The current generational cycle of technology means that eventually, you upgrade whatever device or system you are using for a better version. No piece of technology is immune to this, and eventually old, unused tech starts to take up space in the garage or in a closet.
There are multiple ways to get rid of this clutter and either make or save a few dollars doing so.
The most well-known way to empty that closet is to trade in your tech. Your old gaming systems and that hard-earned collection of games can be worth some serious cash or even more in credit.
If you are an avid gamer, credit towards new games is usually the best way to go. Stores are more willing to let you have credit than hand out cash. Taking cash usually comes with a 20-40 percent penalty, meaning fewer new toys in exchange for your old ones.
GameStop has received a lot of criticism for its trade-in program, but in my experience it’s been a fair system that works well with loyal customers. Don’t go in expecting 75 percent of what you paid three years ago to appear in your hand. The fact of the matter is, the moment that you tear open that plastic wrapping and enjoy the sound of opening that new box, the game devalues by 50 percent.
There are things you can do to try and reclaim that lost value. PowerUp Rewards Members automatically receive an extra 10 percent bonus to the trade value. On top of that, GameStop usually offers bonus values if the credit is applied to an upcoming release. They constantly change offers, so be sure to keep up with them.
Be aware that some systems and games might not be worth anything. Age, wear and popularity all come into consideration when a store accepts a trade. A Super Nintendo or an old Atari won’t be worth much except to a select few collectors. This leads into my next point.
There are plenty of organizations that accept donations, especially for gaming hardware. Goodwill even opened its own gaming store called The Grid in Charlotte, N.C. It sells both new and retro games and operates from donations and deals from suppliers. Ninety percent of the profits go back into Goodwill and its training programs.
Even if you can’t contribute to The Grid, every organization has a need for gaming tech. If you have something you don’t use and have no room for, donate it to someone who could use it.
Just remember that donation boxes are not trash receptacles. If it doesn’t work, don’t donate it. Gamers have a hard enough time improving the community’s image without this kind of behavior.
Rite of Passage
This isn’t as dramatic as it sounds, though it is the most apt description. Why not pass your old stuff down to a younger sibling or cousin? Take the time to teach them to appreciate the classics.
Show them the games you grew up on and share the times you had, be they good or bad. Plus, it makes you the cool family member. It’s surprising how easily gaming links generations today. Share the wonder of that epic quest line and the reward of defeating that boss.
Also, remember that one level that made you curse the day you started playing video games? Yeah, share that as well. Like I said, it’s a rite of passage.