Let’s face it, video games are expensive and not many forms of video game exchanging exist. The ones that do exist are all viable options, each having their own pros and cons. It’s up to the consumer to decide what’s best for them. With that being said, there is a new player in the video game exchange scene that brings some consumer friendly options to light.
Swapfu is an online trading community for video games. The site, which officially launched in May, is a place for gamers to trade their games with other site users. If this sounds vaguely familiar to you, it’s because the idea is not entirely orginal.
Long ago there was a service called Goozex, short for goods exchange. It was an online trading community that used a points system as currency. These points could be bought and redeemed (which Goozex took a commission fee from) for games and/or movies. The site eventually went down under its own weight since everyone saved their points for new games and the demand was larger than the supply. Ultimately, users were left with lots of points and nothing they wanted to use them on.
What makes Swapfu a little more consumer friendly than its predecessor is the fact that no money is ever involved, as long as you don’t count the shipping, when trading games. Just create a username, add what you want in addition to what you have, and trading is ready to begin.
One of the aspects that is really intriguing is the fact that no game has a particular value per se. The value is in the eye of the trader. What I mean by this is if the trader is willing to part with a game he/she has for another one and both parties accept, then it is an even trade. It’s all about what the trader wants, not necessarily if a game is old or new.
My personal experience with the site is a great example of this. I put Battlefield 4 for the PS4 up. I do not play that game anymore and if I get a hankering for some first person shooting then I would rather play Titanfall. To me, BF4 had little value and was collecting dust. Now, I could’ve traded it in to GameStop for some paltry amount of credit, but I decided against it. The next day I initiated a trade with another user for FIFA 14. With World Cup fever going around, I wanted to play a soccer game and figured FIFA would be a good choice. The trades were accepted, games were shipped off and in a matter of days I was playing FIFA.
The site is still growing with users; therefore more games are constantly being added. The mobile site works well, as does the desktop site. New features are still around the corner from being implemented, such as local chat and a live feed of what traders want on the homepage, but for the most part all the essential components for trading games have been implemented.
Swapfu is a fresh breath of air in a world where video game exchanging is almost non existent.