9 Insider Secrets From A Retail Video Game Salesman

A salesman working at a popular video game store shares nine insider tips for customers:

1. Extended warranties are usually unnecessary. Nintendo and Sony have one-year warranties on their systems. Microsoft recently extended their 360 warranties from 90 days to a year. Most broken systems stop working before the year’s end. Nintendo has the fewest issues and best customer support, in my personal experience.

Eight more, inside…

(Photo: Tengaport)


I’ve worked for a pretty popular video game retailer for almost two years. I’ve worked on more than one location, and I’ve had plenty of encounters with various levels of management. I thought that Consumerist readers might be interested in hearing some of the things that go on inside these sorts of companies – practices, policies, etc.

2. Having a game reserved does not guarantee you will get it on launch. We over-reserve games all the time. Systems are even worse. It’s an unfortunate fact that, while the pre-order system is useful and helps a lot, any company that guarantees the game if you pre-order it is lying to you. They can’t guarantee it, and what’s worse, it’s often first come first serve for those that did.

3. Customer Service hotlines are powerful weapons. I once witnessed a man get a 360 premium system on launch day, despite being about 30th on our reserve list (we got 10 in our allocation) because he called and complained to the Customer Service hotline. Every time I’ve heard of a customer calling to complain, our higher managers bends over backwards to accommodate the customer. It’s almost sick. Please – use this power for good and not for evil.

4. Stores MUST honor signage. I’ve seen a $60 game placed in the hole where a $19.99 game was displayed, and we were forced to honor that price. I refuse to do this to stores on a matter of karma, but if you really feel like it, you can get the prince advertised, even if it’s a mistake.

5. We are often told to bundle as a RULE. I know of stores that refused to sell any high-demand system (Wii, 360, etc) to someone who didn’t purchase their membership card, and who refused to tack on at least $200 in accessories/games. Attach rate is how many stores are ranked in terms of priority for getting new shipments – those with higher rates of accessory sales get systems faster because those items are quite profitable.

6. Used game sales are a game retailer’s biggest source of profit. Companies like GameStop, EB Games, and Gamecrazy generate the largest margins through selling used games. If we give you $2 cash or $3 store credit for a game, most likely we’ll be putting it on the shelves for $14.99. These companies would RATHER sell you the used copy than the new, because they make more money on the used.

7. Membership card = Customer Retention tool. If you already shelled out $20 for a membership to one of our “clubs,” chances are you’re gonna return to our store. Ever notice how we rarely give discounts off new games with those memberships? Again, it’s all about the used game sales. We can afford to give you 10% off used games because we’re still making a ridiculous amount of profit. I had one manager who refused to hire anyone who didn’t shell out $20 for the card.

That being said – sometimes these cards end up being worth it. I’ve had people come up and buy $300 in used Xbox 360 games – at that point, the 10% off is actually LESS than they’d pay without the card. My advice? Don’t be swayed unless you’re getting your money’s worth from the start, or you KNOW you intend to make a big used purchase soon.

8. Employees are ranked. Companies often rank employees by various metrics: the number of membership cards they sell, the number of games they convince customers to reserve/preorder, the number of extended warranties they can sell, their “attach rate” (adding accessories, strategy guides, and other profitable items to games and systems), their ratio of new to used sales, and (especially during the holidays) the number of gift cards they sell. Management will use these numbers to determine job performance, and they can influence raises/promotions/threats of being fired. Some of these items are even commissioned.

9. KNOW THE RETURN POLICY. Most stores have very generous used game return policies, but not always. Know the return policy and don’t expect a retailer to bend it to your will: Management are draconian about returning stuff beyond set dates, and it can hurt employees to violate that policy. Most of the time, an exchange or trading the game in (at a significantly reduced price) will be your only option.

Working at a video game store isn’t always bad – I get to discuss a topic I’m passionate about with people who are the same. And nothing beats the feeling of having someone come back into the store and exclaim: “That game you recommended was awesome! What else do you think I would like?” But for a lot of customers, it can be a frustrating experience to walk into the store and immediately be bombarded by high-pressure sales pitches aimed at nothing but the company’s bottom line. Try not to let these people get to you: I guarantee at least as much pressure is being directed at the cashier by management as he or she is leveling towards you. Just remain calm, put your game face on, and don’t buy anything you didn’t want when you walked in!

