Last week, I wrote about Glyde, the reseller flooded by gamers at its November launch. Because of Glyde's shipping model, the time required for delivery and payment seemed to be a drawback. So how'd Glyde do with a real sale?
Not bad, all things considered. Last Thursday at 3:40 p.m., someone bought my copy of Demon's Souls. (Yeah, yeah, I'm a traitor to good games, keep it to yourself.) Because Glyde mails packaging to the sellers (with pre-affixed postage and shipping label), and they must then stick it back in the mail to the buyer the next day, there's a time-for-convenience tradeoff here. An email to me set expectations that the total time could be 10 days or more from sale to the receipt of goods and the deposit of funds.
Well, today at 5:10 p.m., my buyer notified Glyde he got his game and its condition was as I described, so $30.25 (my sale price, less a 10 percent cut to Glyde and the cost of the packaging) was deposited into my checking account. That's roughly eight days from the instant the guy clicked buy. Remember also that Monday (President's Day), the U.S. Postal Service did not deliver, so I was waiting until Tuesday to get my packaging. And there was a Sunday included in the span, too.
Helping the situation was my buyer's very timely responsiveness. Glyde asks buyers to check in as soon as they get their shipment - which Glyde can track because it buys the postage and also a tracking number for it. If a buyer is silent for 48 hours, the funds are released to the seller automatically.
But also consider that all this took place on the west coast. Glyde sent me the shipping material from Palo Alto, Calif. I'm in Eugene, Ore. The recipient is in southern California. Further, the funds are released to your account held on Glyde's Web site, not your bank. You must initiate a transfer (which can take another couple of days) or elect to have a paper check mailed to get at your cash. Or you can keep it on the site and use it to buy other used games down the line.
I circled back with Glyde's CEO, Simon Rothman, to ask if he had plans for optimizing Glyde's shipping model going forward. Right now, "Generally it takes about a week from hitting the buy button to item arriving at the buyer's doorstep," he said.
Glyde's working to cut that down, with plans to develop mailer shipping hubs to speed up the front end of this process. Also, "as we increase our user base sellers will be closer to buyers. And we will strategically add mailer distribution points," Rothman told me. "The goal is to make our transactions as fast as possible. There is a path to shortening the total time to as few as three to four days."
Prices for Demon's Souls on Half.com are right now going higher than what I cleared but the process is borne entirely by the seller, with a cut going back to Half. You also get paid once a month there. I'm also pretty sure I wouldn't have cleared $30 for this at Game Crazy or GameStop.
I'm not suggesting that, with Glyde, I wrung every last possible cent out of this game. Nor am I saying this was no different than handing over a game to a buyer and getting a fistful of cash on the spot. But the effort required of me absolutely was minimal compared to any other resale method.