Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

April 10, 2009 -

Kotaku reports that a GameStop corporate policy of selling games played by store employees as brand-new may be a violation of federal law:

GameStop's "check-out" policy, confirmed to Kotaku by a number of the chain's managers and employees, could fall under scrutiny of the Federal Trade Commission.

Kotaku cites GameStop's policy, which it reports that it obtained from several employees of the leading video game retailer:

Associates are allowed to check out one item of store merchandise for personal use for up to four days. Merchandise checkout is a privilege, not a right, and may be revoked at any time...

If the product is returned in unsellable condition, or if anything is missing from the package, or if the product is not returned, the Associate must purchase the product...

When asked by Kotaku, the Federal Trade Commission declined to say whether GameStop's practice of selling employee-played games as new might be considered deceptive. The FTC also declined to say whether it was looking into the practice.


Comments

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

You guys are incredibly interesting. Gamestop always is getting shit for either being incompetant or now their lending policy.

Let's say employees weren't allowed to check out games. Then you guys would be bitching that they don't know everything about every single game that you want an opinion on. We all know that they get paid like shit, and they're not going to be using their money to buy games so that they can tell the customers about it.

Also remember that Gamestop is a huge company right now. You're going to run into some really poorly run stores, and some really great stores. That's the same thing with EVERY single large company. Even your local grocery store. There are bad ones and there are really good ones.

Now, if you're a hardcore collector and want that game shrinkwrapped, then just pick it up the day it comes out (if you're the said hardcore collector then you'll be doing so anyway). Especially if you preordered it (they don't open the preorders until after the 48 hours)

Also, the company policy is that you can't "check out" new released games. So for all you guys saying that you bought it the day it came out and it was played, you just have a really bad gamestop store. Trust me though, not every single store is like there. There are some really good ones and some really bad ones, kind of like every single corporate company on the face of the planet.

Let's take a look at the new game return policy. If that wasn't there, then people would simply take the game home, play it and beat it, bring it back and either get a new one or purchase a night with their usual 50 year old prostitute.

My local Gamestop is excellent. Every person in there knows just about everything about every game in there, and are always able to give an opinion on them. Try going to Wal-mart and asking them how to get a browser on the new DSi, and they'll probably look at you, snaggle-tooth hanging out and glassy-eyed with a "DER" expression on their face.

If you're a hardcore collector who pisses himself because the game has been opened, then preorder it (Omg five dollars you're already going to pay later on) and they don't open it until the 48 hours are up.

Gamestop is a kind of company that's there for the knowledge of gaming, something that is hard to come by with Best Buy and especially Wal-Mart.

Just don't bitch when you buy that shrink-wrapped copy of Vampire Rain or Two Worlds from Wal-mart, and then get pissed when the game sucks and you just wasted 60 bucks on it because no employee had the brains to say "Dude don't buy that game it blows chunks" because guess what. They don't know.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

On one hand, I couldn't care less if an employee has taken a game home for a few days before I buy it as "new", provided the disc is undamaged and nothing is missing.

However. I do have two problems with this practice (and these are part of the reason I don't shop at Gamestops).

1) While unlikely, an already opened "new" game carries the risk of missing, switched, or damaged discs and manuals - whether through misuse, malice, or simple human error. There is certainly something to be said for the argument that "you just need to open it to check", but that brings me to...

2) Trust. If I buy a game at - say - Wal-mart, I can take it home and open it at my leisure, confident that it will contain what I paid for, new and undamaged. I can't do that at Gamestop. Compounding matters is passing off the employee-used games as "new", when it would perhaps be more ethical to label them as "Like New" or "Employee Use Only", etc. As others have no doubt pointed out, and I mentioned earlier - yes, you can open the game to double check. But that action betrays a lack of confidence and trust in the retailer.

Simply put, I don't do business with someone I don't trust. It's not a loss, I can buy my games somewhere else - which is why I have a really hard time getting worked up about anything Gamestop does. There are other options.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

That's a really good point. Plus, half the time, GameStop is more expensive than other retailers.

But your argument only targets a particular audience: The Mainstream audience. Meaning where the option to shop somewhere else in a world where the game is still in-print. A collector may have a harder time finding a legit "new" copy of a game that has been out of print for not even a year from a major retailer because of the reshrinking issue. But then again, this may be off topic. But it is relevant to what GameStop is doing.

Since you mentioned people are actually buying "new" opened box games, I have only one question for them: Why?

----------------------------------------

"Because this town is under the stranglehold of a few tight eyed Tree Huggers who would rather play Hacky Sack than lock up the homeless" -- Birch Barlow

---------------------------------------- "Because this town is under the stranglehold of a few tight eyed Tree Huggers who would rather play Hacky Sack than lock up the homeless" -- Birch Barlow

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

Excellent. We all knew there was something foul with the opened "new" game boxes. Time to do something about it. Down with Gamestop!

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

This isn't a new practice, people.  Other companies do this, too.

"HEY! LISTEN!"

"HEY! LISTEN!"

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

I was going to say something similar, if it hasn't already been said here on this thread, but:

Yes, this really isn't anything new. Everytime I buy something, I check every inch of it for scratches or any other kind of anomolies, ESPECIALLY with optical discs. If there is a hair line scratch I immediately return it. I don't put up with that shit.

