GaBoom the online gaming Swap Shop

Do you have piles of neglected games lying around your house? Then could be the site to revitalise your collection. GaBoom is a website for gamers who wish to swap their old games for games that they want to add to their collection. All members need to do is sign up to the site, find the games they want, and add them to their wish list. Then they can list the games they wish to swap or sell. GaBoom will automatically match them with people they can swap with.

They offer three postage options, two of which are completely secure. Secure Swap, where members who have initiated a swap, post their games to GaBoom, who check each game’s condition, before forwarding them on to their new owners. If one of the members fails to post their game, then the other person is refunded the cost of the service, and their game is returned.

GaBoom Escrow, has both members putting down an insurance deposit of £18, and then posting their games Recorded Delivery. Once the swap is complete both members receive their deposit in full. If one person fails to post the game, the other member receives compensation using the other person’s insurance deposit.

Forum Exchange has members dealing with each other directly, and GaBoom accepts no liability for the outcome of the transaction.

GaBoom is a good way of swapping your old games for games you want.

The founder of the site, Jess Ratcliffe, had the idea for GaBoom when she was only 15, when she used to swap games with her friends and neighbours, and imagined it on a grander scale. Through a lot of hard work and a few setbacks along the way, GaBoom was founded on 22nd February 2010, and an open beta of the site went live in July 2010. The site has featured on the BBC tech show Click, and has managed to attract over 900 users at present. You can catch Jess at 9pm tonight (Monday 13th September) on BBC2 as she takes on the mighty Dragon’s Den.

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Written by Kevin M

I've been addicted to gaming since my parents bought an Atari console way back in the 70's. I progressed to the iconic Speccy, Amiga, and all the Playstation platforms. Having seen games evolve from single pixel bat and ball, to HD constructed environments, gaming has changed much from my early years. Having defeated the rock hard R-Type on the Speccy, the biggest challenge I've faced so far is putting up with the hordes of American teens spouting abuse in the current generation of consoles, noob indeed!


  1. Peter Jones had it spot on. The second I saw her pitch on DD I knew the problem would be coping with upscaling to any huge number of orders. The cost and profit against the time taken would never balance if the site took off.

    Also, my Scottish blood led me to compare the kind of price you’d get on there and you can get more selling privately through the likes of eBay and Amazon even after they take their share.

    Trading also just feels wrong to me because the value of something for something differs from person to person. Not to mention “good quality” is a hugely subjective term.

    • Kevin M /

      Spot on Ian. Ebay is a success because they just bring buyer and seller together and don’t get involved in the physical transferring of the goods. As you say, the cost involved once you start doing that would spiral out of control.

      You’ve also got to think about the long term, and the rise of digital distribution, which will basically make the business obsolete. Although perhaps retro collectors may find some use for the site.

      • Krazyface /

        Very true Kev, the ominous approach of DD is gonna make a site like this struggle but if there are enough poor people who can oddly afford an Internet connection, they should do fine!!!

  2. Oni-Samurai /

    I’ve got games, which I think and others probably would say are lemons. I’d love to be able to swap them but would want a game in the same condition as my own. which is to say mint. The lemon btb is 2008s Prince of Persia (which GC rated as 7/10?!) and Resident Evil 5 as well..
    Selling them on ebay though, I would only get a pittance that wouldn’t buy another game.

    • I created a website to do this last year. I was particularly fond of how she said she was the only one out there doing this. what a cheak! . I also know of a couple of sites that attemted the game swapping idea a long time before this. I imagine these failed for the very same reason you have stated.

      I do not do the checking the game thing that gaboom is doing. I merely bring a bid and offer together, like a 2 way ebay (Best way to find fair value). All sales are protected by paypal, sorted!

      bloorie :/

  3. Interesting blog, not like the others! Good to see more people writing about gaboom.

  4. Discs Like New /

    I thought Jess did a fantastic job of presenting on Dragons Den and I wish her every success with her business.

    Steve – can you explain how all ‘sales are protected by PayPal’ on your website?

    If this is a reference to their buyer protection policy then this doesn’t really protect anyone, hence why Jess has implemented a secure, but potentiall cost prohibitive turnaround.


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