Is It New If GameStop Already Opened It?

GameStop has a policy of opening their new games before they sell them to you, and that has some customers understandably pissed off. From Aeropause:

I stood there and watched the clerk open the cabinet and lift out a Sid Meier’s Pirates designed users manual. I see him pop open an empty PSP case and slide it in.

“I said NEW.” I replied angrily, having seen this before and knew what he would say,

*voice shaking* “This is new,” I was furious at this point. It was cold and late and I didn’t have time for his crap.

“So if I walk out the door right now with that unsealed case then walk back in here next week with it in the same condition, you’ll give me full return credit as a new game? I mean, it IS new after all right!?”

We think this stinks. —MEGHANN MARCO

Hey Gamestop! Stop Opening My New Games! [Aeropause] (Thanks, Kat!)

Comments

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  1. homerjay says:

    I don’t get it. What are they doing now?

  2. crayonshinobi says:

    It’s called Amazon.com, it’s cheaper and has a better selection. Also, Amazon doesn’t open your games before sending them to you free.

    A peculiar note, after Gamestop bought EBGames, there are now 2 Gamestops across the street from each other in my town. Very weird.

  3. BillyShears says:

    Gamestop and EB (now one and the same) have been doing this for years. It’s why I don’t shop there on principle. The company’s profits (and fairly high stock price) are built on the concept of “Sell as much used stuff as possible.”

    It’s gotten to the point where you can’t trust the clerk to give you a new product when you specifically ask for one, so I shop for games pretty much everywhere but that chain.

  4. muddgirl says:

    I bought The Simpsons: Hit and Run (used) from a Gamestop in LA. To my surprise, it did not work at all when I brought it home. I looked at the disk; it had a huge spot that had been literally scraped off the CD (probably about 2-3 square centimeters). When I returned it to the store 15 minutes later, the cashiers were a little snide about it (since they had presumably purchased the disk from someone without checking it), but they replaced it for free.

    I don’t really understand what this dude is complaining about. Gamestop has a policy. This guy knows the policy. He dislikes the policy, and….

  5. BillyShears says:

    Muddgirl he’s complaining that some register monkey at GameStop tried to sell him a used copy of a game when he specifically asked for a new one.

    If that’s store policy, it’s a matter of when, not if, they get taken to court.

  6. Principia says:

    I’ve successfully returned open-case new games to EBGames/GameStop on more than one occasion.

    If it’s a used game they’re supposed to slap a sticker on it that seals the box and essentially declares it *now* opened if you’ve popped the sticker.

    The thing that annoys me more is their acceptance of incomplete used-game-packages as trade-ins for the portable systems. I mean, hello, you’re telling me a game that comes with no box and no instructions is only worth a $5 discount?

  7. kodec says:

    Having worked for EB years ago, I can confirm that this is indeed store policy. Here’s the deal: the ‘used’ label is strictly for games that have been specifically traded in for store credit or cash. It does not apply to returns in any way, and most of the time returned merchandise is not shipped back to corporate or even put through an ‘open box’ sale – it’s sold again as ‘new’.

    When games are stocked, one copy gets ‘gutted’ – the contents of the case removed and stored behind the counter – while the empty case is put on the shelf for display. When a customer wants the game and this is the only copy left, the guts are put back in the case and sold as-is, at the full ‘new’ price. It’s not like the discs are thrown into a box of wire mesh pads and thumbtacks or anything, but the box has indeed been opened and technically the product isn’t ‘new’. I think where EB/GS gets around the whole issue is that calling these games ‘new’ is not official terminology, but just how employees commonly differentiate software that isn’t ‘used’.

    So, ‘used’ games are only games that have been traded in. ‘New’ applies to games that have been gutted, games that were sold ‘new’ and returned, and of course unopened stock. There have also been occasions where brand new, unopened games have been traded in and ended up in the ‘used’ stack.

    Also keep in mind that all of these stores have a shrinkwrapping machine in the back for re-sealing merchandise.

  8. dohtem says:

    They have been doing this shit for years. I was a regular at EBGames (before their merger) and they did it there too. They claim it was only used on their display machines and no one actually *played* it. Later they started shrink wraping the games back themselves, trying to pass them off as new. You can easily spot the difference between an xbox game wrapped by the manufacturer and their crappy shrink wrap job.

    I think I heard somewhere they let their employees borrow the games. But I never verified that claim.

  9. darthonly says:

    It is not new. It is a rip off.

  10. Tear says:

    Yeah, GameStop has to stop opening NEW games. Better yet, why don’t they stop that nonsense with posting cheap posters right onto the game cases? For a collector, it really ruins the value of the game (and we all know that GameStop can easily find alternatives to posting those cheap stickers that might even save them money).

  11. darthonly says:

    Man that pisses me off. It is not new if it is opend. They wont even take stuff back if it is open. People need to rise up agenst this.

  12. leshrac55 says:

    They’ve only done this to me if they’re using a display case… that is, they’ve run out of the ones “behind the glass”. Whenever I’ve pre-ordered a game from them, the game comes completely sealed.

    It does kind of suck to get a “new” but opened game, but there IS a positive side to this. His last question is it, but he doesn’t answer it. The answer is, YES, they will accept the return. I learned this when I tried to return my copy of Trauma Center within the 1 week time frame (that used to be their policy whether it was opened or not). They apparently changed their policy because they got sued when they tried to re-sell those returned, used games as “New” (obviously a shady practice).

    In any case, the flip is that since they have to accept your return, you can just tell them it was an open case when you bought it (it should still have a price tag on it), and return it, saying you never played it within the 7-day timeframe. It’s like a 7-day free rental.

    Of course, this would eventually devolve into the same thing they got sued for before, since they would have a “new” game that was sort of really “used”, but then sell it as “new” again (but I suppose in that case they have plausible deniability).