It may seem like a hassle, but I just want to make sure I'm paying 50-60 bucks for a clean product to where the optic laser in the drive won't have to interpret as much to see which is a 1 or a 0 on the disc.

Over kill? Maybe. But I'm giving them business and I want to be satisified with the product I'm buying.

In fact, I believe every retailer/distributor does it. I know Amazon and Newegg do it. And don't get me started with things on eBay/Amazon Market Place. They simply "reshrink" the product to deceive customers to thinking it is new. I guess it works most of the time because it's not an unusual practice.

----------------------------------------

"Because this town is under the stranglehold of a few tight eyed Tree Huggers who would rather play Hacky Sack than lock up the homeless" -- Birch Barlow

---------------------------------------- "Because this town is under the stranglehold of a few tight eyed Tree Huggers who would rather play Hacky Sack than lock up the homeless" -- Birch Barlow

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

What do you expect? They specialize in console gaming.

I will not buy securom games. http://www.wolvenmoon.com/sharedfiles/message1.jpg and http://www.wolvenmoon.com/sharedfiles/message2.jpg

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

Interesting.  Someone actually mentioned "display model".

Many of the display models of TVs, VCRs, DVDs, stereos, and many other items, electronic and even not electronic, don't actually SAY display model on them.  You know if you're buying the item sitting out or take an empty box to the counter, you're getting something that's been opened.  Whether it's used or not.  And how do you KNOW the item hasn't been used unless you ask?  And if you're buying an item whose box has been opened, then it seems fairly straight forward that you either ask if it's been used, in which case the answer is either true or a lie, no matter what the answer is, OR you specifically ask for a factory sealed copy.  "Sorry, we don't have any in stock."  Oh well, either ask them to call one of the other locations, buy somewhere else, or buy what they have (or don't buy at all).

This pertains to ANYTHING that you buy "open box".  How do you know if it's "open box"?  Duh!

Perhaps I've just become more used to buying used anyway to be not as bothered. 

And, how often do you get a discount for a "display item"?  Not always, though it's possible.  It is, in fact possible. 

Now, I'd probably be a little more upset if the item appeared factory sealed and damaged to an unplayable level.  But beyond that, I just don't sweat it a great deal.

Nightwng2000

NW2K Software

Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

True, the whole 'display model' thing is not written in stone, though most businesses I've seen will honor a discount in that case (unless the item is in high demand).

I imagine most peoples' position on this revolves around whether or not they purchase used games.  I don't, so I expect something new to be unopened - or expressely messaged as 'opened' if it has been.  Buying something "new" to me means that I get a fresh, unopened product that's never been used - that's the "right" that I pay the $60 price tag for.

In the case of opening the box and still selling as new - yes, the game could be fine regardless.  But it's a tiny, tiny leap from selling opened (mint) products as new for full retail price and selling opened (used) products for full retail price also.  If gamespot is guilty of the former, then yes, I also assume they are guilty of the latter - something that I as a consumer am (obviously) vehemently against.  That's a slippery slope that will never end well for the consumer in my opinion.

Why would I put faith in gamespot if they don't explicitly disclose that their new games are opened?  Moreover, why would I trust a coorporation?  Their main goal is to make money - not make the customer feel good.

[More just posing those questions than asking you specifically nightwng :)]

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

It's very difficult for me to put my "faith" in anything or anyone.  That's a big amount of trust to hand over.  Long term patronage is required.  If I've patroned a business long enough, gotten to know their employees fairly decently, then "faith" comes into play.

That being said, it's still just a matter of individual preference.  A person who spends a lot of time working the used item marketplace tends to be a little more savvy about what they are purchasing, even if it's expected to be "new".  Even "new" products get the once over.  And if you buy at cheap stores, such as "Dollar General", "Dollar Tree", or "Family Dollar", you know what you'll find with a lot of new stuff.  Beat up boxes, even mildly imperfect items.  No matter how "new" they may be.

But there are those folks who just like the "pristine" purchase.  That's really not a "bad" thing.  There's nothing wrong with limiting one's self to the best products available in the best condition.  Many folks don't buy used.  Nothing wrong with that either.  I, and many others, are just looking at it from the aspect of those who don't hold that same philosophy.

It's the same when it comes to the difference between shoppers who spend hours looking up reviews, comparing prices, and looking for every piece of detail on every item they purchase versus the shopper who just goes into a store, looks for the best looking item, then buys it.  Just different philosophies.

And a lifetime of that philosophy will make you look at the other kind of shopper and go "Bwha??"

Nightwng2000

NW2K Software

Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

Yeah I won't even buy a used game unless it has a good case (or at least insert art since I have a stockpile of different system cases from friends), the instruction manual, and the disc is damn near perfect.  But 20 mins after I buy the game, new or used, I'm just opening it and using it anyways. 

Zen aka Jeremy Powers
Panama City, Fl.

