Video games go off quicker than tomatoes
Apples cheaper than oranges
We are grateful to Which? for working out that video games lose value faster than cars.
The organisation bought a copy of COD: Black Ops from a retail outlet for £44.99 - and then tried to sell it three days after its release to seven high street retailers. The buyback offers ranged from £16.70 to £33, with the worst representing a depreciation of 70 per cent compared with the recommended retail price.
Which? is a tireless campaigner on behalf of consumers and has done much good work over the year. But the car-video depreciation analogy is silly.
Cars cost lots of money. People need them and few can afford to buy new. After the initial plunge when the car is driven out of the show-room, demand ensures that residual prices are fairly high.
Videogames, even expensive games, are cheap - and come out of buyers' leisure budgets. Games are considered worth the money if they are worth the while - i.e. something that eats up dozens of hours of playing time.
And when you get tired of the game, you can flog it on the pre-owned price, to get a substantial discount on your next purchase. Alternatively, you can buy a pre-owned game on the cheap, so long as it is not a very recent release.
The pre-owned video games market is massive, and greases the wheels of new sales. This suggests that UK retailers are doing a good job here. But how long can it last? Publishers, what with their downloads, and online plug-ins and DRM and retailer Ts&Cs, could kill it with the flick of a few switches.
Don't buy used games
You can't half tell how profitable 'pre-owned' games are to retailers. Step into GAME and it's like you've stepped into a second hand shop, it's actually more difficult to find the NEW games among the multitude of shelves housing 'pre-owned' games. Plus I actually think GAME deliberately price their new games at the RRP or above in order to drive 'Pre-owned' sales as the average shopper will see £45.99 for CoD:Black Ops and opt for the much more affordable used price.
Also, the number of retailers starting to buy/sell used games just shows how profitable they are : HMV, ASDA, Argos etc.
Buying used = no money to publisher = no money to developer = pure profit for retailer.
Don't come crying when there aren't any interesting games in the future due to publishers playing it safe with endless franchise titles which they know will sell well on release.
Which? Stating the obvious (and charging you for it) since 1883
Maybe not 1883, but they do have a habit of doing it and recommending some bizarre things as "best buy" (make sure you've been to the toilet before reading their broadband package reviews)
What a daft comparison: price including retailer markup versus buyback price. All this represents is what a poor position consumers are in trying to sell to retailers.
The "depreciation" would be captured either by wholesale price versus buyback, or new price versus second hand (on the shelf) price.
not just second hand games
Prices for new games (apart from a few top titles) also drop fast .... my son want Fallout NewVegas on PC for Christmas so I ordered it for what seemed like a reasonable price of £25 in november ... by mid december I could have got it for £15 and its just £13 now.
I wonder if Which? compared 2nd hand price versus the "current" new price rather than initial RRP.
There are very few things
infact almost nothing that will give you a reasonable buy back rate after a day let alone 3 unless you are taking it back to be refunded for whatever reason. As someone else said, go to a newsagent and try to seel them your copy of Which? in 3 days and see how much you get!