Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles at GameStop

August 12, 2013 -

When you go to eBay, Craigslist, or some off-the-beaten-path retro game store you expect some level of price gouging to happen. People selling old games in these spaces categorize them as collector's items and try to sucker you into paying $500 for an old copy of a game (like Minish Cap for GBA). But when GameStop does it, you have to wonder what the heck is going on. Apparently that is exactly what the world's largest video gaming retailer is doing, according to this Kotaku report.

GameStop is advertising Xenoblade Chronicles, the popular Nintendo-published RPG that came out for the Wii in April of 2012, for a whopping $89.99.

According to Kotaku's report, a number of GameStop stores in New York told them that they have recently restocked the game and were offering used copies for $90. Another store rep. told Kotaku that the retailer "printed a few thousand copies of the game with no shrink wrap in order to restock their inventory, then labeled them as pre-owned." Another GameStop rep. told Kotaku that they would look into this story about "copying" the game.

Obviously gamers who are interested in the game see this as a price gouging scam on the part of GameStop and are pretty upset about it.

On the other hand, GameStop could argue that simply searching for the game on Google Shopping or Amazon will show you that this game is reasonably priced compared to those searches. They wouldn't be wrong about that, but GameStop isn't just some retro gaming reseller - they are a major player in the video gaming space, and charging a premium for older games could kill their used games business. Let's hope this does not become a trend...

Source and Image Credit: Kotaku. Thanks to Andrew Eisen for the tip.


Comments

Re: Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles ...

I was going to defend Gamestop thinking this was a supply and demand issue. I thought like the PS3 there was a limited amount made and each new version lost features so the old version deserves the price increase.

Same with Xenogears which for years sold high because it was an amazing find.

Now yes Xenoblade had a limited release and was sold only at GameStop this sadly is a deal gone wrong because in the end it will reflect bad on Nintendo. GameStop already has a shady reputation here but why Nintendo would refuse to put a popular game out there and sell it everywhere as opposed to a limited release at one store tells us all why Nintendo is failing.

Nintendo, Square Enix and some other Japanese developers have a casual I do not get it attitude when it comes to their customers across the ocean.  They refuse to release games that can move systems or release a good game(s) on a system only a minority of people have. (Anyone remember the Wonderswan? Or the Pocketstation?)

Re: Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles ...

I see the comments for this article are nicely split.

 

I frequent a small (locally owned) game store. They have both Fire Emblem games (one for the Game Cube one for the WII). They are charging about $90 for them as well. Now that is an older price, Amazon currently has used at around $60 for them. BUT I know when they bought the games and priced checked them, they were at over $90 USED. Being a small store, they can not keep up on price fluctuations, so they only re-price every thing about once a year, or so. I can not fault them on their price though, because I know exactly how rare these game are.

 

My Conclusion, WHY IS THIS NEWS? Really, rare game, being sold for a rare game price. Maybe a bit high, but if you want lower go online and pay Shipping/Handling. Sometime you come out ahead, but other times (I know Ebay had a problem with this) the seller will sell you cheap and fleece you on the S/H.

 

EDIT: OK, I read the Kotaku article. NOW I see the issue. ALLEGEDLY, Nintendo reprinted the game. Which should have caused a price drop. BUT GS decided to take off the shrink wrap and call them used. Also, (again ALLEGEDLY, I swear the article reads like a gossip column) the article is asking why GS was the only retailer to get these copies and what back room deals took place.

Keep in mind, they are saying "Article" but it is really pure gossip and speculation. For all we know, GS just found a bunch of copies in a warehouse and, for whatever stupid reason, decided to sell them used. Our guess is as good as as Kotaku's.

I may be crazy, but I am not insane.

Re: Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles ...

Sorry folks. $90 for a used copy of Xenoblade is not a controversy. Based on the descriptions of the games sold, it is actually a great deal. Why Kotaku feels the need to manufacture controversy over this is unclear.

http://randomtower.com/?p=1067

Re: Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles ...

Except the issue is the fact that they aren't used copies.  They're NEW copies that they take out of the shrinkwrap just to SELL as used copies at the huge markup.

THAT is the problem people are having.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles ...

But the question remains, why would GameStop do that?  A new copy of Xenoblade currently goes for about $130.  It makes no sense to devalue your own product.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles ...

I was talking to EZK on Twitter and the idea I had is if they HAD to sell the NEW copies at $50 as part of their contract with Nintendo to be the only retail store site to carry the game.  This could be their loophole because if they take the new games, do a "new to used transfer", and then sell it at what would be an increase for them by going to the $90 a lot of online used stores carry it at they avoid the legal issue of breaking a contract.  

Of course since we have no idea what the original contract stipulated, it's just a theory.

Zen aka Jeremy Powers
Editor and Host of the Zenspath Podcast (now on iTunes)
www.ZensPath.com
XBL: "PsychoticZen" PSN: "Zenspath"
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Re: Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles ...