Zen aka Jeremy Powers
Editor and Host of the Zenspath Podcast (now on iTunes)
www.ZensPath.com
XBL: "PsychoticZen" PSN: "Zenspath"
Nintendo Network: "Psychoticzen", 3DS: "0860-3238-7260

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

I think people are so upset about the fact that the retailer acts like it's completely new. Every display model of something I've encountered carried a discount with it. If the display copies of the games were $5 off or something, I don't think people would object as much. I can see both sides of this issue, and I really don't know why everyone's sitting around flaming eachother when they could be researching different places to shop or just going about their usual business.

www.gameslaw.net

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

I find it funny that people are willing to bring up the car argument here but when trying to use that same arguement in favor of selling used games people say it's not the same.

 

Also Gamecrazy and the former Rhino Games did this all the time yet they are not being punished for it? It just seems like more to hate the top dog for, if you don't like it go shop at your Gamers Traders or whatever the hell they want to call themselves they are one and only one store and pose no real threat to Gamestop.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

Gamecrazy is already on my shit list anyways, I definately don't buy from those jerks. First they pretty much steal the game I traded in because they swore it was in the machine, refused to give me my game back, and refused to give me a reciept because they swore it was in there and that they didn't need to (that really pissed me off and hey guess what it wasn't in there -_- and our cops pretty much tell you to go jump in a friggan lake...) then my mom decides she wants to get me a new DS I told her -not- to buy from them but she did it anyways...and at the time on the back of the reciept it said 7 days to exchange if it was faulty. She got it for me because I'd just gotten over chicken pox that she gave me from her shingles, and the day I got over that I got the stupid flu, so when I tried to use the wifi on it, no go kept getting this odd error so I took it into them the next day even though I wasn't in any condition to be outta bed, said to the guy "The wifi doesn't work..." And he pulled out another DS did the Infer red whatever thing and went "They connected theres nothing wrong with the wifi...and anyways gamecrazy policy is you have to send it to nintendo so I can't help you." I darn near pulled the guy over the counter cuz of his smug attitude, but I was sick so I just kept my hands on the display case so I wouldn't fall down and let that little jerk know that I knew what the hell Wifi was and that checking the infer red junk wasn't the friggan Wifi and he ought to darn well know it since he was younger then me! And then I turned the reciept over and told him "Read it...out loud...and you keep it right there you just read it..." and he read it and was all "I could lose my job for honoring this...it's not our policy..." eventually he finally brought one outta the back and exchanged it but to get it done I had to tell the guy that he'd lose a lot more then his job if he didn't cuz that right there was legal binding and if they didn't honor the back of the receipt I'd make sure that Game Crazy got closed faster then the speed of light. (which the BBB did say it was illegal not to honor it, they have to honor whats on the back of the receipt period no ifs ands or buts)

 

So personally I think all groups like Gamestop and Game Crazy are worthless, only group that's been worth anything is Game Rush in our town, they treat me real good there specially since my town's small enough word gets around, and not to many don't know the stuff GC pulled on me and my mother.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

The use of car sales as a comparison is due to the fact that it is far more common and anticipated than anything else.  While you may find display items such as TVs, stereos, DVD players, or even lesser items such as cookery, out on shelves, and some items, like the TVs, stereos, and such being on and used for display, you usually don't hear about those items being taken and used for the private use of employees.  But then, you don't really know that it ISN'T happening, do you?  Yet, customers, having found that there are no unsealed, unboxed items, will ask if they can buy the "display item" (which isn't marked as such yet you KNOW that's what it is).

In some cases, instead of picking up an actual unboxed item, you actually pick up a ticket and take it to the counter and they go back to get the item.  How do you know for absolute certainty that that item hasn't been used if it isn't obvious?

Still, just as with picking up an empty box from the shelf and handing it to the employee to fill, if you purchase a car off the lot, even a new one, there is no absolute certainty that an employee hasn't used it once or twice.  Unless it's obvious or they tell you.  Otherwise, you'd have to say "I want a factory fresh one, not the one you have on the lot."

That's why the car analogy is so close to a comparison.

Nightwng2000

NW2K Software

Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

If I am charged for a "new" game, I expect it to be new, not "new if you ignore the fact 5 employees spent the last two weeks playing it." If I wanted a used game, I would go over to the used game section and buy one of those.

Its that simple.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

tbh I've known about this for quite a while too. But here's a little story for anyone wanting more reasons to hate gamestop.

A few years back I pre-ordered a game at a gamestop. the person at the counter said I had 5 days after the release date to pick it up.

I came back 2 days after(earliest I could get there) and a different person was there, who said he sold the last copy they had since I didn't pick it up on the first day, and he wouldn't give me back the money I had given them to RESERVE my game. When I told him what they told me when I reserved it, he started to sound like he was getting mad, so I just didn't bother. I went to another gamestop in the same mall (they also had an EB games) and they still had a copy there.

It was then that I joined the ranks of the gamestop haters.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

That was reported by a former GameStop employee on YouTube. This is him. http://www.youtube.com/user/LeisureSuitGaming

When Jack Thompson runs his mouth, does anyone really care what he has to say anymore?

