273: Confessions of a GameStop Employee - Part One

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Wow, people who work in retail sure are uptight and defensive!

Batsamaritan:
rockyoumonkeys you are wrong on every level, including genetic.

Unfortunately your glib response proves i'm right, and that your the guy who gets his food pissed in when he eats at restaurants. Any store doing their jobs correctly will give you a sealed copy and leave the gutted ones till last, its common sense, and find me a fool proof way of preventing theft and see the end of gutting completley. I'm not against people wanting their games sealed, but its annoying little pissants who have never once worked in retail and feel the need to lecture those who do who get laughed at and mocked as soon as they leave the store (plus the afformentioned pissed on food in restaurants) who need to shut the fuck up.

As for older games, most of which have had their prices slashed, what do you expect? No store I ever worked in had the copy depth to warrent putting out dummy boxes. At the end of the day take the games or leave them, no one really cares what you think, acting out to people trying to do their jobs makes you look like the cunt you clearly are.

See, here's the problem. Or one of them, anyway. You're either conjuring up something out of things I don't say, or you're blatantly misrepresenting me so that you can then insult me.

Who ever EVER said anything about lecturing people in the store? That's idiotic. For one thing, I don't actually personally blame Gamestop employees for the gutting policy. Never said I did. I argue with people who defend it, that's all. It's a company policy I hate. I know employees don't create company policy.

Second of all, as I've said REPEATEDLY, what happens is I'll ask for a sealed copy. They won't have one. Sometimes they give ME attitude about it, insisting that a gutted copy is just as good, and arguing or mocking when I disagree. I don't go looking for a fight in a store, that's just embarrassing. But not all GS employees are angels. It's clear the hiring standards are low.

The only thing I personally blame employees for is handling discs poorly, which they often DO. The gutting policy is bad mostly because of this. However, I should point out that again, this isn't something that's played out right there in the store. Again, confrontation in a store is stupid. I'll point out that the disc is damaged, they'll either agree or disagree, and that's that. I leave without a game, they'll roll their eyes at me behind my back, and we go on with our lives.

So if you want to argue with things I've actually said, fine. If you want to invent scenarios to give yourself something to feel clever and superior about, find someone else to play along.

It's also pretty telling that you need to resort to childish name calling to "enhance" your argument. Pat yourself on the back for that one.

Infernoshadow211:
I understand the gutting thing. It makes sense to me. What I don't understand is why people complain that a game isn't new when only the shrink wrap is off. To me as, long as the disc is pristine, I get an instruction manual, and the box isn't dented, it's new.

Same here. The shrink wrap is just something I have to waste my time cutting open with a knife or razor blade back home. You think I want to waste that much time?

I've heard another youtube video called "Zero Originality" which is a Zero Punctuation copy of that employee's experience with GameStop.

I look forward to the next 3 parts.

This is a question for anyone reading who may have worked at a gamestop. DO YOU GET COMMISSIONS! I only ask because it seems every time I buy a game at gamestop/EB games the guys behind the counter pitch pre-orders and new games like their lives bloody depended on it.

Once I bought Red Dead Redemption and the guys kept me standing their asking if I wanted to pre-order such and such, this such and such game is so good, here have a look at such and such game trailer on my iphone!. It doesn't bother me too much but it just seems to absurd unless Gamestop or EB games employees get compensation for it.

rockyoumonkeys:
Wow, people who work in retail sure are uptight and defensive!

Batsamaritan:
rockyoumonkeys you are wrong on every level, including genetic.

Unfortunately your glib response proves i'm right, and that your the guy who gets his food pissed in when he eats at restaurants. Any store doing their jobs correctly will give you a sealed copy and leave the gutted ones till last, its common sense, and find me a fool proof way of preventing theft and see the end of gutting completley. I'm not against people wanting their games sealed, but its annoying little pissants who have never once worked in retail and feel the need to lecture those who do who get laughed at and mocked as soon as they leave the store (plus the afformentioned pissed on food in restaurants) who need to shut the fuck up.

As for older games, most of which have had their prices slashed, what do you expect? No store I ever worked in had the copy depth to warrent putting out dummy boxes. At the end of the day take the games or leave them, no one really cares what you think, acting out to people trying to do their jobs makes you look like the cunt you clearly are.

See, here's the problem. Or one of them, anyway. You're either conjuring up something out of things I don't say, or you're blatantly misrepresenting me so that you can then insult me.

