The infamous video-game seller, GameStop, has recently caught quite a bit of flak for its many controversies. These range from inconvenient and ridiculous policies, to terrible employee treatment, to pure corporate greed (actually, this is mostly the problem). Longtime video-game shoppers and consumers might not be surprised by all of these things, as it’s long been known that there are some sketchy practices going on behind-the-scenes of this retail giant. This is pretty much to be expected when you’re the only large video game retailer (at least as far as brick and mortar stores are concerned) in North America.
However, there are a lot of things about GameStop that many people haven’t yet discovered. Some of which are good, some bad, or none of the above. Don’t let all of the bad media revolving around the corporate giant leave a bad taste in your mouth just yet… Allow yourself to be enlightened about a whole new set of problems (and perks) that GameStop has. If you don’t have an opinion on them already, there’s a strong chance that you’ll come out of this article having feelings for them one way or another.
Have a bad GameStop story of your own? Did they wrong you in any way? Have they done something right? Let us know in the comments! Just know that we feel your pain.
20. Wait, That’s Free?
That’s right. Who doesn’t love some free stuff? Even if you don’t exactly need the latest Halo promotional poster, it would make a pretty sweet addition to your game room, am I right? It’s a little-known fact that customers are free to help themselves to promotional posters and displays. With the reputation of being a cheap, greedy organization after each and every hard-earned dollar it can get its grubby hands on, it may surprise you to learn that GameStop has its own form of redemption. All you have to do is walk into your local GameStop and ask if you could have a promotional display once they’re done advertising for said game. Word on the street is that most stores tend to trade out their promotional materials on Sundays. If they still need to hang onto the poster (that you’re just dying to have) a little longer, then you can rest assured because employees will either put your name and number on the back of it, or write it down and call you when you can come pick it up.
19. What’s Mine Is Yours
You know the annoying sales pitch you receive from the GameStop employees absolutely every time that you purchase a game? After receiving your Friday paycheck, you excitedly rush to the nearest GameStop to pick up that mainstream title that you just hadn’t broken down to buy yet, but can’t possibly wait a second longer for. Carrying your precious item to the counter, you become an unsuspecting victim of the annoying GameStop sales pitch; imploring you to become a member of their Pro program and earn discounts on used games. And let me tell you, employees don’t care to repeatedly entertain this pitch to numerous customers, just as much as buyers don’t care to hear it. In truth, the way to avoid this situation is simply to use someone else’s Pro card. As long as you have their phone number, don’t worry about having to be incognito. Unless you’ve got a picky cashier, they should be pretty okay with you using someone else’s card.
18. “The Back”
The back. The concealed world of games, full of unicorns, rainbows, and all of the secrets that GameStop employees must guard with their lives. At least, that’s how customers tend to perceive it. It’s happened a ton, and will inevitably keep going until the end of GameStop’s days; the dreaded request to “check the back.” An innocent conversation between game adviser and customer turns into a full-on debacle about whether or not the store is currently carrying a specific title. Of course, the customer doubts the helpless associate’s knowledge, and implores that the employee check the back of the store for any unaccounted for copies. The worker walks to the back, goes to the bathroom, eats a snack, socializes, texts, anything BUT check for the game. That’s what really goes on in the back of a GameStop store. All of the information they need is within the database of the computer, so don’t be that customer.
17. Lonely, Lonely, Lonely
Believe it or not, this is one lonely job. With the technological revolution, we’ve seen many video rental stores, like Blockbuster, seemingly disappear overnight. Not to say GameStop is on the brink of going under, but this possibility isn’t totally eliminated altogether… Some of the inconvenient locations leave shopkeepers seeing hardly a soul enter the door for many of their days. Not to mention, if you work for GameStop, you’re either a “game adviser” who likely gets less than ten hours per week, or you’re a manager who gets forty. Most of these hours as manager are spent alone, which leaves essentially zero time to eat, go to the bathroom, or take care of any other important task without compromising the store hours. Plus, if advisers don’t meet sales quotas then they lose more work hours, leaving more alone-time for the manager.
16. Tortured By Bad Taste
As a sales associate at your local GameStop, you would probably go into the job assuming that you can insert your wicked video game knowledge into the minds of all of the unknowing individuals that enters your store. Wrong. Oh, so wrong. Unfortunately, the majority of your time spent working in a GameStop, you only witness the most popular games getting bought, as those indie games or otherwise unheard-of titles go untouched on the dusty store shelves. Meanwhile, every basic gamer will wait in line for the latest Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto game. This is tremendously painful for anyone passionate about gaming that thought this job would bring out their inner nerd. Nope. On top of that, the people whom you’re actually working for probably haven’t played a video game in over twenty years. That’s right, the majority of the regional managers and above don’t even care for them. Talk about dispiriting.
