Read Disclaimer Before Taking GameStop Offer

Jeremiah is happy he double-checked a strange GameStop ad that lists games eligible for an offer that lets you trade two games in to get certain new releases for $20 or New Super Mario Bros. Wii for $10.

After the list of eligible games, there’s an addendum that says some of the games on the list aren’t eligible. It’s tough to think of a reason GameStop doesn’t just release another ad that takes the ineligible games off the list.

Jeremiah writes:

I was all set to head down to my local Gamestop to take advantage of their “Trade 2″ offer.

I had Prototype for PS3 and House of the Dead for Wii in hand to trade in, but thought I should print out the listing showing their eligibility before I headed out.

Good thing I did…although House of the Dead is listed in the main listing (red,) they’ve added a disclaimer at the bottom indicating that it (and numerous other titles) are ‘no longer eligible.’

As if it would have been too much effort to just edit the main listing that customers are going to look at?

I expect they were hoping people would show up and be forced to pay full price for the new game they were expecting to trade in the 2 titles for.

Not sure if this technically qualifies as bait and switch since they DO technically inform you that the title is ineligible…but it still seems kind of shady…and something I’m not surprised GameStop would try to pull.

So, Consumerists, do you think GameStop is attempting a bait-and-switch for non-thorough readers?

GameStop
(Photo: Marike79)

Comments

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  1. Morte says:

    Gamestop? Using questionable tactics to make the most money by scamming people too careless to read the fine print or too uneducated in the video game media to understand the rules and exceptions? Uh, yeah, I’m gonna go with a “yes” on this one.

  2. Admiral_John says:

    I’m not sure how this work, but I took COD4: World At War and Batman: Arkaham Asylum to GameStop to trade them in for MW2 and wound up getting the game for $10.

  3. mrlogical says:

    “Do you think GameStop is attempting a bait-and-switch for non-thorough readers?”

    No. Look at the linked ad–it’s not like this is tiny fine print, the ad very clearly says the deal is for trading in 2 “select” games, followed by a list. Gamestop is a terrible company for a million reasons, but this is not one of them.

    • Sanspants says:

      @mrlogical: I think the question is about the list below the list. The main lists has a number of games to trade, but the sort of fine print list below it lists games (from the list above it) that are NOT eligible.

  4. temporaryscars says:

    I don’t know why anyone would bother trading in games at gamestop anymore. With Amazon and Toys R Us offering better deals, why not go with them?

  5. TheJinManCan says:

    Hahaha. I’m sorry, if you look at the ad, at the very bottom, it LISTS all of the ones that are not eligible anymore. It most definitely is not a fine print, whatsoever.

    It sucks if you’re in the store, though. The company is still new at getting specials out there and done correctly, so it sucks at the store level, because as they update us on the ones that are no longer eligible, our paper ads in the store aren’t going to update like the ones on the interwebs.

    If you were a customer in my store with the paper ad in your hand, I’d honor it, only because I know in my heart GameStop just didn’t do it right, even though they meant well. It’s a great freakin’ deal, nonetheless.

    • trujunglist says:

      @TheJinManCan:

      gahaha, c’mon man… i know you work for them and all but saying that this is a great deal is a bit of a stretch. you trade in 2 games that gamestop will resell for at least $30 (but probably more in most cases since they’re trying to get new games to resell for $55), and then still have to pay $10. the game retails for $50, and is available on amazon for $47. NOT a great deal, NOT a good deal, NOT a deal at all underline underscore bold italics

      • TheJinManCan says:

        @trujunglist: Hahaha. Dude, that’s fine, it’s your opinion. My definition of a good deal is something that is effortless. I don’t want to try and resell it on eBay, and I don’t want to argue with a private seller on Craigslist or in person about how much my used game is really worth to them.

        A lot of other people think the same way. It’s instant gratification, something that I won’t get listing it on eBay, craigslist, or trading it in to Amazon. Could I get more? Probably. That’s time I don’t want to use up just to get ten or twenty dollars more.

        If you want to go the other route, hey, more power to you, man. At the end of the day, GameStop has a business model to make money, and that includes keeping up with supply and demand as well as saturation of individual titles and pricing accurately for profits over time across 4000+ stores, plus eating up costs for defective returns as they come back. It’s totally your opinion if you think the overall value sucks, and you can respond by never trading in your games.

