So you’re a fanatic gamer and have heaps of old games cluttering up your bedroom. Short of dumping or giving them away, you can either list them on a generic online marketplace like eBay to sell for cash, or even better, you can do it on a more gaming specific one such as Gamestaq.
New York-based Gamestaq (www.gamestaq.com) is an online peer-to-peer marketplace for buyers and sellers of video games. Launched in the second half of last year, the service is the brainchild of co-founders Joseph Gindi and David Faham, both experienced gamers who were frustrated by that gap in the industry for disposing of used video games. “We created Gamestaq because of our personal frustration with selling games,” said Joseph Gindi, Gamestaq‘s CEO. “Used video game consumers have been clamoring for a better way for years, and Gamestaq fills that need perfectly.”
“Gamestaq gives both parties the real market value for games through our secure and guaranteed marketplace.” When a seller basically offers a game for sale on the site, the service, which uses a proprietary algorithm that pulls in average pricing all across the web, then set an equitable pricing for both the selling and purchase of a game. The seller is then matched with a buyer looking specifically for the game. Transactions are completed through the site – in the form of an escrow service – via PayPal or other payment methods, of which Gamestaq will charge a small fee.
“Real gamers appreciate our focus on customer service and pricing transparency,” says Gindi, who cut his entrepreneurial teeth working in a family business in the garment industry from 1999, building it from nothing to US$17 million in annual revenue.
Gaming The Gaming Business
The company says it will initially focus on titles released in the past 12 to 14 months, but will soon expand to include more titles and games from older video game systems. It was beta launched to an exclusive group of hardcore gamers and testers, and the feedback allowed Gamestaq to constantly refine its site. The site currently has more than 10,000 users on the site and “is growing quickly”. So far, Gindi says that they have been seeing strong sales for a number of titles on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles including Halo Reach, NBA 2K11, and Gran Turismo 5.
Gindi admits that the recent global downturn has affected gaming sales, like it did with other segments. “We especially see sales of the US$50 and up premium titles not being as strong as they were in past years,” he says. “However, this is balanced by the surge in social games and digital downloads at the 99 cents to 10 dollar price ranges.”
“The digital download boom came at the perfect time, as consumers are showing more willingness to spend US$2 for a quality download instead of US$59.99 on a premium console game,” he adds.
Gamestaq is partly funded by video game industry veteran Ken Cayre, as part of a private equity fund, of US$1 million in initial funding. Cayre previously owned video game publisher GT Interactive, which produced several distinctive titles during the 1990’s including Doom, Quake, and Unreal Tournament.
Gindi always advises people looking to form a business to start when they are young. “When you are young, you can typically take bigger financial risks as you don’t typically have a family to pay for. Start as young as you can, even in high school.”
“Any spare time that you can find, whether you work out of your college dorm or garage, you find something you love and get your feet wet.”