Frequently Asked Questions What's the history of GameTZ? Will my account disappear if I don't use it for a while? How do I contact GameTZ? What do the icons next to traders' names mean? Can I report a trade with a local friend? Can I create a second account? I have an old account I can't access anymore. How can I get back into it? How do I change my email address or password? How do I get an @gametz.com email address? How do I change my real name, username or location? What does "Collection" mean? How can I export my item lists? Can I list something that isn't for trade? Why can't I list or trade certain items? Once I've found a possible trading partner, how do I contact them? How do I use the Offers system? Do you have tips for new traders? What do I do to complete a trade? How do I change a Rating? How do I avoid getting ripped off? What should I do if someone ripped me off? What happens when someone gets a Bad Trader Report (BTR)? Do I have to subscribe to keep using the site? I can't get into Java chat! What's wrong? I got (or lost) a gold global trader globe, but it doesn't seem right, what gives? How is "Offer Response Time" calculated? I have another question, where can I send it?What's the history of GameTZ?
The Used Game Trading Zone was originally created by Stephen Osborne. We're not sure exactly when Stephen Osborne started UGTZ, but we did find a post on a USENET newsgroup from him about it dating back to December 23, 1996. As Stephen Osborne's site grew it became difficult for him to maintain it (he was doing it by hand at the time). Bill Marrs stepped in and automated it with am interactive web system in October of 1997. After that, the site was half on Stephen's site and half on Bill's. A few months later it was decided to move the entire site to Bill's home page. In summer 1998, the domain name "ugtz.com" was purchased, in spring 1999 UGTZ started using a real database, and in summer 1999 UGTZ started running advertisements.
At the beginning of 2000, Bill quit his regular job to focus on running and growing ugtz.com. In March 2000, Bill modified and cloned the trading engine used by UGTZ to handle trading music, movies, and books, the name of the site was shortened to Game Trading Zone, and the domain gametz.com (along with musictz.com, movietz.com, and booktz.com) began being used. At the beginning of 2002, all four zones were recombined into GameTZ and the other three domains were dropped. In February 2003, the site went to a subscriber-only format. Passive use of the site by non-subscribers was still possible, but a subscription is necessary to use all the features. In August 2005, the site went back to a voluntary subscriptions only (non-subscriber again have full access to GameTZ's trading features).Will my account disappear if I don't use it for a while?
If you do not use your account for 30 days, you will be sent a warning email containing a URL (link) that allows you to sign on and update your account. If you want to keep your account active, all you need to do is click on that URL. After 60 days, your account will be changed to an inactive state if you have at least one completed trade. You can request a reactivation of your account by sending a request to the Moderators at
Inactive accounts with no completed trades are removed entirely. New accounts that don't confirm their email within 7 days will be automatically deleted by the system.
If you no longer want your account, just let the Moderators know and they'll remove it for you. If there are trades on your account, we will be happy to purge
all identifying information from your account, but the account itself will not be removed. This is so other traders don't lose credit for the trades.What do the icons next to traders' names mean?
In general, if you hover your mouse pointer above an icon, you will see a tooltip that explains what it means. Also, you can often click the icon, for more information or to go directly to a related feature. Here's a list of the most common icons you will see:
-- This icon appears next to someone's name when they are new to the site (signed up within the last 60 days).
-- These show how many unique traders with whom a person has completed trades here on GameTZ. Click on the star next to a person's name to see more details on what's required. To see your ranking, visit the Good Trader page
. There are also gold star levels beyond
in which a number is listed inside the icon.
-- This trader has set the "Willing to trade Internationally" checkbox on the "My Account" page.
-- This trader is willing to trade internationally and has proven it by trading with people in countries other than his/her own seven or more times. To see your ranking, visit the Global Traders page
-- This tiny icon appears as a place-holder icon next to any username that doesn't yet have a star. Clicking on it will take you to the Good Traders page
-- This icon indicates a trader is subscribed to the site. You can Subscribe here
and see a list of subscriber features here
. The Gold icon indicates a trader has over a year of GameTZ Subscription time on their account.
