GameStop Is Out Of The Game You Want? Order It For In-Store Pickup, Return 10 Minutes Later

The bad news: the GameStop where Ambyr went to buy a copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops for her husband only had enough copies of the game to fill pre-orders. The good news: In GameStop’s universe, to “pre-order” means that you leave the store that just refused to sell you a game, order that game online, and then return fifteen minutes later. Bad for logic, good for Ambyr.

To my dearest Consumerist. I thought you might find this amusing… seeing as how you love GameStop and their wily ways.

Today, Call of Duty: Black Ops came out. My husband is a big fan, and I (who did not preorder it), wanted to have it for him by the time he got home.

I checked online at to find that the store closest to me does have it in stock. I left work on my lunch break and went over right away. Upon walking up to the counter, I see a few dozen copies of the game, in PS3, right behind the cashier. Credit Card already in hand, I asked for a copy. He asked if I had Pre-Ordered, to which I said I had not. “I’m all out, except for pre-orders”. He told me.

Seeing how many are behind him, I know that they very well could have all been preordered. HOWEVER, if the online system says that he has them in stock, I have to assume that either he’s wrong, or it is. One of them is not correct, and I decided to test it out, and see which one it was.

I walked out of that establishment, and into the building next door (Jimmy John’s sub shop, mmm). While eating my tuna sub, I went online to, clicked on the front page button that says Pickup@store, put in my information… and was told that I could go get my game. I waited for my email confirmation to come in to my email. Once it showed up, threw away my lunch trash, and headed back inside Gamestop.

When I got inside, the cashier recognized me. With a slight tilt of his head, he asked me if he could help me. I told him “I’m preordered now.” And showed him my phone. He asked what I had done, and I told him exactly how I had done this as he confirmed in his system that I have a copy waiting for me. He gave me my Call Of Duty after I paid… and I was on my way.

So why is it that when I just want to buy a copy of the game, there are none… but if I go on my phone and “preorder” one, I can have it minutes later?

This is also a useful trick at other retailers: use it to escape Best Buy’s “optimization” upsells, for example.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    My only question is: “Why did you shop at GameStop at all?”

    • GMFish says:

      For a hot new game the prices will be the same wherever you buy it, so if GameStop is convenient, you might as well buy there.

      • Quippish says:

        Almost everywhere else was offering a deal of some sort. Target gave you $30 off a Xbox gold subscription, K-mart and Amazon both had significant offers as well.

      • BurtReynolds says:

        Not on release day.

        You could have gone to Toys R Us and got a $20 gift card. Best Buy had a (I think) $10 gift card. Amazon had a $20 game credit. A store like Target I believe had nothing.

        • ConsumerDollars says:

          Don’t forget that they have deals everywhere but GameStop, and GameStop won’t match them at all! Unless I’m forced at gun point, or I just want to play a demo in store, I don’t give GameStop my business EVER!

        • GMFish says:

          Thanks for replying. I had no idea. I’m actually too cheap to buy new games. I wait 6 months for the price to go down or to pick up a cheap used copy.

      • bigdirty says:

        Maybe she wanted a copy that was out of it’s factory shrinkwrap, with added gamestop employee fingerprints, and a manual that’s been rifled through.

      • mac-phisto says:

        there’s always better deals online – newegg almost always releases at $10 off (thru e-mail promo codes) & amazon runs a mish-mash of promos – sometimes the game itself is on sale & sometimes you receive credits toward future game purchases.

        not that i agree with the original sentiment. i don’t care where people shop for their games. i avoid gamestop for my own reasons & because i can get a better deal elsewhere.

        • Burzmali says:

          Online pre-orders are really hit or miss as far as getting them on launch day. There are many, many stories from Amazon customers who received their games as much as a week after the release date. Meanwhile, I can walk into any of the three GameStops that I frequent and pick up a game the day it’s released whether I’ve pre-ordered or not. I can also trade in the last 2 games I bought and get the new one for $15 instead of $60.

          • mac-phisto says:

            great – looks like gamestop works for you. it doesn’t work for me, so i shop elsewhere. newegg gets me my games on release for $10 off. as another poster mentioned, there are alternative B&Ms that offer sales – both BB & TRU were offering $10-20. & you get to keep your other games.

            i’m curious though – exactly what games are you trading to get $45 off? their TIVs are sickening – $27.50 for fallout:new vegas – a game that’s 3 weeks old? $25 for fable 3 – a game that’s 2 weeks old? get real. even with their $20 promo for black ops, you’d have to come up with one new release or two extremely popular not-so-old releases. like MW2 ($14) & WaW ($10). screw that. i get better money at the pawn shop ($35 for MW2 a month ago).

            • madeinguam says:

              In regards to trade-in values, it all comes down to one thing – customer convenience. Sure, in most cases you can get more money for your games by selling it yourself via Ebay, Craigslist, etc but not all people are willing to put forth the time and effort to make that extra cash. Knowing that Gamestop will accept unwanted games instantly is a trade-off that many are willing to undergo.

              Personally, I sell my games on Craigslist but there have been times when I’ll trade in at Gamestop because I’m too impatient to wait for a buyer or because some trade-in values at Gamestop are pretty competitive. For example, I traded in NBA Live 2010 a little over a month ago for $25+ (Gamestop promotion). For being a sports game over a year old, that is a great deal.

              Gamestop isn’t in business to pay top-dollar for trade-ins. Their trade-in values are lower because they know people will still accept their offers, which in turn leads to higher profits (obviously). It’s not a bad business practice because you don’t like it.

