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  1. HeyThereKiller says:

    Man I sure wish that my company had a bad reputation so I could write a long winded guide to how to shop correctly at my store.

  2. dorylomorphs says:

    We all know the reason they push reserves is to collect interest on the money sitting in the bank.

  3. NoOtherOptions says:

    I love that this article is dripping with BS. Not that I hate gamestop as much as most, but I’ve had multiple friends who have worked for that company and abused the heck out of the system.

  4. ghnvt says:

    I can understand pushing the reserves and discount cards. They do that at most huge retailers. I don’t care if an employee asks about them. I just hate it when they saw “are you sure” like three times. Recently when I was reserving Super Mario Galaxy, the even asked if I would like to pre-order any others. I was thinking “NO, YOU IDIOT, IF I WANTED TO I WOULD.” The better part is that I know more about most games than the employees do because I am on blogs all the time (Kotaku, of course)

  5. Earthslide says:

    Don’t take it too hard Mr. Dude, We have to deal with Ignorant people all the time. At least we get to make fun of them too.

  6. Skiffer says:

    I read all of that even without having to buy the strategy guide!

  7. PinkBox says:

    Psh. It is fine for THEM to open the games and sell them at full value, but if you dare open the game, play it and don’t like it enough to return it the same day, you’re definitely not getting anything near the full value back.

    • FlashFlashCarCrash says:

      the difference is that the one’s they’re opening HAVEN’T BEEN PLAYED.

      • Cry Havoc says:

        “The harsh side is the ‘checkout’ policy. Gamestop policy is, for better or worse, that employees may check out new games that are more than two weeks past their original release so long as they are returned in mint condition. I don’t agree with this, personally, as many part-timers and less-dedicated employees simply can’t be trusted to take decent care of products. Typically most good stores encourage employees to check out used, even though company policy gives used more weight than new.”

        Gamestop employees are allowed to take New games home to play. When they are returned to the store, they are still sold as New, even though they HAVE been played by an employee in their own home.

      • kayfouroh says:

        How would you feel about receiving a “new but previously opened and shoved into a paper sleeve in a drawer” game as a gift? It’s a shitty thing to do to pass opened games as new, especially if people are going to give the games as gifts. Looks extremely tacky and isn’t noticable until you actually look, which many people do not do these days.

  8. Squeegoth says:

    @dorylomorphs: Don’t forget the abandoned reserves. I’m sure it doesn’t happen incredibly often, but it’s going to happen where someone’s forgotten where they’ve reserved a game or moved or something and that reserve (and cash) is going to be abandoned to the company.

    • Lindsey Ann Johnson says:

      @Squeegoth: I ( unfortunatly ) work at a GameStop. I remember talking to my store manager at one point, and company-wide there’s MILLIONS of dollars in abandoned reserve deposits sitting in a bank account collecting interest.

    • Trireme32 says:

      Is it the company’s fault that some people are that careless?

  9. malicious says:

    I worked at a Gamestop for about a year. The guide is dead on about the “value” of the employees. It was a reasonably casual workplace, but there was always that looming pressure to get numbers. By the time I quit, working there was as bad as people say shopping there is.

    Be patient with the part-timers. Odds are they hate being there just as much as you do.

  10. Qhue says:

    Gamestop/EB really aren’t specialty retail shops anymore, they are pawnshops. None of the local shops near me carry actual NEW game content beyond the guaranteed pre-orders and the places are run with the sort of surly gruff attitude you might expect from a guy named Sid who works behind bulletproof glass offering you $50 to hock yer wedding ring.

    I will, on occasion, try and shop at the places and everytime I regret the experience. That having been said the online version of each store is pretty darn exceptional in terms of quality and customer service and I use them extensively.

  11. GIIRyudo says:

    I just got hired on to a store as a 3rd Key a few weeks ago, and I can pretty much agree with all of what was written.
    It is true that reserves and subscriptions are pretty much the only thing that determines your worth as an employee. However, our area has the policy that if the store is doing well for the week, they don’t even look at individual numbers, helps build a bit of teamwork when at the store.
    Don’t write off the reservation system as just a quick buck for GameStop, I’ve had many many people ask about a coming soon game, not preorder it, and then get furious when we don’t get any sizable allotment.

  12. jwrose says:

    Sorry- this just basically says one thing to me:
    “The customer should conform to our practices” instead of the other way around.

    • Anonymous says:

      so what exactly are your practices that you believe the company should conform to? because as an employee there, based on what i’ve seen in customers, i’d venture to guess your practice is that you should be able to go in, buy any brand new game, and return because it wasn’t as cool as the ad said it was and it get full money back. in fact, you should get an extra 10% because gamestop has officially wasted YOUR time. you as the customer shouldn’t not be held accountable for any purchase you make. fuck it, all of your purchases should just be free. it should be like the library, just come in and check out our games and return em whenever you want, we’ll just get a new shipment of product soon anyways.

      idiot

  13. Himiko says:

    i work for gamestop germany. many people don’t even know we have more than one shop. nearly no one knows that gamestop is multinational.

  14. catskyfire says:

    Good article. We tend to forget, as consumers, that many things are set in stone not by the poor guy at the desk but by someone in a suit far far away.

  15. Arloknox says:

    Jeez, guys. People that complain about GS policies are the minority, even if it looks different online. Did you ever think that maybe it’s you that’s being unreasonable. The gamestop employee you are talking to didn’t make the policy and, if you’re cool to them, they’ll be cool to you. It’s not some special sort of reasoning… it’s humans. For example, since a bunch of you guys are douches, I simply don’t care what you think. Amazing, that.

    Arlo

    • Eric Ellingson says:

      @Arloknox: yeah ill tell you what happens to Nazistop employees who are nice to the customers they get fired!

      • thor79 says:

        Being nice to the customer and doing their job is not mutually exclusive. They can do their job, get the reserves and GI subs and still be nice and relate with the customer. The employees of the shop I frequent are this way, and I enjoy going there when I need to. That is not true for all the gamestops I have frequented in the past.

  16. OnslaughtRM says:

    I worked at gamestop for 5 years… pretty much everything he said was true. And that employee game borrowing policy, yeah, I never agreed with it either. Took advantage of it, absolutely, but never agreed with it.

  17. Torusan says:

    Hmm, no wonder the employees at my local shop are so nice to me and even bothered to learn my name. I help them keep their jobs!

  18. Namrepus says:

    I really dont’ care what this guy says about the preorders. I’ve heard of stories of employees literally ransoming games for pre-orders ( [preorderpushers.com] )

    I’ve only had a few bad experiences at a Gamestop (Back when they were called Babbages), but the way some employee’s treat customers to “keep their jobs” disgusts me enough to stop shopping there all together.

    • homehome says:

      You got that, but you didn’t read the part where he says, “We take preorders seriously and stores that do NOT need to be called to our attention.”

      I know this for sure when I worked for Best Buy. If the District got a bad report on us about something, they immediately called our GM. Then our GM immediately got in our asses, even if it was something we really couldn’t do anything about. There are some stores who treat things like this very seriously and other who push it to the side.

  19. DraconWolfX says:

    I wouldn’t mind buying a “gutted” game if that is all that is left but please, don’t call it brand new. It isn’t brand new and there should be a 10% discount attached. Every other store I’ve been in sells their “Demo” cameras, TVs, or whatever for 10% off normal retail value. Call it what it is — a demo or “open box” game and discount it appropriately. I guarantee far less people would complain if this became practice for these “gutted” games.

    • Anonymous says:

      @DraconWolfX: too bad their actually not demo. yes best buy and circuit city give those discounts but only because its actually been used to display the actual item. in this case its only for the case. the game itself is perfectly fine. dont like it tough shit. we dont make you buy anything or trade anything. thats your choice to shop there.

  20. jerros says:

    Here is the problem with “Gutted” games.

    In every city/state/place where you find a GameStop, you’ll find a gamer who goes out and buys a game on launch day. That gamer will beat the game, return to the store and “Trade in” his game.

    If GameStop sells me an open package, how do I as a consumer know if I’m paying the $59.99 for the “Used” version of the game when I should be paying $54.99?

    The sealed package with all the security labels and the like on it is the only “proof” the product is new, if you remove the packaging for any reason that “proof” no longer exists. GameStop could be selling me a used product at an inflated price and pocketing the $3.00. As a consumer I can only take GameStop’s word that they are not doing that.

    For a company that posted record profits last year mainly off the reselling of used games I’m having a very difficult time believing that they do not occasionally do this. There is no way for a consumer to prove it’s not “newly opened” vs “used”. Only the computer system at Gamestop knows this and it’s not telling the customer anything.

    • charade539 says:

      Well, if people didn’t keep stealing games off the shelves then perhaps they’d be able to keep them unopened. But seriously, they’d go broke if they left unopened games lining the shelves. People are horrible about stealing games, it’s sad really.

      Oh, and it’s easy to tell if the game is new or used by the color of the tag. White=New Yellow=Used. The disks are also kept is matching white/yellow sleeves to keep them separated. I’ve seen it. I think it’s being just a little bit paranoid to think Gamestop is selling you a used game as new when they openly sell their used games and have more of them than new.

      As for a discount, why? The game is mint, just because you didn’t get to break the seal doesn’t mean it isn’t new. If the disk you get is scratched, ask for another one. Simple as that.

      Oh, and IF a gamer bought a game, played it once, and returned it, unless he ran over it with his car on the way back to the store then I see no reason to resell it as new. That’s just silly. It was played ONCE. That’s like saying they should discount a piece of clothing in a shop because somebody tried it on in the dressing room.

    • Cassandra says:

      I work at GameStop and I promise that GS wouldn’t sell you a used game for a new price. When selling new, nearly all the money goes to the game manufacturer, when selling used, GS makes a huge profit. If we had the choice we’d rather sell them used. So no worries on that note. Also, my store doesn’t allow employees to play new games, only the used ones.

  21. JustAGuy2 says:

    Very interesting, and only one quibble. Trade-in values for newer games are often _much_ lower than what you can get for them on eBay. As an example, Gamestop recently offered me $20 for Bioshock – I got $40 ($37 when all the fees were taken out) for it on eBay, so that’s a pretty significant difference.

  22. Dibbler says:

    @Squeegoth: They have a list on the computer that shows how much you’ve given them. I reserved a game before and forgot about it. The next time I was in and bought something they just took the reserve money and put it towards my purchase. They’re not going to steal your money (Federal laws and such). I have no problem reserving a game if I want it really badly. Anymore I just don’t get all that excited by being first so I just wait a few weeks and get it on sale. Also, a lot of places (including GameStop) are offering $5 discounts on games for pre-ordering. There you go. You just made 100% return on your $5 down and that beats the $0.0001 in interest they made off you. ;)

  23. radink says:

    @jwrose: Exactly. This is why i never shop there anymore. I hate games stores. I went to a games stop a few weeks ago just to look for something. The girl working there was on the phone on a personal call. I stood in there for 15 minutes while she was on the phone. She finally hung up and never said a thing to me. I walked out.. never to return.

  24. Dennen says:

    It’s exactly as Jerros says. I’ve been given “New” copies of games that were gutted from this chain of stores and they’re scratched to hell. Then I turn right back at the fellow and I ask him “What the hell is this?”… Thus, I have stopped making many of my game purchases from there, as the chances are – I can find the game I am looking for in a greater number of copies at the local Wal-Mart.

    Why, when I went to buy Tenchu Z. I first went to the Gamestop, being in a city that was an hour from where I lived – I didn’t know the surrounding stores as much. I walked in and asked for it and they told me “We had no pre orders for that game so we didn’t bother with ordering any.” I was baffled, I walked out after saying a polite g’bye.. I walked 2 stores down to the Circuit City and lo and behold, there the games were…

    I find it quite pathetic that I have better chances lately of finding the game that I want at basic electronics dealers rather than specialty stores..

    Also an addition to the comments about “Gutted”… I’ve even been given games that were supposedly gutted and all and simply placed in the paper and plastic… And they tend to ALWAYS be scratched. Did they not think for one moment that rubbing a disc around on a hard paper surface would not start to make scratches over time?.. And depending on the store and how they handle these paper “protectors”, this can happen over a month, a week, or even a couple days *As it is around where I live*.

  25. nweaver says:

    Decent report.

    However, the “How to Get a Wii” should be a post of its own.

    EG, a similar thing can be applied to Target.

  26. Jerim says:

    @HeyThereKiller:

    As opposed to the customer telling the company how they will conduct business? This “The customer is always right” bull crap was invented by customers to make them feel empowered. Nor should the “big evil corporation” screw over the common man. There has to be a balance between company and customer.

  27. Airmasta says:

    As a former GameStop manager I’m going to let you know that there is no reason to reserve games unless it is an obscure game. In my five year experience as a manager I always received more than enough games to cover my reserves. The only items you should reserve are new consoles…period! Other than that he is spot on with his assessment of the daily lives of gamestop employees.

  28. james castle says:

    I have a policy of my own: don’t buy anything from Gamestop (EB Games up here in Canada). They’ve screwed me over and over again. Worst example (that has happened multiple times) is that I’ll walk in and ask for a game. The clerk will tell me 1. they’re sold out, 2. EVERYONE is sold out and 3. the only way I’ll get the game in the next month is if I reserve it with five bucks now. Every time I’ve walked down the mall and found the game at another store. I don’t even get why these guys are still in business.

  29. Treize says:

    I really appreciate and respect this guy for doing this and trying to clear up some common misconceptions and frustrations. However, I do have an issue with #27. When I was looking for my Wii, I did just that, calling all the GameStop and EB stores around me every day. After a few days I started getting extremely short answers, and in response to the “when do you get your shipments” question, the answer became “we never know when it’s going to come in”. Any store that gets regular shipments tends to at least know the day when they usually show up. I understand that the quality and attitudes of people working at these places can vary pretty wildly, but I think if I’m following the recommended procedure then I shouldn’t be treated with contempt and lies to get me off the phone.
    I got my Wii at WalMart. The only gaming store I use now is a GameCrazy an hour away with employees that have become good friends.

  30. WGSXFrank says:

    I fully support this post! Admittedly, I’ve never worked for Gamestop or EB Games… Though I’ve applied many times… I guess past experience in the field doesn’t count for anything these days as our local gamestops/EB’s (all four of them!) hired a bunch of hot girls who are great to look at but know nothing…

    Anyways, I still support this post. There is one thing I feel you forgot though… The fact that many “good” employees will try to recommend or attach at least one accessory or more to the sale. The reasoning for this is that accessories offer more of a profit for the store and company as a whole than selling consoles or even games.

    For example: An average game may sell for $60 brand new, but the store only profits about $1 to $2 off of that on average (last I checked). A Controller may sell for $50, but the store may profit up to $15 dollars of of that sale. Accessories almost ALWAYS bring in more gross profits than any software.

    People may get irritated when accessories are recommended or offered… but they really shouldn’t. You know those nice demos and displays you’re always messing with and wasting time on while you’re in the store? Those wouldn’t be there if not for the profits the store brings in.

  31. Shadowman615 says:

    I don’t know. I never shop at gamestop; I get most of my games from Steam or from some online shop. So I really have no idea what the store’s policies are, etc.

    But this article sounds like some retail schmuck complaining that his customers aren’t bending over nicely enough for him.

  32. I appreciate the post, but this just confirms that GameStop/EB corporate treats both its customers and its employees as mindless servants to the executive whim.

    If the only way you can guarantee browsing stock in a retail store is to force me to pre-order everything—in other words, to promise to buy it before I even browse it—then there’s something fundamentally wrong with GameStop’s business model. The company needs to find a way to keep an expansive inventory of new games, or work out a deal with developers to return unsold games (sort of like bookstores and publishers, but—I hope—not as ass-raping as the deal publishers have to contend with). It seems to me GameStop has intentionally throttled its supply chain down to almost zero and passed the inefficiencies off to the customers and the employees who have to deal with their frustration.

    The only thing I can see GameStop offering over, say Amazon or Half, is instant gratification, yet that’s the one part of their business model they seem intent on ruining (by forcing customers to pre-order or else).

    Frankly, I wonder if the retail game outlet, at least how GameStop has conceived it, is even a sustainable business model.

    • Anonymous says:

      i feel you misunderstood. the only way the company can guarantee the browsing stock is not with pre-orders, but with gutting a single copy of each new game. pre-orders assure that a game will come to the store. the more pre-orders, the more they ship us.

      it all boils down to supply and demand. you demand something, we supply it. you don’t demand somethin, we don’t supply it. you later change your mind and cry when we don’t have a supply of a game, you never demanded.

      and with the pre-orders. the $5 is just a deposit. it’s put straight toward the price of the game when you actually come in to buy it. if you change you mind, cancel the reso and get your $5 back and go buy a pizza. it’s not a lifetime commitment here, its just a way to find out consumer interest in an upcoming title.

      all in all, anything other than what gamestop has been doing would be bad business. babagge had bad business, they were bought buy game stop, who has a good business model. same with funcoland and EB.

      • SteveZim1017 says:

        the point of the original comment was that the biggest selling feature or a brick and mortar over an online store is the lack of a need for preparation. If he has to plan and order ahead of time either way what is the benefit of going through the hassel of driving to the store and dealing with annoying upsells when it could just as easily been delivered to his door from an online store.

        imagine not being able to get the groceries you want because you didnt call and preorder your corn a week before you went.

  33. invictus says:

    Maybe the bashing that occurs on news sites and blogs isn’t 100 percent legitimate, but I am sure that some of it is.

    However, if I am required to a 3400+ word guide containing rules top adhere to when frequenting your store, I will go elsewhere. Mainly BestBuy, Wal-Mart, or Target.

    These stores have much more understanding policies and if it comes to a used game, I’ll pass and rent one.

    Mostly I find myself buying from Amazon anyway.

  34. JASONSPAZ says:

    How about this gripe. Many games lately and in the past are advertised on gamestop as having some extra bonus item included if you reserve. (IE) I reserved a silent hill game on the original Xbox, It was advertised to include a soundtrack of the series on a seperate cd if reserved, well when the game came out they (Gamestop) had no idea what I was talking about. I must have hit a nerve with them when i accused them (the employees) of hoarding and not mentioning to customers the little extras that may be included with a presell. I told them they must be keeping them for themselves and friends to sell the bonus items on ebay. When I got home i had a message on my answering machine that said “this is so and so from gamestop and we found your silent hill soundtrack cd”
    when I went back to gamestop I was handed a opened CD with no sleeve. This has happened to me with several games, I was supposed to get a Navy Seal hat with the reserve of navy seals for the ps2, and i was supposed to get a copy of the movie THE THING, with a reserve of the Xbox game The Thing. I no longer shop at Gamestop, The last straw was some relentless punk telling me that if I didnt pre-order Halo 2, back when it came out I would not have got it until after that Christmas anywhere. Well on launch day I purchased two copies of Halo 2 from K-Mart and walked right into that gamestop and made that punk eat them, Kidding of course. The point is I gave up on Gamestop years ago. I have no incentive nor should anyone else have an incentive to buy from them only. Let them prey on the soccer moms, not us gamers. I know whoever wrote the above article would respond by saying “well If I managed the gamestop you went to that would not happen” But I say that maybey that is correct however many many soccer moms and uninformed gamers are being denied free extras for two reasons
    1) they ( the average not so knowledgeable customers)
    dont know they may have a free Assasins creed T-shirt, coming to them.

    2) the little weasles at gamestop are not going to tell them ” Hey here is your free bonus item with that reserve”

    I think that this is a widespread Gamestop problem.

