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Submitted by stylishjerk 438d ago | opinion piece

Calling Shenanigans on Xenoblade's Market Price At Gamestop

Various journalists and gaming enthusiasts have felt that Xenoblade was being sold as a used game even though it was most likely a new copy. The Stylish Jerk went to a Gamestop near Ontario Mills and found a copy of Xenoblade. He observed the case. It had the brand new game smell that gamers are fond of and it had working NIntendo club points in the box. Either the “previous owner” wanted to keep the box brand spanking new for collecting purposes or possibly the rumors are correct and Gamestop is taking the shrink wrap of new games and selling it as used. Here is what I find wrong if those rumors happen to be true. (Industry)

memots  +   438d ago
slow news day... or not enough flame bait article.
rainslacker  +   438d ago
Hey now. He did research. Of course that research was just repeating what was said on Gaf threads on the possible scenarios.
admiralvic  +   438d ago
Oh no, working Club Nintendo codes?! Clearly this is the work of someone opening a new copy and selling it as used and not one of the 50%+ that don't care / bother with Club Nintendo coins copy.

Seriously though. There is nothing negative about GameStop doing this.

- Their price will lower the secondary market price.
- Their price will drop if no one buys it.
- There are plenty of bonuses / coupons to get a better (not as good as MSRP sadly) deal.
- More people get to enjoy this game.
- Resellers get screwed, which is fantastic.
- etc.

Sure it's dishonest, but simply don't buy it if you don't agree with it.
rainslacker  +   438d ago
Here's what I think.

I think they did open new copies that went unsold in their stores. Evidenced by the numerous reports of working points cards, and that "new game smell"...although for my copy I'd say it was more that it was in pristine condition. If someone kept it that good, they likely would know it's value, and wouldn't be selling it to GS for $50. Don't know how many people have seen the condition of most Wii Games that GS sells used.

I think they also got a lot of used copies in with their $35 and $50 promotions they did for this game over the last few months. This is evidenced by the fact that there are also some reports that not all copies are great, not all point cards work, and some copies are disc only.

I do not think they did a reprint. Nintendo would have to be complacent in that, and why would they want to do that when they make money off new games sold.

I do not not think they held back supply in anticipation of it being valuable later. There was no indication to think this game would have such a high value when the game was released. There are numerous reports of people saying they could walk into GameStop and purchase new copies. This was verified by people offering zip codes to check in store stock. Up until a few months ago, there were places where it was very easy to find.

Here's what I believe happened.

GameStop funded the manufacturing of this game to make it exclusive.

The game had good initial sales due to the oprainfall demand.

Sales dropped off sharply after all those people got their copy.

The game went unsold, and sellers started acting like the game was rare and worth more than it really was. It jacked up the prices, then the games demand actually went up considerably.

Now GS had uneven distribution of the game, and the bigger markets had already sold out.

GameStop sat on stock for months without bothering to redistribute to where it would sell.

GameStop then sees the can get a lot for the game due to the ebay/amazon sellers market and decide to do a massive buyback campaign. They open all their new copies to sell as used, because their contracts probably prevent them from changing more for the new copy price.

There is no massive conspiracy here. GameStop just decided to profit off a game that people didn't buy in the first place, and then didn't have the chance to because it wasn't available in enough abundance.

Scummy and shady sure. But it is what it is.

Amazing game btw...I'm loving it.:)
admiralvic  +   438d ago
"I think they did open new copies that went unsold in their stores"

This game wouldn't be selling for 100+ on eBay if they had unsold copies and GameStop regularly converts new games to used. This happens a LOT to collectors editions, which typically have the items thrown out, but sometimes people will get lucky. Like recently Gears of War 3 went CTU and you could get the Epic edition for $13 dollars.

"GameStop sat on stock for months without bothering to redistribute to where it would sell.

GameStop then sees the can get a lot for the game due to the ebay/amazon sellers market and decide to do a massive buyback campaign. They open all their new copies to sell as used, because their contracts probably prevent them from changing more for the new copy price. "

This has been a high used price / uncommon item for quite a while. Back in Feb it was trading in for $45 dollars http://www.neogaf.com/forum... and since then the price has stayed relatively high (like how it's typically featured in the trade 2 for 1 deals), So this shows that they not only had this campaign going for MONTHS (Unless you think they bought up all this stock and waited 6 months before flooding the market...), but it was always at a high value. Lets also not forget that a lot of people are finding these "new" looking copies have a different case than the old ones.

Anyway, your logic is flawed and your defense has more holes than swiss cheese. Unless you sincerely believe GameStop pulled stock, held onto copies for MONTHS after it was in high demand, decides ages after converting it to used (meaning all new copies were sold at the then cheaper used price) to randomly flood the market with these games and create all this drama to score a few extra dollars...

What most likely happened was...

GameStop sold most of them and converted the rest to used. These mostly sold out at $35 or so dollars and everyone was happy. Down the road people talked about how awesome the game was (like Earthbound), which lead to more people wanting to play it. eBay prices started to go sky high and in turn the GameStop used price and TIV started to go up too. GameStop made some sort of deal with Nintendo to get more copies of this, Metroid Prime Trilogy (also mysteriously back in stock) and probably Fire Emblem (also jumped in price like the previous two games and was the first sign of the restock). Considering all of the games so far are Nintendo related... it makes a lot of sense that GameStop made a deal. Since these are newer copies of the game, they all contain the new Nintendo branded case and fresh CN coins. Since there were copies before / people steal / "rental" people exist... some copies look less than new, where as others look brand new.
rainslacker  +   438d ago
As I've said, people have posted their zip codes to prove it's available. A friend in Michigan was going to get me one a few months ago because they had it listed as available new(not listed as low stock), although they, nor me, ever actually followed through with it, regrettably. So it was available new in some stores around the country. Just not where people would buy it. Hence, they never redistributed it.

