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

May 19, 2009

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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.

[Kotaku]

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