Who ever EVER said anything about lecturing people in the store? That's idiotic. For one thing, I don't actually personally blame Gamestop employees for the gutting policy. Never said I did. I argue with people who defend it, that's all. It's a company policy I hate. I know employees don't create company policy.

Second of all, as I've said REPEATEDLY, what happens is I'll ask for a sealed copy. They won't have one. Sometimes they give ME attitude about it, insisting that a gutted copy is just as good, and arguing or mocking when I disagree. I don't go looking for a fight in a store, that's just embarrassing. But not all GS employees are angels. It's clear the hiring standards are low.

The only thing I personally blame employees for is handling discs poorly, which they often DO. The gutting policy is bad mostly because of this. However, I should point out that again, this isn't something that's played out right there in the store. Again, confrontation in a store is stupid. I'll point out that the disc is damaged, they'll either agree or disagree, and that's that. I leave without a game, they'll roll their eyes at me behind my back, and we go on with our lives.

So if you want to argue with things I've actually said, fine. If you want to invent scenarios to give yourself something to feel clever and superior about, find someone else to play along.

It's also pretty telling that you need to resort to childish name calling to "enhance" your argument. Pat yourself on the back for that one.

ok fair play, it was more your attitude displayed in the way you put through your argument, there are more than a few reasons for gutting games, though i personally do my best.

that said i went to far, hands up, i'm sorry and big enough to admit i was wrong on that count.

saintchristopher:

Batsamaritan:
behaving like a twat towards some poor sod working behind a counter just makes you look stupid.

Yes, and insulting the people you're trying to reason with is the absolute best way to convince them you're right.

OT: Look, I'm a GS employee, and frankly the bile being spewed in this thread is getting ridiculous. If you've had a bad personal experience at your GS, then you indeed have a right to be mad at them and never visit that store again.

Just don't forget that some people are actually competent employees who do their best to put the customer first, even at the detriment to his own percentages. (true story: on my first performance evaluation I was told that I'm customer service-focused "to a fault." I help customers TOO MUCH.)

I wish you guys could all come to my store. Baby you know I'll treat you right.

you must have had people giving you the lecture though, when someone comes in and decides to tell you what your doing is wrong, and as soon as you explain the reasons regarding store policy, recieve a total slagging off from said customer, its annoying and most of the guys that do it in my store are unemployed or spending their mothers cash... as you can tell it pisses me off a little, but i feel better for venting on here, its better than doing it in the store.

I really liked this series, having worked in retail myself. I worked in Best Buy in the camera's section, because owning a camera obviously qualifies you to sell them. Yeah I had no idea about cameras but I was still given a position there instead of in the video games and movies section.

Also, Scott Jones? Can I say awesome? I love Reviews on the Run!

Very Interesting...

Wow, I don't know any store in Holland that sells games or dvd's or cd's and doesn't practice 'gutting' (as its apparently called). Every time I go to France and I see games in those plastic cases with security tags and stuff it always seems a bit weird to me.

Been to a French specialist store that stored all of its games in glass display cases as if you were walking in a jewelry. It made sense but it just felt wrong, not being able to pull out the box and read the back.

Apparently there's people who see this practice as a problem, that's news to me. But I've yet to buy a new game and get the gutted box instead of a shrink wrapped one, so my experience with this is nothing but positive. Heck I even got a shrink wrapped game after paying for a used one once.

Up until the company shut down this year, I worked at a local Game Crazy (very similar to GameStop in most respects). Oddly enough, my manager there, Heath, was an eyes-bleeding Madden player too, and beyond that, only an occasional gamer. The other employees there were varied types of gamers. Ben was the achievment farmer who borrowed games for free from the Hollywood Video next door. Karl was the WoW man and the rpg player in general. Mike was the trade-in whore; he would literally buy a game, beat it, and trade it in the next day or two later to put towards another one (he was probably the most avid gamer among us, unless you count WoW hours). I myself was the shooter guy, but I also play a lot of rpgs.
Anyhoo, we all pretty much formed a cohesive team where we at least one of us could tell a prospective customer about a game, or which game they should get. If one of us "specialists" hadn't played a game (Heath: sports, Karl: WoW/rpgs, me: shooters/rpgs) then Mike or Ben had probably played it at some point before anyway.
Even if the manager of the store isn't a "true gamer" (whatever that really means) the majority/all of the other employees likely are, and can help with most problems and questions a customer might have with games and systems.
As far as behind the counter stuff goes...yeah that's pretty much the same. None of us had thought of any better way to do it, and there's no way we'd put "live" games out there. On the other hand, a popular game/one we have several/dozens of copies of is available behind the counter in full shrink wrap if a customer cares enough to ask for one. In addition, many of the new games were kept on display shelves behind the counter anyway, so we could afford to keep those ones live.
Different stores have different policies about many things, but shrink is unavoidable unless measures like gutting are taken.

