Interview with Jess Ratcliffe of GaBoom.co.uk

Have you ever wanted to set up your own business? Well, not just a business but one that was doing something you love? For a lot of you reading this that would be video games. I know I have thought of it a lot, “what can I do that will make me money and means I work in video games?” I have yet to find that answer, I’m still trying don’t you worry, but for some people they have made their dream a reality. 

Recently I was looking to get rid of a copy of Deadly Premonition. I had recently purchased it from my local store and hated it. I knew I wouldn’t get much money for it anywhere so was at a bit of a loss as to what to do with it. I had seen on Twitter a mention of a service that would allow me to swap my games online with a user base. I managed to find someone willing to swap Deadly Premonition for Assassins Creed: Brotherhood and the rest is history.

GaBoom.co.uk was the service I used and will be the service I use for the rest of my time on this earth. GaBoom is an easy to use service giving me the option to swap my game by connecting directly with the other user, by Escrow where each user stumps up £18 deposit and then sends the game out using recorded delivery with their deposit returned when the game is received or by using the GaBoom secure swap system where for a minimal fee both users send their game to the team at GaBoom who check the discs and then send the games out to their new owners.

The owner of GaBoom, 21 year old Jess Ratcliffe is very active on twitter (@GaBoomTweet) and since the service went live in July 2010 Jess has managed to amass over 10,000 active members. After chatting to Jess online I asked if she would be willing to answer a few questions. She was, and here are the answers:

Where and when did you first get the idea for GaBoom? 

Jess: I first had the idea for GaBoom when I was 15 years old and hanging out around the corner from where I live. There’s a large field, so a group of friends and I used to play out there all the time, climbing trees, skateboarding and then going inside to play video games. I used to swap my video games with my friends and neighbours and one day thought, ‘wouldn’t it be awesome if you could do this on a larger scale!’ The idea grew from then on.

What was it that sparked you to look into setting up the service?

Jess: As soon as I had the idea, I knew I wanted to make it a reality so I started looking into getting work experience at local web development agencies.  Fortunately, it was around the time of work experience week at my senior school, so it fitted in perfectly! I got myself a weeks work experience at a web development agency in Guildford and it was there I explored the possibility of setting up the service. Unfortunately, the agency quoted me £10,000 for the work, which was way out of my budget at 15 years old! So, I hired a web freelancer over the internet and that’s when things took a turn for the worst, and I soon realised I had been taken for a fool, when the developer walked away with my money without delivering the website he had agreed he would. Then when I was 19 years old at in my first year at university, I was able to take the idea back up again and I’ve never looked back!

To read the rest of the interview and find out Jess’s thoughts on the kind of games she likes and also her time on BBC TV show Dragons Den then head over to Death By Robots by clicking here.

Also, check out GaBoom.co.uk – a great place to swap games you don’t want, for ones you do.

 

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