I’ve loved video game trading site Goozex for more than 7 years since it launched in 2006. Initially it grew quickly as an alternative to paltry trade-ins handed out by GameStop or the cumbersome trade mechanics of early trade-site GameTZ. Goozex acted as middleman on millions of trades, but industry shifts doomed trading and now Goozex appears closed for good.
Goozex was founded by Jon Dugan along with fellow U of Md business school graduates Mark Nebesky and Valerio Zanini, and launched in beta in July of 2006. At the time I was an editor at a game review site, so I was invited to join in on the site from the very start. The initial goal was very simple – you print a label, wrap up your XBOX / PS2 disk in it, and mail it out. No boxes, no manuals, no hassles.
Also no PC or handheld games … they came a few months later – and with them the added complexity of ‘completeness levels’. You could still send disc-only, or disc & manual, or ‘full package’.
The site boomed, and most active members racked up trades in the thousands over the first several years.
But then a few things happened:
- PC gaming ‘went digital’ – most games sold were digital, or were tied to Steam, Origin or Games for Windows Live. That made nearly all PC games non-tradeable.
- Console games started to charge $10 or so for an ‘online code’. In other words, the initial user got multiplayer included, but a used game required a new code, which cost $10-15. That really hurt Goozex as well.
- Handheld game trades were always an add-on, similar to how Sony ran their PSP business. So as other segments faded, so did handheld games.
In late 2012 Goozex was sold to Bay Acquisition Corp, which then turned around in early 2013 and (founded out of Goozex members dissatisfied with the service).
Now it appears that Goozex has shut down, as noted on Twitter and in a – which interestingly has remained open.
It also looks like the parent company has sued for release of funds raised for the operations of Goozex and VGFive:
Bay Acquisition Corp. (OTCBB:SLGI) filed a lawsuit in Supreme Court of the State of New York against Meyers Associates, L.P. for Breach of Contract, Tortuous Interference with Contractual Relationships, Breach of Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, Fraud, Constructive Fraud, Negligent Misrepresentation, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Specific Performance, in the amount exceeding Ten Million ($10,000,000) Dollars.
Over $250,000 of capital raised for Bay Acquisition’s business operations is being held in escrow by the refusal of Mr. Raana Kahn, Executive Vice President of Meyers Associates, to release the funds to the Company or to release them back to the investors. These funds are critical to Bay Acquisition’s continued operations of its website Goozex.com and VGFive.com.
For many long-time members, this day has seemed inevitable for quite some time – especially since some high-profile developers and publishers stated that for them there was little difference between used game sales/trades and piracy, essentially declaring war on the used game market.
While there is an opportunity for the site to return, it is unclear how much it will matter at this point. Still, seeing such a landmark site and service fade away is a loss for the gaming community.