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Why Would You Ever Purchase Video Games Off Amazon?

This morning, Motley Fool asks whether it is game over for Game Stop as Toys "R" Us in encroaching into their territory of video game buying / selling / trading. ... who cares?

I continue to ask why you would ever shop at Game Stop? Or Toys "R" Us or the Playstation Store (now closing) and so on for Video Games?

I just bought MLB The Show 2009 for Playstation 3 on Amazon. It arrived on 'opening' day, was discounted by 5-10% and didn't include taxes. Furthermore, it was entirely hassle free: a few clicks on and it arrived at my front door.

And Amazon now has a trade in program to save an additional 10% (which is about what you would get at Game Stop... if you want to extract the maximum value of trade ins, you are best served on eBay or


The same question stands for purchasing DVDs at Borders and Barnes & Nobles. They cost nearly double the price of that found on Amazon and have far worse selection. Unless you need a movie specifically at that moment - these purchases makes no sense. has Replaced Craigslist, eBay and Kijiji for my Online Selling is oft-overlooked in the landscape of consumer-to-consumer commerce. Most people talk about eBay, Craigslist, Kijiji and Amazon... but forget about eBay's fixed-price powerhouse: Honestly, I'm guilty of overlooking myself - even though one of my first jobs at eBay was running the affiliate program... but I've used over the last couple weeks to unload some old DVDs and video games and it's been tremendously effective. In fact, I posted listing on Craigslist, Kijiji and - and Half has been the most effective in terms of:

- listing efficiency and ease - number of inquiries and sales - speed of sales - value per sale

Nothing else really matters right?!

But here is why is so impressive: it's dead simple to list. My biggest pain point with Craigslist and eBay (in particular) is how time consuming they are. The effort is front-loaded with eBay (listing takes way too long) and the effort is back-loaded with classifieds sites (dealing with email inquiries, phone calls and visitors).

With, you enter the ISBN or UPC and that's it. Half suggests a price - you either agree or set your own price. Within hours from listing I had made a couple sales and was completely satisfied. I might be in the minority, but I'd rather list and sell efficiently than spend significantly more time for slightly more value... that said, I found that delivered greater buyer demand the sales prices were actually greater than those offered via Craigslist.

So there you have it: I have become a seller and an Amazon buyer. The connection between and Amazon is more than their roots in books: they are driven by simplicity and efficiency.

You'll notice that is a seasonal business (August and January) - that is because is dominant in textbooks (a really unique market considering the high costs, numerous volumes, and single-semester life-cycle). Consequently, Half's big business is done in back-to-school seasons (August is fall semester and January marks second semester).