Grab your spot in the queue for second-hand games

Well, if this isn't a sign of a video game market that's hotter than hell, I don't know what is. Second-hand games have become a huge market in recent years as the price of buying new games has gone up. But when a new game comes out, how do you know when the first second-hand copies will start dribbling into stores? Will it be a month? A week? Will some hardcore gamers take it home, finish it in a weekend and sell it back to the store on Monday? (Answer: yes.) While buyers of new games get the luxury of pre-ordering, second-hand junkies have to take their chances.

Not any more! The clever folk at GAME know an opportunity when they see one, and they're making a play for total domination of the second-hand market with a simple innovation: they're starting to take pre-orders for second-hand games. You pre-order before the game is released and they tell you in advance how long after the release date they'll have a copy for you, and how much it'll be. The norm seems to be about five days for a saving on the new price of £5. OK, that's not as big a saving as if you buy a six-month-old game off the rack, but then you'd have to play a six-month-old game, right?

So the next time you can't wait for a new game to come out, think about waiting just a week and you'll save enough for a pint and a packet of crisps. Not to be sniffed at.

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