Video games are up, and books are down. GameStop says sales of used games jumped 32%, as the retailer posted a 13% rise in fiscal first-quarter earnings. Why is GameStop doing so well while other retailers suffer? Its used video game program has excellent profit margins.
Sometimes we think Gamestop is run by some sort of secret cabal of anti-videogame fanatics, and they use the store as a front to spread hatred of games and game purchasing across America.
If you don’t like GameStop, how about Amazon? On Thursday, they announced their new “Video Games Trade-In” program (www.amazon.com/tradeingames), where you send in your used games for Amazon gift card credit. What we like about this is you don’t have to spend the money on more games if you don’t want to, so you can convert old games into anything Amazon accepts gift cards for. What we don’t like is you can’t just get cash back—but hey, if you hate GameStop, here’s an option for you.
The conceit in this internal Gamestop training video is that you’re watching a sort of nature video with a British anthropologist investigating a strange and mysterious species: woman— and how to sell to them. Offensive – or just a low-budget industrial video team trying to get its audience to pay attention? Take our poll inside and you be the judge, but either way, you can be pretty sure Gamestop never intended any customer to see this video.
As pretty much every retailer imaginable aside from Walmart loses money — one chain is not only doing fine, it’s actually growing — GameStop. It seems that when the going gets tough — people just want to play video games.
Remember our post on student loan debit cards? The cards are pitched as a great convenience, or less expensive to distribute than paper checks, or more secure, when in reality they’re germy with hidden fees that slowly nickel and dime your balance. Turns out, GameStop uses a similar system to pay its employees.
This Gamestop somehow ended up with extra bundles of the games that were supposed to be included in holiday Xbox 360 sets (the ones that shipped with Lego Indiana Jones and Kung Fu Panda). So what do they do? Why, slap a $100 price tag on them and put them on the shelves, despite their “not for resale” labeling. You can buy both games brand new for less than $80 total, by the way.
What were you most afraid of in High School? Getting turned down by that Cheerleader at the prom? Arriving at school naked, just before the big test you never studied for? Or, was it Mom and Dad finding all of your nudie-mags whilst looking for gift ideas? Look inside to see which terror Gamestop chose to highlight in their latest ad campaign.
THE QUOTE: “GameStop takes this situation quite seriously,” said Rory Rhoads, GameStop’s Regional Vice President of Stores. “We are pleased to partner with the ALERT Unit and have taken very deliberate steps to improve our operations. Specifically, we have suspended our cash-for-trade transactions in Shelby County and DeSoto County, Mississippi until February 2009.”
A disgruntled former employee of GameStop calling himself “WhistleBlowerZero” has created a 9-part YouTube video series which explains quickly, but in exhaustive detail, the many reasons why you, Dear Consumer, should not shop at GameStop. It’s modeled after the popular “Zero Punctuation” game reviews, a fact that will probably be lost on anyone who doesn’t already know the many reasons not to shop at GameStop.
We get a lot of complaints about people buying things from stores like Best Buy and Target and finding that once they get them home — there’s a bunch of bathroom tiles in the box instead of the item, or that the item is used, broken or smashed. When they try to return the thing, the store tells them that they’re out of luck. When you ask why they think they can get away with selling you a paperweight instead of an XBOX, they point to some bullsh*t policy and send you on your way. You don’t have to put up with this. In this post, we’ll tell you a) How to keep this from happening to you in the first place. b) How to equip yourself with tools that will help you in the event that this does happen to you. c) How to take advantage of these tools so that you never get stuck with someone’s old broken PS3.
Some scammer out there has a sense of humor (and a shrink wrap machine), because when Greg opened his apparently “new” copy of Grand Theft Auto IV, he found a used copy of “Boys N Da Hood.”
This is Round 26 in our Worst Company in America contest, Gamestop vs Monster Cable. Vote which sucks more, inside…
Reader Dave asks an interesting question. Should GameStop be charging sales tax on an XBOX live membership card? Generally speaking, only “tangible goods” are subject to sales tax, though every state is different.
Reader Ben’s receipt doesn’t match the serial number on his defective PS3, so GameStop and Sony are refusing to repair or exchange it.
“Shoppers who pay the full price of about $249 for an out-of-stock Wii on December 20 and 21 at retailer GameStop Corp will get a certificate promising a Wii ‘sometime in January,’” sez Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Aime. Only at GameStop, urg. [Reuters]