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Waygoz

Last week, Mashable ran an article about the brand new game trading network, Waygoz. If you’re a gamer on a budget, you’re constantly looking for the best deals, buying almost exclusively used games, and trading in your older titles when you no longer play them.

When you’re looking to unload some older games your options usually are: trade the game in at GameStop for a pittance, sell it on Amazon and compete with other people doing the same thing, or put it up for trade on services like Goozex. Waygoz looks to offer an alternative. Read on for more details about what sets Waygoz apart from other similar services.

Playstation controller

Waygoz hopes to change how trading in your used games works with their social network that connects you with others users to swap used games. The network does this by setting meetings in public places with other local gamers in your area so you can make the trades face to face.

When I contacted Waygoz Product Manager, Josh Kerbel, he told me that they know that “gamers love to talk about games almost as much as they love playing them” and that “some of our members have said that they have sat around talking with the person they swapped games with for two hours after just meeting….talking about games.” By encouraging face to face interactions, Waygoz eliminates the “waiting (and hoping) for someone to mail you a game after you sent yours off.”

Competing services like Goozex price their games using arbitrary point systems, but what I found encouraging about Waygoz is that the website states, “[they] don’t tell you that your game is worth $5 so it can grab it from you and then sell it for $20. If your game is selling for $20 on the shelves of GameStop or BestBuy, then your game is worth $20.”

Goozex logo

The system works how you’d expect it to, but with a slight twist. Instead of creating a user name like normal, you register with your real name because Waygoz wants increased transparency and trust within their community. Once signed up, you create a have list and and want list, then wait for the system to find available trades nearby.

Waygoz originally ran an open beta with users in Toronto, Canada, and during their test period it had 1,500 users with 500 trades. Since last Wednesday (4/4/12), Waygoz has been open to all other markets. I don’t have statistics for how many users they have now, but unless there are trades available near where you live, you’re out of luck as Waygoz doesn’t offer a way for users to swap games through the mail.

Waygoz is aware of this fact as well. “The geographic distribution of your user base is always a challenge when building a social network like Waygoz where you want people to engage in real life,” Kerbel said.  ”You need to reach a critical mass. Dating sites have this challenge. It’s all about going out and engaging users.” By encouraging gamers to swap games and interact with each other in real life, it’s easy to see how Waygoz is all about creating user engagement.

As a gamer who’s grown frustrated with waiting forever for trades through the mail and sick of GameStop offering me next to nothing for my used games, Waygoz looks like it might offer an attractive alternative to services like Goozex and brick and mortar stores. I have a feeling I’ll be signing up soon and putting some of my more recent purchases up for trade.  Have any of you heard of Waygoz yet? Would you be willing to give the network a try?

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