Gamestop's push for more phone and tablet trade-ins driven by consumer feedback

Merchandise accepted through GameStop's electronics trade-in program is expanded through a combination of consumer, employee and research-driven feedback, director of recommerce Sean Cleland told Polygon during a recent interview.

Since 2011, GameStop has bought and sold tablets and mobile devices, in addition to its regular game trades. The company has expanded its program from iOS to Android devices, as well as tablets such as the Kindle Fire. The retailer recently opened its trade-in program to include Samsung, BlackBerry and Motorola smartphones.

Some of the company's new product choices are a result of GameStop's partnership with resale website BuyMyTronics, which helps GameStop pinpoint items with potential.

"[BuyMyTronics] takes a huge amount of product in trade on their website," Cleland said. "So really we are looking at what traffic they get on their website. We were able to target some of the highest volume and most distributed products over the last couple of years."

"Those kinds of direct communications from our store management really help spark ideas and decisions."

From there, GameStop can sort out which electronics they're interested in. Employees, however, also have some influence.

"Every one of our stores has a vehicle to communicate directly to our department," Cleland said. "We get all levels of feedback from them and they do not hold back ... Those kinds of direct communications that come direct from our store management really help spark ideas and decisions."

GameStop's trade-in catalogue will continue to grow as the year progresses and more products are released, Cleland said. The company hopes to appeal to gamers and "the tech savvy folks" alike.

"Samsung specifically has done a really great job over the last couple of years creating a brand around their mobile line and creating products that are compelling to consumers and being competitive in the space," Cleland said. "You look at the blogs you see a lot of comparisons between iPhones, Samsung, HTC, LG ... we really want to be in that product space that our consumers are interested in."

Cleland said that the company will continue to expand its options in the future, and GameStop is always checking for the "latest and greatest product."

"I will expect us to expand to a point in the large base of stores and then open up a very broad catalogue in select stores," Cleland said.

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