  35. Seriously. When a store that I shop at has a manual for proper conduct, rule and regulations, and all sorts of tips and hints in order to get good service, I’m probably just going to take my business elsewhere.

    Reminds me a lot of a Seinfeld episode we all know and love.

    “You forgot to give me bread….”

  36. Daniel @ playreadwrite.blogspot.com says:

    These kinds of write-ups always confound me. Why do I need to be taught how to retail, if you will. Maybe this Gamestop manager is a good one, but that doesn’t excuse the rest of them for being assholes.

    I just have to say that the whole thing about customers making more preorders and being treated better is true. I can say that from experience. But I can also say that just because I can be considered a regular, and just because I do make a lot of preorders (I’m going to buy the game anyways…) doesn’t mean that as soon as I walk through the door to pick up COD4 today, doesn’t mean everyone employee should line up offering me preorders.

  37. B says:

    I’m so annoyed at Gamestop’s policies on pushing pre-orders and selling gutted games that I now go to Wal-Mart and purchase my games there.

  38. exkon says:

    Good read, some new things I didn’t know.

    I rarely have a bad experience at my local gamestop. The staff is friendly and they know their stuff.

    Not ALL gamestops are bad, like all things it just depends on the staff. I mean if people are saying all gamestops are bad isn’t that just stereotyping?

  39. K0MMIE says:

    I’ve worked for EB Games so I have a litle insight:

    1. Why the fuck should we conform to your policies when all we wanna do is buy a game?

    2. Your company is just as bad as Wal-Mart when it comes to shady practices. I’ve lost track of how many times I was made to work OFF the clock because I went over on hours.

  40. ichiban1081 says:

    The only reason I dont like going into EBgames and gamestop in my area is that they never have the games even when I preorder. There is always some excuse and they get it 2-3 days later. I just order my games online (liongames, buy.com, amazon, etc) and I always get my game the day of or the day after.

    Also there is no way in hell I am going to preorder a game MONTHS in advance unless there is some kind of incentive. I ordered Halo 3 from liongames months in advance because the price was $40 and it was worth it. I think if they offered incentives to preorder in advance other than not getting the game at all they would see more preorders.

  41. brello says:

    Employees can checkout new games? Opening them is one thing, now they’re taking them home with them too?
    Taking them home and using them is the VERY DEFINITION OF USED.
    I’m disgusted. Thanks for this article though, as I will never EVER purchase a non-sealed copy from GameStop again.

    Also, accepting caseless/instructionless games, wtf GameStop? Quit promoting child theft. It’s kiddie’s first chop shop. Nobody wants that stupid hoodlum-covered gamestop case anyways.

    @GIIRyudo: Ocarina of Time was the last game that was “hard to get”. There have been zero since then that I could not find in the very first store I visited. Perhaps it’s just different here, but I doubt it.

  42. Geekybiker says:

    I dont expect alot out of them. I expect that when I new game comes out they will have reasonable stock for non-preorders. I have never found that to be the case. I expect that If I do preorder, that my order will be waiting there for me. This is often not the case. Even when paid in full. 48hrs isnt enough. I expect the employees to display some knowledge of games and be polite to me. This is often not the case.

    So as far as I’m concerned they fail on many levels for a store that says its primary business is games. I generally have nuch better luck getting the titles I want at release with no attitude from big box stores.

  43. JASONSPAZ says:

    Oh one more thing on the gutted game phenom.
    why is it that more often than not when you buy a new game it is a gutted copy. It must be an amazing coincidence that more often than not the game purchased just happens to be “the last copy”
    hmmmmmmm

  44. angry_gamer says:

    I’m sorry but corporate is full of themselves. This is what GS/EB should be doing (when I worked there my store did the following and never had problems:

    A) make sure you shrinkwrap your gutted copies, both shelf displays and the the actual guts. Use CD sleeves to make sure that the disc is in perfect condition.

    B) Tell me why do we even need to gut in the first place? Ask MS, Sony, Nintendo to provide the jacket sleeves / boxes for games, reuse old DVD cases for these displays.

    C) Agressive price matching. My store did this (and by my store I mean all the smart people in the store minus my dooche manager). We did the shopping for you. We’d bring in the weekly fliers, scoured the other big stores or local stores to make sure we were the best price.

    D) If a customer buys a gutted copy, you shrinkwrap it. After selling one game with those stupid stickers, I decided to not do that anymore. They are big, and ugly and leave residue.

    E) Pre-orders – Not much you could do about it. Use to be easier when you offer those bonuses up front.

  45. DualZen says:

    As a former EB Games (turned GameStop) employee, yeah, that article is 100% accurate. On the store level, you have bad stores and good stores (gosh, like at any chain!) and ones that are so-so.

    And honestly, some customers are just plain stupid. I had a guy try to use the warranty he bought for his PS3 after he had popped open the whole console and removed the blu-ray drive. He didn’t even both to put it back in. Why? To save his copy of Call of Duty 3. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    Then there was the group of (little) kids who destroyed one of our display cases (gameboy games) while the mother was ignoring them. I mean, the list goes on.

    As for all you people demonizing those employee’s who do thier job by pushing pre-orders and subscriptions? Go ahead and work a seasonal position at your local GameStop. Then you can see how GameStop corporate likes to muscle it’s retailers into pushing those reserves and subs. It can turn some stores bad.

    Defense of sir article writer aside, I’m also very, VERY glad I no longer work for EB Games.

  46. Mr. Chip says:

    28) More important than anything else I’ve said, a Gamestop is its employees, not its company or policies. This is capitalism, so vote with your patronage!

    And I do, by shopping at Gamestop only as a last resort. What a horrible place to spend money.

  47. eelmonger says:

    @Dennen:
    It’s so true that now pretty much any big box retailer is better at providing new games then these so-called specialty stores. And if you want used games, try going to a real pawn shop, the prices are MUCH better for buying (although they may or may not have been stolen) and they aren’t browsed as often so you can find some real gems. As for selling games, you can just use eBay or Half or something. There’s no real reason for Gamestop brick and mortars to exist anymore.

  48. joestar3 says:

    I rarely go to Gamestop, and will only go there if I absolutely “HAVE” to (i.e., preorder swag). But truth be told, I can’t think of a time in recent memory where I actually bought the game that went with the item, since Fry’s, Best Buy, or Circuit City is almost guaranteed to have it cheaper. I’ll then roll the preorder credit into a strategy guide or something cheap. And honestly, I’d rather go to a brick and mortar electronics store where they don’t bug the heck out of you for preorders or used games.

    The last time I tried to buy a “new” game, I was given a gutted copy; when I asked for a wrapped one, the employee made a snide comment to the effect of “Are you even going to play it?” When I told him my reasoning, he got pissed, and said “I can take the damn thing in the back and shrink wrap it, would that make you happy?” Really professional.

  49. Kimli says:

    All of this post was common sense to me, but I use EB’s trade-in policy almost weekly and I love it. I’ll go out of my way to go to the “good” EB where at any given time I have 1-3 games pre-ordered – I’ll even overlook the guy behind the counter calling me “ma’am” 3 times a transaction because they give good service and don’t mind talking shop with me. Your mileage may vary, though – I go through enough video games to make their trade-in policy extremely worthwhile for me and I am not a dickhead customer to boot, so I get great service.

  50. Earthslide says:

    Everyone that is complaining about GameStop & their policies = Douche!

  51. WGSXFrank says:

    Almost all retail stores require their electronics employees to try to attach accessories or other things to the sale. I’ve worked for Wal-mart, K-Mart, and three different Best Buy stores (West Hollywood CA, Los Angeles CA, and Scranton PA). All those store train the employees to up sell and attach whenever possible. The simple fact is that the software itself doesn’t give much profit at all to the store. They need to attach or up sell accessories in order to keep bringing in products and to provide the customer with options and (in theory) good assistance.

    If your local Wal-Mart electronic employees aren’t doing this… they are going against policy. No, not because they don’t want to put you through it. Let’s face it, do you honestly think they want to make things easier for you? No! they are just lazy and want to make things easier on themselves.

    Anyways, I’ve never gotten a scratched game from EB/GameStop. If I ever do get a gutted game that has damage, I would bring it up with the store personally. If they did not take proper procedures to fix the problem, I would get in contact with the district manager. That is all there is to it. If any local store is performing poorly, the best thing to do is contact THEIR boss and let them know about it. Just “not shopping there” doesn’t fix the problem, it only keeps it going longer through avoidance.

  52. NateN says:

    I don’t shop at GS anymore. Why?

    1. My girlfriend and I always used to pay for pre-orders in full. They let us do it every time without any problems, and we always ended up going by the store within 48 hours to pick it up. The one time we didn’t do it, and they sold the title out from under us without even calling us (We went in on the 3rd day). Thanks guys! I can see doing it when there is only 5 bucks on the books, but when it’s paid for IN FULL, I think I own it. Now I just pre-order on Amazon if I think it’s going to sell out. I still pay in full and I’m sure it will get to me.
    2. If I tried to go into the local GameStop to buy something and it was sold out, they would give me a hard time because I didn’t pre-order and would try to get a pre-order on what they thought would be the next big title. Whatever they were out of would end up being in stock at Best Buy/Target/Walmart. (I have a lot of shopping choices within a half-mile of each other). If they can’t keep the popular inventory in stock while the other retailers can, perhaps the niche that they used to fill doesn’t exist for them anymore.

  53. JASONSPAZ says:

    I keep remembering incidents at Gamestop.
    Pay attention when the next round of systems come out.
    Games that have no official release date, No official box art and quite frankly games that are only supposed to come out will be on display with photoshop box art.
    Gamestop will gladly take a preorder on a game that in the end will not be out years until years after the Ps4 or the Next Xbox are officially released.
    I remember when the Gamecube came out some customer was pissed that Resident Evil 4 was not out on launch for the cube. Gamestop had a generic box art display for RE 4, way before a single screenshot of the game was released. So in theory they have your 5 or 10 buck for years before the game comes out. I hope no one pre ordered Ace Combat 6 for the Ps3 on the PS3 launch……..lol

  54. Nickname says:

    Here’s the problem, and I know I speak for more than just myself when I say this:

    I simply cannot be bothered to make a preorder for a game EVERY TIME I’m interested in a game. Sorry, no can do. I don’t do that when I buy CD’s, I don’t do that when I buy DVD’s, I don’t do that when I buy hamburgers, not even groceries. Consumerism is built on the practicality of the product being readily available, whatever its price.

  55. bebop4one says:

    That was a good (and long) read. Generally, I never really have a problem with Gamestop. Sometimes the kids behind the counter are sitting and talking to one another about a new release or something (which can get a little annoying because I feel like they should ask if I need any assistance first) but that happens anywhere. I really don’t care too much about them asking about preorders either. It’s their job! Every retail outlet will try and make a few extra dollars off of you if they can. Why do you think they put the good shit right by the register? Sometimes there can be a hint of errogance coming from the employees about certain titles or their knowledge of games in general, but the same would be true of a museum curator or the guy working at an auto detail shop. These are people who are proud of their expertise and know how of their passion. It may seem like they are rubbing in their vast knowledge of everything in the store, but they are really just doing what they love. Also, they could try and keep the demo’s on or in better condition, but if someone comes in and fucks it up it isn’t their fault. Although it may seem like I am ripping them a new one, I really am not. I’m glad that there is a store out there that caters to my hobby. I say keep it up you underpaid employees of gamestop and EB! Even though some people bitch and complain, in general, you make our video game experience easier and better. Thanks for all your hard work!

  56. Gouki4u says:

    I don’t shop at GameStop for one very simple reason. They don’t stock PC games. I go in there looking for a game, and they just don’t have it. After this happened a half dozen times I stopped bothering to look there.

  57. ChiboSempai says:

    that was a really long read, but it was good. finally to hear someone talk about EBGS in a good nature. I’m friends with managers at multiple EBGS’s in my area, and I know the stores arent as bad as many ppl online make them sound.

  58. number9 says:

    So all the crap customers have to go through by shopping at Gamestop is the result of…Gamestop’s stupid assed policies?

    In the future, perhaps policies should be designed around the customer’s needs, instead of making the customer conform to Gamestop’s needs.

    In the meantime, I’ll continue to shop elsewhere, thank you.

    • dragonfire81 says:

      @number9: Policies are designed towards maximizing profit, not customers needs. It’s the same at every major retailer.

  59. Mr. Chip says:

    @Kimli: Gamefly. You don’t have to pre-order to get the good stuff, and you don’t turn into Gamestop’s profit cow. If you tend to sell off new games as soon as you beat them, then there’s no reason not to just rent them from Gamefly for as long as it takes, and return them as soon as you win.

    Gamestop:
    -New game: $60
    -Buy back: $15
    -Cost to you for renting a game for as long as it takes to beat it: $45.
    -Interest-free loan you make to a gigantic corporation that hates you, in exchange for a promise to get you the product you wanted, maybe (but they fuck up all the time): $5.

    vs.
    Gamefly:
    $23 month, get 2 games at once, keep as long as you want, plenty of new release titles, option to buy for ~$40/title on new games if you like it enough to want to keep it forever (they’ll ship you the case & manual). No pre-order down in order to make sure you get a copy of the hot new game on launch day.

    Assuming you only keep games as long as it takes to beat them before trading them in, get 2 new games a month, and you’re not a collector who keeps games, you get $22 per trade-in from Gamestop, and you’re buying 360/ps3 games at full MSRP, here’s the breakdown:

    Cost per month at Gamestop: $76. ($912 / year)
    Cost per month at Gamefly: $23. ($276 / year)

  60. Yeah, if you want something *right now*, it’s really either GameStop or big box. That said, if you can wait a little while, there are lots of other places to buy and sell your used stuff.

    There’s Amazon for new stuff (and pre-orders), there’s eBay for your used stuff, there’s Dawdle for your new and used stuff going back to the Atari days (and you can bid on items where no one even has it for sale yet), and you can trade on sites like Goozex if you don’t want to comparison shop at all.

  61. humphrmi says:

    I stopped going to Babbages years ago, before all this Gamestop nonsense started. The only stores I can think of that can get away with telling people how to shop in their store is Aldi, and they sell groceries for like 30-50 percent below normal retail. I don’t see Gamestop doing that.

    Seriously, you’d think GS is the only place that sells games, they way they treat their customers. I’m glad to see my decision years ago was the right one.

  62. @Gouki4u: Dawdle supports PC games, but no one’s really posted games for sale there yet.

  63. phearlez says:

    It’s amazing how much of the kool-aid some people will drink. They have to sell gutted games? Yes, because they choose to display empty boxes. The suggestion that customers therefor have to pay the same price for opened boxes, however, is just inane. It’s equally inane that they will keep responding to complaints about it by restating their reasons. Knock $5 off and get some goodwill rather than having an argument with your customers about what you think should or should not be important to them.

    The ‘need’ for reserving titles justification is even more idiotic. You’re in the instant gratification business, folks – you don’t have anything that we can’t get off the internet more cheaply. If you don’t want to buy and maintain stock – you know, your business? – then get out of the game. Asking us to take the up-front financial hit and help you assess your market is moronic.

  64. Ca$h (aka man of the people) says:

    I agree with most of you. Why the hell do I read a long ass essay before I can “get the most” out of shopping at their stores? It is INDEED the responsibility of the company to meet the needs of the consumer, not the other way around. Until GameStop learns that I’ll continue buying my games at stores like Wal Mart, Target, etc that do.

    This document’s do-it-our-way-or-fuck-you attitude is exactly why I don’t shop at GameStop (unless I can absolutely help it), but at least now I understand why being pressured to pre-order and buy the card feels almost exactly like listening to an NPR fund drive.

  65. parad0x360 says:

    I used to work at EB so i know policies and what not but i have some comments. Also for reference there are no less then 5 GS/EB stores in a 20 mile radius from where I live and i visit them all quite often.

    1-Why not get a display only box? You get them for pre-release games so get one for the retail version and stick that on the shelf. That way you dont need to open a copy and piss people off, sounds simple does it not? Im sure publishers could get on board here really easy and it would cost next to NOTHING for the company. It would make gamers happier and a happy gamer is one who spends more money in your store.

    2-Thats BS, in many GS stores I have bought a game pre-owned that was damaged even as recently as last week and they wouldnt take money off. Also when you trade in a game with even a small scratch they give you less for the trade and say “We have to send it in to be refurbed” which is total BS because if they did they wouldnt sell junk copies like they still do. They also resell these refurb games right away for the same used price as always. How do I know? I traded in Metroid Prime 3 on friday night. They had 0 used copies i know because I asked. While i was still in the store which was about an hour later they put my copy on the shelf same disk, same case yet they took like $4 off because it had a little scratch on the outer track.

    3-Oh really? I have bought quite a few of these gutted games in past months again from multiple stores and never once was a plastic seal put on even when I said the game was a gift.

    4-What about accessories? I asked about a Xbox360 VGA cable, i wasnt sure it could do what i was looking for. The guy said 7 days but if its opened you cant return it. Ok so I guess im going to clone it and keep one as if it were a PC game. So I went down the street and bought one at Target and sure enough it couldnt do what I needed so I returned it no questions asked and used the money towards another game…lost sale for GS

    5-No issue with 5, i cant stand when someone loses a receipt and then whines about how unfair life is.

    6-no issue

    7-I understand that but some customers like myself are WELL KNOWN yet we get bugged all the time despite the fact that we always say no. If a customer is loyal and you know them by name then dont friggen ask WE KNOW THE DRILL and no i dont want a damn warranty on the game I just bought. If i scratch it thats my stupid fault, they know damn well im not buying so dont even ask.

    11-I have the card and have zero issue with it, in fact it got me an extra $20 on friday and I love the magazine. I didnt know i could get money off accessories and guides…they never mentioned that so now i feel kinda cheated knowing i coulda saved alot more money. Thank you!

    12-Refer to #1 for one complaint I have, also the markup is huge. If you are going to make up what we trade in by 60% then you can expect people to feel cheated, even more so on recent titles. Give us a fair price on games you know damn well are going to sell quick.

    TIPS#22-Ok so some products you mention are cheaper but what about the HDMI cables you sell for $40 that I can also get on Amazon.com for $2.75!? Hello markup!

  66. Steel_Pelican says:

    GS/EB is not in the business of new games. As detailed in the OP, the profit margin, per disk, is razor thin on new games, and keeping an overstock of new games is dangerous, because a $10 price cut means you’re taking a $5+ loss on every disc that didn’t sell before the cut.

    In order to maximize profits on new games, GS/EB started the reserve system to 1.) make a few extra bucks on the interest accrued from pre-order dollars, and 2.) help prevent overstocking. Don’t expect GS to be your headquarters for new games, because that’s not what they’re there to sell.

    If you’re relying on GS for new games, you should look elsewhere because they need to squeeze every cent they can from them, and that’s going to lead to customer-unfriendly policies and practices.

  67. The whole “gutting” aspect has to be one of the worst ideas in the history of man. I’m sorry, but I prefer to have my NEW games unopened. I don’t want it to be touched by someone else’s dirty little hands. The games have never been played? BS! There’s the possibility that they’ve been played before since employees are allowed to check out new games.

    If GS was smart, they wouldn’t be gutting games, and instead, would use empty DVD cases with xeroxed inserts of the games…but they don’t care that much about the consumer.

  68. Ca$h (aka man of the people) says:

    @phearlez:
    Agreed.

    Instead of selling gutted games as new (which anyone with an ounce of intelligence knows that OPENING something instantly voids its status as ‘new’) why don’t they just print out the cover, put it in a DVD case, and use that as the display copy? With computers automatically telling you exactly what to put up and take down would this really be that hard to implement?

