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Gamestop / scam

1 3580 Stevens Creek BlvdSan Jose, CA, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 408-261-9011

When Gamestop receives a shipment of new console games (Xbox 360, PS3, PSP, Wii, etc), they automatically open one copy of the game. They remove the game disk and place it into a sleeve and file it away. They take the open case including the manual, mark it with a price and place it onto the shelf (as a display box) to be manhandled by who knows how many people.

Granted, Gamestop needs to be able to display that they have a game in stock. I take no issue with this aspect of their merchandising. What I take issue with is when that opened copy becomes the last copy in the store. The clerk will pull out the game disk from the sleeve that's been filed away, go get the manhandled box off the shelf, place the disk into the case and then proceed to sell you the game at a brand new unopened sealed game price.

Here are my issues with this practice:

1. The box is opened. The minute you leave the store, the game is automatically non-returnable for any reason. You walk out, it's yours. So, if you find that you really didn't want the game, that's too bad because it's already out of the wrap.

2. Selling opened merchandise labeled as 'NEW' is a very deceptive and fraudulent practice. By unsealing a factory sealed item, at best, this item must be sold as a demonstration or opened unit and labeled and discussed as such. It can no longer be labeled or sold as new. At worst, this item is now used... especially if you consider item #1 above. At best, it's considered 'open' or 'demo'.

3. After a game has been opened, you have no idea exactly what the staff may have done with or to the game disk. Someone could have taken it home, played it in the store unit, or even replaced it with a counterfeit copy. Because these clerks are not paid that well, playing opened games may very well be one of the perks of working there.

4. There is really no difference between the staff opening a copy of the game and a customer opening the copy. Except that when a customer opens the copy, it's considered used. When a Gamestop employee opens a game, it's still considered new (as thought of as if it were still factory wrapped). Worse, some employees have even gone as far as offering to shrink wrap it for me which *might* solve issue number 1.

5. Once a game is opened, you have no way to guarantee the game disk you have received is genuine.

Finally, the worst part of this issue is that Gamestop sometimes only gets one copy or two copies of smaller titled games. So, you walk in and ask for the game, then they try to present you with the opened copy deceptively labeled 'NEW' and charge new prices!

I've discussed this issue with various managers and their staff at length about why this is a dubious, deceptive and fraudulent business practice, yet Gamestop still continues to operate their business in this way and has for many years. If Gamestop needs to have a copy on the shelves for merchandising, they either need to mark the opened copy as 'Demo', 'Opened' or 'Used' and discount it appropriately or they need to not sell it at all. Once a game is opened (by anyone) it is no longer factory new and needs to be discounted and labeled appropriately. Alternatively, Gamestop is large enough they should be able to produce placards or other similar place holders stating the game is in stock without having to open or display a live game box.

If you find yourself confronted with an opened game being sold to you as new, don't purchase it and walk out.

Va
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Comments

  • Gl
      27th of Jun, 2008
    0 Votes

    That's why i never buy from them. They did that to me when i tried to purchase Forza 2. I said i want a new one and they pulled a manhandled case off the shelf, pulled a disk out of a drawer, and put the disc in the box, ready to charge me 60 dollars for a new copy.

    After arguing with the guy with people waiting on line, the guy said that's the way they sell and they do not have any sealed game of Forza.

    It was cool because the people in line saw my point and was sticking up for me and they were also arguing with the guy. I felt bad for the guy because he's only doing what he was told to do but that is fraud none the less. A few people even said they will not purchase a new game if he does the same thing to them so me and 3 others walked out.

    The best solution, never do business with them.

  • Se
      19th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    I sat in line and listed to a guy babble and cry for 20 min about the same thing while i had to sit and wait for him to stop crying. It was the dumbest thing i had ever heard . Plain and simple your going to take it home and open it reguardless so whats it really need a wrapper for??? some one some where "man handled" the game on the assembly line in south korea. whats the difference if its some 5 cent an hour old asian guy or the gamestop guy behind the counter? i could go on and on but ill stop here. This is truly the most pathetic rant ive ever heard.

