Goozex on the iPhone

iGoozexAs awesome as Goozex is, the new iPhone application leaves a lot to be desired. Namely, their implementation of the token system Goozex uses to identify you as a proper user for API access is incredibly poor.

Once you launch the application you’re presented with the screen depicted to the right, which is OK if a bit plain. However, before accessing your queue, you are required to enter in that 40+ character API token, a screenshot of that dialog is after the break. Obviously it is a frustrating process, I entered it once, and had to check my work three times before I had the proper token.

If this were done properly, what would happen is you would e-mail yourself a token and the URL in the e-mail could launch the application on the phone and insert the token.

Instead, it must be entered manually. Fortunately, after the iPhone 3.0 Operating System is out you will be able to copy and paste. Though, Goozex could probably enable another method of API access before then, or the developers of this application could see the URL handler light and fix their application.

Either way, once you have the token in there it is nice to be able to see your queue and your position in it. Both the developers of the app, and Goozex proper are aware of the problem. Goozex had this to say on their twitter feed:

Regarding the Goozex Token Code for the iGoozex app. We know it hurts. It was designed years ago w/out foresight of an iPhone application.

I’m hoping that eventually the API will be a little bit more featureful so you can perform more of the actions that you can on the full site. The presentation leaves a lot of room for improvement as well. It seems like it would make a lot more sense to have an app with the standard black bar at the bottom interface and load your requests by default, then have two other “tabs” at the bottom for offers and a gear icon for settings.

Certainly worth the price of admission, iGoozex is free on the app store. If you’d like a more general introduction to Goozex, check out my review.

Continue reading “Goozex on the iPhone”

Goozex Review

funcolandMost people who want to turn their video games into other video games take them to Gamestop, despite the huge discrepancy between how much gamestop games sell for, and the trade-in value. Old timers will recall Funcoland and their even worse trade-in values.

At least Funcoland had a book you could flip through to spare yourself the embarrassment of asking how much money they could give for your copy of Anticipation.

There is another choice, though it does involve trading with humans.

Goozex offers a trading system where you ship out games to others in exchange for points, which you can purchase if you don’t want to send out any of your games. Games are offered on a sliding scale from 100 to 1000. Most new games are between nine-hundred and one-thousand points. Their system automatically adjusts the price (in points) of each title based on the supply and demand. They end up fairly balanced, so your trade that is still in demand is worth a fair bit.

Lets take Call of Duty 4: GOTY Edition (PS3) as an example, today it is worth 850 Goozex points. 100 Goozex points are worth $5 in real money. So, CoD4: GOTY¬† is worth about $42.50. If I wanted to trade in that game, I’d toss the game into my offers queue and wait until the system finds a match. There are apparently 90 some people in line waiting for that game to be available, so that shouldn’t take long.

Once Goozex finds a match, I can look over the profile of the person who wants it, approve it if their feedback looks solid, print out a label, and finally ship it. Obviously you lose a little in shipping, most of these folks have a stack of envelopes and quite often you’ll get a game in the mail inside an envelope that has clearly seen better days. Your faith in scotch tape will assuredly rise.

Now here is one of the problems with Goozex; once the guy receives the game, if you’re lucky they’ll give you feedback immediately that says it was in good condition and receive your 850 points. Otherwise, you could end up waiting 21 days for the system to automatically give you the points. I’ve had several folks take a week to give me feedback, which left some of my requests in the lurch while I waited for the points.

Getting a game is a little bit more straight forward, and is the only time you are forced to pay into the system. Receiving any game costs 1 trade credit, which cost $1.¬† So if I want to receive CoD4: GOTY for 850 points I can either buy the points (you can only buy in hundreds or thousands of points, so you’ll probably have some left over) or you can trade in games to get them. Those points, plus a trade credit net you the game once you’ve passed through the queue. Most of the people in it won’t have enough points to request the game, or will be excluded for some other reason, so it might not take that long to traverse the queue.

The exception is with new games which often have a trainwreck of folks stacked up to get the game. If you really want a new game, some folks snipe the queue by logging on early in the morning. Otherwise it is best to trade new games into the system and get back out less recent titles. Even if you were to snipe the queue, you’d have to wait for someone who wants to trade the game into the system.

One of the nice benefits to Goozex over Gamestop, is that they have PC and Mac game trading. Though newer titles come with their caveats of cd keys, online activation, and the like. I’ve tried this once with a cdkey’d game, Mass Effect. It turned out fine and I had no issues.

All of this might seem a little complicated and there are bunch of caveats like the inability to trade directly with someone you know within Goozex. Fortunately the site is organized well and streamlines you through the process of offerring or requesting games. In the past few months I’ve both sent and received a variety of games and have been pleased in general with the condition of the games received and the people I’ve sent games to.

While I wouldn’t rely entirely on Goozex, especially for newer titles, it has been useful for avoiding the loss in value that comes from dealing with the used game system at gamestop. The prices on games match their actual value to the gaming community, which is a benfit to both people requesting and offering them. So the benefits of it outweight the negatives and I’ll continue using Goozex for the forseeable future.