  69. breanney says:

    can i write the female perspective on this article? i’ve been an assistant manager at one of the top performing locations in the country, and i have the unique perspective of being the alpha-female in a male-dominant “society” – as well as the benefit of years in this position. i’ve since moved on to better things, but i keep my part-time job there because i really do enjoy talking to people. my fingers are bleeding at the thought of writing it…

  70. target_veteran says:

    This “confession” really failed to adress a major issue that I’ve seen at several Gamestops/EBs over the years: inflated prices on NEW older games, generally the ones still in demand years later. Most recent example I have is Mario Kart DD for the ‘Cube. I never actually owned one, so I went to pick it up for the Wii. Good game for my fiancee and I to play togeter. Listed at $50 new, $40 used. Went next door to Toys R Us, picked it up for $32. I’m guessing corporate pricing comes into play here but, seriously, come on. When everyone else is selling something for one price, how can they justify charging $10 more for a used copy?!

  71. @ARboom:
    Heh, agreed. They can gut the used games all they want since they’ve *gasp* already been used. But seriously, their POS’s (hah) have so many limitations…how long did it take GS to switch over to saving reserve info in the computer? Before they merged with EB, they were still on the horrible reserve stub in a shoe box crap. The POS’s JUST got updated about a month ago, and they finally save customer info. Should have thought of that maybe 8 years ago…

  72. Hiero Glyph says:

    Typically I go to Gamestop to reserve all my games as Best Buy, Circuit City and other local retailers are far worse. There are always specials that gain my attention from these retailers but more often than not my trip is a very involved process that often ends with me going home empty handed. Gamestop takes the time to inform me when the game will be available for pickup and since I always pay my reserves in full I am usually out of the door within 5 minutes.

    No system is perfect, period. Some gamers prefer online stores for their preorders while others use local retailers. Both are fraught with problems and delays. Choose the one that gives you the least trouble.

    Notice how no one complains about the ignorance of employees at certain chains when they sell games prior to their release date? Sometimes ignorance is bliss!

  73. mikemil828 says:

    //1. Why the fuck should we conform to your policies when all we wanna do is buy a game?//

    Because you have to conform to the policies of every store you want to buy from, from the second you enter the store. You want to a buy a game in your underwear? do it online, not at my store.

    //I don’t shop at GameStop for one very simple reason. They don’t stock PC games. I go in there looking for a game, and they just don’t have it. After this happened a half dozen times I stopped bothering to look there.//

    They do at the store I go to, then again there are quite a few pc gamers who actually frequent that gamestop, if you want your gamestop to stock pc games, preorder, few retailers stock merchandise that doesn’t sell, gamestop is no exception. Give them an indication that something would sell and they’ll stock it.

  74. bigdirty says:

    Wow, this was just the biggest bunch of Gamestop propaganda and deserves no place ion the Consumerist. When pitches like “Game Informer is still a fairly good magazine and offers occasional bonus coupons that stack with the card, so don’t write it off entirely.”, “When buying NEW accessories, off-brand or Gamestop-branded accessories can be reliable and much cheaper alternatives.”, and “If you know you plan to buy Game X, then place a deposit on it.” are included, this should just be immediately written off.

  75. mammalpants says:

    i think this is a very well-written post.

    unfortunately, it is gamestop policy to terminate any employee blogging about company business, no matter what the subject matter.

    thanks for being a loyal and concerned employee. we truly value your time and comments. here is a golden sticker for your shirt printed with the value of $3.99.
    if you redeem yourself within 24 hours, we will increase your value by 30%.

  76. Alewyn says:

    My buddies and I usually hit the game stop when there’s no place else to turn to. I can remember though, when the PS3 first came around, we ended up going to GS to pick something up, and ended up fiddling with the PS3 on display (the ones you can play…) I don’t think we ever got what we went there for. I don’t even remember the last time I shopped there… unless it was that time. They also don’t stock PC games, or at least an amount worth looking through… and that makes me a sad panda.

  77. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    I’ll stick with GoGamer.com, thanks.

  78. @dorylomorphs: @Steel_Pelican:
    I want to clear up one misconception here: “interest” on deposits is NOT a factor at all in the decision to take preorders. Deposits don’t go into a bank account somewhere; they go immediately into a company’s cash flow. In practice, the cash usually goes right out again as salary or expenses.

    What reserves/deposits do is allow a company to book income immediately, rather than booking the income three months down the line when the title is released and physically sold. It’s a technical accounting point, but taking a deposit allows me to book some of the profit today on a sale I won’t make until tomorrow. Also, it is useful for projection purposes; i.e. the deposits taken directly equate to cash receipts when the product is released; units required to be in stock on release, etc. etc.

  79. Steel_Pelican says:

    @ARboom: “With computers automatically telling you exactly what to put up and take down would this really be that hard to implement?”

    Yes. At the first GS I worked at, we tried to avoid gutting new games as much as possible. We would keep promo cover art for games (most stores would toss it), and use that to display new games. This was the manager’s policy, and not a corporate requirement. It was a huge undertaking to manage, and pulled resources (time, materials) from other parts of running the store.

    Here’s why GS doesn’t do it everywhere:
    1.) Game publishers aren’t going to make display copies for retailers.
    2.) Producing and distributing display copies would be costly for GS, who is trying to maximize already slim profit margins on new games.
    3.) It can lead to displaying games that aren’t in stock, which in some states is illegal, even if they’re only on display for 30 seconds before the manager catches the msitake.
    4.) Believe it or not, empty cases are stolen from GS shelves all the time. If you only have a few dedicated display copies, you’re back to gutting new games once the displays “disappear.”
    5.) (the biggest one) GS has no problem selling gutted new games for full price. Most customers don’t care, and I can say that from experience behind the register.

    Personally, I think GS should find a way around the problem, because it’s one of their biggest CS complaints, and it alienates the kind of customer who often spends more on games, and returns more regularly.

  80. chartrule says:

    we don’t have a gamestop here – we have EB games but reading this does explain why they try to push “gutted” products on you rather than one that’s never been opened

    rather pathetic that they sell programs that their employees have taken home and played the shit out of them as new

  81. Belgand says:

    I’m always amazed at how badly the video game shops seem to be about handling pre-orders vs. shelf stock. In particular I find it interesting when you compare it to the comic book industry. The way things have gone in the past few decades comic retailers have no ability to return unsold product. With the turnover on comics it’s become a tough issue to stock only what will sell as well. As a result everyone who reads comics regularly pre-orders everything. Typically at least two months in advance of the issue’s expected release (which is often missed) when the issue is “solicited” by appearing in Previews, the catalog used by the monopolistic comic book distributer and sold to retailers and consumers alike for about $5 a month.

    Yet, even in this system where you usually have to pre-order everything it’s rarely a problem to find something. Sure titles can sell out especially when something is an unexpected hit. Lots of stores apparently stock only the major superhero books for their shelves (though this has not been my experience). I’ve almost never had a problem walking into a store to pick up and issue that I missed of something or a new series I didn’t pre-order and not being able to find it. Likewise despite being a common perception most comic book stores don’t really deal heavily in the used market. It’s typically a losing proposition and most are more interested in selling old stock than dealing with your unwanted products.

    It strikes me as odd that one industry can functionally be built almost entirely around pre-orders while another fails to so badly. In part, it works because you probably don’t want to miss an issue rather than just wanting some new came so you’re more likely to have each issue of a particular title pulled for you though retailer policies differ.

    As for PC games… well, I’ll agree that they’ve been massively pushed out in favor of console titles. I suspect that this is largely a function of interest in used titles. They simply don’t sell PC games used and if they don’t sell it used then they’re not interested in selling it new since they won’t be able to reclaim it later.

  82. mikemil828 says:

    @bigdirty:
    Well it kinda is true, Game Informer is a decent enough magazine, and the coupons in it do stack with the discounts on the card, Off Brand Accessories generally are as reliable as official stuff and so forth. What does need to be on Consumerist perchance? More Anti-Corporate folderol which ignores where business sense deviates from common sense?

  83. TheDragon says:

    “Gamestop policy is, for better or worse, that employees may check out new games that are more than two weeks past their original release so long as they are returned in mint condition. I don’t agree with this, personally, as many part-timers and less-dedicated employees simply can’t be trusted to take decent care of products. Typically most good stores encourage employees to check out used, even though company policy gives used more weight than new.”

    This is where the main problem is, in my opinion. People are always complaining that they buy the last copy and there’s save data there. Granted, in most cases the game isn’t damaged or seem used, but it raises the question of whether this game should now be treated as a used game.

  84. sangyon says:

    I have never had a problem with GameStop.

  85. bufftbone says:

    Gamestop STILL sucks!

  86. Ei8HTb1t says:

    First of all: forget about the employees, really what’s the point in even arguing over sad sacks that have to rely on shitty part-time minimum-wage jobs in the first place? Do you complain about the service you get at Mickey D’s or American Eagle? of course not because you expect the same level of shitty service you can only ask of someone who makes less than $10/hour. The employees have NOTHING to do with why this potentially great business model has become a pile of garbage in the eyes of it’s most valuable customers (you and I, the gaming public who buy and play their own games with their hard-earned money).

    The sad fact is that GameStop operates over 5,000 stores worldwide and generated over $5.56 BILLION in revenue this past year because the truth is that millions of moms and dads buy videogames from this “videogame store” as do a lot of the people who complain about GameStop but are too complacent to make the effort and shop elsewhere (anywhere else) to hit GameStop where it hurts enough for them to even consider changing their policies, their bottom-line.

    GameStop has the unique opportunity to refer to itself as the largest videogame retailer in the world yet they don’t have a clue what real videogamers care about. For example, a huge part of the culture of gaming is the collection aspect. Who wants to pay full price for a brand new title to add to their collection that’s been opened, potentially used and slathered with a huge sticker all over the cover? You’re pulling in 5 and a half BILLION a year, you think you could afford to buy a single store copy for each franchise so your employees can “check it out” and be knowledgeable about and then sell it back the consumer as an open-box item (like any other retailer) rather than have the nerve to charge full price.Also, anyone who has paid over $40 for a used game from EB Games is to blame for their horrible trade-in values.

    There has to be a better way, it’s pathetic when big box stores provide more personal and reliable service than a retailer that specializes in the market. Calling all entrepreneurs: BEAT GAMESTOP AT THEIR OWN GAME. All it takes is one really kick ass grass-roots game shop in your town to make a difference and cater to what true gamers really want and need and drive sales away from the horrible empire of ignorance that GameStop has become…

  87. Konchu says:

    @causticitty: Man I remember the days you
    could take back open games. I knew people that abused the hell out of
    this so I understand why they do not it becomes free game rental land.
    I dont mind the open box as new if its prestine and I like to think
    that it has never been played even though I know this is not always the
    case.

    On another note anyone that has had to work retail in one form of
    another knows there are policies and things you have to do that annoy
    some people. So I dont let Pre reserves or magazine subscriptions
    bother me. I do preorder games I want but dont let anyone pressure me
    and most employees are cool enough to let it go. And if you frequent
    the same store people will get to know you so they know if you reserve
    or not(they may still offer out of policy but are definatly backed down
    a bit).

    I shop at Gamestop becuase they have the games I want quicker maybe
    its where I live but the other stores Best Buy etc generally dont get
    the games till days after the release(with the exception of the biggies
    Halo, Guitar Hero etc)so that is why I like the specialty stores. And
    there is virtually no difference in cost 99% of the time though Circuit
    City does some sweet deals time to time.

    My biggest bitch with Gamestop would be they raised the used cost of games when they implemented the discount card system.

  88. mikemil828 says:

    //It strikes me as odd that one industry can functionally be built almost entirely around pre-orders while another fails to so badly.//

    Probably because it’s cheaper to stock a nonselling 5 dollar per unit comic than a 60 dollar per unit video game….

  89. coan_net says:

    Even though I will still stop by there, what annoyed me the other day is when I went in and got the Wii Dance game (on it’s release date)…. and the person behind the counter made me feel like I was being treated as a God since I did not pre-order it and they just happen to ship a few extra to the store and she was going to be kind enough to give me one of those. “Well you are lucky we got a couple extra in. Normally on release day we only give it to pre-order people. If you had pre-ordered it, then we could guarantee it to be in. Would you like to pre-order Mario Galaxy for the Wii?” Um no – if you don’t have it, I’ll walk next door to Wal-mart and see if they have it in.

  90. Mr. Chip says:

    I just wanted to note that though I posted a big ol’ Gamefly ad up above, I don’t work for Gamefly, and I don’t even have a Gamefly account because I’m the kind of person who buys a game and keeps it forever. Their model doesn’t work for me. But for people who tend to trade in every game they get, it’s a fantastic value proposition.

  91. StratfordX says:

    Don’t pre-order games. Don’t trade your games in. Ever. The job of retail merchandise buyers is to to determine what will sell in which area and I’m sorry but the games industry is covered with enough scrutiny that anyone can be something of an expert on upcoming titles after an hour on the internet. It is not on the consumers to make the game available. how does fry’s or best buy know to stock odin’s sphere but EBGS is clueless? don’t pre-order. Don’t encourage this.
    You’re allowing yourselves to be swindled by the trade-in process. It is an attractive prospect to youth and adult alike, and it is as deceptive as it is seductive. Games are not a commodity, they are a collectible. Treat your property with the respect it deserves.

  92. GothamGal says:

    I am an avid gamer and I used to get my games at Gamestop, but after being treated like dirt and practically being accused that my credit cards were not mine, I will get my games somewhere else.

  93. WhoreofSpamylon says:

    “Yes, cancelled preorders count against the employee ringing it in and they will be reluctant, but it is your right to cancel for cash refund if you choose to and they can’t decline it.”

    Wow, now I fell like such an asshole!

  94. mikemil828 says:

    //how does fry’s or best buy know to stock odin’s sphere but EBGS is clueless?// They don’t, however since your typical Best Buy is about 20 times bigger than your typical Gamestop, they can afford to put games they don’t know would sell on the shelf, while a gamestop with limited space cannot.

  95. lawyergay says:

    Although this can vary a bit from state to state, consumers typically have 30 days to inspect goods for defects, regardless of what the store’s policy is.

  96. puregroundchuck says:

    I haven’t shopped or traded at Gamestop since I found Zunafish. You can trade games with other people for $1 plus shipping. I’d rather get another game than a few bucks from Gamestop.

  97. jerros says:

    Pre-Ordering in store is rather foolish. Why? Because then on release day (which is a day after the date listed on the internet because “release date” somehow changed from the day the game would be in stores to the day it ships to stores) you have to call up your local GameStop/EB or other store constantly and ask “Is it in yet?”.

    If I’m going to pre-order a game at all it will be online. I’ll get UPS/Fed ex tracking of my package so I don’t need to constantly call up the local store, I will not have to plop $5.00 down to assure the local store that I will be coming by later in the day to buy the game rather than picking it up elsewhere. And the FedEx/UPS guy will deliver the game to my door step either at home or at work so I don’t need to take time out of my day to drive to the local store, deal with the goofball behind the counter, have him repeatedly ask me to pre-order more games I don’t want, and then hand me a “newly opened” game then charge me full price for it.

    At one point there used to be a reason to pre-order from Gamestop/EB, there were discounts, there were t-shirts & other items, but most importantly back in the day when you pre-ordered a game you got it 1 full day before everyone else who did not pre-order it did. That was a reason to pre-order, these days theres little to no value in pre-ordering, many of the items given out as “goodiees” for pre-ordering are of the quality you’d expect from the cheap prize in fair games.

    These days the only reason EB/Gamestop want you to pre-order is so that they can sell you a new game, but they’d much rather have you come back a day or two later and buy it used because that’s where they make their most profit.

    How did the “Specialty Video Game Store” turn into “The Video Game Fleamarket”?

  98. mikemil828 says:

    //I’ll get UPS/Fed ex tracking of my package so I don’t need to constantly call up the local store//

    If you go online, instead of dealing with that evil gamestop, you would have to deal with that evil UPS, which may or may not get your package in on release day. At least with gamestop they have a tendency to give you 5 bucks back should UPS **** up, with ups alone it’s too bad.

  99. icarusprime says:

    1. I shouldn’t need a “guide” to shop at a retail store no matter how “niche” they are.

    2. The Gamestop/EB/Game Crazy/Play model of retail sucks plain and simple. It’s broken and needs to be fixed.

    and sorry to throw another “bash” on the fire but this past Sunday went to a local Gamestop went in looking for a “new sealed” copy of a game where the only one left was the gutted one (I passed on the purchase btw); I came across the Halo trinket/bobble collectors display and picked up one of the stickers. I proceeded over to the 3 employee ready register counter where one was helping a parent and child cash in what was seriously 20 gift cards for 1 game, while the other 2 watched, chatted and cheered on their friends in the store playing GH3 on the demo kiosks. I stood their behind “20 gift card father and child” for seriously 7 minutes until one of the mouth breathing Guitar spectators thought “hey, that guy has been staring at us for almost 10 minutes, maybe he needs something” … paid my $3.24 and ran out of the store in utter but not surprised disgust. You better believe I will submit a the customer survey placed on the receipt. >_<

    What sucks, I worked for Gamestop for almost 2 years from Manager in Training to Corporate and I thought policy and employees were terrible then, nope it has actually gotten worse.

  100. Shinobuu says:

    I’m quite an avid gamer myself. To me, GS is better than most places in terms of reserving what may be a popular/unknown game that I want to get. In terms of finding an popular/surplus of games, I’d say go to other retailers. Why reserve a game? Let’s consider some things. If each GS were to order a minimum of 5 copies of 5 new titles per system per month @ a fixed rate of $48 ($2 profit), that’s $1200 per system. System-wise: there’s Wii, PSP, PS3, DS, 360, and PC. That’s 6 systems so on a month average, that’s $7200 per store. I’m not gonna bother look into how many GS stores there are but let’s say for 1,000 GS stores, that’s 7 million and 200 hundred thousand dollars. Not everyone wants every single title so some games get left behind on the shelves, never to see the light. It’s pure hypothesis but not far from the truth I’m sure. A corporation can’t afford to lose money on their purchases for consumers who may or may not purchase the game.

  101. Poninja says:

    I was an assistant manager for a Gamestop a few years ago when I was still in college, and from the sound of it, not much has changed. Here are my suggestions…

    1) Find a stand-alone Gamestop in a nice area if you want a good shopping experience (there are still some attached to Barnes and Noble stores in some areas and those are great).
    You will never have a good experience at a store in a mall so don’t waste your time with those unless you’re already at the mall and want to make an unplanned purchase.

    Stand-alone stores don’t make the sales that the mall stores do and will be much more willing to work for your business, the flip side is that they often don’t get the stock that mall stores do, so don’t expect to walk in and get a title that you’re having a hard time finding unless you pre-ordered it.

    2) If you actually care about the “bonus” crap that you get with some pre-orders then do the following…
    a) Wait to pre-order until the bonus items have been announced and are in-store. If you pre-order early, don’t expect the store to call you, they often have no way to track who has the items and who does not.
    b) Know what items you’re supposed to be getting ahead of time. Half of the time employees have no documentation on what they are supposed to give out, and they may not even know the store has the items since they are not tracked in inventory.
    c) Call ahead and see if they have the items before you go to the store.

    It’s perfectly valid to say that you shouldn’t need to do this, but many of the pre-order bonus items are sent directly from the manufacturer and are frequently completely unlabeled as pre-order bonuses.

