Thursday, May 22, 2008


Being a 21 year old that came from a household with all the latest video game consoles, gaming consumes a good portion of my free time. Any gamer knows full well that the hobby isn't cheap, you have to first go out and buy a gaming console, only to later invest in controllers, memory cards, and GAMES!

This generation of gaming is the most expensive by far. New games tend to sell for $50 (I haven't paid $60 for a single PS3 game yet, but we'll save that for another day!) and can be as pricey as a few hundred dollars for a game like Rock Band!

To lower the costs associated with gaming, many will trade games at stores like Gamestop who will give you $15 for a game that they will later resell used for $45. You could always go the route of ebay and pay $8 in fees. Honestly, I hate giving away my money, mostly because I don't have a lot to give away. In comes Goozex, an online game trading site.

Goozex offers free-market determined prices and charges users only $1 for each game received. Additionally, they give you 100 points and 1 trade credit ($6 value) when you sign up and an extra 100 points and trade credit after your first positive trade (Military Personnel receive 2 trade credits if they use their .mil email address to sign up). When was the last time Gamespot gave you $12 extra for trading in an old game?

Additionally, they offer a referral program so you receive an extra 100 points and trade credit for every friend that makes a positive trade. You can either have your friend give your username during signup or you can give them a personalized sign up link, which looks something like this:

Now here's the fun part of Goozex, giving and getting! Your first job is to create a list of all the games you are willing to trade. Goozex allows you to trade games on any console and handheld from this generation as well as a few generations back. Goozex allows you to trade games from:

  • Xbox 360
  • Xbox
  • Playstation 3
  • Playstation 2
  • Playstation
  • PSP
  • Wii
  • GameCube
  • Nindendo DS
  • Game Boy Advance
  • Dreamcast
  • PC
  • Mac
You can quickly create a list of games you have buy using the search feature and clicking the "HAVE" icon underneath the cover art in the search results. You can even add games to your library and put them on hold if just not ready to part with them. This will keep you in the queue, but it will skip you automatically when it's your turn. After listing your library, you just site back and wait for the system to find someone who wants the game. Once you have been matched, you will receive an email and you have the choice to send the game or put the game back into the queue (now why would you want to do that!).

After accepting the trade, you will package up the game in a padded envelope and ship the game to the user. Shipping costs anywhere from $0.75 up to $2.50. You should probably add tracking, just for your own protection as well. Once the person receives the game, they will test it and leave feedback. More on that later!

Now I know you're all wondering, when do I get games! Well getting is even easier then giving. You will create a list of requests by searching for games and clicking the WANT icon underneath the cover art. You will be added to the queue and the system will find you a match. Once you are matched, the points and the trade credit will be deducted from your account and the other user will send the game. Simple enough? I thought so!

Once the game arrives, you will check out the case and manual, along with testing out the game, and then you will leave feedback. Voila, you just received your first game!

Points are Goozex currency. Games range from 100 points up to 1000 points. Obviously since the price is determined by a free market, games in which the supply is high and demand is low will only be 100 points and games that have a high demand are 1000 points. They go by 50 point intervals. Points are more or less switched between users, so if you request a game that is 300 points, your account will go down by 300 points and their account will go up by 300 points. Take that Gamespot!

You also need to have a trade credit if you want to receive a game. Unlike points, these aren't switched between users. Once your request has been matched, the point is taken away from you and given to the website as a form of payment. Simple enough for ya?

Similar to ebay, Goozex has a feedback system. Feeback more or less just allows you to send and receive more games at one time. After you reach 50 feedback (you receive 10 feedback for every positive trade), the points you earn from sending games will be added to your account after accepting a trade, rather then after you receive positive feedback. The following table shows how many active trades you can have at each user level:

I've been a Goozex user for the past couple months and I've learned so many things to save some money since. I always like saving money and I've learned 2 tricks to save a few bucks here and there.

First trick, reuse the envelopes you receive! Carefully open the envelope and remove the old label. While the sticky seal won't work, tape does! I've paid as little as $0.30 for a padded envelope and up to $1.00 each. The cost of shipping supplies can add up.

Additionally, you should print your postage online with PayPal. By using PayPal, you only pay $0.18 for tracking instead of $0.80 the post office wants! Most games are about 5 oz, so I suggest using that as your base weight when printing postage if you don't have a scale. Afterwards, take it to the post office and add extra postage if needed!

You can save some more money buy buying trade credits and points in "bulk". You can save anywhere from 5% to 13% depending on how much you are spending.

Another quick tip, play through a game once and quickly trade it, even if you didn't beat the game 100%. You get more points and when the points drop, you can request it again. Every 100 points the game drops, you save $5 (ok after shipping on the $1 fee, it's more like $2, but that's $2 saved!).

You should also try to be active in the community. They are constantly having contests in which the winners are awarded free trade credits and points. Not only do you get to play games with cool people from all over the North America, but you have a chance to win something too!

Last but not least, you should edit your preferences. Goozex defaults your trading region to the US only. You might want to add Canada and Bermuda to your list of places to send. It might cost a couple cents more and tracking isn't an option, but our friends in Canada and Bermuda like playing games just as much as we do and you will be able to get rid of and receive more games a bit more quickly. Also, you might want to change your default shipping options to full package since most people don't send their games disc only and rarely want games that are disc only (unless it's GBA).

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