        Don’t say it’s not a good deal when thousands upon thousands of people look at this as a good deal. It may sound as me “drinking the company kool-aid”, but I do have pride in my work and at the end of the day, I myself trade my stuff in along with these deals, and I’d rather get things done now than play the waiting game.

        • Cyberxion101 says:

          @TheJinManCan: His point stands. It’s not really all that great a deal. Or even a good one. Instant gratification doesn’t make it one either, nor does the fact that thousands upon thousands of people are ignorant enough to buy into it.

          I’ve almost been bitten by this sort of “deal” before. I would have gotten less if I had taken advantage of the promotion than I would have had I not. Yet folks are suckered into thinking that trading two games in and getting a single game at a discount is such a good deal that they don’t bother to check and see if they’d get more just trading their games in and buying the game separately. It’s insidious really.

          • TheJinManCan says:

            @Cyberxion101: And as I’ve stated, the employees generally catch this and let the customer know, turn off the promotion program, and give you your $45 or $50 in trade-in credit as opposed to just the $40. Not that hard.

            And gratification is part of the deal, sorry to say. It’s what brings you and sends you out satisfied. If you’d like to go the extra mile, go right ahead. No one is stopping you. Y’know? That’s where your freedoms come into play. It’s not just the monetary value, otherwise, why the hell would you trade your games into GameStop or Game or your local mom and pop store if it was just about the money? That’s the beauty of it; you decide you won’t.

            Problem solved! Time is precious, to me, to a lot of people. It’s not necessarily ignorance, though I won’t deny that’s there as well. But I’ve had a handful of people come in and tell me so to my face, and I tell them awesome, if you get more wherever else, go for it! Why should I stop you? And I’m not being condescending, I mean it. I’m only human, dude. Would I then do like this person does, and get in my car, drive home, list it on Craigslist, wait for a buyer, then drive to that buyer if not on the same day, some days later? Hell no. I want my stuff now.

            It’s all about your satisfaction. That’s not mine.

  6. Cant_stop_the_rock says:

    I don’t think it’s an intentional bait and switch, I think it’s just laziness. The main list is an image; it may have come directly from their printed ad. Adding text at the bottom was easier than editing the image, so they added the text.

  7. eh_remraf says:

    The deal is as follows when processed in the EbGames pos system. The two games taken in for trade have a set value from corporate, say $18 for UFC 2009 and $20 for Fallout 3 (Not accurate at all just a demonstration). That gives you 38 dollars for store credit. What the deal does is bump both of those amounts so that they equal $40 bucks,so you only pay $20 on a $60 game or $150 on a $200 wii.

    Since the price of games changes day to day based on store inventories, amount of trades, amount of sells etc. etc. the initial base price of said games can change at anytime.

    I think they should just change the wording of the deal. But as all ways, if you get hung up talk to the store manager, they will more than likely give you the deal if you are nice, and patient. Talking to anyone in the store lower then that position will get you no where as they are no empowered to do so.

  8. Dracoster says:

    Also, he wouldn’t have gotten very far with his games. All of GS’ deals requires you to trade in one or more games for the same system your new games is for.

    So, with his Prototype for PS3 and HoD for Wii, he would’ve gotten squat. PS3 + Wii = Nothing. PS3 + PS3 = PS3. Wii + Wii = Wii.

    It says so right there on their ads in very clear lettering and wording.

    • TheJinManCan says:

      @Dracoster: Incorrect. You can mix and match any way you want and you will get the deal. Now you’re just reading too much into it. :)

    • DraconWolfX says:

      @Dracoster:

      Yep, JinManCan is correct. I just took advantage of the deal this weekend and traded 1 Wii game and 1 360 game for New SMB. They don’t have to be for the same console.

  9. JulesNoctambule says:

    There’s House of the Dead for Wii? This changes my whole perspective.

    • akuma_x says:

      @JulesNoctambule: There are two House of the Deads for the Wii. House of the Dead 2 & 3 Rebirth is both games repackaged on one disc. House of the Dead Overkill is a new game in the series and is the most R rated game probably ever released for any console. Yes, even more so than Grand Theft Auto IV or any other game you can think of. It is an absolutely great game though as it plays like a really awful horror exploitation movie from the 70s.