    Store employees can often get free stuff sent to the store to promote a game and may not be aware that these items are to be given out with pre-orders rather than just being promo items. Complicating the issue is that the number of these items is pretty random, so in the case of a bonus disk you make get 100 of them, but you may only get 5 t-shirts for another game.

    3) Odds are that an employee won’t try to sell you the display box unless it was the last one they had, and they will most likely tell you what’s up before going through the trouble of selling it to you. If you get an open item it was most likely opened because an employee took it home. If you don’t want it, then ask for an unopened copy, and if you’re giving it as a gift, just don’t accept an item that is already open for any reason.

    At the two stores where I have worked, I have never known of an employee to misrepresent a trade-in item as a new game, it would screw up inventory and the employee has no incentive to try and sell you a used game as new.

    Again, a lot of it comes down to shopping at a store where employees have the time to do things right. If you call a mall store every day asking if they have gotten a shipment in, they will blow you off very quickly. If you call a store that is less busy they will often work with you, especially if you shop there and get to know them. It’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility to get a store to call you when something that you want comes in, and our store used to do it regularly for several customers.

    If you are like me and know what you want, then just save yourself the grief and order online. If however you want to trade games in, or like dealing with brick and mortar stores then find a good one and stick with it.

  102. icarusprime says:

    @mikemil828:

    and why do they have limited space? Because they take in used games by the truck full!

  103. Umandsf says:

    I really don’t seem to care about it. GameStop is my number one stop for games, and never have I had any problem with them. In fact, I’m interested in landing a job there, even if it is part-time, just to get the perspective from the other side of the counter.

  104. Machines says:

    My guide to shopping at Gamestop consists of one item:

    1. Don’t do it.

  105. DashTheHand says:

    I read some of that but all I got was an ultra long-winded rant about how if you don’t like how horrible GameStop is, then shop somewhere else…which is funny because thats exactly what people should do.

    BTW, I’ve never seen an unopened game at a GameStop – EVER. Always those gutted ones.

  106. humphrmi says:

    @Dave Ryan:

    It’s a technical accounting point, but taking a deposit allows me to book some of the profit today on a sale I won’t make until tomorrow.

    Yeah, some other companies tried that. Enron. Worldcom. The list goes on and on, in that respect GameStop is in good company.

  107. Hambriq says:

    @icarusprime: The Gamestop/EB/Game Crazy/Play model of retail sucks plain and simple. It’s broken and needs to be fixed.

    How is it broken, and how would you fix it? I’m not trying to be smug, I’m genuinely curious. Keep in mind that having poor customer service or policies doesn’t mean the entire model is broken. I could say the following about why the retail pharmacy business model is broken; “The number of prescriptions being filled is growing at a rate exponentially higher than the pharmacies’ ability to fill them.”

    So what is it that you can say about the video game outlet model that makes it broken?

  108. jerros says:

    @icarusprime:

    The limited space deal is really an excuse. The BestBuy/Circut City etc game section is much smaller space wise than any gamestop I’ve been in. They’ve got 2 two sided display areas for the console titles and 1 display area for PC games (I’m not including the rest of the PC software because that would be unfair).

    Most of Gamestop’s floor space is taken up with magazines, toys, as well as used games. The area they have for new titles is small because of space planning, and profitability reasons. Not because they have less space to display/store new titles.

  109. Benstein says:

    I am ashamed at consumerist for letting a company SHILL post a 28 point guide on how to be a “good little gamespot consumer”. Some of the points were good, but most of them were trying to justify a completely asinine corporate policy. WTF.

    And why people pre-order AAA games is beyond logic. Guess what? It is CHEAP and FAST to burn extra DVDs if the game sells more than expected. There will be enough copies. The only thing to pre-order is hardware since they actually have to manufacture it.

  110. mikemil828 says:

    @icarusprime:

    Much of which they will never be able to resell. Taking in used games is a double edged sword, it could earn good money but it could be a major liability if you take in too many crappy used games which you really can’t turn down.

    //I stood their behind “20 gift card father and child” for seriously 7 minutes until one of the mouth breathing Guitar spectators thought// You know, instead of watching “20 gift card father and child” along with them, you could have politely ask for service

  111. Kilgard says:

    I actually enjoyed the read, but having no retale experience I have no real knowledge of actual facts.

  112. Clarkins says:

    There’s two or three Gamestops in town. Looked around the one in the mall once.
    It was a madhouse, everything all crammed together.
    If I want a new game, I figure Wal-Mart, Toys R Us or even Amazon can fulfill my needs.

  113. RvLeshrac says:

    In response to #7, which is the only one that really struck a chord with me, I have to say that Gamestop went above & beyond when I lost my PSP receipt (to a copier. Stop using heat-transfer paper, you retail tools) and had to send it in for a repair – nearly a year after I bought it.

    Sony demanded a receipt or PoP, and the local Gamestop said that they didn’t have the receipt available given the age. So I called up the regional office.

    The young lady I spoke with was extremely polite, but didn’t get my hopes up. She asked me if I knew when I bought it and who rang up my purchase. I couldn’t remember exactly who it was, but I knew the date (launch). She said she’d try to find it and give me a call.

    Amazingly, especially for a large corporation, she *actually called me back*, *left a message on the answering machine*, then *called back again when I hadn’t called her by the next day* (due to work). They found my receipt, and mailed it to me – I had it two days later.

    I’ve quite honestly never had anything but a positive experience with GS/Software, Etc/Funcoland. The only reason I don’t shop there anymore is because of the tools who filed a class-action regarding the selling of returned games as new.

    They got a $5 coupon (woo, big win, idiots), and everyone else got screwed out of the *best software return policy ever,* and what was honestly the *only* software return policy remaining. (Buy a game, you had seven days to return it for whatever reason, as long as you could provide a reason. With the obligatory ‘sign this form’ to identify the people who did nothing but buy and return games.)

  114. mikemil828 says:

    @jerros: Don’t know where you shop but most best buys have a lot more space for games, especially for pc games. While your typical gamestop has enough room for one small display for the most popular PC games, Best Buys have several large displays filled with PC games. Also while you claim that best buys have only enough room for 2 double sided display cases for console games, I counted 8 last time I was there, and on top of that 3 50′inch tvs with which you can play various games on.

  115. SaraAB87 says:

    Longest article I have ever seen on consumerist…

    If I buy video games I am either :

    1. Going to yard sales and buying games

    2. Buying during retail stores clearances or waiting for price drops

    3. Shopping online with sites like amazon to save shipping and tax.

    4. Trading games that I no longer want with other gamers on one of the many game trading websites out there.

    5. Selling played-out games on ebay

    Ever since the quality of Gamestop’s merchandise has gone on a decline I have been shopping there less and less, and as they phase me out of their ideal shopper mentality by only stocking games for consoles that I do not own yet and offering poor quality, scratched up discs for 5$ less than the new copy that they could have had in stock if its a game thats less than a week old.. I could go on for a while..

  116. Evdor says:

    Where’s the part that discusses why Gamestop employees are almost invariably arrogant jerks who have the balls to tell me that the scratched-to-hell-game is fine and it’s my system that’s screwed up? (Despite it being the only game to EVER not work on said system).

    Where’s the part that discusses the snappy irritability when I point out a less-then-popular game shouldn’t be sold out, told I’ll never find it, only to go down the street and find more than 30 copies?

    People bash Gamestop because it’s a horrible corporate environment that breeds frustration in its employees, screws the customer, and forces anyone who is remotely tolerable to leave, with only the ones you never want to see to man the store.

  117. finire says:

    I worked for Gamestop a little over a year ago, for a period of 9 months, and while much of what this poster has to say is (was) true, it really does cast things in too kind of a light.

    Throughout my tenure there I never was able to determine why exactly it was the customer’s responsibility to ensure the allocation of a certain title, and a little part of me laughed every time I heard the allocation system used as an argument to pressure a customer into reserving (on average, Gamestop employees need sales training — badly).

    Even as an employee, I did not partake in the reserves system. I could always find some place that would stock any title I was interested in, and often at a price that was competitive with my employee discount. Then again, I was never such a game junkie that I had to have every game I was curious about on the first day of its release. (Aside: There are a lot of customers who differed from me in this respect, though. A frightening number that no-doubt led to the creation of the “circle of life” that was, at the time, found on the back of every employee’s name badge: Customer reserves a game, trades it back in, uses the credits towards another reserve and used product. Rinse, repeat.) It’s very easy to understand from a company standpoint why the reserve system makes sense — the number of reserves I saw that simply were never picked up would be staggering if applied on a company-wide scale — but as a customer, why should I be interested in participating in an invasive and irritating procedure just so that I may guarantee the very same treatment at a later date?

    Checking out games was a nice privilege, but during my stay there I never heard mention of a 2-weeks-after-street-date policy. Perhaps things have changed since I left. If so, I commend them on this.

    And what he said about the reserve/GI hustle is very much true — these employees are trying to retain their jobs. But when you consider the culture of the company (which is very poor even when compared to other retailers I have had experience with), the low pay for pretty much everybody (I was fortunate in this regard, but GA’s — the worker bees — started out at 6-6.40/hr, assistant manager’s and “third keys” might get between 7-9.50, and manager’s would make a super-secret salary, in order to ensure that somebody could work overtime to fill the gaps left by scheduling hours, plus bonuses), and the danger of robbery in an minimally-secured strip stores full of high-priced electronics, and I can’t think you’re doing them any favors by enabling them to remain there.

    By the way, I can’t remember ever having given anybody $1 for a years-old Madden game. Try $0.15 — or -$1.85 if a badly-managed store instructs its employees to gloss over the refurbishment costs of a scratched game in order to boost trade-in numbers.

  118. Saboth says:

    TLDR all of it! My summary:

    “Our employees are under a lot of stress, and even the ones that work hard and are nice can lose their $7 an hour job on a whim, if they don’t push junk on you!”

    “You are at our mercy, please do everything in this list when you want service, or you may receive poor service or get $3 credit for a game instead of $4 credit for a game. We are like the Soup Nazi, but instead of having a stranglehold on a product in high demand and low supply, we offer overpriced games and poor service. Just go on the internet and get the same game for less, and then sell your used games on Ebay for 3x the value you would get from us. Thank you, come again”.

  119. Sasquatch says:

    The guys at my local Game Stop (Coolidge Corner in Brookline, MA) are awesome guys who always help me out and try to make sure I get all the discounts and promotions I can.

    If you don’t like buying your games at Gamestop, then buy from Best Buy. I hear their customers service is AWESOME! ;)

  120. manok says:

    The gamestop in my town has pretty good service and they have never hassled me about preorders. I just preordered Mario Galaxy yesterday and other than the cletus working the register and screwing things up, I usually get in and out with what I want with no drama.

    I’ll keep shopping there as long as they continue the level of service I usually get.

  121. Nytmare says:

    @Jerim: “The customer” is a phrase used by PR weasels to describe a generic, average customer and/or customers as a whole. Notice I didn’t say “the PR weasel” – because that’s not how normal people talk. From there, we can easily derive that the phrase “The customer is always right” was originally coined by businesses. A simple Google search confirms it.

  122. Captiosus says:

    @brello and @qhue:
    Entirely too damn true.

    Gamestop has become more like a pawn shop for used games and used gaming accessories than an actual retailer. They have regularly bought games that we have had stolen (case in point: neighbor had his house broken into, magically his copy of H2 *with identifying markings on the case in Sharpie* showed up at the local mall Gamestop the next day). Having dealt with even shady pawn shops, it’s sad that the level of service I get at gamestop pales in comparison.

    And every gamestop I’ve been too have been FULL of liars. Like when they lie about not having any new consoles or new games in the attempt to get you to buy a refurb system or put money on a game when you just saw more than one person walk out of the store with a new console or new game. The absolutely LOVE doing this with X360s at my local gamestop. They go out of their way to tell customers they don’t have any new 360 consoles and then offer some refurb Core system piece of shit, but if you watch when they go into the back you can see a bunch of stocked, new, 360s Premiums and Elites on a freakin’ pallet.

    People wonder why I’ve stopped the trade in racket and make all my preorders online with insured shipping. At least if UPS screws up and doesn’t get me the product on time, or if they damage it, I get my money back from the shipping insurance.

  123. SSJPabs says:

    I’m not sure I understand the gamestop seal part of the return policy. What is the gamestop seal?

    If a game is defective, you won’t know until you open it and try to play it, but if you try to play it, you have opened it and it blows the return policy so it seems like its a policy designed not to actually work to save the company effort and money.

  124. kylere says:

    I am glad to know that if I obey enough rules and only shop in a manner that makes them happy, I can be a valued customer to X.

    Who cares, like I am going to walk into some store of full of barely / inadequately washed pubescent children, and deal with ClerkA (the moron that thinks console games are worth my time) or ClerkB (the World of Warcraft playing one) neither of whom plays anything other than twitch games or kiddie level RPG’s. In case you all were not aware, Newegg does games now, and as usual, no one else even compares on value/cost, and I can relax at home and get my data.

    Of course with Direct to Drive sites, these little anachronistic holes-in-the-mall will all be gone in 5 years.

  125. Dick.Blake says:

    Lately I stick to renting games rather than buying. There are a couple of means of unloading your used games rather than trading them at GameStop (Half.com, Ebay or a trading site called Goozex that I recommend)

    My brother, who has spent probably a good 4 of his 24 years on Earth playing videogames cumulatively, was snubbed by GameStop when he applied at a new location that had opened in the area. Reading the practices mentioned in this article, I can see why they didn’t want him… he would be more into sharing his passion with his peers than meeting quotas.

    But I think it’s totally dependent on the employees running the store.:
    - I went to one locale and bought a game the day before its release. Went back to the same store earlier this year and they wouldn’t sell me the game I wanted unless I paid with CASH… wtf?!?

    - A different location, as soon as I stepped in the door the MOD asked if I had any games with me to trade…. nope, looking for a used memory card. “Ah… well I don’t have any for that system. Come back with some games to trade next time.”

    - And the last time I ever patroned this fine company, I was one of two people in the store mid-afternoon. Two associates were behind the counter. The customer ahead of me was trading in games and just generally trying to “make a deal” with these guys over trade credit and his willingness to preorder merch. I needed help in purchasing something that was kept behind the counter, a Guitar Hero controller. Both of these clowns ignored me because they were so compelled by this guy teasing them with trades and preorder opportunities…. you know, instead of inquiring as to why I was standing at their counter glaring at them with my wallet in my hand. So I went home and ordered my stuff from Amazon. Never been back in a GameStop since.

  126. racingX says:

    Boo hoo….feel sorry for Gamestop. The store is a sham, they don’t carry new inventory because they want you to keep buying the used games over & over that they bilk from stupid 12 & 13 yr olds that don’t have a steady $ inflow from a job or mommy or daddy. What this clown fails to “report” about their trade in biz is that with the “big” games i.e. Halo 3, Bioshock, Ratchet, Zelda, etc they give you less than 1/2 the retail value and even less a few months down the road and turn around and sell it for $5 less than new retail. I’m all for a company trying to make money, but they are just preying on kids and stealing money at their expense. Of course no one wants old sports games, why don’t you make a policy NOT to take them, or have a limit on the number of last years “model” the store should have. DUH! Meanwhile they take “marvel vs Capcom” for the xbox, which I know is a rare title and sought after, give a kid $17 trade for it and turn around and put it on their shelf for $79.99….criminal. That is true BTW. A previous poster hit right, they are nothing but a pawnshop, instead of deadbeats hocking their wifes wedding ring for another day at the track, its just another 12 yr old dying for the next Halo….parents should wake up.

  127. @humphrmi: Not at all. Enron was (among other things) booking transactions with their wholly-owned subsidiaries as if they were transactions with external customers (thereby generating revenue), which is against GAAP. Worldcom was just committing outright fraud. What Gamestop is (probably) doing is perfectly legit and accurate from an accounting standpoint.

  128. Crazy_Buffet_Happens says:

    one person already hit the nail on the head when describing this as a guide for the customer to conform to store policies and not the other way around, not even some sort of middle ground. shame! it puts me off when everything assumed and established about shopping (just shopping) is abandoned for some sleazy retail nuances to slime out an extra buck or two from my pocket or at the very least, to make me feel awkward and annoyed. ugh! what exactly is their job description?

  129. mac-phisto says:

    dear g, thanks for the pointers! now, excuse me while i go buy my games at target, wal-mart, fye games, toys r us, kmart, or about a dozen other retailers where i:
    1) get my new games unopened (imagine that) & even ON SALE sometimes (wow, what a novel idea! a SALE!)
    2) don’t have to worry about “shopworn” (see #1)
    3) don’t have to preorder dill, b/c the stores realize that they have to actually STOCK a game to SELL it.
    4) don’t have to buy a magazine subscription to get a discount (see my point about SALES)
    & most importantly,
    5) don’t have to print out a “how to shop for games” strategy guide before i go to the store.

  130. Stickarm says:

    Selling games that have been opened and played as new takes on a new dimension when it’s a cartridge and not a disk. Buying a DS or GBA game with a save file already on it is just fucking annoying. That’s not a new game.

    And what if the game is a gift? Giving someone a present that any reasonable individual would regard as used will probably seem like a cheaper gift than something that appears to be brand new. On top of which, Gamestop does a good job, in my experience, of putting a sticker on the opened box that says “New!” This actually makes it look like the person giving the gift bought a new game and then opened it themselves to play it before giving it to the recipient. Shitty!

  131. XTC46 says:

    @Squeegoth: actually it happens a lot. I worked for a different large retailer and people would forget they placed deposits on tons of movies and stuff. We would call to let them know and even then a bunch wouldn’t come in.

  132. t-spoon says:

    Agreed 100% re: gutted games. I worked at a GameStop for a few months and it really isn’t a big deal. The game is opened, the disc is immediately secured in a plastic case and put in a drawer.

  133. K0MMIE says:

    @mikemil828: Hello Corporate Yes Man! If your store didn’t suck we wouldn’t be complaining. I’ve worked for your devil company, and I know all the points you made, but that doesn’t stop them from being dumb.

  134. Chilijohn says:

    @Squeegoth: Per previous EB Games policy:

    On a date specified by the home office, all store managers (and only store managers) were to do a dump of pre-orders on games that had been available for more than 90 days, yet unclaimed. The value of the cancellations was put in the system as a cash overage and all pre-order related paperwork sent to the home office. I recall this being done twice per year, but can’t remember the dollar values involved.

    If someone came in and complained about a missing order we could theoretically look up a copy of the paperwork and refund/credit them. Though I never remember anyone asking about a company-cancelled pre-order during my 8 years working there.

    Not sure if GS has/had the same policy as I left EB before the merger.

  135. girly says:

    @ichiban1081: Yeah, someone I know pre-ordered a game and they had to come back to the store at least twice on the release date because it wasn’t in yet. And when they came back someone was allowed to cut in line in front of them.

    Doesn’t sound very convenient to me that you pre-order and have to come in and the game may or may not be there.

    Also I agree with other people that the ‘gutted’ games should be an automatic 10% off. I don’t see how the gamestop person thinks it’s no big deal.

    To me it is a lot easier to just ask for the original wrapped game, than to try to look over an opened game and hope you catch any scratches.

  136. Figgnuts says:

    “First of all: forget about the employees, really what’s the point in even arguing over sad sacks that have to rely on shitty part-time minimum-wage jobs in the first place?”

    That’s pretty unfair. Most of the part-timers that work in these places are high school or college-age, meaning that minimum wage is generally the best they’re going to go. I can understand making a similar crack about the 30-something store manager, but belittling a kid who’s just trying to make some spending money is kind of bogus, no?

