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Cap’n Games, in it for the kids
by Aaron Retherford
Nov 14, 2012 | 6334 views | 4 4 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo/Garrett Valenzuela
Cap’n Games volunteer associate Robbie Carey stands with a display of video game accessories Wednesday at the Sparks business.
Tribune photo/Garrett Valenzuela Cap’n Games volunteer associate Robbie Carey stands with a display of video game accessories Wednesday at the Sparks business.
Cap’n Games is no “big box” video game reseller. One step into its cozy location at 634 Pyramid Way in Sparks, and it doesn’t take long for video game aficionados’ eyes to light up.

With the “retro room” to the right and the newer games straight ahead in a separate room, one could spend an entire lunch break sifting through the over 6,000 items that line the shelves in the customer-friendly establishment.

Owner Jake Stoner opened Cap’n Games on Stead Boulevard in January 2011, but moved to its current location near the intersection of Prater and Pyramid in June of this year.

Like many used game resellers, Stoner, who has been selling video games for 20 years, recognized a need for a new kind of video game store that did things a little differently.

“Everything we do is geared toward the customer,” Stoner said. “We give up to half of what we sell it for in store credit. Other places will give you 10 percent if you’re lucky … If I walk into a game store and I’m treated ill by whoever is running it, I don’t ever want to go back. I don’t want my friends to go there. I don’t want my kids to go. That’s kind of an experience I had with another game store in town. People come in and we try to greet them by name.”

Stoner’s philosophy has caused some customers’ jaws to drop. Most expect to receive similar trade-in credit to the “big box” retailers, which leaves some gamers exiting those stores, wondering why they even bothered to trade in their games.

However, Cap’n Games will give customers up to 50 percent store credit. So if a game is being sold for $40 in the store, you would get $20 store credit as long as it is in pretty good condition.

Another thing that separates Cap’n Games from the rest of the pack is its Gamer’s Choice program. If you buy a used game for $10 or more, you can bring it back within three business days if you beat it or decide you don’t like it. You will receive store credit for the amount of the original purchase minus a $3 processing fee.

And if you’re worried about selection, Cap’n Games has everything from Atari to Xbox 360 games and systems and everything in between.

The store recently sold a rare deluxe Nintendo system that came with the robot and gun, and it was all in mint condition.

“The guy who bought it works for the Air Force, so whenever he came into town, he would come check us out,” Stoner said. “He saw that and said he had to have it, no questions asked. I ended up delivering it to him at the Silver Legacy and they played Nintendo all night. It was pretty cool. He was really happy to get that.”

Cap’n Games also sells movies and will do special orders for customers. Stoner points out that at $1.99 for a DVD, customers can trade them back in to the store for $1 credit, so they’re paying less to rent a movie than from Redbox.

Stoner’s desire to open a video game store began at a young age.

When Stoner was 17, he wanted to open up a store, but he couldn’t find any helpful information from the Chamber of Commerce or other local businesses on how to start a business and what licenses he needed. Instead, he took a job with another video game store and learned the trade. He’s been selling used games online for years, but he felt it was time to have a physical store.

“Basically the whole reason for opening up this store isn’t for livelihood,” Stoner said. “I just want to have a place where kids can go and trade stuff in, get good rates on it and not have to bring cash. Other places if you want to get something, you have to bring in money to pay for sales tax. We go a step further and you can use your trade credit for sales tax. We just pay the sales tax ourselves.”

Stoner is also a very hands-on owner, willing to stand on the side of the street in Mario and Luigi costumes on Fridays and Saturdays.

“I enjoy it. Just waving to the kids in character and seeing the smile on their faces as they drive by, that’s worth it to me,” Stoner said.

For more information on the selection and pricing, go to the Cap’n Games website at
Comments-icon Post a Comment
jamie j
January 25, 2013
So if he's paying sales tax with video games how does he get away with not paying the government the sales tax he owes them. Sounds like someone might need to be audited. I like going to Game Force, they have great prices compared, like the week Halo 4 when it came out was only $40.00 over there and I traded in 1 game and got $30.00 in store credit, plus they have a bunch of older games too, they just don't order them, they wait till the customers bring them in. Which is fine because then your not charge for a special order like this cap n games does. Plus I've tried trading in games at the cap and they gave me half the lowest value of ebay and then tried selling it for the high value of amazon. Really? I say Game Force first and then its a toss up between this place and gamestop.
The Capn
January 29, 2013
By stating we pay the sales tax Jamie, that means we actually PAY the sales tax out of the monies paid by other customers (aka, profits). You're mistaken when you think we give "lowest value" of eBay and sell for "high value" of Amazon. We give customers half what the 5th listing for Amazon shows at that time and look up each game individually to make sure the customer gets fair value for their trade in items. A person who was volunteering with us was actually doing low value on Amazon against company policy. That person no longer volunteers with the company. Oh and many people don't want the hassle of dealing with eBay and Amazon (that's why they're in any local store to start with!). We help the customer get games that don't come in every day and charge a nominal fee for that service (plus deal with all the hassles one might encounter when transacting online). It sounds like you've been given some mis-information on how things work from someone who's no longer welcome in the store. I welcome the opportunity to talk with you face-to-face regarding your experiences. You know where we're located and I'm there 5 days a week to assist in any way possible. Hope to see you soon and straighten out this mis-understanding. Plus, our company records don't show anyone by your name having ever traded (or bought) from us in the first place... weird, eh? - Cap'n Jake; 775-677-0311
Alexander Banks
November 21, 2012
This place is awesome. Cool people to talk to, and great prices on everything. I've even special ordered a couple of things from them and gotten them quickly. Way better than going to a big box store.
November 20, 2012
I love this place! The people are friendly, the selection is huge for a retro gamer like me and they even have newer games and tons of good DVDs for cheap! I've been sendig all my friends to this store!

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