The challengers to GameStop’s reign as the leader of the used video games market keep lining up. Now Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) has launched its own video games trade-in program, less than a week after Toys R Us made its first foray into the market with trials in New York. Gamers can choose from a list of games Amazon is accepting, print out a prepaid shipping label, and send it for store credit that can be used for games or other Amazon.com merchandise (via the Amazon Game Room blog).
In a research note picked up by Gamasutra, Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian noted that Amazon poses a significant risk to GameStop’s dominance, since it was already beating GameStop on both trade-in values and used game pricing on popular titles like Left 4 Dead and Fallout 3.
While gamers have been able to buy and sell games (and consoles) on Amazon.com for quite some time, it’s different now that the company is participating in the marketplace itself. (Amazon also launched a downloadable games store last month). Still, GameStop’s distinct advantage is its immediacy: there’s no wait time for sending or receiving games because people trade merchandise right in the store. The retailer previously tried mail-in trades too, but dropped the service because it failed to gain traction.