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

Stop the presses! I haven't known about this for years at all! [No offense, Dennis ;)]

www.gameslaw.net

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

For all of you going I don't see what the big deal is, here's where I stand. I buy a brand new copy of a game -BRAND NEW- Open it, play it, see that it sucks take it back to the store...they don't give me my money back for that purchase, they give me what the game is worth in trade in which is usually about 10 bucks less then what I just paid for it 5 minutes ago...that game doesn't go back up as new either...it goes on the used shelf because it's been -USED-. So why shouldn't they start giving me my money back in full for these "new" games I keep bringing in, when their own employees can do that at no cost and then -I- have to buy their used game as new...it's really a bullshit thing.

 

This oh it's still new thing doesn't take into account that all games are concidered -USED- the moment their opened so really technically you're paying full price for -USED- copies of a game which can't be legal...

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

I already refuse to buy anything from Gamestop - I know for a fact they sell used games as new and it enrages me greatly. 

My wife bought a "new" game from a local gamestop a couple weeks ago, got home, peeled off the shrink wrap, and only then noticed that the security sticker across the opening was sliced down the middle with a knife so that the box could be opened and resealed to look new (unless you looked closely).  So it was likely a used product that they resealed and re-shrinkwrapped even to get more money for the product.

She declined to take it back to the store because she knew they would give her bullshit about it being an open product and not returnable.

That kind of blatent false advertising absolutely seems illegal, and I hope the FTC rakes them over the coals for it.  The fact that they also try to sell discs that have been removed from the box as "new" right in front of you is unbelievable also.

Seriously, pay attention to those security seals - and if someone tries to sell you something "new" that doesn't have one or is out of box, refuse.  Buy games from bestbuy or some other large store instead.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

Or it could be that it was a new opened box shelf copy that they cleared off the shelf, put the unplayed game disk back in the box and then shrink wrapped it. Ever thought of that?

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

A lot of you have said that you don't shop at GameStop for one reason or another.  I only have one question, if they changed their policies to fit whatever problem, imaginary or real, would you shop at their stores again?

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

Why do you insist on putting the onus of dealing with a possibly misrepresented item onto the consumer? Do you have some reason or motivation to defend GameStop for poor business practices. I for one will NEVER buy anything from a gamestop, too much underhanded BS has either happened to me there or to my friends.

 

Doesn't ECA stand for Entertainment CONSUMERS Association? Why don't you get behind the consumers and condem such practices as selling used games/open box as new? Even if it is open box people need to know, I work at a computer repair shop and I can tell you when I get a product that was labelled as new and find out that it is an open box or used I get pissed and call up the supplier. They always know they did something wrong too, and since we tend to only keep suppliers we trust they always try and make it right.

 

So please don't sit there and act like it is ok that a company sold an open box as new. That is just as wrong as selling a used game as new.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

What a rude and opinionated comment.  The point is that it's not a 'New' game.  It doesn't matter if the disc is in new condition, if the seal is broken it's a used or 'opened' product and retailers typically have to tell you as such.  This is where terms such as "like new" or "display model" come from.

You don't buy peanut butter with the seal broken do you?  What if it's just a "display" jar and the peanut butter is fine?  Will you buy it then?

Security seals exist for a reason - to show that the product has not been opened.  If it has, a retailer cannot claim it's a "new" product - which is exactly what Gamespot seems to be doing (at least in my case).

 

"I am providing support for the understandable practice of gutting display copies and still selling them as new. "

Which is exactly the point: That is not an understandable practice - that's illegal.  You have to typically label such products as "opened" or "display model" or "like new".  You can't claim it's new when it's been opened.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

Did you even read any of my comments or are you just jumping on the bandwagon with every othe rperson that is attacking me because I don't agree with them?

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

"Or it could be that it was a new opened box shelf copy that they cleared off the shelf, put the unplayed game disk back in the box and then shrink wrapped it. Ever thought of that?"

That comment?  Yeah, I read that and responded to it.  I don't think I have to read every one of your posts in this thread to respond to a post you made about mine.

Knock off the attitude man, I'm not attacking you.  As you can clearly see above, you attacked me

I think you're opinion is wrong.  Would you like to have a calm debate about it, or just make asinine comments like the above?

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

No, I did not attack you. I presented an alternate case to what you proposed. You automatically assumed that the game was used in some way. I proposed that the game was a resealed display copy. How is that attacking you?

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

I inferred your attack from your attitude in the post - much the same way I imagine you are inferring attacks against you.  "Ever thought of that?"

Yes, the game could absolutely have been an opened box display copy.  My point is that there is no difference to me.  If the seal is broken, it's not new, and I shouldn't be charged $60 for it. 

I have no way of knowing the history of the game prior to it entering my hands - which is what the seal is there to guarantee (that no one else has opened it). 

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

The fact that they are doing it without disclosing their policies (like Best Buy does, in my earlier example to counter your ridiculous "new car" analogy), is fraud. Maybe the customer would have a problem with it, maybe not, but it never gets that far because GS deliberately withholds the information.

Seriously, you're not doing the ECA any favors by attaching yourself to them and then shouting down people who are rightfully offended by demonstrated retail fraud. Just because you don't think this situation is important, and that it's a "non-issue", doesn't mean everyone should feel the same way. Yet that's exactly what you are conveying with your condescending tone.

