GameTZ.com logo and screenshot.
|Type of site||Online trading community|
|Created by||Stephen Osborne, Bill Marrs|
|Launched||1996 (as Used Game Trading Zone)|
|Alexa rank||408,175 (April 2014[update])|
GameTZ.com is an online trading community established in late 1996 which allows people to trade video games, books, music, movies, and other items through negotiating with other traders from countries worldwide. Once a trade is completed, a record is created on the site for future reference.
GameTZ.com has forums and a trading/matching system that contains a large number of tools necessary for tracking and recording online trading transactions. GameTZ.com's offer system provides users with the ability to send and receive offers, check out trade details, shipping methods, and so on. GameTZ.com also operates a simple IRC chatroom which allows users to create trades and discuss various topics.
Multi-platform gaming magazine GamePro and Forbes magazine have cited trading sites, specifically GameTZ.com, to be excellent alternatives to selling games back to retail outlets at significantly reduced value. GameTZ.com has also been featured in other magazine articles and online reviews, as well as in a short TV news segment syndicated to stations across the United States.
The Used Game Trading Zone (UGTZ) was founded by Stephen Osborne in the mid-1990s. Exactly when UGTZ came into existence is uncertain, but it has been traced back as far as December 23, 1996 (via a USENET posting by Osborne). Osborne manually maintained a growing list of items that traders had available for trade. Traders would then scan through the very large lists to find items they wanted, then make offers via email to the owner(s) of the items.
As UGTZ continued to grow, this list became perpetually more difficult for Osborne to maintain by hand. In October 1997, Bill Marrs created a system which automated much of the work Osborne had been doing by hand. For a short time thereafter, parts of UGTZ were maintained on both Osborne's and Marrs' sites. Eventually, the decision was made to move the whole operation to Marrs' site.
The domain name ugtz.com was registered in the summer of 1998, followed by the implementation of an independent database in the spring of 1999 . This database allowed traders to view a list of potential trades, saving them a great deal of time in finding trades. In an effort to generate some income, 1999 also introduced advertisements, subscriptions, and an affiliate marketing program to the site.
In March 2000, the site was renamed Game Trading Zone and the domain name gametz.com was registered. Marrs cloned the GameTZ.com trading engine and established three other sites: MusicTZ.com, MovieTZ.com, and BookTZ.com. However, at the beginning of 2002, the music, movie, and book domains were dropped and all four "Trading Zones" were folded back into the main GameTZ.com site.
In February 2003, the site changed to a subscriber-only format where passive use of the site by non-subscribers was still possible, but a subscription was necessary to initiate trades and be actively involved in the community. In August 2005, the site reverted to voluntary subscriptions and non-subscribers were again allowed full access to GameTZ.com's trading and community features.
GameTZ.com has more than 200,000 trades completed as of December 2009, and has over 4800 registered traders. In the Holiday 2007 issue of EGM, the site was rated #2 of the top five sites for trading games online, only losing out to Goozex due to its less-flashy, message board-like interface.
- "Gametz.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
- Berman, A.S. (2003-07-08). "Barter for the better". Lansing State Journal. Archived from the original on 2007-06-01. Retrieved 2007-05-29.
- "GAME REVIEW: Old PlayStation games offer cheap enjoyment". The Daily Cougar. 2001-07-18. Retrieved 2007-05-29.
- Orland, Kyle (November 2007). "Learning a Trade". Electronic Gaming Monthly: 40.
- AzShrapnel (2007-01-18). "Online game trading sites: Goozex, SaySwap, GameTZ". Adult Gaming Enthusiasts. Retrieved 2007-02-22.
- Mary Jane Irwin (2009-01-06). "Where To Ditch Old Videogames". Forbes. Retrieved 2009-01-15.
- GamePro Staff (April 2000). "Used Game Trading Zone". GamePro: 28.
- GamePro Staff (April 2004). "Trade Secrets". GamePro: 8.
- Swapping Online (Syndicated television story). July–August 2003. Retrieved 2007-02-07.
- Nelson, Hannah (2003-08-03). "Barter web sites allow users to trade goods and services online". WIS10 on WIStv.com. Retrieved 2007-02-07.
- Osborne, Stephen (1996-12-23). "Join the Trading Zone!". comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.marketplace archived on Google Groups. Retrieved 2007-02-07.
- "What's the history of GameTZ?". Retrieved 2007-02-07.