If you’re a gamer, you’ve undoutbedly heard about CDKeys. You’ve probably heard that you can buy cheap game keys there, but rightly so you may have some reservations…like where do these game keys come from? Why are they so cheap and is CDKeys legit?
In this article we answer all these questions and more…
- What is CDKeys?
- How does CDKeys work?
- Is CDKeys legit?
- How does CDKeys sell game keys so cheap? (see Sales and Daily Deals)
- What if I buy a broken key from CDKeys?
- What are the alternatives to CDKeys?
- Other CDKeys FAQs
- Popular game keys
What are game keys?
A game key (or CD key) is basically an activation code for you to play a particular downloaded or online game. Each “key” code is unique and usually comprised of numbers and/or letters or it can be a special download link in your email. The game can be accessed immediately on your device. Instead of having a physical CD to put into your disk drive or console, you are given a “key” code instead, which the gaming system accepts and treats it as if you bought the actual CD. With your game key, you can register and activate a game via your account on which ever game system you use. Each key is different and only redeemable once, so it cannot be shared amongst friends. Once purchased, the game key is delivered instantaneously and usually sent to your email so you can start playing seconds after buying. You can also find the cheapest CD key deals on the game price comparison website Cdkeybay that lists all the existing titles and sort the deals from the cheapest to the most expensive.
The benefit of game keys is you don’t have to keep track of all your games on CDs and disks, it’s all in your computer or online. Additionally, there’s no need to buy a disk drive for those of us with laptops or desktop computers that don’t include a disk drive. Because the game key is available right away, there is no need to go to the store, see if there are any more copies of the game, check out and drive home. If you are itching to play the newest Pokemon game at 3 am, no problem. No need to check if the stores nearest to you are open or have the game in stock, the internet never sleeps and can hold a much larger stock than your store’s shelves. There is no wait. Download the game or play online. Your activation code is sent to you immediately. For those of you who like to avoid as much human interaction as possible, buying online lets you avoid people in stores and no need to wait in lines. What’s not to love?
What is CDKeys?
CDKeys is an online gaming store that sells cheap game keys or digital codes for all types of games for all types of gaming systems. They also offer Xbox Live points and subscriptions, personal computer (PC) games, PlayStation Network cards, Wii U games, 3DS games, and top-up cards available for Steam, Google Play, iTunes, Facebook, Steam, and more. If it’s digital, CDKeys probably has it. Whether you want to buy a game for yourself or for someone else in the form of a gift card, CDKeys is one of the fastest ways to buy a game online.
The History Of CDkeys
Since the early 2000s, the domain has experienced multiple ownership changes. However, it wasn’t until 2013 that the website truly assumed its present form. This year seems to be a significant turning point in the serial number reselling industry.
I make this assertion because 2013 was also the precise year when the two other major competitors, G2A and Kinguin, began to gain significant momentum.
Identifying the precise reason why 2013 held such significance is challenging. However, it’s highly probable that the growing prominence of the Steam platform in the early 2010s played a role.
During that period, the Steam platform was already revolutionizing the video game industry.
Physical copies of video games were becoming less common, as customers increasingly opted to buy their games online. Consequently, CD Keys was well-positioned to benefit from this shift in purchasing behavior.
Having established themselves as a reliable game key reselling platform, they fulfilled all the necessary criteria to become an industry leader.
Within a year of commencing operations, the range of products on the website had already doubled. By the summer of 2014, they were not only trading on PC, PSN, and Xbox Live platforms but also offering iTunes gift cards, Facebook gift cards, and, naturally, Steam gift cards.
Since then, they have gradually expanded their product offerings. Nevertheless, the primary focus of cdkeys.com remains, and will likely always be, game key reselling.
How does CDKeys work?
CDKeys accepts most forms of online payment including debit and credit cards, PayPal, Giropay, Neteller, iDEAL, Sofort, Apple Pay and many more options. You can even pay in Bitcoin! CDKeys is not just available in the United States, it’s available to gamers around the world. They even provide a currency converter with more than 30 different types of currencies for customers who need estimates abroad. The CDKeys website is available in 8 languages.
You can create an account on CDKeys using your email, Facebook, or Google account. Creating an account can be used to track orders and expedite future buying processes by saving your information.
CDKeys also has a blog that is updated frequently that discusses game deals, announcements, and reveals. The company is also available on multiple social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitch and Instagram.
Note: Be advised that not every game will be able to be activated in your country. Some games are restricted to certain countries and regions. Remember to read the game description carefully to see if your country is eligible for the game you wish to purchase.
The CDkeys Business Model
Regional price differences enable resellers like CDkeys.com to generate profit. Their entire business strategy is centered around capitalizing on these regional price disparities and purchasing opportunities.
At first glance, this approach might make CDkeys.com appear less legitimate and ethical. However, in reality, they are among the most ethical gray-market traders available.
As previously mentioned, it’s common practice in many major industries to minimize labor and manufacturing expenses by leveraging regional price differences.
CDkeys is no exception in this regard. They even openly acknowledge their reselling business model in their Frequently Asked Questions section.
They are undoubtedly taking advantage of regional price differences, but they are doing it in a transparent and honest way. In my opinion, such commitment to transparency is a welcome sight in the third-party key reselling industry.
I wish all gray-market companies were as transparent as CDkeys. If this was the case, there would be no gray-market at all. Illegitimate online stores would be seen for what they are – black market stores.
And, at the same time, legit stores would be seen for what they are – trustworthy and safe to purchase from.
This leads us to our main question, which deserves an entire section of its own. It’s a simple question in itself, but it’s surprisingly difficult to answer. The question is, of course – is cdkeys legit?
Is CDKeys a legit and safe place to buy game keys?
