The gray key market is a slightly controversial topic concerning the amount of news and reviews pop-up about them in the first place. The term Gray market is meant to characterize the selling of items through websites that offer no information about the seller.
You wouldn’t even have the scope to verify the origin of their product. There is nothing wrong with buying a game key from the gray market websites if it works. Yet, many buyers and self-proclaimed tech enthusiasts seem to criticize the legitimacy and legality of these keys.
That brings out yet another question. If the keys sold on these markets are not legitimate, then why don’t the games reject them in the first place?
Websites like Steam, Origin, PS4, Xbox seem to accept these keys. Is it possible to steal game keys for every game?
Imagine if all game keys were occupied through fraudulent methods. That seems highly unlikely. Instead, it feels like these keys are deliberately dumped for the gray market to be sold at their prices.
People try to question the origin of these game keys. Stories of stolen or forged origin, are one of the most common in public comments. These are very often followed by links for news articles that speak about the revocation of user keys.
Yes, it frequently happens, but the reason is not because of purchasing from the gray market. It mostly happens because of using stolen credit cards for purchases.
There are more marketplace scams on sites like Amazon and eBay than on cheap game selling websites like CDKeys. But if a site is providing you with a money-back guarantee, your purchase is insured.
In the case of CDKeys, they offer a 7-day no questions asked refund.
What is CDKeys?
CDKeys is a comprehensive destination for purchasing game keys for multiple platforms, from PC, PlayStations, Xbox, and Nintendo. Additionally, this website also offers gift cards for multiple platforms from Itunes, Facebook, Steam, Origin, Netflix, GooglePlay, Battlenet, and many other services.
This website is completely owned by digital products distributor Omnyex E-Commerce, having its HQ in Dubai.
This little-known website has still not been able to give tough competition to websites such as Fanatical, GamesDeal, G2A, and Kinguin because of its model. While these competitors have taken complete advantage of influencer marketing, CDKeys follows their goal of lowering the price and improving services.
But because of this lack of marketing, there is very little known to most buyers about its origin. It has made searches like ‘is CDkeys fake,’ ‘CDKeys scam’ a daily asked question. It prompted us to write a detailed review of this website.
CD Keys Review: Is CDKeys Legit?
CDKeys offers decent discounts on its games, but only older games are available for a discount above 70%. The latest games are available for a lower discount. Then again, this website focuses on selling consoles and PC-based game keys. For digital storefronts like Steam, Origin, and Battlenet, CDKeys offer gift cards in place of game keys.
According to analytics website Similarweb, CDKeys ranks at 16th position among the gaming websites. A large percentage of its key sales is accounted for by the United States, followed by the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, and other European countries.
The user interface of this website is so simple that even an 8-year-old kid will be able to shop. One of the most user-friendly aspects of this website is its Currency and Language changing tabs. It works with over 30 currencies and seven languages.
The website clearly mentions the gaming platform on the top followed by a discount percentage. The lower portion of each image features the name, discounted price, wishlist, and add to cart feature. Any changes made here are instantly reflected on the website.
Details like discount percentage, number of reviews, and other game-related details are features along with the game file. You wouldn’t have to search for information. It also mentions Region, Availability Status, and Delivery Time, followed by details of game edition and different available platforms. You will even be able to watch trailer videos and purchase bundle games by scrolling down.
A highlighted wishlist, profile, and cart seem similar to other shopping websites. We found the search option a very functional requirement to direct yourself to the game of your choice without wasting time.
It displays a pop-up menu for most gaming platforms, gift card section, sales, daily deals, and others. The pop-ups are not clumsy but seem like a deliberate attempt to promote specific games and platforms. On the right-hand side, you have upcoming sales and daily deals timer. Overall, this website is very simple to navigate.
Mandatory login details to make purchases is a great prospect for dissuading fraudulent transactions and shady buyers. You can add any number of games to your cart or wishlist them but in order to purchase you will be asked to log in or continue as a guest.
