274: Confessions of a GameStop Employee - Part Two

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 NEXT
 

nomadic_chad:

You, the consumer, have a choice. You can trade your game(s) in, or you can keep them and sell them some other way. ... I won't be offended...

Ben seems to be, though; he's offended at those who "snatch their worthless copy of Madden NFL '04 off the counter" and finds the more "reasonable" and "adult" option to be to "accept their fate - i.e. their $2.50 credit - in silence." It's a complaint separate from the customers' rudeness regarding disappointing trade-ins; he flatly doesn't seem to think they should have a right to reject GameStop's offer in favor of keeping the game.

nomadic_chad:

Something you probably haven't thought about...is that GS is going to end up eating a shit ton of money on games they accept which then don't sell.

Yeah, but on balance, GameStop is doing quite well on their used-game division, as has been detailed at tiresome length in just about every gaming website. For example, the home-improvement store where I worked had a extraordinarily lenient returns policy - power tools in deplorable condition returned for full value, etc. Did they lose money on this particular policy? Yeah, they did. (It's offset by their return agreements with the manufacturers, but some is lost.) It was part, though, of a larger sales strategy that encouraged consumer spending by giving them some security about their purchases - what's the harm in buying something you can return at any time?

There is no consumer charity in business. GameStop isn't forced to put a relatively high markup on used new releases to finance their expansive trade-in policy; they have that expansive trade-in policy because it's helped popularize their used-game business, put used games as an option at the forefront of consumers' minds, and made GameStop known as _the_ place to buy and sell used games. They wouldn't have the policy if it weren't profitable and effective.

Synonymous:

nomadic_chad:

You, the consumer, have a choice. You can trade your game(s) in, or you can keep them and sell them some other way. ... I won't be offended...

Ben seems to be, though; he's offended at those who "snatch their worthless copy of Madden NFL '04 off the counter" and finds the more "reasonable" and "adult" option to be to "accept their fate - i.e. their $2.50 credit - in silence." It's a complaint separate from the customers' rudeness regarding disappointing trade-ins; he flatly doesn't seem to think they should have a right to reject GameStop's offer in favor of keeping the game.

nomadic_chad:

Something you probably haven't thought about...is that GS is going to end up eating a shit ton of money on games they accept which then don't sell.

Yeah, but on balance, GameStop is doing quite well on their used-game division, as has been detailed at tiresome length in just about every gaming website. For example, the home-improvement store where I worked had a extraordinarily lenient returns policy - power tools in deplorable condition returned for full value, etc. Did they lose money on this particular policy? Yeah, they did. (It's offset by their return agreements with the manufacturers, but some is lost.) It was part, though, of a larger sales strategy that encouraged consumer spending by giving them some security about their purchases - what's the harm in buying something you can return at any time?

There is no consumer charity in business. GameStop isn't forced to put a relatively high markup on used new releases to finance their expansive trade-in policy; they have that expansive trade-in policy because it's helped popularize their used-game business, put used games as an option at the forefront of consumers' minds, and made GameStop known as _the_ place to buy and sell used games. They wouldn't have the policy if it weren't profitable and effective.

I don't, nor ever would, speak for Ben or another employee. I stated that the customer always has the option to not trade in their games as a lot of people fail to understand that by accepting the trade in price, they are agreeing that it is a valid offer for their items.

I got the feeling that Ben's comment about worthless copies of Madden '04 was anger that people over-value items that have become largely irrelevant and likely remain unplayed, despite being saved from trade in. That's how the context sounded to me anyway, what was really thought is beyond me. However, what was posted in the article was Ben's opinion, I was merely recommending an alternate option to game traders.

I also made no claims that GS's trade in policy made no or little money. I simply stated that the seemingly huge markup isn't quite so huge when you stop to think about it. Yes, they make money off of traded in games and accessories, no one claimed differently. I did claim that they would lose a shit ton on stuff they couldn't sell, but in no way denied that they made a larger shit ton of money doing it. My comments on this matter were mostly directed towards educating people on the fact that not all of the money made from trade-ins was pure profit. Most of GS's money is made from the trade in and reselling of pre-owned games...and there's nothing wrong with that since it's not mandatory that you accept the amount offered.