Yes, CDKeys is a legit and safe place to buy game keys. Certainly compared to other peer to peer marketplaces you can rest assured that on CDKeys you are buying legit game keys from an accredited retailer. Certainly it pays to be vigilant when buying online, but CDKeys is as legit as they get.
You can get a sense of the best deals on CDKeys’ website by checking out their Sale page and Daily Deals.
Trustpilot is a website aimed to help verify websites to make sure people aren’t just falling into a scamming trap. They strive to eliminate fake reviews and reviews included on their website list if the customer rating that site has a verified order. At the time of writing CDKeys has an “Excellent” rating on Trustpilot with tens of thousands of reviews and a “TrustScore” of 4.4/5. See here.
CDKeys’ terms and conditions are available on the website for anyone to read, even without the purchase of a product. CDKeys also makes sure to be transparent with its customers’ privacy and security concerns. They have a full list of information they obtain and why they require it. There is also a complete list of cookie names CDKeys collects and a statement describing what that information that specific cookie stores. If you regret allowing CDKeys use of your personal information, you can retract permission or opt out by emailing them at [email protected].
Let it be known that although CDKeys is a company-run website that has passed almost every legitimacy test that I have seen, there is always a risk when buying through a third party seller. If you would like to explore more about this topic, I’d suggest reading the terms and connections listed on their website.
Where Do The Keys Come From?
When you create an account and buy a key from CDkeys, you’re purchasing directly from the store rather than another user. This distinction is crucial.
In the case of marketplaces like G2A and Kinguin, you buy keys from individual sellers rather than a business entity. In these situations, there’s always the risk of acquiring a game key obtained through highly illegal methods from another user.
Credit card fraud is a serious crime, and platforms such as G2A and Kinguin often serve as hubs for fraudulent activities. Even if they don’t directly engage in illegal activities themselves, it’s difficult to consider them legitimate.
Each time you buy a game key from websites like G2A and Kinguin, you risk supporting illegal activities, either directly or indirectly.
Of course, you’ll never truly know the origin of your purchased keys, even with cdkeys.com. Buying a game key from a business entity rather than an individual is generally considered more trustworthy.
However, even in this case, you’re essentially placing your trust in the company, believing that the key was obtained through legitimate and legal methods.
In reality, though, it’s always possible that a stolen key found its way into cdkeys’ database somehow. Unfortunately, this risk is inherent with all third-party key resellers.
CDkeys may be the most legitimate among key resellers, but there is always some risk involved. It’s worth noting, however, that the risk of having your key revoked is considerably lower than the risk associated with illegitimate sites like G2A and Kinguin.
Why Is CDkeys So Cheap?
CDKeys boasts of the cheap prices of their game keys. They say this is possible thanks to regional price differences around the world. By buying cheap game keys in other countries, they are able to resell these keys in other countries at a higher price. Which countries have cheaper prices for game keys, you may ask? Third world or underdeveloped countries. CDKeys can purchase games in bulk in the thousands from these countries to resell and make a profit, but still give us great deals.
CDKeys also claims that they save money on postage, packaging, etc. by being a solely digital market. In addition, there are no hidden or payment fees for any purchase made on CDKeys.
What happens if the game key I buy on CDKeys isn’t legit?
There is a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page and a customer support page with common problems that are experienced. If that still doesn’t answer your question, there is a support request form you can submit where you can explain your situation in detail. However, this is not a form to request a refund or a return if the game key has already been redeemed and here’s why:
According to CDKeys’ terms and conditions, they do not accept refunds or returns on used game keys. Refunds are issued on a very rare case by case basis, usually if the game key hasn’t been redeemed yet. Again, no third party seller is 100% guaranteed. If you’re looking for complete peace of mind, you’d probably be better off buying from trusted first party sellers. If it’s between Target and CDKeys and you’re looking to save some money, CDKeys might be worth the “risk”. When it’s between CDKeys and other third-party alternatives, I’ll take CDKeys.
G2A and Kinguin are a couple known competitors of CDKeys. However, they have become a bit controversial lately with some questioning their legitimacy. In fairness, Both G2A and Kinguin are legit marketplaces (not unlike eBay), but the customer experience is sometimes less than ideal because you are buying direct from other consumers rather than a company.
CDKeys is different than G2A and Kinguin because purchases made on the CDKeys website are endorsed and backed by the company itself, whereas G2A and Kinguin are purchases offered by individual sellers. Individual sellers decrease the reliability of third party products, due to having limitations in what G2A and Kinguin control. They serve mostly as a platform to connect buyers and sellers, not to sell game keys specifically backed by their business. In this way, G2A and Kinguin have a harder time obtaining good ratings from Trustpilot. CDKeys would probably be the better safer choice if you are debating between the three platforms.
Where is CDKeys located?
CDKeys lists it’s primary office address as Unit 2603, JBC4, JLT, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The servers hosting the site itself appear to be located in San Francisco.
Who owns CDKeys.com
CDKeys is owned by a privately held company Omnyex E Commerce DMCC, incorporated in the DMCC Free Zone in Dubai.
How to contact CDKeys
CDKeys operates an online support desks here. They also advertise their support email address: [email protected]
Where does CDKeys get their keys?
CDKeys buys up games in bulk from 3rd world countries where the prices are set lower for the local market. They then resell these game keys at a markup to consumers in 1st world countries. This is basically an arbitrage play.
How is CDKeys different to G2A
CDKeys buys and resells their own keys in bulk. The source of their keys is always legit. G2A on the other hand is a marketplace for 3rd party vendors to resell keys. Both these approaches are legit, but the G2A model does invite bad actors (in the same way any marketplace does) so G2A gets a bit of a bad rep because of scammers.
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