  13. L13 says:

    I went to gamestop once and that is what they did, putting a ds game cartridge back to the box and calling it “new”. So then i was like “I am not gonna buy it full price with an open box” then he said he would take 10% off. It was too shady so i went to bestbuy instead.

  14. thegogglestheydonothing says:

    This is the exact reason I do not buy ANYTHING from GS or EB.

    It’s a total sham and people actually still buy crap from them. Go to Target, Wal-Mart, Amazon, anywhere but GS or EB. They are swindlers.

  15. Promethean says:

    the only time I have ever gotten a new game at an EB/Gamestop that was already opened is when I wa spurchasing the last copy, and the box was the shelf display. Never have they opened a new game to sell to me, and when they open the drawers new games are held in, they are all packaged.

    What I have heard that these stores– and many other stores do, is purposely open a new game if you are getting it by returning that same game for a replacement, such as with a bad disc.

    Either the stores in my area, Northern NJ, behave differently, of the stores visitted by the person in this post do. Either is possible, since a lot of store behaviors are pushed down by the store or regional manager.

  16. Tsalagi says:

    I have bitched about this many times before in other forums. I don’t think it’s right that they open the games beforehand. If the game is opened before the customer buys it it should be sold as used. Countless times i have bought “new” games from them only to discover later that they were actually used. I will never, ever shop at a GameStop again. They always try to rip you off.

  17. Kat says:

    The point I keep making is that, say at Best Buy, we wouldn’t buy open items without getting their open box discount.

    They do keep some factory-wrapped games behind the counter.

  18. ridleysaria says:

    This practice, where Gamestop unwraps new games and takes everything out, is commonly refered to as “gutting”. I have no idea why they do it, but they have a lot of nerve trying to sell these games as new. Any employee could take the disc home for a night, or copy down serial numbers from Nintendo games and register them on Nintendo.com. I encourage everyone to not support a company that does this.

  19. mhr says:

    “So if I walk out the door right now with that unsealed case then walk back in here next week with it in the same condition, you’ll give me full return credit as a new game? I mean, it IS new after all right!?”

    Excellent question — it would turn on GameStop’s Return Policy.

    If the B&M version of GameStop and GameStop.com have the same Return Policy, it’s anyone’s guess.

    GameStop.com’s Return Policy states:

    Returns to GameStop.com

    Returned product(s) must be in the original packaging and include any manuals, cabling and accessories in saleable condition. We reserve the right to limit returns to unopened or defective products. Defective product(s) will be replaced with a like item, upon return.

    We do not accept returns of:

    - Any product(s) returned more than 30 days after delivery.
    - Any product(s) that has been opened (taken out of its plastic wrap).
    - Any product(s) not in its original condition, is damaged, played, or is missing parts.
    - Any product(s) that were sold as part of a bundle, unless the bundle is returned complete.

    Please do not send us product(s) that do not meet the return criteria listed above, as we do not issue refunds for nonqualifying items and cannot return the items to you.


    Maybe GameStop.com sends you shrinkwrapped games? If so, no problem.

    But in B&M GameStopLand, we know they’re doing something else — selling games that have been opened and are without their protective plastic wrap. So, if B&M GameStop follows GameStop.com’s Return Policy, they’re committing fraud by selling a product that cannot be returned at all because it’s been “opened (taken out of its plastic wrap).”

    Anyone know what the B&M GameStop’s return policy is??

  20. There is a funny thing about the guy going to EB/Gamestop to buy a DS game. They charge $34.99 for most of them new and Best Buy charges $29.99. With that 10% discount you would have saved about $3.50 and it still would have cost more than going to Best Buy and purchasing it without a discount.

    If I worked at a place that opened all the games before they were sold I would copy down at least one code from the inside of every official Nintendo brand game they had and add it to my collection on http://www.nintendo.com You get free stuff from doing that sometimes. You would also have a huge list of “purchased” games.

  21. penhalion says:

    If you are buying 360 games new, be aware that Microsoft seal the packaging as an anti-pirate method. You can in a pinch report EB or Game to Microsoft if you buy a new game from them and the seal is already broken.

    I think as one poster already put it “It is a case of when, not if eb get taken to court over this policy”

  22. battlemaus says:

    they only to this to ONE copy of each game so they can display it on the floor. its so no one can take a display box and run out with a free game.

  23. bluefunoodle311 says:

    Gamecrazy has started doing the same thing. I will give them benefit of the doubt only because I bought Burnout Revenge (brand new, gutted copy) at the used price because someone, for some reason or another, stole the empty case. So, I got a brand new game disc and manual in a generic case for ten dollars less than retail price. But really, they should have the manufacturer ship them a separate empty box for use as display and then keep the unscathed, brand new, factory sealed copies in a cage or behind glass or in the back. They’d be pissing off less people and would still be preventing theft.

    I’ve watched plenty of people get pissed and walk out the door when they notice the cashier put an open Disc in the case and hand it to them as “New”

  24. MisterLlanowar says:

    I work in a gamestop right now and I can say that this is a pretty crappy policy, but theres really not much else that can be done. We have to display our games and gutting one copy is the simplest solution.

    The only thing is emplyees are allowed to check out gut copies of new games to play at home. In fact, right now im playing my stores got of rogue galaxy.

  25. Elixir says:

    Down here in NZ they constantly remove discs and manuals from brand new games.

    They keep them under the counter in a gigantic draw fill of games separated by tiny pieces of paper.

    It’s a piss poor way of handling things and this is yet again one of the reasons why I import games.

  26. ortholomeux says:

    what i don’t understand is this:

    why doesn’t the manufacturer ship 1 empty case with the games to EB so this whole thing is completely avoided…

  27. StrikeGunner says:

    Yeah this sucks.

