Would you rather have $1.65 (current Gamestop trade-in value) or $10 for your used copy of Call of Duty: Ghosts on the Xbox 360? If you prefer the latter, then you may want to take a look at Leap Trade, a brand new trading service for gamers. Considering that traditional video game stores are going extinct and that Craigslist is the only place where gamers can sell their used games for decent value, Leap Trade introduces a new system that provides a little more flexibility and choice. Leap Trade allows gamers to trade items directly with each other, whether it’s for store credit or instant exchanges. Since Leap Trade doesn’t mark up any prices, sellers get the benefit of receiving the highest available credit for their used titles.
Conceptually, the service is an ingenious idea, and while there are still a lot of issues that need ironing out before Leap Trade can become a successful business, my overall impression is overly positive. There is no middle man when trading via Leap Trade, and you’re dealing with other gamers directly. This can be a great thing, or in my case, an occasionally frustrating experience. After spending an entire week trying to acquire a handful of titles, I’ve managed to secure only two games (I’m still awaiting approval for two more titles).
Let’s address some of the quirks first. My first step was to browse the PS4 and Xbox One sections for currently available items. Since the service is relatively new, and the user base still small, there are very few choices for both new-gen consoles. I decided to pick up a used copy of Call of Duty: Ghosts for my PS4, and I wanted to trade in my used Xbox 360 version in return. Getting $10 versus $1.65 sounded like a great deal. Unfortunately, a lot of sellers decided to trade the same game, so I was placed in the waiting queue. I got the 59th spot.
"Considering that traditional video game stores are going extinct and that Craigslist is the only place where gamers can sell their used games for decent value, Leap Trade introduces a new system that provides a little more flexibility and choice."
After an entire week of waiting and no one purchasing a single Ghosts copy, it became clear that it might take months before my copy would become available to potential buyers or traders. As a result, I gave up on the sale/trade entirely. On the other hand, placing a highly demanding title for sale leads to a much quicker transaction. As Leap Trade’s library grows, this lack of balancing may become a serious issue. If most gamers can’t trade in their games due to low demand, it’ll be difficult to keep users invested in the service. To be fair, Leap Trade emphasizes trading versus selling (hence the name), so it’s not quite the same as trying to sell your games at Gamestop. If you’ve got something someone else wants, and vice versa, the trade takes effect instantaneously.
When trading games, there are three tags that can be checked to describe the product’s condition: Full Package, Disc + Case and Disc Only. This brings us to Leap Trade’s first problem. The price for all three options is the same. Why would anyone charge the same amount for a product of lesser quality? Why is my perfect copy of Ghosts being grouped with Disc Only games? Furthermore, the Full Package option doesn’t ensure a game is in “good” condition, like you would see on Amazon’s store front. My game arrived in “decent” condition, which is something I wouldn’t typically purchase willingly. (I’m picky about the box condition since I’m a collector). Instead, there should be different price points based on the product’s quality. This would help in clearing up the clustered queues for low-demanding titles. Users should also be allowed to upload photos of their products to increase their chances of selling/trading. A little more transparency can come a long way with a service like this.
"Cancellations are another issue. At one point, I had around ten budget priced titles sitting in my queue waiting for confirmation. Every single one of them was cancelled within 24 hours."
This brings us to the second problem. I attempted to order a Full Package copy of NBA 2K14 for the Playstation 4. The next day, I received an email confirming my copy was shipped. However, the game was now marked Disc + Case. That’s not what I ordered. There was no way to cancel the transaction, and I was stuck with a product I clearly didn't ask for. Basically, once you request a game, the seller has 24 hours to confirm your order or the title moves onto the next seller. In my particular case, I’m not sure if the copy was passed to another seller, or if the current seller decided to change the game’s condition right before confirming my order. This could’ve have been resolved by keeping the queue relevant to specific tags, and by not allowing purchases to complete otherwise.
Cancellations are another issue. At one point, I had around ten budget priced titles sitting in my queue waiting for confirmation. Every single one of them was cancelled within 24 hours. These were older Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 games, but they were all initially listed as available. So there I was with good chunk of store credit, and no items to spend it on.
Despite its problems, Leap Trade is a great service. I’ve spend several days reading the forums, and the community is fantastic. The member base may be small, but users are actively trading games and engaging in friendly discussions. Users can also rate each other, as well as the listed games, which is something that will undoubtedly benefit the community as Leap Trade grows.
"Leap Trade needs a few tweaks here and there, but it’s an already superb place for gamers to get the best available deals on their games. "
It also helps that Leap Trade is beautifully designed. Navigation is a breeze and it’s refreshing to finally see a gaming site implementing nice typography and large fonts. One of Leap Trade’s best features, however, is the addition of older console and handheld titles. You can find oldies for the Dreamcast, Game Gear, Genesis, Master System, the original Playstation and Xbox, SNES, NES, Gameboy and even boxed PC games. The aren’t too many available titles to choose from at the moment, but the fact that Leap Trade has opened the door to classics means the future is looking very exciting.
Leap Trade needs a few tweaks here and there, but it’s an already superb place for gamers to get the best available deals on their games. Leap Trade’s success entirely depends on its users, so if more gamers become part of their community, this may become of the greatest game trading sites on the web. If you’re like me and you’re fed up with corporations like Gamestop ripping off its customers, then Leap Trade may be the answer you’ve been looking for.
Article by: Tin Salamunic