Q&A: GameStop illuminates Black Friday strategy

VP Tony Bartel explains gaming chain's take on year's busiest shopping day, retailer-exclusive content, and the threat (or lack thereof) of digital distribution.

While it seems things are tough all over in the gaming industry these days, GameStop is whistling a different tune. The company just reported record sales of $1.7 billion for its third quarter, along with net profits of $46.7 million. With many economists worried about consumer spending this holiday season, this weekend's Black Friday sales and promotions will be looked at as a key barometer of what to expect through December and into January.

Tense as the retail environment might be, GameStop executive vice president of merchandising and marketing Tony Bartel is confident of his company's ability to weather whatever storm is on the way. Earlier this week, Bartel visited GameSpot for a wide-ranging discussion about the company's business, from what kind of importance is being placed on this weekend's sales to how it appeases angry customers pestered by preorder pitches.

The second and final part of this interview will run Monday, December 1.

GameSpot: How is the ongoing economic crisis affecting GameStop?

Tony Bartel: The current economic climate that we're in is a very difficult market to work with. And yet in the video game industry we have some really positive news. I'm sure you read our press release, but we were very strong in October. We've launched 700 games between September and December. We're in a great inventory position. We have strong demand in our stores. So where there are people looking for a positive story in this economic climate, I think the video game industry in general and GameStop in particular provides an excellent beacon out there of growth.

GS: You still missed your profit projections, right? And lowered them for the full-year last quarterly report and this quarterly report?

TB: We did lower our profit projections on a GAAP [generally accepted accounting principles] basis. On a non-GAAP basis when you add back acquisition cost as well as the currency fluctuations from our international business, we actually did exceed our guidance for the third quarter. We did feel it was prudent, given the outlook for December and not exactly knowing where the economy's going to go, to slightly back off of our targets. But still put out there 31 to 33 percent growth for the full year, which I think is still very strong growth even in this economic climate.

GS: How important is this Friday's business to your expectations for the whole holiday season?

TB: We, like every other retailer, look at Black Friday. But by the same token, we have a great day there and we're very, very comfortable with our expectations for that day. I think it gives us a good barometer for what we're going to face. At the same time I think this year is going to be unique in the amount of promotions that are out there. We've got some great deals, some great door-buster deals. We've obviously already seen everyone else's Black Friday ads, as they've seen ours. So we think that there is going to be a lot of promotional activity, but we actually are very bullish on this.

I think the big opportunity for us that we face is we talked about on our earnings call is we've had a plethora of great releases I'm sure you're aware of, from Call of Duty and Gears of War to Fallout 3 and Left for Dead. I mean, these have just been phenomenal--admittedly hardcore--releases. I don't think Black Friday will give us the full picture on this, but what we're really looking for is when we transition [from the core market to gift-givers]. We saw 40 percent of the transactions that took place in our store last week were bought as gifts. When we start to see that gifter come into our stores, that's really I think the key barometer for us. And that will probably happen after Black Friday.

A couple points of data on that. NPD did some research in September and talked to people who are buying electronic entertainment equipment. What they said is that 14 percent of those people expected to actually buy more than what they did last year during the season. When they talked to people at GameStop, nearly a quarter of those people actually said, "We expect to spend more," and when they said what they were going to spend it on, 80 percent of those people said, "We're going to spend it on video games." So trends like that are very exciting in this economy. Also NPD in a study they did said video games was almost dead last in the things people would not buy this holiday season, so we're very excited about where we're positioned.

We're very excited frankly for the video-game industry, and we're very excited for GameStop because we think that it's going to be a great fourth quarter for us. That being said, we do understand the economic climate that we're in, and you can't ignore that we're in uncharted territory.

GS: Nintendo has said that Wii hardware will probably be a little bit more available in stores this holiday season than it has been for the entire life span of the system but that Wii Fit would be probably just like the Wii was the last couple of holidays. Does that jibe with what you guys are seeing?