    Anyway, I work at an EBGS and I wasn’t aware that the employee check-out policy was intended for NEW games; it always made more sense to do it with used games and that’s generally what I try to do whenever possible. The fact that nobody within the company seems to understand that playing a game classified as “NEW” instantly makes it “USED” is, quite simply, ridiculous.

    -M

  137. ZeroTheFool says:

    As a GS employee myself, though I understand alot of the issues people have with GameStop, I hate it when all they do is bitch and moan about it. If you don’t like the policies, don’t shop there and encourage others not too either.

    As for the gutted games: don’t want your game gutted? Pre-order it. If you want a game to be in prestine condition, take the necessary steps in order to garuentee that condition. You’re not paying any extra money to place a pre-order, and if you’re interested in the game there’s no reason not too. I always try to keep as many ungutted copies in the store as possible, and I can understand that people take offense to buying a game as “new” when it is opened, but again: bitching and moaning about it won’t do anything.

  138. MiltyKiss says:

    As a former manager of a Gamestop (which was a former Funcoland), I can agree to this entire article. Keep in mind that there are tons of stores out there that abuse the crap out of this.

    Mainly,

    1) Checking non-systems out and then returning them with scratches. This is because the store manager/assist. manager being lazy and not checking the disc as he’s supposed to.

    2) Lying about reserves or doing sneaky things in order to slip it into your purchase without you knowing it.

    I’ve actually seen both done and have gotten people fired for doing so.

  139. Dibbler says:

    It must be a tough business selling video games.

    …otherwise there’d be a mom and pop store on every corner. Since there must be a minimum price requirement they almost always sell for the M.S.R.P. when they first come out so seems like it’d be a great business to open. Give someone 50% for trade-in and sell for 75% of original price and it seems like you’d make a lot of money and drive the local GameStop out of business. Since I don’t see that happening around here I must gather that they really don’t make a lot from selling new games and must rip us off with trade-ins to keep the stockholders happy.

  140. Mr. Chip says:

    @ZeroTheFool: We’re not paying any extra money to get our game pre-ordered. We’re just giving up the right to decide where to shop on release day, and making an interest-free loan to a larg corporation that treats both its customers and employees with contempt.

    Bitching & Moaning is simply one way of letting others know not to do business with Gamestop. Don’t like it, don’t listen.

  141. erratapage says:

    You know… this thread makes me feel really old. Like older than atari old.

    I remember when I worked for a cheap retail outfit back in college (before the dawn of time). There were those of us who went above and beyond. Nevertheless, my service to the customer did nothing to elevate the chain.

    I buy from stores that I enjoy. Every time I’ve been in a GS store, I’ve been uncomfortable. I don’t get why I would buy from a corporate owned store that didn’t have enough new stock, that tried to sell me used stuff as new, and that made their one selling point (buying back games) so difficult. Not to mention the fact that you need a manual to shop there.

    Someone needs to go into that company and remake it with a simple, customer-centric business plan. Until then, there’s no wow there, and I’ll continue to buy my old fogie games at Circuit City or Amazon.

  142. etirflita says:

    If you’re so concerned about getting a sealed new game, the best way to get one (especially with tight allocations of newer titles) is to pre-order it. Have your game sit in a drawer instead of being gutted and displayed. Also, stores like GS and EB try to pander to the customers who pre-order games- right now they’re giving 30% (or 40% w/ edge card) more on trades towards rock band, and within the last month or so they gave 5 bucks off the price of THPG and Orange Box for anyone who threw down five dollars knowing that they were going to get the game anyway. That’s like selling a new, sealed copy of the game for the used price.

  143. Enola #### says:

    We have three good Gamestops in our area. The staff at each is always friendly and explains features of the games and share their opinions of the game (good and bad – not just to make a sale) and recommends games we might enjoy. I even received a full refund on an open DS game and I didn’t have to ask – I was ready to accept the trade-in value for my error when the salesguy offered a full refund. We go there instead of shopping online or in the Big Box stores so we can get first-hand advice from the gamers who work there. I am sure some of you have legitimate reason to dislike GS; I’m grateful that we have several GS stores to choose from that provide a good retail experience.

  144. etho says:

    The individuals that work in all of the local EB/GS’s near me are, mostly, nice, friendly, helpful and while they almost always offer discount cards and reserves, they aren’t pushy, and it is appreciated. So I go to them fairly regularly. But I really disagree with a lot of the GS corporate practices, especially with their treatment of employees and disregard for game developers and even their own customers. Unfortunately, aside from Best Buy and Walmart, there’s really nowhere else in my area to get games, making them the lesser of three evils, only because the local employees are good.

  145. Grimspoon says:

    This was a corporate mandated advertisement for gamestop – not a confession. Gamestop, please stop insulting us! Your trade in values are insult enough!

    Here’s an easier breakdown:

    1) If you’re trading in your games – you are getting ripped off. Plain and simple!

    2) For everything else, use your best judgement. Most of the used games you want WILL BE and ARE CHEAPER online. But you have to wait for them. Sometimes it’s worth it not to wait.

    Also, this advert curiously left out the corporate policy on taking good condition (and often poor condition) used games, slapping a white sticker on them and moving them over to the new game shelf.

    At one of my local EBGames, I watched a single copy of Digital Devil Saga switch back and forth between being a used game and being a new game for weeks! Talk about identity crisis!!!

    C’mon guys, fess up. Tell us all about the corporate policy regarding making used games new! We wanna know!

  146. Ca$h (aka man of the people) says:

    @ZeroTheFool:
    I think that’s what most of who hate your store’s guts (if stores had guts) do. What you call bitching we call spreading the word. Hopefully either GS will go out of business someday, another store that actually gets how to treat customers comes along, or best yet both.

  147. slapBOXmaster says:

    After reading this post.

    Gamestop = FUNCOLAND

  148. ornj says:

    I don’t agree with much of the Gamestop bashing I see every where. The Gamestop I frequent is usually staffed by really nice people. While they may be total nerds, they are very helpful and respectful.

    I was buying Metroid 3 for the Wii and when I made a face at the opened box the clerk opened the case and handed to me, let me pop out the disk and check it in the light. Made me a promise that I could bring it right back if I had any issues. Slapped on a stick, gave me a card for 5 free buffers or something, and I was out the door.

    It’s video games, not wine.

  149. slapBOXmaster says:

    @Belgand: As far as your post about comics goes They are 2 different industries. There is no added value for old games ( at least not yet ) and popular comics with special events ( charactors’ first apereance etc. ) will almost always go up in value after a few months. Games do not have this yet. Games may hold value well over time ( only in that you will almost always pay around 60 percent to 100 percent of new retail price for used copies of specific games – Capcom v SNK EO for xbox sells used for around 45 dollars still .A copy of Final Fantasy 1 for nes still sells for 30 to 50 bucks )

  150. cmize says:

    I used to *love* my local Electronics Boutique. Half of the entire store was devoted to PC games. Now There is one tiny shelf with pc games and the entire store is devoted to console crap. I dropped a ton of money at EB when they still sold PC games but I’ve been forced to take my money elsewhere.

  151. humphrmi says:

    @Hambriq:

    How is it broken, and how would you fix it? I’m not trying to be smug, I’m genuinely curious.

    I won’t speak for icarusprime, but my $0.02:

    Their business model is too complex. Just the fact that you need a 28-point “HOW-TO” to understand how and why they sell the way they do is indicative of a bad business model. History has rewarded businesses that adopt simple, straitforward business models. Think McDonalds, Subway, Domino’s. You might not like their product, but their business models are grounded in a well known and successful axiom: Keep It Simple, Stupid!

    If buying back old games is too complicated and results in mostly unhappy customers because you only give a buck for games you never plan to re-sell anyway, then drop it.

    If opening games and selling them that way is driving away business, then look at how every other retailer in the world, aside from pirates on the streets of Bejing, sell products without opening them first.

    That’s just a few ideas. Again, keep it simple and people will love you. Make it complicated and, while you will probably not go out of business, you will foster discord amongst your customers because they don’t understand your rules and policies. Oh, and the cardinal rule (again, from the book of McDonalds): every single store must offer the same experience as every other store, and offer the same products and level of service, to every customer, every time.

  152. Buran says:

    @brello: Yeah, no kidding. After running into multiple “gutted” games on the shelf at a gamestop a while back, I complained to a manager and have never gone back. And now that I know that they sell opened games as new that they KNOW their employees opened, I’m definitely not going back.

    Haven’t these people ever thought of the fact that those cd-keys are probably now marked as “used” in a database somewhere, and some innocent buyer is now being screwed because they can’t prove that their copy isn’t pirated!?

    Fuck Gamestop. Hey, author of this writeup? THANK YOU for telling me just WHY I should never go back to your shitty chain.

    Hello, Amazon. Hello, factory-sealed copies. Hello, great prices. Hello, being able to preorder with nothing down and no worries about “sorry, we sold out” bullshit.

  153. Grimspoon says:

    SLAPBOXMASTER. Go pick up complete copies of EarthBound (SNES), Suikoden II (PS1), Valkyrie Profile (PS1) and any number of other highly regarded and sought after RPGs. Then try telling everyone that certain games don’t increase in value.

    Rarity in gaming is a big deal. it mostly applies to RPGs, but there are a lot of games that blow WAY past your projection of 60-100% of original price.

    You are very knowledgeable.

    Also, I’m still waiting for any current or former EB/Gamestop employees to tell me all about the official corporate policy regarding making used games into new games.

  154. kingdom2000 says:

    Basically what all this comes down to is the usual horrors of spreadsheet management. The whole point of spreadsheet management is really laziness. Anyone can manage as long as kiss rear and does lots of reports. They don’t actually have to know anything (in this case) say games, customer service, or the pressures and problems of their policies. As a result, the employees play ONLY to the numbers and the result is crappy shopping experience.

  155. BigNutty says:

    This is why I don’t read the instructions of anything, too long.

  156. Talon88 says:

    This guide is appreciated: far too often, we self-righteously assume that the employees of the stores that we shop at are idiots and/or evil; sometimes they are, but most of the time they’re just regular gamers like us that just happen to be on the other side of the counter.

    It was indeed a long read, but I think it did a good job describing policy and clearing things up. I think it did need to be written because most people are generally ignorant of policy and they automatically assume that actions by Gamestop workers are because they like to be sadistic, not because it’s company policy. It’s important to remember that the grunts that we deal with don’t make policy; they have to follow it or lose their job.

    I’m not saying that we should accept abuse shoveled upon us from Gamestop employees; I’m saying that we need to recognize that they deal with quite a lot of crap and that they, at least, deserve to be treated as human.

  157. Saveremreve says:

    How about the time when I bought a “new” gutted copy of Puzzle Quest DS and I get home and it has a freaking save file of a level 16 Druid on it.

    I went back to complain and they shrugged saying that the manager probably tried it out. WTF people.

  158. floppylobster says:

    So regarding your second-hand/Trade-in games explanation:

    If the games are so crap, and you buy them cheap, and you never expect to sell them, then why the hell do you price them so high? (comparatively)

    I’ve gone into many Gamestops looking for a second hand game. I find it, in average condition, and it’s way over-priced for what it is. If you take less margin on your trade-ins, you’ll sell more, and then actually make some money back off them.

    They’re trade-ins right? You’re just giving someone a trade value off another game you are selling them from your store. A game that you’re already making a margin off. So the traded game should be sold at the price that you bought it at. Then you recover the value of the traded game. But instead you add a margin to the second-hand game and try to make money off the sale AND the traded game.

  159. MYarms says:

    Makes me glad I shop at the video game place in my flea market. Their prices are always better than gamestop’s and they don’t ever open the games and try to resell them as new.

  160. nardo218 says:

    So, is Gamestop a good place to buy older systems? If you have so many, they should be cheap.

  161. astyanax says:

    I’m sorry, but GS is going to be destroyed by Target and Walmart, let alone the real electronics stores out there if you need a 28 item list of wht your store really doesnt suck. GS is in a niche market getting seized on all sides by low cost competition. The ONLY way to win in that situation is to take the Apple approach and be as high end as you can. In effect, kiss your customers asses, create a gamer-loving atmosphere, not a place where you get a vaccum cleaner sales pitch whenever you step up to the counter.

    Hard core gamers dont want pitches or they would shop at Best Buy. They want the person behind the counter they are talking to to know what metal gear Solid is and why episode 3 is better than 2, as well as when episode 4 is coming out. Sure, sell the GI subs and preorders, but do it with NO PRESSURE, ask ONCE. TAKE NO for an answer, quickly. Your customer base is relatively shy kids (and even adults) who dont like to be pushed around. IF you keep this up, your chain WILL DIE.

    “Oh it’s not the guy behind the counter’s fault that corporate has crappy policies”. Yes, and the Nazi soldiers in Germany were just following orders. If you have a bad workplace, fight tooth and nail to get it changed, or just go somewhere else. Your cstomers will NOT put up with it, you shouldn’t either.

    - Former loyal gamestop customer

  162. marsneedsrabbits says:

    I’m not gonna read a poorly written novella in order to know how to buy a video game. If it’s all the same to you, I’ll just get it at Target. They have good prices, it is always in stock after the first week, and they don’t give me homework to memorize before I buy the next platform game. Oh, and they don’t try to upsell crap no one wants.
    You’re a clerk. Get over yourself.

  163. TechnoDestructo says:

    More like “28 Excuses of a GameStop Shift Supervisor.”

  164. icarusprime says:

    @mikemil828: “you could have politely ask for service”

    That’s just it, I shouldn’t have too. The other employees should not have been glued to the 360 and PS3 kiosks watching their friends play and I did try to get their attention, it’s not like I was hiding behind the stack of gift cards they were trying to redeem.

  165. icarusprime says:

    @humphrmi:

    Well said. Thank you.

  166. mannymix03 says:

    I want to know how many here have actually worked in retail, alot of you are complaining about employees asking if you want to reserve a game or get an addon. While i have never worked at GS, i work at Regal Entertainment Group and it’s no different from us offering upsizes or combos, we make very little profit off your actual movie ticket purchase, we need to make it up somehow, gamestop makes their money off of the accessories and preorders and used game sales. Its a business about making money, if you don’t like it there are plenty of other places to shop

  167. crazygamingdad says:

    I’m lucky to live close to one of the better, if not best store I’ve ever been to.
    “My” store happens to be really close to three other gamestop stores. Its really sad.
    Theres two gamestops in the same mall (one was an EB Games, and one was a Rhino before the buyout) and theres one down the street.
    The one across the street from the mall however has excellent employees, and a great manager.
    I don’t know, but I think the reason the other stores suck is because they get so much traffic. People coming in and window shopping can really annoy someone whose job depends on the person to shop.
    I’ve also never received a gutted game.
    And all the used games I’ve purchased are in great condition.
    There are definitely good and bad stores, but some are absolutely without a doubt evil.
    After reading this article, is it now all coming together for everyone?
    I think that there are good people who don’t deserve to be fired because they have very little of the required standards. I think that I’ll preorder a few more games this holiday, even when unnecessary. Maybe even subscribe to game informer.
    :]
    That’ll keep em’ happy.

  168. I go during the school day so there are no kids there, and there’s one locally (there are about six) that has actually helpful employees. But I mostly go to GameStop to get 5-year-old GameCube games to play on my Wii, not new games.

    I don’t think I’d like it very much if I were buying new games there, and when I’ve passed it on Saturdays it looked like an absolute zoo.

  169. Shadowfire says:

    @StratfordX: You’re being retarded about pre-orders. Best Buy and Fry’s can afford to stock extra units of less popular titles, because they don’t make money off the games. They make money off all of the other products you pass on the way to the games.

    People, a new game that retails for $49.99, typically costs Gamestop around $45-47 to buy from the publisher. Add in the cost of shipping, and expenses, and new games are practically a loss. They have to know what a store needs… extra stock that doesn’t sell means money wasted, especially when the product goes down in price (most publishers don’t offer price protection anymore). As has been stated several times, if you don’t like the policy, shop somewhere else.

  170. Raziya says:

    Zomg, WTS some drama on the Gamestop thread, PST.

  171. Grimspoon says:

    Anyone else get the feeling this might be market research right here?

    Gauging public opinion?

    I mean, (hopefully) nobody who reads this website was dumb enough to actually think this was a “confession” of any sort, and are fully away that it is pure marketing…

    Whatchu think?

  172. Chilijohn says:

    @Grimspoon: Making used games into new is a bad move for the store. The margin on new games is significantly less, but without published wholesale prices that’s difficult to believe. I’ll provide an example.

    Back in the day, a new $50 PS2/XB/GC game had a wholesale price of around $42 from the few bits of documentation I had seen. That same new release usually had a trade-in value of $25-30 max and a sale price of $45. So a store would be crazy to take a used game and call that new. Total dollars are up, but profit is cut by at least 50% and in the end that’s what matters.

    The wrinkle is how bad the store’s shrink (theft) is. EB corporate generally considered all shrink in a store to be insider-related because the product is not supposed to be in the hands of the customers until after the sale. If the store is doing weekly department counts and they find they’re down one new title, there’s little stopping them from swapping the yellow tag for white and moving the disc to another drawer. The store’s liability is wholesale price for new and trade-in value for preowned, so with the above example their losses are cut in half by doing that. The only thing stopping them is ethics, but given how most stores were treated during my time I can guarantee morale was pretty bad everywhere.

    If you don’t belive the margin stuff, ask an old employee how EB tracked strategy guide sales on big new releases. Stores were expected to have 100% tie-rate for guides (especially RPGs) because that’s where all the profit came from.

    Harware is even worse. I was told that back during the PS1 days, if someone bought the console and only the console with American Express, the store would lose money because the merchant’s transaction fee was greater than the item’s profit.

  173. Macplus says:

    I worked for EB part time for around 5 years (before the Gamestop merger), but it sounds like policies are still the same. Yes, I have to be honest, I abused the checkout policy as much as possible. At the time, employees could get free magazines, and I took advantage of that also. The one thing I am confused about now, however, is the sealed/open game sale. My store had a shrink wrap machine in the back. So when someone wanted the last copy of the game, we simply said we had to get it out of the back (then quickly shrink wrapped it, no muss, no fuss). Our store, however, had decent employees that knew not to scratch the discs in the first place!

    As for PC new/used games, that’s another story. When I worked there, the PC industry was just starting the “every 6 months, let’s totally reinvent the graphics card” era. I think EB just saw it as an unstable market to be in. If the corporate types would have done their research, the used PC game ‘thing’ would have never been started in the first place. The game makers went nuts because it was violating their end user service agreements (EULAs). Being that EB didn’t want to tick of its suppliers, it quickly stopped selling used PC games. I’ve often wondered why console game makers don’t pull the EULA thing too, since everyone knows game makers hate the used game industry.

    Lastly, for a while, we were photocopying the inserts for display. This became a big nono, however, because of copyright issues. Now that I write this, however, I really don’t know why the game companies don’t like this. With most, if not all, stores having internet access, the game companies could offer a legit game insert database. All you would neeed is to supply the stores with a color inkjet printer and empty display cases and that would solve the whole ‘last game is gutted’ problem.

  174. Grimspoon says:

    I’m not sure I follow, total dollars are up, but profits are cut in half?

    All I know is that the one copy of Digital Devil Saga I had been scrutinizing for weeks from the used game shelf one day appeared on the new games self. Same case wear, same manual wear, new white sticker.

    The game obviously wasn’t selling while on the used game shelf. Maybe they thought it would be more enticing if people thought it was new. Not only are they now selling it for 10 dollars+ more than the original used game price (40 something), they are saving themselves from having to possibly sell it at a 10% discount to an edge card holder.