  28. Optimistic Prime says:

    Just a couple notes, if you’re playing the game, it will play the same new or used. That having been said, gutting a game saves you money in that the crap won’t get stolen as often. If you’re wanting “new” in principle, but it’s the last copy, simply ask for the shopworn discount. It’s only 10%, but most of the clerks know about it and will give it to you without a problem. But remember, if you give the poor guy behind the counter a hard time, he may have a stroke of incompetence…

  29. muddgirl says:

    Wait a minute! At department stores and boutiques all across the country, employees are taking clothes out of the dressing room, which have already been worn, and returning them to the racks. Those clothes are used! I demand a 10% discount.

  30. ronaldscott says:

    I buy from GameStop and EB, but only used stuff (and not recently released used stuff, either, 10% discount doesn’t cut it for a used price in my book.) I will never buy anything new from them because of the gutting policy.

  31. Optimistic Prime says:

    muddgirl has a great point. Don’t forget all those cars that go for a test drive, or simply moved on the lot… As far as sending an empty box, that would be a real nightmare for the people working at the store. Problem 1-> some a-hole stole the empty case, you have to gut anyway. Problem 2-> you now have to keep track of your inventory constantly to make sure a game you don’t have in stock is not displayed, angering the customer who waited in line for said game.

  32. dohtem says:

    MisterLlanowar: Just to be sure here, are those games that you borrow still sold as new? Or are they marked as used?

  33. ronaldscott says:

    I dismiss muddgirl’s and OPrime’s points. “Bah,” I say, waving my hand.

    Clothing isn’t a good analogy because one can easily inspect clothing for wear and tear, stains, stretching, before one buys it. Clothing does not have additional value that might be removed from the sale package undetectably, like Nintendo Points, coupons, registration keys, etc.

    Cars have an odometer clearly showing how much use they’ve gotten before being sold to you, and can also easily be inspected for damage or wear by any halfway competent shopper.

    Games, not so much. Something could easily have been removed from the package, and you’d be none the wiser unless you had another package to compare it to. Additionally, cartridge-based games (think DS) can have hidden internal damage (it’s a ROM after all.)

  34. squidhat says:

    I used to work at a music store that did the same thing. If you didn’t carefully check the packaging, you could very well purchase a “new” CD that had actually been returned, usually because it was scratched or otherwise unplayable in a customer’s CD player. Genuinely disgusting.

  35. FoolsRun says:

    Joining the ranks of those defending the policy, it is Gamestop’s policy to gut a copy of the game for display.

    This policy is intended to combat shrink, not to screw the customer. There is no technical difference between the gutted copy and a sealed copy, and the store will re-shrinkwrap the game if you ask them to. If they don’t then by all means refuse to shop there, but don’t overreact. The employee was selling you an un-played, unsold copy of the game.

    You’ll only get the gutted copy of the game if it’s the last copy in the store. You’re welcome to refuse to buy the last copy of the game and try to find it elsewhere.


    M

  36. Aitrus233 says:

    I say this is a bullshit complaint. Opening a game doesn’t mean it’s in a less than new quality. As long as the disc is still in perfect condition, I don’t care if I have to buy a new gutted copy. I used to work at Game Stop, the reason we let employees try games out was so we learn more about the stuff we’re selling. Since we’re supposed to be the biggest and best sellers of video games, we’ve got to know more about the stuff we sell than anyone else. It helps to have actually played the games. And if the new disc we borrow comes back scratched after use, we pretty much just bought the game.

  37. SAKY says:

    W/o reading ALL the aforementioned posts….In my experience what is happening is that they only have one copy of the game shipped to the store and need a display case for the shelf. Another case would be…if the store’s last copy of a game was used for the display case on the shelf and a the disc is kept in the drawer behind the counter.

    Still, there are better ways of going about this…how about color copies of the front and back of the cases…shrink-wrapped to a peice of cardboard. You know they have plenty of cardboard and a shrink-wrapping machine. That kind of equipment is standard in a retail business. If they had pre-release boxes (you know with the coming soon sticker, top shelf) for every game to come out then they could use those or take the covers out of the old ones and replace them with covers for current/instock titles.

  38. FoolsRun says:

    I would like to hear a reasonable suggestion for how to display a copy of the game on the wall that would account for the VAST number of stolen “empties” each store sees on a weekly basis.


    M

  39. NeoteriX says:

    Back in high school I had a friend that worked at EB. He told me about the reshrinkwrapping machine… and then proceeded to tell me how the employees would take a new game home with them, open it, burn a copy on the CD or otherwise play with it, bring it back, reshrink it, and reshelve it.

    Devious.

  40. FoolsRun says:

    NeoteriX: That doesn’t really have anything to do with the company as a whole; that has to do with jackass criminals.


    M

  41. ronaldscott says:

    All the defenders are missing the point. Sure, if what you’re saying is true, the policy would be fine, but the customer has no way to verify that GameSpot/EB is telling them the truth about the disc they’re getting.

    Discs can be bad, with no external sign of being so. The disc that is being pushed on you could be a defective return (the McWorkers there at GS will just put it back in the drawer without checking it.) The disc could be a game they bought used from a customer. How does the customer know? They don’t know.

    Couple this with GS’s return policy (i.e. “We do not accept returns of any product(s) that has been opened (taken out of its plastic wrap).”), which they are clearly BREAKING THEMSELVES BEFORE SELLING THE PRODUCT, and you have a recipe for consumer screwing. So I get the defective disc home and it doesn’t play, and I take it back and some ladder-climbing bastard enforces that rule on me above? No thanks.

  42. Repede Limit says:

    Apparently, the GameStop in my area is nice enough to wrap it up again if it’s the last copy.

    I understand that it’s the last copy, and it’s the copy the used for display, but I think it’s only reasonable that they actually gut one new copy to do so. If they just received a blank case with nothing in it, it’s another way of saying, “I’m too lazy to take it off the damn shelf.” But at least if they gut it, not only do you still technically get an un-played game, it tells other people that you just got the last copy of the game they’re all rushing to get.

    As much as I hate some of the policy that Gamestop/EBGames have, there’s probably a decent reason behind it, if not, stupid and pointless, but I’ve never had a problem when it came to games in this condition. They plastic wrapped it again (and pretty well too I might add), so in case I would need to return it, it would still fall under their return policy.