When I worked at Game Crazy, we had a resurfacer in the store, I've used it myself countless times. Sometimes a disc is beyond repair, but you'd be amazed at how much of a difference it can actually make. I've also put discs in for multiple cycles before-as many as 5, and they will still play as long as the initial damage wasn't too severe.

Shouldn't it be called "Getting 'Pre-owned' to my New Job"

Having been a GameStop employee for two and a half years, it's no surprise that Ben's faced a lot of the same customers that I have. It's quite easy to spot when someone has such low respect for their purchases, but a majority of my customers love gaming and take care of their stuff.

GameStop may not be a great place for getting credit for games you don't want, but the fact remains that we are the most recognized business for used games. As such, products of every stripe come to us more than others who have a similar business model.

Speaking of selling and economics, here's a tip for everyone who wants it.

Tip: If you want to use eBay or online sellers instead of GameStop, soak up the low costs of posting your item on their site for more than a .99 cent auction, and use a moderate shipping cost and pictures.

If it sells, be proud. You have gained X amount of money for about a .10 - 2.50 loss.

In business, you have to lose money to gain money, no matter what the situation is.

I'm in agreement here. I am continually shocked at the condition of most people's games, dvd's, etc. How hard is it to stick it in a case and stick the case somewhere relatively "safe?" You paid $60 for this thing, might as well take care of it? I think a lot of it comes from kids whose parents buy it for them and they have no concept of having to spend their own hard-earned money on something. Still, it's pretty inexcusable. Know what I do with my games? I stick them back in their case when not using them, and put that case on a shelf. Guess what, they look like mint condition. Not too hard to do!

FargoDog:
Wow.. Is it just me or does 'Ben' kinda come of like a dick in this article?

I thought he did when he was ranting about how he would judge someone by the condition of their beat up games. How does he know how the game got in that condition? I mean, I've went to pawn shops and bought games in crappy (but still working) condition that would make me embarrassed to call myself a gamer to show off. Of course, I have a strong ethical value against selling my games, but still, you always have the idiots that try to sell horrible games that someone else could have damaged.

I have to agree, I read the whole article and did think that "Ben" seemed like a totally insufferable prick.

Also, way to labour an (invalid) point - some people dont take care of their games, most do, his conclusion that no one does is wrong and doesnt really seem enough to stretch over multiple pages. It seems par for the course to have an opinion in this thread, so allow me to point out that I was a deputy manager at GAME in the UK before I moved into my current job.

Iv dealt with irritating customers, there can be lots, most of them come in pairs. I wont pretend I havent taken some satisfaction from getting the one up on someone who didnt have a receipt for a return etc. But Iv also seen my fair share of employees with an attitude problem who are frankly embarassing in their ability to go off the handle, get smug or insulting, with little to no provocation.

On the topic of negative credit, this isn't necessarily true anymore. If I take in a game that's good for 70 cents of credit and it has been mauled by a tiger, the computer will not allow me to put a refurb fee on it. Everything else Ben has said struck very close to home for me.

A mint condition old game can go for more than a dollar you just got to have enough gamer friends to trade junk with.... *sigh* wish I worked at Gamestop, I'm doing a Game Tech major and I got turned down by a woman who I had to explain what the MS point cards behind her and how they weren't the gold months I wanted

nomadic_chad:
Something you probably haven't thought about (those of you who still insist on complaining about the trade in value of used games), is that GS is going to end up eating a shit ton of money on games they accept which then don't sell. Next time you go into your local GS, take a look at the original Xbox game section, or the ever expanding PS2 section, or hell, ask them how many used PS2 systems they have in their system room. I bet the answer will be around 50 or so (we have around 75 used PS2 systems in ours). GS will be eating a lot of that profit loss because there's no way in hell those will all sell. They could probably send them off to be recycled or something, but I would bet that they won't get what they paid for them, and they'll profit from it.

Except that GameStop doesn't actually pay for those games. They give store credit, a worthless currency everywhere else. They don't pay out a cent for used games. You can only use store credit in their store, and since you receive so little of it for trading in a game, there's a fair chance that you'll have to add cash to your purchase. That's where they make their money.