  10. Span_Wolf says:

    I crunched some numbers when trading in some games and turned them down on the 2 for 40 deal because I ended up getting more money back trading the games in separately…

  11. The Marionette says:

    I honestly don’t think it’s a bait and switch tactic. The print on the bottom clearly says which ones aren’t eligible. It’s just a bit of laziness on their end to not just edit the list to exclude the titles that are no longer eligible, but other than that it seems all legit to me.

  12. robocop is bleeding says:

    It will take a lot more than that to pry Borderlands from my cold, dead hands.

  13. ModernTenshi04 says:

    Pretty much as Pecan Pi said up top, if a store is inundated with a particular title, new or used, they’ll simply refuse you the ability to trade it in. This happens a lot with older sports titles like Madden.

    Also, always makes me wonder why people seem so downtrodden when they go to trade in a Madden title that’s a few years old, and they only get a dollar for it.

    I’d take them up on other deals like 25% bonus on games traded in towards select new titles. Did this last week with Modern Warfare 2, but ended up getting luckier than I figured I would. They had another promo where if you traded in 6 or more titles, ANY title, you got 40% bonus on the titles traded in. The $125 outstanding balance on my prestige edition went down to just under $80 due. I had no idea about this promo, but the clerk was kind enough to let me know about it (also helps that I’m fairly regular there).

    Some GameStops are dumb as hell, but the one I tend to go to actually has some pretty knowledgeable staff, and if you build up a rapport with them by coming in regularly, they’ll let you in on some things.

    • macdude22 says:

      @ModernTenshi04:

      I’ll second that, I hated HATED Gamestop until I moved to Iowa (yea I know). The GS in Newton is fantastic. I’ve built a fantastic rapport with Jeff there, and in return he doesn’t try to sell me shit I don’t want but he does let me in on offers he knows I’ll like. It’s the first time I’d even been in a Gamestop that I thought the folk there even played games! I used to frequent a couple of Funcos and Babages that got bought by GS and subsequently went down the tubes, but Jeff at Newton, top notch gamer and salesmen for GameStop.

      They are not in a Mall, I don’t know if that makes a difference but this is a Gamestop that rivals the knowledgeable staff @ Preplayed in Madison Wi.

  14. almightytora says:

    Someone at Gamestop is way too lazy to just take the JPEG of the acceptable games and just erase the games affected off the list. It took me about three minutes using MS Paint.

    [www.mediafire.com]

  15. proskills says:

    I used to work at Game Stop when I was 17, and they pulled this sort of stuff all the time. It was definitely in the fine print, but it became clear to me that no one ever read it… People would bring in “three games for 1 new one” but you could only bring in games that had been released in the past month. It was garbage.

  16. bigd7387 says:

    Listen they sell used open copies as new and at the new price. How is this company not slammed against the wall by the various states Attorney Generals? Is it because it’s games and people don’t care? I don’t get how they can operate outside of the general consumer law and not be punished?

    • pop top says:

      @bigd7387: They do not sell used copies of games at the new price. Just because the case is opened, doesn’t mean it’s been played (although some store managers aren’t as vigilant as they should be, if you have a problem, ask for the DM’s number). How else do you expect them to be able to put cases on the floor? They want people to be able to pick up the case and read about the game (which you can’t do if they’re locked up like at Wal-Mart or Target), and they don’t want their staff tied up with one person in the Wii section who wants to look at everything behind the glass.

      If you can come up with a better (meaning cheaper for the company) method than gutting a new game, please e-mail them and let them know; they will pay you tons and tons of money.

  17. Dyscord says:

    If you try to trade in some titles and then they tell you it’s not eligible, nine times out of ten, you’re going to take your game back and leave.

    It is stupid though. Gamestop usually has good trade in deals, but that was back when they allowed ANY games to be traded in. So you could go and raid the bargin bin, then trade them in toward a new game.

    They usually have a long list of ineligible games on their website. This is a new thing for me.

  18. Generic_Username says:

    As a former Store Manager for EB Games I can tell you that the best thing you can do is speak with a Manager. Deal or no deal, Managers still have inventory and trade goals to meet, and many will make the adjustments in the system in the interest of customer service and store goals.