  • Pe
      15th of Sep, 2008
    -1 Votes

    I sooo wish I had read all the negative posts about Gamestop Before I purchased a game from them. Silly me I thought they were an honest business. I bought a Sims PC game as a gift from them on Friday afternoon. It was new (or at least he charged me the new price and the box had a new sticker on it) I wasn't paying too much attention to what he gave me because I was hungry and unaware of Gamestop's business practices. When I got home I was informed that I got the wrong game. No problem, I thought, I'll just exchange it for the right game on Monday...NO WAY JOSE. The game had been "gutted" by the store (meaning opened and the game removed for safe keeping), effectively making it used even though I never even took it out of the bag. The sales associate accused me of opening it (saying he had no recollection of me or selling me the game even though the store was completely empty the considerable amount of time I was there) and refused to exchange it. He told me this right before he admitted that the store policy is to "gut" all PC games. Therefore no PC games that you buy from that store can be returned ever, but they don't tell you that until you try to return it. He then proceeded to tell me that no retail store in the world will take back a PC game (I know this is a lie) and that he's never had a problem with a customer like this because the policy is clearly displayed in the store. He was essentially trying to make me feel stupid. I asked him to show me the policy and after a couple minutes of fidgeting and shuffling his feet he claims he is not sure where it is since he is new but it is posted (I guess it’s not clearly marked then). I asked for the manager, she's unavailable. First she's on vacation, then she's at a corporate conference (which was confirmed by the corporate office). Next I ask for the district number...he doesn't have that, then, there isn't one. Corporate number? There is no corporate number. The only thing I can do is come back later and talk to the manager. Then he has the audacity to tell me to buy the correct game and see if I can get my money back for the wrong one when the manager comes back. Like I would be such a fool to spend one more red cent there. I asked him to right a note so she knows to expect me and he actually wrote a lie in the note. He wrote "lady tried to return an item she opened" WTF. I worked in retail for 9 years and I never forgot the face of someone who was trying to return something they bought from me a few days earlier so he is either ###ed or a complete liar. I was able to go online and get the corporate number. I was told by Mitchell at corporate that it is not corporate policy to "gut" the games (he also mentioned that he does not condone the practice of gutting games and selling them as new and that not all stores do it) and that the manager and/or district manager should be able to return or exchange the game. He left me hopeful, giving me the name and number for the district manager and telling me that he should be able to take care of it and to let them know that I have contacted corporate. He even told me that they have been having quite a few problems like this lately and to please call back to file a formal complaint if it is not resolved in the next 3-5 business days. I hope he was not pulling the wool over my eyes and I hope this all gets resolved tomorrow. I guess my biggest issue was the fact that this guy was trying to make me feel dumb for not knowing that they wouldn't take it back and the worst part of it was that he had this look on his face like he was trying not to laugh right in my face, smirking the whole time. I am no gamer, not some savvy video game fanatic who is up on all the latest tricks of the trade, I didn’t know the trouble with Gamestop...so upsetting. Sorry to rant but this is a fresh wound and I am feeling pretty used. I will not be shopping there again.

  • Ed
      3rd of Dec, 2008
    +2 Votes

    Lol i work for gamestop.. Some folks like to steal things, we had our pc games on the shelves for some time and guess how much was stolen the first 3 months we were open... Ove 600.00, thats ridiculous. And we dont mishandle the games, we are held accountable for anything that happens to them. He take them from the box put them straight into the sleeve. The box is put on shelf, they are untouched until you but them. We do allow our customers too look at the disk before they buy to make sure its in new condidtion. Other than that we also put these little things called circle stickers on the package affectivly resealing it. If you took something home and it was then opened you broke the chain. We gave you the chance to review your purchase if wanted and you took it home. Once home you open it and realize you coul'd have complained and gotten a % off of it since its "a demo" lol. Thats not how it works.. But seriously, at my store we do take care of our merchindise, i caint say the same for others. And getting the wrong games is on that one person not the entire gamestop community. Why would we give discount on an item that plays the exact same way as it would have if we had not gutted it for security purposes.. This country is full of whinning babies that just want to complain and get stuff for less.. Get over it, go to walmart where you have to stand there for 30 minutes while waiting for your druggy helper to figure out how to open the sliding glass door to hand you the game.. Then follow them to the counter while they just dont say a word and caint even give a revew on the product...