Even in the Guest mode, you will have to provide complete billing information with an email address, country, First name, Last Name, Complete Address, Postal Code, and optional phone number. We suggest if you have an account, just log in to save time on filling the billing information page.
You will have the option to link your PayPal account to the CDKeys website for future transactions or choose to pay through pay using your card. You can use both a credit and debit card for completing the transactions.
Support is a bit complicated on this website, there is no direct access to talk or chat with a customer care executive to resolve your issues. Instead, it takes you to a web page of a well-arranged FAQs page, offering solutions to four different aspects.
General Information is a good read for new users to understand the terms and process of using the keys. General Help is concerned with the process of delivery, installation on your location, or verification related details.
A dedicated payments FAQ is welcomed, as most of the issues will be related directly or indirectly to the money. It deals with cards, currencies, PayPal related stuff, and different payment methods. The largest collection of Factual articles is for games and key redeeming processes on different platforms with dedicated pages for each platform.
Contact details are mentioned at the end of the website, which includes their official email address – email@example.com and contact information +1(855) 534-4806. Although it’s not that simple to contact them through calls as the number comes busy most of the time. Contacting through email addresses is usually simple and takes less time for them to revert.
Discounts and Offers
We found a lot of games, but the discounts were not too steep. Most of the games launched a couple of years ago were available for a 70% discount, but new games weren’t carrying steep discount tags. Their daily deals section ranks games according to the discount and offers, varying from 70 to 30 percent. The fact that there are no CDkeys discount code, istead the discount is added onto the price simplifies the process.
How does CDKeys make money?
To understand the revenue and business model. You will have to take an economic perspective on sales and marketing. Not everyone is willing to pay the same price. So, if the developers release cheaper codes, which usually don’t end up costing them sales on their primary platform.
The important thing here to note is that it doesn’t cost developers anything extra to make the games, and selling them for a cheaper price is just some extra gains. But the real revenue model is regional sales. Same games can be cheaper in some countries as compared to others. The developers leave it up to market analytics to learn about how much the buyers in specific regions are willing to pay.
So when it comes down to lots of Gray market retailers, they are just buying these keys for cheap. After acquiring those game keys it’s sold to buyers for a discounted rate than the original MSRP in the buyer’s region. The prices for games bought from original retailers and third-party retailers differ by 20 to 30% in the latest games.
CDKeys takes advantage of regional price fluctuations and sells them through their website, another important thing to notice is that these websites don’t have to maintain a physical copy of games. Selling digitally saves a huge amount of money on storage, warehousing, and distribution.
Even the sale events prompted frequently on its websites are a means of clearing out their digital key collections before the prices of games are dropped by original developers.
CDKeys Review: Is CDKeys Legit?
There is a reason why websites such as CDKeys are called Gray market retailers. There is no information regarding the origin and legality of the keys, the keys from CDKeys have always been accepted by the gaming platforms.
Ideally, when a stolen credit card is used to purchase a game key and sold off on the marketplace website such as G2A, they can be revoked by the developers for being acquired through illegal routes. The protection for buyers is that CDKeys is not a marketplace but a third-party retailer. Hence the chances of you getting a game key to purchasing through stolen credit cards are close to none.
But is regional reselling legal? The game companies should adjust their prices for each country. Once the developers have already completed the time-consuming process of developing a game and spending on it, the most profitable prospect for them is higher sales. It is better to sell for $25 than sitting idle with a demand for $50.
After all, a $25 profit can not be ignored. Most of the game developing companies are owned by corporate giants and there every single penny counts. CDKeys are also no different from those corporations. For adding more points to its legitness, CDKeys have over 63,714 reviews on Trustpilot with over 86% 5-star ratings.
The website purchases game keys from all around the world at cheaper rates to make small profits and offer huge discounts. Despite a lot of hooting regarding gray market websites, CDKeys is relevantly safer with mandatory login and billing details.
Its 7-day refund period is enough time to check and verify the product. With decent customer support, discounts, and benefits. CDKeys is a trustworthy website to purchase both game keys and gift cards.