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Old 04-13-2009, 01:47 PM   #1
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Gamestop Sells Used Games As New.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kotaku
The alleged practice of GameStop lending new copies of games to employees at their stores and then later selling those games as new, unused copies, 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.

Reached for comment this afternoon, GameStop officials declined to comment.

"We do not comment on corporate policies that are competitive in nature," said Chris Olivera, vice president of corporate communications. "As your questions relate to company training, operations and discounting practices, I would not be able to provide feedback."

Kotaku contacted the FTC earlier today to determine if the practice, which sells games already played by employees at the new price, not the used price—used titles are typically priced about $5 cheaper than brand new versions—would be considered deceptive advertising or marketing. The FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection is mandated to protect consumers against unfair or deceptive acts or practices in commerce. Violations of FTC restrictions are a violation of federal law, according to the commission.

"The Federal Trade Commission protects consumers from unfair or deceptive advertising and marketing practices, and we encourage any consumer with a complaint about a company's business practices to contact us," said FTC public affairs specialist Betsy Lordan.

Lordan said she was unable to confirm or deny the existence of any investigation that the commission is conducting. As a rule the FTC does not comment on the conduct of a particular business.

The company's check-out policy, provided to us and verified by a number of GameStop employees states:
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.

Hardware, accessories, sealed CDs or software programs that must be altered to install may not be checked out. If the on-hand quantity of a product equals one, the item cannot be checked out. Hot titles may also be prohibited from being checked out, regardless of the on-hand quantity in the store.

Associates may only check out items from the store in which they work. Associates are personally responsible for any merchandise they are allowed to check out.

Merchandise must be properly checked out in the Employee Merchandise Check Out Log in the Game Planner.

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 at the current price less Associate discount.

Copying of the software and/or manuals/instructions is illegal and is strictly prohibited. Merchandise that leaves the store without being properly checked out or purchase is considered to be unauthorized removal of Company property and may result in performance coaching up to and including termination of your employment.


According to a number of GameStop employees and managers across the country, all of which spoke to us on the condition of anonymity, new copies of games rented out to employees are often mixed in with the unplayed display copies. And both are sold at "new" prices.

When a shipment of video games initially arrives at a store, managers are told to "gut" several copies of the game, removing the disc or cartridge from the packaging so it can be displayed on the shelf without concern of theft, according to our sources.

The games are then placed in protective sleeves or cases under the counter. If a customer asks why the game is not sealed they are typically told the the game is a display copy. The game is still sold as new.

When check-out games are returned, we were told, they are placed with the gutted display copies. If a customer asks about these, they are typically told they are display copies, not that they have been played before.

Since the copies are often placed with display copies, even managers and employees typically don't know which of these games have been played and which haven't.

While some GameStop managers will on occasion offer a "Shop Worn Discount" for a gutted or checked out title, we are told by our sources that this is actually against GameStop policy which states:

"Do not apply Shop Worn Discounts to any new, used or checked out games, it may only be applied for damaged packaging and new accessories which have been opened."

Headquartered in Grapevine, Texas, GameStop is the world's largest video game retailer, operating nearly 6,000 stores worldwide. The company's revenue was $8.8 billion in 2008.
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Old 04-13-2009, 02:23 PM   #2
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Looks like some Gamestop associates are going to be losing their privileges. But man, that really wants me to pick up a job at Gamestop on the weekends. I wouldn't have to buy games again!
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Old 04-13-2009, 03:25 PM   #3
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Hmmmm, could explain some duplicate cd key issues.
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Old 04-13-2009, 03:37 PM   #4
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Meh I've seen that happen before.

I guess they should probably label them correctly than lying about it. Anything for money, these days..
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:30 PM   #5
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It doesn't shock me.
I almost never buy new at Gamestop anyways.
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:35 PM   #6
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The last two "new" games I bought at Gamestop were very suspect to me. I bought Little Red Riding Hood's Zombie BBQ for the DS and the only seal it had was a two inch clear tape sticker keeping it closed (no shrink wrap) and before that I picked up a copy of Phoenix Wright: And Justice For All which they claimed was new but didn't even have a box!
Listen, if something is open, they should not be able to claim that it is "new". Especially since I didn't even get the manual for Phoenix Wright (not that I needed it, but it's the principle of the thing)

I rarely shop there anymore. It also seems like they hire kids who haven't ever even picked up a video game except Madden.
Common Gamestop dialogue:
Me: Um, excuse me?
Them: Yeah?
Me: Do you guys sell the game No More Heroes? And also, do you know the release date for Fatal Frame Wii?
Them: Uhhh...what system is that Hero game for?
Me: The Wii.
Them: Is it a new release?
Me: No, it's been out for a year, I just wanted to see how much your used copy was.
Them: Ohhhh. Is that other game you said out too?
Me: *seething* No. It is not out yet.
Them: Oh, well then we probably don't carry it.

My head usually explodes and I leave the store at this point in the conversation.
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Old 04-14-2009, 04:21 PM   #7
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Not really surprising when you think about it. They want a profit for the games people trade in, and marking something as new will net them much more money than marking it used, that's for sure.

Either way, someone's in some trouble now.
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Old 04-14-2009, 04:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ender View Post
The last two "new" games I bought at Gamestop were very suspect to me. I bought Little Red Riding Hood's Zombie BBQ for the DS and the only seal it had was a two inch clear tape sticker keeping it closed (no shrink wrap) and before that I picked up a copy of Phoenix Wright: And Justice For All which they claimed was new but didn't even have a box!
Listen, if something is open, they should not be able to claim that it is "new". Especially since I didn't even get the manual for Phoenix Wright (not that I needed it, but it's the principle of the thing)

I rarely shop there anymore. It also seems like they hire kids who haven't ever even picked up a video game except Madden.
Common Gamestop dialogue:
Me: Um, excuse me?
Them: Yeah?
Me: Do you guys sell the game No More Heroes? And also, do you know the release date for Fatal Frame Wii?
Them: Uhhh...what system is that Hero game for?
Me: The Wii.
Them: Is it a new release?
Me: No, it's been out for a year, I just wanted to see how much your used copy was.
Them: Ohhhh. Is that other game you said out too?
Me: *seething* No. It is not out yet.
Them: Oh, well then we probably don't carry it.

My head usually explodes and I leave the store at this point in the conversation.
Wow, that's bad, In England the people in our shops know about games.
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Old 04-14-2009, 04:26 PM   #9
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The two in my town have Uber nerds that work at them so they know what is going on. They also have a giant wall that has all the releases of the current month.
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Old 04-14-2009, 05:16 PM   #10
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Yeah, Ender, I had that problem before. But i went to a different one in my area and they were video game savvy. So its different upon areas, and whos working at the time.
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