So, if you trade in your copy of Fallout 3 and you get $5.00 store credit, then never use it, they got a game for free. There's only room for profit with that business model. It's a great business model, but bad for customers. It's why I don't deal with Gamestop. $0.00 payout on used games(all of my games are in mint condition from box to manual to disk), and if you don't buy something with your store credit from them, they got your game(s) for free.

Here in France, it's not Madden, but FIFA that pollute the shelves. I usually go to an independant game shop. Second hand games are 90% FIFA's from last year, sold for 1 euro. It's the same in every other store that does resale. On the other hand, it's very hard to find games like RPG, JRPG, etc... And when there is one, it's actually in very good shape, almost as good as new. Gamers that buy these kind of game actually care about it, and they sell it because they truly need the money, not because a new version is out.

I didn't sold the first Pr. Layton to get the 2nd one, all the Ace Attorney are on my shelve, alongside all the "Tales of" I could put my hand on, and when I'll finally find time and money to buy and play "No More Hero 2", I won't sell the first one either.

I think video games habits are a lot like reading habits in a sense: on one hand, you have people who read lots of books, and enjoy seeing all their library nicely aligned on a shelve (I plead guilty), and on the other hand, people who only read magazines or best sellers, buying them only to throw them away once finished. There is much more Dan Brown's books in the resale bin at the bookstore, than there is Zelazny, Asimov and Gaiman combined.

I take incredible care of my games. People at the local gamestop actually seem to light up when I bring something in because they know that it's going to be in perfect condition. I have one (count it, ONE) case that is not in perfect condition, and that is only because it was the home of a used copy of Killzone 2 that I swapped for a mint condition one for the sake of not getting judgemental looks from the employees when I traded it in.

FargoDog:
Wow.. Is it just me or does 'Ben' kinda come of like a dick in this article?

I guess if you had to deal with idiots all day, being a dick to them would become second nature.

FargoDog:
Wow.. Is it just me or does 'Ben' kinda come of like a dick in this article?

Not at all. He is saying it like it is. Have you ever worked in retail at all? 90% of customers do not even deserve 1% of the respect that they "feel" they deserve. In short....CUSTOMERS ARE MORONS!

Yes I went there....and I would say it over and over again.

I know what Ben is going through. I work in retail as well and it is hell. I will help a customer only if they are polite about it and actually NEED the help. I will never EVER bow down and kiss their feet just because they shop at my store. Screw that.

Good article Ben. Keep saying it as it is.

Why is this in the news again?

I'd have long conversations with co-workers speculating at what people do with these games. Is it so fucking hard to just keep them on a shelf with the manual inside the case?

I can testify that one of my cousins used a copy of The Orange Box to taunt his cat. The shiny surface reflecting sunlight drives it crazy. Despite a set of claw scratches, it works perfectly, while my copy goes haywire because I may have touched the bottom with a fingernail the day I opened it (the day I got my Xbox 360).

The only disc I ever deliberately damaged was my copy of Mercenaries. My parents thought it was too violent and forced me to get rid of it, on pain of losing my PS2, so I microwaved it.

Nowadays, if I ever have a CD without a case, I ask my 9/11 Truther friend for a Loose Change DVD. I take it out of the case, throw it out, and use the case for whatever non-crazy data I need to protect. He hasn't caught on yet.

The only Xbox 360 manual I ever lost was the manual for Left 4 Dead. It was in French, and the translation was hilariously poor.

Is it just me or do all gamestop employees seem like dicks?

Dealing with the average customer will turn you into a dick. Every single thing he described is what he has to put up with every day.

If customers want people in retail to stop being dicks, then perhaps they should stop acting like self-absorbed, know it all assholes.

If you want to meet some non-dickish Gamestop employees, go in when it's quiet and talk to the employees there about gaming. You're sure to find some common ground. Just don't expect to have a conversation when there's someone else in line.

As an umpire, I've only been yelled at twice in 3 years of work. I'm amazed by the level of disrespect some retail customers have for employees. This could certainly make the employees bitter, and hostile to the average customer.