              • TrustAvidity says:

                There are also a lot of things people don’t think about. This is no way in defense to certain values which have no explanation but a lot of them can be at least somewhat better understood. For last year’s Madden, ask a GameStop how many they have in stock when the current one releases and then ask how many of the previous year’s sold when last year’s come out. Thousands come in and only a tiny few ever leave, hence the plummet in value. For older games that trade in for about $2 and sell for $15 it’s because by the time that game you trade in will sell, it’ll most likely cost $4-5. Whenever GS runs a “Get $20 for these games towards this game.” deal, don’t assume every game on that list is worth $20. A lot of them are worth well over that. It’s a guaranteed at least $20 deal. Last but not least, people always forget this is an offer. No one is saying you have to trade anything in. GameStop is telling you what it’s worth to them. Don’t like it? Don’t do it. Sell it elsewhere. Getting mad at them is pointless and isn’t going to change anything.

    • Opdelt says:

      Convenience? It’s not like it’s cheaper anywhere else. I don’t like GameStop all that much either, but they are close and usually have what I want in stock. Where would you suggest someone go for their games? Walmart? 3 words: People of Walmart. Best Buy? “Would you like to purchase a replacement plan? No? Why not? It’s good for you!”

      • Stiv says:

        And it’s not just Best Buy. The last few times I’ve bought a game at Walmart, they’ve tried to sell me a protection plan in case the disc gets scratched or damaged.

        Stopped by my local GameStop yesterday to pick up my Black Ops preorder. I frequent them because the shop’s less than a mile from my place, and the staff there have always been helpful and friendly. The guy at the register mentioned their rewards program when I was checking out, but he didn’t try to push it after I told him I wasn’t interested.

    • BuntaFujiwara says:

      Because not every GameStop is as terrible as everyone makes them out to be. I continually shop (new releases only) at Gamestop because of the quality custer service I receive. I am
      Greeted by name when I come to pick up my games, I have never been denyed a pre-order bonus, they never push stuff I don’t want and they have been nothing but pleasent in the many years I have been shopping there (3 locations locally).

      People need to stop hating GameStop because of their used policy and the “horror stories”. Yes most of the time thy will ask people for add ons, this happens in most stores of this kind, and if they don’t meet quotasthey get reprimanded or fired. Just say no, it’s not that hard. Most people seem to want to get into confrontations with retail people just so they have something to complain about.

      As for the lady in the story she should have been sold a copy if available, most likely they had more than enough of this huge release. On the other hand I have preordered many games and unless the game is huge like Call of Duty they only order enough to fill a preorder and maybe an extra.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        I base my business-use decisions not solely on how well they treat 95% of the customers where nothing goes wrong. The best measure of a company is how they treat the 95% of orders that have a problem. GameStop has some pretty bad examples of such.

        • BuntaFujiwara says:

          Where did you get this 95% statistic? Oh that’s right, you made it up. If they had 95% bad customer service they wouldn’t exist.

          • BuntaFujiwara says:

            Of any company I mean

          • Ominous Gamer says:

            Yeah… You totally misread that comment. No one is claiming that 95% of the transactions are bad. Its a comment on how badly GameSpot handles 95% of the the transactions that do go bad.

            Can’t please everyone, but GameStop takes the don’t please anyone by fixing anything stance.

            • trentblase says:

              If Gamestop makes good on a transaction that went bad, did it really go bad?

            • BuntaFujiwara says:

              No, I understood it just fine. The commenter is obviously assuming that’s the greater majority of Gamestop related issues are unresolved/negatively resolved by the once a week story about bad customer service. Basing a company on the “95% if resolved” issues is silly. What happens to one person doesn’t happen to everyone. I can tell you that I receive the best customer service I have ever received at my local Gamestops, yet that apparently doesn’t matter because of magical 95% closure rate backed with no real statistics. The majority of Consumerist stories, and most consumer related posts are about a bad experience. So judging a store on the occational posted complaint is kind of silly.

              • Xerloq says:

                May I hand you a “Whoooosh” on behalf of Loias’ comment and The Consumerist?

                Loias said he believes 95% of transactions have no issues. Therefore, he thinks 5% have some issue. He said he likes to base his judgement on how a company handles 95% of that 5%.

                In other words (and sans stats), he believes that you judge a company on how they handle their problems. He also stated that, in his experience, Gamestop handles most of their problems badly.

                Your experience obviously falls within the majority of non-issue transactions, and is therefore irrelevant to his argument, so you’re not really going to persuade him with your evidence.

                On the larger front, The Consumerist is all about helping people solve problems they encounter with companies. It’s not silly to judge a company’s customer service based on how well they solve problems – customer service counts the most when there’s a problem (real or perceived), so it’s entirely relevant and important. Regardless of statistics, the anecdotal evidence points to Gamestop having a less-than-stellar rep when it really counts. As always, you are welcome to submit your anecdote to the contrary to the editors.

    • AustinTXProgrammer says:

      I like to get their used games, because they offer a 7 day return policy. I have only used it once and it wasn’t because of the game, but it’s good piece of mind.

    • Me - now with more humidity says:

      Our Game Stop is fantastic. The guys recognize my 9-year-old and know what he likes. They recommend and describe cool stuff about or warn him off of games he thinks he wants. They have a great supply of used games. And if we buy one and he doesn’t enjoy, they happily refund or exchange. And we don;t go in more than once a month or so. That’s customer service!

      Sorry you have had bad experiences, but posts like yours belong on the “are they taking it seriously?” scrapheap.

      • trentblase says:

        I’m sure Loias is taking your comment very seriously. Your comment is important to him. Please continue to refresh your browser and Loias will reply to your comment in the order in which it was received.

      • Morte42 says:

        Nice try Gamestop…

    • Papa Midnight says:

      Not like EB Games is around anymore… I’m just saying…

      • darcmosch says:

        There is still one in the mall next to my house! When I was little I could have sworn the name was E3

      • coren says:

        The “gamestop” at the nearby mall is EB.