    All of that for a game they probably gave some retarded kid 10 dollars in store credit for.

    As far as I can tell, they have everything to gain by moving that game to the new game shelf. Especially since it did wind up selling at some point. (As new or used, I have no clue.)

    In any case, while the game was used, I sort of wanted it. When I saw it’s magical transformation to new – that garanteed I was never going to buy that game from that store.

    That particular EBGames location has a lot of “new” niche RPGs with a suspicious amount of shelf wear on the cases. That one copy of Digital Devil Saga 2 was the one instance where I happened to be scrutinizing the game for my own collection, so it was blatantly obvious whent the transition had been made. I don’t doubt for a second that there are a lot more “new used games” on that new games shelf.

  175. GiselleBeardchen says:

    Jesus Christ! Who let the nerds out? Woof, Woof. Woof. Woof!

  176. BlackestRose says:

    Gamestop + women = Nightmare

    Ditto EB

    I only shop at there if I’m in the mood for humiliation, mortification and/or condescension. So yes, I vote with my pocketbook.

  177. joellevand says:

    Wow, I imagine a lot of posters here (the “The customer is always right” ilk) have never worked retail.

    Great post, as far as I’m concerned.

  178. humphrmi says:

    @joellevand: I disagree. I would hope that a lot of posters who keep stubbornly insisting that the customer is always right (a motto that has, by the way, fostered many successfully companies who live by it) have likely worked in retail and are frustrated because even though they offered great service, they have to put up with mediocre service from others who prefer to spend more time make excuses than just making the customer happy to begin with.

  179. bookling says:

    I thought Wal-Mart was considered evil incarnate around here, but now I find that everyone’s willing to shop there when it happens to be more convenient for them. “GameStop won’t have it unless I pre-order, so I’ll just go to Wal-Mart”? Way to put your money where your mouth is, people.

  180. Johann says:

    “…98% of ‘gutted’ games have literally never been touched, only slid into a paper or plastic sleeve and put away.”

    So, only 2% of your new game purchases at GameStop are actually used games fraudulently sold as new.

    “If there is anything justifiably wrong with the condition of the disc, ask about a shopworn discount … giving 10% off a product that is in poorer shape than it ought be.”

    If there’s something clearly wrong with the condition of a disc, it might not work at all. That means it’s worth 0% of it’s original price, not 90%.

  181. Grimspoon says:

    BOOKLING, as far as games are concerend, Gamestop/ EBGmes is more uselss than Walmart. We’re just picking the lesser of two evils.

    Walmart won’t open our games, sell them as new, give us pennies on the dollar in trade for old games, sell some of those old games as new, then sneer at us in contempt when we demand what we are owed.

  182. @Himiko: I knew, because when I was staying in Lyngby, Denmark, there was an EBGames in the mall under my hotel. My kids got a real kick out of that! {ProfJonathan}

  183. ClutchWarrior says:

    I keep earing bad things about GameStop/EB, but I always have good service when I go to my local EB, employee are event very friendly and sociable, I guess I’m lucky.

  184. bookling says:

    @Grimspoon: I honestly don’t see what the issue is with “gutted” games. If it works, who cares? Buy it, take it home, test it, and if it doesn’t work, take it back and tell the store it’s defective: voila, they’ll give you a new copy of the game.

    You know, when you buy a new book at a bookstore, sometimes someone has already read it and returned it, but no one can tell because there’s no damage. Is that an outrage, too?

  185. Iron_Dragon_2.0 says:

    If you want to gut the games… Sell them as used. I don’t give a **** if you’re losing money. They are by definition open and even unplayed they’re slightly damaged. Yes I’m one of those “overzealous and impractical” people that demands a new copy. The employees in several locations treat the games like shit because they don’t care. They’re not paid enough to care. So why should I pay full price for a slightly damaged product that is likely to skip or freeze?

    Trade in values are a complete rip. If you aren’t selling the used games… STOP BUYING THEM. Cut your losses. Why would you keep buying copies of madden 03? By doing that you have to make up for it in other areas meaning unique games get shit trade in values as well. You can justify stupidity by shifting the cost on to the customer. Halo 2 is $38 at my local EB and they have a shelf full of copies. Maybe selling a $30 for $38 used is why you have trouble selling used games?

    The worst part of gamestop/EB is just the pressure put on you by the employees. I’ll go in and ask for a game only to find it’s gutted. I say no thank you and I get the employee bitching at me about how it’s fine. This is a great way to treat your customer. Bitch at them.

    I used to go in to my local EB every friday and look around for older titles they were trying to get rid of cheap. I liked the guy who worked there and honestly it made it a great place to go. He knew what he was talking about and he didn’t force pre-orders on me etc. He disappeared and got replaced with a jackass who can’t speak a sentence without including 3 games I should pre order. I’ve gone into the store maybe 2 times in the last 6 months after the other employee disappeared. Both times I got frustrated with the jackass employees and left the store. One time with pre-orders and another time I had the district manager and him combined bitching about how gutted games weren’t used and that they were worth the full price.

    Gaming is my primary hobby and it’s where almost all of my money goes. I spent probably $400+ at that location just in the first few months of 07. I haven’t made a single purchase from them for 6 months now. Look at how much extra profit their retarded policies made them. It’s a terrible business model and the company sucks for it.

    I do most of my game shopping at future shop now. I can run in and get a game with no hassle from the employees. It’s always cheaper as well. The stock is always a bit more limited but I can make up for that by digging around several locations or even *GASP* Walmart/Best Buy.

  186. techwriter says:

    First off let me say I do have a lot of respect for Gamestop overall. The only complaint I have however is that the employees who work for these get all the latest and greatest toys before the public does. I waited for a Wii all night about a year ago, and did not get one because one of the employees let 4 of his friends cut in line. I guess they have to give their employees some incentives!

  187. kromelizard says:

    @JustAGuy2 You mean you discovered that acting as a retailer allowed you to charge a higher price for your goods?

  188. Volcomvaulter says:

    As a recent employee at GameStop, i laugh at those of you who complain and whine. As i always told my customers, if you found a better deal elsewhere, take it! The employees will ask you for reservations, its their job. Telemarketers bug the hell out of me, but its their job. A giant companies goal is to make money. reservations ensure that that customer will return and buy things. Why wouldn’t this be promoted? if it is not your thing, go elsewhere. Many people love the idea that they can reserve an item and not have to worry about hunting it down. as for gutted games, sure its a horrible idea, but the average customer doesn’t have a clue about what they are buying. the ability to try a game (3day trial) for employees not only makes the pain of minimum wage alittle less harsh, but allows that employee to have a clue about the product they are selling. All that being said i personally dislike the company as i am sure many of you do. but please, keep the hate towards the company and not the poor kid just trying to keep his job.

  189. Spencer says:

    One time I brought a brand new game (Halo CE for xbox) I had received as a gift that I did not want to sell to Gamestop. The employee who “helped” me said they would not take it as it was store policy not to accept anything still in shrink wrap due to the fact this means it could be stolen. I wasn’t sure how that added up, but I offered to remove the cellophane anyway and he still flatly refused.

    I ended up just leaving, calling GOOG411, and finding the next closest GS (which ended up being 20min out of my way). They had no problem buying the game and had never heard of this “policy”.

  190. Chilijohn says:

    @Grimspoon: Short bit of math.

    Digital Devil Saga:

    New – $50 price – $42 cost = $8 profit.

    Used – $45 price – $20 trade-in value (cost) = $25 profit.

    The company may see more total dollars by a store moving used to new, but the store itself is judged by monthly Profit/Loss reports and those profit dollars are all that matters.

    Using my previous hardware anecdote, I had been told that there used to be only $3-5 profit on a $300 console. So a store that sells $5000 in hardware (and only hardware) looks like it’s having great sales, but they made less than $100 profit for the day. If you’re wondering why stores bother to carry hardware, market research apparently shows that people come back to the store where they purchased the console for most future games.

    This example should also show you why many stores did mandatory bundles during the Xbox, Gamecube & Gameboy Advance hardware launches. Accessories usually have a gross margin of 40-80%. I believe 3rd party accessories were some of the most profitable single items in the store after strategy guides.

  191. billhelm says:

    I’ll still never try to buy any new games there. Why risk ending up with an open copy when I can just grab it from somewhere else.

  192. girly says:

    @bookling: Books are not the same as today’s video games.

    That practice of letting an employee play games wasn’t as big a deal in the cartridge-based days, but CD’s are much more sensitive to handling.

    If someone tearing a page of a book was as likely as the possibility of a CD being scratched, then I would have a problem with bookstores, too.

  193. girly says:

    And actually, a CD scratch is much worse than a torn book page, because it doesn’t render the rest of the book unreadable.

  194. The Black Pigeon says:

    This was a very nice read. However, I feel that the term “guide” was a poor choice for this article. As you’ve probably noticed, you’ve got lots of people yelling at you because they feel that you’re trying to “tell them how to shop”. How DARE you! :p

    Anyway, thanks for posting this. I worked as an Assistant Manager at a GameStop for two years, and I know exactly how it feels behind that counter.

  195. girly says:

    I don’t think it’s offensive that there is a guide for shopping at Gamestop, just strange.

  196. tinky XIII says:

    I really only go to Gamestop to look for deals on hard to find older games. I’ve found Shin MegaTen: Nocturne, Rhapsody, and Castlevania: SotN all for much less than I would on Ebay. The local stores know that I will not ever purchase an Edge card, and don’t bother me about it. The only games I’ve pre-ordered from them are ones that I know will be near-impossible to get, like the original Disgaea, or games that have GS-exclusive swag.

    It’s sad, really. Years ago, the stores used to be much better, especially to the customers that knew anything about games and releases. I’d oftentimes get a discount on Working Design games that had damage to the outer box. Now they just want to sqeeze as much money as possible out of the customer, getting a leg up any way they can. Guess that’s why there’s internet retailers.

  197. lawyergay says:

    @SSJPabs: You can always return defective merchandise that’s sold as “new.” And apparently this seal means that the store is selling the game, even though it’s been opened, as new. The store can’t charge a “restocking fee” or give you anything less than a full cash refund or a full exchange if the product is defective in any way. This is the law more or less in all states. You have 30 days to inspect goods for defects, regardless of the store’s stated return policy.

  198. jwrose says:

    I don’t agree with the corporate practices of GS. Faulting an employee if I cancel a pre-order is wrong. I canceled my Xbox360 pre-order when I found out I wouldn’t get one on launch and they couldn’t tell me when I would get one from them. To me, that sounded like common sense to cancel. The employee hassled me about it and tried to convince me that if I didn’t let them keep my money, I wouldn’t get an Xbox 360 until the following spring, but I might get one before Christmas with GS. I kept telling him that I’d take my chances and, guess what, I got one at launch from another store. By penalizing employees, they corporately promote bad customer service. I think Gamestop employees should be criticizing corporate policy rather than trying to convince us that we need to just live with it. Customers and Employees are burning in the same corporate hell.

  199. ferroptic says:

    I don’t really care if it’s their job on the line, there’s a point at which you tried, and failed. The third repetition of “I JUST WANT X AND NOTHING ELSE” from an increasingly irritated customer is not an invitation to try a fourth time – I understand the motivation, I want them to have good numbers, but if they aren’t going to make the sale, badgering me will not magically make it happen. I give them two polite declines when they try to upsell me, and if they continue, I get pissed.


    I made a comic about it.

  200. billybastion says:

    i dont understand why people wont just order from online stores like amazon. you dont have to deal with the sad douchebags that work there and you generally get your game the day before on or dat after the release date.

  201. midnitelouie says:

    @zerothefool: //As for the gutted games: don’t want your game gutted? Pre-order it. If you want a game to be in prestine condition, take the necessary steps in order to garuentee that condition.//

    Why? This is the attitude that gets me. Absolutely floors me. Makes my brain hurt just trying to wrap itself around the concept.

    Why is it expected for the consumer to jump through hoops _that no other retail establishment expects_ to be able to get a “pristine” copy of the game? Please don’t tell me it’s the “games” industry. I don’t buy that for a moment. There are countless other examples of razor thin profit margins (Office Supplies, anyone?) that manage to still thrive without resorting to “pre-orders” and selling of opened merchandise.

    Analogy: Would you willingly purchase a pair of shoes from any of the retailers if you knew that the shoes in question were only “tried out” by an employee at the store and were in “perfect” condition? Of course not…

    GameStop is merely interested in the consumer doing their own supply chain management for them. Attempting to “read the pulse” of the consumer before a product ships merely shows that they have no clue how their own supply chains function, or how to provide product to the end user.

  202. Grimspoon says:

    @bookling:

    I’m not sure what you’re refering to, as gutted games aren’t an outrage to me. I personally won’t buy a gutted games, but I recognize what was options are as a consumer, and I buy my games sealed.

    The outrage comes from taking a used game, allowing the used game to sit on the used game shelf for months, watch it not sell, put a white sticker on it, call it new, and put it on the new games shelf.

    That is outrageous.

  203. Grimspoon says:

    @Chilijohn:

    You’re stil lreally losing me here. Your original response says that:

    “@Grimspoon: Making used games into new is a bad move for the store.”

    Then proceed to show me how the used games are more profitable (obviously) and say:

    “New – $50 price – $42 cost = $8 profit.

    Used – $45 price – $20 trade-in value (cost) = $25 profit.

    The company may see more total dollars by a store moving used to new, but the store itself is judged by monthly Profit/Loss reports and those profit dollars are all that matters.”

    However, they are making even more money off the used game since it’s relabeled as new.

    They pay $20.00 for the game (instead of $42.00) and sell it for $50.00 (instead of $45.00).

    Thats a total profit of $30.00 instead the 25.00 they would have made if they were honest and kept it on the used shelf.

    You said it yourself. “Those profit dollars are all that matters”. Taking the used game and falsely selling it as new yeilds the greatest profit. So how is “Making used games into new is a bad move for the store”

    If there is something I’m missing here, you really need to spell it out, because as far as I can tell, being dishonest is leaving the store with the greatest profit. Thats means taking a used game and making it new IS GOOD for the store, and not bad.

  204. capraiii says:

    The fact that this “guide” is even necessary says a whole lot.

    Also, isn’t the guy writing it the exact sort of person that all the distaste for Gamestop, etc. aimed at? The jerk at the counter nobody can stand?

  205. jtlanger says:

    I have sold many games back to Gamestop. The fact of the matter is, i traded FIFA 07 back in THE DAY AFTER IT CAME OUT. I had the last copy in stock. I got >35 Dollars for a 1-time played game, where i could have easily gotten 40 on eBay.. They have no compensation unless your trading in madden 93 and you actually have to pay them for them to take the game. He only spoke of the Madden Games, but what they should do is just throw them away. They make no money on the 32 cents that they give to you for a year old sports game.

  206. ManusNigrum says:

    First off most of the complaints being voiced here are about very specific stores, not Gamestop as a whole. I am not excusing the behavior of bad employees here, just saying that those kinds of complaints kind of veer away from what the article at hand was discussing.

    True, I am an ex- employee so I may seem a bit biased here, actually I hate the company but that is neither here nor there, besides what he says in the article is accurate. Reserves are the method used to determine interest in up coming games. If you don’t reserve the game don’t expect to get it at Gamestop on release day there. Go to Best Buy, Circut City or Walmart. A large retailer is more likely to have stuff like that without the need to reserve games.

    As far as having to call Gamestop to find out if they are in, Gamestop employees were supposed to call the people that reserved the games once the shipment came in although this may have changed since I was there.

    About the issue of gutted games. If they only have a gutted copy, fine, either ask for a shop worn discount or don’t buy the damned thing. It’s not the end of the world if the only new copy of Super Mario Sunshine or what ever ancient video game of yesteryear you connoisseurs are looking for is already opened. Either deal with it or get it somewhere else.

    One more thing about reservations I would like to point out. When I worked there, which was years ago, every store was given promotional items to help drive reservations. Mostly t-shirts for the game but there were a lot of other stuff too. You may want to ask if they are giving away anything like that because odds are they still get them. The promotional stuff was sent out by the Capcoms’s and the Sony’s and the EA’s to drive their games so there was no cost to Gamestop and it did help drive sales. I usually don’t reserve games very often but if there is a T-shirt involved I may give it a second thought.

  207. LSnicket says:

    It’s interesting how quick people are to call BS on the above article without actually looking into it. I think it’s refreshing to actually find another store manager who is not only Honest, but actually phrases several of the things in the exact same manner I have heard used from other Store Managers. From what I’ve read in the above comments, Most of the people with problems are going to stores who are clearly not following the policies. Everything written in the article is pretty much spot on, and if you ever have a problem with a policy, log on to the feedback site at the bottom of your receipt and Do something about it.
    One thing to remember is that, as of current, GameStop stores are no longer a sum of their subs and reserves. They have all sorts of goals to meet to maximize their stores profitability. It’s just how business is run. One of these goals is to have 100% customer satisfaction. If you, the consumer, don’t provide feedback to the company, nothing will change because, by their records, no one seems to be dissatisfied. If you have a problem, let it be known to the corporate level. If there Truly is a problem, enough people will also complain about it, and something will change.
    There is not an ounce of BS in the article above, and it saddens me that instead of using the outlets provided, many self-important consumers choose to remain ignorant and slander the people who didn’t give them what they wanted.
    Furthermore, if GameStop is so horrible, why is it number 1? Employees from Best Buy frequently subscribe to gaming magazines, including Game Informer, as well as Shop at Gamestop stores to get their information. Employees from Target, well, if you can find one to ask, frequently aren’t from the Electronics department and can’t help you. Similar problem with Walmart, except that even the Electronics employees just plain don’t seem to care. GameStop is frequently staffed by people like you. People who frequent these message boards and follow up on game news and information, and who actually give a damn about games. They are the people with enough guts to stand in the face of people crying because their kid won’t believe in Santa Clause any longer because they couldn’t get their hands on a Wii.
    All in all, though, I think it all boils down to taking your own responsibility. If you don’t like how you’re being treated, complain. I can’t say it enough, if a large group of people truly feel the same way, the policy will change. If you don’t like the employees, teach them a lesson by shopping at a different store. Not every employee abuses the policies and tries to scam an extra $5 out of you. Some people are Honest, and thank goodness that “G” is one of them strong enough to put the truth out for people to see. If you choose not to believe it, then all the more blissfully Ignorant for you.

  208. dsub says:

    @Shinobuu:

    I understand exactly what you are saying, and it’s partially true. Gamestop is a great place to go for pre-ordering the lesser known titles all the time. Sure, the big box stores will always have endess amounts of the big name games like Halo and Madden, but what most people don’t realize is that these are the games that need no pre-order. You can walk into any Wal-Mart or Best Buy in the United States and get a copy of Halo/Madden less than 24 hours after the release anyday. The one that sticks most in my head was Dead Rising. I remember going to Gamestop and buying a pre-order for Dead Rising like two weeks before it came out. I came back and got it the day it came out, and got a free t-shirt with it as well. That day my friends came over to watch me play it and wanted it so bad that we went to Best Buy, Circuit City and 2 Wal-Marts and every single one didn’t have it in yet. We only talked to like one person who knew what we were talking about.

    I also have a friend that works at gamestop and he said that they use pre-orders to inform not just them, but every company up the pipeline of public demand and hype for a certain title, from the stores to the publisher. What you don’t realize is that every once and a while that data pays off in the form of you being able to get a somewhat lesser known game before most of the common public, due to a game that was going to have more demand than the big stores were able to prepare for.

