GameStop's Dirty Little Secret

Former GameStop employee outs the evil empire on one of their many dirty corporate secrets. It's just another reason to avoid them at all costs!

Read Full Story >>
The story is too old to be commented.
SeanScythe3752d ago

site is blocked at work can't read...sigh

shadowghost7523752d ago (Edited 3752d ago )

There you go SeanScythe

I still remember when I was little and Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble was just being released. My self-made video game money collecting envelope was burning a hole in my pocket as I waited patiently to pick up my reserved copy at the local Toys ‘R’ Us. Putting ten bucks down on a game was all I had to do in order to guarantee myself a copy the day it came out… well the day after it came out, considering the release date is actually the shipping date, but nonetheless I was one ecstatic nine year old. Now fast forward about 13 years and I am now the man behind the counter at a Gamestop, attempting to afford college, and asking people if they want to reserve anything. Five dollars is all you need now to reserve the latest alien versus human space epic shooter. In fact, you do not even need your receipt anymore. Your local EB Gamestop has all your information saved on their respective computers, everything about you, even your birthday.

At around 11:55 pm toward the end of a delightful September’s day, a local Commerce Bank employee came into our store looking to reserve yet another one of these alien vs. human space epic shooters, which I believe goes by the name of Halo 3. The game was going to be released in about five minutes, but paying for the full thing, all 63 dollars and 49 cents of it guaranteed him a quick pick-up after the clocked ticked to the next day. In order to take his reserve, and his money, I first needed to bring up his information. I asked for his phone number and received it. As a regular customer, his name came up as did any game he had reserved and has yet to pick up. At that moment I noticed something special, for him anyway, which was the fact that he had a fully paid-off copy of another alien versus human epic shooter, I believe called Gears of War, and I could simply transfer the balance to Halo 3 giving him what would now seem like a free game. He was overjoyed at the prospect of not having to shell out any of his hard earned cash and gladly accepted the balance transfer. After the transaction was complete, my manager took me aside and what she said changed my whole outlook on EB Gamestop forever.

EB Gamestop is a multimillion dollar corporation once owned by Barnes and Noble, but I always assumed that they were one of those good monopolies… you know like… Febreeze. She brings me to the other computer and types in a couple of secret manager passwords which brings up a screen of released games with a number next to each one. She immediately scrolls down to Madden 08 and points at the number. “How many people have this game reserved?” she asked. I then realized that the number next to the game represents the people who still have the game reserved. “42”, I respond completely flabbergasted. She then said, “People often forget where they reserved a game, pick it up somewhere else, or just do not care. Now while corporate does not just come out and say it, they really do not like us to remind people they have things reserved that already passed because at the year anniversary of that game’s release date, the reserve sku and the money magically disappear.” Not knowing what to say next, I got extremely curious and asked her to scroll down to Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess for the Gamecube, and to my astonishment there was still a shocking 99 reserves in our system that would disappear forever on December 3rd.

The reason why so many people never picked up this title was because it kept getting delayed until it finally switched systems to the Wii and then no one picked up their reserved copy of the GCN version. EB Gamestop must hold a happy dance-dance party whenever a game gets delayed (I’m looking at you Grand Theft Auto IV). If we are to assume that each person only put five bucks down on Twilight Princess GCN, it would amass to approximately 495 dollars (or as I like to think of it, the price of an 80 gig Playstation 3) of free money for EB Gamestop. Those numbers were just from our store, and there was an EB and a Gamestop in this mall (not to mention three more within a 15 mile radius around the mall). Note: Now the consumer can still technically get their money back, it is just the reserve sku that disappears. However, with no game name next to the amount on the reserve, EB Gamestop employees rarely ever notice or tell the customer they still have Starfox64 on reserve. She then tells me, “Since he had a fully paid off copy of Gears of War in our computers, what most likely happened is he picked up the game and paid for it in full but the cashier never properly cashed out the order”. So in this case I accidentally just screwed over EB Gamestop, which at that moment I had no remorse for whatsoever. So here is EB Gamestop’s dirty little secret out and all over the internet. And this comes with a warning for all of you out there, for the next time you reserve your copy of the next epic alien versus big guy in suit videogame, take precaution and make sure you not only remember you have the game reserved, but also which of the 10,000 EB Gamestop locations you reserved it at!

