That’s right, you heard it here, first. Well, actually, you probably already knew it. All of the Gamestops that I have been in to in recent memory have been wretched hives of scum and villainy. Most are disorganized and dirty and I just generally dread having to go into them to get a game. I hate hearing the loathsome “Would you like to preorder game XYZ, it’s only $5 down.”
However, I was reading this little piece about 7 things Gamestop could do to make themselves un-suck. I don’t know if it’s as easy as 7 steps, but it’s a start. There are a few things I might change about the list, though. Some are the same, some are different. Here’s my list:
1 – Stop Asking Us to Preorder – This is by far the most annoying part about the “Gamestop Experience”. They ask you to preorder major games, as if they won’t have enough in the store on release day. Why was it necessary to ask people to preorder Halo 3 six months before the release date? I know you’re going to have 500 extra copies in the store, why the hell should I preorder it? Why should I have to preorder anything, ever? No other store works the way Gamestop does. Like, imagine if a new movie came out and for six months beforehand Best Buy asked you to preorder the movie everytime you went in the store. They don’t and they still have enough copies, probably because some higer up inside Best Buy has figured out that, based on previous sales trends, you can calculate the expected amount of movies they will sell. However, everyone at Gamestop seems to be retarded and instead places the burden on the consumer to make sure they are informed how much demand there will be beforehand. It’s annoying as hell.
Furthermore, if the game you want isn’t in, your S.O.L. They don’t have a system where an employee can go, put an order in at headquarters, and get a copy in x amount of days. For example, you walk into a Gamestop and want some Atlus game that’s hard to come buy. They should be able to say “Sorry, but we can order you one specifically, when it gets here we’ll call you.” But they don’t, they say “Sorry, I can check some other stores around the area, but if they don’t have it, you’re screwed.” That’s just a sorry way to do business. Small music stores have been doing this for years, if there is a CD you want and it’s not in store, they can order it and call you when it’s in. Why can’t Gamestop do it?
2 – Buy Used Games for More, Sell Them for Less – I’m tired of going into Gamestop, seeing a 3 month old, unpopular, used game selling for $5 less then it’s original retail price. It’s just going to sit on the shelf longer, why not lower it more and get rid of it instead of just sitting on the game forever? Why wouldn’t I just go to eBay and get the game for less?
Also, why anyone sells games to Gamestop is beyond me. On eBay you will always get more money, and it won’t be crappy store credit. They are ripping you off. Stop being used by that trade in system. They’ll buy a game from you for dirt cheap and turn around and resell it for easily double what they paid you, if not more. There are exceptions sometimes, where you can turn in x games to get something free or at a greatly reduced price, as long as you turn in crappy games you wouldn’t be able to sell even on eBay.
3 – Create an Order System For Obscure, Older Games – They should have a system at each store where I can order older or obscure games. The order is placed in a database, goes to some central processing area, and the game is shipped to the store. Once the store gets the game, they call me and I come pick it up, easy as that. They should have games for all the older systems, and take some of the business that eBay is getting. Sure you can find some stuff at their online site, but why not have it in store, as well?
4 – Don’t Sell Open Displays As New – Really no explaination is needed, honestly, this should be illegal. Don’t open a copy, remove the contents, then place it on the shelf as a display and sell it as new. It’s not new, YOU OPENED IT. I don’t care if it hasn’t been played, it’s still used.
Those are my major points. I’d put “Don’t hire idiots” up there, but I’m not sure how to do that. These guys get paid nothing, basically, so you can’t demand any sort of excellence out of them. Maybe if they raised wages…but that is never ever going to happen. They just want slave labor. You can’t test them to make sure they know all video games, ever. I mean, no one does, if someone comes in asking for some crap that is really obscure it’s not too unbelievable to think they might not know about it. How hard is it to explain what system it’s on, really? Now if they are jackasses, that’s another story, I’m just talking about their knowledge of video games.
Also, I would disagree about “Keep publishing Game Informer”. Game Informer is a biased piece of garbage just used as propaganda to try to sell specific games. However, it really doesn’t effect me either way so I didn’t list it.
I think the main problem is they are, in a sense, a monopoly on video games. I’m not saying you can’t go buy Halo 3 at Best Buy or at 10 other different stores, but I am saying you can’t go to Best Buy to get little known, rare games. If Gamestop doesn’t have to compete, then they don’t care. I want to buy Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne, if Gamestop doesn’t have it they don’t lose business to anyone else because there is no one else that would have it. However, if another store came along that had a system for providing consumers with rare games then things might change.
Update, March 19th, 2012
Since this, and only this, post seem to be viewed by many people, I’d like to add one more bullet point to the list:
Disc Insurance – Seriously? This is a new one (for me) that they pushed, adding to the litany of other crap they try to get uninformed parents to buy. For around $3 I can get insurance against scratches, something I’ve never once had a problem with (except Final Fantasy Tactics on the PS which I scratched up trying to clean, it was my fault).
Try as I might, somehow, someway, I can’t use Amazon to buy a game and I end up in a Gamestop. For some reason I hope things are better, but they’re always worse.
With U.K. retailer GAME closing stores all over the place, I hope Gamestop is next.
Liz always asks me why it takes 20 minutes to get out of there. Because they try to get you to pre-order everything under the sun, because they try to get you to sign up for PowerUp Rewards Pro, because they want you to buy disc insurance, because there are 3 people working and only one of them is on a register and the lady in front of me is trading in 50 games and a system and the two other people working are trying their hardest to not notice the growing line and refuse to open another register, because its a fucking unorganized shit hole.
Also, I feel bad for the people that have to work there. I mean, not like for the summer, or for a little, or while you’re in college. For the people there for years and years and years. The pay must be horrible. Every time I’m back in Florida I end up at my local Gamestop and there is this older (like, 40-something) guy working there that has been working there for at least 10 years. I recognize him because I see him every single time, he’s always there. Even if he was making a good living, putting up with all the shit that comes with working at a Gamestop must be horrible.