  43. FoolsRun says:

    ronaldscott:
    Well then it comes down to whether you believe the person handing you the disc or not. If you don’t, then sure, shop at Best Buy instead, but that’s how all shopping works. You have no way of really knowing if the meat you’re buying at the grocery store has been properly refrigerated, but you trust the grocer. Same thing here.


    M

  44. BillyShears says:

    FoolsRunHow about doing what Toys R Us did in the 80s (and still does to this day for popular new releases) and have a laminated copy of the game case that includes the front cover art and the back synopsis.

    Or is running down to Kinkos too much for the company to spare?

  45. poematik14 says:

    the gamestop by my house is great. all their new games are new and sealed by the manufacturer, and their usd games are just off the shelf, which i never buy.

  46. FoolsRun says:

    I guess my biggest problem is that the author is blaming the employee, who has nothing to do with policy, and definitely isn’t paid well enough to try to defend it to some irate customer who, by the sound of it, went in with an attitude.

    I was that underpaid employee and I don’t miss the fight picking customers.


    M

  47. ronaldscott says:

    Or another idea would be to have decent security. The Best Buys in my area seem to have no problem with having the full retail package out on the shelf.

    There’s also the “locked cabinet” approach. Even GameStop does this with used GB/GBA/DS carts since they fit in a pocket.

  48. ronaldscott says:

    The employee is the company representative, whether he likes it or not. This is the burden of being in the retail industry. If the employee doesn’t like the policies they have to uphold, they should quit. Otherwise, no whining about “well I don’t set the policy.”

  49. FoolsRun says:

    ronaldscott:
    Well then don’t shop there. I worked there and upheld the policy and know that it’s not designed to, nor does it, screw the customer (like I said, you can ask for the game to be re-shrinkwrapped), so I continue to shop there safe in the knowledge that I’m not being screwed any more than I would be by another retailer.


    M

  50. McKack says:

    Collectors syndrome… Live moar

  51. blacksamurai87 says:

    I hate you, EB Games/Gamestop. I also hate GameSPOT for giving TP such a weak score Bitches.

  52. FoolsRun says:

    But remember that your other option is Best Buy. The place isn’t amazing, nor even good, but it’s better than the alternative, and those are your two options (not counting online stores).


    M

  53. bloodr says:

    I had this happen to me. The clerk claimed it was the last one of that particular title they had in stock. I was very insistent that since it was open it was “used”, and the clerk gave me 10 percent off. After that I stopped shopping there. Now, it’s Amazon, Best Buy or the local indy game store.

  54. hirodashi says:

    I was formerly a Gamestop store manager and I believe that there was , at one point, a class action lawsuit filed somewhere in California that pertained to this. Usually though, if they sell you a new-opened copy of the game, you can then throw your weight around a bit to get a refund done if you must. Just keep your cool , and work your way up the management ladder to get what you need done in this case since their policy ,generally, is “screw you”.

  55. jubeininja69 says:

    well so far all the games i brought at gamestop has been sealed becuase i mostly reserve. but yeah there was this one time i was looking for digital devil saga 2 and they had a beat up case of the game, labeled as new. so i thought it was just a case so if i brought it up he would give me a sealed copy. all he did was put the game disc he stored in the back of the store into the case and called it new. i was pissed but i still paid for it becuase i really wanted to play it. in the end i will not pay for a game and ask for a sealed copy. if they don’t have then i’ll go online or to another store. to me once its opened IT’S USED. selling opened games as new also contradicts their returns policy so if i buy a game new and something happens to it am i not supoosed to return it? they need to fix it and somebody has to do something about this.

  56. perfectly_cromulent says:

    ronaldscott, there will *always* be a policy in the retail world that us workers do not agree with – but we still have to uphold them.
    I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford to quit just because I don’t like a policy.

  57. Mr. Gunn says:

    Kat goes into a store that she knows does something she doesn’t like, then proceeds to get mad at them for doing it? Pick fights much?

  58. DarkBro says:

    Scanning through the comments, all I’ve seen are comments about gutted games. When I bought my DS lite the week it launched from EB Games, the first time it had a dead pixel, but when I returned it and got another one and made it home, I noticed that the plastic seal had already been broken, and when I unpacked it there were smudges all over the white case (very noticeable), and dirt and crap on the screens. I couldn’t really believe it, but I took it back the next day saying that it had already been opened, and the clerk said something that one of the staff must have opened the box to personally check the handheld out, then repackaged it as if it was as good as new. I was stunned, then took my third DS lite home and have maintained a simmering rage against EB Games ever since…

  59. ThePeacemaker02 says:

    They sold me a Vice City when it first came out in this “new” condition. They shrink wrapped it to make it look “new” but I said I wanted a new game. They told me it was new but it was obviously a return. When I opened the case the booklet had blemishes and the disc was slightly used looking I got pissed. Went back the next week and exchanged for a real new version.

  60. June says:

    If you don’t like the policy, no one’s forcing you at gunpoint to shop there. As mentioned before, they will only give you the display copy of a game if that is absolutely the last one in the store. If you don’t want it, just don’t buy it, and hunt around for it somewhere else.

    New games are labeled ‘new’ because they haven’t been played before, so technically they are mint. The boxes have been ‘gutted’ so that games won’t be stolen, and customers can still check the descriptions on what they want to purchase. As far as I know employees aren’t allowed to take games home to ‘test;’ anything that leaves the store must be bought. If they do, that’s the store manager’s problem.

  61. leshrac55 says:

    June-

    I’ve definitely heard of stores letting their employees take games home to play. Whether or not it’s “allowed” or is “policy”, I’m pretty sure it happens.

    That being said, I don’t know what they take home… It’s possible they’re already used copies, or maybe demo copies… I have no clue.

