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Thread: GameStop backing off aggressive used game sales

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    Default GameStop backing off aggressive used game sales

    "Kotaku has a corporate e-mail from GameStop that claims employees are to wait 60 days after the release of a game before pushing the used copy."

    http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2...asons-have.ars
    Last edited by Rob2600; 06-18-2009 at 01:14 PM.

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    I suppose that's Gamestop's way of telling publishers to stop bitching.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger View Post
    I suppose that's Gamestop's way of telling publishers to stop bitching.
    Or recognition of the fact that they have turned off a lot of people who only buy new games and that they can dominate that market as well if they only make some changes to their sales practices. Heck, before the gutting and overly aggressive selling was going on at Gamestop, I used to spend hundreds of dollars there a month. Now, that money goes to Amazon and Best Buy. I'd be willing to bet there are many, many consumers out there just like me.

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    I hear that a lot but I've never experienced it for myself. At what GameStops are people really getting abused by the clerks? Whenever I buy a game and the clerk offers a used copy I'll politely decline and that's the end of it. I have at least 6 GameStops in my immediately accessible area, doing business at just about all of them, and not once have I had to tell somebody to leave me alone. Different employees at different stores are going to vary, sure, but all I know is none of the people at the stores I frequent are annoying. In general, the only store I've been to in recent memory that has clerks who genuinely annoy me is P.C. Richard & Son. Those guys make it pretty obvious they work on commission.

    Besides, I doubt this was done for the sake of people who swear off used games. GameStop makes diddly on new games so it's clearly in their interest to push used ones. People who only buy new are not their most valuable customers. In fact, if there's one customer they'd be more willing to sacrifice, it's one who never buys used merchandise. So there's no way in hell they'll stop pushing used games, failing to create a new used game customer (their most valued type), to favor ones who buy only new.
    Last edited by TonyTheTiger; 06-18-2009 at 03:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger View Post
    I hear that a lot but I've never experienced it for myself. At what GameStops are people really getting abused by the clerks? Whenever I buy a game and the clerk offers a used copy I'll politely decline and that's the end of it. I have at least 6 GameStops in my immediately accessible area, doing business at just about all of them, and not once have I had to tell somebody to leave me alone. Different employees at different stores are going to vary, sure, but all I know is none of the people at the stores I frequent are annoying. In general, the only store I've been to in recent memory that has clerks who genuinely annoy me is P.C. Richard & Son. Those guys make it pretty obvious they work on commission.

    Besides, I doubt this was done for the sake of people who swear off used games. GameStop makes diddly on new games so it's clearly in their interest to push used ones. People who only buy new are not their most valuable customers. In fact, if there's one customer they'd be more willing to sacrifice, it's one who never buys used merchandise. So there's no way in hell they'll stop pushing used games, failing to create a new used game customer (their most valued type), to favor ones who buy only new.
    I have had literally dozens of bad experiences at Gamestop. Everything from the clerk laughing at me when I bought an older game to them trying to charge me the new price less a 10% discount for a game with no case or insert and bent instructions to asking for a factory sealed game only to be handed one that was clearly reshrinkwrapped. It's possible it varies by store, but I have probably shopped at over two dozen GS locations within the last 2-3 years on both coasts and never had an experience that I felt good about. A decade or more ago, I had lots of good experiences with the managers remembering me and holding games for me, actually giving me my pre-order premiums and never trying to get me to buy a warranty or something I didn't want.

    I don't think the intent on this move is totally cut and dried. Gamestop already dominates the used market and despite attempts by Amazon and others to break in, they really have a lock on it. While used is incredibly profitable, it's getting to a point where the growth is slowing down. Going after the markets dominated by Best Buy, Amazon, Target, Walmart and other retailers for new sales is a natural progression and it allows them to tap a market that they don't really have a very big share of currently. Sure, new game sales may only generate a one-time 20%-30% margin on a game, but if it's a choice between never making that $10-$15 per unit or actually getting that revenue that would otherwise go to a competitor, it would be foolish for Gamestop not to. It's not like they lose revenue on new game buyers, if anything they can grow both sides of the business and really dominate things more than they do today.

    Yes, there is probably some posturing to simmer down the call by publishers for a share of used game revenues in this move, but publishers aren't stupid and it's not like customers aren't going to buy used a week after the game comes out at Gamestop anyway, whether a clerk pushes it or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bojay1997 View Post
    Amazon.
    Usually cheaper(either two dollars off or on sale, rarely it's the regular price) and no shipping on orders over 25 dollars. I haven't went to Gamestop since the gamers day sale because of some great deals(Valkyria Chronicles was $30, FFTA2 was $20, MS7 was $15.)

