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View Full Version : What's with the the industry push on reserving games?



sirhansirhan
09-14-2006, 05:24 AM
At about 7 PM tonight I was going up to a friend's who lives about 45 minutes away from me, and was going to pick up Cooking Mama along the way. I assumed I'd be able to drop by a Game Crazy and pick it up and be on my way, except that when I got there they didn't have any. I asked the guy working there if they were sold out, and he said that it was a reserve-only game, and that the store didn't have any reserves on it, so they didn't and never will get any copies. He went on to tell me that the Mega Man game that came out today was also reserve only, and that five or so people had come in that day looking for it and he had to turn them away with the same reason he gave me. I didn't say anything, but surely I screwed up my face in an expression of confusion re: this system, and then he went on with the kicker: "I don't feel sorry for any of those people--if you want a game, put $5 down on it; it isn't that complicated." At this point I just left.

Now really, I know the guy I was talking to was probably getting paid less than $7 an hour and could give a fuck about the company he works for, but isn't there something wrong with the system if a specialty store turns away at least six people (five for Mega Man and me for Cooking Mama) in one day (and these are just the ones that that one guy knew of) who are looking for the exact items that that specialty store is supposed to sell? I reserve stuff a lot of the time, but I don't always want to, for fear I'll change my mind or not have any money when the game comes out.

For the record, I hit three other stores on the way to that friend's house, and none of them had it, and when I arrived I called about ten more, and the only one that had any said that they were all reserved (although a handful of the stores I called said that they were expecting some to come in tomorrow). Why is the video game industry the only market like this? Imagine if DVDs, books, CDs, whatever were nowhere to be found if you didn't put $5 down on them in advance of their release? (Also, a potentially interesting side note is that I did reserve a copy of Rule of Rose at a far away GameStop I didn't make it to tonight, and of the four stores I physically went in, none of them had that game, either, so I guess it's a good thing I reserved it.)

sayin999
09-14-2006, 05:39 AM
This happend with mgs3 subsidince and mega man x collection as well. It seems that stores have had an issue with overstocking games. So any title thats expected to sell ok at frist or possibly dont get that many copies, will usally secure on reserves. So unless its a title thats greatly anticipated then your pretty much going to have to pre order. Though in most casses after a month or so the game is stocked regularly.

Trebuken
09-14-2006, 05:57 AM
GameCrazy is not long for this world. After closing a ton of stores last year they seem to have set a pace that will get the rest of their stores closed soon enough.

Walmart and EB get more traffic and can afford to have more extra copies (the busier stores even more so). They do walk the line though. When I bought Valkyrie Profile for the PSP they only got three copies...one was my prorder.

It's all about keeping costs down by not producing, distributing, too many copies. Reserving is the new thing I think. Reserve it; you do not have to buy it. If you want you can cancel it and put your reserve money on another game (at least at EB/Gamestop).
The stores really don't have trouble with this it seems. I do it often since the reviews are not released until the title hits the streets...

Later,
Trebuken

Captain Wrong
09-14-2006, 10:56 AM
Reserving the game implies a certain level of sales right off the bat. No one wants to take chances on left over inventory (example, Funco must have ordered a ton of Stuntman for PS2 as it wasn't but months after that dropped that they were selling new copies as used for less than $20.)

Reason #498579 I don't frequent brick and mortar stores anymore.

NE146
09-14-2006, 11:06 AM
It's too bad really. I liked going into stores and looking at what's new for the snes, genesis, tg-16, Lynx, GB, etc. They were just all out there for you to peruse and buy.

But these days it just seems like there is too much product that they don't regularly "stock" anymore. And you feel it too.. how many friggin games are out there for the major consoles. I'll answer that.. A LOT. Maybe it's another pre-crash glut :P

Imstarryeyed
09-14-2006, 11:12 AM
My feeling here is that this is all part of the looming downsizing/crash of the videogame industry many are feeling.

The margins on new games is so tiny now that many stores in an effort to save money just do not get games in any high numbers unless it is some Madden or other high sell game.

I am opening a small retail retro video game store in the next few months and am I not going to sell any new games as it is very difficult to get the game if you are not a Best Buy, Wal Mart or Toys R Us and the margins are very tiny.

Quite often you are required to buy a case of games (anywhere from 25 - 100) to make a minimum order for a game, at ~$37 your cost you had better push real hard to sell at $45 to make back any profit. If you cannot sell in the tiny window you have you are sunk, because trade ins, Wal Marts, and other big companies will start to move their product to the bargin bin before you know it.

The industry is simply moving so fast now that even game retail companies are having a hard time turning a profit on new games, thus this strange preorder only model.

Dangerboy
09-14-2006, 11:22 AM
Reserves help set the bar for what should be shipped.

Usually "walk in" copies total 1/2 the of the preorder.

In other words, we get 10 pre-orders, we'll get 5 walk in copies.

Reserving allows the company to truly know what they need to ship.

It prevents companies, like the old EB's disasterous Halo 2 / Doom 3 game and guide craze. When you're still sitting on double-digits worth of old 'new' stock on games that aren't really selling anymore, it's a huge loss. Heck, we still have over 40 copies of Oblivion just chilling, and they were all launch day product.

Worse, this trend will continue even more through out the next year as all companies are bracing their financies for the PS3 / Wii hardware launch day game allocations.

