Business booming at CeX
DEALING in second-hand video games, DVDs, CDs and mobile phones is proving to be good business for one Bristol retailer.
Customers at CeX, which also sells PC equipment, can bring in their items to sell or part-exchange, allowing others to pick up second-hand entertainment at bargain prices.
For example, as of this week, CeX (Complete Entertainment Exchange) would buy pop singer Duffy's debut CD Rockferry for £4 cash or exchange and sell it on for £6.
A boxed Nintendo Wii games console would net you £87 in cash or £116 in exchange, and then be sold on for £145.
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CeX has proved such a success that it recently moved from a small, one room shop in Broadmead opposite the entrance to Cabot Circus, to three floors at the former Fopp in Horsefair.
The chain began in 1992 and now has 80 stores across the country, with Bristol being the third largest, despite opening just four years ago.
The Bristol branch employs around 25 full- and part-time staff and is open every day of the year except Christmas. Even late on a Sunday afternoon there was a steady stream of customers.
One of them, Paul Burrows, 38, of Filton, had bought a number of CDs at the shop a week ago, but one disc was scratched.
He came back to the store on Sunday and had no problem getting it exchanged for a voucher.
He said: "I didn't come in intending to buy anything but bought a few bits and bobs, a DVD and some CDs.
"They had some good deals and they were about the same price as a couple of downloads.
"I bought a mobile phone from another shop and it was broken.
"Replacing it was a real pain in the neck, but here they've just given me an exchange voucher."
Anyone who wants to offload old items can exchange them for vouchers, but free full membership entitles them to a cash alternative.
All goods are tested before they are resold, and are covered by a 12-month warranty. Prices are set by head office but are updated regularly according to supply and demand.
The Bristol store has also started to branch out into selling newer products, such as digital downloads.
Store manager Theo Campbell, 26, said: "There's been an extended period of trade after Christmas.
"Once people have bought everything, they come here and sell it. We're almost busier after Christmas.
"We're expanding our stock all the time. We only started doing music a year ago but now have almost an entire floor of CDs.
"We're not established yet computing wise, but while somewhere like PC World is selling the cutting edge, we have some interesting pieces that just aren't made any more.
"Just recently we began buying and selling Nintendo Wiis with downloadable content from the internet.
"If someone sells us a Wii with games on it, we will pay more. It's new and we will see if it works."
And the store has a number of ways to ensure goods brought in for sale are not stolen.
Mr Campbell said: "We are very stringent on membership. We take ID that is hard to fake, like a driving licence or a passport, and we have details of everyone's name and address.
"We work with the Broadmead burglary team, who send a weekly spreadsheet to second hand traders of all items that have been stolen that week.
"All phones and large items with serial numbers we check against a UK database called CheckMEND, to make sure they haven't been stolen."