        • poehitman says:

          Yeah, we had two of them in Port Richey that used to be EB Games but are now BOTH Gamestops. This is the ridiculous thing. One is in an actual mall, the other is in a shopping strip RIGHT NEXT DOOR! I’m talking literally, it’s like 2/10 of a mile away actual driving distance from parking spot to parking spot. I’m stunned the latter is still in business honestly. The shopping center it’s in is set back a bit from the roadway and used to be anchored by Target and Circuit City (it was right between them). Well the Target closed and everyone knows what happened to Circuit City. It’s left on it’s own down on one end, while the only other “major” stores left in the big plaza are Staples and Toys’R’Us (I’m surprised the Toys’R’Us is still in business too).

    • NaptownMVP says:

      Exactly. She should have used those 15 minutes going anywhere else for this game.

    • Pax says:

      Because it was right near her place of work, so she could stop by during her lunch break?

    • JayPhat says:

      My question is “why are you buying this for a console?”

      • TrustAvidity says:

        The console is guaranteed to run it as expected (provided your system works), not relying on any number configuration of setups. Some people (such as myself) prefer a gamepad to a mouse and keyboard. Pressure sensitivity helps in a lot of games. Finally, consoles are generally more affordable for quality gaming. A single investment can last years whereas to play the latest & greatest at equal standards on PC requires pricey upkeep.

    • JennQPublic says:

      I used to go to GameStop for the midnight releases of new games, but I finally realized that I’ve gotten too old for that, and midnight is way past my bedtime.

      So for Black Ops, I drove to Walmart at 6:45 the next morning and got my copy. And no, they didn’t check my receipt on the way out. :-)

    • poehitman says:

      Well for the games I go for (older used PS2 and PSP JRPG’s), Gamestop is USUALLY the cheapest. I also shop Amazon and eBay. I rarely, if ever buy new.

  2. rpm773 says:

    She should have just ordered it from the counter. Right in front of the nerd manning it.

    And Ambyr bought the game for her husband the day it came out? Damn it, did I miss Husband’s Day again this year?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Obviously, it changes every year depending on the release date of the next big game,

    • SixOfOne says:

      Husband’s Day will happen again when F.E.A.R. 3 comes out too >.> Mr. Six is going to be a very happy man.

    • pot_roast says:

      Well, yeah, but it was on her lunch break and she was hungry. :)

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        She should have gone next door, ordered her sandwich, and returned to Game Stop to eat and pre-order the game right in front of the cashier.

  3. DanRydell says:

    It’s possible that this happened because the in-store inventory on their website is not updated in real time, and by doing what she did she actually took a copy intended for someone who HAD pre-ordered.

    • DH405 says:

      Actually, they’ll just take any pre-orders on the site, regardless of stock.

      They can TAKE a reservation, they just don’t know how to KEEP a reservation.

      • Vielle84 says:

        Unfortunately, if a game is expected to be a ‘hot title,’ our DMs will call us and force us to sell copies of a game on opening day to anyone who walks in, regardless of pre-order. This is how many customers end up pre-ordering a game, only to come in to find that their copy has been sold. At my store, we really hate doing this, but we’ve no choice: at the end of the day, the computer will show a reserve vs reserve pick-up ratio, and we get chewed out if it’s not high. The only way we could hold on to a copy of a game for someone is to tell all our regulars to call in to request that their game be put in our ‘hold box’ with their name on it and document it in our sales book under “Customer Solutions”, so we could argue back to our higher ups that customers /did/ claim their reserves, they just haven’t come to pick them up, and we’re trying our best to maintain a high customer service survey average by holding it. Still…most of the time we still end up being forced to sell first-come first served. :

        Ultimately, the number of reserves determines the number of copies our store will get; if the reserve number is high, we’re likely to get sent a few extra copies to sell to try to cut down on selling a customer’s reserve. If there are say, less than 5 reserves on a particular game, then we’ll only get as many copies as were ordered.

      • coren says:

        Gamestop has in the past not ordered enough to cover preorders (that or sold reserved copies of games) thus negating any benefit of preordering (aside from whatever meaningless crap they package with the game this week).

        • Classtoise says:

          It’s not the cashiers fault. Gamestop likes to force people to pre-order by arbitrarily refusing to sell to people who did not reserve a game.

          And as for not KEEPING pre-orders, it’s one of their slimiest business tactics. They’ll “hold a copy” for 48 hours…however if that copy is somehow sold (“We got shortchanged, sorry!”) the person who wanted it day one might just go to Best Buy, Target, Walmart, or any other store that doesn’t have some silly reservation rule, get their game, and Gamestop just made a free five bucks.

          Which is why whenever I buy a game day one and I already reserved it, I make sure they know I have a pre-order…because it’s still $5 off.

    • Griking says:

      This was my thought as well.

    • Vielle84 says:

      This is true. GameStop’s point-of-sale system updates only at the end of the day once the register is polled. This means if you look at the website to check if there is a game in stock and you get a positive, that game was in stock /that morning/, but may not be there later on in the day, and this includes any copies of customers’ pre-orders. In her pre-ordering, then returning, she was sold a copy of a game that had been reserved for someone else. At the end of polling each day, the computer updates the number of reserves and places order to shipment facilities based on that previous day’s numbers.

      • Pax says:

        That’s an incredibly stupid system. It should update immediately.

        • Nekoincardine says:

          As a former employee, this is both Do Want and Do Not Want.

          Do Want for the reasons already explained. Having up-to-date stock would be bloody wonderful.

          Do Not Want because the computers are unstable enough as-is, and I am scared to imagine how much worse it would be to have on-the-fly polling.

          (For those of you who have never worked retail, we call the computers the POS. This theoretically stands for Point Of Sale, but it usually means… Well, yeah.)

          • Vielle84 says:

            Yep, the good ol’ POS. Just when you thought your expectations were low enough, it never fails to find a way to disappoint you all over again. :p

    • RvLeshrac says:

      Uh, no. Stock levels are determined by preorder counts, preordered copies do not count as stock.

