So yeah, Gamestop sucks

I go in to buy a copy of GTA San Andreas and get rejected. Call the other area stores and they won’t sell it either. Reason: no preorder.

me: You guys selling GTA without a preorder?
me:eevn though they have them at best buy?
guy : those people didn’t preorder at best buy
me: ok, never shopping here again

fuck them.

Wow, I’m shocked a game of this magnitude didn’t have ample copies everywhere.

Yup, doesn’t make sense. They gave me the same BS when I tried to buy Tribes there. Are preorders greatly more profitable for the store for some reason, so it makes sense for them to try to force people to always preorder? I can’t think why.

Profits on new game sales must really be slim if the specialty stores are willing to shut out walk-ins for the biggest PS2 game of the year. Hopefully this kind of behavior will push more and more customers to the major chains like Best Buy and Wal*Mart, who will subsequently become more timely in their shipments of games other than the major releases.

EB and Gamespot would obviously make more sales if they had product beyond what was preordered. It just doesn’t make sense to me. When I go to Best Buy on release day, I’m never told I need a preorder on the new Isis CD or the latest Simpsons season pack.

The best part is that they had a case full of them. So yeah, good call on that one guys.

Margins are slim and fast shipping is expensive. It’s not like you can’t ever get a non-preordered copy. You just can’t have one now, probably because it’s earmarked for someone else who guaranteed the money up front.

Why shouldn’t they hold onto copies for folks who were willing to put a small token amount down to guarantee that whenever they got a chance to come in there would be a copy there for them? Why should they sell it to you instead? What type of customer service would that be?

(Best buy, as near as I can tell, has their own shipping line to supply their stores. Huge difference in cost effectiveness of getting product to store like that.)

The biggest difference is that I can go to Wal Mart or Best Buy right now and buy it. In fact I will. I understand that on the day they get it and no one else has it, fine. I don’t understand it after general release.

LOL, what would be the point of pre-ordering if any schmo could come in off the street and buy it out from under me?

I don’t think EB and Gamespot have enough retail pull to justify large allocations anymore. If they can’t show preorders, they can’t get enough copies of the first runs to put lots of copies on the shelf. The EB near me claimed no walk-in copies of Doom3 right after release, but the Wal*Mart across the street literally had an entire pallet of them, complete with a customized display. My local Gamestop said they didn’t have Xmen Legends for walk-ins, and didn’t know when more would arrive, but the Target next door had over 20 copies.

I spend a lot of money on games, but EB and Gamestop treat me like crap for not preordering. I think they are the next Wherehouse and Tower Records, ready to be crushed in the jaws of the big box giants.

The people who put money down and didn’t get it at the moment it was out still ought to have a claim to their reserved game, though, no? I know my local EB has been backlogged for days. People came in the day of release, there were no copies, so they preordered, that took the next day’s copies, etc.

Maybe they’re actually going “Yeah, we have these copies that nobody’s reserved, but we’re just not going to sell it to someone without walking them through the pre-order paperwork right here on the spot. That’ll show those uppity punks!” But I really somehow doubt it. So chances are there’s a name attached to every copy they have in stock, and they figure those customers’ tendancy to throw down 5 bucks, give a name and phone number, and otherwise indicate it’s important to them that whenever they saunter by, the game that they want is invariably available to them, is, oddly enough, important to those customers. If you wait a few days, they’ll probably have extra copies. If you go to Best Buy, they have copies now. But it’s not an attempt to fuck you out of GT:SA because you didn’t join their super-sekrit club, y’know?

huh? I don’t follow you. Are you saying they had a case full of unclaimed copies that they were unwilling to sell?

My local Blockbuster had at least 50 copies on the shelf today for sale.

I pre-order some titles, but not to “guarantee my copy!”, it’s primarily to establish a good relationship with the guys at my local EB. They apparently cream their jeans over pre-orders, so I pre-order. $5. BFD. This makes them love me, which makes other things easier for me there.

Two examples.

  • I’m taking advantage of their “value +$10” trade ins towards Halo 2. I take in Crimson Skies which was from my Live kit and has no barcode. It wasn’t going to work (the computer wasn’t accepting it), but the manager dude says “heh, I’ll MAKE it work for you”. cool.

  • I got splinter cell xbox home and decided I didn’t want it. It was only $5.99, but he let me return it for full credit towards Outlaw Golf 2 (which rules, btw)

So they know me by name, I’m their good buddy. “Let’s not piss off the guy who pre-orders!!! from us”

I really don’t know why they get so worked up about pre-orders these days. It’s kind of silly. You won’t get your DAY ONE copy!! omgz! Big whoop, wait 3 or 4 days and they’ll have 50 on the shelf. My EB guys have even told me that “you’ll be lucky to get the strat guide that day. it’s gonna sell like hotcakes!” … of course there were 300 copies of the SA strat guide when I went in to get the game.