-- This icon appears next to someone's name when they are currently in Chat
- This icon appears next to someone's name when they have been on the site within the last 10 minutes. Click the icon to see a list of all the traders who have been signed on within the last 10 minutes.
-- This icon appears next to someone's name when there is a match between you and that trader. You can click on the icon to see a page listing the match the system has found. To see all your matches, click the My Matches
link at the top of the page.
- This icon appears next to someone's name when that trader wants something on your available list. You have a partial match with them. You can click on the icon to see a page listing everything they want from your available list.
- This icon appears next to someone's name when that trader has something on your wanted list. You have a partial match with them. You can click on the icon to see a page listing everything they have from your wanted list.
-- This icon appears next to someone's name when you've completed a trade with that person. You can click this icon to see a list of trades and the rating given between both of you. If you've made more than 1 trade, a number will appear in the middle of the icons showing the count.
- This icon indicates that you've made a personal note on this user. Click the icon to view/edit/delete the note.
- This trader has written Reviews
. The gold icons is given if they've written over 5 reviews. Click the icon to see a list of the reviews they've written.
- Traders who are not from the United States get a flag icon next to their usernames to indicate their special status.
- This trader's birthday is today!
etc - This is an anniversary plaque that appears next to a trader's username who has been on the site for that many years. You can click the icon to see a list of all the users who have been on the site for that long.
- This is a Moderator.Can I report a trade with a local friend?
Yes, but don't overdo it. If you do more than one or if all your trades are with local friends, it will look suspicious and we'll consider it an abuse of the trading system. You may be suspended and the trades will be deleted.Can I create a second account?
No. Multiple accounts are not allowed under any circumstances. If you create a second account, both accounts will be suspended. If you just want to change your account or real name, simply email the moderators (
) and let them know what you want it changed to.I have an old account I can't access anymore. How can I get back into it?
Send your request for account reactivation to the GameTZ Moderators at
. Be sure to include as much information as possible in order to verify that you are whom you say you are.How do I change my email address or password?
You can change your email and/or password on the My Account
page (this link is on the left side of the main navigation bar). How do I get an "@gametz.com" email address?
If you are a subscriber, click the Subscriber Options
link at the top of the page, scroll down to the "GameTZ Email" section, click the checkbox next to "Enable GameTZ Forwarding address", and click the Submit button at the bottom of the page.
If you are not a subscriber, you must first subscribe
in order to use this feature.How do I change my real name, username or location?
Send your request to the GameTZ Moderators at
. Note that we don't change real names to phony names. But, we're happy to abbreviate your real name to initials if you're concerned about privacy.What does "Collection" mean?
The Collection page is there for you to list items you have but don't want to trade. This can allow other traders to see what kinds of things you like, and may even prompt someone to offer you something they think you would like that may not be on your Wanted list. You might also find other traders with similar tastes. Basically, though, the Collections page is a "bragging" page. How can I export my item lists?koster
wrote an off-site tool that can do this for you.
GameTZ CSV extraction utility: http://www.xdr.com/cgi-koster/gtzcsv.cgi
He also wrote this GameTZ subtime calculator: http://www.xdr.com/cgi-koster/gtzcalc.cgi
Thanks koster!Can I list something that isn't for trade?
Yes, but only on your Collection page. You can add items to your Collection page by going to the My Items
page. If you don't want to trade an item, don't list it as Available.Why can't I list or trade certain items?
We block certain items from being listed here because they have a restrictive End-User License Agreement (EULA) that prevents the item from being used by another person. If you have an unopened copy of such an item, we allow you to trade it. But, because of a limitation with the system we have for listings, we can't allow it to be listed.
Pirated items are not allowed and we will remove listings when we find them. We may also suspend your account if we find you're dealing in pirated items. We consider fan-subs, screeners, betas, and prototypes to be pirated. If you can prove to us otherwise, we're willing to reconsider.