  209. Pec says:

    Why do gamestop employees complain about their worth as an employee being equal to their sales of reserves.
    You’re talking about having your only requirement to be convincing customers to drop a deposit on an item you will certainly buy in the future. The customer will lose no money whatsoever. Therefore your only difficulty should be to gain the admiration of the customer by showing a curtious attitude and providing knowledge about what your selling.
    Your only comeback to your boss about not meeting these goals would be having to deal with competing sellers of which you are unable to match a price or discount deal, or lack of customers to sell reserves to based on your commonly worked hours.

    These employees should try working in other retail or sales environments such as selling services and accessories on computers and consumer electronics at a retail level. Your jobs will still pay crap but you would have 10 times the stress and difficulty to keep up with. More goals to reach to be not be put on the next to be layed off list.

    Now I should mention prior to reading this I did not know GameStop employees were measured based on reserves and subscriptions.
    I am a member of the 10% edge discount program, and I do receive that magazine. I reserve maybe 25% of all the games I buy in a year, all from gamestop, and purchase about 50% of all games I buy in a year from gamestop.
    Now after reading this I am going to write down every game I will be surely buying in the next year which will be at least 20. Im going to go to my local gamestop and see the friendly guy who always goes out of his way to help me, and reserve all at once. Only $5 down on each though, of course.

  210. Figgnuts says:

    “Also, I’m still waiting for any current or former EB/Gamestop employees to tell me all about the official corporate policy regarding making used games into new games.”

    I haven’t been with the company terribly long, but I’ve never been asked to do this, nor have I seen it done. I won’t try and say that you didn’t experience what you experienced, and I can honestly say as an employer and a consumer that it’s a ridiculous practice.

    Personally, if my manager ever asked me to do that, I’d flat out refuse and risk getting canned.

    “By penalizing employees, they corporately promote bad customer service.”

    Absolutely. There’s no reason that an employee should be penalized because someone decides to walk in and say “I’d like to cancel my pre-order on Assassin’s Creed.” I can SORT OF understand promoting employees to push reserves and subs, but penalizing them for doing what the customer wants is ridiculous.

    Also ridiculous is the idea that corporate policy states that NEW games are to be checked out, not used. The default at my store seems to be that we SHOULD take used (at least it was under the old manager) and I try to stick to that because, as others have said, opening a game and opening it is the complete and utter definition of a USED game.

    -M

  211. Figgnuts says:

    “Now I should mention prior to reading this I did not know GameStop employees were measured based on reserves and subscriptions.”

    From what I understand it’s gotten a LOT better than what it used to be (we’re talking termination for failing to live up to expectations), but its still pretty bogus. Managers, I believe, are encouraged to give hours to the part-timers who are pulling in the most reserves and subs.

    In lieu of termination, I’ve heard some managers promote the practice of cutting hours of employees with low numbers to the point of nearly zilch, until said employee “gets the hint” and finds other employment (as a means of avoiding the employee from collecting unemployment). It’s definitely one of the more bogus aspects of the job, although it doesn’t seem to be enforced in my district as much as it is some others I’ve heard about.

    -M

  212. Masar says:

    To the people who think reserve money goes straight to the company:

    Look up the word ESCROW. GameStop cannot touch that money until you either cancel it or pick up something. It goes to a third party holder. It’s the same thing that happens in some big money deals as backup – if something screws up, the buyer gets the money back.

    I also noticed that people were complaining about GameStop taking back a used game and selling it new – if they were to do that, the company would crack down in a heartbeat. The inventory of each store is watched like a hawk. If there is missing stuff, the store gets it big. If the company notices stuff getting moved to new from used, they’d get suspicious really quick. No store wants to be on shrink because it’s a bitch and everything is scrutinized.

    And stop complaining about trade values. If it’s a freaking sports game, it’s worth nothing. If it’s any of the PS2 Final Fantasies practically, it’s worth nothing. People don’t seem to realize that saturation = less value.

  213. shai says:

    I don’t know what people seem to have problems with. I’ve only ever had good experiences at any of the EB’s I’ve been to, and I was never pressured to buy anything, including the card. In fact, my girlfriend was buying a really crappy game and they warned her about it.

    Also, the bottom line is, EB is a company and they have to make money. Why would they blow their money buying a bunch of games when there really isn’t any demonstrated desire for it? It’s not like a tiny EB has the same expendable income as a Walmart. They have to make sure they sell what they buy.

    And how much are they really making off pre-orders!? What would you spend that $5 if you had it in your pocket? You’d probably blow it. You wouldn’t put it int he bank and earn interest off of it, and you’re getting a friggin guarantee (well, close to it) that you’ll have your product. Hell, I pre-ordered my Wii months in advance, they opened the doors for us and me and my buddy were part of the first generation of Wii owners, not having to go to stores in obsession hoping somehow they managed to get stock. I have a pre-order for Smash Bros. I’ll be playing it on release day whereas the people who don’t want to ‘give the interest to EB’ will be freaking out on some poor employee.

  214. OnlyWisdom says:

    I work for GameStop, and an avid female gamer at that. I try my best to help anyone who comes into the store simply because they’re a human being. It’s exactly what I expect when I walk into another GameStop, especially when they don’t know I’m an employee.
    I’ll have to agree with most of the bitter remarks though, that most other employees don’t share my mentality. All I ask is that, even though you’ve had a bad experience one place at least try to find a GameStop that’s got one good person you can always talk to. It’s true that the more often a person shows up to chit-chat, buy, and reserve games- they will be favored. I have numerous customers that only shop at my store because I make sure to give them all of the bonus items, that there’s always a nice unopened copy for them, and that I honestly talk to them. I love talking about the games I play, and especially having people talk to me about the ones I haven’t.
    You shouldn’t have to ‘find’ a good GameStop, but until more people are hired on because they love what they do instead of asking for a job simply because they need some income (like almost any retail store), it might just have to do.

  215. increaser says:

    Wow, thanks for the article telling me how little GS values its employees, and for how the crappy corporate policies are. Most successful companies make money by taking care of customers, not by whipping results from workers. And the inventory distribution model is just pathetic, especially coming from a multi-national corporation.
    I have been shopping at GS for years, but not anymore.

  216. cheeesecrow says:

    “Most directly, it’s actually a service of the GI magazine and can be replaced by them. It is 14.99 for one year of the card and magazine. Officially, you are buying the magazine and the card is a bonus.”

    Wow, using this article to advertise. Crap magazine at that..

  217. cheeesecrow says:

    ” Admittedly, used game prices are geared towards cardholders; a typical recent release is 60 new and 55 used, but 10 percent off means 49.50, which is a palpable difference (and recoups a third of the original price of the card.)”

    so I would need to buy three overpriced used games just to rationalize to myself being suckered into an ad campaign?

  218. cheeesecrow says:

    regarding trade-ins: when you talk about the low resale value of games, well its because you were the ones who decreased its value by setting the price. I regard my games as a collection, rather than a comoditty, and it irks me that Gamestop devalues my collection by setting low prices. “Super Smash Bros for the Gamecube is still trading in for fifteen dollars at the time of this writing; much more than any other Gamecube game”

    Super Smash Bros is an excellent game, I think it should be worth more.

  219. drewsumer says:

    I am unhappy shopping at GameStop due to the way I was treated surrounding the Xbox 360 launch. I placed a pre-order for the system and was told that if I paid it off in full, I’d be guaranteed a system at launch.

    So I did.

    And, of course, the whole Xbox 360 launch was bungled. GameStop was selling pre-orders for systems that they could not deliver on launch. I hope that enough people complained and they changed this policy at the corporate level. I wouldn’t know, because what happened afterwards:

    After securing a system from target.com with the help of all those inventory trackers that come online every time a new system is released, I went back to GameStop to get my money back. I even called the night before to tell them I’d be coming and to ask when the best time to swing by for my 400$+ refund would be. I was told “Anytime!”

    So I come by the next morning and ask for my refund. And they refused to pay me. The lone GS employee said they did not have any big bills in the till and they would have to pay in change. Could I come back later?

    I’m not unreasonable, so I say sure. I’ll come back in a few hours. I’m not sure if you’ve ever been to the CambridgeSide Galleria, but after hour one, there’s not a whole lot to do. I stretch a lunch out, read at Borders, and ponder taking a nap on some Sears display mattresses, but by the end of hour two, I can’t take any more and return to the store.

    Again, they refuse, saying that they only have small bills and if they paid me out, they’d have no change. At that point, I didn’t care. If they needed cash, there was a bank in the mall. I’d be happy to wait a few more minutes for an employee to go down to the bank. They refuse again. One employee says something about getting Corporate to cut a check, but that’d take 3+ weeks. I draw the line there as I have already spent three hours in the mall doing nothing after having called the night before about this. If the corporate check was an option, why wasn’t I told the night before? Besides, three weeks to wait for my money after GameStop failed to deliver? No thanks!

    So I end up getting my refund, my surly, surly refund. In ones and fives. Which means I now get to go to the bank, wait in line, and get all that counted out and deposited. Yay.

    All told, it took me 6 hours to leave my house, go to the mall, wait, get my money, go to the bank, wait, and get home. I was pissed. I still am pissed. If I didn’t work for a college and have the day off anyways, I would have been even more pissed.

    I wrote a letter to GameStop Corporate detailing everything that went on with the transaction, my history of being a loyal GameStop customer (I bought a PSP, a DS, and a GameCube all at launch from them, plus countless games), and how disappointed I was, but never heard anything back. Gah! It wasn’t until I had to become One of Those People and contact the BBB that I heard from them.

    Never again, GameStop! Between corporate policy tying the hands of good employees and bad employees that are either liars or idiots, there’s just no place for me in your weird hybrid pawnshop/reverse payday loan business.

  220. LintMan says:

    To the dude who wrote this:
    If a game is taken home by an employee who uses it for two weeks, it is by definition a *used* game. To sell it as new is fraud. There is no reason that GS can’t just sell the employee-used ones as used games.

    About reserves:
    It sucks that the company rates employees solely on this, but that just means your company sucks for both customers and employees. Cut the “if you just reserved it…” crap. There doesn’t need to be a pre-order system for games – it’s purely a way for GS to maximize its profit. Plenty of other retailers manage to fully stock games at release without being pre-order only.

    Your company’s policies stink, and the solution is not for us to just preorder everything and meekly pay full new price for used games.

    The smart thing for we consumers to do is to stop shopping there. Voting with our wallets says far more than complaining to the store clerk about it.

  221. itstheirishinme says:

    The problem to me is who they hire. Rarely do any of them know jack about gaming. The girls they hire rarely know anything past Halo. My wife an avid gamer refuses to go to our local gamestop after they had hired some moron who knew nothing about gaming other then halo. She was even talking trash about the customers and spent more time on the phone (her personal cell) then doing her job(but she did have a D-cup((full of justice!)) ).

    For some reason most employees tend to have some kind of attitude like their superior to the people that come in. You work at a game store get over yourselves. Ask one if they know what something like Mega 64 is the’d have no idea, but Red Vs. Blue is so funny….riiight. The hard to find real gamer that works at a gamestop is a lucky find indeed.

    I myself worked at a gamestop (back when Ngage was released) and quite frankly didn’t meet their ‘quota’ on reserves/preorders during my employment over the holidays so I was one of many to go. Even though most customers would make a point to deal with me instead of other employees, to the point that the entire store was losing money on trade in’s and pre orders because of lil ol me covincing them to trade their game elsewhere etc. To top it all off I would get into it with the other employees about the free stuff that came with the preorders, why? because their policy was “If they don’t ask for it we don’t have it. So we get to take it home.” The stuff was often spread evenly between the employees the customers ignored. “Oh for some reason we didn’t get that soundtrack in.” That was understandable at one point because working two days a week three hours a day after working there for a year is just insane. So some of the bull you get from them is the horrible treatment they get from corprate/managers. But at the same time some are just assholes with a weird since I work at a game shop I’m cool (and the only way you can get your super special rare greatest ever game that no one else will ever get is through me) complex.

  222. nilus says:

    At least the company is more honest about gutted games now. Back in the days when I worked there(been about 8 years since I left) you gutted the game and reshrink wrapped it. Despite putting stickers that said the box was empty people still tried to steal them. And when you sold the gutted game. Someone went in back(where the guts were held), put it back in the case and reshrink wrapped it. If it was done well the customer never even realized the game had been opened.

    As far as prepurchases go. No body is forcing you to prepurchase, and no one is forcing you to shop at Gamestop. If you really want a game though, what is the harm in putting a few bucks down there and assuring yourself a copy. I don’t know about the rest of you but I don’t have the time to check out 8 different stores to go buy the new game if its sold out. I would rather just go to one store and know its there.

  223. Chr0nicHe4dsh0t says:

    Re: “Gutted” games.

    Last time I bought a new game and they were about to give me a gutted game I asked them why I couldn’t receive a new game with the wrapping and everything still on, and the response was that it was $10 more to receive a wrapped game.

  224. whomoi says:

    I’m a regular games buyer from the UK about one a month, and basically this guy is only half right about gutted games, this used to be common practice however over recent years this has gotten a lot better, where almost all stores stocking games do not “gut” new titles they are simply placed on shelves when in stock in the nice shiny sellofane.
    It also seems like we do not get half as pushy assistants/corporate policy over here, as a store I use regularly “Game” a specialist games store nationwide has a rewards card which I once got, forgot to ever use and threw away, I’ve never been asked about it or a new one since. Having gotten fed up recently about the overhead charges for in store games I have taken to buying and actually preordering online, no charge for preorder, cash taken when item mailed and usually cheaper !! Cant fault it, and one of my favourites play.com actually mails so it arrives at your door on launch day.

  225. G-Dog says:

    Reserving a game IN NO WAY guaranties you a copy on release day. When I managed a GS, we were told to sell ALL NEW RELEASES on an first come first serve basis. Need for Speed Underground 2, Resident Evil 4, Xeno Saga, and countless others are examples of games that we were told to sell to anybody, and we angered any people who had reserved it.

  226. My local EB is awesome. They answer my questions, provide me with the best quality disc when I buy a used game, and let me indulge myself a bit when I want to try to stack discounts and bonuses.

    I understand why people aren’t 100% juiced on this post. I do however suggest that you take this advice if you want consistently stellar service at EB you frequent. I spend less, and make more on trade-ins. I got inside info that helped me get a Wii during one of the larger droughts. It works for me.

  227. HeartBurnKid says:

    OK, Mr. Gamestop manager, here’s what I have to say to you.

    1: I will not preorder from your store. Why should I? I can preorder from Amazon from my computer in my underwear and get the game shipped to my door on launch day. If I’m in a store today, it’s because I want to buy a game today and take it home today. And I will do that today, whether it’s from your store or from another.

    2: “Don’t lose your receipt and expect us to find records for you, it’s quite difficult”. In other words, “our computer system sucks, so please don’t expect too much from us.” Quite frankly, if Circuit City can do it, why can’t you?

    3: Re: the gutted games: If you need to gut a game for display purposes, that’s fine. Every store has display products. The difference is, they will sell these display products to you at a discount, rather than putting a sticker on it and passing it off as new. Say it’s “open box” and give us the used price; don’t piss on our heads and tell us it’s raining.

    4: Many of your points boil down to “be patient with us, it’s corporate’s fault”. Sorry, no. Just because it’s not your fault, doesn’t mean I want to experience it. I will still avoid your store like the plague, whether the bad service is your fault or corporate’s. Of course, I’m not the sort of guy who will sit and scream at your employees either. I’ll just take my business elsewhere.

  228. Paleone says:

    Seriously – don’t shop at Gamestop for new games. The simple fact that this blog exists is enough to send me to Best buy, or Wal-Mart, or Circuit City, or ANYPLACE else that actually stocks product. I have NEVER had an issue with getting ANY game on release day at one of these places. If you want to trade games at Gamestop, fine. Just don’t buy NEW games from them and you won’t have anything to complain about.

  229. karasuman says:

    I also work at Gamestop, and this article made me both residually angry and somewhat comforted. Someone understands why things work the way they do, even if they’re only another Gamestop employee!

    Actually, that’s not very comforting, after all. I deal with at least one person a week who thinks we should keep live product on the floor so they can steal, er, buy it ‘factory sealed.’ The manager at the Radio Shack next door comes over every once in a while to tell us that the reservation system is evil. And there’s at least one person a day who wants to hand us his scratched up, sticky, no-case-or-manual copy of Madden 03 and walk out of here with at least $10 for his troubles.

    It just becomes too much trouble to try to explain the reason behind the policies to people who would rather keep complaining than listen. Maybe I’ll print this out and pass out copies. :)

  230. defstar says:

    I’d like to think that I’m in a rare position as far as GS is concerned. I work p/t at one, Ive only been there about a month and its more spending money than anything else. That being said I’ve already realized that the policies are bogus. I enjoy the discount and the people I work with. Its such a ridiculous place to work. My first couple of weeks working there I was putting in about 24 hours a week. They told me They didnt expect me to sell any subs. Just learn the register. By my fourth week my hours had been cut to 9 because I dont push subscriptions or PRPS (product replacement plans) Honestly its not that I’m lazy but its because I’ve worked in retail for years and Im good at sizing people up on wether or not they are going to want to hear it. My assistant manager told me That he hardly ever hears me ask although when I do ask 75% of the time get the sale. THAT SHOULD BE ENOUGH! Not that Im not pestering every person. Your hours are directly related to how much you sell. They can tell you its not like that but, it is. So cut us some slack we want to keep working there. I could go on and on about what I find bunk about that place but, I wont.

    P.S. Its ridiculous that I am not allowed to wear gamer themed shirts and have to wear polos.

  231. HaxRomana says:

    @brello: This is common practice among media retail outlets. It allows the employees to be knowledgeable about the product and cuts down on internal shrink. “Disgusted” is probably a bit of a harsh reaction.

  232. solipsistnation says:

    Okay, so after reading the preorder stuff, I went and reserved 3 games I was going to buy anyway. Made the kid happy, means I don’t have to mess around when they come out, and overall I think it was a win. He was friendly and noticed me lurking near the checkout and greeted me in a friendly (and not pushy) fashion. It was a decent and positive experience… So hooray for the guy at the Capitola mall.

  233. sciencefreak says:

    @causticitty:

    umm moron, thats a policy set by the game makers not the store….

    I don’t think a store would give a shit if you bought a game and returned it becasue you didn’t like it (Back in the nintendo days this was common).

    The problem is that this day in age to many shifty people will take a game home, copy it then try to return it.

    I’ve never had a problem at gamespot…ever…maybe its that all the NYC stores are full of highschoolers who love video games, but over all its a nice place to shop, all the employees know there stuff (about games)

    all the policy’s game stop enforces makes perfect sense to me, I think there are just a bunch of uneducated consumers out there.

  234. misery156 says:

    An EB employee here. Couple things I worked for EB 4 years ago quit for school then came back last year. 4 Years ago we could borrow the games and take them home for only one night. 3 years ago they stoped that in Canada where I am. And I agree with it. As for selling gutted games yeah it sucks but unless you want to pay more for EB’s to have security features suck as lock boxes on every game its something we gotta deal with. As for those who have said employees will sell the open copy instead of the sealed one, I disagree totally. It is less work to grab the unopened copy and put it in a bag then take the empty case, find the gut, throw a sticker on it THEN take an unopened copy open it and throw the disk in a sleeve and file it alphabetically.

