Selling books and games: Amazon Trade-In versus the competition

BooksBuying our unwanted CDs, DVDs, mobile phones, computers, games, and even clothes has become big business. Now one of the biggest businesses of them all, Amazon, is getting in on the act with Amazon Trade-In.

The online retail giant will now buy up books and games, up to a maximum value of £150. Amazon isn't actually handling these items directly; instead you send them to third-party companies. However, you are paid in the form of an Amazon gift card, which is added to your Amazon account.
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Once your items have been accepted, you print off a pre-paid delivery label. You then have seven days to get your items to the third party. You need to make sure you accurately describe the condition of the items, otherwise you might face the prospect of either a lower fee or the items being returned to you.

I've taken a look at how Amazon Trade-In's prices compare to some of its rivals in this arena. All of these other companies also offer free postage when you sending in your items.

Books
I've started with books, comparing Amazon's prices to three other rivals – Momox, WeBuyBooks.co.uk and Zapper. I haven't included the very worthwhile Green Metropolis, which acts as middleman by listing your books at a flat rate of £3 per book. This is because you could be waiting for a long time for a purchaser, whereas the sites below all offer ready cash.

Book

Amazon Trade-In

Momox

WeBuyBooks.co.uk

Zapper

Keith Richards – Life (hardcover)

25p

No offer

No offer

30p

JK Rowling – The Casual Vacancy (hardcover)

27p

£2.37

£2.38

£1.14

Nigella Lawson – Nigellissima (hardcover)

£1.10

£3.12

£4.50

£2.09

Ian Rankin – Standing In Another Man's Grave (hardcover)

61p

£2.11

£2.60

£1.10

Miranda Hart – Is It Just Me? (hardcover)

£1.03

£2.87

£1.72

£1.36

Hilary Mantel – Bring Up The Bodies (hardcover)

£3.55

£2.30

£2.32

89p

Michael Mosley & Mimi Spencer – The Fast Diet (paperback)

No offer

No offer

29p

30p

Gillian Flynn – Gone Girl (paperback)

No offer

No offer

£1.32

30p

EL James – Fifty Shades of Grey (paperback)

25p

No offer

No offer

30p

Total

£7.06

£12.77

£15.13

£7.78


As you can see, Amazon doesn't fare particularly well, although it didn't offer anything for two of the titles. Having said that, Momox didn't offer anything for four titles and its total was significantly higher; likewise WeBuyBooks, which offered over double.

As John Fitzsimons found when he did a similar exercise with DVDs, on a price per item basis Zapper is the worst place to sell your books.

Obviously if you have a rare edition of a book you can expect to make more. However, if that's the case you should really be looking at selling it via eBay or to a specialist bookshop as you'll almost certainly receive a far better price.

Games
Now let's take a look at games. For this comparison, I've benchmarked Amazon against Music Magpie, CEX (which also has high street shops), Momox and Zapper.

Game and platform

Amazon Trade-In

Music Magpie

CEX

Momox

Zapper

FIFA 13 (PS3)

£19

£15

£19

£8.80

No offer

Just Dance 4 (Wii)

£13

£11.39

£13

No offer

£8.42

Football Manager 2013 (PC)

No offer

No offer

£5

No offer

No offer

Call Of Duty: Black Ops (Xbox 360)

£7

No offer

£6

No offer

£4.41

Halo 4 (Xbox 360)

£11.40

£10.76

£11

£9.60

£8.91

Assassin's Creed III (PS3)

£19

£12.55

£14

£12.80

£10

Super Mario Bros 2 (3DS)

£23.40

£15

£19

£12

£9.42

Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (Wii)

£10

£7.13

£10

£4.80

£5.88

Total

£102.80

£71.83

£97

£48

£47.04


As you can see, Amazon scores rather better here, and its total looks even healthier when you consider it didn't make an offer for one of the games. But bear in mind that you can only trade in your games for a gift card, not cash, unlike the others.

CEX came in second, with Music Magpie third (although it didn't make an offer for two games). Momox and Zapper trailed in last.

Shop around
What this quick bit of research shows is that it pays to shop around a bit to get the best prices for your items. Mix and match between different buyers; after all, they all offer free postage.

Other places to sell
I've already mentioned eBay as an option. If you want to get a sense of what items are selling for there, just log in to your account, do an advanced search for the item, and select the 'Completed listings' button under 'Search including'.

Amazon also has its own Marketplace, where you're selling directly, and Play.com is now moving over to be an entirely marketplace-driven website.

Bear in mind that all of the above options charge fees for listing your items. For a breakdown of the costs involved in selling in all of these places, see eBay, Amazon, Play.com: where to sell online for less.

Do you know of any good places to sell your unwanted books and games? Let us know in the Comments section below.



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Selling books and games: Amazon Trade-In versus the competition

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