TB: Yes. That jives exactly with what we're seeing. We actually have slightly over a week's supply of Wiis, which is great. We haven't been there ever since the launch, and so we're excited about being there. And the Wii Fit, we have hours of supply, so as soon as it comes in it really is going out. And it is very much like the Wii of days gone by.

The other item that we believe is going to be hard to come by is the band kit, the Guitar Hero World Tour band kits, especially for the Xbox 360 and the Wii.

GS: Are you finding at this point that there are just too many band SKUs taking up too much space in your stores and in your warehouses? These are significantly sized boxes, and for every one of these that you take, that's 30 other boxed copies of a normal game that you don't have room for. And with rhythm game sales being a bit tempered from last year, is that an issue?

TB: Sure. Well, there's no doubt that they take up a lot of space in our stores. And as these things get bigger, you definitely begin to get creative with how you use space. So we've dealt with that by representing them on the floor with smaller boxes and then just ensuring that we can store them in the store.

The other thing that we've done very well, and again I can't stress this enough, we have a very good proprietary logistic system which gets things there just in time. I mean, we literally have a system that allows us to get things exactly to our stores exactly when they need them. And so we are running a very quick balance, and definitely in this economic climate what we are doing is we are ensuring that we order conservatively but enough to get all of our stores fully stocked. So our goal is to ensure that when demand is there, we've got the product there, and then replenish it on a daily basis to make sure that our stores have sufficient space for people to shop.

GS: Are you making sure other publishers toying with the idea of bundled rhythm games like this know that you're ordering conservatively?

TB: When I say "conservatively" it doesn't mean low. When we order conservatively, it means we order in a shorter time frame. So it's not that we're ordering less. It's just that we're ordering in a shorter time frame. We're accepting things in a shorter time frame. We're accepting more smaller orders. And the good news is that for the most part the publishers have done a great job of being in stock.

GS: In the last year or so there were a couple of exclusive titles to GameStop, like The Settlers DS and Tenchu DS. And then Wal-Mart had its own exclusive with Chibi-Robo for the DS. A whole game exclusive to this retailer or that retailer. There hasn't been much of that lately. Have you experimented with that and realized it's not the best way to go about it? Or do you think that practice still has steam?

TB: Obviously what we're trying to do at all times is to get exclusive content or content that is different from anyone else to differentiate ourselves. Most recently we've done it with Guitar Hero where you can unlock all of the songs, Call of Duty where you can unlock a [high-level] weapon before anyone else could.

In terms of full games, we'd love to have full-game exclusives, but those are really hard to come by simply because even though we have a large share of the market, I think after all the development costs and so forth and the marketing costs that go into it, you have people that are reluctant to just give you a single product. It would typically be probably like a B title where you're actually looking to make a market for it, and I think that's what we would do. We love to look at those opportunities and expand it, but that's not a huge part of our plan moving forward.

GS: On that note, I noticed if you bought the Hulk game at GameStop, you would get access to the red version of the Hulk. This trend seems to be expanding a bit with the Shaun White snowboarding game. If you buy it at Target, you get a whole other mountain, which is like another 20 percent of the game. Are retailer-exclusive elements like this going to be a big trend going forward, to the point where you're fighting other retailers for these?

TB: I would definitely anticipate that. I think we lead with that and have led with that effort because we talk to the consumer and we're really close to the consumer, and what they're talking about to us is they're saying, "OK, I can get this game at a lot of places. What makes it special about getting it at GameStop?" So we've been working for about the last 18 to 24 months to really go after some exclusive content. So it wouldn't surprise me if other people tried to mimic that approach and go after that because we think it is a very effective approach.

GS: Do you think the scope of the exclusive content is going to get bigger? With the Call of Duty thing you mentioned, or Guitar Hero, you're just getting the song or the weapon a little bit sooner, but the Target mountain seems like a much larger component of the game.

