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Walmart Selling Pre-Owned Games

Bentonville, Ark. — Walmart is making good on its promise to add pre-owned titles to its video game assortment.

Beginning Nov. 3, the retailer will put certified, pre-owned games out for sale in about half its stores, timed to its advance release of “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.”

The used titles will be displayed in dedicated sections or sold alongside other value games in 1,700 Walmart locations.

“With 117 million gamers in the U.S., we are constantly looking to provide new and game-changing offerings to those customers,” said Laura Phillips, entertainment senior VP for Walmart U.S.

The discounter entered the $2 billion pre-owned market in March by buying customers’ used games for store credit. Titles must be in working condition and in their original packaging, and are refurbished to “like-new” condition before receiving Walmart certification.

The retailer had initially planned to add the resale element last summer.

The program builds on Walmart’s in-store and online trade-in offer, which accepts tablets and smartphones. But chief merchandising and marketing officer Duncan Mac Naughton emphasized at the time of the launch that “new releases will remain the focus of our gaming business.”

To that end, Walmart will have a 24-hour jumpstart on the official release of the latest “Call of Duty” game. The company will begin selling the “Day Zero Edition” chain-wide at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 3, for $59.96 (no pre-orders necessary), and will offer 50 percent more on trade-ins with its purchase for the first two days.

GameStop pioneered pre-owned game trading on a national level, and was later followed by Best Buy and Toys“R”Us to mixed results. For the No. 1 gaming specialty chain, the strategy helped drive traffic, build a loyal customer base, and buttress sales and margins during the recession.