They can be a little slow on the uptake on that.

I agree, the price has been high since at least around February. At that time though you could still get it for around $80 or less online. Only copies that went above $100 were new ones for the most part. Back in February when I first looked to get this game, most new copies were about $125.

And yeah, it takes months to restock as much quantity as possible through trade ins, which are some of the ones currently available. This was a calculated promotion of theirs. When dealing with that much profit, they can sit on stock for a few months, as the price would likely continue to go up elsewhere anyways.

I do agree with your most likely scenario overall. I'm weary of the reprinting point, because this game isn't exactly as rare as many people point out, and initial sales weren't as high as most people seem to assume. This could leave them with quite a bit of stock between all their stores left unsold. I can't explain away the new cases except to say that they repacked the games into what is arguably a nicer box. They'd obviously want to give the best product when asking for a higher price. This will also help raise the value of their "vintage games" program in the future. Original Wii boxes tend to be a bit flimsy.

I do believe Fire Emblem they did reprint, as well as SMT, and a couple other games, and can't remember what I've read about MPT. However all the evidence on this game is purely speculation. It's strong evidence I'll admit, but I still hold to they just calculated how to get as much used stock as possible for this current thing.

As far as varying conditions, it's highly likely they got stock in through their promotions. Rental people wouldn't have been a factor when this hit because it was only a few days later. And of course they spent time actively promoting the trade in of this game.

They could have withheld stock from the warehouse to the store/on-line orders once they saw that the price was increasing dramatically. This could have been planned since the beginning of this year. It's a shady thing to do, as I'll admit, but it's not illegal.

In the end, I don't think it really matters. I doubt it's going to change the long term private sale value of the game after these copies are gone. It'll possibly make it less rare if it's a reprint. However, it's starting to disappear from every store in my immediate vicinity.

I, and many others, are happy they got a copy at a reasonable price. Wish I had paid attention to this when the game released, but didn't have a Wii, and was transitioning out of going to school. Sometimes people miss out.
C-Thunder  +   438d ago
There does come a point in time at GameStop when a title is permanently switched over to used in their system, so it is possible to be getting a 'new' game as used. But, the dev will still have got their cut.
xGrunty  +   438d ago
The Xenoblade SKU for new has been cut off. I don't think this was an intentional thing because its been gone for a while now. They just hold things at the warehouse. So I don't see why people are flipping out. Especially since the game was GameStop exclusive in the first place.
mydyingparadiselost  +   438d ago
I wonder if it's the same with the Metroid Prime Trilogy, if it's in 'new' condition being sold used at Gamestop. That game is years old, I couldn't imagine they would hold on to new copies just to sell later used for so long.
That_Ninja_Gray_Fox  +   438d ago
Its the GameStop and Microsoft partnership. So don't be surprised this kind of thing may be happening.
Swiggins  +   438d ago
Source?

Oh no wait, you're just making it up...never mind =D
MikeyDucati1  +   438d ago
Can't tell the millions of kids and parents who frequent that hustling store that you should be careful of supporting that business.
NexGen  +   438d ago
Am I missing the relevance of this article? Who cares how it's being sold at Gamestop, whether it be labeled as new or used? Does that matter?

The only aspect of this that might be slightly strange is the motivation for Gamestop to lose income by slapping the wrong label on a game case. There is nothing illicit with them selling a new game as used - it's stupid, but nothing strange or illegal. The customer gets an even better version of what they had hoped for, at an even cheaper price. Quick, call the police!
rainslacker  +   438d ago
It just seems shady because people think GameStop should sell them as new, since they are actually technically new. However, they are selling it for less than others. Got mine for $46 from them.:)

Most of those new copies would go to the scalpers though, who would hold onto them to jack the price up even more than what GS is doing. People would be cool with that though because it's a private seller.

OTOH, they do sell opened games as new...which to me is a scummier practice. But people hate on them for that.

Reality is, people are going to hate on GameStop. They could give away free PS4 or Xbox One's with the purchase of a PUR membership and people would still find a way to hate them for "forcing" that on them. BTW, that membership pays for itself many times over if you buy lots of games. Amazon is typically a better deal in the long run though.
#7.1 (Edited 438d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
admiralvic  +   438d ago
"There is nothing illicit with them selling a new game as used - it's stupid"

They actually do it all the time. A lot of people watch Collectors Editions to become used, since GameStop policy is to trash the CE contents, but some places will give / steal the contents for themselves. The one difference is that they jacked up the prices and make almost twice as much on a used copy than new. Either or, it will result in lower prices down the road.
rainslacker  +   438d ago
It's not stupid for them. They make more money off it. One could argue it's taking advantage of the situation and not fair to the consumer, since they likely have agreements to sell it for <= MSRP with Nintendo. I'm sure most people would prefer a new copy, but lets face it, those copies would have been snatched up quick to be resold for $200+ on ebay.

And yeah, it's done all the time. More often than not though it's not an advantage. It's just a way to move the game to a lower price point so people will buy it, since most people would just buy it used anyways. Again, we could argue that they could just drop the price of the new copy to used, but even though I don't hate GameStop, quite a few of their policies don't make a lot of sense.

I still doubt it will lower prices down the road. As games age they tend to keep increasing in value if they're popular like this. Once they get more into the collector's hands, they do become more rare. This would have to be a hugely substantial distribution to affect long term pricing, and this seems to be more of a 1-3 per store kind of deal. Short term pricing is already being effected, although I did see a listing the other day that said it was an original pressing(with Wii Box), like that really mattered since all the contents were exactly the same.

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