If you know you want a game, just reserve it and do you, your fellow gamer, and the store a favor. Reserving really does help everyone.

Jason

Half Japanese
09-14-2006, 11:52 AM
I'd say it's a bad analogy to compare Music, DVDs and Books to Games. Reason being is that music, DVDs and books can all be returned to the vendor for a credit back, whereas I think you're pretty much (as a retailer) stuck with the games. Of course, no publisher in their right mind wants this to change, since any blockbusters they release that end up bombing are pretty much off of their hands once the stores buy into the hype.

I agree that it's a shitty system, but if you want things to change, it's probably only going to happen if the whole distribution model for games changes and publishers start allowing the turds that don't sell to be returned. Unfortunately with that will come far less stock at your favorite retailer, since no one wants to sit on a bunch of crap that isn't selling. Working at a record store, there are tons of CDs and DVDs I would love to have us stock, but at the same time I realize why we don't stock them (at least not anymore): they don't sell.

With the prices of online rentals being pretty cheap these days, coupled with the fact that the people at cheapassgamer would punch a baby in the face to save $5 on a game, I'd say the brick & mortars are in for a hell of a ride over the next few years.

Nature Boy
09-14-2006, 12:46 PM
I wonder if it has to do with cash flow as well as guaging how many copies to order.

GMT Games, a board game publisher, does the preorder thing for just those reasons. When you preorder a game you don't actually pay a dime until they start *making* the game, but by saying you're interested in a game you let them know that the money is there so making the game is worth it, and they give you a 15% or 30% discount on the game as a reward.

(According to their website, making a game and then not selling a lot of copies of it can be devastating if it happens too frequently, especially to a small publisher such as themselves).

I see video game preorders providing the same sorts of information. Here are the games people are most interested in, and here's some extra cash we can use to buy 'em with. Plus having slow moving inventory that ties up *that* much cash could be equally as devastating when it comes time to pay the bills.

I personally *hate* preorders of any kind unless they come with a cool freebie, like the Zelda disc with my Wind Waker preorder, or the 30% discount like GMT offers. If the industry thinks I'm gonna preorder because they want to force me to, they've got another thing coming!

DonMarco
09-14-2006, 01:22 PM
The number of preorders an employee and stores get per week is also one of the numbers the higher-ups look at. Stores with less reserves are either not approaching customers about it or barely functioning as human beings.

I can't say this is the policy for all game stores. Or any (if you catch my drift).

Preorders also help lock in customers in general. If Timmy has $5 already down for Mega Man ZX, he'll return there to buy it, instead of picking it up at another game store or a larger department store.

DonMarco
09-14-2006, 01:23 PM
The number of preorders an employee and stores get per week is also one of the numbers the higher-ups look at. Stores with less reserves are either not approaching customers about it or doesn't care abot the store's numbers.

I can't say this is the policy for all game stores. Or any (if you catch my drift).

Preorders also help lock in customers in general. If Timmy has $5 already down for Mega Man ZX, he'll return there to buy it, instead of picking it up at another game store or a larger department store.

Jackattack
09-14-2006, 08:32 PM
It has been a while since I've been in a gaming store for anything other to look around, and I was completely unaware of this occurrence . It seems that any game I want some store has it, but on the other hand I've purchased so few new games recently I wouldn't actually know.

However it is good to have this in mind the next time I will be wanting a game not so main stream and actually make sure they are going to have it or at least pre order it.

kainemaxwell
09-14-2006, 08:36 PM
Reminds me a bit of when 50 Cent Bulletproof came out at my store. We got in at least 30+ copies and sold very few if any and the used copies are less then $15 now.

But yeah, reserves do make stores money, implies the customer will be giving more and perhaps buying something else besides the item they reserved.

NE146
09-14-2006, 09:34 PM
However it is good to have this in mind the next time I will be wanting a game not so main stream and actually make sure they are going to have it or at least pre order it.

Or just order it online.. that seems to work great for me these days.

Griking
09-14-2006, 11:26 PM
The number of preorders an employee and stores get per week is also one of the numbers the higher-ups look at. Stores with less reserves are either not approaching customers about it or barely functioning as human beings.

I can't say this is the policy for all game stores. Or any (if you catch my drift).

Preorders also help lock in customers in general. If Timmy has $5 already down for Mega Man ZX, he'll return there to buy it, instead of picking it up at another game store or a larger department store.

Why would a store push pre-orders so hard when they make much better margin on used copies?

staxx
09-15-2006, 12:04 AM
I never did like the pre-order way of buying games. When an employee trys to tell me to pre-order say Madden 07 and I know that the story is going to get crazy amounts of the game, why bother. Now for the obscure titles or less popular titles sure I can see some reasoning in preordering the game. As for the freebie stuff, well from my past experience in EB or Gamestop, I did preorder a game because I wanted the free item. When I picked up the game they say oh we are sorry, we don't have enough of the free item to go around ??? WTF !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thus these days, I buy pretty much 95% of my new games from Frys, Best Buys, Circuit City or Toys R Us. I don't want to deal with the preorder thing and an employee pushing a sale on me (I used to work in a Video Game Store so I know what some of the employees are trying to pull on me).

smork
09-15-2006, 02:01 AM
When I am in the US I just buy from Fry's. I don't really care about the retailer's margins, or what's best for the store, or how they manage their stock, or what they are pushing -- i just want to buy a game and be done with it. It's so rare that I buy anything new new anyway, I might as well get what I want without much fuss.

