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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

The enjoyment of CeX: spend £10 within the secondhand gaming mega retailer Categorical Occasions

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Feel free to mispronounce Ikea (it needs to be ee-kay-uh, from the Swedish) and Lidl (lee-dal, from the German). However there’s no arguing on the subject of CeX, the brilliant purple secondhand expertise store you get in kind of each UK city centre, normally subsequent to McDonald’s, Primark and/or Poundland. It might be quick for Full Leisure eXchange, nevertheless it shouldn’t be pronounced C-E-X, as you may say to your mum when explaining the place you bought her low cost secondhand cell phone from. Formally, CeX is pronounced as intercourse. The pleasure of it’s within the sheer incongruous irony – these shops, with their miles of metallic shelving and threadbare carpets are as removed from the erotic because it’s attainable to get. However in some way, they maintain a particular place within the hearts of all leisure seekers on a price range.

I’m a daily customer. There are 5 CeXs inside a three-mile radius of my home and so they’re extraordinarily helpful. The fun is in by no means figuring out precisely what you’re going to seek out. For the needs of this text, the Guardian gave me a beneficiant price range of £10 to find what bargains lay in retailer.

However first some historical past. CeX (no sniggering on the again) was began in 1992 by a bunch that weirdly included author and broadcaster Charlie Brooker, when he was nonetheless a video games journalist writing for PC Zone journal. The primary department opened close to Tottenham Courtroom Street, however there’s now 390 UK shops and an extra 230 worldwide. Sure, earlier than you ask, there’s a CeX retailer on the Canaries – simply in case, in your subsequent summer season vacation, you end up needing a replica of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker for the Nintendo Swap.

A Sony PlayStation 2 sport console again when it initially went on sale at CeX Video games in London. {Photograph}: Garry Weaser/The Guardian

And but, there’s all the time been one thing a bit fishy about CeX. Some folks cling on to the concept that the place is stuffed with stolen laptops and mobiles. However, no: CeX checks all objects towards a stolen items database, so don’t get any concepts.

In addition to the retailers, you may also purchase on-line from an enormous database of all 390 UK retailers. Telephones and laptops are priced in line with their grade (A – mint to F – non-functioning). Consoles come boxed, unboxed or discounted. Every little thing comes as a normal value. You do nonetheless pay extra for stuff in CeX than you’d shopping for privately. For instance, CeX sells a £480 RRP boxed 1TB PlayStation 5 Slim Console for £390 – you possibly can get one on eBay or Gumtree for round £300. The trade-off is all the things CeX sells comes with a 24-month free guarantee.

Additionally they do retro consoles. On-line you will discover a 1992 Tremendous Nintendo for £65 and a 2009 500GB PS3 Slim for £85 and a 2013 500GB Xbox One for £105. Alongside model new video games resembling Name of Responsibility: Trendy Warfare 3 for £50 on the PS5 and Tremendous Mario Bros: Wonders on the Swap for £45, you’ll see cabinets filled with video games for outdated consoles such because the PS3 and DS, priced for as little as £1. (Watch out although with backward compatibility – you’ll be able to’t play PS3 video games on a PS4 or PS5, for instance, so that you’ll want the unique consoles).There are additionally loads of DVDs and Blu-rays, some lower than £1, because of the underside utterly collapsing out of the bodily media film market with the arrival of streaming, , however these will nonetheless play in your PS4 and PS5.

Pokémon video games can fetch wherever between £20 and £100. {Photograph}: Eriko Sugita/Reuters

“The principle factor that impacts value is what number of copies we now have in inventory,” explains my native useful CeX man (who prefers to stay nameless). “The extra common the sport, the extra we’ll have in inventory and the cheaper they’ll be.” Nearly the entire Name of Responsibility and Name of Responsibility: Trendy Warfare PS3 video games are on sale for £1. “In the event that they’re a part of an evolving collection” – like Professional Evolution Soccer – “they’ll be low cost too. Folks are available with baggage of video games to promote. Now we have to place a value on all the things – from £50 to 50p.” Sure video games additionally maintain their worth indefinitely because of a rabid fanbase of collectors. Pokémon, Remaining Fantasy and Resident Evil can all are available wherever between £20 and £100, whereas tremendous uncommon titles on previous consoles can go for extra. A mint copy of Vib Ribbon on the PSOne, the place you progress your character in time with the music out of your precise CDs, will price you £120, a mint copy of Snatcher, the Mega CD cyberpunk journey by Hideo Kojima will price you £625, whereas a vanishingly obscure PAL copy of the N64 title Snowboard Children 2 might be a grand.

Whereas we’re chatting, I take the possibility to quiz Mr CeX on some retailer insurance policies. For instance, what are the bounds on the 24-month guarantee? “Clearly it doesn’t cowl buyer injury,” he replies. What occurs if one thing has simply been stolen and so not logged on any stolen databases? “We’d haven’t any information so we’d purchase it.” What if it’s reported stolen afterwards? A slight pause. “That doesn’t actually occur.”

What’s the weirdest factor somebody has tried to promote? “A pair of sneakers,” he says. “Folks suppose we’re a pawn store and purchase something, like hair straighteners … which we really do purchase. There’s some right here for £45 for those who’re ?” I might be, had I any hair and it didn’t take me massively over price range. I might do with an additional PS3 controller, however the least expensive – a Twin Shock 3 – is £25. “Christmas wiped us out of controllers, although they’re costly,” he says. However I can afford to purchase the PS3 Eye Digicam and microphone for £1 every. So I do.

Again residence, I’m reasonably happy with my haul. Let’s break it down:

Purchases from Wealthy Pelley’s journey to the famed retailer … {Photograph}: Wealthy Pelley

1. The unique Name 0f Responsibility Trendy Warfare 3 (PS3) – a steal at £1.

2. EyePet (PS3) – simply £1 to look at a digital pet crawl round my very own lounge in augmented Eye Digicam actuality.

3. SingStar Take That (PS3) – £1 to belt out By no means Neglect and Again for Good with Howard, Gary, Jason and Mark.

4. Get Match with Mel B (PS3)– one other quid effectively spent, though shouldn’t it have been Sporty Spice?

5. PES 2009 (PS3) – simply 50p and solely 15 years outdated.

6. PS3 Eye Digicam and microphone for £1 every

This left me with £3.50, so so as to meet my transient and spend the agreed quantity, I purchased Dumb & Dumber To on DVD for £1.50 and Rise of the Planet of the Apes on Blu-ray for a cut price 75p. This – with the £1.20 I spent on a sausage roll subsequent door at Greggs – put me 5p below my £10 price range. Discount.

These shops could generally be just a little tatty across the edges, however with a full abdomen and several other hours’ value of semi-retro leisure, who am I to complain? Briefly: CeX sells and I’m shopping for.


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