The people working at both of the Gamestops in my town are actually heavy gamers. That being said, I've been rejected for a job by Gamestop twice in the last year. But then my room-mate, who already has a job (well-paying one, I might add) applies there just for some extra pocket cash and they call him in for an interview the very next day. He's just doing it for extra cash, while I'm just sitting here, jobless.

AlmostLikeLife:
The people working at both of the Gamestops in my town are actually heavy gamers. That being said, I've been rejected for a job by Gamestop twice in the last year. But then my room-mate, who already has a job (well-paying one, I might add) applies there just for some extra pocket cash and they call him in for an interview the very next day. He's just doing it for extra cash, while I'm just sitting here, jobless.

Sorry to hear about the job troubles. But it's actually a known fact that it's easier to get a job when you are already employed that if you're unemployed. Especially if you've been unemployed for a while. Potential employers will sometimes find the lack of employment a strike against you. So sometimes it's best to swallow your pride and take any job you can.

I had to do that a few years ago when I was unemployed. My savings were running out and had no leads. Dropped off an application at my local Fry's Electronics on Saturday, got a call on Sunday, and got through the first 2 of three interviews on Monday. Two days later I interviewed with the store manager and the following Monday started my first day of work. And that was after deciding years ago I would never work retail again.

If people don't like GameStop's practices, there's an easy solution: Don't fucking shop at GameStop! I'm so tired of all the bitching about a store that most people say they don't even shop at anymore. Really? Good for you. Take your business elsewhere, then. I'll continue to shop somewhere that I can get cheaper games, thanks very much.

Gutting is one of the reasons I won't buy new from GameStop. I know that there's nothing wrong with the disks, and it cuts down on(not completely eliminates) shrink, but there's something I like about pulling the plastic wrap off the new game myself. To be the first person to open it and see its contents is something I enjoy. It's stupid, I know, but that's just me.

Also, if you think gutting is tedious; You know all those tags on coats and what not in stores that are hanging from the hanger in a plastic case on a rubber band? Those papers don't put themselves in the plastic case, and the plastic case doesn't put a rubber band in itself, then wrap itself around the hanger. I do that on a Thursday. :(

This story reminded me of this little gem:

Anyways, this is pretty interesting, can't wait for more.

HG131:

Infernoshadow211:
I understand the gutting thing. It makes sense to me. What I don't understand is why people complain that a game isn't new when only the shrink wrap is off. To me as, long as the disc is pristine, I get an instruction manual, and the box isn't dented, it's new.

Same here. The shrink wrap is just something I have to waste my time cutting open with a knife or razor blade back home. You think I want to waste that much time?

But it preserves the scent of a newly opened case... the glorious scent.

bimbley:
A friend working for Game also told me about how employees were encouraged to take the new releases home, for free, to play through so they knew what they were talking about to customers.
-Bim

So that gutted game may not be new, it may have been taken home by an employee, played and bought back or played in an employees break.

Speaking personally my brief time working at GAME was charecterised by being told to bullshit the customer and push pre-owned games as they have a higher mark up.

tigermilk:
So that gutted game may not be new, it may have been taken home by an employee, played and bought back or played in an employees break.

No... the games used by employees were sold on as preowned.

Speaking personally my brief time working at GAME was charecterised by being told to bullshit the customer and push pre-owned games as they have a higher mark up.

Sounds like good business sense to me.

-Bim

Mr. Grey:

HG131:

Infernoshadow211:
I understand the gutting thing. It makes sense to me. What I don't understand is why people complain that a game isn't new when only the shrink wrap is off. To me as, long as the disc is pristine, I get an instruction manual, and the box isn't dented, it's new.

Same here. The shrink wrap is just something I have to waste my time cutting open with a knife or razor blade back home. You think I want to waste that much time?

But it preserves the scent of a newly opened case... the glorious scent.

