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GameStop Buys Stolen Games

Rory Rhoads, GameStop’s Regional Vice President of Stores, quickly took up a defensive position on behalf of the gaming retail chain. “GameStop takes this situation quite seriously,” he told the Memphis online magazine. “We are pleased to partner with the ALERT Unit and have taken very deliberate steps to improve our operations. Specifically, we have suspended our cash-for-trade transactions in Shelby County and DeSoto County, Mississippi until February 2009.”

After reports that several GameStop stores were knowingly purchasing the stolen games, an undercover sting operation revealed that eight out of eighteen stores participated in the illegal trade between April and May. Rhodes claims that employees undergo strict training, especially when stolen gamers come into play. GameStop employees will even freely admit to the strict security measures the chain goes through on a daily basis, making sure employees do not walk out the front door with games and other related items.

Last year GameStop faced a different fiasco. As reported by Joystiq (story), a GameStop employee sold Aeropause’s James Munn a "new" game by inserting the game disk into a display box and then offered to shrink-wrap the package. Of course, games are de-classified as new once consumers/retailers break open the package. But many gamers reject the company’s policies on hardware warranty, and there’s even a gaudy page online requesting to boycott GameStop altogether.

As for the Memphis, Tennessee incident, this is probably just the tip of the iceberg in regards to a nationwide problem. After all, the purchase of stolen games transpired in eight Memphis locations alone. Consumers who regularly purchase used (or so-called "new") games from GameStop might want to reconsider additional purchases before shelling out hard earned cash for something that may or may not be legal to own.

  • I worked as an assistant manager at a gamestop many years ago... and was told by my regional manager that if i couldn't "prove" that the games were stolen... as in if I "didn't see it" then i was to buy back the game/item...

    many occasions we would see the same person enter the store several times a day to sell stuff... often similar items... like who has 7 nintendo64 controllers.....
    Reply
  • buckiller
    yeah... my roomie had his ps2 stolen and he checked all the stores and found it at Gamestop. Once he showed proof of ownership (and they looked at the security camera footage to see who sold it) he got it back no problem. For what it's worth.
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  • Pei-chen
    VikkI worked as an assistant manager at a gamestop many years ago... and was told by my regional manager that if i couldn't "prove" that the games were stolen... as in if I "didn't see it" then i was to buy back the game/item...many occasions we would see the same person enter the store several times a day to sell stuff... often similar items... like who has 7 nintendo64 controllers.....Or that person might be buying these items bulk on eBay to sell to GameStop for profit.
    Reply
  • I have tried to buy brand new games at Gamestop before and they open up these CD sleeves with a game in them that is obviously not brand new and put them into a used case... and try to charge me full retail price for it.

    This aren't isolated events either... this has happened at least five times to me at multiple locations in Texas.

    I refuse to shop at Gamestop anymore. If I want a used game I'll find it on craigslist or eBay.
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  • Lets all boycott walmart. They take anything back for credit, and much of it is probably stolen. I guess the same could be said for pawn shops. Wait, here's a better idea. Lets start a coup d'etat because we KNOW most of the politicians steal.
    /lame article conclusion
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  • The company makes employees gut games to put up on the wall. The only reason you would get an unsealed "new" copy would be if the game was the last copy. This prevents theft of the game on the sales floor.
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  • Maxor127
    Well obviously trying to sell used games as new is wrong, but buying back "stolen" games, I don't know how they could prove that they did that knowingly or how the employees are even supposed to recognize stolen games. Sure there might be a suspicious person, but they're probably just minimum wage high schoolers or college kids. I'm guessing the employees were in on it, but then why would they waste their time with that unless they're the store owner.
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  • Gamestop does open new games for display purposes so technically it's just taken out of the newly shrink-wrapped case and put straight into a sleeve to protect it. Granted it's not new after it's been opened like that but; if all the new shrink wrapped unopened cases for a new game are sold; they then take the opened new game for display purposes and re-shrink wrap it for someone who wants the new game.

    Just want to let you know that it's not 'used' as in someone traded it in, they just take it out for the displays around the store. Which actually; is quite stupid considering they could use box art or something. Gamestop is pretty fail at a lot of things; as a former employee I'd never work there again. Hopefully Game Craze keeps growing and growing and overtakes them down the road.

    And I think it's retarded that the company would not be behind their employees in this whole ordeal. It really shows what Gamestop thinks about their employees. If any of the employees are not Caucasian I'd be signing up a lawyer for racial discrimination; etc, anything I could win on in court just to get back at them. Ah well.
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  • cl_spdhax1
    stolen video games crimes are on the rise, surpassing the combined illegal drug sales in the united states, alongside widespread e-thug violences and geek-squad home invasion.
    Reply
  • astrotrain1000
    I used to be a manager for gamestop and although I never liked the practice of gutting games it does make sense. As a manager I would occasionaly give a customer a small discount on a gutted game, if they had a problem with it being opened. As far as games being stolen, there is no way to prove someone stole a game so you can't just go around accusing people. After reading this and with my experience I feel like there was something else going on here. For there to be an undercover sting operation something was happening that this story does not mention.
    Reply