Home > game collection, Me, Nintendo, Wii > Gamestop = Epic Fail

Gamestop = Epic Fail

I know that both Gamestop and Best Buy get a horrible rap but fact is, they typically set themselves up for their own failures.

I typically don’t pre-order anything but I decided on pre-ordering Metroid Prime Trilogy from Gamestop so that I could get the bonus T-Shirt and poster. I pre-ordered long ago and at that time both were still available and showing on the Gamestop site as available. Well I got a text message yesterday saying that I could pick it up the following afternoon. I decided I would use my lunch hour to pick it up. Well I tried calling first to see if it was there but of course none of the employees found it necessary to answer the phone. I decided on heading there anyway since I did receive the text message the night before. I stopped in and the guy at the counter didn’t know what I was talking about then proceeded to tell me that he hadn’t checked all the boxes yet. He went to the back and after a few minutes came out and said that it must still be on some truck somewhere… Ok, I  guess I’ll deal since I headed there without knowing if the product was in yet. Well I went back to work and did my time. I headed back to the store immediately after work and go figure that they were already out of posters. Not only that but they told me they were only shipped 2. Now I dunno about you but if there is a pre-order item to be shipped with product, then they sure as hell better have more than just 2. That’s a load of shit if you ask me. I call that a cheap bait tactic to get customers to buy there as opposed to anywhere else. Totally uncool in my opinion. Ok the clerk said that it was while supplies last (which is true) but you better have more than 2 if you plan to promote the damn thing. Oh and to top it all off, the guy that was there when I stopped in for lunch to pick it up was still there. He “went back” to look if there were any more posters. The F*&^&$^* bastard should have saved one for me in the first place.. the prick.

Ok ok, you may be wondering why I’m so worked up about a poster… It’s not about the poster at this point. If a product is being promoted as a bonus gift for doing something you don’t need to (pre-ordering) then you should get the product or at least have enough made to be handed out to a reasonable amount of people (not 2 per store). Doing that is a crooked (possibly illegal?) store tactic.

Oh… and the T-Shirt was an XL by the way. About 2 of me could fit in one of those. Nice right?

  1. August 27, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Not to defend GameStop, as I was a store manager for them briefly (post the buyout of EB Games), but your experience is typical. GameStop corporate doesn’t ship stores much in the way of swag as pre-order bonuses. Typically, we would get maybe four or five pieces of whatever it was, unless it was a small-ish title, in which case we might get one or two. And then, if it’s something cool, you honestly have to be concerned about the store employees snagging it for themselves when it comes in, even before it gets to the point where a customer could get it.

    The reason for this, I think, is that GameStop’s modus operandi is to push pre-orders at the expense of anything else, and they can do that best by putting the onus on the customer to pre-order. “You didn’t get something cool? You should have pre-ordered” is the common sales tactic. Yes, as someone who pre-ordered, you should have received something cool. But they have no interest in actually giving you something cool; they just want your pre-order dollars.

  2. Gil
    August 28, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    I appreciate the comment. I’ve never been a huge fan of GameStop. I always preferred EB Games. They always seemed more knowledgeable and willing to help. I had hoped that this would carry on over to GameStop with the buyout. I was sadly mistaken.

    Anyway I really don’t like to bash companies but sometimes they really piss me off.

    As much as I’d hate to say it, I hope the PSP Go is successful in making downloadable games truly successful. This way I’d be less prone to disappointment in material gaming memorabilia.

  3. September 12, 2009 at 2:38 am

    This has happened to me so many times. I’ve stopped preordering anything other than big releases I want on day one just because I know if there is a bonus item I want, I won’t get it.

  4. September 26, 2009 at 12:55 am

    Having worked for both EBGames & GameStop I can say I enjoyed the former far more. Besides that, pre-ordering stuff at GameStop is a joke. When you pre-order something, regardless of what it may be, the order of business is ALWAYS to sell 1st-come-1st-serve regardless of whether that person has a pre-order or not. I was an assistant manager there and no their underhanded practices pretty well. The “truck” is just a common excuse.

    I will defend one thing, though. Sometimes shipment is insane and it can take hours to clear through all those boxes. It’s possible he just hadn’t got to the box with your shipment in it yet and didn’t feel like telling you he just didn’t feel like searching. I’m not defending his lying to you, just that he may not’ve been able to easily find it.

    • October 3, 2009 at 3:54 pm

      I have to agree with you, Orpheo, to some extent.

      EB Games and GameStop had entirely different stocking philosophies. At EB Games, pre-orders were just one factor in how corporate stocked a store on a title. At GameStop, pre-orders appear to be the only factor.

      With EB Games, if I had six pre-orders on a game, I might get twelve or fifteen copies in shipment. With GameStop, if I had six pre-orders on a game, I might get eight. And EB Games was better at follow-up shipments of a title; if I sold eighty percent of a title on day one, I could feel confident that I would have more in the next day shipment on day three. With GameStop, I had no confidence that I would even see the title again.

      When you say that GameStop’s “order of business is ALWAYS to sell 1st-come-1st-serve regardless of whether that person has a pre-order or not,” that was EB Games’ policy as well. But it wasn’t as dangerous to “play the float” (my Regional Manager’s term) at EB Games; we had a little more overstock, and we knew we’d see the game again. At GameStop, playing the float was insane; it was a quick way to turn off a customer.

      What intrigued me after the merger was how different the two companies’ cultures were. About two months after the merger (about April 2006), on the district’s weekly conference call, my DM wanted to know why his EB Games stores had much higher pick-up rates on their pre-orders as compared to his GameStop stores. On a given title, an EB Store would have pick-up rates on a title of 80 percent or more; a GameStop store had pick-up rates of 60 percent or less. (I forget the particular title, but there was a GameStop store that had a pick-up rate of 15 percent on a AAA title.) The reason was surprising — EB Games stores called their customers, GameStop stores didn’t. Some of the GameStop managers pointed out that there was an automated phone call system, so they didn’t need to call their customers. (I’ve pre-ordered a fair bit since I left EB/GameStop; I’ve had a phone call from the automated system once.) But if they’re selling pre-orders even to walk-in customers, they don’t want to make contact with their customers, because then 1) they would have to hold the product for the forty-eight hours and 2) they couldn’t play the float because they’d have no guarantee they would have the game when the customer walked in the door. And, honestly, unredeemed pre-orders go toward the store’s bottom line; there’s no incentive to call customers, because eventually the unredeemed pre-order turns into straight profit.

      As for the shipment problem, I never had any great difficulty in finding product, even in a large shipment, when a customer walked in the door. I didn’t want to lose the sale. I didn’t want to leave the money on the counter.

  5. John
    October 19, 2009 at 11:43 am

    pre-order bonus are first come first serve. if you dont have a job where you can wait to get yours. perhaps you should re-examine your life choice up to this point.

    • ed
      January 7, 2010 at 5:16 am

      so what is that supposed to mean? If I pre order, the thing that’s supposed actually qualify me for the incentive, actually getting the incentive is at the mercy of some other factor that I can’t control like employees taking it or the store not stocking for it (i.e. they don’t want to give it to me)?

  6. October 13, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Yes! Finally something about ibps clerk.

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