Nintendo has a say in what GS is allowed to sell new copies for.  However, they have no say in what they sell used copies for.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles ...

Barring some specific agreement, no, it doesn't.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles ...

The only say they have is on a suggested retail price. That is it. GameStop is free to sell at, below or above that. That power is exactly what brought about the first sale doctrine in the US. A book publisher was strong arming retailers to sell books at a specific price. One retailer fought them on the issue and won the right to sell books and other copyrighted works at whatever price they wanted to sell at.

Re: Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles ...

Nintendo's exclusivity agreement with GameStop - as in, the one that stated that GameStop would be the only retail outlet to sell the game, while Nintendo sells it through their online store - GUARANTEES that GameStop cannot sell new copies for a higher price than $49.99, since people wouldn't buy copies from GameStop if the other retailer selling it was selling it cheaper.

Or did everyone on GP suddenly forget that GameStop was NOT the only place you actually could buy the game?

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles ...

Oh. I'm sorry. I didn't realize that you had read the private non-public retail agreement between Nintendo and and GameStop. I guess I should always you assume that you know everything about every business agreement.

Re: Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles ...

"GameStop cannot sell new copies for a higher price than $49.99, since people wouldn't buy copies from GameStop if the other retailer selling it was selling it cheaper."

But no one is selling it cheaper.  And if they were, people wouldn't buy used copies for $90 if new (or used) copies were available elsewhere for MSRP (or lower).

"Or did everyone on GP suddenly forget that GameStop was NOT the only place you actually could buy the game?"

What makes you think anyone forgot that?  It is available elsewhere for about $130 new and $90 used.  This is why GameStop can charge a high price and why it makes absolutely no sense that it would choose to call a new copy "used" and sell it for less.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles ...

Order extra stock, make them look preowned, sell for even higher profit.

 

You have to admire the balls here.

Re: Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles ...

But that doesn't make sense.  What is the point of selling a new game as used?  That makes it less valuable.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles ...

No, it doesn't.

New = MSRP. Used = whatever we want to charge.

They did this on a reprint of Disgaea as well from an article I remember from a few years back. It was reprinted for $29.99, used price was higher, so they just opened the new ones that came in.

 

Re: Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles ...

New does not always equal MSRP. They are well within their rights to sell brand new sealed copies at whatever price they want. They could sell them at $100 if they wanted to. MSRP is the suggested retail price.

Go to ebay and Amazon and you will see new sealed copies of rare games going for many tiems the MSRP. Gamestop wouldn't be any different.

In fact, I have a story from back in the EB games era. There was a special edition Zelda release with both NES Zelda Games and both N64 Zelda games released on a single GameCube disk. Not long after the promotion period was over, any left over stock had its price raised from $0.00 to $50.00. The MSRP for the game was $0 but they decided to price it new at $50 because the market supported it.

Re: Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles ...

MSRP means Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price.  It's a suggestion, not a mandate.  Retailers are free to charge whatever the heck they want so again, I don't see the point of lying about a title being used when it's not.

You're going to sell more $90 copies of Xenoblade new then you are $90 copies of it used.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles ...

Free to, yes. I've also left stuff on the counter that's been over MSRP (at another store).

Suppose there is a reprint. What PR do you think Gamestop would get for selling it for $90 versus selling an "collectible rare game" for $90?

 

Re: Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles ...

You are free to buy only stuff that matches what you value it at. But that does not mean you are guaranteed to always get  the price you want.

Re: Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles ...

Huh?

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles ...

Let's suppose there's a reprint. That makes it much less rare. They're not going to be able to sell it for $90, not without a huge amount of flak. But oh, we just happen to have some used ones in, we can sell it for whatever we want. It's not a reprint, oh no, it's a used rare game, since there aren't any new ones left, no sirree.

Like I said, they've been caught at that before.

 

Re: Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles ...

And like EZK and I have been saying, that makes absolutely no sense.  A new copy of Xenoblade currently goes for about $130.  Why on Earth would GameStop sell its new copies as used for less money?

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles ...

Again, the game is rare enough that they could sell it new for $100 or more. Even with a reprint. Why would they do what you suggest? It makes no sense.

Re: Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles ...

Another store rep. told Kotaku that the retailer "printed a few thousand copies of the game with no shrink wrap in order to restock their inventory, then labeled them as pre-owned."

So, GameStop is allegedly printing and selling counterfeit copies of Xenoblade?

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles ...

Wasn't Gamestop footing the bill for the original print run of XBC?

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles ...

I hadn't heard that but even if it's true and GameStop paid Nintendo for an additional printing run of the game, there'd be no reason to lie and call it used.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles ...

¥ou R€a££Y can't think of a Rea$on?

 

Re: Consumers Cry Foul on High Price of Xenoblade Chronicles ...

Yes, because lying and calling it used doesn't allow you to charge more for it.  It just makes it less attractive to buyers.

 

Andrew Eisen

 
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