TB: I'm not exactly sure from an industry standpoint how that's going to evolve. I definitely know that it's something that we would like to continue to push as we work with the publishing community. I think in order to do that, you have to really have a tight partnership with the publishing community and start working a lot further out than what we have in the past. So I think if in fact we can really develop these strong partnerships that work further out, I think that we can see some more extensive exclusive content that will happen. I'm not sure, though, if it's going to be an industry trend simply because the deadlines to get these games done and on time are so tight that in order for them to really build in exclusives, it takes a huge partnering effort.

GS: We've seen reports of a GameStop-EA sports discount program. Is there any truth to those?

TB: I think at any given time we are testing a lot of different concepts with a lot of different partners. Sometimes some of the concepts that we are testing actually get leaked out onto the Internet, and that's what took place in this case. So I would say that there is truth to the fact that we are looking at several concepts with several publishers. That just happens to be one of many. At any given time, I would say that we're testing over 100 different concepts with consumers, so unfortunately sometimes they slip out, and in fact this one did slip out.

GS: GameStop.com sells downloadable versions of some big-name, new-release PC games. But I almost never see it promoted. Why is that such a low-key part of the Web site?

TB: It definitely is not something that we're putting out as a low-key element. I mean, we're very proud of the fact that we do actually digitally download games, and we think that it's great that we're actually involved in that business on the PC side. And so it's definitely not something that we are trying to keep hidden. It's probably just something that we have not put to the forefront.

Clearly what we developed on the Web site was an experience that was to sell boxed product, and we actually have evolved to downloading digital games as well. And so we're taking advantage of that, but I think that we can do a better job of articulating that on our Web site.

GS: Gamers are increasingly able to get these big-name retail games through their PCs or the console marketplaces. How much of a threat does GameStop perceive from digital distribution like the PlayStation Network or from competitors like Steam?

TB: Actually we really don't see it as a threat. When you talk about a threat, we actually see a couple of things. First of all, when you look at the digital download space, 95 percent of the games that are downloaded today are on the PC side, the majority of which are casual. About 2 percent of the entire console market is downloaded today, and that's growing at a rate that's slightly less than the actual boxed product on video games. So the console market really today consists of what we call microtransactions, where you add the extra maps, where you add the extra pieces. So there's very little of the full game download that is actually taking place on the console side.

What we see is that the games are incredibly complex, and with the complexity--and especially with the investment that they actually have as well both in terms of time and money--we actually see that there is an increased need for someone to explain the game. Our customers are saying, "We want to talk with somebody who's actually played the game, maybe even beaten the game." In fact many times you can go into our stores and actually play the game before you buy it on one of our interactive units.

And as we talk to our customers, the other thing that they're concerned about is they always want transferability of the game. I mean, one of the reasons that we're able to support a $60 price point in the industry is that we offer residual value for that, so the customers look at it and say, "OK, I can spend $60 for this game, but I can take it to GameStop and I'm going to get $20 back, or I can take it to eBay or I can give it to my friend." But there's some transferability of that boxed product. We think that's a really important part of the transaction, and that's definitely something that you would lose in the digital download world.

But where it's at today, we believe that definitely it's adding enhanced value to the experience as people are able to drive these microtransactions. We think that it actually prolongs play and enhances the play for the people who are coming into GameStop every day.

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Discussion

165 comments
denter21
denter21

"OK, I can get this game at a lot of places. What makes it special about getting it at GameStop?" Howabout you make it cheaper you idiots.

Unabomber256
Unabomber256

@pseudoshadow11 Sounds like someone took an intro econ class! :) All good points. I've commented about this on related articles but I dislike the trend of retailers becoming involved in game content. I hope that it stays an occasional thing and doesn't spiral out of control, like the movie-games of the mid 90s (3DO era).