I am really anal about my games
I keep them in alphabetic order and system on a clean and dusted shelf and all my DVD and graphic novels get the same treatment as . The only games in my collection have are messed up our either my brother's shitty games that I don't care about and take no responsibility for (i.e. Halo 3, CoD series, etc) or games my 360 felt it needed to eat.

Once I backhanded my brother for resting an opened can of Dr. Pepper on my copy of House of the Dead Overkill

A lot of people have likely already said what I'm about to but I take great care of my games. I've got PS2 and Xbox games, some of them being nearly a decade old, which still work beautifully, have a new looking box and in most cases, pristine manuals. I've lost the manual to Pokemon Red and, I've lost my original copy of Knights of the Old Republic (Still have the platinum hit though!)

I understand that I (we) are part of the minority though. My brother for example, is a 9 year old who can't take care of his games. He constantly loses the discs and, cases. He's broken controllers too and somehow, he claimed his new slim PS2 stopped working a couple of months after he got it. When I was his age I knew how to take care of my games and toys. Granted, it was easier to blow on a cartridge then than it is to clean off a scratched disc now.

I miss my Super Nintendo...

Having worked in retail myself, I feel this guys pain and support his well justified pent up rage against the common customer. I'm sure he, like most of us, did his best (and probably never did) tell customers (most of them) what stupid pieces of crap they are.

It's a nice insight he's giving to the company. It's confirming my believe that I shouldnt trade in games. That copy of Dino Crisis he uses as an example, would probably be sold on from the same store, for about $15-20. I'd rather keep the game incase in a few weeks/months/years I feel the urge to play it.

I've never actually traded in a game. If I run out of use for them, I give them away to friends/family or put them in my old games draw.

I don't understand, what do you people do with your games? I keep all my boxes, discs and manuals in the best condition I can and out of harms way, most people I know do this. I don't understand why you'd pay all that money for games and not look after them.

Most of the pre-owned games I buy (Australia) are very passable condition, there's occasionally some bad scratches and I've had to take back a disc or a manual in a bit bad condition, but most of the time it's only minor scratches and slightly worn boxes (which is to be expected).

DPunch4:
Ok Ben doesn't sound like a dick at all to me. Every one of you ignorant idiot fucks who leaves your games out of case lying around needs to be stoned to death. I let my friend borrow my brand new game cuz I was finishing an old one, next day I come over and ON THE CONCRETE FLOOR OF HIS GARAGE was my new copy of Just Cause 2, not in the fucking box. I'm OCD. I was NOT happy.

Seriously...who does this?!

I'm in the habit of buying used games for my PS2 whenever I'm in a Gamestop and most of them look like they barely escaped with their lives.

MY games are always in perfect condition... and so is the manual.. mostly because I never remove the manual from the box..

and I dont let friends borrow games without getting one in return. That way if they do destroy my game I can keep theres.

I hate to admit it, but my manuals, i usually take out and read, and then they wind up in the trash by mistake, but I take better care of my games now than I did when I was 12.

JeanLuc761:

5) Customers bitching at us to shut up when all we're doing is our damn jobs (Asking about EDGE card, warranties, that kind of stuff).

I'm not saying you, yourself do this. But over where I'm at I have to tell them about 5 times I don't want any of that stuff.

Wow, couple of my own comments as a long time gamestop shopper.
1) Why the fuck are these people trading in games that obviously have less value than that tissue I used before going to bed last night, that no sane person would pay for, and still getting huffy when they find out the game is worthless? I mean, holy shit, is this gamestop located in Retardville USA?

2) I agree with the whole missing booklet thing, I mean, I have a stack to games about twenty games high, everyone still has the booklet in side, assuming I there was one when I bought it, (I buy basically nothing but used games) and it will stay there until I trade it in.

