Employees Claim EB Canada is Dropping Preowned Sections

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Employees Claim EB Canada is Dropping Preowned Sections


A rumor's going 'round that EB Games in Canada is doing away with its stand-alone preowed games section and will instead mixed used with new, with new games hidden under used copies.

It's an entirely unconfirmed rumor at this point but "internal documents" obtained by Kotaku [http://kotaku.com/5862094/eb-gamesgamestop-gets-rid-of-used-games-section] would seem to indicate that EB Games in Canada [which is owned by GameStop] is doing away with separate pre-owned games sections. Instead, all the games will be kept together and pre-owned games will be priced with the same standard stickers as new games, rather than the distinctive yellow stickers with which they're currently adorned.

That in itself doesn't sound too terribly awful, aside from the obvious potential for confusion, but according to the insider employee there's a bit more to it than just that. He claims that stores have been told to ditch all signage advertising used games and to place used copies of games on top of new ones on the shelves. That won't affect those of us who are aware of the difference between new and used and know which we want, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out what's going to happen when sweet Aunt Petunia goes in to pick up a copy of Saints Row the Third [http://www.amazon.com/Saints-Row-Third-Xbox-360/dp/B004QEV0MI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1322069262&sr=8-1] for her favorite little snookums.

EB has yet to confirm the report but a second person claiming to be an employee also contacted the site with a similar story. "We were told that we were to merge all used games with the new games and have them sectioned off by one of four specific genres they gave us," he wrote. "They told us that the new copy must be on the very bottom of the pile and the used ones stacked on top and that we were to change
all price stickers to the white ones. They also instructed us to discard all materials advertising used games. Now the stickers do have the words NEW or USED on them but no one looks at that."

While I certainly don't mean to suggest that such sleazy behavior couldn't happen, I do feel compelled to put forward an alternate theory. Most, if not all, EB Games outlets in Canada are switching over to the GameStop brand, a process which means new signage and, sooner or later, a hell of a mess when the trigger is finally pulled. As someone who's done this dance a few times over the years, I wouldn't be at all surprised if stores were being told to condense sections to accommodate the changeover, even if the timing is a little suspect. It's quite possible that the reports are accurate, yet not nearly as sinister as they sound.

Any EB/GameStop Canada employees out there who can offer some insight on this? Feel free to drop me a line and fill in the blanks. In the meantime, consider yourself warned: pay attention to what you're doing if you're doing it at EB.


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CrystalShadow

don't upset the insane catgirl
Apr 11, 2009
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-Sigh-

Welcome to the situation in England. More or less. Although they do seem to be taking it to a new extreme here.

Both Game and GameStation, while still having dedicated second hand sections routinely mix new and used copies together on the same shelf.

The second-hand sections contain older titles you can't find new anyway, and the other section contains a more or less random mix of new & used games.

The only dedicated 'new only' section is PC games, and then only because you can't really sell second-hand PC games. (Although, believe it or not, Gamestation does. - Which came as a huge surprise to me.)
 

ph0b0s123

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Jul 7, 2010
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Why do I feel like in the cold war going on between retailers and games makers over used sales, we consumers in the middle get screwed with each new move they make...
 

dnose

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Nov 5, 2009
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Ugh. I wasn't EB/Gamestop's biggest fan to begin with. If this is true then I'll never buy anything there again.
 

redisforever

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Oct 5, 2009
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Nope, leaving EB Games if this happens. I only buy used games there, because I don't buy PC games in stores, and I only have an original Xbox, so I can't buy new, so used is my only option.
 

Keava

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Mar 1, 2010
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I'm sorry. I never liked the idea of shops actively advertising used games market, but that's just... uggh.

I think it's about time someone would come up with some legal regulation for sale of pre-owned games that forces shops to distinguish those from new copies in a clear and obvious way, keep them on separate, labelled shelf and maybe even double check with customer before selling the product. This is borderline false advertising.

Way to make sure even more game content will fall under online passes due to moves like this.
 

Waaghpowa

Needs more Dakka
Apr 13, 2010
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This isn't true as far as I know. I know the manager of the EB games in town here and there was no word about them ditching used games.
 

Therumancer

Citation Needed
Nov 28, 2007
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Why us Aunt Petunia buying an M rated game for her "little Snookums".

That said, I think it might also be a conveinence device as much as anything. Really the only time this is going to be an issue is if someone buys a used game that has a "Project $10" type code attached to it which can't be redeemed, and that isn't considered part of the price. Gamestop/EB generally guarantees their used games, and the used ones tend to go for at least $5 less.

