The Gamestop Controversy

Note: This was originally posted On the original site and reposted on the forums. This version has been updated from the original.

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I figure I talk about this given how famous–or imfamous–Gamestop is on various gaming news websites and fan sites. As many of you out there are aware, Gamestop buys video games from consumers and resells the preowned games for less than the price of a brand new copy. It’s the company’s bread and butter and the consumer potentially stands to save some cash in buying a game used. Mind you, if there wasn’t a controversy I’d stop right there and we’d all go about our lives.

The thing is, there is.

You see, alot of people have a problem with the fact Gamestop resells games. Some people don’t like the fact that in many cases they buy newly released games customers sell to them for less than half the retail price and then resell it for a mere $5 or $10 off a factory sealed copy. No, Gamestop is NOT a pawn shop and never has been. If it was a pawn shop they wouldn’t stop buying/selling games for older systems every couple years. The fact of the matter is you can probably get ALOT more money selling your games via Amazon, eBay or even to a good friend. If you honestly thought getting $30 for Black Ops II or WWE 13 was a good deal you’re sorely mistaken, my friend.

In my book, the seller should have a say in how much they’re paid for the game. Considering the condition of the game may lower how much you’re meant to get they need to be flexible instead of setting resale prices. Supply & Demand is the name of the game. Of course they know Black Ops II played for a couple days is gonna be worth more than
Halo 4 played for a couple weeks. There’s also the fact every NBA/NFL/MLB game starts to lose its value as soon as the playoffs start, a new season begins or half a season has played out in real time. Protip: Wait at least three months before you buy one!

Getting back to Retro Games there are many cases in which the older a game is, the more valuable it becomes. Take Final Fantasy III (FFVI in Japan) for the SNES and Marvel vs. Capcom 2 for the PS2, both of which are awesome titles. As soon as the Arcade Joypad for MvC2 was released the price of the PS2 game shot up to as high as $120 retail. As for FFIII SNES it can be found on both Ebay and Amazon for $35 or higher. This goes to show there is a HUGE demand for retro games (which Gamestop has been starting to take notice of this year) by both gamers who played them growing up and gamers who want to enjoy gaming history in their original mediums.

Moving on, another group of people have a problem with the fact game developers don’t get a cent of the profits Gamestop makes on used games, accessories and consoles. Some have even gone as far as to say they’re no better than pirate websites. Finally, there are those who believe the increased interest in reselling media by other big chains such as Best Buy, Target and Wal-Mart will lead to an economic apocalypse of some kind. Yes, some people actually believe that.

What’s to believe and can Gamestop be trusted?

Well, the first two groups of people are half right. Gamestop does buy games from customers for less than half the retail price. Even I will say this is highway robbery. At the same time I will admit I’ve sold games to Gamestop knowing that but I’ve only done it to preorder and in two cases buy game systems. The two systems I’m referring to are my 3DS and one of my PSPs (the latter of which I have three). These days, I buy games for life. Of course this also means I only buy games I know I’ll want to pick up again later on down the road. A look at My 3DS Library is a good example of this policy being strictly enforced. After all, I only have 14  games as of December 1, 2012.

As a matter of disclosure I do have a Gamestop Powerup Rewards card. I use it when I buy 3 or more preowned games at once. Other than those two consoles I’ve bought my game systems at Best Buy. Gamestop’s warranty is confusing and its return policy is a joke. Not only that most of the time, Gamers know more about new and popular games than the store staff themselves though to their credit, they have been working to correct this in recent years.

One glaring pet peeve I have with Gamestop is they have the tendency to “claim” to know when a big game is going to be released before the developers do. They have been called out on it and in many cases release dates have been changed to rub it in. They think just because they own Game Informer and have a partnership with IGN.com that makes them the go-to experts on games.

Going back to the previous question asked: Can Gamestop be trusted?

Yes and no.

I would buy from them because being honest, only Target’s occasional sales of select games can match what Gamestop offers on a daily basis. Like everything else, games expected to sell alot of copies flop and get sold to Gamestop, which in turn resells the game for less. Not only that Gamestop cuts prices on New games before everyone else. I bought two computer games for $20 off at regular price. For personal reasons, I’m not naming the games or how much I paid for them. I did buy both games factory sealed and NEW, though.

I would not sell games to Gamestop, though. No matter what anyone may try to say, people sell their games hoping to make a quick buck. If you go through Gamestop you’re ripping yourself off. Your only chance to turn a profit is to go through a website like Amazon or selling the game to a friend.

Now that we’ve covered the Gamestop Controversy, take and apply everything you learned today.

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