I don’t get Jason’s point.

For the longest time brick 'n mortar stores have used pre-orders to determine how much a store should order before a big release. If they don’t get a lot relative to other stores, they won’t have much in the initial shipment to stock the shelves.

On top of that, those that pre-order - not just reserve a copy - are guaranteed that copy as they usually put some money down for it. Those are gone, done, finito, poof… don’t even think about those.

A store will put out product on the shelves if they have extras, they won’t just keep them in the box and not sell them to you for an unknown number of pre-sales. Either they haven’t tallied up the pre-sales yet, they are extremely lazy, or every copy in that box was pre-sold, which is not beyond reason.

— Alan

I’m already in their club, they can track my purchases with my EB Edge card, so they should know I spend thousands of dollars on games annually. Screw them if they don’t want to treat a good customer better than any idiot with $5 down.

It’s no big problem. I’ll go to Best Buy from now on. It’s not even the fact they won’t sell it, it’s the attitude. That and the fact there are copies all over the place and I ignored those to specifically drive further TO the gamestop. So yeah, they can go to hell.

It boggles the mind that stores won’t let you buy a copy of the game.

Nobody is advocating that they just sell reserved copies off to walk-ins. The point is that not ordering enough extra unreserved copies to cover the walk-in sales is stupid. The purpose of a store is to walk in, find the product you want, and then purchase it. The entire idea of having to “pre-order” something is absurd to me. It’s a mass market item with no shortage of copies, I should be able to go into a store that sells that item and buy it, no problem. Which of course is the case at any store except EB and Gamestop.

4.5 million copies of this thing shipped to retail and they’re denying walk-ins? That’s like having to preorder milk.

No, they just don’t treat you as well as the customers who’ve demonstrated that it’s even more important to them that they get the game when EB gets it in than you did.

Maybe your personal guys at EB suck or something, but the ones I deal with would happily call me when a game comes in if I’ve not pre-ordered it. They’re just not going to hold it for me and prevent anyone else from buying it before me if I’ve not given them a small token payment to let them know I’m really serious. Should they?

I can’t believe people are siding with EB and Gamestop here. Do you understand that Jason is going in to buy the game, being denied because they have no stock to sell to walk-ins on release day and simply driving to Best Buy, meaning EB/Gamestop LOST A SALE!

It’s idiotic and against everything a retailer should be striving for. You do NOT need to pre-order a game to buy it. It’s a fallacy. It’s simply an inventory control measure that EB/Gamestop are now using to POCKET YOUR MONEY WEEKS IN ADVANCE. That’s money that they then put in fat sacks with everyone else’s money and MAKE MORE MONEY ON THROUGH INTEREST. That’s money you don’t have in account somewhere earning 2% and it’s just a sham.

There’s no reason they can’t order enough to meet initial demand that includes both pre-orders and walk-ins because, guess what, they used to do just that! When I worked there ten years ago, we took pre-orders but when the game came in, we always had plenty more to sell on day one because it meant we were losing sales if we didn’t.

The whole idea of pushing scarcity as a means of creating a pre-order where they can sit on your money for months at a time is a great scam. I think that eventually people are going to wise up though. Maybe even this Christmas when they see that Best Buy, Circuity City and others are selling Halo 2 on November 9 and have BILLIONS of them on the shelves. People will remember that EB told them it would be hard to get if they didn’t pre-order and they’re going to start wondering what the fuck is going on.

The bottom line here is EB lost a sale because they didn’t order enough. It’s a stupid way to run a business.


Supertanker sure seems to be.

I put in of my hard-earned minimum wage $10 to reserve a game. After three months, the game comes in, and my personal guaranteed copy gets sold to Supertanker because he spends more money at the store than I do. To put it bluntly - what kind of fucked up shit is that?

— Alan

well if I recall correctly, from when i worked for eb, the whole pre-order thing isnt so much an issue of profit, as it is an issue of numbers.

While it was used in the past to gauge allocation, its now used as a benchmark. Its possible stores are now trying to find ways to teach customers a lesson to gain a willingness to pre-order anything just in case

A LOT of retail chains are starting to track and punish meaningless numbers for some odd reason. Middle management is putting more pressure on the associates to follow iron clad rules or submit to stupid tactics to find ways to raise numbers where they need to.

Eb had been on this weird dot system where if you didnt meet a series of idiotic numerical goals you got a red dot or black dot. if you got enough of a certain dot you were eligible for firing. Awesome. Nothing like the fear of god.