    --

    But yeah. I don't care about them trying to push used games when I go there. It's annoying yeah, but I just tell them no. Atleast this will help the developers and publishes who are bringing the games over here.

    However, this could just be a ruse by Gamestop in order for gamers to think they're trying to help the industry so they shop there more.
    Last edited by kupomogli; 06-18-2009 at 03:52 PM.
    Everything in the above post is opinion unless stated otherwise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger View Post
    At what GameStops are people really getting abused by the clerks?
    Not intending to turn this thread into the usual "gamestop sux" thread, but here is my experience.

    I moved to Canada, but I still had $50 in US store credit. During one of my trips to Michigan, I went to Gamestop. I saw Mechassault for Xbox (this was back when Xbox was fairly new) for $49 new. While I was looking at the games, I heard the "manager" telling the other two employees to really push the used games. I take my copy of Mechassault to the register and of course the guy offers a used copy for $45. I say no thanks. He keeps pushing it. I tell him that I probably won't be back into a US Gamestop for years and I would have no use for the extra $5 credit anyway. He actually tells me to just grab a random used $5 PS1 game and buy the used Mechassault. This went on for like 5 minutes. Finally he gives in and gives me a "new" copy of Mechassault.

    I get to the car. It was a fucking re-shrinked copy. I have no idea why it had ever been opened, but the disc and manual looked new, so I didn't bother to go back and complain.

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    The only bad experiences I've had at Gamestop were when I've seen dead obvious bootlegs of games in the Game Boy display case. I mean, you could spot that poor quality, reprinted, horribly scaled label from a mile away. They've got zero restrictions in taking in a fake product and selling it back to the consumer as if it's a fine copy.

    That, and when I tried to buy a Game Boy micro. I asked the employee (manager who worked there) if I could see it, and he told me no. I could tell he was joking, but then he just held it in his hands and struck up a senseless chatter with the other people working at the time while I stood there like an idiot. He eventually let me use it, and I bought it, only to bring it back 5 minutes later when I noticed they hadn't given me the power cord. I had to return it since they didn't have it. Next time I stopped by, they had it back in their display case for the next unsuspecting customer. That much pissed me off.

    But yeah, used games aren't that big of a deal if you check the quality of the used product. Never buy a game without the box and manual to go with it. Difference between this and online shopping is that you can actually window shop.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BetaWolf47 View Post
    The only bad experiences I've had at Gamestop were when I've seen dead obvious bootlegs of games in the Game Boy display case. I mean, you could spot that poor quality, reprinted, horribly scaled label from a mile away. They've got zero restrictions in taking in a fake product and selling it back to the consumer as if it's a fine copy.
    I'm glad to say that in the store I worked at, we didn't take in bootlegs because I pounded the fact that they were bootlegs into everyone else's skull.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zing View Post
    Not intending to turn this thread into the usual "gamestop sux" thread, but here is my experience.

    I moved to Canada, but I still had $50 in US store credit. During one of my trips to Michigan, I went to Gamestop. I saw Mechassault for Xbox (this was back when Xbox was fairly new) for $49 new. While I was looking at the games, I heard the "manager" telling the other two employees to really push the used games. I take my copy of Mechassault to the register and of course the guy offers a used copy for $45. I say no thanks. He keeps pushing it. I tell him that I probably won't be back into a US Gamestop for years and I would have no use for the extra $5 credit anyway. He actually tells me to just grab a random used $5 PS1 game and buy the used Mechassault. This went on for like 5 minutes. Finally he gives in and gives me a "new" copy of Mechassault.

