Walks of shame aren’t limited to sullen strolls away from ill-advised romantic hook-ups. They also apply to those who spring for video games and movies they’ve just got to have at the time, only to realize months later that it just wasn’t meant to be.
The media-based walk of shame involves picking the doomed cases off your shelf, then hoofing them over to a retail establishment to sell or trade them for whatever miserable crumbs one offers for them.
There are several suitors jockeying to take your used, abused and suddenly refused discs off your hand, and they all offer you so little money for your stash that it’s a credit to the cashiers if they can avoid laughing as they ring you up.
The way to get the most out of your unwanted games and movies is to hock them on eBay, but that involves unattractive commitments such as dedication, legwork and follow-through. Trade-ins at retail, on the other hand, reward you for your laziness and longing to shove a big pile of junk onto a counter or into a box with prepaid shipping and receive a pittance in return.
Let’s take a glance at the suitors who want to give you humiliatingly tiny bits of cash or trade-in credit for your and lame games and ungroovy movies. As a sample, I decided to see how much each place would fork over for these old, unwanted things:
- Gears of War: Judgment for Xbox 360
- The Dark Knight Rises on Blu-ray
Bear in mind that prices fluctuate and can be different for you. And as a point of reference, the game goes for $15 and the movie sells for $11 on eBay.
What they take: Games, DVDs, Blu-rays, electronics and textbooks. The site covers shipping and pays out in Amazon gift card codes you can apply to your account. Disappointingly, you can’t use the credit for Audible audio books or Prime membership fees.
Trading with them is like: Thumb wrestling a mouse trap.
Results: The site didn’t accept the game and offered a shiny quarter for the movie.
What they take: Games, computers, smartphones and assorted electronics. You search for your stuff online to get an estimate, then need to haul it all in to a participating store to get a store gift card. There’s no shipping option.
Trading with them is like: Having to drive across town to make an appointment with the school bully to steal your milk money.
Results: $7 for the game and nothing for the movie.
What they take: Games and iStuff. They don’t offer online trade-ins, and aren’t forward online about spilling their prices. But they do offer cash as well as trade-in credit, and offer bonus trade-in deals constantly.
Trading with them is like: Picking Door No. 2 on “Let’s Make a Deal” and having to give up your prize of a cruise to the Bahamas for a donkey that you don’t even get to keep.
Results: $4 trade-in for the game ($3.20 cash) and nothing for the movie.
What they take: Games, tablets, smartphones and computers. You can opt to swap your stuff in-store or do it online and send it via prepaid shipping. Either way, store credit is all you’re getting.
Trading with them is like: Being the bulls-eye in a backboard of a loogie-spitting contest.
Results: $2.57 for the game and nothing for the movie.
What they take: Games, electronics and tablets. Walmart gift cards are the only option, but online (with free shipping) and in-store trades are both available.
Trading with them is like: Cashing a meager Walmart paycheck.
Results: $7.35 for the game and nothing for the movie.
Don’t part with any games you’re looking to unload before checking out Walmart and Best Buy. And hang on to that Batman flick, if only to use it as a coaster to protect your coffee table.