  • Wo
      4th of Jan, 2009
    -1 Votes

    Yes this just happened to me with a copy of Tales of Vesperia for the XBox 360. The salesperson at Gamestop told me that it was a new copy "never been played", it just was out of the box. There were 3 copies of the game that were like that. I started arguing with him about it and he told me to take a look at the disc which I did. It was so obvious that the game was a used copy, it was well taken care of but not new. I immediately walked out of the store and drove to best buy and picked up a new sealed copy. Attention Gamestop employees NEW means sealed, end of story. If I walked into a gamestop and tried to sell a game that was not sealed they would immediately tell me it's used and not new. In department stores it's called the floor model and yes there is a discount associated when you buy the floor model.

  • Bd
      20th of Jan, 2009
    0 Votes

    hey stupid wolf rayet... umm floor models are being played.. our new games that are "gutted" (yes that is the term for it ) have NEVER been played come into my store and complain ill make sure you dont get even a trade invalue for it, we are a COMPANY i can call the surrounding stores to just deny anything to do with you . so be carefull when you complain to people at gamestop because all the stores are in sync with one another.

  • Va
      9th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    you guys sure have some interesting rants, but i'll try to answer them as a gamestop employee.
    1. Us unsealing a copy of the game indeed takes it out of the small coating of plastic around the box itself, in the first place all new games have a 30 day defective warranty, meaning that if u got a new game put it in and noticed that it wasn't working we would defect out that product and give you another copy of the game, or refer you to another gamestop.

    2. A factory seal on a game has no direct correlation to the shape of the game's disc itself, the proof of this is the fact that when about 80% of people picked up halo 3 limited edition their were alot of scratched up copies just because the design of the game case caused the disc to pop out.

    3. An opened copy of a game can easily be looked at to see if theirs even minor surface scratches on it, that means a. the game came like that, or b. someone was bad at handling the game, playing new copies of games is a simple and funny way for you to get fired.

    4. When you open the game and play it, then yes it becomes a used game, if people really feel this need to hand hold them in terms of a game that is unsealed then you can quite easily ask for them to put a seal on the game case itself and for a manager to write something on your receipt of some sort to give validity to your "unsealed unplayed' game.

    5. There are very few videogame counterfieters who are willing to spend the money to buy a copy of the game just to copy over the label on the disc itself, pay attention to the top part of the disc and just make sure it of course says "playstation 3, xbox 360, wii, and look to see if the NTSC symbol is there for north American games.

    in the end all these concerns are all about having common sense.

  • Dy
      3rd of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    bdennis02, dude really i used to work at gamestop, hoover and 11, and man your full of crap. You let your own employees take home new games and u still sell them at new prices and u have the nerve to say they havn't been played or used? I'd love to go over company policy with u sometime because i learned o so much while i worked their about all of the illgal crap u do so don't try to defend yourself here

  • An
      25th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    Yeah, new games totally get played by the employees. However, if they have so much as a hairline SMUDGE on it, the employee is supposed to buy it without their discount.

    And good luck on the whole "don't buy open games" thing. Apparantly GameStop hasn't instated a policy to discount the "last copy" because PEOPLE WHO AREN'T YOU DON'T @$#%ING CARE. Disc clean? Will it play? No scratches? Whatever, give it to me.

    As long as people are buying the last copy, they will NEVER discount it. And people are buying it. And I hate to break it to you, but one, two, or ten little posts on https://www.complaintsboard.com will NEVER change that fact. It's money. If the numbers are on the books, prices will only continue to rise.

  • Da
      13th of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    1. The box is sealed with a clear sticker. Don't remove that and you'll be fine.

    2. Just as when you buy something from ebay and it is opened to display the content, these are opened to protects the content from theft.