I haven't smelt that in a while.... I almost always get Collectors Editions.

bimbley:

tigermilk:
So that gutted game may not be new, it may have been taken home by an employee, played and bought back or played in an employees break.

No... the games used by employees were sold on as preowned.

As far as you know. You can't account for the actions of all Gamestop employees nation wide.

HG131:

Mr. Grey:

HG131:

Infernoshadow211:
I understand the gutting thing. It makes sense to me. What I don't understand is why people complain that a game isn't new when only the shrink wrap is off. To me as, long as the disc is pristine, I get an instruction manual, and the box isn't dented, it's new.

Same here. The shrink wrap is just something I have to waste my time cutting open with a knife or razor blade back home. You think I want to waste that much time?

But it preserves the scent of a newly opened case... the glorious scent.

I haven't smelt that in a while.... I almost always get Collectors Editions.

That hasn't stopped me.

Then again, I have the nose of a bloodhound.

rockyoumonkeys:

bimbley:

No... the games used by employees were sold on as preowned.

As far as you know. You can't account for the actions of all Gamestop employees nation wide.

Quite true, but seeing as tigermilk's statement was an incorrect reading of one of mine I think it's worthwhile to correct him or her. It might well be true of other stores, but it isn't what I was suggesting.

I also can't guarantee that your local bookshop employee isn't reading a book and putting it on the shelf, that your accountant isn't skimming off the top of your profits, that your cafe waiter hasn't jizzed in your juice, and so on. I don't see any reason to just assume all of these things based on the possibility though.

-Bim

"If you have any interest in gaming, however remote it might be, and you have a pulse[...]"
--Damn you GameStop! ...why you gota' hate on us dead folk :(

Velocirapture07:
This is a question for anyone reading who may have worked at a gamestop. DO YOU GET COMMISSIONS!

Didn't work for Gamestop, but mostly, no, we don't. But we do have targets that we're supposed to hit, and managers and head office will keep an eye on them. If the store underperforms it can affect a manager's end of year bonus, so you can be damn sure that if head office remarks on underperforming preowned sales, the manager will take it out on the till monkeys. So there's a stick, rather than a carrot system, but it's a hazy relationship that you don't generally worry about.

I personally also like to advocate preowned because it's cheaper, and I like selling people cheaper things to people. Particularly in the case of new releases which are traded in almost mint condition - I mean, if it's a recent title, you might only be getting it for a tenner cheaper, but a tenner's a tenner.

Gutting sounds absolutely fine to me. Maybe because in England, that's the normal thing to do! Shrink wrap is an epic pain in the arse and you waste a fair few minutes scrabbling around with the wrapping to get it off. Gutting = less theft, which is good because thieves are WANKERS. Is this another strange American attitude towards games? That they refuse to buy them unless some piss-annoying extra packaging has been slapped on it? Good lord.

If I want new games, I just don't buy them from GameStop; I buy them for cheaper online, factory-sealed and all. What bothers me most about "gutting" is when I'm buying used games.

I'm a bit of a collector, so I like to have the full case with original artwork and manual, in good condition. I recently bought a bunch of old PS2 games from GameStop---I'd hunt down a near-mint condition case with pristine art and manual, and the GameStop employee would then rifle through their drawers and pull out a disc at random, and it was frequently a disc which had been used as a frisbee, or a hockey puck, or a coaster on a concrete table---a disc which obviously didn't go with the pristine box I'd picked up---and I'd have to request a different disc. Other times I'd buy a black label case and get a red label disc, and once again have to request a different disc.

It's not much of a problem, because I can always make the request, but some employees have hassled me about it, and it's just annoying to me.

Woah hold the phone!!! Scott Jones wrote this??? The Escapist just won the internet. Any luck convincing Vic that it is OK to give bad games less than 5?

Onyx Oblivion:
Gutting makes sense to me. The disc is still new, just put in a sleeve. You're only going to tear the shrinkwrap off later, anyway.

But you lose the new game smell. I mean that is a big part of my retail experience. Tearing through the shrink wrap is like the christmas mornings from years ago.

I got kind of confused on the gutting aspect.

It's kinda like walking into a Best Buy & finding out that you know more about hardware & tech support than the people who work there, & you're a girl who doesn't look even remotely geeky.

The "gutting duty" reminds me of this long story about stupid customers, mainly one who decided to rob a video game store. The fool returned the bag of stolen game boxes upon discovering that none of them had discs in them.