Fry's is great 'coz they stock everything. Pretty much guaranteed to find what I want there. If some other stores didn't open all their new copies to remove the discs when they display them on the shelves I might be more inclined to buy from them.

I don't like preorders on principle. If I am going to preorder something I'll just preorder online and have it shipped to my doorstep -- no fuss.

djbeatmongrel
09-15-2006, 03:06 AM
Preorders are the best way to ensure that stores get obscure titles. plain and simple. most of the people i work with are collectors or atleast are into the weirder end of the gaming spectrum so once anything interesting pops up (like rule of rose) we make sure we preorder it so we get more copies.

with rule of rose i bet we would have had maybe 2-3 copies if we didnt have any preorders but as a result of just 2 orders we ended up with 5 copies.

unfortunatley recently our company wasnt taking preorders for cooking mama when our store easily could have gotten around 10-15 reserves (thats including employees). as a result of no reserves we only got 4 copies that were sold in one day.

really i suggest just preorder the obscure and the niche. if theres a major release you want at launch i would suggest preorder to ensure that day but if you are fine with waiting for about a week, dont bother preordering.

Push Upstairs
09-15-2006, 04:44 AM
Or just order it online.. that seems to work great for me these days.

(Pre-breakup) Amazon/Toys R Us really came through for me with "Outrun: Coast 2 Coast".

Bless them. :hail:

Nature Boy
09-15-2006, 09:29 AM
Preordering Madden just *kills* me. Even if it's the "Hall of Fame" edition or whatever they call their collectors edition, it's not like you can't find the biggest selling game of the year *everywhere* :)

The argument for preordering obscure titles is interesting but I'm still not doing it unless I get something out of it. I'm more than willing to 'risk' not getting a title - it's not like I don't have several hundred other games I can occupy my time with if I fail :)

klausien
09-15-2006, 09:56 AM
This trend has been going on for several years now. I basically expect that brick and mortar stores are just not going to have what I am looking for on anything but a lark. The last time this truly affected me was OutRun C2C XBox. That whole thing, quite frankly, was infuriating. I usually end up getting obscure games online now period. Cooking Mama will probably be one of those games.

I don't mind putting money down on games. Being able to preorder systems is especially cool when you are high on the list, but that is another thread entirely. (Wishes GameStop would start up with the Wii already!) What gets me is that I have to return and buy it at that particular store. Not complaining as it wouldn't make much sense any other way, but it is a peeve. I have had countless experiences where I just bought a game when I saw it and transferred my credit to preorder something else later on when I got a chance to get to the store where I preordered.

If anything, that helps a few lucky souls get a copy of a good game because a store will actually get a copy of it. It's good karma that has benefitted me in the past. I scored a brand new MGS3 Subsistence LE with the bonus Saga Disc on an unclaimed preorder. From experience behind the counter, it is an extremely rare occurance for someone to come in for their preorder a month later and actually be furious that it was sold. People expect that now.

FantasiaWHT
09-15-2006, 01:42 PM
I'd say it's a bad analogy to compare Music, DVDs and Books to Games. Reason being is that music, DVDs and books can all be returned to the vendor for a credit back, whereas I think you're pretty much (as a retailer) stuck with the games.

Actually you can do this with video games. At least, as far as I know, EB/GS have this sort of deal with the publishers. They will buy games back from the retailers after a certain amount of a time for a certain price. Doesn't happen too often.

One thing nobody has brought up talks about another reason retailers do this...

What's to convince Consumer X to buy brand new Game Y from Retail store Z? Prices are identical (within a few pennies at least), so why shouldn't X buy it form Z, when Z is closer?

Most people probably have a Walmart or a Best Buy or even a Target or similar store closer to them than a video game specialty retailer. To assure that they are getting the sale, the specialty retailer uses a preorder idea.

Other reasons stated above are all good and true.

ty896
09-15-2006, 06:27 PM
I had a very similar experience at a gamecrazy around here...

Found several (8 to 10) copies of Cooking Mama at my local Best Buy this morning. :-P

Have only made steamed rice so far. Can't get the damn mixing motion down -- keeping me from perfect score. :angry:

First impression, well worth $20.

I did break down and put $5 on a copy of Contact. My first pre-order, but should get me in hand on the 20th.

sirhansirhan
09-16-2006, 03:01 AM
I had a very similar experience at a gamecrazy around here...

Found several (8 to 10) copies of Cooking Mama at my local Best Buy this morning. :-P

Have only made steamed rice so far. Can't get the damn mixing motion down -- keeping me from perfect score. :angry:

First impression, well worth $20.

I did break down and put $5 on a copy of Contact. My first pre-order, but should get me in hand on the 20th.

I think a lot, if not all, of my specific problem finding Cooking Mama was that most of the stores around me got it in two days after the ship date, for some reason. This doesn't really change my question at hand, though. (And, incidentally, when I picked up CM and my reserved copy of Rule of Rose, I also put $5 on Contact--I'm dying to get that game.)

The explanation that game stores can't return stock that isn't selling to the distributor makes the most sense as to why this trend has permeated the gaming industry, but all that really does is shift the blame. Why won't they take it back, when book, music, and DVD distributors will?

gamegirl79
09-16-2006, 09:51 AM
I was at Gamestop last night and the employees told me that all the EB's and Gamestops in my area only got 2 copies each of Cooking Mama. Needless to say, they were all sold out.

