Print 43 comment(s) - last by 7Enigma.. on Apr 16 at 2:34 PM

Kotaku uncovers new games lent to employees are sold as new

Kotaku has revealed that game distributor GameStop is selling used games as new. New games shipped to GameStop stores are lent out to employees and once returned are sold at full price. Kotaku confirmed this practice is taking place companywide after contacting store managers and employees across the United States who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The written version of GameStop’s check-out policy was provided to Kotaku and verified by GameStop employees.  The policy can be read in full in the Kotaku article. The highlights of the policy state, “Associates are allowed to check out one item of store merchandise for personal use for up to four days. Associates may only check out items from the store in which they work. If the product is returned in unsellable condition, or if anything is missing from the package, or if the product is not returned, the Associate must purchase the product at the current price less Associate discount.”

The last point reveals GameStop fully intends to resell the used software. The process involves taking new games out of the packaging and placing the empty boxes on display shelves. The games that have been opened are then lent out to employees and still sold as new once returned. GameStop gets around customers who question why the game is not sealed by stating it is a display copy leaving out the fact the games may be used.

Kotaku’s sources have revealed it is against official company policy to provide Shop Worn Discounts to the games lent out to employees. The policy states, "Do not apply Shop Worn Discounts to any new, used or checked out games, it may only be applied for damaged packaging and new accessories which have been opened.

In the past, games such as Call of Duty 4 have been sold with cards in the packaging that contained redemption codes for additional map packs. GameStop’s policy would have placed customers at risk of receiving a copy of the game with the redemption code missing or already used.

In its investigation, Kotaku contacted the Federal Trade Commission to determine if GameStop is violating the law. They also had Mark Methenitis an attorney at Dallas based The Vernon Law Group provide his input on this issue.

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RE: From an old employee
By 7Enigma on 4/16/2009 2:15:27 PM , Rating: 2
I would like to add back when I worked there (1995-2000) online content was near nonexistant, MMO's were just coming out (and we were obviously not allowed to borrow any games that required accounts), and the *horrible* draconian pirating countermeasures was requiring a serial number to install and the disk to be in the drive.

RE: From an old employee
By 7Enigma on 4/16/2009 2:34:28 PM , Rating: 2
I saw an earlier post about "gutting". That term really brought me back as I haven't heard it in almost 10 years. We would gut any non-PC game and put the empty jewel case on the floor. We had huge drawers behind the counter that contained the jewel case insert shrink-wrapped with the disk and labeled in alphabetical order. Only the last game was gutted, the rest were in full sealed packaging also behind the counter. You'd check first for a unopened game, but often it was the last copy and you'd have to rip open the shrink-wrap, put it back in the jewel case, and then depending on whether it was a gift or the customer wanted it wrapped, we'd reshrink it on the spot.

I can't remember how many times we would have the empty jewel cases stolen from the store. We'd do inventory every couple months (horrible, horrible job), and there would be STACKS of guts that didn't have jewel cases. More than a few times the "customers" would come back in claiming they bought the game, nothing was inside, and oh, they forgot the reciept. We'd open up the jewel case to see no insert for the really stupid, or a different colored insert for the semi-stupid, or a clear insert where we had to still refuse a return since no game and no reciept = no luck (unless they complained enough to let a store manager give them one which was rare).

Oh the funny stories working there through JH and HS:

-I had a dad with his son that almost tried to kill me after I refused to return a destroyed Pokemon game that I told him before he bought it that it would brick his system (some old glitch with a certain configuration)....and my name was on the reciept as the salesman.

-I witnessed countless "important" people that would try to ignore lines, demand rediculous things, and curse at me. In retail being disgustingly sweet but by the book is about the best revenge you can have on an irrate customer.

-I had would-be theives get caught at the door by their parents, drop products on the way out and run, steal and then open the product outside the GLASS WINDOW of OUR store.

-But the best stories of are the slow nights (I worked in a strip mall that didn't get near the traffic of a mall) where we would have one person standing at the counter and the other playing the games, or even completely dead both of us playing the games. We were connected to a BC collectables (comic books and sports stuff) and would play football and catch between the two stores.

Well back to reality...

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

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