  4. dolemite says:

    I preordered mine on Monday on Amazon (because they had a deal for $20 off your next game with a preorder). It shipped that night, and I had it on my door Tuesday (.99 overnight shipping). Can’t beat that!

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      How did you get 99 cent overnight shipping?

      • MaliBoo Radley says:

        I had free overnight shipping when I pre-ordered Fallout: New Vegas.

      • dolemite says:

        It was just an option…the top was “free shipping” but it was the usual 5-7 days Amazon on orders $25 or more. Next down I think was 2 day (was like $8), then 1 day (was like $12). Under that was “.99 overnight shipping”. I found it odd they offered the regular overnight for $12, and then overnight below that for .99. I almost didn’t see it.

      • BurtReynolds says:

        Amazon does release day shipping for $0.99 on game preorders. It is free if you have Prime.

  5. einstoch says:

    I do the same exact thing with Best Buy most of the time when they say they “don’t have it in stock”. I just go on their website and do an in-store pickup. 15 minutes later I almost always have what they claim they didn’t just before.

    • Keep talking...I'm listening says:

      I’ve also had the opposite occur several times. Purchase an item online, arrive at the store and they tell me none in stock. Go to the shelf myself, pick it up and leave.

  6. DaDabaDon says:

    They do this so that they can get your email. Now they can fill your inbox with junk. This also makes it easier to keep track of how many games they sell.

    • bigdirty says:

      Don’t forget, they now know who to contact with a crappy trade in offer because they need to sell used copies for additional profit.

      • GMFish says:

        Yeah, because buying used games at prices sellers willingly accept, and then reselling those games at a profit, is about the worst atrocity that has ever been committed.

        It’s so damn hard sleeping at night knowing there are capitalists out there earning profits based on an open used market.

      • GMFish says:

        Yeah, because buying used games at prices sellers willingly accept, and then reselling those games at a profit, is about the worst atrocity that has ever been committed.

        It’s so damn hard sleeping at night knowing there are capitalists out there earning profits based on an open used market.

    • elvisaintdead says:

      who gives best buy (or any other retailer) a ‘good’ personal email addr?
      that’s what hotmail and yahoo were built for.

    • sqlrob says:

      Wow, 2 e-mails a week, what an overwhelming amount of junk.

    • El-Brucio says:

      That was my guess as well. If you go in with cash, they can’t get any delicious demographic information from you or have a way to keep marketing at you once you leave.

    • Griking says:

      Um, it’s really easy to unsubscribe to their emails.

  7. Portlandia says:

    I used to do this at a local fast food joint on the way home from the bar. You could go in…wait 20 minutes in line and order then wait 20 minutes while they prepared your food. OR, you could call from the street outside go to the front of the line pay and pick up your food.

    It was stupid.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Similar to drive-thru versus in-store ordering during the rush. Fast food restaurants favor drive-thru service.

      • Ecks says:

        I hate this. I see 3 or 4 cars drive past the window after going through the drive-thru, while I’m waiting around to have my order taken, nobody else is waiting, but they’re too busy with drive-thru to even look at the counter.

    • HalOfBorg says:

      My wife and I do this all the time for Coleman’s Fish. I COULD stand in the long line and do all that, OR we could call and walk up to the other counter. The longest wait I ever had there was a couple people in front of me.

      Then we just go sit down and eat.

    • lehrdude says:

      Thhis works best with Chipotle…I call in my order from the parking lot, walk in, go past the line to pick up my order, and I’m done eating before the person who would have had my spot in the line has not even paid yet…

  8. miball says:

    They had a large large amount of these games @ Costco, it was way easier to go there. No hassle or upsales. And it was on $53 @ Costco, it is $60 anywhere else

  9. Griking says:

    Ah, the obligatory “this company sucks, why would you shop there” post.

    Extra credit because it was the first post.

    • Griking says:

      Intended to be a response to the first post.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Fortunately, not ever company deserves it. But this one does.

        • DanRydell says:

          You can get great deals at Gamestop with some of their coupons and sales. If you refuse to shop there, you’re passing up some good deals.

          • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

            Also passing up getting robbed at other bad deals, bad customer service, and bad corproate policies.

            If you believe a company shouldn’t be in business, you don’t shop there at their good sales out of principle.

          • alstein says:

            Gameslop is buyer beware, but it’s not a 100% boycott. I’ll only buy certain things there, just like Wal-Mart though.

        • Griking says:

          No. They don’t.

          I’d rather give a worst company award to a company price gouging prescription drugs or banks that charge upwards of $200,000 in interest over the life of a mortgage or forclose on a single parent because she misses a few payments. Or an insurance carrier that refuses services to sick people. Gamestop is a store that charges too much for used video games.

          Where the fuck are our priorities.

  10. john says:

    They had tons of stock of this game at Walmart and Target when I was there yesterday. Why pre-order?

    • Communist Pope says:

      Unless you get some kind of significant extra and/or discount, I’ve never understood the logic behind pre-ordering. I’d say that 80-90% of the games I buy on the day of their release are AAA games, and I’ve never, ever had a problem finding a copy at the first store I go to. (Though I don’t usually frequent Gamestops, so maybe my luck would change if I started to do so.)

      If there isn’t a bonus/discount, then the only real result is that you’re out $5 before you even get the game, and the company you preordered from gets to start earning interest on your $5 immediately. Granted, interest on $5 isn’t much, but interest on $5 x however many people preordered can be significant.

      • Endless Mike says:

        I just preorder from Amazon. They don’t charge until it ships, and with Prime, it’s at my door by the time I get home from work on release date 90% of the time, and occasionally will be cheaper or come with a discount on the next purchase I make.

        • Communist Pope says:

          That sounds like a reasonable preorder system, though I still prefer just going to the store to pick something up rather than wondering when the FedEx guy is going to show up.