    I get to the car. It was a fucking re-shrinked copy. I have no idea why it had ever been opened, but the disc and manual looked new, so I didn't bother to go back and complain.
    For what it's worth, Mech Assault (at least the ones I got when I was working) came in bootleg style shrinkwrap. Certain Xbox games weren't sealed w/ the regular tight filmy plastic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuros View Post
    I'm glad to say that in the store I worked at, we didn't take in bootlegs because I pounded the fact that they were bootlegs into everyone else's skull.
    *Hugs Kuros and gives him a cookie*
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    So now I can walk into a Gamestop without them asking if I have anything to trade in or if I want to make a preorder? Woot!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bojay1997 View Post
    Or recognition of the fact that they have turned off a lot of people who only buy new games and that they can dominate that market as well if they only make some changes to their sales practices. Heck, before the gutting and overly aggressive selling was going on at Gamestop, I used to spend hundreds of dollars there a month. Now, that money goes to Amazon and Best Buy. I'd be willing to bet there are many, many consumers out there just like me.
    I agree completely. I finally got fed up of the whole gutting new games b/s and stopped shopping there entirely some time ago. I also hate the fact that I get pestered to pre-order something or to buy used games or accessories, blah, blah, blah. If I'm cringing as I approach the counter to buy a video game, something is wrong. I'll stick to Target, Best Buy, and Amazon. The whole transaction is much easier; you find the game you want, you buy it, and you're done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BetaWolf47 View Post
    The only bad experiences I've had at Gamestop were when I've seen dead obvious bootlegs of games in the Game Boy display case. I mean, you could spot that poor quality, reprinted, horribly scaled label from a mile away. They've got zero restrictions in taking in a fake product and selling it back to the consumer as if it's a fine copy.
    Hell, every time I go into a Gamestop, I go right to the GBA case and play a little game I like to call "SPOT THE BOOTLEG". There's usually at least one, usually a Pokemon title in a black cartridge.

    DP Feedback | Game Blog of Awesomeness! | Seeking out these GCN kiosk discs: Jan 2002, 21, 25, & 29

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    Quote Originally Posted by The 1 2 P View Post
    So now I can walk into a Gamestop without them asking if I have anything to trade in or if I want to make a preorder? Woot!!
    I doubt it. They'll still push their big "thing" just the same. They apparently are just going to hold off on pushing the used copies of new games for a little while after release.

    But this makes me wonder about something. Try walking into any chain and have something similar not happen. I'm not necessarily defending GameStop but I would like to see some rationality and balance when it comes to offering up criticisms. If GameStop employees asking if you want to preorder something is bad (assuming they just ask once and respect your answer) then Best Buy employees asking if you have their rewards card should be just as annoying. Try walking into a Blockbuster without being offered the movie pass. CVS clerks always ask me if I have a CVS card and when I say no they ask if I want one. Home Depot sometimes asks for your zip code. And forget places like Radio Shack and Micro Center. Those places want your email address.

    Generally speaking, GameStop employees aren't really doing anything that you don't get everywhere. So I don't see why the criticism isn't "Retail outlets are annoying." GameStop gets singled out here a lot more than I think it deserves to.
    Last edited by TonyTheTiger; 06-18-2009 at 09:36 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger View Post
    I doubt it. They'll still push their big "thing" just the same. They apparently are just going to hold off on pushing the used copies of new games for a little while after release.

    But this makes me wonder about something. Try walking into any chain and have something similar not happen. I'm not necessarily defending GameStop but I would like to see some rationality and balance when it comes to offering up criticisms. If GameStop employees asking if you want to preorder something is bad (assuming they just ask once and respect your answer) then Best Buy employees asking if you have their rewards card should be just as annoying. Try walking into a Blockbuster without being offered the movie pass. CVS clerks always ask me if I have a CVS card and when I say no they ask if I want one. Home Depot sometimes asks for your zip code. And forget places like Radio Shack and Micro Center. Those places want your email address.

    Generally speaking, GameStop employees aren't really doing anything that you don't get everywhere. So I don't see why the criticism isn't "Retail outlets are annoying." GameStop gets singled out here a lot more than I think it deserves to.
    well the way I've been offered their bowl of sh*t, they ask if i want to preorder. Then they ask if i want to get an edge card. Then they ask if i want to get the same game used. And they try to sweeten the deal by giving me a subscription to GI or whatever, when i have a whole years worth of the subscription and it sucks. Ill tell you, to be honest, i wish GameStop was the same it was back in the days of those magazines I still have. At least they still have ads for used SNESes and NESes. Nowadays, I only read the Classic GI section, which unfortunately is mostly arcade and more newer stuff, or just random systems Ive never heard of.

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    You know what's awesome about Gamestop? When they discontinue a system. I picked up the bulk of my 151 Xbox games there for peanuts. Walking out the door with like 16 games each time, and only coughing up around $50 is amazing. Especially when you get them by hand, and are able to check the condition and everything.

    Just trying to counterbalance the complaining. They suck, but they're also a corporation and have to put policies into effect that are consistent and maintainable and also executable by the 16 year old kids they hire.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger View Post
    I doubt it. They'll still push their big "thing" just the same. They apparently are just going to hold off on pushing the used copies of new games for a little while after release.