Happy gaming, everyone!

Thanks, Anonymous! We love hearing from people on the inside. — BEN POPKEN

Comments

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  1. iameleveneight says:

    Again. Never Ever Shop At EB/Gamestop. You are just asking to get ripped off and dicked over.

  2. exkon says:

    It seems like the people who had ever had a bad experience always speak up. I’ve been shopping at EB/GS for all my gaming needs.

    I have yet to encounter any bad customer service or rude employees. I’m generally a nice guy and I understand how the retail business works. I’ll pre-order my game and pick up when it comes out or a few days later if I can’t get to it.

    I seriously think the their card program does work well, if you do end up buying a lot more used games than new.

  3. revmatty says:

    “and it can hurt employees to violate that policy”

    This reminds me of something that annoyed me more than most everything else about working retail (and still irritates the hell out of me when I see it): The customer who thinks that the line level workers should be willing to get fired in order to make the customer happy.

  4. NoThru22 says:

    I am not saying that you should get extended warranties ever but the argument that if stuff is going to break it’s going to break in the first year is absolute garbage. Stuff wears out over time. It’s not like if something lasts through the warranty period, it’s going to last 100 years. Otherwise, warranties would last that long. Just a part of the argument against extended warranties that always smacks of people pulling facts out of their ass just to support their point of view. Don’t buy extended warranties for the simple fact that if you buy ten things and one of them needs repair, it’ll be less money than buying the warranty for all te things.

  5. AnnC says:

    I believe whether or not a store must honor signage even in cases of a mistake depends on state and local laws. In California, store must sell the item for lowest advertised price but I don’t think that’s the case in every state.

  6. iwanttobeasleep says:

    I don’t get all the GameStop/EB Games hate. I’ve never had a bad experience in all my years shopping there. In addition, my membership card has already paid for itself in discounts (what can I say, I like used game). They’re certainly no worse than Best Buy or Circuit City in policies, and much better than places like Wal-Mart. Maybe everyone who rails against them is lucky to have the mom and pop video game store around the corner, but as far as my town goes, GameStop’s the best choice.

  7. Asvetic says:

    @exkon:

    I agree, I’ve never really had any issues with EB/Gamespot. I always thought the staff was knowledgeable and extended every service possible to get me the best merchandise at the best prices. I’d rather buy a used game at a discount, all I need is the disc, the games the same whether it’s new or not, or am I missing something here?!

  8. iameleveneight says:

    @iwanttobeasleep:

    They’re no worse than Best Buy? My ass. Best Buy is almost ALWAYS cheaper, better stocked, no preorder shenanigans, no having to deal with employees trying to sell you bullshit preorders that you don’t need to even ASK if they have the game in stock because its either right there on the shelf or they don’t have it, not in a glass box behind the counter or in the back room where ALL their games are stashed. No useless membership you have to pay $20 for (yes the buy has one but its free).

    Personally, I buy everything through Amazon these days. Its easier. I don’t have to deal with shitty employees and shitty corporate bullshit. I have Amazon Prime, and I get everything I buy 2nd day shipped.

    Everything I preorder comes on time and is more or less guaranteed to be in my hands on release day unlike other places where preorders don’t even mean they’ll even really reserve it for you. You’re paying $5 for the courtesy of a call saying they have it in the store and might still have it when you get there if you hurry.

  9. dancemonkey says:

    While I agree that in general EB/GS are (is?) evil, I have a caveat.

    I’ve been shopping at the same EB for years, many many years. They know my face, from the cute girl that’s way too young for me up to the manager. Though I am definitely not a Big Spender, I know games and I’m there just about every major game launch day. They have bent store policies for me on occasion (and I didn’t even really ask, they just.. did it), and it’s great when you walk up to the counter and they know exactly which game you’re going to buy based on your history (and I don’t mean based on your history from looking in the computer after they scan your card, I mean from the moment I walk in the door and say “Hi” they say “Here for New Super Mario?”).

    No matter what store/chain, no matter how evil, there are benefits to being a regular.

    The above paragraph applies at the local pub too, just replace “games” with “booze”.

  10. castlecraver says:

    Well done Consumerist. These are the kind of posts I’d like to see more of.

