5 tips for successfully trading games online

With retail used game stores offering pathetic trade-in values in the form of store credit and online marketplace sites charging hefty fees to list and sell items, it’s no wonder that many gamers are turning to online forums and other free community websites to unload their old games.  You often get the best value for your games, and you can get good deals on games that other users are offering.  It’s a win-win situation, but many potential trades fall by the wayside because the parties involved fail to click with each other.  Below are five tips to help improve your success with trading video games online.

1.  COMMUNICATE!!!  Many trades never happen because communication between the traders breaks down at some point.  Unlike in online stores, where transactions can occur without a word of communication between the buyers and sellers (the buyer clicks “Buy” and the seller ships the item), an open dialogue between trading parties is essential for any trade to take place in a forum.  With every trade there are three phases:  negotiation, exchange of goods, and feedback.  Negotiation involves detailing the terms of the trade (i.e., who trades what); exchange of goods is when the traders swap addresses and ship their games; and feedback allows the traders to conclude the exchange or address any problems that arose during the trade.  Timely and informative communication will ensure a successful and positive trading experience.

2.  Be realistic.  Don’t be of the mindset that you’ll only trade your games if you can get a stellar deal.  It’s always a recipe for disaster when two traders come together, each expecting to get the better end of the bargain.  Know the value of your games, know the value of the games you want, and try to come up with an arrangement that’s fair for both traders.  Lowballing (or offering substantially less than what an item is worth) just insults other traders, and expecting too much won’t get you anywhere in negotiations.  Trades are mutual agreements and should be mutually beneficial to everyone involved.

3.  Be friendly.  This should be a given, but you’d be surprised how many people think it’s OK to be picky, stingy, patronizing, or downright rude.  It never hurts to be friendly and have a positive attitude, and other traders will certainly appreciate your demeanor.

4.  Try to trade multiple games at once.  Traders always prefer to trade multiple games at once with the same trader rather than send individual games to multiple different traders.  It’s easier, more convenient, and costs less to ship.  If you plan on purchasing multiple games from the same person, you can often get a nice discount for saving them some hassle.

5.  Be safe.  Always, always, always purchase delivery confirmation for any packages that you ship (unless you personally know the recipient).  Without it, you have no proof that you ever mailed your games, and in forums where the members are all very close-knit, it is especially important to be able to defend your honesty and not be ostracized as a scammer.  Also, take special care when dealing with new users who lack any sort of reputation or traders offering deals that seem too good to be true.  The last thing you want is to be scammed and cheated out of your hard earned money and/or games.

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