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The Shady Side Of DKoldies

The video game resell market can be a surprisingly dark place. For example, after a slew of retro video games sold for outrageous prices, the gaming community began to suspect that those high-profile auctions weren't what they seemed – and it turns out they weren't. Video game grading company Wata was sued for market manipulation, falsely inflating prices based on its own grading system. The resell market in general – with or without professional grading – has some suspicious characters. DKoldies seems too good to be true at first, a gaming reseller that has just about anything a retro enthusiast could want, all refurbished and cleaned to a like-new condition. Sure, the prices are a little steep, but who wouldn't pay for quality?


Many YouTubers are now arguing that DKoldies is too good to be true, alleging that the company has lied about the quality of its goods. Instead of staying silent or rehabbing its image, DKoldies has fired back, insisting that its business practices are sound. While the truth may be murky, it's clear something shady is going on.

A business based on quick resells

There's no better place to start than the beginning in a case as convoluted as DKoldies'. Back in 2015, DKoldies launched the first episode of its podcast on YouTube. There, the company's founder, Drew Steimel, sat down with coworker Anthony Leitch to talk about all things gaming. The conversation was awkward, which may be expected of a company's first foray into the digital space, but the video quality wasn't what was alarming about the podcast. Instead, Steimel's nonchalant attitude towards gaming and his dubious reasoning for getting into the game-selling business raised alarm.


Shortly after the video's introduction, Leitch asked Steimel why he wanted to start DKoldies in the first place. Steimel insisted that he didn't like to talk about the company's origins, then told a story about meeting a woman who sold pet-related items online. Seeing her success, he thought he could do something similar and began – via a roundabout path – buying games on eBay and reselling them for more money than he paid for them. The entire premise of DKoldies was built on making money quickly, not a passion for gaming. The company's website tells an entirely different story about how Steimel founded DKoldies, emphasizing his childhood love of gaming and glossing over his business aspirations.


There's no crime in wanting to make money, but Steimel's derogatory tone toward other online vendors (at one point calling a seller an "idiot") suggests that he may think selling games online is an easy job that requires little skill. According to Steimel's comments, DKoldies' business model is based on buying and reselling, but its official website offers something very different: refurbishment services.

Does DKoldies actually refurbish items?

The core of the DKoldies controversy focuses on its refurbishment of goods — or lack of refurbishment. DKoldies' site claims that it refurbishes each item it sells, checking that the products work and "look and work like new." However, several YouTubers alleged that they've ordered items from DKoldies that haven't worked at all, and perhaps worse, were filthy.


A quick search on YouTube yields a wealth of videos where game reviewers show off their damaged or dirty goods from DKoldies. The worst examples feature items that don't work properly, like TronicsFix's case of a damaged game. Even though TronicsFix cleaned the game's pin system, the pins themselves were damaged, bent into a configuration that prevented the console from reading the game.

YouTuber Jacob R ordered a few of products from DKoldies and reviewed them in a series of videos. After ordering a PS3, Jacob R unboxed it in a video and detailed each issue he found, focusing specifically on the dust and grime caked into the console. Jacob R described the items as smelling old, like they had been sitting in a basement for years, and alleged that dust shot out of the system's fan once he turned it on.


In other words, while the system technically functioned, it didn't live up to DKoldies' promise of refurbishment. The system had not been visibly cleaned — or even opened. While that may not seem like much of an offense, dust buildup can affect the system's performance.

DKoldies promises to completely clean and refurbish each product that passes through its warehouse, but many claim that the items they received simply don't live up to those standards.

Odd behavior on social media

DKoldies has been around for years, but has only become a topic of conversation recently, likely because of a social media campaign focusing on short, entertaining videos that work well with TikTok and YouTube algorithms. The majority of these short videos feature DKoldies' most recognizable worker, Joey, as he packs orders and showcases the company's alleged refurbishment process. While the shorts show workers blowing dust out of consoles and examining connector pins, the actual shipped products allegedly do not reflect that level of care. After YouTubers began speaking out about DKoldies online, the company had its own response, claiming it was not a scam.


Still, some YouTubers investigating DKoldies say that these posts actually reveal less-than-desirable business practices. For example, ReviewTechUSA has extensively covered DKoldies, reviewing order after order from the company and combing through its social media backlogs. ReviewTechUSA alleged that in one DKoldies video showing how the team corrects stick drift, the video actually shows that the item in question is still uncalibrated, doomed to continue its drift.

Older DKoldies videos show cramped working conditions and frustrated employees. In one office tour clip, owner Drew Steimel criticizes employee Anthony Leitch for having an untidy workspace, which seems to contradict previous orders.


Throughout the entire video, Leitch seems uncomfortable and frustrated, which is only exacerbated by Steimel's goading questions. After filming this video, someone at DKoldies thought that it should be uploaded to the company YouTube channel, where it has remained for years, despite the more recent controversy. While it's unclear what the complete story at DKoldies is, it's obvious that something shady could be going on at the company, and gamers may want to avoid potential heartbreak.