Having just recently written a post about the woes of having a huge backlog of video games, I paid a trip to GameStop for a bit of shopping. Okay, before you criticize, know that it was funded by an outside sponsor. I did my mother-in-law a favor, and she, feeling gratious handed me forty bucks and told me to buy a video game. Who was I to turn down her generosity?
Any ways, I only spent about twenty at GameStop. I bought three games: X-Men Legends (PS2), R-Type Command (PSP), and Dungeon Siege: Throne of Agony. The other twenty went toward buying myself a used collection of Ultimate Spider-Man, and my wife a UK Cosmo.
I haven’t played the games yet, being nose deep in a slew of others that I intend to finish, but I did do one thing. I removed the price stickers.
Now I can understand having these. After all, how am I supposed to tell how the game costs otherwise? That said, GameStop goes insane with these. On X-Men: Legends alone I removed one from the front, one from back and one from the paper cover art itself. R-Type and Dungeon Siege were both similar experiences. Sometimes I’m able to do this without causing much damage to the cover art. This time however, both Legends and R-Type suffered tears as I peeled the stickers off the paper art. I’m still trying to remove residue from the plastic on three games.
I have to wonder why GameStop does this. Is one sticker not enough? Is it that important that we know a game is used that they have to plaster it on every possible surface? Are they afraid that inept clerks may not be able to find the barcode?
Now, I am not a GameStop hater. Do they overcharge for used merchandise? Yes. Do they underpay when buying used merchandise? Indeedily. That said, I know all this walking into the store. I know about the low wages they pay their employees and about the almost cult-like secrecy they require of their employees. Just the other day, I went in acting all like the big journalist I purport myself to be and had a question rebuffed on account of company hush orders.
I know all this and I shop there any ways. The people running my local GameStop are generally nice and knowledgable. Sopping online may be a more fiscally sound alternative, but there’s just something about the experience of physically browsing that is satisfying. Not to mention I am a huge fan of instant gratification and am often willing to pony up the extra cash if it means waiting a day or two less.
But I can’t stand this practice of their’s. I am a bit on the OCD side when it comes to games. I arrange them in a particular way on my shelf (by system, franchise, and chronlogical order that they were purchased) and like them to look nice. Nothing looks worse then an ugly, “Pre-Owned” sticker staring out at me. The damage caused by removing stickers is almost just as bad, and also destroys any value said cover art may have in the years to come.
So curse you GameStop. Not for your shady and arrogant practices, but rather, for your misuse of pricing stickers.