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Teen launches online store selling pre-loved games

Saturday 13 May 2023 | Written by Joanne Holden | Published in Features, Go Local

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Teen launches online store selling pre-loved games
Adison Rowe, 15, has opened an online store, PL Games, selling second-hand PlayStation 4 and PS5 games to the people of the Cook Islands. Adison will be running a stall at the Punanga Nui market on Saturdays to compliment his online store. 23051242

The mantra of a 15-year-old Cook Islands boy who has kick-started his own business selling second-hand video games around the country is ‘just do it’.

Adison Rowe decided to open his online store, PL Games, after upgrading from PlayStation 4 to PS5 in the New Year and discovering it was “quite easy” to sell his old games on Facebook Marketplace.

“After I sold all my games, I called a lot of my friends and I bought games off them. Then, I resold those games for a profit and I thought, ‘This is a good idea,’” Adison says.

“Over here, they only sell brand new so there’s not many cheap games.”

Tapping into money earned through his part-time job, Adison bought up second-hand PS4 and PS5 games from around New Zealand and enlisted the help of his grandmother in Waikato to ship them in bulk to Rarotonga.

Adison, who has maternal links to Cook Islands through his mum Penrhyn-born Poloa, launched his website, plgames.shop, on February 4.

He is also set to open a stall at Punanga Nui Market, near the stage, on May 13 (today) and every Saturday thereafter.

“I thought it would be a good idea to not just have an online presence, but a community.

“I just feel like there will be a lot more people in real life that want to see the games, see what kind of quality they are, because you can’t actually see that online.”

The level one Tereora College student markets to people at school as well.

“There’s a lot of kids that game at our school,” Adison says.

“Usually, at lunch breaks, I’ll show them the website and I’ll give a marketing pitch. They will ask me if they can buy this game or that game, and then I’ll just bring it the next day.

“But, since I’m mainly online, it’s 24-hour access.”

Adison says buying second-hand can save a customer between $30 and $50.

He has sold 48 games in the three months since he opened, and has about 40 still in stock.

“I’m not really profiting right now. It takes a lot to set up – the website costs quite a bit, and the games, shipping, all of it costs – but with time, it should be good,” Adison says.

“I want to save money for if I have any future ideas for businesses, because you need money to make money.”

His advice for other young people with an idea for a business?

“Better to start now than think about it. Just do it.”

Adison tests every game before listing it online, and has only had to throw out one disk so far after it “snapped” en route from New Zealand to Rarotonga.

He keeps in contact with both buyers and sellers, building a community with an ultimate goal of being the “main online PlayStation games store” for the Cook Islands.

Adison says he may expand into selling games for other consoles, such as Xbox, further down the line – but wants to focus on PS4 and PS5 games for now as he knows a lot of people who have one or both consoles.

Games can be purchased with cash or via direct deposit and, if the buyer is in Rarotonga, picked up from either Adison or his mother’s salon, Halo, in Avarua. Games can also be shipped to the Pa Enua, “The Last of Us” having already been flown to an Aitutaki gamer.

Adison says the average Cook Islands gamer is male, aged from 15 to in their 30s, and gravitates towards action games.

“I feel like the younger audience also prefers multi-player or split-screen games, because over here there’s not a lot of Wi-Fi to play online games.”

Adison has been an avid gamer since he was about six years old, though his parents have videos saved of him tapping buttons for a racing game at age two.

“I did get a PS2 very young. I was also on the (Nintendo) Wii. A lot of my friends were playing games so it was, like, the thing.”

His favourite game is Grand Theft Auto V, which he first had a go at when it came out in 2013.

“I only played one mission, but my dad had it and he was playing it,” he says.

“I usually just replay it all the time – but I like a lot of games, I like different points of games.”

He is currently playing through Call of Duty: Black Ops III with friends.

“My dad doesn’t like playing with me because I always destroy him,” Adison laughs.

“I think it started when we were playing Borderlands 2, and I just drove away. It was in a desert, and I just drove away and never came back.”