    My last and I feel most important comment is if you have a problem with a company dont complain to the store clerk. TO companies they are nothing and very replaceable, in store we can do nothing. Complain to customer service or a district manager if you want things to change. Employees try to make suggestions all the time and are constantly shot down. But if enough consumers complain about something the odds it will get changed are better!

  235. Uglyshoe says:

    To be fair I think GameStop is at least much better than Game Crazy. I was in a Game Crazy once, there were two people working and one register open. One of them was the manager (I knew because he formally wrote up my cashier once while I was in the middle of a transaction). The manager was mostly playing GHIII. We had some questions about the Wii, neither knew anything about it.

    When we were ready to check out, between the two employees it took twenty minutes to ring up my buddy, another fifteen to ring up me for one game (they misfiled the disc). Only one of them at a time seemed to be able to run the register, look for the disc or run the disc cleaner at a time. In the meantime a gentleman had been waiting patiently behind me in line.

    We exchanged the typical “OMG! WTF!!!” eye-rolls that gamers give when trapped by inattentive retail employees.

    Finally it was the gentleman’s turn at the counter. They asked if he had some membership thing, he said he usually shops at GameStop because it is closer to home and he is just on his lunch break.

    At this the manager went on a tirade saying,

    “I hate GameStop you can go in there and you can’t get any help. I refuse to shop there. I walked in there and no one said anything. They couldn’t answer my questions. It took forever for them to even reply at the counter. I just think they don’t understand anything about customer service…” and on and on, while leaning against the back counter, not touching the register.

    I was so horrified for the poor man that I just left while my friend waited to get one last question answered. They both emerged about fifteen minutes later.

  236. HeartBurnKid says:

    @Paleone: If you read this blog, you know that Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and Circuit City are often almost as bad (though I don’t think anybody can touch Gamestop level badness). Your best bet is to find a local shop, if you have any left.

    Me, I’ve got a great little store called “Video Game Source” that’s right next door to my chiropractor’s office, that I go to quite a bit. It’s great. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, they don’t push preorders/strategy guides/cleaning kits/warranties/whatever on you, they’ll crack jokes and swap stories with you, they will get you what you ask for without trying to upsell you or cross-sell you unless they have something they genuinely think you’ll like, and best of all they get some seriously rare stuff in there (they’ve been selling these neat little combo clone NES/SNES things from Hong Kong, which I kinda sorta want to get). And, though they say you need a receipt for returns, it’s always one or two of the same four guys working there, so chances are they’ll remember me and not even ask for it. And if they sell you a floor model, they will give you a floor model price, not a new price.

    When I was in LA, I’d take a drive to this place out in North Hollywood called Game Dude, which was basically a gaming warehouse store (it was mainly a mail order business, but they’d also sell directly out of the warehouse). Good god, did they ever have a lot of cool stuff. And again, they were bright, friendly, and knowledgeable, and add to that the fact that their prices usually beat the Software Etc’s and EB’s back in the day (of course, this was before the coming of Gamestop, so both stores had yet to truly begin to suck). Add to that a bunch of cool import stuff, and I went out of my way to shop there. Oh, and they’re online, too.

    I guess what I’m saying here is, rediscover your local shops. They’re everything that visitors to this site aren’t getting from the big chains.

  237. tiredinnuendo says:

    I’ll never shop at another Gamestop if I can help it. Allow me to list the last several shopping experiences I had with them:

    1) This was several years ago. KOTOR had just been released. I purchased the game, and was offered the strategy guide. “No thanks,” came my reply, “because I prefer to beat the game myself. Plus I can use the internet if I get stuck somewhere.” I was then called a thief (presumably for “stealing” strats online, and told that it was my fault that games are so expensive now. I called for the employee’s manager, informed him (loudly, so the whole store heard me) of the exchange I’d just had, and told him he’d never see me again. I put down the game unpurchased and walked out. So did most of the other store patrons.

    2) Years later, I moved, and figured I’d try out a different Gamestop. Surely one bad experience isn’t indicative of the whole group, I thought (ha ha!). I was looking at a game called Shadowrun, which I knew was a tech/magic RPG game, and was somewhat surprised to see recast as a shooter. I looked it over and was slightly concerned that the game didn’t mention much about single player, so I asked an employee, “Hey, this game has some single player to it, right? I don’t really care about multiplayer or mindless deathmatch.” The employee responded that of course it had single player, what game doesn’t? So I bought it.

    It has no single player.

    I brought it back, played once, the next day, saying that the game had been misrepresented and that I’d like a refund or at least some sort of store credit. The best offer I could mangle was a $15 dollar trade-in. This offer was only made when I pointed the manager at the employee who’d told me it had single player, and the employee himself confirmed the conversation.

    3) The last (and final) straw for me was just recently, at a new, third Gamestop. Spiderman 3 may be one of the worst games ever, but I like swinging around the city, and I’m willing to pay 15 – 20 dollars to have that privilege. I’d like to stress that the Gamestop I was shopping in was NEXT DOOR to a Best Buy, which was currently selling Spiderman 3 for $30 new. I found that Gamestop had it for the same price, used, and so I asked the manager if, considering the circumstances, he could set up some sort of markdown. I offered to buy two games, and take Spiderman for $20. The manager’s response was that he couldn’t change the price, he knew that it was high, and (and this is a quote) that IF I CARED ABOUT GAMING, I WOULD NOT SHOP IN GAMESTOP. He told me this in the sort of toen with which one gives a warning.

    Three strikes and you’re out, Gamestop. Enjoy being a pawnshop.

    - J

  238. magichat says:

    @Treize: Honestly, they don’t know when the shipments come in. Both Nintendo and Gamestop corporate decide which stores recieve Wiis, how often, and when. Because of the high demand and tendancy for store demands to change so quickly, regular shipments aren’t updated until sometimes the day before they arrive.

    In other words, no Gamestop get’s a “regular” shipment at the same time. Like the article said, make friends with the employees (or at least politely ask when they aren’t helping another customer) and they can at least tell you what time shipments generally arrive.

  239. Sure I could agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. says:

    The bottom line is this: Once a product is opened, it is not new, and it is against the law to sell it as new.

    If they try to sell an open game as new, you should report them to your state’s Department of Weights and Measures; they will be hit with a massive fine.

  240. gstopasm says:

    i work at gamestop and i swear to god this article is completely true. i only have a couple things to add. 1) at my store we are not even allowed to sign out new games, only used and im sure many stores also have that policy. 2) no gamestop will ever repackage a used game and sell it as new. the company encourages us to sell used products and track us on what percentage of our sales are used. to repackage a used game and sell is as new would be sabotaging ourselves. so shut up. even if soem stupid employee did sell you a used game as new, if you cant tell its used by looking at the disc, then who cares? 4) ah the return policy. everyone wants to complain that they cant return their new game after they played it and didnt like it. well the world does not revolve around you. we have other customers who deserve the same treatment as you. people complain that we might be selling them a used game as new but at the same time they encourage us to do it to other people. they bought the game, broke the seal, and PLAYED it, and now they want us to accept the return and resell it as new to another customer. its just not fair to them. opened games MUST be resold as used, and therefore must be taken in as used. when a game is scanned, the computer prompts us to ask if you would prefer a used copy, which is returnable up to seven days for ANY reason. if youre not sure you will like the game, buy the used one. and if you are a video game purist, return it within seven days and buy a new copy if you like it. if you dont like it, bring it back for a full refund. this eliminates the risk of losing 30 dollars and a terrible game. 5) most importantly, STOP YELLING AT ME. im just doing my job. sure im only giving you 20 dollars credit for a game you bought for sixty, but its not my choice. the computer tells me what its worth and i cannot chang it. if you think its unfair then you can let the game rot on your shelf just to prove a point. or if you want to get laughed at, go to walmart or toys r us or any other store that sells games and see how much they will give you for it. we are the only store that is willing to buy MVP baseball 2001 from you, so i suggest you take the twenty cents with a smile. the only thing you can accomplish by yelling at me, is making me never want to help you with anything. if a customer yells at me about the return policy, or trade credit, and anything, then later comes in and wants me to look up what store in the area might have the game they are looking for, ill simply tell them that im unable to see the other stores’ inventory even though it is very simple to do. you want our respect, show us some back.

  241. GmSpEmply says:

    If everyone listened to what this guy said it would make life easier for every customer and employee! I work at a GameStop. I’ve been with GameStop for about 3 years now. I’ve worked my way up through the ranks. I’m one of the leaders in “pre-orders/reservations” and “subscriptions”. If I had one piece of advise for all of you out there who don’t like GameStop’s policies it would be this: Go to Wal-mart, Hastings, Target, E-bay, Amazon, Gamefly, Netflix, or where ever else you shop alternatively. You have the right as consumers to pick where you put your money.
    You can pick another store, they are out there! Lots of people are fine with what we do, and those of us who like our jobs, do it well. I know some of these policies are lame, but I’ve worked in worse places… like Sears. BLAH! I think I just puked in my mouth a little.
    You all have your opinions, and most of them are valid, but some of them are just ignorant rants about what you think you know.
    When we get our annual review, we are “graded” on how well we did and how well our store did on getting Pre-orders, Subs, and Items per transaction.

    We are sales people. OUR JOB IS TO SELL YOU THINGS.
    We are not cashiers at a supermarket! Go complain about something that matters… like gas prices or global warming or the economy! You really should find another hobby if video games are causing you this much stress.

  242. GmSpEmply says:

    @Dooley:
    That’s not true.
    It’s new until it’s USED.

  243. Anonymous says:

    I agree completely. I work for Gamestop and I enjoy helping customers. I don’t give a rats ass about my numbers because all my store cares about is customer service. If the customer is an asshole to me, then fuck you. But if you’re cool to me, I treat you like one of my friends and even give out free shit that we are throwing out like shirts, demo discs, and other stuff.

    It’s ok though. We are human. And for those that think that you can talk shit about us, the employee.. What makes you think that we wouldn’t talk shit about you the moment you leave?

    I remember this one bitch was screaming at me because she couldn’t pick up Fable 2 and Midnight Club LA at the same time. Like really? Over a game you’re gonna yell at me? Pathetic. She was whining and bitching at me because she was gonna waste gas. Well guess what, pick it both up when both are in the store you whore.

    People often forget that employees are human too. I was so tempted to tell her to call me back on my personal number when I was off the clock so I can show her my true feelings of how she treated me as a person. But I didn’t because it was a waste of time.

    Anyway. Like any other employee. No fuck that. Like any other human.. I just want to be treated like how I treat you, which is like a friend and with respect.

  244. Anonymous says:

    The article was wrote well and I do not see any reason to attack you personally or your logic like some have but must take issue with the “Gutted Box”. Working in retail as well there are alternatives to gutting a retail box for display purposes (protex systems, acrylic cases ect) while they might not look as pleasing they maintain the factory seal. To begin I agree that the game disc and manual is without much chance going to be in mint condition as they are removed and put away. The problem is though that the case now sits on the store shelf and by the time often one wants to buy it the box looks somewhat “used”. I do not argue that GameStop can if they want open up the box but trying to argue that placing a store sticker on the item somehow makes it new once again is logic that defies me.
    To be clear if GameStop wanted to avoid any future customer issues they could simply offer a 5% markdown. Customers have been given the mindset (rightfully so) that the factory seal is their guaranty that a product is new. If as a company GameStop chooses to remove the factory seal and alter the product from how it was shipped to their location then the item is no longer “new”. The other issue comes into the odd chance you have a collector or games who desires an unopened copy (not trying to defend people hoarding copies just stating facts). Now it is true that if the customer does not like this policy they can go elsewhere which has been the choice I make often as my EB Games seems to carry only limited quantity of anything besides MMO’s or Sports titles. For me I often find myself at “Big Box” retailers who have no issues with putting their copies on shelves sealed (I work in a Big Box store and out games section is not staffed due to low traffic so the games are all in acrylic cases). The policy has a double negative effect for GameStop in the end. One it causes customers to question the ethics and practices of the company and feel somewhat like they have to be on the look out for getting ripped off (be it right or wrong). The other is for those who rather then moan and complain to the staff who’s fault the policy is not just find somewhere else to buy from.
    One thing the author stated that I find interesting the the small store aspect (we can forget for a minute that GameStop is not by any means a small store, rather a mass chain with high profits due to used game sales). Most small stores I have had experience with try to make their customers happy and if they see something they are doing that is causing bad relations they change it. Even the EB Games employees I have spoken about this with say the policy is really not fair and they can only defend it with what head office says to tell people. “Some parents will not buy a game unless they can read the manual fully” or “Theft would be to great if we were to put retail copies on the shelf”. The response I wont really get into much as even the person that said it admitted they never had a single parent as to see the manual. If theft is such a great concern then as a company purchase some inventory control at the entrance of your storefronts and use the tags that most game boxes already come with from the vendor. In the end many of GameStop’s policies reflect the position of a company that seems to be unable to shake some of its old concepts about game sales. With online retail and digital download becoming easier and cheaper often for many people stores need to start to give customers a reason to want the retail experience.

    My policy as a customer – I do not pay full retail for anything that does not come as it was from the manufacturer of the item when it comes to games or software. If I must forgot a purchase due to this position that is fine by me. One thing that maybe many do not get anymore but I have since I was a child is the excitement of opening a new game, somewhat not the same when I am just prying away a GameStop sticker…

  245. SlicedBreadX says:

    As an update for anyone who finds this article:

    In recent talks around the company, the issue behind employee check outs may soon be a non-issue. The ability to check out new games appears to be on its way out the door thanks to amendments to federal law specific to deceptive business practices. It has already started taking effect with DS software and has been a practice on PC software for some time.

    As a side effect which I’m sure will soon cause yet another internet uproar, the return policy on new games will soon be STRICTLY enforced. In simple terms, if you opened and played a new game, and WE WILL KNOW, you will be denied a return or exchange on it. The law works both ways. I cannot accept a game back that has been played and resell it as new to another customer.

  246. Ta Pa Paa 2 says:

    I used to work at a GameStop, and I’m going to have to agree with this article. People will continue to complain about the gutting of games and the check out policy, but nothing can be done to appease those who are always going to have a problem. I do believe that the check out policy should only involve pre-owned games, but the policy on checking out new games was incredibly strict(and for good reason). If there was so much as a dot marking the disc it was to be purchased by the employee who checked it out. As for people who mind them checking out used games…if you didn’t know you wouldn’t care. When you buy a pre-owned game you know it has been played. Also, they give you 7 day cash back option to decide whether or not you even like it, and a 30 day replacement in the event that it is defective. I’m pretty sure you would know in 30 days if the disc was defective.
    Gamestop is not the best company I have worked for by far, but they have good reasons for their policies….and to be quite honest, most of the people I know wouldn’t even be working there if not for the check out system–the employees in my area all start at minimum wage, so there’s got to be another reason to stick around!

  247. invisibelle says:

    heh i wonder how pissed off the company would be if it knew some random 3rd key was speaking for them.

    when i worked there (store and corp. office) they were pretty serious about employees not saying too much online.

  248. Navy_SEAL says:

    Gamestop is pretty decent around where I live (Tx). I know all the employees by name and we even socialize. So this BS about gamestop treating it’s customers like crap is news to me. I love Gamestop, and the reason they won’t order more on reserves is the same reason you wouldn’t. As someone already said, you should only preorder games if it’s obscure. Mainstream titles will almost always be in stock. Would you order 90 lemons for your lemonade stand if you knew you were only going to use 30? And the other 60 wouldn’t be used? That’s a waste of profit, and it’s not “pushing the customer” it’s protecting gamestop from going under. It’s sad how the customers expect the company to bend to their will. You go buy the games from the company themselves if you don’t like retailers. It’s that simple. Good luck finding it on your own though.

  249. narq says:

    The post is right, Gamestop is its employees. It’s just, this person obviously works at one of the small percentage of stores that has employees you can actually stomach. Nearly every Gamestop I’ve been to in the past 8 years has a manager who could care less, employees that barely know anything about games, and supervisors who barely know what their job is. Yes I have been to a store or two that had great people… then they quit and were replaced with idiots because they hated their manager or couldn’t stand the store policies.

    While I understand the point of this posting and agree that most customers at Gamestop are dumb and think they should get lots of money for their 5 year old madden game… many of us are mad for other reasons. My biggest complaint? Brand new big name title, Gamestop doesn’t get any… even though you pre-ordered it and they “guarantee” you’ll get it on release. Go across the street to Wal-Mart and there are tons of copies on the shelf. Why? No one ever knows and the manager never cares. What’s worse is when they sell the pre-orders to regular customers. Pre-order a game and pick it up, it’s supposed to come with a pre-order item. They don’t have them. Either the employees took them home, gave them away, or they just never got them. The worst thing is when the store gets stock way below the pre-order amount so some people get theirs and others don’t.

    The other issue is trade-in values. Now you might claim that most customers trade in really old stuff not at all in demand. Sure give low dollar for that. Some of the customers though, trade in brand new games hot on demand and maybe a month old. What do they get for trade-in value? Around 30-40% original value to which Gamestop will sell used at 90% original price. That’s why people are mad. Case and point. Homefront, a game just released for the Xbox 360 trades in at Gamestop for $20, Amazon trades it in for $32. It’s a $60. You’ll find Halo:Reach, a game still hot in demand though it’s a bit old, is about the same value. Gamestop $18, Amazon $25.

    I’m not mad that Gamestop is trying to make money. I’m mad they gouge customers and that customers are okay with it. You have other options, like Amazon or Gamefly trade-in. You don’t have to go with Gamestop. My problem with Gamestop is they bought out and destroyed their competition who gave you more for trade ins and sold games for actual values. Places like Funcoland, Babbages, and EB Games. Places I actually enjoyed shopping and didn’t feel pressured by an employee to buy an accessory with every purchase, or 3 magazines, or a pre-order, or an edge card, or extra games because of some terrible “deal” they have going on.

  250. robthecomputerguy says:

    I worked at the predecessor to GameStop, Software, Etc., in the 1990′s and it has taken me 15 years to figure out what a traumatic experience it was to work there. If you have friends, children or relatives that work there, please insist that they find employment anywhere else.

  251. glasscocked says:

    I don’t care anything about Gamestop or Gamestop employees. If you have it for the cheapest place and/or have a great deal or promotion I shop there. If you don’t I buy elsewhere. I have no loyalty to you or any of the other video game vendors around. (Except target because that place rocks)

  252. Tony Bologna says:

    Yep this article is Spot On. I use to work for GameStop and as a part time employee you were only as good as the number of game reserves and magazine subscriptions that you got each week. I started working there part time in the end of 2008 and I quit in July of 2010. Not only did they give more hours to the employees with more reserves and what not they also cut store hours so far down that part timers were getting only 4-8 hours Per Week. I had to fight with them just to get more hours per week because it cost me more in gas than I was making working there. As for the gutted games being sold as new even though opened was also correct, the store takes a couple new release games out of the box and they go directly into a disk sleeve and into the drawer behind the counter because people would steal them right off the shelf. It’s also true that anytime a person buys a gutted game, plays it brings it back and trades it in 2 days later it is then sold as used because the store usually gives about 25-30 dollars for trade in and then resells it for $54.99 and thus they make a 20-25 dollar profit. So they would not resell it to someone else as new. As far as I’m concerned, gamestop is better than any other store that sells video games because they are the only big name store that even takes trade ins. As for getting more money selling your used game on ebay or something, Yes you might get more but think about the time and effort you put into advertising it online for sale than waiting to get a buyer than waiting to get the money. It’s about convenience of selling your game and so if you have to drive a few miles up the street to sell it for $10 less than you would get by selling it online it basically even’s it self out.