  62. leshrac55 says:

    Please… If you legitimately have a problem with a game you bought “new” that was gutted, or you never played it (or you tell them you never played it), they will take it back. Buy the game with a credit card, and if they don’t let you return it, leave it with them, call your credit card company, and contest the charge. I’m sorry, Gamestop can’t (and probably doesn’t) play this both ways… As I mentioned, when I tried to return Trauma Center (because I thought the 7 day policy, played or not, still existed), they asked me if I had played it (since it was a gutted version). I said yes, not knowing that they had changed their policy. If I had said no, they would’ve just taken it back without an issue.

  63. dohtem says:

    I sympathize with the posters that have worked at EB or GameStop in the past and had to follow this policy but how this doesn’t make sense to you guys baffles me. Once you have broken the manufacturer’s seal on the packaging, you have no right to charge MSRP. It shouldn’t matter that all you did was take it out, look at it and put it back, it is for the end user to open.

    I agree it may never have been played (btw how does one prove that?), but it is not new.

    I remember getting games where the Xbox Live trial cards were missing, the case under the shrinkwrap had gunk from sticker residue, etc.

  64. callmesteam says:

    the only way to fix the situation is for gamers to STOP shopping at gotdamned GameStop. i could write about my experiences, but i’d be here all day. i even have a tag in my blog just for gamestop rants. so i stopped shopping there for good, and i’ve never been happier. Amazon, Play-Asia, Target, Best Buy, local shops… all ten times better than the corporate crap-hole of GameSh!t/EB. Let’s UNITE, we’ve got to stop letting these a**holes rule the world.

    of course, we’ll never win.

  65. BlindsidesDork says:

    Yeah if I get a game from EB Games…it is either used or pre-order for special stuff and the day it comes out so I would get it guaranteed sealed!

  66. acrana says:

    Yet if they do put the new ones out there they get stolen. I work at a gamerush store and we put the games all sealed up how we get them and in a case but have to use the rental copy coverart to show that we have the product. Since its illegal to copy and such. Considering we barely have enough room with 5 huge cabinents I dont see how a usually small place like EB or gamestop would be able to hold every game still in the package. You also have to remember bestbuy walmart all of them usually sell for a lost with games to get people in to buy accessories and other stuff. But games are the only thing EB sells, and new games only give 2-3 dollars to the retail IF its able to be sold before it goes down. Anyways I dont like gamestop or EB because I ordered something once, cancelled it but still got charged.

  67. Pech says:

    leshrac55; this may come as a shock to you, but there’s no way you ‘rental’ scheme would work at all past a couple ‘returns’. Have you ever noticed that when you make a return that your information is collected by the retailer? That information is very much used if a manager notices a trend of returns by a customer. Having worked at Barnes & Noble which is actually a sister company to Gamestop; I have seen returns refused by a manager when a scammer tries to abuse the system firsthand. You’re only asking for trouble when you perpetuate a scam. In the case of the caught scammer my manager quickly distributed the scammer’s name, information and description to all of the area stating that returns from that person were not to be accepted at all without reciepts. In you case I imagine that you Gamestops could be told to refuse any returns made by you period.

    I can understand being mad at a system but you say quite a bit about your own character when you suggest such a scheme.

  68. VakeroRokero says:

    is that the only gaming store you have in America? don’t you guys have Walmart? sounds like a ripoff yet people continue to give their money to them! what is that called… Masochism? I don’t remember…

  69. acceptablerisk says:

    dohtem,
    With all respect, they can charge whatever people are willing to pay.

    And to no one in particular,
    Most EB/Gamestop employees will be happy to oblige you if you want your game resealed or you’d like to inspect the contents of the case. If you simply must have a copy that has never been opened and they don’t have one available for you, simply take your business elsewhere.

    Why someone simply must be assured that no one else has ever touched their merchandise is baffling to me. There’s no telling how many people may have tried on that pair of shoes you bought. I don’t understand how this is any different. It’s especially odd to me in the case of things like DVD’s and video games. If well treated, there’s no functional difference between one that’s been used a thousand hours and one that’s never been opened. If it’s in new condition, what difference does it make if it’s opened or not?

  70. Koinu says:

    I’m sorry, but this story is really out of hand, as a former employee (former, I said, I now work for Best Buy, I didn’t agree with EB’s policy’s), this is called Gutting.

    Gutting Is only done because companies do not send us display boxes of the games, and due to high theft ratio’s (with normally one person in the store at one time–for most of the day). Yea, they should knock a few dollars off the gutted copy (one thing I was fighting for to get changed to, but it is a business).

    If they didn’t gut the games, then you would walk into the store, and see nothing on the shelves, because it’d be too hard to (And too risky) to put product on the shelf.

  71. IceZ says:

    Well i used to work at GS so like the others who worked there already said, we did “Gut” new copies of games but it was just so we could have the games displayed on the racks. The Disks sit in sleeves behind the register, probably in much better shape then most people keep their games.

    We were allowed to check out the games for 3 days, so long as we had more then 3 copies of the game. We had to make sure it was kept in perfect condition. Believe me with how bad that company treats its employees the last thing we needed was some jack@ss coming in the store and arguing about a piece of plastic wrap. We basically worked 8+ hours per day without a break and sometimes no lunch, so having @-hole customers really didnt help.

  72. IceZ says:

    O ya one other thing…don’t complain about the employees taking the gutted copies home with them. Havent you ever gone in there and asked so how is this game… Ya if we werent allowed to take those gutted copies home, how the Phuck are we suppose to know.

  73. acceptablerisk says:

    O ya one other thing…don’t complain about the employees taking the gutted copies home with them. Havent you ever gone in there and asked so how is this game… Ya if we werent allowed to take those gutted copies home, how the Phuck are we suppose to know.

    Well, the obvious answer would be that they buy them like everyone else, but I’d imagine most EB clerks don’t make more than minimum wage. Borrowing games seems like a appropriate perk.

