and stores since I can remember. We truly believe that used game sales allow gamers to purchase more new games, which directly benefits the publishers.
We aren’t really worried about their efforts at this point, and if anything they are only bringing the used game topic to the forefront of people’s minds, which is great for us.
GiN: Do you and your partners have a background in the game industry?
Gindi: In mid-2010 we partner up with Ken Cayre, the previous co-owner of GT Interactive.
GT Interactive published some of the hottest franchises in the mid/late ’90s including Doom, Quake, Unreal Tournament and Deer Hunter.
GiN: How have things been going since launch and how can gamers participate in this new model for buying and selling games?
Gindi: Well, this is really kind of a second launch for us. In late 2009 we launched a bare bones beta site and received some great feedback from our hardcore base. We took that feedback and used it to build out the new site from the ground up. Our current core community is very excited about the re-launch, and we’re starting to reach out to new users.
We invite all gamers to give Gamestaq a try. Come put some extra cash in your pockets while still playing the great games you love. We built this place with only you in mind and we’re sure you’ll feel right at home.