They were pushing pre-orders pretty hard.

I finally found Cooking Mama (last copy) at Gamecrazy.

FantasiaWHT
09-16-2006, 11:09 AM
[quote=ty896]
The explanation that game stores can't return stock that isn't selling to the distributor makes the most sense as to why this trend has permeated the gaming industry, but all that really does is shift the blame. Why won't they take it back, when book, music, and DVD distributors will?

Musta missed my post, video game distributors do have these kind of deals with retailers.

Iron Draggon
09-16-2006, 06:36 PM
preorders SUCK now... they were OK back in the good ol' days, when most games that were available for preorder came with some sort of bonus swag, and you were actually guaranteed the swag, but now it's just a joke... you place a preorder and you not only aren't guaranteed the swag, but you aren't guaranteed the game either... a preorder guarantees you nothing these days except the store gets to keep whatever money you put down on your preorder... sure, you don't have to buy the game once it comes out, but you do have to buy something from the store you preordered from, because they won't give you a refund... only store credit... that's the real reason for this business model... stores love it because it guarantees that they will get your money... so don't expect it to ever change...

diskoboy
09-16-2006, 06:59 PM
When I worked at Gamestop way back, they told me it was to guage how many copies they should manufacture, how big the hype for the game is, and how many they should ship on release day.

I don't know if that's true, but it sounds reasonable.

I never really pressed that hard on people to pre-order games. It works my nerves when people ask me to do it, so I didn't force it onto them.

Dobie
09-16-2006, 07:15 PM
I've pretty much moved to buying games either online (if there's a preorder incentive) or at the Fred Meyers near my house. They have stock on pretty much everything except the MOST obscure stuff. I was looking for Katamari Damacy last week (I know, I'm late to the party) and EB Guy tells me how its sooo hard to find, and it was a surprise hit, and how they rarely have any copies, used or otherwise. I hit up Freddies, and there were four copies staring back at me. Forget EB and their stickered up, used, or opened "new" games. I'm happy with shooting over, browsing, and buying a game with no hassle.

Same goes for console launches I've experienced. The specialty stores are the place you DON'T want to go. I think thats a serious problem. A specialty store should HAVE the hard to find game, they should HAVE older-but-popular titles, and they should HAVE more consoles on a launch than the department store by my house, because its ALL THEY SELL. That's not the case.

sirhansirhan
09-16-2006, 10:03 PM
Musta missed my post, video game distributors do have these kind of deals with retailers.

No, I saw your post, but I ignored it, partially because I'm confused, and partially because I'm lazy and make lazy arguments.

W/r/t the issue of not always getting the preorder swag when preordering stuff, I got screwed out of both the Atelier Iris 2 soundtrack and the Me & My Katamari Prince head PSP carrying case at my local GameStop, which really pisses me off. That's another rule--I won't preorder a game anymore unless the preorder goodies (if there are any) are available for me to take right there, on the spot. I held off on preordering Rule of Rose until they had the soundtrack in, and I'm very glad I did (cool soundtrack, too).

Nature Boy
09-18-2006, 08:56 AM
I was at Gamestop last night and the employees told me that all the EB's and Gamestops in my area only got 2 copies each of Cooking Mama. Needless to say, they were all sold out.

They were pushing pre-orders pretty hard.

They definitely like to push the "see, you can't buy a copy now because you didn't preorder!!!" bit. I wonder how often it works versus how often it backfires? I know if they told me that I'd roll my eyes and buy it somewhere else, but it must work on some people.

gamegirl79
09-18-2006, 09:57 AM
They definitely like to push the "see, you can't buy a copy now because you didn't preorder!!!" bit. I wonder how often it works versus how often it backfires? I know if they told me that I'd roll my eyes and buy it somewhere else, but it must work on some people.

That's exactly what they were saying...told me that if I really wanted a game, the only way to get it is to pre-order. I just laughed. I've never been big on pre-orders and the few that I have done have all been online.

I was pushed to pre-order Twilight Princess, Final Fantasy III, Mario vs. DK 2, and to trade in my old style DS so I could get a DS Lite for $70. Even after I said I already had one. x_x

All I wanted was Cooking Mama dammit!

Captain Wrong
09-18-2006, 10:05 AM
I was at Gamestop last night and the employees told me that all the EB's and Gamestops in my area only got 2 copies each of Cooking Mama. Needless to say, they were all sold out.

They were pushing pre-orders pretty hard.

They definitely like to push the "see, you can't buy a copy now because you didn't preorder!!!" bit. I wonder how often it works versus how often it backfires? I know if they told me that I'd roll my eyes and buy it somewhere else, but it must work on some people.

Last time I heard that I believe my exact responce was "Awesome. Guess I'll be buying on-line exclusevly from now on."

Seriously, I'm really failing to see the appeal of B&M stores anymore. Yeah, you can have the game in your hand today, if you can actually find it. Of course, you're also probably going to pay more for it, may have to deal with an opened copy that's probably been at an employee's house being sold as new and deal with the crappy service and store atmosphere. I guess if it's *that* imporatint to have the game in hand I can see it, but personally I'm ok with waiting a few days to not have to drive all over town and deal with that bullshit.

Nature Boy
09-18-2006, 11:31 AM
Seriously, I'm really failing to see the appeal of B&M stores anymore.