  74. Mit says:

    I also work at GameStop, and yeah, it’s not that bad of a thing. Really, unlike most of you anal people, people tend to like it if we kindly inform them that we will mark on their receipt and initial personally that the new game was opened, and that they have 7 days to return it as a new, unopened game, even if they have played it. If it is returned like this, and looks anything short of new (zero scratches/smudges) we will defect the game out, as we do that to crap all the time. This is atleast what we’re supposed to do.

    One thing we’ll never do: grab a used game from an entirely different section and throw it in your new box. This is against policy and you’re a moron if you think all the employees are big enough douchebags to do that to you. (why would we even want to do that? It wouldn’t count as us selling used product, it would count as us selling you a new item, which would charge you more, make our used percentage go down, and mess up our inventory) The only thing we “Swingle” or “con” or “Cheat you out of” at GameStop is wanting you to reserve games and sign up for Edge cards. Maybe buy an extended warranty every now and then too (which we don’t push as hard). Otherwise, yes, we do try to sell you used stuff if we have it, and if you want new, no prob, just don’t complain when you buy a crappy new game and want a refund (and then complain about the price we give you in trade in credit). Be a douchebag elsewhere because don’t care about doing business with douchebags, because it makes no difference to us if you shop in our store or elsewhere. We’d rather not deal with you.

    Anyways, I say this because I am genuinely nice guy, and have extremely good customer service, but it just ticks me off at the amount of complaining some people do when 90% of the time they don’t even know what they’re talking about. Atleast rip on corporate for some things too, because most of the time the employees are great people, just doing what they’re told.

  75. sketcher67 says:

    Fuck EB Games and Gamestop

  76. facerock1 says:

    So you’re concerned that the game you’re purchasing has already been returned/played while at the same time you worry that you won’t be able to return the game? That makes wonderful sense.

    I work at GameStop and I get this argument often enough. Most of the time we don’t discount it because in my opinion plastic wrap isn’t worth ten dollars, especially considering you’ll be tearing it off in a few minutes yourself. Not only does gutting the game make our in-stock accurate, it gets an REAL example out on the floor (and instruction book to flip through).

    At my store (and most around here) we will let you swap a game out at least once if you absolutely hate it, and that is one of our major selling point over Best Buy or Wal-mart. So long as it’s in good condition who is it going to hurt? It’s not like shoes where someone’s sweaty or filthy feet have been. And if it is missing something or scratched we just ship it off to get resurfaced and it comes back as a USED product. We get actual defective new games back that were sold in plastic and
    I have no problem swapping it out for another one.

    Whenever someone gets out of hand over this subject I just suggest they try to find one plastic wrapped across the parking lot at Circuit City, I don’t care if you spend your $50 elsewhere it’s not gonna be on my paycheck.

    If you’re store isn’t putting forth any effort you’re probably shopping at the wrong store. Pick one of the other 50 Gamestops or EBgames that are within 15 miles of you till you find one that isn’t full of douche bags.

  77. jubeininja69 says:

    problem is that they don’t tell you that the “new” game is opened or go ahead and automatically marked your receipt that the “new” opened game can be return. if they only warned people that this was their policy then all is fair game and people have a reason to not shop there.

  78. DekaGreen says:

    Yeah, the ones who DON’T tell you that it’s a GUTTED copy are lazy idiots. The store I used to work for had that you either told someone about why the game was opened or you got written up.

    I stand by what Koinu IceZ, and Mit say. In addtion, you’re an IDIOT and a RETARD if you just assume that the store’s giving you a “used” copy of the game and don’t speak up and ask what’s going on. You’re doing nothing on your own behalf except letting your mind fill in the blanks, and if you’re not smart enough to even ask in the first place your mind’s not going to do a good job reasoning out what’s going on.

    Don’t start talking like as if you know what’s going on until you look at BOTH sides of the story, jackass. Why not try working for them and see how it is on the other side of the counter? Oh, I’m sorry, SHOWERS are required for the job, LOSER.

    (… Yeah, working in Video Game Retail has raped my social innocence and increased my assholery…)

  79. June says:

    Employees are allowed to borrow games? I stand corrected. o.O That’s new to me, but I don’t live in the United States (where GameStop reigns supreme), so the policy at EB Games is different here.

    Regardless, if you’re getting the gutted copy, nothing is stopping you from returning it at ANY EB store in the country as long as the sticker seal is still on, so if you happen to pass by another store and see a sealed copy, no one’s going to give you any beef if you want to swap it or get your money back. But what’s the big deal, weren’t you going to open and play it anyway?

    IMO, the guy buying Pirates was just an asshole for yelling at the poor kid on register over something that’s out of his control. At the very best, walk out of the store and don’t buy the game if shrink wrap is so important. Simple as that.

  80. Falconfire says:

  81. Falconfire says:

    I dont think anyone has a issue with gutting per say, its that its legally considered used at that point, regardless of what EB/Gamestop policy says and regardless if it has been touched or not.

    In fact, I would not be surprised if it was considered illegal in some areas. Since no one has likely complained, its never actually been challenged.

    Gutted games are nothing more than “Floor Models” If EB/GS is selling them new, at full price, then they quite likely are breaking the law in a lot of states.

  82. broseff says:

    Do cars come plastic wrapped? Can’t I return a camera to Best Buy, have them charge a restocking fee, and see the exact same camera for the same exact price later that week? Or have a pair of shoes or a jacket that someone might have worn once and decided to bring back? Principle and technicalities aside it’s plastic, not molestation. Tons of places put out an empty box to secure the actual product. Floor model would entail someone actually demoing the game, not moving it from a case to a sleeve to a drawer and then back again.

  83. Zweites says:

    On the one hand, I shop at Game Krazy, and avoid Gamestop like the plague. Largely because Gamestop screwed me over on a “extras” package that came with a pre-order, putting me through a week long ordeal trying to get the promised “goodie box”.

    What made this worse, was the extras box was available the week prior, but they refused to give it to me, on the basis I might find and get the game ITSELF elsewhere (As other stores inexplicably seemed to have recieved it first).