15. Grand Theft Gamers
It may not come as a shock that GameStop stores have their fair shares of break-ins and burglaries, however, it happens A LOT. Of course, a lot of this depends on where exactly the store is located; some may get robbed more often than others. What makes this slightly more unsettling, though, is the fact that the majority of the stores are only being manned by one person. That’s right, recall that fact that GameStop doesn’t like to have too many people working at one time? Imagine working as a defenseless store manager and getting robbed on a weekly basis. One particular YouTuber shared that when she first became a store manager, it had been robbed several times within her first week of work. There have also been Whisper confessions that reveal GameStop corporate individuals reprimanding store managers whom don’t fight back to armed robbers. Only a real OG can handle this type of job.
14. The Holidays Have Never Been So Un-Merry
If the robberies and immoral customers haven’t totally killed the appeal of working at a GameStop for you, then imagine those combined with a dash of chaos. One of the worst aspects of working at a GameStop is the way they do holidays. To make one thing clear, as an employee, you never work on an actual holiday because the corporation doesn’t want to have to pay time-and-a-half for you to stand around and alphabetize games all day. However, the season alone is bad, and one particular day is the worst: Black Friday. Many new employees will actually begin their first day of work on Black Friday. With little-to-no training, they must take on the stampede of desperate consumers. Employees work long hours, put up with extreme customer demands, and they’re usually not equipped with enough games or training for that matter. That’s right, GameStop often doesn’t even purchase nearly enough games even though they know tons of people will show up in a frenzy on holidays such as Black Friday.
13. Used Games And Movies Are As Mysterious As Pandora’s Box
Believe it or not, GameStop employees have encountered several different things other than games in the trade-in cases, which are astonishing to say the least… A few Whisper confessions from previous and current GameStop employees reveal that customers, whether intentional or not, leave certain surprises in the game cases. Upon opening a game case, a certain customer left an inappropriate film in the case instead of the used game he’d intended on trading in. It was an embarrassing moment for the customer to say the least, but definitely amusing on the employee’s end of things. In a less humorous matter, another customer brought in a used copy of Arachnophobia and upon opening the case, the employee was unpleasantly astonished to see baby spiders spilling out of it. That would probably be the breaking point for many employees.
12. You’re Expected To Be A Game Encyclopedia
While there are many drawbacks to becoming an employee at GameStop, one of the worst is the customer expectation that employees have played every game ever made. For instance, a customer walks into the store looking for a game that’ll be a gift for his niece. So, instead of asking, I don’t know… the girl’s mom or something, the customer will stroll up to the desk and ask the sales associate what he/she thinks would be a great game for the young girl. Okay, first off, employees aren’t mind-readers; everyone’s taste is different and it’s difficult to choose a game for someone you haven’t even met. Secondly, do you really think a 20-year-old Star Wars fanatic has played Harvest Moon or any games of that sort? Said customer then proceeds to talk about an indie game that he loves, which the associate has also never played, assuming that said employee will jump into full-nerd conversation. Commence customer disappointment.
11. Job Perks Included
Working in an underpaid position with too many responsibilities for your pay grade can be a bit unappealing. Not to mention there’s never an opportunity for overtime pay, or even holiday pay. With all of the negativity surrounding this job, it’s a wonder that any employees even exist at GameStop. Well, allow yourself to be enlightened by the beautiful perks of this job. For one thing, many people do not come in to pick up their bonus items included with their preorders. This is fair game for all employees, and if you’re an especially cool customer, you may have an opportunity to receive something from your associate. There’ve also been instances that people have gotten off the hook for various things purely because of the fact that they work at GameStop. This includes getting out of a ticket or possible arrest from the police in exchange for a game hookup. That’s kind of unbeatable as far as perks go.
10. You Don’t Need A PhD
On a more positive note, working at GameStop doesn’t require you to be a rocket scientist, which can be both a good thing and a bad thing. Most game advisers will share that the majority of their job consists of alphabetizing games. Sounds pretty unfulfilling when you think about it! On the bright side, at least you know that as long as you’ve had an elementary education then you should be able to perform your job perfectly. However, watching roaming customers walk in and disorganize your impeccably aligned shelf can also create some animosity between you and them… which isn’t exactly great for sales. GameStop insiders share that this is actually a pretty common situation that occurs in your average store. So, if you’re a pesky customer who loves to carry games around and put them in the wrong places, just know that they’re always watching you.
9. Secret Discounts
This is one of those moments when the greed of GameStop must be questioned because they don’t openly talk about a certain discount. As many of you may not know, if you go to purchase a gaming accessory at GameStop and the packaging is damaged then you can get 10% off of that item. However, this is only applicable to new items. It shouldn’t be surprising that this isn’t a well-known fact because most of the merchandise is probably not damaged. Speculation arises once you do come across that one-in-a-thousand messed-up box because the employees of GameStop are unlikely to actually come out and offer you the discount without you prompting it. Queue the corporate greed protestors!