      • sqlrob says:

        AAA games, yeah, it seldom makes sense.

        When you like niche games, sometimes they won’t ever get any in unless you preorder.

    • dolemite says:

      Sometimes they don’t have tons in stock. When Starcraft 2 came out, I figured I’d just drive to Walmart or Target and pick it up a few days later, but it was out of stock in every store I went to, for like a month. I regretted not preordering (online).

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      Lots of copies at Best Buy yesterday.

      I still can’t figure out why BB puts console games under the Games sign but puts PC games in a different section of the store.

  11. carefree dude says:

    In other news, gamer is mad at gamestop because they sold his preorder to someone else.

    • CFinWV says:

      I’ve never had to preorder from Gamestop, I must have a good “sadface” because they always say “Wait, you know… we might have one back there.” I feel bad for a few minutes, until I get home and start playing. :)

  12. narcs says:

    When will people learn that one day, many moons ago, the earth opened up and from the fire and brimstone rose up the Gamestop franchise… i mean , that there are better places to buy their games from other than Gamestop.

  13. anime_runs_my_life says:

    My question is why would she give in to the demands of her husband. If mine wants a game, he gets himself over to wherever it is that’s selling it and gets it himself. He’s a big boy. He thinks I’m going to get him the next expansion of WoW, but that’ll be a cold day in hell when it happens.

    • FlashFlashCarCrash says:

      huh. maybe it was on her way home. Or she was trying to be nice. How the hell are you even married with that attitude?

    • usmcmoran says:

      Bad Wife…Bad.
      My wife picked it up for me while i was at work yesterday (Good Wife).

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      Figuring from your username, what would you think of your husband if he brought you a nice 1/5 scale resin statue of whichever anime you really like at the moment?

      It’s nice to be nice. :3

      • anime_runs_my_life says:

        I don’t care for the resin statues; the cats think they’re toys and I have no need for chewed on items that cost more than our cell phone bill.

        He gets me enough soundtracks that are hard to find. Again, sarcasm is lost on this one.

    • Xin says:

      anime my run your life, but compassion bring it to a screeching halt

      • Xin says:

        correction my=may

        *prays for an edit button*

      • anime_runs_my_life says:

        So I guess I had no compassion when I had to get up at the buttcrack of dawn for a week straight to drive him to work while his car was in the shop. And I had no compassion when I took my lunchbreak to drive him home from work when I could have made him either walk or find someone to take him home.

        Yeah, I’m that heartless.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      That’s a terrible attitude to have. You probably have plenty of interests that he doesn’t share. How would you feel if you asked him to do something for you and he told you that it was a waste of time and to just do it yourself?

      Marriage is a partnership, so I don’t see the big deal with the wife getting a game for her husband. It’s also about being a $#%*&^ human and being kind to other people. It’s not like he asked her for a kidney, though I’m sure she’d give one if he asked. You would probably tell your husband it’d be a cold day in hell before you gave him yours.

      • anime_runs_my_life says:

        Unless you know us, you have no idea how kind he is. He graciously took his day off to wait around for a new range (from Best Buy, and yes they actually delivered on time!) as well as deal with AT&T. He’s also going to be taking his other day off to wait for AT&T (again..still having problems). So how about you back off, sparky and learn to recognize sarcasm. Might do you a little good.

    • Brunette Bookworm says:

      Cause she was being nice? My boyfriend has bought me games and movies when they came out I wanted and I have picked up games and movies for him. If it’s easier for one of us to get them, we will. If one of us sees something the other wants, we’ll pick it up because, you know, we care about each other and like to do things the other one appreciates.

      • anime_runs_my_life says:

        I think the boku Borders rewards $5 certificates can attest to how much I buy for him and vice versa. Don’t assume because you can’t read sarcasm.

    • Shadowfire says:

      Obviously she loves her husband more than you love yours. How does it feel to be heartless and uncaring toward the one you supposedly love?

      But really, yea, she’s being nice and giving him a surprise.

      • anime_runs_my_life says:

        Wow, someone must have turned the sarcasm meter off. Trust me, he’s getting Cataclysm. I’ve got it preordered and it’s going to be here (if Amazon will ship when they usually do for pre orders) on his usual day off. Which of course will be when they have their usual massive server updates so he’ll be pouty until he can play.

    • Communist Pope says:

      My question is where does it say that her husband demanded something? She said:

      “My husband is a big fan, and I (who did not preorder it), wanted to have it for him by the time he got home.”

      She wanted to have it for him. Not “my husband told me to have it for him…” And yes, I really pity your spouse.

    • Pinklette says:

      I take it you’ve never decided to surprise your husband? I’m shocked you’re married with that selfish attitude you’ve got there. No where in the article did it say her husband “made” her go get the game for him. She was just trying to do something nice while on her lunch break.

    • psm321 says:

      You might want to take a moment away from accusing many different posters of not recognizing sarcasm, to consider that perhaps your supposed sarcasm was not at all apparent in your post. At all.

    • mandarynn says:

      You must be bored today or something. Any other explanation just makes you come off like a douchewife and you know it!

    • Foil says:

      Your boyfriend wouldn’t happen to be Sheldon Cooper by any chance?

      Sarcasm fail.

  14. FlashFlashCarCrash says:

    The pickup@store option is still really new. It’s been around for literally a week and a half. It’s not a perfect system yet. One day we’re told new releases and really hard to find stuff is not available for pickup@store, the next we find out the biggest game of the year is going to be available the next day for the service.

    It’s really unlikely that all they had were preorder copies there. Some GS employees have some ridiculous compulsion to “twist the knife” when it comes to people who didn’t preorder since they try to secure so many of them and don’t like being told no. It’s stupid. However, IF they were down to just reserved copies, they should not have been on the counter for all to see and they should have denied the pickup request (we can deny the pickup requests when they come in, which should be done in instances where the website has not updated yet and we are actually out of something, if we’re down to just the last few, or just reserved copies, etc).