    So between their insinuation *I* was shady and the EXTREME difficulty I had keeping them to their word, I don’t shop there anymore.

    Game Krazy, TODAY, sold me a game that was returned with the cellophane removed. Despite the old price sticker and the boxseal on the game being intact, they admitted it had been returned and gave it to me at the used price. I don’t know if it’s just well managed or it’s the franchise, but I have never had problems with them.

    THAT having been said though, this guy’s an asshole. Jumping angrily on some frigging high school kid who’s just following store policy is the act of a complete twat. He ADMITS this was something of a sting operation, in that he’d had the same discussion earlier with another employee, and any gamer knows Gamestop has the policy of gutting a display box.

    The disc was in a DRAWER.

    It hasn’t been infected with some rare disease, or used as toilet paper, or been chewed on by sewer rats. It’s their policy to prevent theft. If you don’t like the policy (and I agree. It’s stupid) don’t stage a spectacle with some zit faced tenth grade…

    Call or email the corporate office. They’re the only ones who will BOTH pretend to give a rat’s ass AND be in a position to consider changing the policy.

  84. Mit says:

    I don’t think there are many laws that state a game has to be shrink wrapped in ordered to be considered used. If you really think of the definition of used, nothing about a gutted game is “used”, it’s just opened. Yes since it’s opened there’s a possibility it could be used, but seeing as how employees are the only people with access to said opened games, they are supposed to be under GameStop’s law, and aren’t going to randomly play an opened game in the store or something and make it used (while I’m not ruling out that that is a ludicrous possibility). Also, I don’t think lawsuit would do much against it, as I think retailers have enough control over the products they buy from manufacturers and publishers to legally determine if a game without shrink wrap can be sold at full price or not. Maybe, they could get in trouble for selling an employee-checked out game that actually had been played, although, I believe many stores aren’t allowed to do this much at all anymore, and I actually am not even sure if GameStop’s rules say it’s ok to check out new games. I know for sure if we have the game used we have to check it out used, but I think (atleast now) we aren’t supposed to check out new games but people do it anyways because there’s no real punishment, and there’s still the whole, if you make it look not-new, you bought it (or if you’re a manager, you defect it out probably…)

  85. Falconfire says:

    I don’t think there are many laws that state a game has to be shrink wrapped in ordered to be considered used.

    No but there are many laws that state a item MUST be in its original wrapping to be considered new. The minute you “gut” a item to use the box on a shelf its considered a floor model and must be sold as such (NYC consumer law actually requires the tag used/floor model/refurbished etc.)

    Its not a question of shrink wrapping, though if you where to buy medicine would YOU buy it if you know the seal is broken, yet all the others came with it. The problem here is EB/Gamestop actually taking the game out of the box, and putting it in a cabinet. Regardless of its good intentions, thats the questionable/possibly illegal part. There are plenty of ways that they could sell the games without having to worry about stuff being in the box, like photocopies of the box wrapped around a shell (WHICH they do for pre-releases now) or maybe a decent damn alarm system that buzzes if someone leaves the store with a game (like Software ETC does)

    Also, I don’t think lawsuit would do much against it, as I think retailers have enough control over the products they buy from manufacturers and publishers to legally determine if a game without shrink wrap can be sold at full price or not.

    Its not the publishers or EB/Gamestop’s decision here. Its your state or municipalities consumer rights law. And if you think they cant do anything about it, take a look online at how many companies 2-3 times the size of EB/GS buckled and reversed practices because a city or state levied fine after fine at them.

    The bad publicity alone is enough to make most companies change their mind.

  86. 5yearwinter says:

    I work at Game Crazy (a GameStop competitor) – and I have to say that the GameStops in our area don’t do this – all the games I’ve purchased there (admittedly few) have been factory sealed. That being said, the ones in Philadelphia (where I go to school) definitely do this.

    I think a part of that has to do with theft. They don’t have enough room to display the unopened items behind the counter (like we do – nothing over $17 is out on the floor).

    Also, a policy at our store is that anyone can open a brand *new* game to try it out – we’d rather deal with an opened game than an argument when you try to return it because it sucked. So we will sell opened games as “new” under the condition that they’re “in-store” copies.

    It doesn’t bother me really for DS games, as they’re cartridges and very durable. But for CDs, I don’t buy opened stuff unless I’m getting a decent used price, or it’s an extremely rare game.

  87. Optimistic Prime says:

    The only time it really matters if you’re buying the game to play is some DS and GBA games that have save files that cannot be deleted. Otherwise all the pertinent info is on a non-writable disc.

    Truth be told, GameStop doesn’t really care if you buy a new game from them or not, unless you pre-order. That’s because you are in essence giving them an interest free loan. Their bread and butter is used games, which sometimes have a 500% markup.

  88. Koinu says:

    “Truth be told, GameStop doesn’t really care if you buy a new game from them or not, unless you pre-order. That’s because you are in essence giving them an interest free loan. Their bread and butter is used games, which sometimes have a 500% markup.”

    500% Markup from what? The price you made up in your mind? The BK games are just a bad example (infact, I found out if you trade them in, you get 2.00 for it, while it costs 99cents to buy (haha).

  89. FoolsRun says:

    Koinu:
    500% from the price they gave whomever traded it in.


    M

  90. B says:

    To me the issue is with Gamespot’s return policy. If I tried to return an opened copy of a game, they wouldn’t let me, so by selling an opened box, they’re making it so the customer can’t return the game.

  91. zapb42 says:

    Note that they don’t gut EVERY copy of the games that they sell.

  92. leshrac55 says:

    IceZ:

    Totally valid points, but then they most definitely should not be treated as “new”/”unused”. You just completely admitted that EB sells games that are used as new, which, at least according to an EB manager I spoke to, they were already sued for (and lost).

