Is Gamivo Legit For Game Codes?

Video games can be expensive, with prices hovering around $60 per video game. If you are an avid gamer, things can add up quickly – video gaming is an expensive hobby!

Many video gamers turn to gray markets to buy cheap activation codes that cost just a fraction of the price of purchasing video games from official sources.

Gamivo is an example of a popular gray market, with activation codes for popular games and new releases available for purchase for as low as a few dollars per game.

However, is it legit? What are the risks of buying activation codes on Gamivo?

In this article, I will cover all that. I’ll also discuss gray markets, how they work, the difference between gray markets and black markets, and their risks.

Check Out: Best Slope Game Alternatives

What Is Gamivo?

Gamivo is a marketplace where people can sell and buy video game activation codes. Think of it as eBay for video game codes.

On Gamivo, you’re buying your codes from third-party sellers, not Gamivo itself. Gamivo simply acts as a platform that facilitates the purchase and sale of video games – it doesn’t do any selling itself.

Sellers get their video game codes from various sources, which I will discuss below. However, the codes are usually much cheaper than the official prices.

It’s not uncommon to find video games at half price or less, or even for just a few dollars.

Gamivo is popular among gamers who feel that video games are overpriced or can’t afford them. However, Gamivo is a gray market video game marketplace, which means that it comes with several risks.

Explore: Best Games Like Roblox

What Are Gray Markets for Video Games?

Gray markets are third-party marketplaces that allow people to buy and sell video game activation codes. Examples of such gray markets include Gamivo, G2A, and Kinguin.

These websites fall into an ethical gray area, hence the term gray markets. The sellers may or may not get their activation codes legally – even if they violate the developer’s terms and conditions, they may not be doing anything illegal.

Check Out: Best CoolROM Alternatives

Where Do Gray Markets Get Activation Codes From?

You can never know for sure where a seller on a site like Gamivo gets their activation codes from. Sometimes, they get them from legitimate sources.

For example, some people receive activation codes as gifts from friends and family, but they don’t actually want to use the activation codes because they don’t like the game or have no interest in gaming. Instead, they might put them up for sale on a site like Gamivo at a low price.

In addition, people sometimes get activation codes at discounted prices and resell them for a small profit but at a lower price than the official one. It’s a win-win for both the buyer and the seller.

In other cases, Gamivo sellers get their codes cheaply by making bulk purchases and getting them wholesale.

The codes will work in all of the above cases, and you will have no issue using them.

Some gray market sites sell codes from other countries. For example, Steam codes vary in price depending on which country you are in.

If you’re in a country like Australia, it will cost more to buy games on Steam than if you’re in a country like Russia.

Sellers buy game codes in countries where they are cheaper and sell them to buyers in countries where they are more expensive while adding a small fee. Again, it’s a win-win for both the buyer and the seller.

However, things can get a bit sketchy. For example, the developer might have created some codes for journalists and reviewers to try out the game, so they can write articles about them.

These codes work for a limited amount of time, but the developer might disable them after a while. In that case, you will have no problem activating the code, but you might suddenly be blocked from playing the game a few days later.

And the seller might have lied about being a journalist to obtain the codes.

Then there are codes that were obtained illegally. Some sellers use stolen credit card information to purchase activation codes and sell them on sites like Gamivo.

The codes will sometimes work, but not always. In the past, developers have disabled codes obtained with stolen credit card information once they found out, so there’s never a guarantee that your code will continue to work.

Finally, there are codes that are simply fake. Just because someone is selling a code on Gamivo doesn’t mean it will work.

Gamivo and other third-party gray marketplaces do offer protection plans and provide refunds for codes that don’t work. However, protection plans cost extra, and getting a refund can sometimes be a hassle.

Check Out: Rec Room vs Roblox

What Is the Difference Between Gray Markets and Black Markets?

Gray markets fall into a legal gray area. Technically, these sites do not break any laws.

You also can’t know whether the seller legally obtained the code. They may have bought it for cheap in a different country or received it as a gift or wholesale.

The original game developer might not even be losing out. For example, if the seller took advantage of a promotion to buy a game code for cheap and then resell it on Gamivo, the developer did earn a profit.

Things might not always be so rosy, though.

