Short Answer: GameStop will purchase broken consoles, controllers, and games for cash or store credit, with some restrictions. For defective items, GameStop will typically deduct a refurbishing fee from your trade-in offer. For more about GameStop’s policy for buying broken items, see below.
Does GameStop Buy Broken Consoles or Controllers?
Through its official trade-in/buy-back program, GameStop will buy broken or defective games, consoles, accessories, etc. We contacted stores in California, Texas, and Florida and found that broken trade-ins are acceptable under certain conditions.
Representatives told us that GameStop typically will not accept items with the following features or types of damage:
- Items with fire damage
- Items with the serial number worn/scratched off
- PlayStation Vitas with severely cracked or scratched screens
- Systems that no longer power on (including Xbox 360, PS4, Nintendo Switch, etc.)
- Hardware infested with bugs
- Hardware with severe cosmetic damage that is beyond repair
- Accessories with frayed cords or wires
- Systems that have clearly been modified
- Games or systems with non-U.S. region codes
In general, if an item only needs simple repairs, GameStop will accept it. (Note that GameStop may refurbish your item and sell it, but it does not do repairs for customers, as previously reported.) Representatives did not specify any brand restrictions for the trade-in program, but note that GameStop usually will not accept multiple copies of the same game, console, etc. from the same customer.
While GameStop posts trade-in values on its website, it deducts an additional refurbish fee if the item is defective. For consoles like Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4, the fee can range from around $50 to $60 dollars. For smaller items like controllers, the fee can range anywhere from $20 to $40 dollars. Scratched discs and similar defects will also incur a small refurbish fee.
Additionally, note that if you are a GameStop PowerUp Rewards Pro member, your trade-in offer will likely be about 10% higher if you choose to receive store credit. The Pro subscription costs about $20 per year, and it comes with other exclusive benefits.
How to Trade an Item at Gamestop
To make a trade-in, you can use the GameStop website to enter the details of the condition of your item and get an official offer. Then, you will need to bring the item to a GameStop location to trade it in. The online offer is only good for one day, so you should bring your item to the store as soon as possible to ensure you get the expected amount.
Keep in mind that GameStop managers maintain the right to refuse a defective item or cancel a trade-in at their discretion. Be sure to charge items before you bring them in, and bring in any related accessories. Also, delete any personal information and remove any SD or memory cards that did not originally come with the item.
You can choose to trade your item for cash or store credit. Typically, you can get a bit more for an item if you choose store credit, even if you are not a GameStop Pro member.
For more about GameStop’s buy-back program, see our research on the store’s policy for buying locked iPhones.