Adult or pornographic items are not allowed. Any item that is illegal is not allowed.Once I've found a possible trading partner, how do I contact them?
Make them an offer using the Offer System. Look for the "make offer" link in various places around the site. For example, in search results, item listings on a trader's page, or on the "My Matches" page. Ther's also a "send an offer" link on the trader's user page. For more information on using the Offer System, read the Offer System Help
page.Do you have tips for new traders?
Yes! Here's a few that should get you off on the right foot:
o Trade with
traders until you've gotten a few trades under your belt.
o If a trade sounds too good to be true, don't agree to the offer. There are some unscrupulous people out there who will try to get your items by offering unbelievable deals. Be very careful to avoid these.
o Avoid large and expensive trades. Complete several smaller trades ("1 game for 1 game", etc.) before moving on to mega-deals. And even then, be very careful when making large deals.
If you think these tips sound a lot like some of those in the next section, you're right. Established traders should follow these guidelines as well. What do I do to complete a trade?
This is a two-step process in order to better track who has done what in the trade. When you've sent your side of the trade, click the "I have sent" link next to the pending trade listing on your My Trades
page. If you used some sort of tracking (such as Delivery Confirmation), enter the tracking number in the space provided.
When you've received your part of the trade, click the "I have received" link next to the pending trade listing. This will take you to a page where you rate the other trader in three categories: Speed, Honesty, and Courtesy. Choose the appropriate rating for each category and enter a comment if you wish. Then submit your rating. In order to prevent retaliation ratings, the rating remains hidden until the other trader completes their end and rates you.How do I change a Rating?
If you look at your My Ratings
page, you'll see a list of "Ratings by Me
" and a list of "Ratings of Me
". On the "Ratings By Me" list, you'll see "Modify" in the "Action" column (on the far right). Click that link and you can request to modify any rating you have given. Keep in mind that not all requests will be honored, especially if done in retaliation for a lower rating given by the other trader.How do I avoid getting ripped off?
The most important thing is prevention. You want to do everything you can to avoid getting ripped off. This is why we recommend that new users only trade with established traders who have solid reputations. We have a "good trader" star icon system
that is helpful in this respect.
New traders are expected to send first with the trades they make. This is because everyone else has no reason to trust them. So, it's important that new traders only trade with traders who have good trader stars, preferably gold
or silver stars
, to be most safe. These people have proven that they will follow-through on their trades. Also, they have the most to lose, if things go wrong. Their reputation here was a lot of work to build up, they don't want to lose that.
Eventually, a new trader can build-up their own reputation and be able to ask new users to send first too. But, until then, it's best for new traders to avoid trading with other new users. This is risky, since neither of you have built a reputation and neither should send first. We do get scammers on the site, sometimes, and they always look like new traders. So, it's best to be cautious. Though, it's also important to welcome legitimate new traders and not to get too paranoid.
There are also just some other common-sense things to keep in mind. Before you agree to trade with someone else, check out their user page. Check their ratings, any problems? Do they have a lot of pending trades, too many or are they getting a bit old? Scan their trades, anything look suspicious? Do they have Canceled Trades? Past BTRs (Bad Trader Reports)? Are they acting suspiciously? Are they making offers that are too good to be true? Try to avoid high-value trades initially, too. Again, especially with other new traders. This is the classic thing that scammers try to do (rip multiple people off for high-value items). What should I do if someone ripped me off?
o Make an effort to work out the problem directly with the other trader. Be firm but polite, avoid fighting or name calling. Warn them that you will be taking further action if the problem is not resolved soon.
o Give the other trader some time. We generally recommend waiting 2 weeks before filing a Bad Trader Report.
o Contact GameTZ's Moderators
. We will try to help you resolve the dispute or take action against scammers.
o File a Bad Trader Report
. Follow the instructions there. Stick to the facts of what happened, avoid name-calling, be firm but polite. Use the BTR as leverage. Tell them the BTR will come down when the problem is resolved.
