A letter to trading Parents

8 Jul

So this is a letter to parents. If you are an adult and selling your own games, this really doesn’t apply to you. Let me also start out by pointing out that we are in fact a business that has overhead to cover. If you don’t understand that concept, then I’m more or less just wasting time with you on the following plea.

Don’t come to my store to trade your child’s games for cash.

Let me explain. I’m more than aware that in most cases they are not you child’s games. You more than likely have an allowance that you provide them so that they can buy them. As a result, you probably feel that you have the right to sell them as well. I don’t disagree on any finer point. But here are somethings you should remember.

1. We are not a buyer in the traditional sense.
2. Cash is not going to be what we give you the most of.
3. Twenty years ago, when this company formed, you might have had few options to resell, but that time has passed.

Disclaimer: I actually do agree with my company’s model so don’t assume this to be a trash talk against it.

Lets focus on these shell we.
Number 1. I am not buying you games for personal use. I am buying your games so that I can turn around and resell them. These purchases sit in a hold pattern for a few weeks while we wait to see if they are stolen. After that, they are put on the wall for the set price point we already established. (Little fact. If we are selling the game for 30$ during a sale and you happen to trade during that window it might come out of trade after the sale has ended and the price has gone back up, usually establishing more value than before. That does suck but those things happen.)
Since I’m not purchasing it for myself, I really don’t care what your feelings are about the game in relation to it’s trade value. If the game was life changing for you it doesn’t give it anymore value than if you thought it sucked. Period. I give you a set value so that I can make a profit off of the sale. Nothing more and nothing less. People who are buying for their own personal pleasure will actually offer more money for the product, hence the mark up. Also, since you are coming in only looking for cash and claim you don’t care about the games anymore it removes some of that sympathy.

Number 2. We want you to spend the money in our store. We want a return for our investment. It’s a case of you get more because you are spending the credit in store as a thanks for spending it in store. If you don’t get that, sorry. Simply put, we want your business. After all, we are giving you value for something that technically has 0 real value.
But lets say you really “need” the cash. We aren’t obligated to give you money. Truth be told I have the liberty to turn you away. We will give you the lowest level possible and make a higher mark up. I understand that this can be angering, and by all rights you can do what every other person does when they don’t like the value. Go somewhere else.

Which brings us to Number 3. There are other options. Twenty years ago the internet sales model was still young and not realistic. Even ten years ago it was a bit sketchy at times. But we are in 2014. I could attempt to sell things on 2 free websites and 1 reputable website that will only take a percentage cut. It is still your job to figure out what things are selling for, but Google has even made that simple. If you have a series of games, you could actually find a suitable cash value in a matter of minutes. (Heck you could even come into the store and then find the values. After realizing it wasn’t enough you could then go home and mark it up yourself to make money on it.)
So why did you come here looking for cash for games that you feel you are being ripped off on when you could actually make the money yourself? Answer: you’re lazy. And that reason right there is why I can make money off your laziness. I don’t owe you anything if you aren’t willing to take the time to try and make more money for it. You don’t like the cash value, fine, look at the credit. Put it toward another game that you know your kid is going to ask for three weeks down the road anyway. No games? Alright buy a gas card or Google card or a iTunes card. Put the money on a gift card and attempt to sell that on amazon or craigslist. There are options and I’m not required to make you feel better about being lazy.

Now Parents. This was originally directed at you. See there are several types of people who come to my store looking for cash. One is the shoplifter who has a drug addiction to feed and couldn’t care less what I offer. Another is the person who is in fact strapped for cash and has a unexpected bill show up that needs to be paid now.(I have done cash trades a few times for someone whose car is in the shop and they need money to get it out. Usually they have checked with every pawn shop in the area before hand to and we are their best option. Sad, but understandable.)
But you dear parent are a different type. You are the parent who has decided that your kid needs to be taught a lesson about the importance of economics and thus will drag them in to force them to sell the games for cash. Then make them feel like they are being ripped off the whole time(while, mind you, basically accusing me of the theft) and then leave berating them about their poor choice in selling the games.
How do I know this? Because you are a regular. You never actually give them an alternative. When you come in, looking for cash, I usually will let you know about the alternatives 20 seconds into your speech about being ripped off. “We bought each of those games for 60$.” You’ll cry with false pain brought about of losing so much of your hard earned income. (Bonus points if we can still see the price tag that shows some value under 60$. Best I ever got was 5$.) When the kid looks at you and says something about the store credit being better you’ll shoot him down claiming some debt that they owe you. Then you’ll return to your lament at how horrible my company is. You will be loud and annoying. Trust me, I’ve seen it.
What are you? A loan shark. If little Timmy doesn’t pay up soon are you going to break his fingers? Was there really no other alternative? No chores that could be done around the house? Maybe confiscate the games and create a purchasing plan via grades and chores? Heck. Confiscate the games and force them to go out, get a job, and re buy them from you(kind of like what I do.) Point is, there are alternate possible things than just selling them. Stop being a jerk and actually TEACH your child an important lesson about the value of things.
Because I can promise you didn’t teach you child anything useful. The public humiliation that they endured wasn’t good for them. You didn’t actually make these games have a better value. You just wanted to berate them and belittle them and me. And guess what, they saw that. Hard work? Bah. I can just convince them to buy the games again. I don’t actually need to worry about the cost. Just have to hear the lecture again. Often you are back two or three weeks later buying one of the games back because the kid “really” wants it, and they are offering to pay you back. Again. And you will be back doing the same song and dance. Again. You aren’t helping stop that mentality at all.
So knuckle up parents. Time to be responsible. Make the games have value. Confiscate them if needs be. If not, teach them how to get the best bang for their buck. Make them learn the value of the product. Be a PARENT. Because after the fourth time you do this with Timmy. He comes in smiling because he knows he hasn’t spent a dime and never will.


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