G2A is no different to other online marketplaces connecting buyers to sellers like eBay. It is safe as long as you take the usual precautions when buying anything online from another individual. There is also nothing illegal about doing business, that is buying keys, on the platform unless the reseller of the said key obtained it fraudulently.
G2A is an online marketplace that can well be described as something similar to eBay or Gumtree, but whose main aim is to distribute computer game products such as game keys. The company, which was originally named Go2Arena, was founded by Bartosz Skwarczek and Dawid Rożek in 2010 in Rzeszów, Poland. It is now headquartered in Hong Kong but has offices in other countries, including Poland and the Netherlands.
The company began as an online game retailer but later evolved to become a marketplace. This happened after the founders approached a number of the bigger game developers to offer them a partnership in which they themselves could be the official sellers of their games on the platform. Following a lack of interest from the developers as well as changes in market trends, G2A decided to change its business model from retailer to marketplace, hence what the company is known for today. It does not sell any products, but rather facilitates sales. The company, in turn, earns money primarily from payment processing and value-added services.
Young computer gamers who do not have a steady income has proven to be the platform’s most important target group. This is why the company has declared to sell computer games at the lowest possible price, a fact that has made it very popular among gamers, and further put it amongst the top 1000 most popular websites in the world, according to Alexa.com.
Is G2A Legit Or Safe For Buying And Selling Game Keys?
Even though G2A can categorically be described as a gray market platform since most of the merchants on it are not game developers or authorized resellers, it is still legit and safe for the buying and selling game keys. However, there have been a few issues in the past that may have prompted a few people and articles to say otherwise. Before getting into some of the issues G2A has faced that might discredit it from being safe or legit, let’s go through a few reasons as to why we say it is.
- Dispute Resolution
G2A is legit because a game developer cannot dictate where and how much you can buy its products. It is not illegal to buy a game key for less than the retail price. The only issue is if you purchase a fraudulently obtained game key, the developer has a right to revoke such keys. There is also a possibility of you buying a non-working game key. When facing issues like these, the platform offers some sort of dispute resolution service, which is a testament to its legitimacy.
- Online Safety
In terms of safety, G2A is as safe as any other digital marketplace as long as the necessary precautions are taken by the buyer. There are also no issues like downloading viruses or putting your computer at risk when using the platform.
- Source of their Game Keys
G2A does not generate game keys, as all keys come from the same source – developers and publishers. These key generators often sell in bulk to wholesalers and online stores for a much cheaper price, who then head to digital marketplaces like G2A to sell the keys. In addition to businesses selling game keys on the platform, regular people who manage to get a key either through a giveaway also sell on the website.
- Their Volume of Business Transactions
According to statistics from the website, the platform conducts business with at least 5 million customers yearly. Most of all these transactions result in happy customers, another proof that G2A is more legit and safe than you might have thought.
Issues and Risks with G2A Game Keys
As earlier mentioned, some game keys that are sold on G2A have been non-functional or acquired fraudulently. For customers who purchase non-functional or non-working keys, the company offers dispute resolution services to help resolve the matter, although if you check online there are a few unresolved cases that have left customers disgruntled. The company further does not guarantee that keys will work or that they will never stop working.
In regards to fraudulently acquired keys that are sold on the platform, these are stolen goods and therefore developers and publishers can invalidate such keys at any time regardless of your knowledge or lack thereof of the origin of the key. G2A has had many keys invalidated or revoked due to credit card fraud, etc.
How To Ensure Safety
- Verification of Sellers
G2A has taken steps in recent years to improve customer safety, one of which is eliminating the anonymity of sellers on the platform. In order for one to sell keys on the website, they must verify their identities using their phones, email addresses, and social media accounts. This verification process greatly deters casual fraud, although there are still some existing loopholes such as throwing away phones and creating a fake email and social media accounts.
- Know Your Customer (KYC)
G2A cooperates with many partners and payment providers to ensure the highest security standards. Sellers undergo Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures and Anti Money Laundering (AML) checks which adhere to worldwide standards and regulations.
- G2A Shield Subscriber
Another way to ensure some level of safety on the part of customers is by them becoming a G2A Shield subscriber. This service, which costs €1 per month or €3 per individual game purchase, offers benefits that include cash back for some purchases, satisfaction guarantee for all purchases, and dedicated chat support and reduced response time for email support.
- Check Seller’s History
Above the two ways listed above, the best way to ensure safety on G2A is to check a seller’s history and read the feedback section before conducting business. Like eBay, G2A allows customers to see how many transactions a seller has completed. Further reading the feedback can help you determine whether the keys being sold by the seller usually have any problems.