It's not all B&Ms though, just the chains. There's a cool little independent store near where I work as well, and I'm willing to bet they'd actually order a game for me if I asked. You know, like any retailer *should* if they want your continued business!

My buddies own a hobby shop (not video games, but pretty much everything else) and it's definitely the reason they steal customers from the chains.

FantasiaWHT
09-18-2006, 12:56 PM
There AREN'T any little shops by me... GS bought them all up in the last 10 years.

Captain Wrong
09-18-2006, 02:00 PM
Seriously, I'm really failing to see the appeal of B&M stores anymore.

It's not all B&Ms though, just the chains. There's a cool little independent store near where I work as well, and I'm willing to bet they'd actually order a game for me if I asked. You know, like any retailer *should* if they want your continued business!

My buddies own a hobby shop (not video games, but pretty much everything else) and it's definitely the reason they steal customers from the chains.

You raise a good point. However, out here we have one mom & pop store left and I don't think they do any new sales. Come to think of it, I don't think any of the other mom & pops ever did any new stuff either.

norkusa
09-18-2006, 05:16 PM
I was at Gamestop last night and the employees told me that all the EB's and Gamestops in my area only got 2 copies each of Cooking Mama. Needless to say, they were all sold out.

They were pushing pre-orders pretty hard.

They definitely like to push the "see, you can't buy a copy now because you didn't preorder!!!" bit. I wonder how often it works versus how often it backfires? I know if they told me that I'd roll my eyes and buy it somewhere else, but it must work on some people.

I was at Best Buy today and I saw no less than 6 copies of Cooking Mama sitting on the shelf there. Just take your business there next time they give you shit like that.

Really, I can't remember one instance of *not* being able to find a game I wanted on release day that I couldn't just buy straight off a store shelf.

Nature Boy
09-19-2006, 09:06 AM
You raise a good point. However, out here we have one mom & pop store left and I don't think they do any new sales. Come to think of it, I don't think any of the other mom & pops ever did any new stuff either.

You can't really blame them - I believe their cost on games, due to their *much* lower volume, is higher than what you can buy the game for at Wal-Mart (the aforementioned shop of my buddies dabbled in the SNES/Genesis days and pretty quickled stopped after they found this out).


Really, I can't remember one instance of *not* being able to find a game I wanted on release day that I couldn't just buy straight off a store shelf.

You're preaching to the choir my man.

Captain Wrong
09-19-2006, 11:40 AM
You raise a good point. However, out here we have one mom & pop store left and I don't think they do any new sales. Come to think of it, I don't think any of the other mom & pops ever did any new stuff either.

You can't really blame them - I believe their cost on games, due to their *much* lower volume, is higher than what you can buy the game for at Wal-Mart (the aforementioned shop of my buddies dabbled in the SNES/Genesis days and pretty quickled stopped after they found this out).

Yeah, I know. The deck is always stacked against the indies. I've seen the owner of one store buying multiple copies of a game on sale at Meijers to turn around and mark up $5 and put on his shelf. Trust me, I'd support them if they sold the new games, but I completely understand the margins don't make it worth their while.

However, I always know where to go if I want a Familclone. :D

norkusa
09-19-2006, 02:49 PM
What I can't stand is when I walk into a Gamestop/EB with my hands in my pockets and the clerk will always ask me "Do you have any games to trade in today?"

Uhh, obviously not. Where do they they think I'm keeping them if they aren't in my hands? Stashed up my chili hole?

Neo Rasa
09-19-2006, 03:02 PM
What I can't stand is when I walk into a Gamestop/EB with my hands in my pockets and the clerk will always ask me "Do you have any games to trade in today?"

Uhh, obviously not. Where do they they think I'm keeping them if they aren't in my hands? Stashed up my chili hole?

This was the biggest idiocy ever. It's because on the secret shop grading sheet, if you failed to ask if the customer brought trades within thirty seconds of their entering the store (regardless of how busy it is/line/etc. they actually tell you to yell from the counter if you have to) you get sixty points deducted off your grade (out of one hundred points). They made this a little more lenient after enough managers bitched about it but it's still pretty ridiculous.


I agree with a lot of people here. I still work at Gamestop since it's the easiest job I've ever had in my life, I'm still in college anyway and the one I'm working at now is so close to my home I open my front door and get strip searched for trades, but you have no idea how stupid it is to actually shop in a Gamestop/EBGames/Software Etc./Planet X/Babbages' at this time.

There's no logical reason to shop at a brick and mortar Gamestop store, ever. Their current direction has turned it into a Best Buy wannabe that can't possibly hope to compare since they are and will always be perceived as a specialty store (if it looks like a duck, etc.). Used games aren't even worth looking at anymore either since how that Gamestop is one of Games Quest Direct's biggest customers, they've caught onto "rarity" which is why stuff like Suikoden III is now $39.99, Ys: Ark of Napishtim used reached $49.99 at one point, and so on.

Neo Rasa
09-19-2006, 03:06 PM
They definitely like to push the "see, you can't buy a copy now because you didn't preorder!!!" bit. I wonder how often it works versus how often it backfires? I know if they told me that I'd roll my eyes and buy it somewhere else, but it must work on some people.

That's exactly what they were saying...told me that if I really wanted a game, the only way to get it is to pre-order. I just laughed. I've never been big on pre-orders and the few that I have done have all been online.