Then again, who cares about a little bit of fraud here and there, eh? If they don't realize what's happening to them, and it's just $10-$15 they're losing on "new" items versus "used", no big deal, right?

GS should hire you for the "embedded" PR value.

"Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" - Denis Leary

"Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" - Denis Leary

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

I am not shouting down anyone. If anything, I seem to be the one being shouted down. I am providing support for the understandable practice of gutting display copies and still selling them as new.

The reason I think this is a non-issue, until the ECA says otherwise it will remain, is because there are plenty of protections already in place to protect you.

Here is a handy guide to protecting yourself from potentially damaged open box new games:

1. Ask if there are any factory sealed copies.

2. If a seal looks suspicious, ask about it.

3. If there are no Factory sealed copies left and only gutted new display copies, ask to inspect the disk.

4. If the disk has noticable wear, ask for a different copy and repeat step 3.

5. If there are no unworn disks, ask for a discount.

6. If unable to get a discount shop somewhere else, otehrwise proceed to step 7.

7. Before paying for the display game, make sure the employee places a GameStop seal on the game so that you can return the game if need be and not be penalized for it if the GS seal is unbroken.

8. If for some reason after you performed steps 1-7 and the game is actually damaged and unplayable, you can still exchange it for another copy of the same game with no penalties.

It is that simple. There is nothing to get in a huff about. If you aren't doing that, you are not a very good customer.

As for getting a job in GS PR, no thanks, I prefer to make games not sell them.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

 Ok, now try looking at this from the perspective of someone who doesn't know games... like the non-gamer that will want to buy a game for a gamer friend/family member. a very common type of customer. 

These are people who would not know of many of the subtle aspects of the trade such as factor seals, suspicious looking seals, or what not... these are people that go into the store trusting they are gonna buy an honest product. As such they are too oblivious to actually even think to go through that check list. 

So what happens when they end up getting a game that their gamer relative does not want but the seal has apparently already been broken... or what happens when they open the product to find that the disk has been scratched or has any other kind of noticeable wear. Because the seal is broken you can no longer return the game and you stuck with it. 

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

Alternatively:

 

1. Go to a better retailer and buy an unmodified copy of the product.

 

End.

 

Seriously, you're giving 8 steps on how to buy a new product from a retailer?  Since when does a store need a goddamn manual on how to get what they advertise?

I'm a 'bad customer' if I don't go through your checklist to confirm that the retailer isn't lying to me about a new product?  Zach, you are way out of bounds here.  The instructions you give are how to buy a used product

Don't talk down to people about what you think they should do to ensure a retailer is being honest.  The onus for meeting what a retailer advertises is on the business, not the consumer.  I'm saddened that you are a member of the ECA and have such a anti-consumer position on this, and I can only hope more people in the ECA don't share such a mindset.

Gamespot is being unethical at best and illegal at worst, there's no justifying it.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

Go to a bookstore...buy a book that has never been opened or possibly read by someone that was in the store earlier.  Good luck.

Go buy a car, brand new, and notice you can't get one with an odometer that reads all zeroes.  Request to test drive said car and then ask afterwards if you can have it at a used cost and see what happens.

And why do so many people assume that EVERYONE that works in a GameStop have to be a "thief" or "crook"?  Makes as much sense as me labeling everyone here as being just as bad as ole Jack because he comes here and rants too.  Come to the store I am at...see if we are criminals.  And then ask yourself this...if you treat someone badly...don't be surprised if they treat you badly back.  Come to my house and act like a whiney brat...and I will ask you to leave.  Come into a store, and treat everyone like dumb cattle that is trying to rip you off, and everyone will want as little to do with you and wait for you to go.  Every tree has bad apples, but that doesn't mean you try and cut the whole tree down because of them.  You pick them out and keep an eye on it.  So many want to attack Gamestop without ever even having a bad experience of their own...they just want in on the attack on the big guy.  But you will still quietly line up when a game comes out just to pick it up.  You can go to Wal-Mart...good luck getting to even see the back of the box before checkout.  The people usually don't know jack about the games and are not even from that department.  They just have a key and hand it over. 

I can't talk about every employee, just as I can't talk about every person that reads or responds here.  But I know better than to take one person or incident to badmouth them all.  There have been stories where I haven't agreed with Dennis...and that's fine.  I appreciate all sides of a story as long as everyone is civil enough to talk about it.  I'm being open about what I do as a part time job along with working as a Navy Contractor, and I am aware I will be flamed for even admitting it.  But if you come into my store, I will do what I can to answer any and all questions honestly.  I prefer to sell new over used, but will not "look down" on someone for getting the used because they save a few bucks.  Do I personally agree that we should be able to check out new games.  Not really.  Have I...yes.  I wanted to get an opinion of a game when it came out so that I could give a well thought out and descriptive explanation about a games mechanics, playstyle, graphics, and content.  I bet you would appreciate that if you were going to buy something like Kane and Lynch or Sonic the Hedgehog.  But I'm also lucky enough to be stable and well paid so I can have a game collection that requires it's own room and numbers damn near in the thousands of games.  Hell I even have a Double Dragon arcade machine in the dining room that my wife got me for an anniversary present one year.  So I'm just as much a gamer as any of you. 

