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Why does everything about GameStop feel like a scam?

  • Jul 14, 2009
GameStop retail stores seem to be a cross between a used car dealership and a comic book store (not the good kind of comic book store, but the kind where the owner has a "better-than-thou" attitude and seems put out that you would actually want to buy something in their store).  Here are the things I've noticed at all the GameStop stores I've visited:
  • It's nearly impossible to tell the new games from the used games.  Everything seems to be in complete disarray when you walk in
  • There are usually about 5 people who look like employees standing around chatting with each other, but only one guy (usually the slowest one) is actually helping customers or working the register
  • GameStop will give you $3 for your used game (if you're lucky) and then turn around and sell it for $45
  • GameStop gives you the "privilege" to pre-order most games by placing a $5 -$10 deposit before the game is released.  Placing your pre-order allows you to buy the game at the full retail price even though the games are very rarely sold out and are available at other chains (Best Buy, Frys, etc) usually at a discounted price.
Even though I was aware of all the above, I was drawn into a GameStop for the promise of a NEW game I had wanted which was on sale for $20.  GameStop does not keep the actual games on on the shelves because all customers all thieves in the eyes of GamesStop.  Instead, you bring an empty box up to the register, and the employee gives you a new shrink wrapped copy to purchase.  Only in my case, the only copies left of the game were the ones used for the display boxes.  So instead of getting a NEW shrink-wrapped copy of the game, the clerk pulled a disk from a paper sleeve, placed it into the display box and handed it to me.  He explained that it was GameStop's policy to sell games as NEW even though they had been opened because the actual game disk itself had never been played.  I tried to explain that that is not exactly the same thing, and if I had intended to give this game as a gift it would not be viewed by the recipient as a "NEW" game.

In my case, I didn't intend to give the game away and I had better things to do than argue with a fool.  Instead, I took my "new" game home and added one more reason to avoid GameStop.

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September 27, 2011
I could not agree more. One guy would be extremely helpful and would give you ways to get discounts, but ONLY one guy out of a possible 5. I am a returning gamer and I have experienced what you've described. Good thing I have friends at BBUY and T.R.U.
September 27, 2011
This is what I would expect from a place that hires 19-20 year olds at minimum wage. I had the same creepy feeling that you did since my son became a regular customer about 6 years ago. Exactly what you said about them giving you non-shrink wrapped games as new, I experienced, especially when you want to return the game they sold you as "new." Since the shrink wrap doesn't exist, the game is considered "used" when you go to return it. Also, with regard to the deposit for newly arriving games, it doesn't guarentee that there will be a copy held for you when you go there. You get a stupid computerized call telling that the game will be in the next day but if you don't show up (or even if you do) they no longer have a game in stock for you and you have to wait for it on back order.
September 27, 2011
there was another game store that Gamestop had bought...they were better but not by much.
August 24, 2011
At this point, I'd feel less sleazy walking out of a strip club than a GameStop ... http://techcrunch.com/2011/08/24/screw-you-gamestop/
April 10, 2012
whoa bro, you must not be going to the right strip clubs lol jk. But yea I do feel very weird when I walk out of there, I have to keep doing the math over and over to see if I just got taken.
January 10, 2011
good review with experience.
December 27, 2010
Ha ha... so true!
July 29, 2010
I just get all my games from Amazon.com. They usually give you a $10-20 off coupon for your next game (effectively lowering the price by that amount for your next game). Also, the Gold Box deals will sometimes take $2.50 off current and upcoming titles. Best of all, I can resell the game to Amazon directly for what's sometimes a decent price, or sell it through their used section to somebody else.
July 29, 2010
That's a great point about Amazon. I'm following their Video Games Deal of the Day alerts and there have been some great deals I've been able to cash in on. For some reason, I never thought about turning around selling the games back on Amazon -- I'll have to look into that.
July 29, 2010
Yeah, I noticed that you can 1) buy Mario Galaxy 2 for around $42-38, and 2) resell (when you're done playing it) it to Amazon for $31. If I had more time on my hands, I'd do that in a heartbeat.
July 28, 2009
I love this review but there's only one problem with stuff like this... we're talking about a corporation with several thousand stores.  A few locations cannot represent all of them.  You make incredibly good points.  Particularly about the whole "NEW" game thing.  But other things you talk about are so much more subjective.

