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Make sense of this for me, someone

Posted on March 26, 2011 by RevStu

I was out and about today, and finally saw a 3DS in action for the first time. As billed, the 3D effect is absolutely gobsmacking, but even after just a few minutes I was finding it quite tiring on my eyes and I imagine the novelty will largely wear off after a couple of days, leaving you with a very pricey way to play Ridge Racer and Super Monkey Ball again. But not quite THIS pricey:

What in the name of Canaan Banana is going on here?

This is apparently CEX's standard pricing for the 3DS. It's a UK model, and it's not a premium for a rare colour or anything – blue ones are priced the same. So what on Earth are they trying to achieve by selling a used machine for £60 more than you can easily buy one for from the branch of GAME 20 feet away?

I was buying a couple of cheapo Wii games, so I gently asked the sullen Bill And Ted type at the counter if they were shifting many at that price, and he mumbled something barely comprehensible to the effect that (I think) the policy was aimed at getting stock in rather than making sales, and once they'd got a decent number the price would come down.

So just to get this straight: CEX are paying far more than the wholesale price for new machines – indeed, more than the retail price from several supermarkets – in order to build up stocks of used machines, which they'd then have to sell for less money than they'd paid for them? What?

Meanwhile, you know the smart thing to do. Get yourself down to your local Tesco or Asda, pick up a couple of 3DSes for £187, and flog them to CEX for £215 cash each for a quick £56 profit. Do that three times and you'll have almost enough money to get another one to keep, for free.

Then remember that games for it are 40 quid a pop, sell it again and spend the money on some really good heroin.

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11 to “Make sense of this for me, someone”

  1. I've thought long and hard about CEX pricing and I have come to the conclusion that they want to encourage swaps and to dominate the market.

    With reference to the latter, they may believe that if they're the only place in town with the 3DS people will pay that much for one.
    With the former they might hope people swap in lots and lots of stuff for the 3DS which is cheaper and does sell for cash. Thus in the end they make a lot more money by selling all that stuff.
    Bit of a risky strategy but it seems to pay off for them.  Their high trade in prices certainly put the squeeze on other companies in the area. CEX totally dominate the trade in market here in Doncaster, until it comes to cash – they never have cash to offer.

  2. But obviously paying more for a second hand machine than wholesale price is frankly ludicrous…

    But then it is very very hard getting cash out of CEX.

  3. elevitate says:

    "the policy was aimed at getting stock in rather than making sales, and once they'd got a decent number the price would come down."
    Aye. I think the idea is to try and become the only game in town (as it were) if you are after a 3DS, when the other places have sold out but hey, word on the street is that CEX have loads in! Albeit at super-high prices.
    By focusing on amassing a good stock level, it makes me wonder if they would buy stock from the like of GAME purely to then whack the price up and class them as 'pre-owned'.  If they're having trouble getting them at wholesale prices, maybe so.

  4. Nitpicker says:

    Totally beyond me. It must be supremely clever or ridiculously dimwitted, I just don't know which.

  5. EGMassive says:

    It's to encourage trade-ins to offset the high price. It works.

  6. I was happy to take their money. Turned Gamestation credit into cash for walking across the arndale.
    Took them an hour to get the cash together, but they did say they weren't selling any at £280, and seemed surprised when I said everyone else in the arndale still had stock.
    Perhaps they will be able to sell them at a bit of a premium if stock dries out elsewhere. It's not really any of my concern any more.

  7. Troublegum says:

    That's weird because their website has it priced differently.
    3DS Consoles Boxed
    We sell for : £250.00
    We buy for : £180.00
    Give exchange : £190.00
    So, yeah, check with your local store before you bulk buy loads of them from Tesco for profit.

  8. The web site was saying £200 cash yesterday.

  9. Derek says:

    Even when their site said that I tried 'adding to sell basket' and it actually added £190 to the sell basket instead of the advertised 200.

  10. bob says:

    Last year my local CEX had a few 'pre-owned' iPads of various specs in the window. They were all priced at ~£100 above what it would have cost to buy that particular spec brand new from Apple.
    I've often seen 'pre-owned' DVD boxsets in CEX that I know you can buy new elsewhere for less.

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