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Here’s what to do with those game gifts you don’t want

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Unwanted gift? No problem

of the problems with being a gamer during the holidays is you get a lot
of duplicates of games you already own - or, worse, a collection of
titles you never wanted in the first place. And not everyone is kind
enough to include a gift receipt.

There's money in those unwanted games, though - and there are a variety of ways to cash in on them.

A growing number of retailers are letting people trade in their games.
GameStop is the biggest - and has the longest history of accepting
trades - and that gives it some advantages.

The most significant of those is immediacy and convenience.

"They're everywhere," says David Abrams, who runs,
a site dedicated to finding the best deals in video games and video
game trade-ins. "You can walk in with your bag of games and walk out
with a credit or some other games."

The downside to GameStop's convenience is you often won't get the most for
your used games. You can counter that somewhat by visiting the store
when it's running promotions (advertised on their Website) that offer
higher trade-in amounts or bonuses, but you'll need to do some research
to find out when those events occur. That's not only less handy, it also
means you'll generally have to wait an unknown period of time before
you can trade your games.

And if a wait doesn't bother you, there are other options that often give better prices. has been accepting used game trade-ins for over a year now. The service
is pretty straightforward: Enter the titles you want to dispose of on
the site and you'll see their trade value. Assuming that's acceptable to
you, you print out a free shipping label, box them up and drop them off
at the nearest UPS location. A week or so later, your Amazon account
will be receive a credit in that amount - which you can use on games or
anything else the site carries.

[Related: Game sets impressive sales record]

So what's the pricing difference between the two? Right now, GameStop will
give you $23 for a used copy of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (Buy | Search), while
Amazon will give you $30 - a fairly significant difference. (Note that
prices fluctuate all the time, though.)

If you're looking for real world cash, versus a trade-in credit, there's
always the old standby eBay, of course, but Abrams says an easier option
for people selling games is

"It's an online marketplace like eBay, but it's easier to list your stuff,"
he says. "You select the game you want to sell and they'll tell you
where you need to price it in order for it to sell. Unlike eBay, where
you have to pay fees for listings and figure out the math on your own
about how much you're going to make, this tells you right up front
exactly what you're going to get."

And, if you're more the bartering type of soul, there are swap sites, such as Goozex,
and plenty of gaming forums, including CheapAssGamer, where people are
willing to exchange games with others for no cost. Just don't expect to
find too many people clamoring for that copy of "My Little Pony: The
Runaway Rainbow".

Trading in a used or unwanted game won't let you recoup the full retail price
back, but if you've got a stack of unwanted titles under the tree, you
can still make them work for you.

"You can make money," says Abram. "And certainly, if you have a game you're
not using, it's not doing you any good just sitting there."

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