o If you think you might be dealing with a trader who is underage, try to get the phone number of their parent and call them.
o If you are underage, talk to your parents about what's happening.
o Post about what's happening in our forums to get advise from other traders.
o Warn the person that you will contact the police if they don't resolve the problem.
o Call the police in the location where the person who ripped you off lives. File a criminal complaint with them.
o If other people have been ripped off by this same person, contact them and coordinate your efforts. The more people that call the police, the more likely you will be to get some justice.
o You may also want to consider filing a "mail fraud"
complaint with the US Postal Service and/or filing a complaint with the IC3 (Internet Crime Complaint Center)What happens when someone gets a Bad Trader Report (BTR)?
o Bad Trader Reports are displayed at the top of a trader's user page, for all to see and be warned.
o BTRs are also shown here: http://gametz.com/BadTraders.html
(linked off "Trades
" in the main navigation bar). Searches can be done from here as well.
o If someone had a good trader star (e.g.
) it is immediately taken away when they get a BTR.
o If the BTR is unfair or bogus in some way, a complaint can be filed on it to let the moderators know. Or, moderators can be emailed about it directly:
o Bogus BTRs are removed and expunged and the person who filed it may be punished in some way.
o When a BTR is resolved, the trader who filed it should remove it (there is a "remove" link at the bottom of the BTR, available to the filer). BTRs are leverage, so it is common for them to be eventually deleted. Sometimes, a moderator will remove a BTR, if the filer fails to.
o However, deleted BTRs are still kept in out database. They are simply marked "deleted", but can still be found if searched for. Note that a bogus BTR that is expunged is actually removed completely.
o For 90 days after a BTR is resolved, the person who got it will not be eligible to have a good trader star.
o For 274 days (9 months or 3/4 of a year) a link is places in the header of their user page ("Recently Resolved BTRs
: view past BTRs") that will show any recently resolved BTRs.Do I have to subscribe to use the site?
No. Subscribers have access to various extra features
, but non-subscribers have full accces to all the main trading features. Non-subscribers can make offers, get contact info, use the forums and chat.
There was a period in the past (for about 2 years) that these features were limited to subscribers only. But, this is no longer the case.I can't get into Java chat! What's wrong?
Most new versions of Windows do not come with Java pre-installed. You may need to install it. The best version of Java is available from Sun, here: http://java.sun.com/
You want Java SE JRE (Java Runtime Environment).
We also have an old copy of Microsoft's JVM (Java Virtual Machine) here: http://images.kenyonhill.com/msjavx86.exe
if you'd like to try that instead.
Some people are unable to get Java chat working. The chat system requires that certain "ports" be open for use by the chat program. So, restrictive network environments will sometimes prevent that. You can use the HTML chat, though it is not very robust or sophisticated.
You may also want to consider using an IRC client. mIRC
is popular and works well here.I got (or lost) a gold global trader globe, but it doesn't seem right, what gives?
Unfortunately, there's a bug in GameTZ gold global trader globe system (the
icon). The golden globe is calculated based on where the people you traded with live. But, they are not tracked on a per-trade basis. So, if someone you traded with moves from one country to another, you may get credit for trading with that country, though it's not accurate. In the past, it was also possible to lose credit for a country, but this should be adjusted for now. This doesn't happen very often since people don't change their country very often. Also, we don't have a good way to fix this bug. So, we just have to live with it. Sorry.How is "Offer Response Time" calculated?
Offer Response Time is the average time it took you to initially respond to offers that have been sent to you. Offers you send to other traders do not affect your response time. Interactions you have in an offer that was sent to you after you first respond also are not relevant. The maximum response time per offer is capped at 7 days. So, even if an offer is set never to expire and you don't respond to it for 5 years, it will only count as 7 days. Responding to an offer means declining, agreeing, making an counter-offer, or adding a message to the offer. The response has to be within the offer page (email or pms wont count). Just viewing the offer is not counted as a response and will not stop the response time clock.