Port5
Port5

selling games back is actually really useful they have a point

pseudoshadow11
pseudoshadow11

@nappan: If 7-11 did start selling games they still wouldnt be real competition to Game Stop solely because they would only sell recently released games and even then there would not be much selection. And while you can order just about anything from the internet nowadays, it still will not eliminate a brick and mortar store because they have something that the internet does not have: Convience. You can order that game and wait your two days, or more, for it to arrive or you can drive a few minutes to a store and buy it, go home, and start playing. In regards to it being little more than a pawnshop that is indeed true. It is a specialized pawnshop. If you need to buy or sell something you could just as easily go to ebay (which is just an online pawnshop) and buy/sell there but it still comes down to convience. Is it worth my time to try to sell a game for what I think its worth on ebay and probably get a lot less anyways? Is it worth my time to try to buy that game online and wait days for it to arrive? Those are some economic questions right there. You will not buy or sell something unless you are getting what you deem is full value (ie maximum satisfaction for your dollar and time). Also if you feel that Game Stop uses such a bad economic model then why is it so successful? In a market economy, businesses that use a bad economic model go out of business or are swallowed by larger companies. They obviously must be doing something right if they are successful even if it is exploiting the ignorance and/or stupidity of customers.

Bombed420
Bombed420

Poor uniformed, Kitty8472. If you actually knew anything about business, you would realize that the deals were in a place for a reason. It was buy 2 used on any system and get the third one free, dropping the lowest price. Now, was it to just empty out their stock? Yes, it was, but atleast they let people pick and choose what they wanted. A lot of big franchises burn or destroy products that they don't sell. And when was an older game not worth playing? Buying a two year old game is the same as a new game, becuase at the end of the day it's about having fun.

ZedX-14Pilot
ZedX-14Pilot

GameStop's Black Friday sale was a JOKE! Why people would spend their hard earned money there on that day is beyond me??? A great deal in my area was Wal-Mart selling Tiger 09, Madden 09, NBA Live 09 for THIRTY BUCKS EACH, and even Head Coach 09 for TEN BUCKS! Now THAT's a black friday deal! EA sports games coming out every year should be priced at that point anyway, considering the minimal upgrades, You are basically paying sixty bucks for a game that will be extinct sometimes less than a year after it's release. And another thing GameStop... Why are you giving no more than about thiry bucks MAX for a used title, and selling it used for ONLY FIVE BUCKS LESS??? A used current gen game used should be AT LEAST ten to fifteen off. Barely a month after it's release, I can buy Midnight Club LA, a game that scored nine's on some sites, for fourty bucks new at Best Buy this week. WHY would anyone want to buy a used game for only five bucks less with deals on new like that? Stop wasting your money at GameStop people, they are ripping people off.

nappan
nappan

@swamptick: People should take a lesson from you, not just about gamespot, but the whole console "war". If more people realized that this was just a matter of economics on BOTH sides, they might be able to get a clear notion of what is actually right or wrong with the situation.

swamptick
swamptick

CharlieFubar, you have no concept of what you are talking about. Your attitude is indicative of what is WRONG with America. There is nothing wrong with success. Gamestop is MY largest competition. I sell games for a living in a regional chain store. Gamestop is not oppressive. I think some basic economics classes would do you good.

nappan
nappan

@pseudoshadow11: 7-11 is one of the most ubiquitous stores in the USA, believe me, that is a potential threat to ANY retailer if they decide to make this a POS item. As for what could compete with them, "anyone with a warehouse and a website" springs to mind... chief amongst them would be Amazon. With Prime, I can get a game from them at a slight discount and free two day shipping... why would I go to ANY brick and mortar store? The only thing I could really be a "hater" of in regards to gamestop would be the fact that they've turned into little more than a pawnshop... and anyone can tell you that the last place you want to buy or sell ANYTHING is in that economic model. This isn't about love, hate, loyalty, etc... it's just practical economics.

CharlieFubar
CharlieFubar

@psuedoshadow Yeah it is NOW... and it dosent have imports or let you play games... lol You people that think growing from a mom and pop shop to a gigantic corporation is awesome and the american dream... really need your head examined. The worlds already run by power hungry oppressive corporations that keep mom and pop stores down. Read Orwell or anything from the shadowrun universe lol.

