Recycle, recycle, recycle.


by Milesh Bhana

Often you’ll find that the bargain bin won’t always have the oldies you want. Perhaps the game won’t be re-released in the budget range. Or maybe, your local Incredible Connection hasn’t quite realized that it’s time for Halo 3 to be sold for less than R300. How about getting it second hand?

In South Africa we are very fortunate to have a thriving second hand market for console games. Perhaps you’re a little apprehensive about this. So I thought I’d write a “Second Hand 101” guide.

There are two ways to get your hands on these classic gems.

  1. Second Hand Stores
  2. Private Trading

Second Hand Stores

There are many places that will take your old games in exchange for another, or for store credit that can be used other second hand games or even new ones. All of them have different point systems and trade schemes. The first thing to remember is that they need to make money off this deal, they are businesses after all. YOU WILL LOSE OUT! But it’s still better than having a game you’ve finished gather dust instead of being put towards helping you get something else.

The biggest advantage of using these stores is that you’re likely to have lots of choice and they do check the disks for scratches before accepting them, so you do have a small guarantee that you’re not buying damaged goods.

In Johannesburg we’re pretty spoilt for choice, in the smaller cities you’ll have to look a little harder. But stores like Zaps will ship a second hand game to you at the cost of around R40.

Private Trading

You’ll see that I’ve posted some links to our local gaming communities. Many people there are happy to swap one game for another, provided they are of similar value. But there is always the risk of being scammed, or receiving damaged goods. You get a better deal but you carry the risk.

It’s even riskier if you’re trying to trade/buy from someone who does not live in the same city as you. I can’t vouch for the other gaming communities, but I can say that the majority of the people trading on the community are a fairly trustworthy bunch, but there are always the rotten apples.

Start out by trading only with your friends and people in the same city as you. The process is simple; arrange a convenient public meeting place. Shopping centres are usually a good place to meet. Always look at the disk before you give the cash (or your game), shake hands and bob’s your uncle.

Community forums have some kind of dealer rating systems. If you’re happy, update the dealer rating for the guy/girl so that others know he’s a trustworthy person to trade with.

With out of city trades, you’re either depositing money into a stranger’s account, or you’re posting a game away. I always feel slightly nervous doing this but sometimes it’s the only way to make the trade happen. When you deposit cash or send something, make sure you send the proof (tracking number or proof of the deposit) immediately as a show of good faith. That will hopefully prompt a response (“I’ll do it later today” or the corresponding proof).

When posting a game, you have 2 options:

  1. Normal land mail : approx R15, expect a few days for delivery.
  2. Courier (eg SpeedServices) : approx R40, overnight delivery

I usually use courier as it’s trackable so if someone’s lying about receiving the game, you have some kind of proof that it did arrive at his/her post office and that it was collected.

If you’re unable to get hold of the person after a few days, make a public post announcing that you cannot make contact with someone (who has now taken your money/game). Also send a message to the owner of the forum. The people running the forums will usually do what they can to assist you.

If you are still in school, I do not advise using this method, especially if games are being paid for by your parents. They’ll be rather annoyed with you if the deal goes south. Rather stick to trading in your city and have them accompany you when you meet the person.

What are my games actually worth?

Generally trading is done with games of similar value. The best way of determining the value is to look at the current retail price.

It’s a fair trade to swap two games currently selling at the same price.

If you’re selling the game, your basic benchmark is

Brand new (released less than a month ago) – 70% of current retail price
New-ish (released less than 3-4 months ago) – 50% of original retail price
Old (more than 6 months old or already on budget range) – 25% of original retail price.

Eg. Alone in the Dark is currently retailing at R699, I can still hope to get R500 for it, more likely R450.

Yes, games lose value THAT quickly, so try and swap a game for a game wherever you can. Unless you need the money or can’t find a suitable trade.

I hope you have found this guide useful. Please bear in mind that it is based on my personal experience and if you feel that I’ve missed something, please feel free to comment.

I’ve included some useful links to get you started.

Trade/Second Hand Shops
Zaps – (011) 789 8105
BT Games – (Branches countrywide, see website for one near you)
GameXchange – (011) 454 3302
Animeworx – (011) 789 8215
Trade Station – (Branches countrywide, see website for one near you)

Gaming Communities
SA XBOX Community
SA PS3 Community
Another SA PS3 Community
SA Wii Community

This list is definitely not all of it, but it’s a good start. Happy hunting.


10 Responses to “Recycle, recycle, recycle.”

  1. AENIGMA Says:

    Nice guide; especially for people new to the console gaming arena.

    Most SP games, are always worth waiting for to have a drop in prices. MP games… bit of a coin-toss. COD4 is one of those that have remained popular with the crowd. Its readilly available for a good price. People are still playing GOW; though that might change with the new release being punted. BF BC will remain a favourite; basically due to the fact that it has a pretty big international following and you can actually play with a basic 384kbps line with minimal lag. BF BC will drop in price in a month or two. Worth waiting for.

  2. Says:

    Also don’t be afraid of going to Cash Converters for cheap games as well.

  3. AENIGMA Says:

    Most definately. There is always a sale of some kind on at any time. Kalahari had a nice one on a week ago; I personally got Condemned 2 for R199; where it was on sale for R699 two months ago. Just keep a look-out!

    Id love to also see some tips on picking up 2nd hand consoles if you get the time “Budget” gamer guy (ie. where to look, what procedures to follow [phone MS and check the serial etc.] where to go if you run into trouble, warranties, etc.).

  4. milez_away@budgetgamer Says:

    good Multiplayer games definitely hold their value a little longer.

    @AENIGMA, I’ll definitely start researching for a second hand console guide. Thanks for the tip.

  5. SnotDonkeyMan Says:

    Why is there a pig on this website?

  6. Leavell Sampson Says:

    lol…its to symbolise a piggy bank Snotty

  7. SnotDonkeyMan Says:

    But its not Halaal.

  8. milez_away@budgetgamer Says:

    It’s only not halaal if u try to eat it.

  9. CattleBruiser Says:

    Maybe we should use a SnotDonkey bank as a mascot instead of Snuffles.

  10. warenhuiswinkelshopmarktwarenhuizenwinkelsshop`smarktenwebshopwebwinkel Says:

    thanks for the info I’ll definitely return

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