I was pushed to pre-order Twilight Princess, Final Fantasy III, Mario vs. DK 2, and to trade in my old style DS so I could get a DS Lite for $70. Even after I said I already had one. x_x

All I wanted was Cooking Mama dammit!

This is the other reason there's no point for people (especially the people who woudl post on this board) to shop at Gamestop. If a game is $19.99 it's not considered an "A title" and therefore it CANNOT BE PREORDERED. That is to day, the only types of games that would actually need to pre-ordered at our company to be able to obtain a copy cannot be pre-ordered. Durrr.

Neo Rasa
09-19-2006, 03:12 PM
Am I being an idiot to make consecutive posts like this? Did we lose the ability to edit posts or something?

Anyways I figure I may as well make an on topic post.

Gamestop's overall desire is to never have to sell more new product than they absolutely have to. That's the primary reason for both pre-orders and trades being pushed so insanely over the past couple of months (even moreso than the Game Informer/EB Edge card, which isn't ranked nearly as heavily anymore by the company).

They stock new product because they HAVE to otherwise there'd be no support from the game publishers, the ideal vision would be to have used only. This tems from the larger problem of the game publishing industry being a bloated mess but that's a whole other thread.

Also pre-ordering is a waste. Best Buy/Circuit City/and so on will always get more copies in than even the largest Gamestop and typically their prices will be better. We'll even get emails the day after a big day drops telling us it's okay to sell pre-orders since they predict low sell through since we're priced so much higher than everyone else. It's pitiful. Gamestop is a big flagellating beast that can't decide what it wants to do with itself.

Half Japanese
09-19-2006, 09:36 PM
The thing I don't understand about EB and Gamestop and their used games is their pricing structure. It seemed like not that long ago that a used copy of a new release would be $10 cheaper, not $5. $5 savings on a game isn't nearly enough for me to take a chance on it and have a beat-up booger-smeared manual. From my experience, most people STILL haven't learned how to properly take care of DVDs and most Gamestops are oblivious as to what "mint," "good," or "sellable" conditions are. If $5 savings is all they're willing to offer to distinguish used product from new, I'll take the new product EVERY time.

I must have missed the part earlier where someone claimed games are returnable to the vendor. I'd love to hear more information backing that up. My reason for believing that 99% of games can't be returned is this: why do so many retailers do once-a-year game blowouts, where games are as cheap as $5? Surely they would have returned them to the vendor for a higher credit, right?

I've got to agree with Captain Wrong; unless it's a major purchase (a TV for instance), there's just no good reason to shop brick & mortar anymore. The only real exception I can think of are maybe new/sale DVDs, since places like Best Buy and Circuit City have decent deals on them from time to time. Even when the prices are the same online and at b&m, you generally don't have to pay tax online and you don't have some wanker scared for his job offering you a warranty.

Trebuken
09-19-2006, 10:28 PM
You actually get $5 off plus 10% which is roughly $4 more for a otal of $9, which is roughly a 20% discount on a rather new game. Seems fair...

I agree with your thoughts on the vendor credit. Likely the vendors only give a fraction of the cost back, so as long as they sell at above that percent of cost they are ok. Likely some games they bet on and lose, or they just don't get through all the copies. The vendor may also offer a credit in lieu of taking the returns...

Later,
Trebuken

FantasiaWHT
09-19-2006, 10:51 PM
I must have missed the part earlier where someone claimed games are returnable to the vendor. I'd love to hear more information backing that up. My reason for believing that 99% of games can't be returned is this: why do so many retailers do once-a-year game blowouts, where games are as cheap as $5? Surely they would have returned them to the vendor for a higher credit, right?


I know it's true because I've done them myself when I was an EB manager. Now, they were pretty rare. I only knew of 3 or 4 the year I worked there. It's possible there may have been more tho, it's hard to tell why you are being asked to send X copies of Y game back to home office- it might be for redistribution or it might be for returning them to the distributor.

My favorite was returning literally 50 copies of Halo 2 heh.

There is a time limit on how long games can be returned. By the time a game goes on sale new for $5 (which never happens at EB/GS until it's absolutely ancient lol) it's long past that window.

appaws
09-19-2006, 11:14 PM
Same thing going on bigtime in the comics industry. I worked at one of the biggest retailers in the country. (Graham Crackers in the Chicago area) We stocked a million copies of every dumbass Marvel "Punisher vs. Wolverine 2099: Gold Foil Edition," but really good Indy titles like Optic Nerve or Eightball were "club only" which meant special order only, and not surprisingly we sold very few.

I don't blame specialty retailers for this, it makes economic sense. My biggest complaint though is that the selections at these stores are sometimes terrible. Since they operate on the razor's edge of profitably, keeping inventory low is a major concern, even if it means losing a few sales.

I let a friend play with my DSLite for a while and he was hooked. So we went out so he could get his own and headed towards Gamestop. We always prefer to use a specialty retailer instead of a Wal-Mart or whatever. We were surprised to find that they had nothing. No DSLite, although the sales guy tried to hard sell the old DS. No Mario Kart, no NSMB.

A two minute walk down the mall to Target and my friend had the lite, and both games he wanted (and 10% off for signing up for a Target card). We tried!

appaws
09-19-2006, 11:25 PM
Same thing going on bigtime in the comics industry. I worked at one of the biggest retailers in the country. (Graham Crackers in the Chicago area) We stocked a million copies of every dumbass Marvel "Punisher vs. Wolverine 2099: Gold Foil Edition," but really good Indy titles like Optic Nerve or Eightball were "club only" which meant special order only, and not surprisingly we sold very few.

