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Gaming

Amazon lets you trade in games without having to brave the high street

Amazon UK's new trade-in service lets you exchange your old games for store credit through the post, eliminating the need to frequent repulsive high-street game shops.

No longer do you have to deal with stinking game shops or risk the zombie horror of the British high street to trade in your unwanted games. Online retail titan Amazon has launched a new service that lets you trade in your unwanted games through the post.

Following the same model as GAME and Gamestation, the new service allows you to send in your old games and peripherals and receive store credit in return. The service links to your Amazon account and allows you to trade in up to £150 worth of items in each transaction.

To trade in your unwanted Pokemon garbage you got last Christmas from someone under the impression you hadn't changed at all in 10 years, just download a free post address label from Amazon's website and send it in. After the discs have been processed and accepted -- they have to be in good condition, with the box and manual -- an Amazon gift voucher is added to your account. This can then be used to purchase anything on the site.

Unlike the high-street equivalents, Amazon's service won't accept all games. Instead you have to check the trade-in section and see which games and accessories it's currently looking for. This removes the element of mystery seen in similar services, however, as Amazon advertises the exact price it offers for each title.

As it stands, the price Amazon offers seems to be dependent on the game's chart position. PS3 games such as Call of Duty Black Ops and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood are going for around the £30 mark, while slightly older titles like Halo: Reach slum it at around £15. The two-year old Fable 2 will earn you a mere £2.

Making an exact comparison of how Amazon's offers compare to other similar services is difficult, because most high-street stores that offer similar services don't advertise their trade-in values, asking that you visit your local store to see their latest offers. In our experience, Amazon's prices are substantially better, but then you do have to wait for the postman to do his work.

The primary selling point of Amazon's trade-in service is its convenience and flexibility. Unlike other trade-in services, users aren't limited to using their credit simply to buy other games. The added bonus of not having to go to the high street and deal with the tantruming children, frustrated parents and useless staff that haunt most game stores will also undoubtedly add some lustre to Amazon's offer.

How will existing retail outlets like Gamestation, whose motto is 'We Won't be beaten on Trade-Ins', react to Amazon's newest service? Could we see a new price-raising clash of the titans? Tell us your thoughts, comments and game-trading experiences.