October 16, 2008

I Love Goozex

It recently came to my attention that not everyone knows how Goozex works. I originally wrote about Goozex on one of my first blogs, Down The Hill We Go. I've since abandoned that blog, but decided to move the I Love Goozex post to The Goozex Report. This is the post that started it all. The response I received on this post is what prompted me to start The Goozex Report:

This was orginally published on Down The Hill We Go on August 19, 2008: I started using
Goozex, the game-trading service, in April 2008. Since then, I have received 18 games. In my eyes, that’s $1080 (not including tax) worth of Xbox 360 games. If you’re a gamer, and you’re tired of dropping $60 for the latest titles, then I whole-heartedly recommend

The web site works off a point system. Each game is assigned a point value, which fluctuates based on popularity, availability, and for how long the game has been available. Points can range from a maximum of 1000 to a low of 200. You can obtain points two different ways. The first way is to trade the games you currently own. The second way is to purchase them; you can purchase 100 points for $5. For each trade, you need a Trade credit. A Trade credit is worth a dollar. To keep it simple, think of Points going back-and-forth between the traders, and Trade credits go to Goozex (they have to get paid somehow). After someone requests one of your games, then it’s up to you to purchase a bubble envelope, print out the address, and head to the post office. Not a big deal, but on some days it can be a hassle getting to the post office, but they do give you three days before you have to mail it.

A game like Peter Jackson’s King Kong is worth 250 points. Simple math says that you can purchase King Kong from Goozex for roughly $12.50. If you bought it brand new in the store when it was released, you would have paid $60. While King Kong is a fun game with awesome dinosaurs, there is no way the game is worth $60. It is, however, worth $12.50 and I was very happy with my $12.50 game. What made me even happier is that I purchased the game for 200 points and I sold it back for 250 points. That made me very, very happy. In the end, I earned 50 points ($2.50) off the game. That offset the cost of shipping.

For every excellent deal like King Kong, there’s a Viking: Battle for Asgard. A simple button-masher of a game, it does offer beautiful scenery and awesome cut scenes. However, it is very repetitive and the core of the game tests your button pushing skills. I bought this one for 900 points (a big mistake) and, two months later, it’s still sitting on my shelf waiting for someone else to request it. When I do sell it back, I will only receive 750 points (provided it does not drop further in value). I’m looking at a potential loss on that one. Looking at it positively, if I trade it for 750 points, then I will have spent 150 ($12.50) points on the game. Yes, the game is worth $12.50, so in the end, I’m still happy.

Then there are games like Grand Theft Auto IV. When this game released, I ran to the store to purchase it. The game critics were raving about it and it was deemed the game of the century. Personally, I thought the game was severely over hyped and did not live up to it’s potential. I finished the single-player missions and promptly put it up for sale on Goozex. Less than an hour later, someone requested it, and I earned 1000 points for it. My $60 purchase of GTA IV earned me the equivalent of $50. Basically, I played GTA IV for $10. The only way you could beat that is if someone gave you the game for free. This is the beauty of Goozex: it allows you to buy games you wouldn’t normally purchase in the store and it allows you to sell games that you’re not happy with.

The service does rely on the honor-system: if you say you’re going to trade a game that is in good condition, then you better do so. You can provide Positive, Neutral, and Negative feedback. That way, if you decide to be a jerk and trade scratched games, or never send the game at all, then karma will come back to bite you. On the other hand, if you keep your game, case, and manual in new condition, promptly mail the game to the requester, and send a nice note, then you will receive Positive feedback and your karma remains healthy. I’ve only had one negative experience so far and it wasn’t really that bad. I sent a requester a full package, and they gave me Neutral feedback saying I only sent the game and the manual. In the long run, this hasn’t hurt me or my standing with Goozex, and I have had no problems since then.