It’s difficult to walk into Disc Traders, on Saginaw Highway, without immediately feeling overwhelmed. There’s a labyrinthine collection of movies on the left and right side racks, with a veritable library of video games wedged between them. Then, in the back, you have a haul of retro video game consoles and cartridges.
That’s without mentioning the vinyl records, electronic equipment and pop culture relics. And with a relatively cheap price for the goods, it’s an ideal way for video game fans or movie buffs to waste part of their Saturday afternoon.
“We try to have an extremely friendly environment, where none of our employees have a snobbish or judgmental attitude,” said Coty Jankoski, one of Disc Traders’ district managers. “We’re very friendly and outspoken people, if somebody doesn’t have a lot of knowledge about a particular game or system, we’re more than happy to help them.”
For anybody without the funds necessary to finance a console from the latest generation — Xbox One, Playstation 4 and the Nintendo Switch — Disc Traders has any video game one could want from the preceding eras. One could go back just a few years behind the times, and get an Xbox 360 for around $50, or go all the way back to the 16-bit era with a Super Nintendo for a similar price.
If one is just looking to expand their video game collection in general, any major game that’s at least a few years old is priced around the $10 to $20 mark.
The Midwest regional chain has carved out a niche for itself and continues to expand, even in locales situated right next to the de facto monopoly of the video game world, GameStop.
But among gamers, GameStop is becoming the second choice to stores like Disc Traders, said Jankoski. Janoksi mentioned it’s become a widespread joke for gamers to exaggerate some of the more egregious lowball offers they’ve heard from a GameStop employee. “A brand-new one Xbox One? Well, we can give you about $2.50 in store credit.”
“When it comes to buying things from customers, we tend to give the most. We pull from multiple websites that do the same thing, and make sure that we are very competitive with our buy and sell prices,” Jankoski said. “We tend to buy people’s stuff at a higher price than the competition, while still selling the same stuff for cheaper.”
Disc Traders also hosts some of the rarest video game artifacts. While one can walk in and out having spent $20 for a handful of games, one can also spend several hundred dollars on some of gaming’s holiest of grails.
“We’ve had the Super Nintendo game ‘EarthBound’ 100 percent complete, with the book and the scratch and sniff stickers in mint condition, which goes for about a thousand dollars,” Jankoski said.
Jankoski said customers have experienced the “Antiques Roadshow” effect, where they expected around $50 for an old collection of games, but instead walked out with several hundred.
After experiencing success slinging used video games, Disc Traders has been able to expand toward general electronic merchandise, such as cameras and musical equipment.
“We try to cater to the market and what it’s asking for. The first obvious thing to branch out has been electronics,” Jankoski said. “We’re always getting people that want to be photographers, but don’t want to have to spend a fortune. So it made sense.”
Lansing 5835 W. Saginaw Hwy., Lansing Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.