Come the holiday season your going to see a lot of people coming into the stores who indeed don't know much about used games, spot the new games right off the bat since they are usually the closest, grab the title they want, and don't know they can get a used copy that can be returned if it doesn't work for $5-$10 less fairly easily.

To be honest unless it's a brandy new game, or one I know has a code, I'll admit that one of the first things I do is check to see if they have a used copy. This style of organization makes that VERY easy to find out, without having to paw through a whole section of used games that are out of order due to other people pawing through them.

I think the pros and cons pretty much even out here. A lot of this also depends on the workers not assisting the customers, and honestly during the holiday rush where they hire a lot of extra people this might not be an issue, especially seeing as their standard practice is to ask someone if they want to get extended protection on their used game when someone buys a used game... and unless they are being told to omit that part of the process, you can't argue malevolent intent at all... and honestly I find the standardized questions (asked in case a manager or someone is listening) to be the most annoying part of buying at Gamestop so it isn't like it's something they tend to blow off actually (since I've found myself wishing they would more than once).
 

Drummie666

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Jan 1, 2011
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So... They're trying to reduce new sales and increase used sales?
So... They're trying to fuck over every single dev team on earth... good god people, what the fuck? Thankfully this is a rumour and hopefully nothing more, but I don't even get why they would do this. Are used sales THAT much more profitable to them? I thought they were about the same value to them.

PS

Is... Is that an image in that captcha? ...What?
 

Something Amyss

Aswyng and Amyss
Dec 3, 2008
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ph0b0s123 said:
Why do I feel like in the cold war going on between retailers and games makers over used sales, we consumers in the middle get screwed with each new move they make...
Because you're far more perceptive than either the retailers or the producers give us credit.
 
Apr 28, 2008
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Smart business strategy.

But I doubt it'll happen. Will cause confusion, which will result in angry/confused customers, which will be bad since they'll end up just going to other game stores.
 

isometry

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Mar 17, 2010
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I don't see why publishers tolerate the used game market at all. I think it's silly that they worry so much about PC game piracy while doing nothing to stop the sale of used games. From a business point of view, used games are worse than piracy, since with piracy there is no way to know if the pirate would have bought the game, but with used-games they are typically paying 80% of the new price, so each one really is a lost sale.

By the way, I'm not condoning piracy at all by comparing it to used-games. I'm glad that PC game makers are finding ways to overcome piracy, because that means more support for the developers that make great games. I just wish they would apply the same logic to the used-games market, figure out a DRM solution that fights the problem while not getting in the way of legitimate users. I guess the other idea is to force companies like gamestop to give them a cut of used game sales.
 

Xanthious

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Dec 25, 2008
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If this is true all I can say is GOOD! Fuck the publishers and developers right up their fat over entitled asses. If they want to ***** and moan about used game sales then I say give them something proper to ***** about. If I were Gamestop I'd go a step further and put ALL new games behind the counter and only sell them to people who specifically asked for them.
 

robert01

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Jul 22, 2011
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@isometry
They tolerate it because they have to. There hasn't been a court case anywhere saying that used game sales are illegal, so instead they have to dodge it by doing what they are doing with the Day 1 DLC, and Project 10 Dollar

OT:
I find this to be a little shady considering that every used game store in the history of used game stores has kept used and new games apart and they were CLEARLY labeled differently so you would know one was new and the other was used. Now it seems they just want to get new game prices for used game.
 

vfaulkon

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Jul 21, 2008
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Reading the whole story, I'm not totally convinced this is shady business dealings as opposed to, say, a really poorly-timed move to facilitate the company's changing of hands.

I think many gamers are super-sensitive to this kind of thing and may be hitting the 'corruption' button too quick. I mean, look at the source of the info - two anonymous employees of the franchise, one of whom merely claimed to be one with no confirmation given and one with non-specific 'insider documents'. We're not even given what the employees' positions are in the company, or what these 'insider documents' say. This could just be a prank for all we know right now.

I look at it this way: Gamestop (which EBGames Canada is soon becoming) is already the go-to physical store for used games, to the point where many dev companies have outright stated that Gamestop is the enemy. It already has a successful business model with their current set-up. Why would it risk upsetting their customers (which are also one of their allies against the Project Ten Dollar business model) and making itself look shady by pulling this kind of stunt?

It's possible, sure, but I'm not convinced. I'm not calling anything 'til something more solid surfaces. After all (and I'm probably paraphrasing someone else), one should not assume an act is malicious when it could just as well have been just plain stupid or incompetent.