My first problem with their argument is regarding the second hand sale. Would the person who bought the second hand game bought a brand new copy of the game if there was no second hand market? I find this very unlikely, as I mentioned a lot of people cannot afford R600-700 a game. So you will probably find that a lot of people wouldn’t have bought the game new in any case. So in this case the effect the second hand market has is negligible.
Sure there may be people who would have bought it brand new. However it would only be when they really want the game. However these people who bought the game brand new (in this environment of no second hand market), will not be able to purchase many other games for a while due to the high price of the new game.
My other problem with their argument is that they make most of their sales in the first couple of weeks when the title comes out. You will generally not find a copy of this title so early after release. I am not sure of the statistics but I would imagine they make about 70-80% of their sales in the first couple of weeks. So in this case the second hand market has zero effect.
Then as mentioned previously a lot of people trade their games in order to be able to purchase a new title. These people would most likely not have bought this game new if they were not able to trade their game in. I’ve seen people come into a shop with 10 games to trade in and walk out with 5 brand new titles which they have paid money on. I really doubt these people would have bought a whole lot of new titles if they weren’t able to trade their games in. This also applies in the case of a person trading in 1 game and purchasing 1 new title. So in this case the second hand market has a positive effect.
You also have the effect where someone buys a game second hand because they are not sure or they never saw it before. Sometimes they end up loving the game and actually end up buying the sequels brand new. In my case I recently bought Dead Space second hand, I wasn’t sure if I would like it and I would never have bought it when it came out. Well I love this game so much that I am going to buy Dead Space 2 new as well as any future sequels. This certainly would not have happened if there was no second hand market. In this case the second hand market has a positive effect.
Then you have my other point regarding game shops. As mentioned previously the second hand market is an important revenue generator in game shops. It is also beneficial to game shops simply because people buy new games after trading in games. I would find it hard to believe if a game shop is able to run at a profit purely based on new game sales. I think that game shops are an important part of the gaming world, being able to see all the games and chat to the owners. I think that if there was no second hand market many of these shops would not exist, which in turn will impact on new sales, particularly the first round of orders from a shop for a new release. I unfortunately cannot prove or back this point up, but it appears that in this case the second hand market has a positive effect.
Last Updated: July 7, 2011