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Wal-Mart Testing Out Game and Movie Trade-in Machines

May 19, 2009


Trading in your used video games could get even less personal (not that it needs to be personal in the first place) the next time you’re at Wal-Mart. The company is apparently testing out kiosks for buying, renting, and even trading in movies and games.

Though the kiosks, which are from a company called e-Play, are currently located in almost 80 Wal-Mart stores across the Northeast, you don’t actually get in-store credit for games and movies you trade in. Instead, the money is put onto your credit or debit card within 2-3 days. A Wal-Mart rep told Kotaku that if the program is successful, the retail giant would eventually let people receive Wal-Mart credit — presumably instant credit — that could be spent in the store.

Trade-in prices are set by e-Play and are “based on a proprietary algorithm that can change as regularly as daily based on a number of different factors,” according to Kotaku. A quick glance at the step-by-step trade-in instructions on e-Play’s website shows a $3.60 credit for either NCAA March Madness 06 or 08. The basic process involves scanning the UPC barcode of your game or movie, agreeing or disagreeing with e-Play’s price quote, and then swiping your drivers license and credit card before inserting the disc into the machine.

It’s a pretty good idea in theory. Yes, you might be able to get better trade-in values elsewhere but these machines will likely appeal to a more impulsive crowd, and the proposed Wal-Mart credit would certainly be a plus. “Hey, Ma! I’m on’ take muh video diskettes to Wal-Mart and wrangle me up a swap fur some Sam’s Choice cola bev-a-rines!” That’s how I talk in real life. I’m not making fun of anyone.


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