And give Zach a break. He deserves his say just like you do.  He's always been cool about everything and over time I have come to find his point of view to be insightful and respectful.  Please return the favor.

And about the people saying the PC games were checked out and you were "screwed over" by Gamestop...I'm calling BULLSHIT (sorry for the language Dennis) on that one.  No one is able to check out PC games, especially because of registration keys, DRM, and other things that everybody complains about anyways.

 

I'm sorry for such a disjointed and frustrated argument..but I have been getting tired of people writing off Gamestop like it's the freaking destruction of the game industry.  It gets old when all you hear is the bad, and nothing about the charity work we do, or the good ones of us that are out there that really DO want the best for gamers.  I give out my xbox live gamertag or PSN title when I can just so some people have someone to play with online.  I've met people that I eventually deleted because we didn't get along...and I've met people that I have been playing with since they get a system.  Remember that when you put them all down...your putting down some of your fellow games too.

Jeremy Powers
Panama City, Fl.
Zenspath.com

Xbox Live: Zen of the Dark
PSN: Zenspath

Zen aka Jeremy Powers
Editor and Host of the Zenspath Podcast (now on iTunes)
www.ZensPath.com
XBL: "PsychoticZen" PSN: "Zenspath"
Nintendo Network: "Psychoticzen", 3DS: "0860-3238-7260

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

I never meant to imply that I think Gamestop employees are thieves/criminals - I don't.  I think the practices employed at the Gamestop stores that I have personally visited (which seem to be chain-wide) are shady at best.  Does that mean shenanigans are taking place?  Not necessarily, but shady is enough to get me to go somewhere else.

I respect your opinion Zen, but I don't buy your reasoning for checking out games and selling them new for even a second - and I don't appreciate it.  I do think it is outstanding that you want to be up on current games to provide advice to those that might ask, but not when that entails using a product that someone will later be buying at full price.  This is what reviews are for - and game reviewers get pre-release copies of the games for only their usage to this effect.  You're not a game reviewer.  If you want to borrow a copy of the game to give your customers your opinion, buy the product yourself or use a used copy.

No disrespect intended, but were I to go into a Gamestop the only help I need is in exchanging my money for the game.  We don't even need to talk to complete the transaction.  While this may seem unfriendly and rude...it's a retail shop...I go in to grab a product and get out.  I'm not sure how else I can put it, and I apologize if you think that's rude.  I am absolutely certain there are customers that would appreciate attentive and knowledgable employees...but again, buy the game yourself.  NO customer would appreciate you using the thing they're purchasing without telling them.

Please [everyone], don't give any more analogies about cars or any other industry and how it's ok for them.  We're talking about games here - Software.  There are expectations already around buying and selling software, and this practice just. doesn't. fly.  You can't sell an opened software title as new...you just can't.  If retailers refuse to accept returns of software when it's been opened, why in the world would they find it ok to sell opened software for full price?  That's just absurd!

I know it's not the problem of the individual employee of Gamestop - it is the practices of the larger entity that are being discussed here.  While I do not assume GS employees are thieves, I also don't assume they're saints.  In the end it doesn't matter, I expect to buy an unopened copy when I buy a new game - if GS can't support that, then they can't, and they should not be the place people go to to meet this expectation.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

I may not be a game reviewer on a large scale...but I do review games. I also write articles, report the news, and compose editorials for the people I know and talk to, as well as my own site that I have been working on for awhile.  Hell, I'm even starting to get the equipement and people together for podcasting because I feel strongly enough about this industry and it's people that I can hold good, multi-sided conversations about the games and going-ons industry wide.  If people want to hear my voice and others talking about this, great...if not, no sleep lost on me. 

I know you didn't say the thief comment and that it was in regards to someone elses comment that went into this rant, but I still don't like it. 

That's great that you can go into somewhere and know exactly what you want, but I go there to talk to the gamers.  Great that I can help people that need it, but we can talk to eachother you know. What is the fun of going somewhere and missing the chance to connect with more of the gamer community?  This site is great, but we still need to actually see and talk to eachother sometimes.  That why I hold a monthly LAN party at my house on my dime to get everyone together face to face.  I treat my job like the old record stores.  You come in for suggestions, to pick up what you want, to talk shop, and to hear more about what is going on.  If you wish to keep it sterile, that's your call...but I think you are missing out on a good bit of camaraderie that could be made with people in the store.  Like I said, we're all gamers, and we should be getting together instead of staying apart.

And when I check a game out, it usually is a used copy that I get.  I don't normally like to check out a new game unless I am picking it up a few days early before I buy it. 

Jeremy Power aka Zen
www.ZensPath.com
Zen@Zenspath.com

Xbox Live Gamertag: Zen of the Dark
PSN Name: Zenspath

Zen aka Jeremy Powers
Editor and Host of the Zenspath Podcast (now on iTunes)
www.ZensPath.com
XBL: "PsychoticZen" PSN: "Zenspath"
Nintendo Network: "Psychoticzen", 3DS: "0860-3238-7260

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

Hooooly crap, you people could write dissertations with the insane amount of cyberspace you're using.

"HEY! LISTEN!"