  11. inajeep says:

    My extended warranty with EB really saved me about 7 days of wasted ungaming time and a whole lot of shucking and jiving to get it replaced. I came in and we swapped systems and it’s been fine ever since. ANY store can have bad employees or managers but wait a month or two and check them out again they might have been replaced. Talk to the manager find out his or her level of knowledge and when/if you find a good one, return there. I got a replacement disc of Oblivion after I cracked it in store without having to go through Bethesda because the manager knew me and I’m a good customer.

  12. cametall says:

    I avoid EB and GameStop like the plague. I feel for most of the employees because I had to go through the same crap while I sold PCs at Circuit City. Exactly like Circuit City these game retail shops receive those dickhead employees who will do anything for a sale.

    Unfortunately all the GameStops around me are filled with employees that harass the hell outta me to buy a strategy guide for an MMO. The good? Target, BestBuy, Circuit City have tons of sales on games all the time. Within a month of release you can buy a new game for 10 to 20 bucks off retail.

  13. Konchu says:

    I have to say i prefer to shop at the Gamestop and EB over say Best Buy cause they get the games quicker and are more likely to have titles. I have had the itch for a new game the day it came out too many times and go to Best Buy cause its close to work and end up disappointed cause they dont have it yet.

    Once the store employees get to know you they are not as high pressure to my experience. It does suck and can be annoying but as someone that has had to work under these sort of things myself I understand and buy what I want and dont let pressure sway me but Im nice about it too. The people that work my local GS are great people and I enjoy visiting while I shop.

    I try to reserve my games there to help them out and keep a great store that is close to home in buisness cause with new games except for sales they are generally the same price no matter where you go with a few exceptions.

  14. Parsifal says:

    Another decent option (when you can exploit it) is the Frys “first week out” sales. Sometimes when a new piece of software comes out Frys will try to pad its release numbers by offering said games for $10-20 bucks off for the first day or so. If you can jump on it the savings tends to add up. Got myself “Bully” that way for $30, among other games.

    But like iameleveneight up there, I also (ab)use Amazon Prime. If you buy alot of stuff (which I do) it saves on alot of shipping, especially when its two people using the same account;)..

  15. Echodork says:

    #2 is a good point for a couple reasons. Often, especially with systems, the distributors scale back their committments to the retailers. Gamestop is told they’ll be receiving 2 million PS3s on launch day, so they take 2 million pre-orders (ok, probably 3 million). Then Sony cuts the committment back to 700,000 units, then 250,000. So yeah, reserve a system if you want to, but be aware that you’re simply buying the right to camp out for the system… you aren’t buying the right to get one on launch day.

    #4 is bunk. GS/EB have so many boxes littering their sales floor that they have no way to confirm whether the $59 game you have in your hand was placed in the bargain bin by an employee or by a rampaging six year old. Even if the game has an incorrect price tag on it, GS/EB in Virginia will charge you the price listed in the computer. This may be a state-by-state thing, but retailers around here are by no means bound to the sticker price found on the box.

    Finally, learn to tell if a box has been reshrunk. As has been said in previous Gamestop threads, GS/EB do allow their employees to borrow “new” games to try them out. When the games come back, they are reshrunk and sold as new. If you don’t want a game that’s been in someone else’s Playstation, learn how to tell the difference between a reshrunk game and one in the original plastic.

  16. leshrac55 says:

    Last time I signed up for a membership, it was $6… is it really $20 now? $6 could potentially be worth it if you buy a lot of used games, but $20 seems ridiculous.

    Also, while I’ve heard stories, I’ve never had a problem with reserving a game. From my experience, if you pre-order early enough, the store will simply ask their supplier for another copy. If you pre-order really close to the release, then they’ve typically had good information about how many copies they’re getting in. When I pre-ordered Elebits, it was one of the last copies they were getting in their initial shipment.

    -Leshrac
    http://alinktothefuture.com

  17. spooky says:

    i’m a g.a. at eb games, and really, all the hate is stupid. i’m under tremendous pressure by the higher ups to sell subscripions and get reserves. the latest thing is getting email captures from customers. i *hate* doing it. i feel obtrusive and rude, but i also like being able to pay my bills. please don’t hate me for doing my job. get mad at corporate. write letters, boycott, whatever. but don’t take it out on the lowly cashiers that fell terrible enough already.

    employees aren’t allowed to check out new games, only used ones. also, i’ve never seen anyone *ever* re-shrinkwrap a game.

