Inside GameStop's Ridiculous Used Games Business

This was written by a current GameStop employee for website

"Most gamers can all agree by now that visiting a local retail store to purchase games can be a bit of a pain in the ass. One of the more particular pains in the ass is the infamous GameStop. I'm not writing this article as a disgruntled customer, but instead as an employee of GameStop. Having spent multiple years with the company, I feel it is my duty to report the failed operations of this multinational corporation and how their greed affects the entire gaming industry from all of us as customers to the people that craft our beloved entertainment. You just bought one of the most hyped games of the year. Leading up to your purchase you've been keeping up with the trailers, the news articles, and you've seen the merchandising on a regular basis. The wait is finally over and the only thing on your mind is getting that bad boy into your Xbox and kicking back to experience the glory. By the time you've completed the campaign and beaten all of the challenges, you have this sinking feeling of disappointment. The game just didn't reach the hype you had for it, and you really don't care to ever play it again."

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LaurenKB1232408d ago

Will never use GameStop for trade-ins....eBay it is!

MostJadedGamer2408d ago (Edited 2408d ago )

I love Gamestop, and shop almost exclusively at Gamestop. It's not perfect, and of course I would like a little more money on my trade-ins, but overall it is hands down the best place for videogames. Of course its also the only specialty video game store left for most of us. Gamestop has done a great job in creating a near monopoly as far as specialty video game stores go.

I just cann't understand why so many people hate Gamestop. I love Gamestop, and love shopping there. Like said it's not perfect, and they need to give a little more on tradeins, but overall there a really great place for gamers.

MrBeatdown2408d ago (Edited 2408d ago )

For me, it's pricing. Just about every other place to buy games offers better sales.

I could buy Mass Effect 3 at Best Buy or Amazon this week for $40. Or I could buy it at GameStop for $60 (possibly an open shelf copy that's "new," then trade it in for $20 in store credit when I'm done. When it's all said and done, I either have ME3 and $20 cash still in my pocket, or $20 in GS credit, and no game.

And I'd put that $20 in GS credit towards another $60 game, but odds are that same game will pop up for $40 elsewhere, so the credit is only basically good to get the discount I could have gotten elsewhere.

Basically, I'd rather wait and shop around a bit and keep my games rather than give up all my games to trade in and feed GameStop for basically the same price.

schlanz2408d ago

Why does there need to be a special "place" for gamers to buy games.. Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and K-Mart consistently have better deals and with more frequency for games. And I can't stress enough the convenience and unbeatable prices of Amazon, especially since its tax free and you can get many games on release day delivery for a measly buck.

I don't hate Gamestop as much as I just think it's a pointless business, unless you never keep your games and you are too lazy to sell them on ebay for 2-4 times as much as GS would give you.

Arnon2408d ago

Just because there are better deals out there for certain products that GameStop sells, doesn't mean GameStop is pointless.

It's all about convenience. Sure, you can sell your games on eBay and make a much larger profit than you would at GameStop, but you're also going to be waiting about 4-10x as long for said profit to occur. Most people don't want to wait that long, and they know that when they walk into GameStop to trade in something, that usually they're there to pick something else out as well.

On the note of Amazon. I think they're great. I think they have deals for new games that most people would not be able to receive from Gamestop (except for us employees ;)). However, Amazon also has it's drawbacks. While pre-ordering a game and receiving it the day it comes out isn't too much of a hassle, buying ANYTHING over the internet almost always comes with shipping costs and waiting times.

Again, it's all about convenience.

V0LT2408d ago

What turned me away from GS for the final time years ago was when I went to buy a "new" DS game. The dude proceeded to pull the game from a sleeve in a drawer and put it in a case that was not sealed. I don't know about you but I don't consider that "new". New to me is sealed and untouched.

antz11042408d ago

Amazon trade in all the way, usually much better prices for the trades and what they're selling.

lastdual2407d ago

Honestly, if you sell your used games to GS and feel ripped off, it's not GameStop's fault, it's YOURS.

