You Are Wrong to Hate Gamestop
So, you’re angry about not being able to sell your old video games, huh? Well, there are plenty of options you can try. Ebay, Amazon, Craigslist… the list goes on. What’s that? You don’t want to go through all the hassle of selling them that way? Oh, well then I guess you can trade them in. Gamestop would probably be your best bet for that. Huh? Screw Gamestop? They don’t give enough trade-in value? Wait, hold on. So you want to sell your games, you don’t want to take the time to sell them yourself, and you’re complaining about how little Gamestop gives you for used games… Are you seeing the failure in logic here?
It’s such played-out joke, “Gamestop sucks, all they do is rip you off,” Are you telling me every single person who works at a Gamestop is a con-man, trying to trick and steal your money? Are you telling me that the moment you walked through the doors of a Gamestop store, the employees are trying non-stop to sell you a product that is not what is advertised, or manipulating you into buying something that they know does not work as intended? If so, then you have a point, because that’s what means to “rip someone off.” It’s one thing to buy a product because it’s disguised as something else, it’s another to willingly buy or sell something for more or less than it’s worth.
I know what you’re expecting me to discuss, but first I want to examine the idea of buying something for more than its value (by value, I mean it’s MSRP). The most common example of this occurring in a Gamestop is when the clerk offers you extended warranties or rewards card subscriptions.
This one is simple: If you don’t want it, don’t buy it.
I don’t really have more to say about this. No can force you buy anything. It’s up to you to be able to say, “No thanks.” If you have trouble turning down pushy salespersons, then your only option is to learn how to get over it.
Alright let’s get to the core of everyone’s contempt towards this purveyor of non-essential, commercial entertainment. If you play video games a lot, I feel pretty confident in saying that you bought or sold used games at Gamestop, and then left the store bitter. Usually gamers, being young and/or broke, try to figure how to get the games they want while spending the least. That’s understandable, but doing so takes the more effort than just walking into a Gamestop and trying to sell old games or sifting a used games bin. Gamestops are not flea markets.
You can’t negotiate prices. This is a business which offers a unique, and admittedly often insufficient, service to get rid of your games and by new ones. A business’s goal is to make a profit, not help you make a profit. So when you get upset because they don’t offer you a lot of money for your games, try to take into account that it’s not their job to make you money. You are responsible to know how to turn down an offer.
Now, I know by now you’re probably coming up with all kinds of reasons why I’m wrong, but just give me a moment.
When Gamestop makes you a next-to-nothing offer for your games, they aren’t just trying to be greedy. Do you know how much overhead a massive company Gamestop has to deal with? In order to make a profit, the amount they offer is based on a percentage any given game is worth, and a game’s worth, at least as far as Gamestop is concerned, is based on supply and demand.
Perhaps you don’t think that’s fair. Well, here’s another way to look at it. Think of the most expensive game you’ve ever tried to sell at Gamestop. Maybe the game goes for anywhere from twenty to sixty dollars online. You want to know the actual value of that game? Go online and look up the price of the plastic they used to make the games. That is the actual worth of the game. A game’s value is not inherent, it’s all depends on how much someone is willing to pay for it.
Say you have two friends that enjoy playing SNES games, and you have a copy of Earthbound you no longer can hold onto. You want to sell it two one of them, but also give each a chance to make an offer. The first friend is excited by the chance to own the game, and offers an EBay-comparable price. The second wants the game, but is not that crazy about, and offers you a quarter of its value, knowing that he’ll probably not even want to play it, and most likely just sell it. Now, who are you going to sell the game to? Also, if Gamestop was one of these friends, which one do you think it would be?
In this analogy I just presented, would you, after hearing the second friend’s offer, proceed to complain about him, insult him behind his back, and hold a grudge? If you would, you are the one with the problem. First, everyone has the right to try and negotiate a price that would work for them. Second, no one is required to offer you the price you want. And third, if you are the one going to someone else to sell something, then you are giving them all the power in the negotiation. So when you walk into a Gamestop, hoping to effortlessly sell a game, think about what you are doing from their perspective. As far they can tell, if a customer is trying to sell a game to them, then the customer must be doing it due to needing unload an unwanted, space-wasting item. Why would they ever assume you are trying to make any kind of profit? That is not how you go about selling something when you try to do so.
You may not like to hear it, but if you want to sell a game and get what it’s “worth”, then you have to put in more effort than taking it to Gamestop and complaining about their offer (An offer that the employees themselves do not choose, by the way.) Put the games on Amazon, put them on EBay, or list them on Craigslist; whichever works for you. Sorry to say it, but you have to work for your money.
I have one last point to make for my counter-argument. Just keep in mind that when you do go into a store like Gamestop, and they don’t make an offer you like, you don’t have to take it. You actually can say “No thank you” and leave. I’ve seen too many people try to sell games, give the pouty looks when they are low-balled, and then accept the offer. Why can’t they just tell clerk, “Nah, I’ll keep it,” and walk away? Do they think they are obligated to take it?
Despite my rambling, my point is clear and should at least be taken into consideration the next time you try to trade in games. Businesses are not buddies to anyone, they have to try and profit. If you essentially pawn your games for cheap when putting in the work to sell them was an option, that blunder is on you.