GameStop: The Warehouse Music of Gaming

Does anyone remember Warehouse music. I'm sure most of you don't, but it was a horrible music store with even more horrible prices. They had a very horrible pricing structure where brand new CDs were priced according to the market, but all of a bands older CD's would for some reason be jacked up to around $17.99 (or the price of a DVD). Well, long story short, hey went out of business. Well, it seems that GameStop is trying to follow in their footsteps.

If you're like me and you prefer to purchase brand new game, then you'll never notice the problem with GameStop. However, if you've ever attempted to purchase one of their used titles, you will notice that it's simply not worth your time. For instance, right now you can walk into GameStop and purchase a used copy of Gears Of War for the Xbox 360 for the "special discounted" price of $54.99. The thing is that if you wanted to spend a measly $5.00 more at the suggested retail price of $59.99. If the five dollars really enough to make you want to buy a previously opened, previously played, possibly with no manual, dinged up box, copy of this game? I for one would not.

In fact, I just did a search on and what do you know. Their used price is only $34.99. And that's not even the best part. They're actually selling the brand new copy of the game for $55.99 and if you order it in the next six hours you're eligible for free super saver one day shipping. I just don't know how GameStop gets away with this kind of thing. Now I shop there for the simple fact that it's right by my house, but I would never buy a used game from them. However, every time I'm in the store there's some kid there buy a used copy of some random game that wouldn't even be worth it at half the price. When I see this it almost makes me want to hand the kid a fiver and just tell him to buy a new one. I just can't stand it. But it's economics I guess. There are enough suckers who pay this price, I guess there's no reason for them to lower it.

It does make you wonder where all these used games are coming from. Well, I really wish I didn't know, because the only thing more enraging than their used game pricing is their used game trade in "deal". So yesterday I went in to GameStop on my lunch break to pick up a copy of The Orange Box (Half-Life 2) for the Xbox 360. As I was checking out, the clerk decided to inform me of their gracious "game trade-in deal" they had going on. Basically it works like this. If I brink in any two games for any next-gen system, they're going to give me $10 off the purchase of another game.

So basically, GameStop is telling me that any title I bring in to them is only worth $5, even though they're going to turn around and sell it to someone else for $54.99. What! That's like over a 1000% markup on the title. Are you kidding me? I couldn't believe this "deal" the clerk was trying to tell me about. I literally had to hold back from laughing in the guys face. I couldn't believe it. I wish things could change, but as long as people keep bringing in trade-ins and buying used games, it will never end.

posted by Christopher Schnese