GameStop Says New Game Is Sold Out, Unless I Put Down $5 To Pre-Order A Different Title

UPDATE: A number of current and former GameStop employees have written in to explain store policy — and why this store appears to be breaking it.

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Just like many other in-demand products, highly anticipated video games occasionally sell out when they first hit the retail market. But one reader says his local GameStop was willing to make a sold-out game available to him — if he first paid $5 to pre-order a different game.

This all occurred back in early November, when Robert headed to GameStop to see if he could pick up the then-new Assassin’s Creed III.

“The employee at the counter told me ‘I’m sorry, but we’re all sold out except for pre-ordered copies. But I can sell you one if you want to pre-order something else,'” Robert tells Consumerist. “I honestly thought I misheard him, so I asked him to repeat himself.”

He claims the employee reiterated, “If you want to put $5 down on another game, the system will let me sell you one of the pre-orders.”

Choosing to not be a sucker, Robert politely declined the offer and simply bought the game at the Target across the parking lot.

But he was curious is this was indeed standard practice at GameStop, so he wrote the company about what had occurred and received the following reply:

“Dear Robert,

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

So that we can get this taken care of as quickly as possible, we have sent this issue to the District Manager of this particular store.

Once the issue has been investigated, in order to find out what exactly happened, you should receive a response from the District Manager in regards to resolution.

We allow the District Manager up to three full business days (Monday-Friday) to respond back to you in regards to the situation.”

It should not come as a shock that Robert did not hear back from anyone within three business days, or even within a few weeks.

He subsequently replied to the e-mail pointing out that no one has contacted him. Surely that would at least generate at least another robo-reply, right?

“It’s now been over a month since my most recent e-mail to them and 49 days since my initial attempt at contact,” writes Robert.

If anyone from GameStop wants to explain to us whether this $5 pre-order upsell is actually company policy, you can always write us at tips@consumerist.com.