    3. It is taken home by the employees for 4 days under their take-home policies. I believe this is good for employees training. They can tell you if it's worth buying or not. Also, it's not like the content on the disk is altered in any way when someone plays it. If it works, then it works.

    4. Yes, what GameStop chooses to do with the games while they still own them is their business. When they sell it to you it is sealed with a sticker and once again, don't break the seal and you can return it. Or just buy used and then you have 7 days to try it out.

    5. No way to guarantee that it's genuine? The inner ring of the disk proves it pretty well, not to mention that a fake copy wouldn't work on an unmodded 360, therefor the game would be returned and this deception would be discovered very quickly and the employee would be terminated. And once again, if it works, then it works.

    Also, if you want to keep the price of games low and trade-ins high, I really don't recommend using display cases, they cost money, and people like to hold the real case in their hands thus causing GameStop to have to pay licensing fees to reprint the real box art. Not to mention the inventory problems this would cause when the minimum wage employees forget to pull the display down when they run out of stock.

  • Cl
      20th of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    Go to Best Buy, Wal Mart, Target, etc. GameSpot is all about getting over on you. The other retail stores have money to back up their product. When was the last time you talked to manager at GameSpot who did not think he was some kind of "God to Video Game Systems". All the employees that wrote something trying to defend Gamespot, (manager or sale ###.), or full of it. A bunch of kids trying to get a head in a place that will probably shut down soon. I do not understand why people continue to go.Used games are five dollars cheaper than new ? The best advice I can give is stay away from these money leeching, PRE-ORDERING even if you do not buy anything from them.They still ask you befoe you leave the store."Want to Pre-order a future title today?". There really is something wrong with GameSpot.Stay away from them.

  • Ci
      7th of Sep, 2009
    0 Votes

    You know we wouldn't have to remove the games from the cases if all you ###s would stop stealing from the stores. That's the whole reason things like that are done.

  • Sa
      7th of Sep, 2009
    0 Votes

    you need a life if thats all you complain about oh my god. i would just wait for a new shipment or just by it new from somewhere else

  • An
      2nd of Dec, 2009
    0 Votes

    @Pency
    I have never worked for GameStop. I have, however, worked for Blockbuster Video, Game Crazy, and Best Buy. Even when working for these companies the only place i ever shopped was GameStop. I can assure you the policies at these other retailers are near the same or worse (in the case of Blockbuster, much worse.) I have purchased a few "new" games that were gutted copies from Gamestop and this is what i know. All of the games purchased this way had the disc taken from the sleeve, they showed me the disc, i confirmed it did not have any sort of normal wear and tear of a "used" game. The game was then placed in the case with care, the case was then "Re-sealed" with a Gamestop sticker and sold to me as new. Only one time did i have a problem with a game purchased this way. As i do with any store i purchase something from, i informed the employee the game was a gift and would not be opened within the 7 days of the defective "guarantee". The employee wrote the date the gift would be opened on the receipt and initialed it and explained to me that the guarantee would begin on the written date. Excellent. About 10 days later the game was opened and my son (the recipient of the gift) attempted to play the game. While there were no scratches or any marks on the disc, it would not work. We tried a couple other games (other new ones and some of his old ones) and they all worked fine. I simply took the game in the next day, presented it with the receipt and they handed me a new copy ( they had received more in a shipment since i was in the store last) and i walked out the door with a sealed copy. Whether it was tampering on the part of an employee or just a defective disc (THAT DOES HAPPEN YOU KNOW) my issue was settled quickly and professionally. While it may be a company wide practice, it is still up to individual stores on how they want to proceed with customer interactions. If this had happened to me i would have simply reported the troublesome employee/manager to their superior, taken my my product/refund/replacement whatever, and went about my day.

    As far as the policy goes i do honestly believe a small discount should be given if the game is a gutted copy, however it is the store policy and who am i to argue with it? If i cared that much i just simply would not shop there anymore. Whining about a company on a complaints board is lame. I have never had any problems with these "gutted" copies and am always treated with respect whenever i have a question or concern. Every company has its douchebag employees, they are the problem.