3) If this "Ben" were to act like that to me, I'd call the god damn manager. Now, I'm not some newb punk who thinks that everything I buy is just hot shit and you're all drooling to get your hands on it, and I've never been told "your game is worth $2" and complained, I'm trading it in, what the fuck do I care any more, I'm just getting it out of my house, need the space, but if I were to be treated like some inane fuck, I'd get his ass fired so fast he'd be lucky to catch his last pay check. Sure, there are idiots, but instead of just saying "look dumb fuck" how bout saying "Were you aware that leaving the games in the sun causes damage to the box and disk?" and perchance explaining to them why they are a dumb fuck, in the slim hope that they possibly learn?

4) and possibly the last, I most certainly agree with the scratched games deal, I've bought three Guilty Gear games from gamestop, one was brand fucking new, it worked, the other two were used, there was no clarity when shined in the light, but both games were returned, refurbed, and returned again, because they did not work, for what ever reason my semi new PS2 slim would not play them, as opposed to my other games. What was wrong with them I don't know, but when the guy brought them back out he looked at the disk and said "these scratches aren't coming out, I have no idea what did this, but this game is ruined" we even tried it on an in store PS2, it still didn't play.

In conclusion to my little rant, GAMESTOP!! test your games before putting them on the damn shelf! I can deal with a missing instruction booklet, and some generic box art from the back room. This guy Ben isn't at my gamestop, all the people at my gamestop are fairly good people who don't mind when I sit there on a slow day and rant over shit I read here. What does bother me is when a game that I paid $10 for and more than that in gas money, doesn't work!

I've got a collection of 20 games worth $100 or more. I plan to have at least 100 at the end of my journey.

My gf wonders why I drop so much on Saturn, PS1, and Dreamcast games. I let her know that new games cost $60 now but will go down in price, while these games cost $100-$200 and won't go down any time soon. Better to get them before someone else.

I can't blame him for sounding so frustrated and angry, honestly. I imagine he (and most other Gamestop employees) have to tell people about why their old and destroyed games are worth so little MANY times a day. Trust me, when you're asked to explain something that should already be common sense for the thousandth time (in a week), it's hard to sound cheerful, especially when the person you're talking to is acting hostile or confrontational. Yeah, I know, if you're working in customer service you're SUPPOSED to be friendly and helpful to customers at all times (I've worked retail AND manager positions, though obviously not at Gamestop), but it's incredibly hard to keep smiling when the person you're talking to is treating you like dirt or appears to be thinking you're trying to screw them over.

My personal opinion regarding trade-ins is that I'm not using the game. Like, at all. Sure I could maybe sell them on eBay or whatever for a bit more, but that's work, and takes a while, and I'm lazy and demand instant gratification. Ergo, whatever value I can get for it for the work I'm willing to put into it is what it's worth. Better a buck than gathering dust and taking up space on my DVD shelf.

Oh dear, I almost broke out into tears when my Left 4 Dead 2 disc cracked. I keep all my games organized, put away, and my brother decides to take them off the shelf and (presumably) roll over all the boxes with a tank.

darthcendiarygrenade:
When I worked at Game Crazy, we had a resurfacer in the store, I've used it myself countless times. Sometimes a disc is beyond repair, but you'd be amazed at how much of a difference it can actually make. I've also put discs in for multiple cycles before-as many as 5, and they will still play as long as the initial damage wasn't too severe.

Yeah, we have one of those where I work. As a result, we can trade in way many more games than if we didn't have one. Ours is a pretty powerful beast, but put a game in more than three times on a heavy setting (8 minutes), and you start erasing the layers with game data on them.

We get our fair share of pre-owned crap, perhaps not as dramatically described by Ben, but on the whole, customers are generally quite good about this sort of thing in my neck of the woods. We never, ever accept something that won't repair in the disc machine, and rarely accept laser-burnt discs 'cause they take so many cycles to resurface, and sometimes it's a wasted effort.

It's really not difficult to look after games, though. Easy enough to put it back in the box if it's not being played.

I absolutely LOVE when people think FIFA 2005 on PS2 has a high value, and are amazed when I explain it trades in at one pence. A lot of people make the mis-assumption that the better-kept a game, the more value it carries (this may be true in independant companies, but not where I work). Whilst I wish this were true, the tills have a set price for each individual game regardless of condition, so imagine the surprise of customers getting 1 for their sealed copy of High School Musical.