GS is just another retailer. No one is forcing you to buy or sell there. I agree that some of their preorder incentives are annoying, but otherwise the fact that they act as a competitor to Amazon & co. is a good thing. Competition drives lower prices.

Personally, I'm not looking forward to the day when everything goes digital distribution and we no longer have the option of buying used. GameStop may seem "evil" to some right now, but things could definitely get worse.

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FragGen2408d ago (Edited 2408d ago )

Keep hating on Gamestop but you guys will miss them when they're gone. Used games are in the consumer's best interest and the supposed down sides are incredibly over blown by publishers looking to milk IP.

Larry L2408d ago

You're right......and you're wrong.

A used games market IS in gamer's best interests. Yup........I have no issue with that. But Gamestop's business practices in that used games market are NOT in gamer's best interests. At least not anymore. They sold us out for profits once they had their monopoly.

It can be summed up easily. Back in the day when Champions of Norrath 2 came out for PS2, I traded in the first game the same day. They gave me $22 CASH for the game and immediately put it on the shelf for $44.

That is called fair market value. When value for something is known, a buyer that's reselling for profit should be paying half of what they're going to sell it for. That was what Gamestop and EB Games did in the PS1 days and right up to about 2005 or so.

Now they won't even give you cash. WTF!!??? We pay them cash. They only even give us what they call the value of our games if we take store credit. If we want cash they INSTANTLY steal away from us 20% of what they're supposed to pay us. THAT SHOULD BE ILLEGAL !!!!! Yes.....offer us MORE if we take store credit, but you can't give us LESS because we may not want to respend that $ at your store.

I honestly and seriously think them doing that should be illegal. That's tax free profit along with being outright stealing.

In comparison of what Gamestop's used games market USED to be.....which was fair. Giving me half for my games IN CASH. When Soul Calibur 4 came out in Summer 08, I disliked it so went to trade it in 1 month after it released, and they only gave me $15 for it then turned around and put it on the shelf for $55 !!!!

For you people claiming you see nothing wrong with this corrupt business, I honestly think you must be employees of the company or are just brainwashed somehow. Because there's no possible way any human being with even the slightest sense of the value of earning a dollar could consider that good for "us the consumer".

In every way Gamestop's used game market model is just stealing money. Not only from the game development community who make these games, but also right out of "OUR" (their customers) pockets.

schlanz2408d ago

And gamestop is still probably the worst used game distributor, although it is the largest.

It's not uncommon to find Amazon offering the same game for the same price.. only the difference is with Amazon the game is brand new instead of used.

FragGen2408d ago (Edited 2408d ago )

deleted double post

No FanS Land2407d ago

I surely prefer buying at independant videogame stores.

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UltimaEnder2408d ago

After getting $100 for my brand new VITA and then them wanting $200 for it 5 mins later, that was the end...

Godchild10202408d ago (Edited 2408d ago )

I seen that the day the Vita released and knew I was never going to trade in my Vita. The 3Ds got more than that when it was released last year. I'm not mad, I know its a business that I will NOT use when it comes to trading in my Vita. I don't plan to I use a lot to play PSP games and there are a good deal of games I want for it in the coming months.

The systems I ever traded in were my 360 and PS3 when I had a coupon to get more than what they were selling the systems for and bought a new 360 and PS3.

I do my trades in bulk and do it when there are trade promotions going on. If I'm only trading in one game and I know that there is a game that I want that is out or coming out I reserve it get the extra 40 percent or put it towards that game and get the extra money.

I have never received 18 dollars for a game that was newly released, because I know how and when to do my trades.

schlanz2408d ago

not tryin to troll but why would you trade in your vita so soon (unless it was a gift?) It hasn't even been out that long..

(I don't even have one, but if I went ahead and spent the money on it I'd be holding on to it..)

