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Target buying used games; in NorCal for now, 850 stores by year's end

With used games still making up the lion's share of retailer GameStop's profits -- and the failure of big box competitors Best Buy and Walmart in the space -- the time seems right for someone else to give it a shot. Enter: Target. The red and white-themed yin to Walmart's yang has announced the creation of the "Target Electronics Trade-In" program which "encourages guests to be eco-friendly by trading in old electronics devices" in exchange for (what else?) store credit. Included in that list of "electronics devices" are iPhones, iPods, cell phones and ... video games.

While we have no idea what someone wants with an old cell phone (Oh snap! Is that a 2003 RAZR?) we do know that used video games are big business. For now, it sounds like Target is just in the business of buying used games; it's unclear what happens to those games and if they'll ever find their way back into Target stores.

Speaking of Target stores, this in-store program launched in Northern California yesterday and "will rollout to additional stores in September and will be available in approximately 850 stores by the end of the year." All you need to do is take your old games to a store (remember: NorCal only for now) that features a Target Mobile counter – there, they'll be appraised, you'll get paid in Target-bucks, and you pick up some more trash bags. Oh, and batteries! And don't forget you need some new socks.

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