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Creepy GameStop Stalks Me, Wants To Talk About My Gift Card Late At Night
GameStop Goes Above And Beyond — Wait, What?
GameStop Offers To Ship Out-Of-Stock Item, Doesn’t Mention It Will Take 7-9 Days Instead Of 3
GameStop Sells Me Three Defective Nintendo DSes In A Row, Shrugs
@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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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..
” 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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
@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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
@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.
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.
@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.
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.
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.
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.
That’s not true.
It’s new until it’s USED.
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.
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…
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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