Shadow-Hunter22
Shadow-Hunter22

I've been to more than a few Gamestops, and I will say I've had to deal with some pricks and some b.s., but for the most part everyone was decent to talk to and more importantly, knew what they were talking about. I have been going to the store in my location for about 11 years now, and only had to deal with a couple of douchebags who they got rid of anyway. Don't blame the whole chain for a couple of crappy stores.

shadowblade99
shadowblade99

Yeah, well the Gamestop that I went into Sunday smelt like old plastic and B.O. So maybe they should consider that with their new found success.

pseudoshadow11
pseudoshadow11

@respessz: EB Games and Gamestop are the same company.

Kitty8472
Kitty8472

What I find terribly ironic about this article is that GameStop basically did diddly-squat for Black Friday. They gave a few discounts on a lot of their worthless used games that they couldn't sell off, anyway. Yeah, wow. Awesome deals.

Atheno
Atheno

Actually in a sense it's not right to pay Tax on anything, unless your country is at war. Which is happening right now yes, but when war is not happening, Tax is actually illegal. read up on that..it's pretty funny in a bad way.

CharlieFubar
CharlieFubar

I miss funcoland - they had an import ps1 and tobal 2.... Thanks for bringing up those fond memories Johnnie =)

JohnnieMac24
JohnnieMac24

CHARLIEFUBAR.. I know the article isnt about used dealerships. my point was don't make it seem like taxation on used items is something gamestop does exclusively when all places that sell used items does it. I agree it NOT right to tax used items...but dont try and put that on jst gamesotp becuz PLAY N TRADE, GAMECRAZY, GAMES4LESS, FUNCO, and all the other used games stores do it. and im an adult...no need to send anything to my parents lol

mankeyador
mankeyador

gamestop wouldn't be that bad of a store if they had some freakin decent customer service. The manager can say whatever he wants to every customer because he knows people will still come back for the used games. I don't care how rough a day they have with people wanting wiis, if I did that to customers at my job my ass would be fired.

jlwood830
jlwood830

Far be it from me to down someone else's negative experience, but all I can say is that I have had the most positive experiences from GameStop for years, whether I've ordered games from them online, preordered for store pickup or just went by to browse and buy a game. While I may not always look forward to being asked if I want to pre-order something, to me this is much akin to a restaurant asking me if I want something to drink when I fail to order one. It doesn't offend me... I just say no, except for the occasional time when I really do want a drink, er I mean to preorder a game. ;-)

cdx00
cdx00

It's all about customer experience. If you go in acting like a douchebag, chances are, you'll be treated like one. My local GameStop is full of really great people. Every holiday season, they'll hire a few bad seeds but then pluck them out. How can you bash a corporation when your local GameStop sucks? In the long run, GameStop has more money than you, making them greater than you and to them, that's all that matters.

Heffe2020
Heffe2020

where I live gamestop is the only place to get games other then wal mart and I'm definately not shopping their for games.

gpig07
gpig07

I will never forget the day my friend and I went to go get out copies of MGS4 we per ordered from game stop. When it was out turn to go and pay for our copies, my friend walked up to the counter and one employee (not one who was manning the register) walked up and said you still have "5 bucks left, wanna pre-order soul calibur" and he said, "no thanks im not into that series" and the guy said "oh its gonna be great why don't you preorder it." and the employee ( he was in his late 40's im guessing" took the give books and pre-orderd the game for him. THEN he made us wait at the back of the 2 person line because we ordered the limited edition. Never shopping there again.

Metroididiot
Metroididiot

gamestop is cool. i love them. if you hate them good for you but no need to spread your crap around

CharlieFubar
CharlieFubar

Every thumbs down I get are just more thumbs up for fighting a tyranical corporation we'd be better off without... Thumbs down please =)

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

i love gamestops i have three in my local town. its the best

respessz
respessz

Damn so many people bashing on GameStop. Im glad I work for EB Games :P

dmish82
dmish82

I can see it now... Old Lady: "Do you have Gars...Gers...Gears of Whore...War 2 for the Playstation 360?" Gamestop Employee: "Did you preorder it?" Old Lady: "...."

katamari
katamari

And another point. I have NEVER been allowed to try a game before I buy it at a Game Stop!!! I can, however, do that at a Play N Trade!!!

katamari
katamari

@metalmulisha808 - I agree with you my friend. GameStop SUCKS!! I have had the same problems in the past and the employees are rude where I use to go. I now preorder thru my local Play N Trade. Get the games on street date and the people are nice. Plus they always give me some type of promo with the game.