  • Sk
      23rd of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes

    seriously, it's not about whether or not you think it's stupid, it's about the ###ing LAW. the law is very clear on what NEW entails...it means NEVER OPENED. period, end of story. you can't sit here and argue what you think new means, it means it's still in the damn package. once mr. gamestop employee opens the game, it is used. i was the assistant manager at a gamestop for years and i can tell you that most of gamestop's practices are shady, to say the least. there are thousands of people like you who take this issue among others up in a class action lawsuit. gamestop then settles out of court and therefore has no need to change their policy. it's frustrating, it's maddening, but it's what shady companies do every day. nobody cares if you think that it's as good as new because some employee put a sticker on it (lol...seriously), gamestop telling you it's new by their standards doesn't put the original packaging back on. there is such a thing as depreciation! why do you think sealed in the box games are still worth tons more than out of the box copies on ebay? people care about this stuff, and gamestop is yet again taking advantage of customers to save money. and they don't need to reprint cover art, seriously do you know how much cover art gamestop get severy week? enough for a display box for every new game, to say the least. they just throw that stuff away after the initial advertising campaign is over. it still baffles my why they don't just use the display art that already exists! or, if you want to eliminate "manhandling of any kind, here's a new tactic: sliding glass cabinets! yes, i know, so time consuming...but it works in every other game store in the world. i have brought issues like this up at several meetings, but no one really cares. i finally got so fed up with working for a company that i can't agree with that i quit. i couldn't back gamestop's BS and try to pull one over on the customer with a straight face. i love games and i think they should be treated as art, not hustled to the ignorant masses using shady business practices.

  • Fa
      22nd of May, 2010
    0 Votes

    If the person behind the counter just presented the information to you in a straightforward manner, I think it would correct this issue. If you buy a New game, and there are no un-opened copies left, the salesperson, or manager, should just tell you. "Hey, I am sorry, but we are out of unopened copies, I can still sell you one of the opened new ones, if you would like. Then make some type of special mark or stamp on the receipt so that if the customer returns the game, it will still be treated as unopened and new. duh.

  • Gh
      28th of May, 2010
    0 Votes

    It's just a business practice and way better than having to look through glass to see which game you are trying to buy and to be honest if you have such a hard time accepting that an empty case needs to be out on the wall why shop at a store that does it? Go to wal-mart, target, best buy believe me you will not be missed.

  • Al
      25th of Jul, 2010
    0 Votes

    I think a lot of people don't understand what's going on behind the counter at GameStop. I still work for the company, but I used to be a Store Manager and have since stepped down from that position. I do not condone the gutting of new games and selling them at their full price, but I do know that if you buy the last opened copy and that Store Manager does not let you return it, they are just being jerks. I tell every customer that buys our last copy that if they have any issues whatsoever with the game to please bring it back. It's as simple as that. If any GameStop employee tells you "Sorry, I can't do that", no matter what the issue is, they're lying. We can return anything, no matter what, whenever we want. We have the power to adjust prices to accomodate the customer and to help out however we can. GameStop corporate cannot decide what they want us to focus on, whether it be customer service, reserve and subscription percentages, used sales, etc.

    I was thrown into a Store Manager position after working for the company less than a year, had no Store Manager training whatsoever (didn't even get a handbook!), and it all happened a month prior to the holiday season revving up. The DM, who lived about fifteen minutes from my store, did not once come in to check on me and the status of the store until AFTER the holiday season. He wondered why I lost $2, 000 in suprise shrink during the holiday season (meaning that $2, 000 worth of merchandise was stolen). I was a 20-year-old girl and the youngest employee in my store trying to tell 6 older employees what to do, how to do it, and why. All of this was without any guidance or help from our DM or RM. Once I was able to control our shrink, train our employees better, and slowly get the store up to par with the other GameStops in the district (my store had the lowest amount of business), I had my annual review. I received the second to lowest score possible due to the $2, 000 worth of merchandise that got stolen, the store's lack of subscription and reserve percentages (since my store had such low volume, I usually only got enough payroll hours to allow two employees a day to work), a week or two that I was slightly below the minimum of 45 hours worked, and because my ASSISTANT opened the store an hour late. Needless to say, I teared up during my annual review. All of the 70 hour weeks that I put into that store meant nothing to the DM.

