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Trade In Detectives Interview

Questions answered by (Ben Grant & Matt Precious Managing Partners)

How long have you worked within the gaming industry and in what roles/capacity?

Ben GrantBEN GRANT: We both have a long and credible background within the gaming industry, with over 36 years between us, primarily at GAME Stores Group and EB Games before that.

My roles of note include Commercial Manager, working across all GAME territories globally, focusing on driving business development, with my last role as Marketing Director in Australia, where I was based the past 4 years.

Full career history can be found at http://www.rubberroad.co.uk/people/

Matt PreciousMATT PRECIOUS:I held various positions within GAME, beginning in an Operational capacity both at stores and Head Office, before moving across to head up the preowned and trade In business.

Following the dramatic growth of this area, I soon became General Manager for preowned development, being responsible for both GAME & GAMESTATION brands in the UK, as well assisting all of the other territories around the globe.

I then spent the last 2 years in Australia as the Commercial Director. 

Full career history can be found at http://www.rubberroad.co.uk/people/

Since leaving GAME we have set up our own consultancy business – “Rubber Road Ltd” and have consulted on various parts of the gaming industry around Europe and the Middle East, setting up the trade in and preowned models for emerging retailers, as well as advising already established key players.

TradeInDetectives.com is a new business venture for us, and is ran by the Rubber Road team, based in Welwyn Garden City.


What made you start Trade In Detectives?

The idea was born from our time working for GAME in Australia.

We were the challenger brand over there, and found that the market was extremely competitive – with most retailers selling below cost on most new release games and console hardware, so we had to find a unique point of difference in order to compete.

In conjunction with the key publishers and format holders, we gave customers great value for money if they traded in their old games, for the latest new releases.

When we compared our trade in offers and prices to the competition, we were shocked at how low their trade in prices were, and why customers thought they were getting a good deal. Our trade in prices and offers were the best kept secret in Australia.

It was at that point we thought that an independent trade in price comparison website would benefit our retail business greatly – but unfortunately one did not exist.

When we moved back to the UK, the TV, Radio and Press advertising was completely dominated by comparison websites – and it seemed to be part of UK culture to do an online comparison for Car insurance, House insurance, Pet insurance etc…. You name it, there was a comparison website for it – all except video games, consoles and accessories.

That’s when we decided to build TradeInDetectives.com given our knowledge of the UK trade in and preowned market.


Why are your mascots dogs? Do they personify your personalities or something else?

We wanted to create a brand that is publicly distinguished, so that it can be easily communicated and marketed. We wanted to ensure the brand had personality, character, and had the ability to come “to life” in our advertising, so that people clearly remember it.

One of the most recognisable UK brands today, is the Meerkats – they have become a household name, yet the service they offer (comparing insurance) is boring and unexciting.


Their advertising is simply about telling a story, because people remember stories more so than facts. It works, and credit to them.

We are creating stories around our 2 unique characters (Maxwell & Winston) who are obsessed with getting the best deals for your old games, consoles and accessories. The first instalment of our story can be found below.

We have some funny ideas to develop the storylines further, that are just perfect for these 2 characters – which will hopefully gain further brand recognition.


Is there anything that the public aren’t aware of regarding the UK trade-in-scene that they should be aware of and which you can shed some light on?

The Preowned games market is big business – in the UK alone it generates over £800m worth of annual revenue for retailers, which is why there is a vast amount of retailers vying for your trade ins, and new ones popping up every day.

Contrary to popular belief, games publishers are not entirely against trade in and preowned. In fact, some games publishers are also using the trade in model to help stimulate sales of their new products, by funding trade in offers with certain retailers.

The current GAME and Amazon offer on Fifa 14, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Need for Speed and Battlefield 4, where you get £40 trade in value, to upgrade to next gen is very generous, and is being partly subsidised by the publishers – as they know it will stimulate more sales, resulting in higher profitability for them.

This is not something that is new to the games industry, publishers and retailers have worked on trade in promotions together for a number of years, and this can only benefit gamers, as they will ultimately get better deals and higher values.

Following on from the last question, why do you think that this information is kept from the public?

I don’t think it is purposely kept from the public. Like any commercial dealings between retailers and publishers, it is not publicised for public consumption.

There is however a myth that publishers hate preowned, and that is incorrect in our opinion.



What publishers hate, is the fact that they are unable to earn revenue from preowned sales – however they do understand the trade in and preowned model, and are proactively trying to make it work to their advantage – such as funding specific trade in offers, to drive their new release sales harder.


Is there anything else that you would like to communicate to our readers?

Here are the Top 5 Tradeindetectives.com tips for trading in your old games, consoles and accessories, that will ensure you get the best deals every single time:

  • SHOP AROUND – The trade in prices offered for the same games, consoles and accessories vary massively by retailer, so make sure you do your homework first, as you could save a fortune by obtaining the highest trade in prices.
    Tradeindetectives.com does all the hard work for you.

  • HIDDEN COSTS – If you decide to sell your games online on places such as Ebay, Amazon or Play, please make sure you take in to account all of the costs you will incur.
    You will pay a large commission on the final sale price (10%-15%),  a commission of 3.4% for using paypal, and  don’t forget post and packaging too! Then of course, there is your own valuable time in having to deal with listing, answering questions and posting…
    Sometimes its better to simply trade your old items in to a retailer.

  • WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE – If you are trading in for something new, make sure you are checking the difference between the trade in price offered and also the selling price of the new item.
    The retailer that offers the highest trade in price is not always the best deal, as sometimes they have the new item priced higher. It’s about the difference between the trade in price, and the new price – to ensure you are parting with as little cash as possible.

  • PRICE MATCH – A lot of retailers will match or beat any trade in price offered by a local competitor. By doing a little bit of research, you can get that highest trade in price, and use it against the cheapest priced new product. You will need to request a price match, and also show evidence of competitors pricing. That’s where tradeindetectives.com can help you too!

  • DO IT EARLY – The earlier you trade in, the higher trade value you will get.
    Try not to wait until the launch of a new game before trading in, as this is when your games are worth the least amount.
    Trade in early, and get the credit put on a gift card, so that you can redeem at a later date.

Check out http://www.TradeInDetectives.com to get great deals on your Trade In of games, consoles and accessories!

Kaostic | 2nd October, 2013

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