CharlieFubar
CharlieFubar

@ jonnymac... I dont think its right on any of the other items you mentioned either, but this article isnt about used cars or the salvation army so i just picked gamestop... which the article is about. If you'd like to hear my other gripes with how bullcrap this society, its government, and corporations are - Please email me. I have plenty of pamphlets I can send you or your parents. Gamestops "power to the players" motto is just like if America's motto was "power to the people" bah dont get me started again lol.

metalmulisha808
metalmulisha808

GameStop SUCKS!... buy your games elsewhere. i preorder a game months in advance from gamestop, i get the game weeks after it comes out. i prefer amazon because you can get free shipping and still get your game on street date.

T_isj
T_isj

I think any retail chain that gets exclusive content will get my cash... why would i go to a retailer and pre order a game to get a code that you can find on the Internet literally a day later to get an item.. and it better be exclusive not found online for points or cash. I mean the red hulk from Gamestop got my cash... and Civilization Revolution got me looking at different retailers that i normally don't go to cause of bonus exclusive content (even though it got released months later online). Point is this, if a retailer wants my hard earned cash, or wants me to pre order then you better have a reason i shop there and not with another competitor. If i have to pay $60 bucks for a game (usually) then i better get something EXTRA.

pseudoshadow11
pseudoshadow11

@Mason-McGlasson: I said including gift cards AND systems. In most stores that I work with they do not keep more than 50 or so systems on hand but they have anywhere from 200 to 1500 gift/edge/return cards. @NickAnguiano: Game Crazy has been here in Oklahoma for several years now but they still do not have the same sort of business that Gamestop has since Blockbuster (Game Rush), more or less, controls the movie rental business here.

JohnnieMac24
JohnnieMac24

CHARLIEFUBAR. dude enough with the tax thing. that happens everywhere that sells used items. Car dealerships, pawnshops, second hand clothing store, goodwill, the salvation army, thrift stores. nt to mention all of the small game stores u all seem to think is so much better than gamestop. tax on used items is ntn new.

hector530
hector530

"Some gamestops are cool, others suck ***. It all comes down to the people working there. (like anywhere else)" argeed also i didnt know there was so many gamespot haters. i always liked the stores guess there's haters for everything now days.

CharlieFubar
CharlieFubar

oh and LOL at "the old guy picking fights with young whippersnappers" comment... that totally made my day =) even though you meant it as an insult.

CharlieFubar
CharlieFubar

wow LosHead dont take 2 of my posts and put them together... you are the stupid one... When you buy a game you are taxed and when its traded in and bought by someone else its taxed.... atleast finish my posts before trying to form a counter-point. I know its hard, but we have faith in you. Just take your time.

Mason-McGlasson
Mason-McGlasson

"@nappan: GS is the largest game retailer in the world with over 5100 stores... I really doubt 7-11 is any sort of competition. Also, each Gamestop store has anywhere from 8000 to 11000 units in each store (roughly 6000 to 10000 games if you exclude gift cards and systems). That is roughly 30,600,000 to 56,100,000 units just in stores which means it doesnt include the warehouses or distribution centers that they have. Absolutely no other game retailer can compete with that kind of volume." If your talking about each store having that many systems you are greatly mistaken sir. I worked at a large gamestop and your number is about 7500-10500 off. At most of all systems we have in store would be 500.