SeanScythe3752d ago

Bubble 4 u sir, Thanks for this I hate my job blocks a lot of sites for no reason.

shadowghost7523752d ago

thank you have a bubble yourself

juuken3752d ago

Nice Shadow.

I'll give you a bubble too.

RememberThe3573752d ago

lol its a bubble fest in here!

shadowghost7523752d ago

@ above

Your right it is a bubble fest in here

Have a bubble

smart_head3752d ago

Cool, bubbles for everyone.

Lifendz3752d ago (Edited 3752d ago )

bubbles for all above :)

Scary post. I'm like Mr. Frugal and I'm only given so much money to spend on games (laugh if you want but when you're married you'll understand). So this would never happen to me because I keep track of these things.

However, I could see this happening to a lot of people. Wow, I wonder how much money GameStop pockets off of this? I stopped giving them business when I went in to purchase a game and they would reach under the counter and popped a disk into an already opened box. I also don't know why anyone would just sell their stuff to GameStop rather than ebay it. You'll get much more if you cut the middle man out.

Eye opening stuff that, for some reason, I don't doubt at all.

thebudgetgamer3752d ago

support your local mom and pop shops

vdesai3752d ago

You could also try a proxy from or maybe something else. But bubbles for all.

AuToFiRE3752d ago

no bubbles for me? lol

This is one fo the oldest tricks in the book, thats why i dont reserve a game until the game goes golden with a release date set in stone

Millah3752d ago

You see, this is exactly why I NEVER preorder a game from Gamestop, and why I try to inform as many people as possible to not reserve anything as well. Software, especially on a frickin disc, is so easy to manufacture that it will never have a lack of supply given that there is a demand, its very simple to manufacture a game disc, which makes reserving a game entirely pointless.

Gamestop hounds you to reserve a game, not only because people forget about it, but because you basically are giving them free money. They try and trick you that it will be so hard to find a stupid game, when that is not true, because if Gamestop sells out then Wal mart will probly have some or Best Buy or Circuit City etc.

How is it free money? Simple, you are paying Gamestop money for something they haven't even sold you yet. While Gamestop waits to fulfill their end of the transaction, they take all this money from preorders and they INVEST and earn interest on YOUR MONEY. 5 dollars from millions and millions of people is millions of dollars earning interest, over several months. So you are just handing money over to Gamestop, and it costs them ABSOLUTELY NOTHING because they haven't given anything yet to the consumer, WHICH IS WHY THIS IS JUST FREE MONEY FOR GAMESTOP.

You ever wonder why Gamestop employees are always breathing down your neck to preorder games? Well theres your answer. Gamestop loves getting your free money. Always remember that money isn't free, and money can always be earning you money in return. When you preorder a game, you essentially are investing, but this is the only investment that pays no interest and actually loses you money due to inflation.

I literally shake my head every time I hear about people who pay for a game IN FULL months before its ever released. Thats one of the dumbest things you could ever do with your money. People really need to take courses in personal finance, because people do some really stupid things with their money. Sure its just 60 bucks, but theres absolutely no point in paying the full amount for the game, when 5 dollars will accomplish the exact same thing if you were that desperate to preorder. You can do much smarter things with the remaining 55 dollars in the meantime. Hell go buy a stock or ANYTHING with it, but don't just give it away for no reason.

I'm a business economics major, and these are all just very basic principles of finance. Don't let Gamestop fool you into thinking software is ever something thats hard to find. If you for some reason can't find a game anywhere on launch date, you will probably find it in abundance within a week.

Whew.....alright I'm done ranting. I just can't help but cringe when I hear about all these fools preordering games and paying the full amount 5 months before release.

Overr8ed3752d ago

=(. i came to late for the bubble party =(

IC Weiner3752d ago

Bubbles for the both of you.