Who trades games in? If I was going to get rid of my games I wouldn't go to a store like Gamestop, I'd either sell them online (ebay for example) or at a garage sale, you'll get more for the bloody things!

All my games are in perfect or near perfect condition (notable exception, my copy of Fable 2 got mulched by a idiot child shoving my xbox while it was turned on, thankfully my local video store fixed it with one of those polishing machines), I have NES games I purchased in the freaking 1980s that still have their manuals and original boxes, and all my friends take care of their games to the same degree, we're just smart enough to realise that gamestop and other trade in places are a rip off.

Chamale:

If you want to meet some non-dickish Gamestop employees, go in when it's quiet and talk to the employees there about gaming. You're sure to find some common ground. Just don't expect to have a conversation when there's someone else in line.

As an umpire, I've only been yelled at twice in 3 years of work. I'm amazed by the level of disrespect some retail customers have for employees. This could certainly make the employees bitter, and hostile to the average customer.

This is very true. On our midnight release for Dead Rising 2, I chatted up a customer for about an hour straight, just talking about all things gaming related. It was fantastic. We, unfortunately, don't have that kind of time when there's 10 people waiting in line, each huffing impatiently.

feeback06:

JeanLuc761:

5) Customers bitching at us to shut up when all we're doing is our damn jobs (Asking about EDGE card, warranties, that kind of stuff).

I'm not saying you, yourself do this. But over where I'm at I have to tell them about 5 times I don't want any of that stuff.

I could definitely see that getting annoying; we ask maybe twice at most.

blakfayt:

In conclusion to my little rant, GAMESTOP!! test your games before putting them on the damn shelf! I can deal with a missing instruction booklet, and some generic box art from the back room. This guy Ben isn't at my gamestop, all the people at my gamestop are fairly good people who don't mind when I sit there on a slow day and rant over shit I read here. What does bother me is when a game that I paid $10 for and more than that in gas money, doesn't work!

We would LOVE to be able to verify that each disc is in working order, but the fact is, we simply don't have that kind of time. Between working the register, dealing with trade-ins, grabbing the phone, putting away backstock and, above all, fixing the walls (because apparently people are incapable of putting things BACK WHERE THEY CAME FROM), there's simply no time to test the games.

One thing people never add into the equation on used games and their condition is that a lot of them are stolen goods. Look at how many games come in on day 1 or 2 of release date with scratches all over them and no box. It's because they usually come from someone who has a friend working at a retail store that empties the case, then throws them out in the garbage and either they or someone they know comes and gets them out of the garbage bin.

I know it sounds crazy, but this kind of thing happened all the time at the TRU here. They actually lost $15-20 THOUSAND dollars worth of product this way and the entire store got fired, except for the managers. It kept happening and it turned out it was the managers doing it.

They'd take the boxless games to Gamestop, trade them for new games and then take those to the used stores that pay cash and sell them there. All told, they made around $12,000 and the only thing is they lost their job. No criminal charges, just lost a job.

Of the folks who work at GS here, how many of you have seen the same type of game I just described (brand new game, no case, looked like it had been in the trash or pockets)? Then look at the people that bring them in. There's a good chance they are stolen. DS games are really bad about this, too. That's why I think all games should have the case to be accepted as trade in, it discourages theft and other things that the publishers blame on pirates and paying customers.

Fr]anc[is:
Why is this in the news again?

It's a feature article in our weekly magazine. It's not a news story.

I have a feeling that the decent copies, the games with next to no scratches, mint condition manuals and boxes are all safely tucked away in actual enthusiastic gamers collection cabnets and the like.

I personally never trade in my games. I like to have a record of all the games i bought ever, regardless of quality. What if (and these can often be big what ifs) I feel like diving into a classic PS1 game or Sega/Snes game? I still have the option. Its nice to have.

I dont understand people who buy a game and then trade it in (often with a couple others) to pay for a new one. Sure its cheaper, but you end up like a friend of mine who only has 3 games to choose from on his 360.

Meanwhile i have... 12 games (only had a 360 for 5 months) to pick from.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here