eStarland Daily Blog [Final Update]

So as you may have noticed, we’ve been promoting eStarland.com recently. Matt wrote about visiting their headquarters, and you may have noticed the two banner ads on the home page which direct you to their site.

eStarland.com has another side to their business too: online trade-ins. I figured that since we’re partaking in their affiliate program, we should ensure that all of their services are something that we would recommend to our readers. As such, I’ve created this daily blog detailing my experience using their online trade-in service. My ultimate goal is to trade enough of the gaming items that I’ve hoarded over the past 23 years in order to obtain the PS3 Metal Gear Solid 4 bundle. I’ll see how this first trade-in works though before making the plunge. Hit the jump to join me each day for an update on my experience.

Day 1 – 05/07/2008:
Today I decided to get all of my Atari 2600 stuff out of the basement and submit it for trade on eStarland.com. After searching for every game on their site, carefully choosing between the Atari and Sears & Roebuck versions (I didn’t even know Sears made some of my games) I managed to accumulate $71 worth of trade-in credit. This included a complete Atari 2600 system, three extra controllers, paddles, and 49 games.

The first odd thing I found was that eStarland wouldn’t allow me to trade-in some of my items. This included the paddle controller, along with seven games. I wasn’t able to find a reason in their trade-in FAQ about the “trade-in” link being disabled on some things, so I figured there simply wasn’t a market for those particular items. Additionally, I could not find four of my games in their database.

At this time it was about 1:30pm and I decided to call their customer support line to ask about the four games I couldn’t find and about their “EZ Shipping” option where they would pay for the shipping of my trade-ins. Unfortunately, every time I called I received a recording informing me that the office was closed and to call back during normal business hours of 12pm to 6pm eastern. Obviously something was wrong, but I was able to get in touch with a customer service rep via their online chat.

I informed “Travis” of the phone issue, and then asked him about the four games I couldn’t find in the site. He stated that if I simply sent an email to their support department after placing the order, they would add the four games to it. I also inquired about the EZ Shipping, but found out that although I had met the minimum item requirements, the total trade-in value had to be over $100. So back I went down into the basement to retrieve my Sega Game Gear (plus four games and a Game Genie), and a Gameboy Advance which brought my total to $109.

I checked out and then sent an email as instructed to their support department letting them know about the four additional games to add to my order. I’m expecting an email back about the four games and a shipping label to be emailed to me within two days before I go to the UPS store to pack everything up.

Day 2 – 05/08/2008:
I didn’t receive an email about the four additional games or the shipping label today. Also, my order has not changed to reflect any new titles being added to it.

Day 3 – 05/09/2008:
Although I still haven’t received any communication from eStarland’s support regarding the four extra Atari 2600 games, I did receive the shipping label via email this afternoon. It was for paid for up to 18lbs, which was probably a little overkill. Once I got home from work I picked up all of the items in my order and took them to the nearby UPS store. Here is where I found the one hitch in eStarland’s online trade-in business model. While eStarland will pay for the shipping of your trade-in items, it’s your responsibility to pay for packaging. In total, it cost $25 to have everything packaged up in a box to send off. While the service was absolutely convenient (I just placed everything on the counter and they took care of it after I left), that brings the total return on this venture down to $84 from $109. If I decide to go through with this on my other titles, I suppose it would behoove me to pack the games and systems myself.

Day 7 – 05/13/2008:
Today eStarland received my shipment. Now all that’s left is to have them go through my order and place the credit on my account. It shouldn’t take much time to do so, but we’ll see.

Day 10 – 05/16/2008:
Beginning last night and finishing up this morning, eStarland finished assessing my trade-in order. Not only did they credit me for the four games that I couldn’t find on their site, they also credited me for a Game Gear AC Adaptor, Atari 2600 Paddle, and Star Raiders for the Atari 2600. Also, I mistakenly said that I included a Glacier version of the original GBA, however it was Pink. Reviewing my order, I found that eStarland corrected the issue (by voiding the Glacier version and adding a Pink), but they forgot to add back the credit. A call to their support department resolved the issue, plus they added in a couple extra bucks for the trouble.

Overall, I’m really pleased with the experience I’ve had with eStarland.com. Having an order so large processed in five business days (from being shipped to having credit placed on my account) is very good. Plus, they have a knowledgeable staff that is available to help (either online or over the phone) whenever I had a question. My only wish is that they had longer hours for support as weekdays from 12pm to 6pm is while I’m the busiest at work. Anyway, I’m really glad that we’re part of their affiliate program and I recommend that if you have any older games which you’re looking to trade-in, give eStarland.com a try.

On a side note, I just shipped out another order tonight containing all of my Sega and Gameboy stuff which came out to about $475 in credit and weighed 48lbs. We’ll see how long it takes them to process that order. 🙂

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About the Author

Having over 25 years of gaming experience, Zach knows a thing or two when it comes to one of his favorite entertainment activities. Additionally, he has also written many articles previewing and reviewing titles which can be found in various places around the net, including VGBlogger.com.