GameStop Selling Used Games as New

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News Posted: Mon, Apr 13 2009 4:53 PM

The world’s largest video game retailer may be in some hot water as a result of some recent investigative reporting by Kotaku’s Brian Crecente and Michael McWhertor. After speaking to unnamed GameStop employees at locations around the U.S., the popular game blog has exposed GameStop’s practice of selling employee-played games as new copies.

 

GameStop allows its employees to check out store merchandise for up to four days of personal use. Whenever new games are received in the stores, GameStop puts the box on display and keeps the disc behind the counter for security purposes. These new, unused discs often get mixed up with the copies that employees are allowed to check out and take home. As a result, when a customer buys a new copy of the game and pays full price, they may not really be getting an unused copy after all. Since the new copies that have been gutted from the packages are often kept in the same spot as copies that employees can check out, even employees aren’t always able to distinguish which of these games have been played and which haven't. Should customers question why the game is not sealed, GameStop gets around the issue by stating it is a display copy and leaves out the fact that games could be used.

 

The practice appears to violate both federal and some state laws in regards to false/deceptive advertising. GameStop wouldn’t comment on the situation.

 


 

Some GameStop managers will offer “Shop Worn” discounts for games that have been gutted or checked out, but this is against company policy. In fact, GameStop’s official policy says exactly the opposite—that discounts shouldn’t apply to new, used, or checked out games. You can read GameStop’s official check-out policy in the full Kotaku article.

 

Assuming you get a good, working copy of the game, it may not be that big of a deal, but if the game comes with a card that contains redemption codes for additional features (Call of Duty 4 comes with redemption cards for additional map packs for instance), customers are at risk of receiving a copy with the redemption code missing or already used. The easy solution would be for GameStop to start selling any unsealed games as used. After all, customers aren’t allowed to return games as new if the plastic has been removed, even if the disc has never left the case.

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3vi1 replied on Mon, Apr 13 2009 6:09 PM

What will probably happen is that GameStop employees won't be allowed to check out games anymore.  At best, they'll come up with some kind of internal GameFly system or something.  And, I can't say that's wrong - as I wouldn't want to buy a game and discover weeks later that the disc is scratched on the part that's read right before the final boss level.

If they cut out employee sampling completely, it will hurt the customers the most:  since the employees will be less knowledgeable about the products.

Disclaimer:  My wife used to manage a GameStop years ago, but I have no feelings about them one way or the other.

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yoda8232 replied on Mon, Apr 13 2009 8:33 PM

I never liked GameStop/EB Games I knew something was wrong.


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3vi1 replied on Mon, Apr 13 2009 8:55 PM

Trust me: They're not doing anything my friends that worked at the other gaming stores weren't doing. (official policy or not)

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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yoda8232 replied on Mon, Apr 13 2009 9:13 PM

I guess it depends what location your at.

I really hate them for influencing smaller PC game sections in stores, I really hate them for it, with a passion man.


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ice91785 replied on Tue, Apr 14 2009 9:36 AM

I don't really mind GameStop --- as 3vi1 said its something that a LOT of smaller "game buying/rental" places do; I just assumed with GameStop being significantly larger they'd hold themselves to a higher standard and honesty

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ice91785:

I don't really mind GameStop --- as 3vi1 said its something that a LOT of smaller "game buying/rental" places do; I just assumed with GameStop being significantly larger they'd hold themselves to a higher standard and honesty

Yeah my buddy used to work at a little rental store here. It was awesome.

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diemos replied on Thu, Apr 16 2009 3:42 PM

GameStop is a bunch of scammers, and good for them because people don't know any better.

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nelsoncp21 replied on Sat, Apr 18 2009 10:14 AM

never really had a problem with gamestop. matter of fact I love em. Most of my sons ps2 games have come from there since he can get used games for pretty cheap. for pc games though I usually just order online as thats the only place that really has a decent selection anymore. Although best buy I think got a massive shipment in the last time I was there or something cause they really surprised me. as far as the new/used issue, As long as they put some sorta sticker on the box saying it was a floor sample or something along those lines and there's really nothing wrong with it then I don't see why they should have to discount the price cause someone played that game for a whole whopping 4 days.

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Dev replied on Sun, Apr 19 2009 11:56 AM

I don't have a problem with GameStop but other than the arguable convenience and having the game right away I see no reason to buy from them. Since they're a physical retailer, they're expensive even for used games (albeit I do get the odd used 360 game) but I do try to stay away from online retailers as well. I buy through Steam, whenever I have the option. Its such a great system because my game can never break, I always have it conviently and can install it on any computer. 

To be honest I don't see the problem in giving the employees such perks provided the games aren't damaged and then passed on to the customer but I'm confident this isn't the case. 

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SqUiD267 replied on Mon, Apr 20 2009 11:14 AM

I absolutely hate Gamestop because they are such jerks and scammer atleast in my area.

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