Gamestop isn't new to weird shenanigans in their business tactics. In late January, James Munn, over at Aeropause, told the story of a Gamestop employee selling him a "new" game by opening a display box and putting the game disc into it. He was even asked if he wanted it shrink-wrapped, essentially discrediting any item in the store from being truly "new." Now we have a similar tale.
After hearing about the awesomeness of God of War II all week from colleagues, a lazy Sunday drive to go pick it up seemed in order. We even called ahead to make sure they had copies and were informed they did. Arriving at the Gamestop store, we went straight to the counter and asked for God of War II. The gentlemen proceeded to ask if there was a reservation, we said there wasn't, and he walked over to the display wall and grabbed the empty box for God of War II. He then walks back behind the counter and takes some discs and the manual from the security case, we immediately realized we were experiencing the Aeropause article.
"I'd like a new copy please."
The clerk looked up and said, "This is new. We just take the game out of the box." He then closed up the case and pointed to the front of the box where the sticker said "New: $49.99." He continued to tap the word "new" on the front of the box as if that somehow made this an unopened product. There was no mention of a 10 percent discount for selling an open package, nor was there warning that I'd receive an open package. Meanwhile, there were clearly unopened God of War II games in the security case.
It's moments like this where you think you're dealing with a Ferengi, or imagine channeling Sheneneh from the show Martin and saying something like, "Oh, no you di-in't."
After twenty seconds of truly stunned silence, we walked out of the store, drove to Best Buy and got a new copy of the game. Which wasn't just in its factory-sealed box, but in a second security case.
The problem isn't that the Gamestop tried to sell an opened item, it's that they'll charge full price for an open product. Yes, some retailers will re-stock open items, but most places won't take back opened games and they sure won't sell you an open game as "new." If we're purchasing a new title and paying full price, we want the item to be the same as when it arrived from the factory -- you know, "new." Gamestop continues to pile up the shady business practices.