-Near-
-Near-

lol to bad the employees never see any of that money

pseudoshadow11
pseudoshadow11

@nappan: GS is the largest game retailer in the world with over 5100 stores... I really doubt 7-11 is any sort of competition. Also, each Gamestop store has anywhere from 8000 to 11000 units in each store (roughly 6000 to 10000 games if you exclude gift cards and systems). That is roughly 30,600,000 to 56,100,000 units just in stores which means it doesnt include the warehouses or distribution centers that they have. Absolutely no other game retailer can compete with that kind of volume.

KnightAngelX
KnightAngelX

WOW...is it really that time of the year when we get a lot of GAMESTOP bashers? I mean come on, to CHARLIE FUBAR, you sound like a disgruntled old man who wants to pick a fight with any young "whippersnapper" that comes your way. Gamestop was once a mom/pop shop, and have grown to Corporate level. Can you be mad for that? NO!! give them props. For the whole tax and metal detector thing, sounds like someone is REALLY paraniod. Taylor9124, sorry to hear bout your case with the misplaced game. I had that happen to me TODAY, but they made a mistake and took the blame for it. I bought Resistance 2 and got Resistance 1.I wasn't mad. We are human. We are allowed to make mistakes. For anyone else doubting Gamestop or any of their prices, hey, understand they got to where they are at by doing what they do. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, I think that's the saying. All I know is, when I want to talk to someone who knows his/her(yes, I said her, because the chick at the register was hot) games, they know their games. Try finding that at Best buy, where ANYONE can be employed. Mind getting greeted by someone your grandma's age? Last but definitely not least, all haters are just that....HATERS. ANY retailer will tell you, dealing with people that come in with a negative attitude, you are probably not going to please them no matter what. Fine, don't pre order, but when you cry when that game you wanted comes out and you DIDN'T get that extra bonus for not pre ordering, can't help you there.Agree or disagree, you know I'm right.

nappan
nappan

Here's a strategy... start praying that 7-11 really s****s the pooch, because if any viable alternative to GameStop emerges, they're dead. Frankly, they're just a pawn shop at this point, although it still surprises me that people don't buy games online. As for used games or trading in... L.O.L.

Loshead
Loshead

@CharlieFubar you really don't know what you are talking about. Think before you speak. When you put $5 down towards a game, you don't get taxed on it. When you pick up the game the $5 dollars your put down goes towards the purchase and you get taxed on the purchase. Let me make it nice and simple for you so you can under stand. "Bob puts $5 down towards a game thats $50. (Now in my state a $50 game will come out to $52.99). So when Bob picks up his game the $5 is subtracted from the $52.99 price. So Bob pays $47.99 for his game. Ok CharlieFubar let me make it even simpler for your. 52.99 - 5= 47.99

JohnnieMac24
JohnnieMac24

AGAIN TO CHARLIEFUBAR.....dude u cant compare your restaurant to games... when a new game comes out everyone everywhere wants it...every retailer nationwide has to stock it. its nt an easy thing to determine how well a game is gonna sell with every single time. if stores just bought huge amounts of copies of new games we'd all be stuck with a zillion copies of spectrobes and Two Worlds in stores. Food is food. there is no NEW food coming that everyone is waiting to eat and has to pre order....thas why its easier for u to inventory food items. THINK BEFORE YOU TYPE.

JohnnieMac24
JohnnieMac24

To Charliefubar.......using metal detectors and cameras is a form of NOT trusting your customers too. Think about it.

pixiedust35147
pixiedust35147

Some gamestops are cool, others suck ***. It all comes down to the people working there. (like anywhere else)

pixiedust35147
pixiedust35147

I work at gamestop and sometimes we do put the wrong game in the wrong case. But we just check inventory, see that we have an extra copy we shouldnt have, and swap it out. As to the games not in the cases, only 1 copy of each is "gutted" and we keep sealed copies backstocked. When i buy new i prefer sealed myself, and we take no offense if you dont want it. If its for a gift, every store has a shrink wrap machine and we are more then happy to use it. But yea people still steal empty boxes and everything else that isnt nailed down.