8. Unpopular Preorders Only
A recommendation that many GameStop workers give is to only preorder the less popular games. Many employees claim that the less popular titles will either have very few copies or none at all unless you actually go out of your way to preorder them. It’s also good to get them because the popular titles will be on the shelves anyway. This is where the debacle ensues. Lately, it’s been revealed that GameStop doesn’t order very many extras of even the most popular games because they want more people to preorder them next time for an inflated price. Here’s the thing: your unpopular games most likely will be nowhere in sight, whereas if GameStop decides not to carry that mainstream title you can probably order it from just about anywhere for a reasonable price after preordering has ended.
7. Gameplay Guarantees Are A Scam
Yes, each and every time we all go up to the counter to purchase a new game we have to tolerate the treacherous sales pitch that our GameStop adviser is obligated to give. Once they ring up your game, they’ll ask if you’d like a gameplay guarantee that will save your game if it’s ever damaged or broken… WRONG. Never buy this. The warranty only lasts for a year, and it doesn’t include cracked or scratched games. GameStop employees, including a well-known YouTuber, have come out and stated that many of them have never even had a single customer come in for the Gameplay Guarantee. Essentially, if you pay for this warranty you’re just transferring a few extra bucks directly into the game giant’s pocket. Pure profit has never felt so wrong.
6. Trade-Ins Aren’t ALL Bad
I know that I’ll likely be persecuted for this statement, but the trade-ins at GameStop aren’t always bad. Believe me, I’ve been a victim of bad trade-in deals too, but sometimes there’s good reason behind it. Most of the games that an average customer brings in are not very popular and they’re years old. How many people actually bring in their brand new Pokémon game? It’s not impossible but very rare. On the other hand, how many people are likely to bring copies of semi-mainstream games like Resident Evil because the graphics didn’t live up to the standards of most modern video games? Point being that if you look at the GameStop website, you’ll notice that on the latest consoles, the popular games have decent trade-in values. Meaning, you’ll receive more than $3 for Mario Karts. It’s not a return, it’s a trade-in, so walk in knowing that you’re not going to get your full amount of money back and hopefully you won’t be too disappointed.
5. It’s A Dirty Job
Now, before you begin to flip out on the GameStop worker for not giving you the trade-in price that you won’t for your gaming accessories, keep in mind that this person is going to have to clean every crevice of the device you have mistreated… GameStop employees have revealed a very dirty side of the job, explaining that pre-owned game consoles and accessories are absolutely disgusting. Many of them even refuse to purchase one after having to endure cleaning the vile products. As part of the job, workers must clean out any food, dead skin, hair, and who-knows-what-else out of the game controllers, consoles, etc. Seems easy enough until you realize that you have a pretty weak stomach. Like I said before, if none of the above aspects of working at GameStop hasn’t turned you off, then this surely will.
4. Would You Steal Money From A Baby?
Deciding whether or not employment at GameStop is right for you is something to consider with a bit of depth, especially regarding moral convictions. Many young customers have spoken out about their badly influenced decisions at their local GameStop. Employees had convinced them into bad trade-ins just to turn around and spend their Christmas or birthday money on brand new games or systems that they didn’t need. And yes, employees are required by company policy to meet a certain quota as far as certain game sales go. Not all employees are scoping out innocent children to become their next victim, however, not every worker is trustworthy either. When your job depends on conning people into buying games they don’t want or need, it inevitably leads to some individuals taking advantage of kids.
3. Official Game List
A lesser-known perk of shopping at GameStop is the official game list. Upon request, employees can give you an official game list of all of the new titles and their release dates. This is especially cool for any hardcore gamers or those who want to begin streaming online. Instead of using hearsay as your evidence behind game releases that you share with friends or subscribers, you could get your hands on a shiny list full of wonderful information. Not to mention there are some games on it that you may not have even known about! Don’t let the production companies fool you: know what’s coming to stores and when, simply by stopping by your local GameStop.
2. Customers Vs. Employees
Like any other place, money tends to tear people apart. The dynamic just seems to be a bit worse when you force employees to shove stuff down the throats of customers while simultaneously creating policies that keep customers unhappy. This appears to be the case at GameStop especially. Employees have shared instances in which customers ask whether or not they should buy mature games for their children. After sharing all of the inappropriateness that’s in the game the parent often still buys the game, then returns later that week to chew out the sales associate who’d warned him/her but inevitably sold the game. There are a lot of things GameStop is cheap about, including game returns and used game prices. Customers aren’t exactly the idiots that the CEOs may think. They’re not amused by the scams going on in stores and they love to voice these opinions to the game advisers whom have no control over prices or policies.
1. Employees Aren’t Always Doing What You Think
GameStop employees get a bad reputation for being lazy. There have even been a few instances when some have been caught sleeping on the job. However, what you’re about to find out may change your perception of GameStop employees forever… and probably not in a good way. A GameStop worker shared on Whisper that while her male coworker was standing at the counter, pretending to be doing his job, she was underneath the counter performing… let’s just say a ‘special gift’ for him. Yep. And there have also been numerous accounts in which employees have attempted to pick up girls while on shift, some even becoming successful. Not sure why GameStop is the chosen store to share your affections for others, but it seems to be the hotspot in town.
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