If you were confused by the presence of a pre-owned 3DS on the shelves of your local GAME outlet on the handheld's launch weekend, Eurogamer's uncovered a possible shady explanation. According to an unnamed source who works for the retailer, a company memo encouraged GAME employees to use money from their registers to purchase a 3DS and game bundle from its competitor, Tesco, for the discounted price of £209.90. They could then trade the merchandise back to GAME for the exact same price.

The memo described this maneuver as "a great opportunity to gain 3DS consoles and games for your store's pre-owned stock." Each pre-owned system could then be "set at the same price as mint due to unexpected supply shortage on the market and the quality of the stock." However, the memo instructs employees not to sell the pre-owned handhelds until the mint hardware is sold out, prohibiting clerks from "up-selling" the used merch.

The document describes these shopping runs as "not mandatory," but Eurogamer reports one GAME employee said his store was reprimanded for not participating.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.