I don't blame specialty retailers for this, it makes economic sense. My biggest complaint though is that the selections at these stores are sometimes terrible. Since they operate on the razor's edge of profitably, keeping inventory low is a major concern, even if it means losing a few sales.

I let a friend play with my DSLite for a while and he was hooked. So we went out so he could get his own and headed towards Gamestop. We always prefer to use a specialty retailer instead of a Wal-Mart or whatever. We were surprised to find that they had nothing. No DSLite, although the sales guy tried to hard sell the old DS. No Mario Kart, no NSMB.

A two minute walk down the mall to Target and my friend had the lite, and both games he wanted (and 10% off for signing up for a Target card). We tried!

Griking
09-20-2006, 09:06 AM
You actually get $5 off plus 10% which is roughly $4 more for a otal of $9, which is roughly a 20% discount on a rather new game. Seems fair...Later,
Trebuken

Yeah but used games used to be around $10 cheaper than a new copy of the game (with a few exceptions) PLUS the 10% discount you'd get with a discount card. Fair or not, they've basically raised the price of their used games by $5 a pop.

In the past I used to be a regular at my local Gamestop and would stop by at least 2-3 times a week. Ever since the merger and all of the policy changes (I used to love buying used music CDs at EB) I can honestly say that I haven't been to a Gamestop in months now.

FantasiaWHT
09-20-2006, 10:28 AM
Yeah but used games used to be around $10 cheaper than a new copy of the game (with a few exceptions) PLUS the 10% discount you'd get with a discount card. Fair or not, they've basically raised the price of their used games by $5 a pop.



How long ago are you thinking? I worked at EB off and on as both an associate and a manager since 2000 and the standard price for a "new release" used game has always been $44.99

Oobgarm
09-20-2006, 11:18 AM
Yeah but used games used to be around $10 cheaper than a new copy of the game (with a few exceptions) PLUS the 10% discount you'd get with a discount card. Fair or not, they've basically raised the price of their used games by $5 a pop.



How long ago are you thinking? I worked at EB off and on as both an associate and a manager since 2000 and the standard price for a "new release" used game has always been $44.99

My guess is that he's in one of those areas where used games were a bit cheaper(like a competitive discount or something, I can't remember the 'term' for it), perhaps they've foregone that idea?

Mr Mort
09-20-2006, 11:32 AM
Well, there's one problem with going to Best Buy, Target, etc, versus EB/Gamestop. If a game is released on a Wednesday, the specialty stores will almost always have it available for sale on that Wednesday. The Best Buy/Target on the other hand, won't have it out on the floor, or available of purchase until at least the weekend. It really sucks if you want to get a game asap.

GrandAmChandler
09-20-2006, 11:38 AM
Well, there's one problem with going to Best Buy, Target, etc, versus EB/Gamestop. If a game is released on a Wednesday, the specialty stores will almost always have it available for sale on that Wednesday. The Best Buy/Target on the other hand, won't have it out on the floor, or available of purchase until at least the weekend. It really sucks if you want to get a game asap.

I tend to disagree a bit. All major releases are usually instore on Wednesday, at least at my area Targets, Best Buy's etc.

Now obscure releases are a different story....

Oobgarm
09-20-2006, 11:44 AM
As a former Funco/GS lackey for over 7 years, I saw the rise of preorders with Gamestop. I'll share my thoughts.

At Funcoland (which seems like many moons ago), there were two occasions that I can remember where preorders could be taken: Metal Gear Solid and Gran Turismo 2, both for PlayStation. They were by no means necessary, only if you wanted that peace of mind. Needless to say, we saw very few preorders. And we got a TON of copies of both titles in at launch. We still got tons of copies of everything else, too. And we sold them. The company was a bit reluctant to get a lot of copies of the more obscure stuff, but we still got a fair number of them. At that time, we still did stock pulls to send stagnant games back to the distribution center. I don't really recall sending back much.

Once the GS merger happened, reservations started to pick up. They were possible on almost every item coming out, and selling them became a REQUIREMENT as an employee. I never had a problem selling them, since most of the people were regulars, and they basically guaranteed themselves one just in case. They were going to buy it from us anyway, so it wasn't a big deal for them to drop the deposit down.

Once GS decided that they were going to send games to stores BASED on reserves, then it got out of hand. Having to tell someone that they HAD to reserve a game with us or run the risk of not getting it was terrible. We lost a lot of regulars that way.

But, that setup isn't geared towards regular customer, i.e. the hardcore crowd. That crowd always has a way to get games so they don't need to stay loyal to one retailer. Average folks-the ones who only buy the HUGE titles, or parents buying games for their kids-are the ones the reservation program is aimed at. If the employeee can scare the unwitting customer into thinking that there will be a shortage, then they just might put the deposit down.

The main reason behind getting people to reserve HUGE titles is so that they'll trade them in later towards something else. Once again, not aimed at hardcore folks or collectors.

I think that in some cases, using reserves to gauge interest is OK. Especially titles like Cooking Mama. Even if stores get a small number initially, and they sell quickly, they'll get replenished, often times with more stock. That happened with the original Katamari.