    If it’s worth it to the company/store for employees to be able to play the games so that they can be knowledgeable about them, then that’s great, but then they can’t charge a “new” price for those “store copies” when they are very clearly not new. Tons of other stores have “store” or “demo” copies of what they sell, and every other store would sell these as “floor models” or “open box” packages, and it should be no different for games. That’s the price of doing business.

  93. zibby says:

    Just out of curiosity, why are people walking off with the “empties”?

  94. mrwilson says:

    If only one copy of each particular game is gutted (removed from packaging and the case displayed), then presumably only when every other inventoried game is already sold is a customer ever sold the “gutted” version. That might well suck (or not, depending on one’s perspective) for that particular person, but that can’t happen all that often, can it? Are GameStops just selling out of games all the time, so that this actually occurs frequently, or is it more like once every two weeks or something would a customer end up with a gutted copy from any individual store?

  95. facerock1 says:

    It’s obvious no one here has actually tried to return a game that was unwrapped when they bought it. As long as you explain why it’s unwrapped or find the guy who sold it to you no one will second question you.

    Also they were sued for re-selling games that had been returned at a new price. They didn’t lost they settled out of court for a measly one time discount. That case changed policy so that items still had to be sealed when you returned it, but that is only upheld when people abuse the system and treat us like blockbuster.

    PS we almost always inform the customer why the game is opened and if they complain tell them try elsewhere. It’s not that big of a deal to most.

  96. valel says:

    I’ll stick to amazon.com

  97. Helvetian says:

    I feel strongly that the policy is anti-consumer, deceptive and unacceptable. It’s important to clearly communicate this information to customers, a simple “this is open boxed software” statement would suffice. At that point, the customer could decide to pay full retail, request a discount or cancel the transaction. That is the consumers choice and they should be educated and offered the information. Never shopping at GS/EB again over this policy and I am a gamer.

  98. Optimistic Prime says:

    Used games do get huge markups. If I sell my copy of a game to the store for $5, then they sell it for $25, yes, 500% markup. That does happen quite a bit. Usually it’s people looking to score a quick fix walking off with empties. They too hopped up to think about seeing if the game is in the box. Sometimes it’s also the “collectors” who maybe lost their box, instructions, etc. and want to have them. It’s also easier to sell something on eBay with a box than without.

  99. cliff_77 says:

    I can’t speak for EB/GameStop now, but when I worked at Software Etc. (now GameStop) in the mid 90′s shrinkwrapping was something that we did every day. We shrinkwrapped anything that had been returned and sold it as new (only giving a discount on it if the box had been mangled when it was opened.) We shrinkwrapped any games that the employees had borrowed to try, and this was a corporate policy. Evey employee was allowed to take one game out at a time for up to a week (for a while while I worked there it was two games.) We gutted new games for display and shrinkwrapped the box. Like I said, I can’t speak for how things work now, but if you bought a game from Software Etc. or Babbages in the mid 90′s, the odds of your games being new from the manufacturer wasn’t nearly as good as you might have thought. At least our return policy was better back then (two weeks even if it was opened..)

  100. doh says:

    omg…all the retarded ignorance in this string is numbing my brain. Let’s address a few key points. First…the only DS games at 34.99 are the Nintendo Developed games (mario, metroid et. al.) at the MSRP by the way. Next item up for bids: gutting-its call shrink and cost of business folks, if GS put all their games out on the salesfloor with the disks still in them, how long do you think it would take until the entire store had been raped clean by the fat slobs from mom’s basement and the greasy gangbangers? (wow, bet you would kill to have that opened but unused copy of shin megami tensai now wouldn’t ya?). Only the copy being put on the salesfloor is gutted, no others, and if you have a problem with that, then you really are retarded, because as soon as you get home with your ‘sealed’ copy, you’re gonna open it and through the shrink wrap away…no different. Oh yeah…Microsoft does NOT seal their games as an antipiracy method…it is an ANTI-THEFT method, big difference, and believe me, call them all you want and listen to their raucous laughter are your depraved lunacy. While we are here, lets define the words ‘opened’ and ‘used’…or maybe I will just try to let the fools here figure out the difference for themselves. Get out of your basements people! Ignorance is bliss.

  101. HaVoC_Productions says:

    The GameStop’s in my local area (St. Louis) gut almost all of their new games (not just one copy), and leave only a few behind glass. Normally, because of the various legal issues I thought nothing of buying new games at their stores. Until I saw a copy of Madden being sold to the store for credits and the manager of the store placing a “new” sticker on the box and placing it on the shelf in the “new” section. When I asked her why she did that, she told me “The game is new. It has only been out for a week.” Later in the day I called their customer support to report the incident, and I was told that “it sometimes happens.” Because of this, I would support the idea that any product that was sealed and then opened by the store or missing it’s protective seals (not just wrapping) should be sold as used. Customers are most likely being overcharged for items because of error, laziness, or plain deceitfulness more than I think GameStop would be willing to admit. And, the best way to prevent shrinkage is to have more than one employee working so that they can help customers find things without having to wait for long periods of time and watch the store for shoplifters. That is a much better policy. Until things change for the chain, I am taking my business elsewhere.

  102. Xavier4252 says:

    I work for Gamestop, and at my store at least, if you grab a new game off the shelf and bring it up to the counter, I’m checking behind the counter to see if I have an unopened one. If I do, then that’s the copy I sell you, for 2 reasons:

    1. As a consumer I prefer new items to be unopened myself.

    2. Taking 15 seconds to see if I have an unopened copy is less work for me, than selling you the opened copy and then having to gut a sealed copy and put it out on the shelves.

  103. Dr.Eggman789 says:

    I work at Gamestop as well.

    One copy (Note: only one) of each game is opened simply so we can put a case out on the sales floor. If we were to leave the game in the case how long to you think it would take for the wannabe gangsters and poor kids to steal them all? When will people realize that “used” and “opened” are two different things?

    Also, as far as employees borrowing games, we can borrow USED games only. “New” implies never before played.