    GameStop does not believe in integrity. Those of us that care get walked all over. I have seen my comrades that have worked for the company for 4+ years get fired for having low subscription percentages. I saw a dear friend of mine and fellow employee get fired for smoking a cigarette for ten minutes outside when she was expected to work a 6 hour shift by herself without a break (illegal in my state, by the way). The gentleman who took my store over after I stepped down is deceitful and rude to customers. I checked into some of his transactions and printed off shady receipts to show to my DM in an attempt to keep the gentleman OUT of the store I had worked so hard on and AWAY from the customer base I had helped to develop. The DM brushed off my concerns (which were all terminable offenses). The only reason that I can think of that my DM kept the gentleman to take my place as Store Manager is because his reserve and subscription percentages are high. When I left that store, the CSE (customer service experience) dropped dramatically. Still, none of it matters. How the customers are treated does not matter. The DM is concerned with the DM looking good to the RM, and so on. This company keeps shady and deceitful employees, as long as they "drive the numbers". It is an awful practice and it makes me sick. I've seen good people get fired while employees that should've been gone a loooong time ago somehow seem to be able to stick around.

    The Store Manager that fired my aforementioned friend for smoking a cigarette for ten minutes (the store was not left unattended, by the way, there was just no manager there) had sexual harrassment complaints filed on her by several employees and it is also common district knowledge that she worked some of her former employees off the clock and without pay. This was all brought to our DM's attention, and he did nothing. Absolutely nothing. Still, she has her job.

    I am getting my degree in one month. I am hanging on to my job with the company just long enough to graduate and find new work. To all of you that have had an awful experience at GameStop, whether it be with prices or employees or trade in values or whathaveyou, I apologize. There are a lot of us good and honest employees out there, I promise, and more than likely, we all hate our job. Sorry for ranting, but I just wanted to give some of you the other side.

    Also, as intimate as this story has been, I am sure my DM will come across this and figure out who I am and fire me. That's very much in his character.

  • Ev
      16th of Oct, 2010
    0 Votes

    Would you prefer we left the games out on the sales floor where people can walk off with them? We have no other choice but to gut the games and put them in a cabinet for safekeeping. You're going to remove the shrinkwrap when you take it home anyway, so what's the big effing deal? If you're worried about the case being "manhandled" we can easily get you a brand new one and just put the old litho (paper insert) inside the new one, so at least it LOOKS new, aside from not having shrinkwrap. New disks, at least at my store, CANNOT be checked out, and we have to wait until they're returned used before we can. Therefore, the game we take out of the box we put on the sales floor has never been touched by anything, ever.

  • Si
      13th of Nov, 2010
    0 Votes

    This is the reason I'm so glad that GameStop has changed its terminologically from "Used" to "Pre-Owned". People need to realize that the games are NEW even when they are gutted to be displayed. Would you argue with a Car Lot that a Car is Used because it has 6 Test Miles on it? NO. Same in Concept, things have to be displayed for you to know they are there, otherwise you complain that the product isn't out on the wall for you to find it. Now I know that at my store, if a game comes out of a sleeve and its a new game we happily show the customer the product and tell them the reason why its off the wall. We show it to them after we take a look for ourselves and SOMETIMES there are very tiny micro-scratches on it from where the disk has moved about in the sleeve in the drawer. We discount these games and STILL seal them after we tell you about them. That way you can still return them... and guess what, Something everyone here has failed to realize. We STILL give you 30 days if the product stops working for any reason (Slight of you actually damaging the disk...AKA: Cracking it in half, it being obviously scratched in such a condition that we wouldn't have sold it) to bring it back for an exchange of an identical item... and if we don't have that item in stock we at least give you a gift card for the amount purchased so you can choose something else or go to one of our other stores (we are kind of like the new Starbucks).

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