  19. crichton007 says:

    Seems like this is Bait and Switch since they could add the exception to their advertisement.

  20. bryanpass says:

    I wonder if they accept a very pristine copy of Battletoads.

  21. West Coast Secessionist says:

    Yeah, my vote is 100% on the side of, the guy in marketing who was assigned to take those games off the list, doesn’t have photoshop (or know how to use any photo editor), he called the graphics department and got no response, the deadline arrived, so he did it the only way he knew how–by adding in the disclaimer after the image.

    I REALLY doubt it’s a conspiracy or bait and switch. Laziness or lack of the proper tools or lack of interdepartmental collaboration, yes.

  22. Etoiles says:

    @pecan 3.14159265: It’s actually a little more regionalized than that — stores in an area (the area I worked in having been “Manhattan”) will routinely receive boxes of used games from “corporate” to even out the flow in the district / region, and will sometimes have orders to send away 10 copies of something that have 40 of.

    But yeah, the idea still stands. It also makes sense they’d add the line, because the added section (in black) is text, where the rest is a single image that was probably put together by someone off in Marketing.

  23. henneko says:

    @Etoiles: And that person in marketing probably whined about how they had finally gotten the list balanced so that there were exactly the same number of titles for each console and that taking titles out would mess up the Feng Shui.

  24. TheJinManCan says:

    @henneko: You are probably more right on the money than you think. I don’t know what the people at marketing are doing, but we constantly have to trash new marketing material we receive the day before set up because we get emails saying “WAIT, HUGE TYPO, THROW IT OUT”.

    As I said, GameStop is new at becoming big, and us employees are actually happy to see them trying to form ads and specials and all that, but they have got to hire better marketing people, or at least the designers of the marketing media.

  25. woogychuck says:

    @TheJinManCan: Big surprise here. The employee of the retailer in question thinks this is ok.

    I’ve run into this several times with Gamestop. The value of trade-ins seems to change on an almost daily basis, so the list published in any ad is at best a reasonable guess. You’re almost never going to see the advertised price. Even with games from the list, my total has always been a little higher or lower by a few bucks.

  26. TheJinManCan says:

    @woogychuck: The value of trade-ins are subject to change on a daily basis, just like any other used-goods business. Literally by cents or dollars. Saturation and supply and demand determines the value of anything, especially when you have over 4000 stores to worry about. It’d be impossible to list trade-in values on paper, and that’s why it shouldn’t matter what the value of your game is when it comes to a special like this; it’s going to get upped to a total of a $40 value so your purchase is $19.99.

    Now, do I AGREE they pulled this off kind of shoddy? Hell yes. Do I agree that this customer should have known better when trading in his games that, hey, they won’t take it in anymore since I just read that disclaimer at the bottom, yes. He admitted it himself:

    “…they DO technically inform you that the title is ineligible…”

    And not even by a fine print. At that point, as the customer, I would not have brought in that game that was ruled out.

    It’s like being told “don’t put your finger in the socket, it will shock you”, but you do it anyway.

    If you were to read this “employee of the retailer in question thinks this is ok”s posts, you’d realize that, should he have come in with the printed ad, I would have honored his special anyway because I do believe GameStop could have pulled this off a much better way, and I’d rather retain my customer for a couple of bucks anyway.

    Even if my store has close to 20 friggin’ copies of Overkill.

  27. Illusio26 says:

    @temporaryscars: I did this trade in deal. I traded in Halo 3 and L4D to get L4D2 for $20. It turned out to be worth it because gamestop and amazon would have both only given me about $30 for the 2 games. I always check what amazon is offering before I head to gamestop.

  28. Cyberxion101 says:

    @TheJinManCan: You might do it, but I’ve always had to ask what I’d get separately, otherwise they’ll just rush the transaction through.

  29. pop top says:

    @TheJinManCan: I never liked people that screamed at me about it either. It’s not like you can’t go somewhere else and buy it if you don’t agree with Gamestop’s practices. Vote with your dollar. Also I have a hard time believing that if it was illegal (as many people claim it is), that it would be done so openly by an international corporation.

  30. dukegreene says:

    @TheJinManCan: tl;dr

  31. The Meathead says:

    @nstonep: Yeah, God forbid someone own something they like.