The seller may have hacked people’s credit card information and used that to purchase the codes. They might have hacked a Steam account to obtain codes.

They’re not going to tell you if they did that.

In such cases, the developer might not earn anything, as the credit card owner might file a dispute with their bank and get the charge reversed.

On the other hand, black markets are entirely illegal and don’t attempt to hide that fact. You can find black market codes obtained illegally or use pirating sites where you can get games and other software for free.

Black market sites are not the focus of this article, though, and they come with a host of problems of their own. For example, pirated downloads often come bundled with viruses, malware, or adware.

Also Read: Best Blooket Hacks, Cheat Codes & Tips

Gamivo: Do the Codes Work?

One of the problems with buying from Gamivo is that you’re not purchasing the codes from Gamivo directly. Rather, you’re buying from third-party sellers, and you can’t trust all of them.

Experiences on Gamivo vary greatly. Many people buy keys from Gamivo and use them without any issues whatsoever.

This Reddit poster claims that they always purchase codes on Gamivo (without paying for the protection program) without experiencing any issues. The checkout goes smoothly, and the codes always work.

However, others experience many issues, including keys that are entirely fake, don’t work, have been used already, or are invalid for other reasons. You can see some of those experiences in this Reddit thread.

Unfortunately, there isn’t always a good way to know if a code will be valid before purchasing it. You’re taking a risk every time you buy a game code on Gamivo, even if you purchase the protection plan, which I will discuss in the next section.

Ultimately, a lot boils down to luck. If you’re lucky, you will never have an issue.

However, if you purchase game codes on Gamivo consistently, the chances of having a bad experience go up.

In one example of things going wrong, Sniper Elite 3 revoked over 7,000 game codes that people purchased from third-party sites due to the codes being stolen. These codes were sold by over 50 unauthorized retailers; Sniper Elite 3 only has a few authorized retailers it allows to sell codes, including Gamefly and Amazon.

A while back, Ubisoft also announced that it would go after people buying game codes obtained through fraud (such as credit card theft) and deactivating them.

Also ReadBest Fun Online Review Games That Are Teacher-approved

Gamivo’s Protection Program: Is It Worth It?

Gamivo has an optional Customer Protection Program you can purchase along with an activation code. You also get it for free if you sign up for a premium Gamivo SMART membership.

The Customer Protection Program promises to help you get a quick refund if you receive a code that doesn’t work or has another issue.

According to Gamivo, if you purchase this program by checking the box in your cart, you will receive priority support from the Gamivo team, which will work tirelessly to ensure a quick resolution is reached.

But is the Customer Protection Program worth it?

Check Out: Best VR Social Games

First of all, the fact that Gamivo has a “protection program” in the first place is a red flag. Any gray marketplace that sells a protection program is admitting, subtly, that they have no control over the validity of each code sold on the platform and can’t guarantee that the codes you purchase will work.

Furthermore, you should never have to pay extra to get a quick refund. Any legit marketplace, even if it allows third-party sellers to sell on the platform, will help you get a refund for fraudulent codes for free without charging you extra.

Finally, the Customer Protection Program isn’t as good as Gamivo says. For example, according to this Reddit user, Gamivo dragged its feet when issuing a refund and only promised refunds in store credit.

Other Reddit comments and posts I have seen confirmed that Gamivo often issues refunds in the form of store credit. For example, this Reddit poster claims that Gamivo gave them the option of a partial refund or a full refund in store credit for a game code that did not work.

In other words, you may not get cash back, just credits you can use to purchase other games.

That doesn’t mean you can’t get your money back in other ways. One of the advantages of using PayPal to buy codes on Gamivo is that you can file a dispute with PayPal if the code doesn’t work and get cash back in your PayPal account – many people have had success doing just that.

Explore: Best Games Like Kingdom of Loathing

Gamivo SMART: Is It Worth It?

Gamivo also offers a premium membership plan called Gamivo SMART. Some of the benefits of signing up for Gamivo SMART include the following:

  • Get a 20% discount code daily, which you can use on select games.
  • Get an additional 10% discount code every month.
  • Access live chat support, which is not available to non-paying members.
  • Enjoy free enrollment to the Customer Protection Program with every purchase without paying anything extra.
  • Get pre-order priority for newly-released games.
  • Enjoy a free game after your first month.