--Take for example being able to tell new games from used and how everything is in disarray.  Well, the Gamestops I go to this is hardly the case.  For me in particular it is always that they separate the used and new but they don't really organize the shelf.  Part of that is due to customer moving so much around as well.

--The idea of a whole bunch of people looking like employees... this is way to subjective, I think.  Because what about when you walk into other stores?  In the Gamestops by me you couldn't get an employee mixed up with a customer unless you were blind... they all have to wear badges. 

--I really REALLY agree with you on Gamestops trade in policy.  Sometimes you get more... IF THE GAME WAS JUST RELEASED.  For example, I can get 25 bucks for Mario Kart Wii and they'll sell it for 45 used.  But what bothers me is how you could trade in a game.... like say The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess.  I don't remember how much I got for it but last I checked it was 45 bucks used.  However, more than just Gamestop is to blame there.  Nintendo plays a big stake.  However much they are told to sell it for NEW (remember, they don't exactly price all NEW games) makes a difference in how much it can be sold for USED.  Nintendo refuses to lower the MSRP price on games like Zelda, Metroid and Super Mario Galaxy.  Sony and Microsoft have these "Greatest Hits" and "Platinum Hits" and well... pretty much the price will drop.  Since Gamestop isn't an independent store, they have little control over how much some developers can tell them to sell the game for.   But I still agree with you.  You're not getting much bang for your buck.  I understand that some games will get devalued over time, but how much they're sold for used should definitely reflect that too.  Because while they can't choose how much a game is NEW they CAN decide how much it is sold for used.

--In terms of reserving games... you can do that in a lot of places.  Well, depending on the game.  When it came to say... Halo 3 the 7-11 Down the Street was taking reserves... so was Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Target.  None of these places gave a discount price.  But usually after the game comes out you can almost always find a better deal than Gamestop.  I often prefer to buy my games from Best Buy, myself.

But you are so right on in many of your points.  Especialy the idea of buying a new game. I spent so much time looking for this game called Knights in the Nightmare.  When I finally found it, the guy had to pulled out the box and then pull out the game from a sleeve.  I thought, "What the hell is this?"  The box looked as though it had been through an awful lot... and it's a DS game for heaven's sake.  How do you mess up one of those game cases so easily anyway?  It most certainly didn't look like a "New" game to me. 

December 12, 2009
looks like you should write a review too!
July 28, 2009
You are spot on on Gamestop, I would buy a "new" games from them, and after going home, I realized it's been opened and missing the instruction manual.. I used to do all my game shopping at EB before they merged with Gamestop, even though I could get games for cheaper at Frys or Bestbuy, because they allowed open box returns, so you'd never worry that you'd stuck with a game that you realized that you didn't like after you played it.. I buy a LOT of games from them back then, and I only returned maybe 1 or 2 games, but after they merged, they no longer accept returns, and now I rarely buy games from them anymore..
July 24, 2009
Kevin (my husband) has a serious dis-like of GameStop right now because of situations like this and others. It's sad because it is a great local resource for new Wii games, too bad their policies are so flawed!
More GameStop reviews
Quick Tip by . April 08, 2012
posted in The Gaming Hub
Goodness I cant stand these guys anymore. Am I the only one who feels like they are being robbed at gun point whenever they shop there? Some things that really annoy me with them is that the prices for some games here are ridiculous and their trade policies for games is just downright theft.      You could go there and buy a game new just as its released, you spend 70 dollars on this game and play it. Two weeks when later you come back to trade it in they tell …
Quick Tip by . September 26, 2010
posted in The Gaming Hub
I've been in better game stores. Ones that don't open the games from new packs and tell you they're new.
review by . September 22, 2009
posted in The Gaming Hub
Reviewing a place of business is VERY hard to do.  The experience differs from one to another.  I don't think I've ever had a tiff with the Gamestop employees where I live.  Ever.  In fact, I've become quite good friends with most of them.  Enough that they'll give me discounts, magazines and posters they plan on getting rid of etc.  So I usually go back just because I like the people in my local Gamestop.  But there are Gamestops everywhere.  They're …
About the reviewer
Andrew ()
Ranked #24
I'm a technology early adopter. I thoroughly enjoy geeking out with the latest hardware, software and electronics. I probably have as much fun setting up, tweaking, and configuring systems as I do actually … more
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