"HEY! LISTEN!"

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

This is why I'm trying to get a podcast going...takes to damn long to type all of this sometimes lol.

Zen aka Jeremy Powers
Panama City, Fl.

Xbox Live Gamertag: Zen of the Dark
PSN: Zenspath

Zen aka Jeremy Powers
Editor and Host of the Zenspath Podcast (now on iTunes)
www.ZensPath.com
XBL: "PsychoticZen" PSN: "Zenspath"
Nintendo Network: "Psychoticzen", 3DS: "0860-3238-7260

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

Healthy discourse is a good thing .  One line comments or OMGWTFBBQ?!?! are not generally thought provoking.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

Those eight steps, depending on how many you actually have to perform, will take no longer than 2 minutes. Usually they can be done in conjunction with the time you spend checking out.

I am sorry that I am "talking down" to you and everyone else. I think all of you are over reacting and need to actually think about what is going on here. I am done trying to explain it to everyone as it looks like noone is listening to me.

AS for my standing with the ECA, I think I am fine. We are free to disagree with other member and even the organization. As of yet, the ECA has not made any position statement regarding this practice.

I don't feel that my opinion is in any way anti-consumer. Being a consumer is just as much work as it is to run a business. If you do not arm yourself with the tools and understanding you need to protect yourself from what you consider fraudulent activity, then you need to stop and think about what you are doing.

Complain all you want. I don't care. But don't tell me that my opinion is anti-consumer just because you disagree. Also don't question my standing with the ECA just because you don't agree with me.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

"Those eight steps, depending on how many you actually have to perform, will take no longer than 2 minutes."

Who cares how long it takes?  Why should I be forced to do extra work to ensure I'm getting what I'm paying for?  I'm paying for it.

"I am sorry that I am "talking down" to you and everyone else. I think all of you are over reacting and need to actually think about what is going on here. I am done trying to explain it to everyone as it looks like noone is listening to me."

It is possible to have a logical discussion and debate without resorting to dickish comments.  I described my experience, and you responded by being a dick.  What's your justification for your attitude?

I agree, it is important to arm yourself with tools and understanding to protect yourself from fraudulent businesses.  Buying a 'new' product for the retail price that in fact been opened and/or used is not in the standard expectations of the consumer in the software business.  I would say that is in fact, a fraudulent business practice.

"But don't tell me that my opinion is anti-consumer just because you disagree."

I said I thought your opinion was anti-consumer because I think it is, and I will tell you that (free speech, gotta love it).  What you suggest flies in the face of standard expectations of the consumer, and there is a wealth of public opinion in the consumer base that disagrees with you.  I refuse to allow or justify a retailer repacking a product after breaking security seals and selling the product as new at the full retail price.  Why don't you?

"Also don't question my standing with the ECA just because you don't agree with me."

I question your standing with the ECA because you do not represent the best interests of the consumer in this case, and I'll continue to do so when I read as such.  I have yet to hear any legal evidence backing up your position (and the majority disagree with you already), so we'll just have to agree to disagree.  I'd love to know why you believe this is OK, but I still haven't heard any justification that is not against the best interest of the consumer.

 

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

Why should I be forced to do extra work to ensure I'm getting what I'm paying for?  I'm paying for it.

That is precisely why you should put in the extra work. It is your money. You want to spend it in the manner you deem worthy of your business. The store or other individual does not care about you, just your money. They want your money. You want something that is worth your money. They will do anything to get your money. You should do everything you can to protect your investment. It is your responsibility as a consumer to protect your money and investments not the retailers.

Buying a 'new' product for the retail price that in fact been opened and/or used is not in the standard expectations of the consumer in the software business.

I never said you had to buy something you suspect of being used for a new price. I said you need to make sure you are satisfied with the purchase and are confident you are getting what you paid for. I even presented a method that would guarantee that you are satisfied and confident. Then you attacked it as if it were acid being drop in your eyes.

I refuse to allow or justify a retailer repacking a product after breaking security seals and selling the product as new at the full retail price.  Why don't you?

I refuse to buy anything that I am not satisfied with or confident that it is the best investment for my money. If I cannot get a satisfactory result using the methods described above, I do not make the purchase.

Also, just because the factory seal is broken does not make it any less new. As long as the disk and manual are free from damage, I would be confident paying the full retail price if need be. If I want a used game, I will buy a used game. If I want a new game, I will buy a new game. If that new game is a gutted display copy, that is fine with me as long as the manual and disk are free from damage. If I can get a discount using the steps I outlined, all the better.

I'd love to know why you believe this is OK, but I still haven't heard any justification that is not against the best interest of the consumer.

Gutting the display cases prevents theft. Preventing theft keeps prices from going up. Keeping prices from going up benefits the consumer because they will not have to spend more of their money.

Allowing employees to borrow games allows them to gain an understanding of the games they sell. Better informed employees will help customers make more informed decisions. The more information the consumer has, the more consfident and satisfied they are in the purchase.

While I don't neccessarily agree that repackaging those games that have been borrowed and selling them as new is a good practice, I don't think it is anything that truly deserves the kind of reaction that is being shown here. There are plenty of ways to protect yourself from them, foremost is the ability to shop elsewhere.