  18. cath0de says:

    I was suprised that re-packaged “new games” wasn’t listed in the post. I find it ridiculous that they can sell games as new after they remove the tamper seal – seems vaguely illegal.

  19. Echodork says:

    For games in plentiful supply, GS/EB typically plan their distribution around the number of pre-orders they get. If a store gets 5 pre-orders, they’ll probably get something like 7-9 copies at launch, and a small handful if they sell out. If a store takes no pre-orders, they’ll get 3 copies (or in the case of many PC games, none at all). So for games that are in plentiful supply, reserving one will ensure that your local GS/EB will have enough in stock to sell you one…

    …or you could go to Wal-Mart, who will get 150 copies regardless.

  20. no.no.notorious says:

    yep, Toys R’ Us worked the same way. worst job EVER.

  21. Manji Kengo says:

    wah wahy. What about the best buy reward zone card? the one where you get 5 bucks back per 250 you spend. thats a great fuckin deal mhhhmmmmm. What about the cute register chick who tries to sell you a membership subscription to their magazines? warranties? other shit? It’s all the same. However this guy who posted the main article doesn’t work for gamestop/ebgames. the Game informer subscription along with the discount card is 14.99 for the entire year.


    You guys who hate ebgames can go to best buy and get sold a ps2 multi tap when you wanted a universal component cable. I’ve seen this crap several times.

    Oh, also, if you hate your eb games why don’t you call their district manager and say that they suck so something can be done? The district manager will do something.

  22. Americana says:

    “4. Stores MUST honor signage.”

    I work in retail, and this isn’t the rule at my store. In fact, I was under the impression that this isn’t the rule at any retail outlet.

  23. sbrumm1983 says:

    I have been an employee of EB/G-Stop for nearly 7 years. The changes that the company has made over the years get more and more ridiculous. When I started at Gamestop all those years ago Our discount was 25% and numbers didn’t really matter for reserves and subs. Over the years the discount went to 20% down to 15%. All the company pretty much cares about now is numbers, numbers, numbers.

    The employees get paid for crap. The benefits suck and the pressure is very high. Now we track reserves, subs, Used percentage, IPT’s, and on and on. Plus they can pretty much get rid of us anytime they feel like it. Why? Because any 16 year old wants to work in a game store. People get fired for getting paid to much when they can pay someone else to do it all the same.

    So when you go in there I’m not saying that you have to buy anything but at least consider how crappy that job ultimately is. I fortunately work about 1 to 2 days a week so they pretty much overlook me.

    P.S. Extended warranties are mostly worthless. Other than a special circumstance reserved GAMES are pretty much always there. Systems are another story. Most stores do NOT have to honor store signage because we don’t take responsibility for a customers moving a $60 game into the $9.99 bin. Some stores do bundles. I refuse to. Trade ins suck for money back but it is better than nothing if you are completely done with the game. And I hate to say it but depending on how much used you buy and games you sell the discount card is absolutely worth it. I bought 3 cards before the 360 came out because of coupons and paid it off in about 14 regular x-box games. And I buy used as often as possible. Hey $5 is lunch. Plus if you want to take advantage of any kind of return policy just find out which guy there doesn’t care like myself. I exchange games all the time because to me it is fair.

  24. sbrumm1983 says:

    @Echodork:

    Some games do come in the crappy shrink wrapping. So that isn’t always true. Plus we don’t even shrink wrap them again at my store. We are to lazy.

  25. cerulgalactus says:

    EB in North America must be staffed by retarded monkeys then, because I’ve never had an issue with any location that I’ve been to in Australia, from the biggest one in the heart of Sydney to the one step above being a Mom’n’Pop store just over the hill from me.

  26. ChrisFurniss says:

    I loathe EBGames and Gamestop for their used game trade in values alone. They just plain rip you off. I wrote a little tirade about a poor customer service experience here, with my opinions as to how to improve the overall experience as well.

    http://weeklygeekshow.com/2007/02/gamestop_is_broken_heres

  27. r81984 says:

    “4. Stores MUST honor signage”

    Your crazy. No real store would honor a price because the item was in the wrong spot. There is no way to monitor if a customer shuffles items around. The only way it would be honored is if the workers knew they messed up. Or it was printed wrong in the circular.
    If a game racing game is 69.99 and the label in front of it says “49.99 fighting game” obviously its in the wrong spot because the label does not match.