    Seems like the employees working that day were morons.

    • roguemarvel says:

      I don’t know..I would have probably given the pick up request just so I didn’t see a “Game Stop didn’t honor in store pick up” post. Banking on the fact that there was probably a few people who weren’t going to pick up there preorders before i got my next shipment. I would however not have sold it to her if she just asked and all we had is preorders.

      • FlashFlashCarCrash says:

        The way the pickup request works is that a customer clicks on it and picks the store they want to pick up at. The store then gets the request and has so much time to respond. If accepted, the customer gets a confirmation email that their order is ready. They pay when they pick up, not a moment before, no credit card info is taken by the site for pickup@store. If denied, they get an email just saying “the store was not able to fulfill this request at this time” or something like that, and the customer is never charged since no payment info was ever asked for or taken online. The reason it does this is because the website’s inventory look up and in store inventory lookup are not really in sync. In store inventory is real time, website “store inventory” is a day behind or so. This way people can’t hold and pay for things that we’ve already sold.

        I’m not defending the stupid sounding employees. It sound like the store is mismanaged. What I would have done was either sold it to her on her first visit (since there’s no way they were down to just preorder copies, they were just trying to punish her for not reserving, which is miserable) or in the HIGHLY unlikely event that they were running on just reserved copies, I would have denied the request. If they were really down to preorder copies they shouldn’t have accepted the request in the first place. But like I said, above all they should have sold it to her on the first visit.

  15. full.tang.halo says:
  16. phobos512 says:

    Had a similar thing happen to me earlier this summer at Best Buy when the HTC EVO came in. Online system said they had them in stock – went in and was told that I could only have one if I had preordered. So I went around the corner to Radioshack and bought it for the same price. Then I went back to Best Buy and told them they were a bunch of idiots. And I bought a MicroSDHC card as they were $30 cheaper there than at Radioshack (who refused to price match).

  17. minjche says:

    This is a victory for smartphones and husbands everywhere. My hat is off to you, Ambyr.

  18. Alvis says:

    I thought it was spelled “Amber”.

  19. Mangy66 says:

    Gamestop is HORRIBLE.

    For every person that works at a Gamestop that is pleasent to deal with and treats you with some respect…you have 20 complete losers who fit the stereotype of living in momma’s basement playing World of Warcraft all day, and are clueless when it comes to customer service…but, y’know…think they’re God’s gift to the world.

    And don’t try asking them a question about video games. You’ll get the equivelant response to (in my best Napoleon Dynamite voice), “Gawd!!! You don’t know the name of the character you fight before the guy guy before the boss in (insert random video game here)? What are you, an idiot?!?!?!”

    My all time favorite is them trying to sell you the demo they used in the store as “new”. And when you tell them you want a new copy and not the store demo…they get angry and insult you (this has happened on several occasions).

    All in all though…the issue Ambyr was faced with was that Gamestop hires a lot of people who can’t think for themselves, and logic is completely lost on them (again…1 out of 21 are decent). Go to the non-chain video game stores if you don’t want to buy online. The experience is usually better, because the owner is going to hold their employees to some sort of standard (at least most of the ones I’ve been to).

    And Ambyr rocks as a wife.

  20. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    I know this isn’t a video game blog, but I’m going to ask here because I won’t get a lot of “you’re not a REAL gamer” type responses. (in b4 someone accuses me of not being a real gamer anyway.)

    I find these kind of squad-based FPS shooters pretty boring, personally. I’ve borrowed copies from time to time to see if my opinion will change about it but, frankly, they have it.

    Is Call of Duty Black Ops all over the place because it actually is a step forward for the genre (read: I might actually like it) or is it all over the place merely due to wily marketing?

  21. d1a2r3k says:

    I had to resort to Gamestop when Amazons Release day delivery failed me. Now i have to take the amazon one back when it finally arrives.

  22. d1a2r3k says:

    I had to resort to Gamestop when Amazons Release day delivery failed me. Now i have to take the amazon one back when it finally arrives.

  23. balthisar says:

    When I was in the military, I went to the dentist once. While waiting for my appointment, an officer walked in and tried to make an appointment. No, no, said the receptionist, appointments can only be made by telephone. The officer whipped out his huge brick of a cell phone (hey, this was 1996), called the clinic, the same receptionist answered his call, and made his appointment.

  24. Buckus says:

    I have never, ever, pre-ordered a game. Ever. And I have never had a problem getting a copy (Even Starcraft 2 on release day). Of course, now that I have three kids, I don’t buy many games. Still, GameStop? Did you have to go home and take a shower after going there, sitting in the corner and whispering “never again…” over and over while the water washes the bad away?

  25. louiedog says:

    GameStop, the game store that sucks at selling games. You didn’t pre-order? You’re screwed. How could you possibly expect to buy a game on launch day without pre-ordering? Nope, sorry, not for you. Would you like to pre-order 7 other games right now so that this doesn’t happen in the future? Great!

    Don’t shop there. Go to Target, Walmart, Best Buy, etc and get the game you want on launch day because they have 150 copies of it ready to be purchased.

  26. Brunette Bookworm says:

    Yeah, I used that trick to get around the “optimization” thing at Best Buy. It’s so stupid when any retailer does this. Why waste both of our times if I am there willing to give you money for a product you have?

  27. nallanos says:

    ambyr should learn how to spell her name.

  28. AstroWorn2010 says:

    As a former Gamestop manager I can tell you that this is most likely a ploy used to get you to preorder a future game. We were encouraged not to sell to “walk in” customers simply because in the Gamestop world a preorder is more important than a sell. We would be forced to tell people that we were out of a hot new release and tell them that they should have preordered it, and then offer to presell the next hot title so this wouldn’t happen again.
    And as to the online inventory, the web site has no way of knowing if the stock that a particular location has is reserved for a preorder or not.