You can sign up for Gamivo SMART for just $1.11 for the first month and it’s possible to cancel your subscription at any time.

However, is Gamivo SMART worth it?

If you regularly purchase from Gamivo, it is worth it. For a small monthly fee, you’ll get access to exclusive discounts, and you may save money in the long run – although there is never a guarantee.

However, many people complain that Gamivo tacked on the SMART subscription to their purchases without asking them.

When buying a game on Gamivo, you may see the option to sign up for a SMART subscription automatically checked. You will have to manually uncheck it if you just want to buy a game without signing up for the monthly subscription.

Explore: Best Games Like Krunker

Gamivo Alternatives: Are There Any Better Options?

When examining game code activation marketplaces, you’ll notice that there are two very different types of marketplaces.

The first, like Gamivo, is the gray market site where third-party suppliers sell game codes. Where they obtain their codes is shrouded in mystery; the sources are dubious at best and often illegal.

However, there is another type of marketplace where you don’t buy from third-party sellers but from the marketplace directly. These sites don’t operate like eBay and don’t allow third-party sellers to sell codes.

Instead, they obtain all of their codes themselves. They may have access to wholesale prices by making bulk purchases or get the codes in other ways, such as by buying them in one region and selling them to users in another.

An example of such a site is CDKeys.

Check Out: Best Heardle Alternatives

CDKeys is still a gray market site, as you can’t know for sure how it obtained its codes. However, it’s one of the most reliable gray market code activation sites out there.

The fact that you’re purchasing codes directly from CDKeys and not from third-party sellers makes a major difference.

There’s still a chance that a developer might revoke a code you bought through CDKeys, but the chances of things going wrong are a lot lower compared to Gamivo, where there is little quality control. However, there is still some level of risk involved.

Check Out: Best GTAGuessr Alternatives

How to Stay Safe When Buying Activation Codes on the Gray Market?

If you’re not buying game codes on the black market, you’re probably aware of the risks involved and prefer to stick with legal methods. The gray market provides an outlet to buy game codes for cheap, legally, but how can you avoid the risks?

Beware of Regionally-Restricted Codes

Many sellers buy codes in poorer regions, where the prices of video games are lower, and resell them to buyers in wealthier regions. However, if a code is regionally restricted, you may be unable to activate it.

In such cases, the seller might give you instructions on how to fool the developer when activating the code by using a VPN or spoofing your location. That will usually work, but there is still a chance that it won’t.

Understand the Difference Between Authorized and Unauthorized Resellers

Some developers do allow specific retailers, such as Amazon Games, to resell game codes. These sellers obtain their codes by buying them wholesale.

You can usually find such information on the developer’s website – look for a list of authorized retailers.

On the other hand, some developers don’t allow resellers to sell their codes.

It’s always better to buy from an authorized reseller if you can, as you won’t face any issues or risk having the game code revoked.

One way to buy from authorized retailers is by browsing the Game Deals subreddit, which only displays authorized resellers. It also maintains a list of authorized and legitimate sellers here.

Also Read: Best Cookie Clicker Alternatives

Remember, just because a retailer claims to be authorized or has a badge on their website saying they’re an authorized reseller doesn’t mean it’s true. You’ll need to verify it with the developer first.

Use “Legitimate” Gray Market Sites

Gray market sites always fall into a gray area, and none are truly legitimate. However, some are more legit than others.

For example, CDKeys is more reputable than Gamivo, simply because it doesn’t allow third-party resellers, which leads to a whole host of problems.

On the other hand, Gamivo is more established and legitimate than other sites. When googling for activation codes for any game, you might come across sites that don’t have an established reputation, are new, or are scams.

Don’t buy from such sites unless you have searched for reviews first and verified that others had used it successfully.

Check Out: Wordle vs Quordle

Wrapping It Up

Gamivo is a dubious site due to the fact that it allows third-party suppliers to sell codes. While most people buy from Gamivo without experiencing issues the majority of the time, many people have bought codes that did not work or were deactivated after a short period.

It’s better to buy from sites that don’t allow third-party resellers, such as CDKeys, or from authorized retailers, which you can find on the developer’s website.

Amazon, Best Buy, and Humble Bundle are three major retailers that only sell legitimately-obtained games they are authorized to sell.

About Author

Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.