    People have to be stupid if they think a store would honor a price just because the item is in the wrong spot.

  28. Lewisham says:

    Honoring of signage is certainly not a legal requirement in the UK. The sign is an “invite to tender”, which basically means asking if you would pay that price for it). Only when something with material value has changed hands does it become a contract (and that the consumer/retailer has a reasonable belief that the contract is valid, so you can’t buy a TV for a pound online and expect it to be honoured).

    The retailer can choose to charge whatever price he/she wants regardless of what it says on the sticker, as long as the customer is aware of this.

    I would be surprised if this basic law was not the basis of US law either. This would have to be a store policy.

  29. Zweites says:

    I retro-game, and anyone who has tried, knows that if Gamestop doesn’t have something in the store, they can look it up and tell you if a neighboring store has it. What they can’t do is actually ORDER it and have it shipped.

    At best they can tell you that Podunk, Texas has a copy of Valkyrie Profile, three hundred miles away.

    I went to Game Krazy, the add on store to Hollywood Video and they found and shipped a used copy from out of state. Thinking this was a fluke I threw a couple of curve balls their way, requesting old equipment. Needed a VMU for my dreamcast, a replacement Sony Network adaptor, and a fistful of old GB games.

    Their delivery time never exceeded two weeks, only in single case exceeding one week. Price-wise, they seem moderate to high, but if there’s a product you absolutely need that’s defunct, they CAN get it for you apparently.

    That having been said, they do try to push the “membership plan” crap on you.

  30. Scuba Steve says:

    I used to be in the “never been dicked over” by EB/Gamestop camp but I just checked my used game I bought from them a week ago and it’s missing one of its DVDs.

    Sigh. Can’t return it now.

  31. rixen says:

    The one about the warranties is NOT true. I worked in the gaming section of a large best buy and am very familiar with distributor policies. The PS3 and Wii (as well as all other sony and nintendo consoles) have warranties of 90 days. The XBOX 360 is the only system that has a year’s warranty. Regarding attachments, it is illegal for salespeople to refuse sales of individual items if other accessories are not bought. If you encounter a salesperson that does this it is against most company policies and in fact illegal. And with presales, on many items (such as the Wii and the PS3) the quantities that stores receive is often not known until the product is actually received or only hours before. It is very seldom we know exactly how many of a high-demand product we will receive.

  32. Metschick says:

    People have to be stupid if they think a store would honor a price just because the item is in the wrong spot.

    Heh, this reminds me of something that happened to me in college. I was in line to buy a book, and I noticed that the guy in front of me had the same book in his hand. However, he had switched the sticker from the front of the book to one that was much cheaper. The cashier only noticed when she saw my book, after the guy had already high-tailed it out of there. I can’t believe he did that.

    And I use Amazon for my gaming needs. They seemingly have everything! Love it.

  33. Firstborn Dragon says:

    Odd, I hear all these complains about EB and don’t get it.

    I avoid ONE store and that’s only because everyone there is an asshole. Even people working at the other EBs complained about them. (I heard that most of the staff at this store was eitehr fired or ‘encouraged’ to quit)

    But there’s 4 others around here I go to all the time. People there are friendly, always know what I want, and hell, I’ve talked to one guy for fifteen minutes about the newset system. (I was the only one in the store, we weren’t interupting anyone else there)

    I usually buy used games, if there’s a problem I never have issues taking em back. When I’ve pre-ordered my pre-orders have ALWAYS been there.

    Some of the staff even go out of their way to help me. One time actually holding the last copy of a new release for me. He just pulled it on the sheilf, and when I got down there told them I was there to pick it up, and they gave it to me.

    Of course, I’m in there a couple of times a month, I enjoy browsing whenever I’m in the area. As for the discount card, around here it’s 5 or 10$ for a year. Given how many used games my brother and I buy it’s a steal really.

  34. hegemonyhog says:

    “I would be surprised if this basic law was not the basis of US law either. This would have to be a store policy.”

    It’s definitely not the basis of US law. General customer service practice, even sans law, is that if the store advertised it (to a reasonable extent), that’s the price.

    Now, there is, of course, an exemption if the store has reason to believe the price was tampered with (you took sticker A and placed it on sticker B), among other things.