    • sqlrob says:

      Which has been counterproductive for them, at least as far as I’m concerned. Happened for DQIX. Went to Target and got one of the many. Lost sale.

      It may work for non-AAA titles, but for things that are all over the place, it’s a very stupid move.

      • Outrun1986 says:

        I don’t think they really care, since if they sold something that was not preordered, it counts as less in their system apparently. The only thing that counts is preorders, edge card subscriptions, and any other kind of upsells the company can pitch to its customers, and of course used game sales. New game sales probably pull them down.

        From another perspective its very stupid though, because now the person that would have shopped at Gamestop is now shopping at Target and Walmart and won’t go back to Gamestop because they assume that since the last game was sold out that the next one they want to buy will also be sold out. If they see lots on the shelves, they will just head to Target and Walmart to get their new games, and will just completely bypass Gamestop.

        It would be smarter for GS to just stock up on copies of the game, if Walmart/Best Buy can get 150 copies on release day surely GS can get some extra’s for people who didn’t preorder…. But they only seem to stock exactly enough copies to fill the preorders. Its not always possible for you to know you want the game 2 weeks ahead of time, what if you suddenly decide you want the game??

  29. tmj says:

    I don’t get why people only go to Gamestop for something like that….unless its your only option. Head to a Walmart, Bestbuy, etc they will have tons of copies. Working at BB yesterday morning I can confirm that my store had atleast 150 copies for both 360 and PS3 and that’s after the 100 or so that were pulled for preorders.

    Now as far as Bestbuy issues go (employee saying they don’t have it but in-store pickup works or web site says its in stock but nowhere to be found in the store) there are a few different reasons why this can happen. The most common reason is human error. Best example I can give is if someone from Customer Service is looking for a CD they don’t know every place to look. Had dozens of occasions where someone from another dept gives up for looking for a CD/DVD/Game but once they tell me what they need I have it in hand within the minute.

    If you want to blame anyone blame Bestbuy’s practices like using online learning courses to teach you things a human could do in about 1/4 of the time or the fact there is never enough people/time to keep things organized so if someone outside dept tries to help (which normally is forced upon you since your dept may be dead but another dept is swamped) find something they normally come up empty handed.

    On top of that people steal stuff so our system says we have it but yeah……someone stole it.

  30. VectorVictor says:

    Never, ever buy anything new from GameStop. FTW.

  31. TheGreySpectre says:

    Why would you go into a store to buy it at all? I got mine off of Steam. Infinite copies and I didn’t even have to get out of my chair.

  32. b612markt says:

    I did something like this at a hotel in Spain and again at a hotel in Virginia. I used the wifi in the hotel lobby to book same-day rooms that were “unavailable” or to book rooms online that were 70% of what the guy at the counter told me they’d be.

  33. thekevinmonster says:

    The last time I bought something at GameStop, they told me that I was actually getting one of the copies reserved for preorders (I was a walk-in.) I just said oh, well. Inside, I said, “well, you’re still going to sell it to me because that guy forgot he pre-ordered because you didn’t call him to remind him just like you’ve never called me ever and he probably just put 5 bucks on it.”

    I think they were trying to convince me to preorder in the future. Honestly, I can’t get upset that I’m ‘taking it away’ from someone else. Don’t pre-order games. It’s a waste. It’s a game. They’ll get more in next week. If you need it on release so bad, go wait in line at a release party.

    • TheGreySpectre says:

      And honestly I can’t think of a AAA game release that isnt readily available everyone on release day. If Gamestop doesnt have it then you can go to target, hastings, walmart, costco, or any number of other places and buy one of the many copies they have. Or if you buy it for PC you can just buy it via digital distribution.

      Selling only enough copies for preorders would just be bad buisness on the part of publisher.

  34. tweeder82o says:

    counting the internet sales as double to boost the bottom line for investers

  35. Alucard says:

    This is a new feature that Gamestop has, the associate who rung her up did it wrong, the online pick up in store just sends us a msg on the POS and tells us to hold one, but in this situation even if she placed the item on hold I would have not sold her one due to this not actually being a pre-order. I dont think the programmers for the site thought about this senario. I opened on tue the 9th and I sold out of PS3 versions and only had pre-orders. If this hold showed up I would have let the customer know we will not be able to sell the one until the 48 hour hold time was up for all pre-orders. Gamestop has problems yes but they sign my checks and I am very thankful to be employed.

    • Vielle84 says:

      I’ve been lucky enough to have worked at one of the “good stores,” with a tight-knit, long-term crew of us college-age kids. Apart from the crud that trickles down on us from higher ups, we all get on really well with each other and have made lots of friends through our regular customers, which we try to please, but may end up ticking off once in a while due to some crummy policy. Luckily, they take it in stride and know it’s not us who are directly responsible because every time we have a screw up, we just fess up about the policy that caused us to do it in the first place. All in all, my experience with GS has been mostly good. (I realize I may be a rare one. :>)

  36. Vielle84 says:

    Unfortunately, if a game is expected to be a ‘hot title,’ our DMs will call us and force us to sell copies of a game on opening day to anyone who walks in, regardless of pre-order. This is how many customers end up pre-ordering a game, only to come in to find that their copy has been sold. At my store, we really hate doing this, but we’ve no choice: at the end of the day, the computer will show a reserve vs reserve pick-up ratio, and we get chewed out if it’s not high. The only way we could hold on to a copy of a game for someone is to tell all our regulars to call in to request that their game be put in our ‘hold box’ with their name on it and document it in our sales book under “Customer Solutions”, so we could argue back to our higher ups that customers /did/ claim their reserves, they just haven’t come to pick them up, and we’re trying our best to maintain a high customer service survey average by holding it. Still…most of the time we still end up being forced to sell first-come first served. :

    Ultimately, the number of reserves determines the number of copies our store will get; if the reserve number is high, we’re likely to get sent a few extra copies to sell to try to cut down on selling a customer’s reserve. If there are say, less than 5 reserves on a particular game, then we’ll only get as many copies as were ordered.