Is that a good enough reason?

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

That is precisely why you should put in the extra work. It is your money. You want to spend it in the manner you deem worthy of your business. The store or other individual does not care about you, just your money. They want your money. You want something that is worth your money. They will do anything to get your money. You should do everything you can to protect your investment. It is your responsibility as a consumer to protect your money and investments not the retailers.

I absolutely agree - but rather than follow the process you defined, I prefer to do business with what I deem to be a reputable business.  The beauty of a competitive market is that I don't have to have anything to do with GS - there are plenty of other retailers that don't engage in what I call 'shady' practices such as this.

I never said you had to buy something you suspect of being used for a new price. I said you need to make sure you are satisfied with the purchase and are confident you are getting what you paid for. I even presented a method that would guarantee that you are satisfied and confident. Then you attacked it as if it were acid being drop in your eyes.

Again I agree - but I'd already mentioned in the initial post that I choose to instead do business with someone else.  I'm not interested in how to deal with Gamespot's practices...I just refuse to engage them for new sales.  For used game sales the items you mentioned are right on the money.

I think we just differ on opinion of what is acceptably 'new' - and this is a much more civil way to discuss it in my opinion.  "New" to me means never opened regardless of condition, and there are many retailers willing to meet that bar - I think Gamespot is in the minority in that they don't. 

If a consumer is OK with a new product being opened, then there's no problem...but the question remains: Is Gamespot telling the customer that?  I think the answer is no here, and in my opinion that goes against expectations.  The knowledgable consumer might be able to tell in most cases - but my wife in the instance above couldn't. 

It really boils down to whether or not Gamespot is clearly messaging their practices, and if the consumer base has the chance to agree/disagree once that information is public.  Based on the experience my wife had, and what I'm reading here about their practices...I don't agree, so I'll go elsewhere.  I hope the grandmother/mother buying a game for their grandson/son gets the same information, because I don't assume they would be OK with getting an opened product for full retail price.  Maybe they are, but I assume that they aren't.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

I agree. If you do not like GS's practices, you are well within your right to shop elsewhere. Never said you or anyone else had to shop there.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

Or it could be that it's disingenuous to sell open and/or used items as "new". Ever thought of that?

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

I understand what you've been trying to say in all your comments, EZK.  Now, granted I don't dick around when it comes to these things and I shop where I know my need will be met so I don't feel the need to complain. But for some people factory-sealed condition is important--me included.

www.gameslaw.net

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

Preorder.  I go in every 2 months or so and ask them to print me a release date list.  Then I preorder the ones off of that list that I want.  I get a nice little recorded phone call on release date and I go pick up my pristine, unopened, game.

It's not rocket science.

 

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

I've never had a problem with anything new gamestop has sold me, and the one time I had a defective used product, they gave me a new copy with the price of the used slashed off of it.

The checking-out policy doesn't really surprise me or concern me. I usually don't buy new from Gamestop anyway.

If you go crazy then I will still call you Superman.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

Hearing all about this concerning gamestop, I understand...Hearing some mostly negative views involving their practices, But hell...Some occassion i wished they had a better policy at making sure my games/equipment worked, I know some wont like me for this...but im somewhat a loyal customer of gamestop, Shit well cause the store's products are cheap, im in current hold of an EDGE card and some of the employees i've seen there seem happy about their job (An employee suggested this site to me) , And this is so far the only game store down here.

If i wanted to get RE5 for 60.00/tax at wal-mart/k-mart;F-NO,i'd do it out of desperation maybe, If i wanted it for 54.99 then yeah, I did it on SH:Homecoming and the game works fine, I'd made a mistake buying one game at the store once and returning it after learning it was screwed up and an employee that was getting fired anyway scratched my game on purpose, But i forgive them and they game me a Brand "NEW" copy that actually worked, Concerning this, Gamestop is just only good for me since im somewhat of a tpywad.

 

But now hearing that they using some "Loaning" thing to Employees , THAT has me now concerned some.

(But I'll still shop at Gamestop/EB)

Magic Taco

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

Man, that reminds of this one time, i forget which store it was, but i once got a PC game as a present and at the time i had a non-intel based mac. So since i couldn't play we tried to return the game to get the mac version. Thing is though, the person who got the game neglected to check the package, and as it turn out the game was already opened when they bought (person in question is NOT game savy at all). The problem came up that it turned out the store had a no return policy for any games that had been opened.

Honestly, if the store had a leanding policy for it's employees then this would be some serious bullshit. For one thing, they did not check to make sure they re-sealed the package properly... second, they are more then happy to sell my a product that was used for a few days at full price, but at the same time unwilling to accept a return of the product that, in theory, was only used for a few days (though i did not play the game)

 
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MechaCrashI held off on Civ:BE because I am pretty sure it'll get a bigger discount during the Christmas sale.11/26/2014 - 11:09pm
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MechaCrashNah, just providing more proof that GGers are lying when they claim it's really about ethics in game journalism and not a proxy war against feminism.11/26/2014 - 9:58pm
MaskedPixelanteMSS is Murdered: Soul Suspect.11/26/2014 - 8:34pm
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