Of course, there are the 'big box' stores, like Best Buy, who get a lot of copies of just about everything. They're the ones to take your business to, since you really have the best chance of getting it there-provided you can wait the extra day or so it takes to get the game on their shelves.

I rarely do any business with GS/EB anymore these days anyway. :)

ChronoTriggaFoo
09-20-2006, 03:05 PM
I've actually had the employees at my local Gamestop force reserves on me, converting my trade-in credit to a reserve despite my opposition.

They all befriended me at the very beginning by hooking me up through Gamestop loopholes (despite my not asking them to), and then expect me to give them a reserve every time. The last time I purchased something at this Gamestop, he converted my trade-ins + existing credit (in the form of a reserve) to ANOTHER reserve + plus some credit towards the purchase of used DVD set. I ended up paying more because he was desperate to hit his quota. I TOLD HIM NO, but he did it anyways. I was pissed.

Their incessant begging for me to place a reserve has made me not want to anymore. AT ALL. If I get someone that asks me meekly and without persisting, I may do so. But not for these fake cronies.

Trebuken
09-20-2006, 07:27 PM
I'm thinking of picking up Okami tomorrow. A quick search on EBGames.com shows that none of my local stores (30 miles) has a copy. Yet BestBuy.com shows several stores with them...it's a shame. I'd rather spend the money at EB/Gamestop.

Later,
Trebuken

sirhansirhan
01-30-2007, 09:45 PM
I thought that this might be worth mentioning:

While the experience I wrote about in the first post in this thread turned me off of Game Crazy, which I previously liked quite a bit, I still find myself going there over, say, Best Buy, or GameStop, or where ever. I had some coupons that expire tomorrow, so between yesterday and today I went to three Game Crazies looking for Hotel Dusk and/or the new Phoenix Wright. All three told me that they didn't get a single Hotel Dusk because no one pre-ordered it, and while two of the three Game Crazies were proper sold out of Phoenix Wright, the last one had two copies, but they were both held for people who pre-ordered them. But here's the kicker: the guy who worked there told me he'd sell me one of the pre-ordered copies if I bought an MVP membership. When I told him no, he said if I reserved a game, then he'd sell me one. What the hell? That's among the worst salesmanship I've ever seen. You can look at it as either A) They have the game but won't sell it to you unless you buy some stuff that you don't want (like that fascist bundle bullshit places pull with new consoles), or B) That they will fuck some other guy who went to the trouble of pre-ordering it to get another goddamned worthless pre-order.

I hate everything.

Nature Boy
01-31-2007, 09:07 AM
Going back to what I was writing about previously, I was in Australia looking for an AFL game (go Dockers!) and, when I came up empty in the EB, the sales guy pointed me to another retailer nearby. I don't know if that was a chain or not, but when I asked and they had no AFL games, the clerk said he'd gladly order a copy for me if I was interested.

Of course games prices in Australia are *astronomical,* so I'm not really surprised they'd bend over backwards to get a sale. Still, it was nice to be offered that over some preorder jargon.

(Outside of the prices, the other thing that suprised me about video games down under was the lack of used sports titles. I don't know how many AFL titles they've released for the Xbox, nor how many copies they'd sell, but I saw all of *one* copy used, and even then some moron had sold the Xbox version of the game in a PS2 case so I was SOL).

Griking
01-31-2007, 10:40 AM
How long ago are you thinking? I worked at EB off and on as both an associate and a manager since 2000 and the standard price for a "new release" used game has always been $44.99

I'm sorry if I don't have an example but I definitely remember there being a larger difference between the cost of a new copy of a game and a used copy of the same game. I've also noticed that as the cost of the new game goes down the difference shrinks even more. I mean really, what's the benefit of paying $17.00 for a used copy of a game that you can purchase for $19.99 new?

veronica_marsfan
01-31-2007, 12:03 PM
he went on with the kicker: "I don't feel sorry for any of those people--if you want a game, put $5 down on it; it isn't that complicated."

My reply would be: "Nah I don't need the game. I'll just wait for the inevitable markdown to $20. Seeya."
:pimp:

mailman187666
01-31-2007, 01:45 PM
I get agrivated with some of the things with these game stores. It seems like the only things I really hear from them are, "sorry, sold out", "well there were some complications.", "usually we do that, but..." or my favorite, "I've never heard of what you are talking about." How many gamers can honestly say they've never come out of a gamestop/eb/gamecrazy or whatever and never walked out of the store disappointed. If I opened a game store, I'd only hire people that know whats going on. Everybody here at digitpress would be good candidates for employment. My favorite place to go is this place in MA called Game Universe. They NEVER let me down with anything at all. It's in Framingham, MA on Rt.9 for anyone who doesn't know.

Steve W
01-31-2007, 04:17 PM
Nearly all the sales people I've met in GameStop/EB Games locations have been idiots. Although I had a good conversation with a guy in one store that was a big retro gaming fan (he was beaming as he told me he finished off his Intellivision collection since he just got the Sylvania badged console) who was a smart guy. But other than that, all morons. I almost never go into those stores anymore, unless I'm looking for a used game that's been out for a few years. If I'm trying to locate a new game that's kind of obscure, I go to my local Fry's Electronics. It's a shame that this store chain isn't all over the country, because it's selection rocks. Far better than stores like Best Buy. They have a massive selection of games that I almost never see at other stores. And after a while, they mark older stock games down to move them out faster. I buy nearly all my games there. And they've also started carrying imports for the PSP and DS.