Palodios3752d ago

Aww, how cute, a bubblefest. I wish I was here a half hour ago :-p

The moral of the story is... there is no point to reserving a game! Okay, well, unless there is a limited run like Atlus games, a limited run of a special edition, or preordering incentives, just don't. Okay, so there are some reasons, but for your average game its not worth it.

The only two times I've preordered anything, the gamestop didn't have it on day one anyway, they didn't call me when it came in, and it was at the store one door over. Sometimes they give away copies to people who didn't preorder first, and run out for the people who did. Awesome GS.

IC Weiner3752d ago

Well said, bubbles for you too.

AAACE53752d ago

I had the same problem at my job, so I understand. Hell, I would have to read peoples comments on N4g at work, and go home to respond to them.

BTW... Can you guys give me some bubbles since it's a bubble fest in here, and I keep losing mine for speaking the ugly truth!

Come on... Pleeeeeeeaaaaazzzee!!!=D

Palodios3751d ago (Edited 3751d ago )

Oh neat, my eighth bubble, thanks all. Pal is going to be keeping the fest going(Ace, you too buddy) pass on the love :-)

UnSelf3751d ago

is the bubble fest over? :(

Chuck Norris3751d ago


No, not yet. You are still entitled to give me bubbles. :D

masterprince1013751d ago

never had it explained so well

Yipee Bog3751d ago

this is the same for me, I reserved MGS4 at gamestop, but then read in the paper that circuit city was handing out free strategy guides w/ purchase so I bought it. so Gamestop still has 5 dollars of my beer money and now I think its time to collect. p.s. just saw pineapple express..... and loved it, sorry for the plug ;)

shadowghost7523751d ago

It ain't over yet

Bubbles for all of you as well

Megatron083751d ago

Well there is nothing shocking about them doin this I'll have to admit that I'm surprised by the number of people that forget they have paid for games. I use to pre order games all the time when I was younger but I stop doin it after so many games started getting delayed and worse is they now throw random dates in their computers for release dates when they have no clue when a game will be coming out just to get you to pre order.

dude_uk3751d ago (Edited 3751d ago )

bubbles to all =D

this is why i like GAME UK if you have a game card you can pre-order for free xD
----------------------------- ------------------------------- ---------
edit: noo i was too late for the bubblefest =[

Jinxstar3751d ago

i still don't get it... Gamestop always calls me before my game arrives... If people don't pick it up after they get a call then... Oh well they deserve to fail...

Yipee Bog3751d ago

not too late, gotcha. lol

IC Weiner3751d ago

Hopefully I get some too.

lento3751d ago

boom.. many bubbles to give.. and so little time..wait at work..lots of time lol

Blank10173751d ago

I dont see how people never get how much they can make. Lets take Mario Galaxy (easiest google-able pre-order #'s) had over 400,000 pre-orders.

$5 down = $2 million Dollars

current money market amounts (I'm sure they get more, but this was a 10 sec google search) of 4.75%

thats $95,000... for doing nothing. For one game (using modest pre-order numbers). And that says NOTHING of the amount they save by avoiding overstock of games.

Vip3r3751d ago

Bubbles to all of the above. :)

dude_uk3751d ago

i can't believe i've still got the same number of bubbles as i came to the bubblefest with lol

+ Show (32) more repliesLast reply 3751d ago
enjoi1873752d ago

hes much money in left over reserves...

solidt123751d ago

I don't forget about reserves. as a matter of fact I always get a phone call the day before my game arrives letting me know it will be in the store.

Jack Bauer3752d ago

i had two worlds on reserve for like 10 months, i told em to cancel it and move it over to something else but i guess they didnt... luckily i asked em what i had on reserve one time and they told me... now i do that every once and a while, usually i remember tho.

AAACE53752d ago

I quit doing reserves on games unless I know it's going to be hard to find!

I realized that was a problem when I went to gamestop and asked what I had reserved. I thought I had 4 games reserved, but they told me 9. It gets worse, cause for fun one of them printed out another customers reserve list and added up how much she owed. The girl had something like 70-100 current game reserves. I wonder how many of those she forgot about?

PistolPumptMonk3752d ago

This doesn't really make me hate Gamestop in anyway, sure its a little wrong to just not remind people of something like that, and it would be nice if the world were so kind.