    But I’ve frequently gone to a Target or a Best Buy, found something labeled for sale (with official signage) that wasn’t, and gotten the price lowered to the advertised one.

    It sounds like a difference in philosophy – protecting the store vs. protecting the consumer. The UK system seems prone for abuse on the retailer’s side as well, allowing for the retailer, upon seeing that an item is popular, to artificially jack up the price from customer to customer.

  35. toxicredm says:

    “Most broken systems stop working before the year’s end.”

    You would think a broken system wouldn’t work at all.

  36. El_Guapo says:

    The primary reason I stopped purchasing from EB/GS is primarily because I don’t feel like being up sold everything when I have purchased my game.

    Every encounter was my walking to the counter with game in hand, and being asked if wanted a strategy guide, a Zune, a membership card, a preorder, or any used games or trade-ins. I just wanted to get my game, and be gone from that store as fast as possible. I don’t want up sales, or anything that resembles a hassle or a sales pitch. Just give me my game, and let me go.

    My point: Purchasing a game shouldn’t feel adversarial. It doesn’t have to be a verbal boxing match to just pick up a blasted game you wanted.

    I now shop at Best Buy, or Target, which seem to be doing a much better job of having release day games. I can walk in with total obscurity, and leave without being hassled once to buy something I didn’t want. Even if I pay a little more, it’s completely worth it.

  37. MeOhMy says:

    In some places, BY LAW, a store must honor the price on the price tag or sign. Usually this is tempered by the fact that it must not be an obvious fluke. That is, one random copy of the latest Madden edition on a shelf with a sign saying “SALE $5″ is a fluke and would probably not be honored. A whole stack of the same title on this shelf would probably be honored.

    Used game sales are a game retailer’s biggest source of profit.

    I’m going to preface this by pointing out that the “insider” offers no commentary on whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. I often perceive that many people feel that it is anti-consumer or flat-out evil to attempt to maximize profits.

    I buy a new game for $60. The store gets $5 profit.

    I buy a used game for $20. The store gets $17 profit. I pay less. The retailer earns more. We both win. This is a good thing.

    If the people trading games in feel they’re getting screwed at everyone else’s expense, they should stop trading them in!

  38. lannage says:

    I would just like to contribute to the conversation regarding whether or not a retail store has to honor an incorrect price tag or sign. Someone stated before that it may depend what state you live on, which is true, but it also depends on the company that you work for. For example, I live in Massachusetts and in Massachusetts it is a law that if something (there has to be more than one of a certain sku/product) is mis tagged or under the wrong signage, the item does have to be given to the customer for the price shown. In addition, I’ve worked for a lot of different retail companies as some sort of front end supervisor/manager or overall assistant manager. I worked at one company .. Spencer’s gifts, who, as long as the price tag was incorrect and there was another of the same item marked incorrectly, it was given at the mis-marked price. If there was only one item, however, they charged the price in the computer. On the other hand, some companies are more leniant. At Bed Bath and Beyond, any item tagged incorrectly is said to be the fault of an employee and is given to the customer at the marked price. So therefore, yes, it depends on the state that you live in. But it also depends a lot on the corporate policy of the company.

  39. piebot says:

    I would like to the time to retort some of these “inside tips”
    1. Yeah, that’s true for the brand new systems, but if you’re buying one used
    it’s a small price to pay. Also, on the new systems, you still have to ship your
    system back to the manufacturer to get your system replaced or repared, if you
    if you buy the product replacement plan, you just take your system back
    to the store and get a new one on the spot, no shipping and no waiting.
    2. This might be a problem at some stores, but the two in my town has never had this problem.
    3. True that, be good!
    4. Again, true.
    5. The store I’m at did do this before Christmas, the reasoning behind it, however,
    was to scare off eBayers.
    6. Used games have a better warrenty on them than new games (which don’t have much of a
    warrenty, you open it and it’s yours). Most of the gaming stores have a 30 warrenty on
    used games. That isn’t so bad. Besides, how else do you except for these companies to
    compete with big box retailers? Used copies ARE cheaper than new copies, as well,
    the author of this piece would have you believe you are being ripped off.
    7. I’m curious where the “memberships” cost $20. Again, at my store it costs only $16
    after tax and that is simply the cost of the magazine subscription. And the 10% discount
    plus the coupons that come periodically with the magazine (ussually another 10% off)
    will more than be compensated for with most costomers over the year long period
    the membership lasts. As for the manager, that’s illegal and should have been reported
    to corporate.
    8. Though I’ve not seen any commissioning of sales, everything else is true. Worse is the
    way the ranking system works, ussually based on precentages. If one guy only has 19
    transactions a week but sales a lot of reservations and subscriptions, his precentage is
    higher than someone who has 100 transactions and also has more reservations and
    subscriptions. It’s kind of bogus and it helps when you have a manager who understands
    that.
    9. This is also true and it’s why I always tell the costumer the return policy at least
    twice during their transaction. Hell, I even meant the 7-day satisfaction guarantee, if you
    don’t like it and it’s been less than 7 days, bring it back with your receipt and you can
    exchange it for something else (used games only) It’s better than ANYTHING the big box
    stores will do for you.