    But this makes me wonder about something. Try walking into any chain and have something similar not happen. I'm not necessarily defending GameStop but I would like to see some rationality and balance when it comes to offering up criticisms. If GameStop employees asking if you want to preorder something is bad (assuming they just ask once and respect your answer) then Best Buy employees asking if you have their rewards card should be just as annoying. Try walking into a Blockbuster without being offered the movie pass. CVS clerks always ask me if I have a CVS card and when I say no they ask if I want one. Home Depot sometimes asks for your zip code. And forget places like Radio Shack and Micro Center. Those places want your email address.

    Generally speaking, GameStop employees aren't really doing anything that you don't get everywhere. So I don't see why the criticism isn't "Retail outlets are annoying." GameStop gets singled out here a lot more than I think it deserves to.
    I shop Best Buy, Target, Micro Center, Home Depot, Lowe's, Fry's and several other big box retailers several times a week. Most of the time, the cashier never says anything but "hello" and "thank you for shopping here". On the rare occasions when a store has a credit card or some other loyalty card they are trying to push, it's usually just a quick question at those stores and if you say "no, thanks", the employee stops immediately.

    I know it's part of the culture at Gamestop and not making your quota can result in termination (which really doesn't apply at retailers like Best Buy, Target, etc...), but it is really way too much. They ask if you want a warranty, a used copy of the game, if you want to pre-order other items and then they push their loyalty card. How about this, if I wanted to do any of those things, I would ask for them. I don't need someone pressuring me into doing anything when I'm already doing them a favor by shopping there and actually paying full price for something.

    I get that you like Gamestop and maybe you just have a really great store in your area. Unfortunately for the rest of us, we aren't so lucky.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger View Post
    I doubt it. They'll still push their big "thing" just the same. They apparently are just going to hold off on pushing the used copies of new games for a little while after release.
    I knew it was too good to be true.

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger
    Home Depot sometimes asks for your zip code. And forget places like Radio Shack and Micro Center. Those places want your email address.
    Toys R Us asks you for your telephone number, as did Circuit City when they were still around.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bojay1997 View Post
    I shop Best Buy, Target, Micro Center, Home Depot, Lowe's, Fry's and several other big box retailers several times a week. Most of the time, the cashier never says anything but "hello" and "thank you for shopping here". On the rare occasions when a store has a credit card or some other loyalty card they are trying to push, it's usually just a quick question at those stores and if you say "no, thanks", the employee stops immediately.

    I know it's part of the culture at Gamestop and not making your quota can result in termination (which really doesn't apply at retailers like Best Buy, Target, etc...), but it is really way too much. They ask if you want a warranty, a used copy of the game, if you want to pre-order other items and then they push their loyalty card. How about this, if I wanted to do any of those things, I would ask for them. I don't need someone pressuring me into doing anything when I'm already doing them a favor by shopping there and actually paying full price for something.

    I get that you like Gamestop and maybe you just have a really great store in your area. Unfortunately for the rest of us, we aren't so lucky.
    I don't "like" GameStop in the sense that I prefer it over anything else. What I like is good deals so I do lots of cheapie shopping there because it's pretty easy to find Buy 2 get 1 Free coupons and the like to get a bunch of $10 or less games. And I get Game Informer anyway so the Edge Card ends up being nearly free and the 10% stacks on to whatever other discount coupons there are. I can't get those kinds of benefits at other stores so unless GameStop is doing something morally reprehensible to the point where my idealism takes over I don't see a reason to swear it off. GameStop might not be any better than Best Buy, Micro Center, Radio Shack, etc. but I haven't had experiences that suggest it's any worse. Like I said, P.C. Richard & Son is far more annoying to shop at.

    What I think ends up happening though is this. As somebody who worked at Blockbuster for a while, I can tell you that the regional management was relentless with trying to get us to push movie passes and all kinds of other promotions. My store manager was more reasonable. What everybody ended up doing (just because it was natural to do it) was bring up the promotions to people but, because you knew who your regulars were, you would know that you didn't have to mention it to this person or that person. Not to mention, it isn't really that hard to read people. You can tell the guys who want to run in and get out vs. the people who are a little more relaxed.

    But this does show how different stores within a chain have different personalities. I don't think I've ever gotten out of my local Best Buy without the rewards card coming up. Nor can I go to Micro Center without somebody asking me for my name and email address. But I don't get annoyed when people ask me for things unless they don't take no for an answer. And P.C. Richard and Son is the only place I've been to in recent memory where one "no thanks, I'm good" hasn't been enough.
    Last edited by TonyTheTiger; 06-19-2009 at 03:35 AM.

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