But its not. People like money, companies like money. My advice is, IF YOU PAY 60 DOLLARS FOR A GAME, DON'T FORGET TO GET IT. I know as a college student, I certainly wouldn't.

Gamestop can be annoying at times, but I still find it much easier to shop at for games just because MOST of the employees I have delt with are friendly and know a lot more about whats going on in the game world than say, an 80 year old woman working at the electronics department in wal-mart.

poopsack3752d ago

I would never forget where i put my money, and less if its a game, since im a gamer, but i guess this happens to most people, but still, i cant hate gamestop because i get my best value there, sure they are cheapos when it comes to trade ins, but in walmart and kmart,as well as other places, debut PS3 games are still 68 dollars, when right now, they're 30-50

jamenees3752d ago

I always get the same lady, she's kind of short, mistempered and for some reason Walmart always puts people in the electronics department that shouldn't belong there.

there are a few good employees there so it's not all bad i guess.

Speaking of gamestop though, i think it really depends on some of the employees where you shop. At my local gamestop everyone is generally pretty cool and are all on my friends list.

I just can't see how someone would forget about a game in reserve...Delays don't help the situation though.

Lifendz3752d ago

that you couldn't get on your own? You're a college student so research is second nature to you. Also, you're a gamer. Do you really need the advice of some employee at Gamestop? I'd guess no. That employee may know more than Grandma at Wal-mart but I sure as heck don't need to ask him anything. In fact, if you frequent N4G on the daily you'll probably know more than the employee at GameStop.

I do see your point about not forgetting about games. Still, it's just wrong for a company to not say "hey, you paid off a game. Would you like to transfer that money over?" Or at least put a disclaimer like "pre-paid games will expire after X number of days." Anything then just play the hush hush with people's money. Corps like money but there is a thing called corporate responsibility and ethics. Their desire for money doesn't excuse unethical practices.

There's always a competitor. Gamers made GameStop great. Shady practices like this could result in their customers going elsewhere.

PistolPumptMonk3752d ago

Ok its not me asking them to research the game for me, its completely other issues. Heres an example.

I went to walmart when I saw that Resistance has become a greatest hit and was 30 dollars. In the store it was 60 and I told the young girl working that I was pretty sure there had been a price drop. She of course had no idea what was going on and took the game to the price scanner.

It said 59.99. She then looked it up online, where it was 30 dollars, only to tell me, "OHHHHH thats because its the GREATEST HIIIIIITS," to which I replied, "Well its the same game just a different package..." Basically there was nothing she could do, and I would have had to pay 60 dollars.

I walked over to the nearest Gamestop, asked the guy about a pricedrop, he looked it up on the computer, and said, "Yeah sure enough Resistance is 24.99 used. Here you go man." Simple.


PistolPumptMonk3752d ago (Edited 3752d ago )

Another example:

My cousin heard from a friend that his local walmart had Super Smash Bros Brawl two days early so he jumped in the car, excited as could be, and went down there. He got there, had the game in his hand, and as the lady rang it up, she said, "OHHH I can't sell this yet," and after talking to three managers, the game was removed from store shelves. They told us to come back at 12 launch night.

We went back on launch night and long story short, their employees had no idea what SSB was, and said they couldn't find them in the back room. We reasoned for a good 20 minutes, but the manager was supposedly "off."

We drove an hour and a half out of the way to Gamestop and picked up a copy within 10 minutes. Once again, thats what I'm talking about.

As far as corporate ethics and such, I totally agree with you and I think it is wrong for Gamestop to condone actions like this. However it will not change my opinion of my local gamestop which has nice employees who know whats going on, and can help me out with whatever I need. That is all.

Lifendz3752d ago

I see your point. In those types of situations a games store like GS is needed.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 3752d ago
juuken3752d ago

I don't even get my games at Gamestop. I have a nice local store where I get my games. I only buy game guides from Gamestop or trade games in so...:P

Sitdown3752d ago

off trading in games at Blockbuster.....they tend to give you more for them.

juuken3752d ago

I'll try that then.