  40. Ixthus says:

    A) Bundling? What? I’m a manager at EBGames/Gamestop and corporate policy is to NOT BUNDLE ANYTHING. I’ll say that again since it’s hard to hear me over the flames. CORPORATE. POLICY. DOES. NOT. ALLOW. BUNDLING. If you do go into one of our stores and they are forcing you to bundle in order to buy that coveted PS3/Wii. Report them, they will get fired. We’ve had entire stores shut down for doing this.

    B) Reserves: I tell all of my customers the policy. We give you 48 hours and usually some cool shit if you reserve. You don’t actually want to reserve the game but you want some cool shit? put 5 bucks down and come back and cancel it the next day, simple as that. Reserves are a great idea for big games (Burning Crusade we had 185 reserves..we got how many copies? 185)Your local game store that does reserves is usually nothing more than a measurement for the popularity of certain games.. if we get a shitload of reserves for a game we may sell out that day, but 3 days from then we’ll get a second ship of another 75 copies. Don’t think you can make it within the 48 hours? You don’t get screwed, we don’t take your money away, it stays in our computer nice and pretty for when you do pick it up. Did you pick it up somewhere’s else instead? Cancel it and get your freakin money back!

    C) The only reason why warranties are great is because you get your system back right away. Yes, companies carry warranties on all their systems but depending on the problem you could not have your system for weeks, maybe even a month or so. (Though turnaround is on average about 2-3 weeks). I tell all my customers this, even the dicks.

    D) Your “insider” tips are painfully biased against “Certain stores that offer memberships and sell used games” shut the fuck up and die in a fire..I’m tired of getting flack for a job I really enjoy..Guess what? There are dicks in EVERY COMPANY. You have a couple of bad experiences with a few stores in your area? Get over it it’s human nature not company policy to fuck you over genius. Yes we like to make money..but I damn well know as a customer as well as a worker I don’t like to fuck people over with anything.

  41. Karl says:

    @rixen: I don’t know what you’re smoking, or if you’ve just had too much of the blue Kool-Aid. Nintendo’s warranty is 12 months on systems. Wii owners can even register their system for a 90 day extension.

    I also call BS on not knowing how many of an item you’ll receive until it actually arrives. No major retailer would just randomly ship out merchandise without any clue where it is. If they didn’t, employees could just steal items and they’d have no idea where the problem is.

  42. sbrumm1983 says:

    @Karl: You are half right on the knowing how many items you will recieve. Trust me. On the big titles we usually know how many we are getting a day or two in advance. Otherwise for some of the smaller games (especially PC) we get our shipping list the morning it comes in. Our corporate office knows how many we are getting but we don’t find out until about a half hour before we recieve them. Same rule applies for games that have already been released. About half an hour before they show up is when we know.

  43. Fendari says:

    An addition to this story: EB Games has a new policy that they no longer honor reserves. Your money still goes towards the game, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll get the game on the day it comes out. They now have to sell to anyone who comes in, reserves or walk-ins, and if they run out of unreserved copies, they sell the reserves to walk-ins. So even though you paid for the game in advance, you may not get it until the next shipment or the one after, weeks later than the street date.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Wow I used to be a manager at the place you are talking about. I really connect to everything you said. I was wondering if you felt working at the store that you were pressured to work off hours because the company did not provide sufficient hours to clean the store and organize the trades especially during a store visit or Relay.