    • Twonkey says:

      Isn’t corporate basically forcing you to steal from paying customers, seeing as store policy says that you guys are supposed to hold a pre-ordered game for 48 hours? Whatever the case may be, it sucks that you guys have to deal with the fallout from corporate’s clueless, numbers-driven bullshit decisions.

  37. Cleo256 says:

    Yep. I knew it. Gamestop: the only store that actually will refuse to sell you their inventory because you didn’t play their silly little retail games.

  38. hellbent says:

    i hate it when you walk into a store and ask if they have a copy to purchase and they greet you with a question “did you pre-order?”

  39. NotEd says:

    My wife has done something similar in the past with hotel reservations at Holiday Inn. The last time we were trying to see how close we could get to home after a long cross country road trip.
    We ended up giving up about 4 hours shy of out final destination.
    Now we did not go inside first, but rather pulled into the parking lot, logged onto the Holiday Inn website using their own free Wifi and made a new, discount reservation. THEN we went in with our bags and checked in.
    I am fairly certain that we would have gotten a room anyways, but the rate online is usually cheaper. Plus if no rooms were available we would’ve used their Wifi to find a room at the next closest hotel. Either way it would’ve worked out.

  40. sopmodm14 says:

    my local gamestop had a COD BO debacle, there were hundreds of ppl lining up at 7;45pm just to get tickets for the midnight release

    then i drove to TRU at midnight, got the game right on the spot, with no line, or wait (just chatted away with gamers during checkout) and no preorder too

  41. stint7 says:

    Game pre-orders are rubbish for the most part anyway. Places like Gamestop hype these releases on purpose but chances are almost any place will have the game within a few days if not now.

  42. dirtylurker says:

    Well, Game Stop isnt the only store that does this. Best Buy does it too, and I’ll tell you why this happens. It is because the online operators are at a corporate level. They know what is forced shipped to a store and what that inventory needs to be at. I used to work for Best Buy and we had people do this all the time. When the new Nintendo Wii and DS’s came out we had none on the shelves as we had to wait for an ad to go out saying we had a mininum of 12 per store. So all the big box stores do it. They have been doing it for years.

  43. DustingWhale says:

    This is part of the GameStop scam to get you hoooked on their “services.” The pre-order reservation system creates artificial demand – oh no, if I don’t preorder, I won’t get it on launch day.

    But then I realized that NO ONE shops for games at ToysRUs and I buy any launch day titles there. They litterally have 20s of copies by closing time (GTAIV, Red Dead etc…)

  44. buddyedgewood says:

    Ambyr: Now they have your detailed information. Enjoy the spam! :D

    GameStop is evil.

  45. davidsco says:

    Same thing happened to me, TWICE in Circuit City. And look, they’re out of business now. Go figure!

  46. cupcake_ninja says:

    I would have:
    Ordered it right in front of the employee. Show him the confirm. Make him pull the game out of the shelf, process the order and ring it up. Make him cancel my order. Then walk out of the store to buy it elsewhere.
    All in hindsight of course, since that’s always 20/20.

  47. quoterageous says:

    I had to show this to my wife to prove to her that wives really do this stuff. Her reply was ” if every wife jumped off a bridge I would be the only one left” to which I said ” Since every husband will be playing call of duty, I should be called to handle your …” and she walked away. Ambyr tell your husband I thinks he is a very lucky guy.

  48. Alessar says:

    My video card recently died – on a Friday night – and I wanted to play videogames on the weekend, so I looked to see what Best Buy had in my local store. They had something ok and the price was $115, only $15 more than Newegg, worth it for instant gratification I thought. When I got to the store, the instore price was $140. I had my netbook with me so I went to a nearby pancake house and had eggs benedict with a side of wi-fi, and bought the video card online. By the time I was done my $115 video card was ready for pick up.

  49. UltimateOutsider says:

    I would marry this woman in a heartbeat.

  50. PENFOLD says:

    Two Words: SILLY WALK…..’nuff said!

  51. macoan says:

    I don’t like to pre-order games, but will normally stop by game stop (which is outside of Wal-mart) to pick up a game that just came out…. since normally for a brand new game, the price is the same in Game Stop & Wal-mart (just less lines)

    EVERY SINGLE TIME I will get the game stop employee telling me “Oh man, i don’t know if we have any extra copies – we usually just get enough in to fill the pre-orders – you should really think about pre-ordering games before the release date…. but let me go in the back to see if there are any extra’s left”…. in which 1 minute later they return with the “You are so lucky we happen to have an extra left…. do you want to pre-order XXXXX game that will be out soon to guarentee that it will be in?”

    …. in which my reply is “no, if it’s not here – I’ll just go into Wal-Mart and pick it up.

  52. bigapple says:

    I did something similar to rent a car. I flew into LAX, but my girlfriend was unable to get out of work to pick me up. I walked in to a car rental place, waited on line forever, only to be told they didn’t have any cars to give me. I walked outside, made a phone call, got a reservation number, walked back in, cut to the front of the line, and walked out with car keys.

  53. Twonkey says:

    Gamestop’s in-store pickup is a fucking joke. I’ve tried to order shit online for in-store pickup only to get an e-mail hours later informing me that they couldn’t find the item at the location I chose. The store is on the way home, so I’d pop in and every single time without fail I’d find the game sitting right there on the shelf. I’m assuming the system falls apart because the clerks are just too fucking lazy to walk over to the shelf and look for whatever it is that I’ve ordered.