"'Every GameStop store should have a huge library of blank display cases to be used instead of the actual product. That way, they could just put photocopies of box art in those empty boxes and put them on store shelves. PROBLEM = SOLVED. WHY THE HELL DON'T THEY DO THIS? (BALLZ = GAMESTOP!)'

The people suggesting this solution have obviously never worked in retail. They are ignoring several important issues here.
[...]"

Best Buy does it. Granted, they're a much larger corp., right?

This reminds me of WhistleBlowerZero from a while back. I wonder if it's the same guy.

This story just reminded me of the shitty system that the British store Woolworths had (before it tanked, went bankrupt and closed up all it's shops), wherein they WOULD have a load of empty game cases on the shelf, which you would, first time round at least, take up to the desk, only to be given the shrink-wrapped copy of the game, and have to return the first one back to the shelf.

This I learned on my long and weary Quest For Mario Kart Wii back in '07 where, after weeks and weeks of looking, with every other store being out of stock, I came across a Woolworths with, no kidding, about fifty Mario Kart Wiis on their shelf. Got it up to the desk, so hyped to have finally found it... it was out of stock. They didn't put stickers on the boxes, they didn't TAKE THE BOXES AWAY when the game was out of stock... they just left them there.

Solution for Gutting:

Do what the people are suggesting, but don't waste your time with glossy, expensive, high-rez photos of the cover. Arrange the games in alphabetical order, and replace them with slips of cardboard (not very wide ones--as wide as the end label on a game case will do) displaying the name in nice black on the white and a little sticker with the barcode and price.

Problem = Solved

Humanity = Retarded

bimbley:
Interestingly this is very different from my perception of the games retail industry in the UK. I've known a few people who've worked in Game and Gamestation shops, and all of them have been keen gamers. A friend working for Game also told me about how employees were encouraged to take the new releases home, for free, to play through so they knew what they were talking about to customers. For those who didn't own a particular console, (despite the decent hardware discounts) each of the current generation static and portable machines were there in the staff rooms to be used on breaks. Finally, I don't think I've ever encountered an employee in one of these stores who wasn't able, and willing, to engage in a reasonable conversation on games. Very often they'll express an opinion, be it 'Buy Arkham Asylum now' or 'Yeah I'm not surprised you're trading Haze in'. It would quickly become apparent to me if someone had played nothing but Madden and Dead or Alive.

As for the whole 'gutting' thing, I can't see what the hell people's problem is. It's not like there isn't a very, very good reason for it. Thieves are arseholes, anything that prevents theft is a good thing. In the long run, prevention of theft keeps costs down for all of us. And what, you think those disks were born inside the box? Of course it's still a new game, long as it hasn't been played/scratched/pissed on by anyone! Long as it works, no issue.

Edit: Oh, I guess the whole 'gutting' thing is pretty dull for the employee, but what are you expecting when you take a low grade position in high street retail? It's really no different from stacking shelves. The narrator even starts out saying he wanted something low-pressure, low-effort, low-responsibility. I'm not being snobby, these are the jobs most of us start out in and build up from. Hell, I wish mine had been in a games shop rather than a burger bar!

-Bim

Really I've gotta agree with pretty much everything he said. With the exclusion of Best Buy in which apparently none of the sales reps know anything about what their department sells (my local Best Buy's customer service is indeed as horrible as many of he articles out there describe), I don't think you can judge all GameStops by what happens in a single GameStop.

My local GameStop seems to be inhabbited/employed by gamers who enjoy all sorts of games and genuinely look forward to games like Mass Effect 3 and Bioshock: Infinite. They seem to have a good/passable "general" knowledge of gaming (I use vague termonology here because I haven't ever really picked their brain about any game in particular) which would be expected from an emloyee of such a store.

Granted, I realize there's still 3 more parts to this story, all I'm saying is that at he time being I realy can't say any of the revelations this GameStop employee has offered really apply to my own local GameStop (at least nothing so far that would make me think badly of the store). As for the whole practice of gutting, "f" yeah I can see the reasoning behind it. My "local" GameStop is actually half-way right it he middle of the gehto for my city...if you really have a problem with buying a pre-opened game that's marked as new, then you are apparently vastly underestimating how easy it is to steal games right off the shelf. Really the only thing to complain about in this case is if your "new" stuff is covvered with scratches/otherwise unplayable.

For all the illitterate tl/dr losers out there: while I see the validity and points behind the artice's writings

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