Christopher2407d ago

He didn't say he wanted to trade it in. He said they wanted to pay him $200 for it on day one. It's their job to mention that they will buy back games/hardware and at what price. Their goal is to sell the same item as many times as possible to increase their profit.

neutralgamer192408d ago

Weve seen many articles similar to this one over the years. Yes we know dont sell your games or buy used ones from gamestop their rip off artists!!!!!.

MacUser19862408d ago (Edited 2408d ago )

As a former Gamestop employee I know the horrors and greed the company is famous for. The idea that I could trade my copy of Metroid Prime Trilogy in for $14 and they sell it for $75 brings that vomit taste to my mouth. Gamestop is a pure greed and is the main reason Sony and Microsoft want to kill used games in their next consoles.

GameStop exists for the majority of their customers which are kids, kids aren't the brightest when it comes to business and or don't have the money to buy all the new games they want so trading in is their only option. Also, parents of children who don't care what it cost as long as they can give it to their child to shut them up. GameStop knows this and is fully taken advantage of it.

GameStop is a stain on an industry I once loved but gaming anymore seems to be nothing but a chore but I fully support the developers who want their money for the work they did.

MostJadedGamer2408d ago

That is totally false. The majority of Gamestop customers are core gamers like me. Gamestop does far, far, far more preorders then any other store. A very large chunk of preorders come from Gamestop, and most preorders are made by core gamers. Most core gamers love Gamestop.

Larry L2408d ago

Well actually, I am a core gamer. And as an informed core gamer that cares about the industry at least somewhat I don't support Gamestop. But that being said, I will still pre-order brand new games there.

Gamestop USED to be the ONLY place to pre-order. It's only fairly recenly that we've even been able to pre-order from other retail places. And the fact is, even though I can't stand Gamestop because of their rediculous greed in the used games market, they do still get exclusive pre-order DLC sometimes. And if they have some exclusive in-game stuff as a pre-order incentive that I want more than another retailer's incentive, I will pre-order at Gamestop no problem.

And even that's not selling my own beliefs out, because what I believe in is supporting the industry. As long as I'm buying new, even if it's at gamestop, I'm still supporting the industry. I'm just taking advantage of something Gamestop is offering.

My beliefs are always logical. No....I won't support Gamestop, but I will pre-order new games there if I'm making out and not them. I also don't support the used games market, but that's only if games are still availible on the new market. If a game's not made anymore or can't be found at retail then that's where the used games market is imortant for gamers.

schlanz2408d ago

I am a core gamer and I used to preorder all my games from Gamestop... then Amazon came along, offering release day delivery for $1, $10-20 credits for next purchases, and tax free... kinda makes me think core gamers are stupid if they think Gamestop is still the best.

KozmoOchez2407d ago (Edited 2407d ago )

It's not false, I also used to work for Gamestop and most of our customers were NOT core gamers. They were either kids or parents or grandparents buying for their kids. The only time we saw the core gamers in a large capacity was at midnight releases. And my Gamestop was right next to a nerdy tech university, so it's not like they weren't around

I also now work at Best Buy and let me tell you, they get some pretty good preorder deals that rival and sometimes surpass Gamestop preorder deals. Like when I got ME3, they gave me a $20 giftcard a week after it released, plus whatever else in game stuff comes with the game. And that's not the first time they've done gift cards for preorders. BBY, Walmart, and Amazon all get preorder bonuses along with Gamestop. Sometimes Gamestop has the best simply b/c they are the biggest, but sometimes other stores get better ones or something similar enough to where you wouldn't need to preorder from Gamestop. There are plenty of alternatives around these days.

LoveSpuds2408d ago

I have not bought a game from a store for years as they always charge close to RRP for their games, I get all my games (2-3 a month) exclusively from online games retailers, 95% of the time from

I have never understood why people use Gamestop etc as you can ALWAYS get a better deal if you shop around online.

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