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Old 11-08-01, 03:27 PM   #1
darkside
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Game Store Employee Ethics.

A good friend of mine up until about eight months ago worked for three years at an independent store that eventually got bought by EB the last six months he worked there and we also know another guy that still works part time at Game Stop. They both shared some interesting stories and I thought I would list two ethic related ones here. They had a ton of great ones about customers, but I may post those another time.

1. When the PS2 was released last year somehow the friends and families of the store manager at EB were all moved up to the front of the preorder list. Some of the people that got the limited amount of PS2 units never even preordered. The Game Stop employee said this goes on to some degree with all preorders. You call your friends first and give them first shot.

2. They both noted that employees usually end up with many of the good promo items. Things such as Final Fantasy maps and promo T-shirts meant to go to customers who preordered or for store display, ended up going home with employees (usually a manager) and they both are sure some of the stuff ends up on ebay. The Game Stop guy said they received a display Arc the Lad watch to show people thinking of preordering (it comes free as a perk for preorders) and it vanished immediately. It was discovered a few days later on the key chain of the store manager.

The preorder thing sucks, but they say if you preorder at a place like EB or GameStop you may have to wait behind the employees and their friends before you even get a console. It depends on the store manager though, because some are very by the book and some are not.

I would like to know if these are just isolated stories or if anyone else has heard of this kind of stuff happening.
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Old 11-08-01, 03:47 PM   #2
Mahoo
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When I used to work at Software Etc. (back in the day), we were allowed to keep the promo t-shirts after the pre-orders were taken care of. However, on the nicer promo items, they went to the store manager (like a pretty nice Resident Evil clock) But I don't think that it was meant to be given to customers. They did send promos for us so that we would hype up their games.
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Old 11-08-01, 04:49 PM   #3
mmeadows
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I have worked at Video Game Exchange (a local place with about 8 stores), EB, and CompUSA (but in Hardware Sales), so if there is such a thing as an "expert" on the situation, I guess that would be me.

The fact of the matter is this... in life, it's all who you know. If you know someone who works at a video game store, chances are you can get the hard to find titles without a problem. I can't tell you how many times last year I got the "hey we just got a few PS2's in" call. If you know someone at the store, they will hook you up. In many cases, moving up the preorder list isn't possible, since it's in the computer and all, so the preorder list is avoided (preorder list as in those who haven't put money down). If money is put down on a system (as can be done at EB) it's pretty tough to ignore that. Basically, the more computerized that a store is, the tougher it is to "hook someone up."

On the subject of promo items, yes many of them do end up on eBay, especially the more desirable ones. Why? Well because we knew that they'd end up there anyway, and when you're making minimum wage, or just above, a little extra cash always comes in handy. The managers usually get first crack, then the employees, then the customers. The very nice items almost always end up with the manager, with the shirts and such going to the employees, and the demo disks and such going to the customers. The only time that doesn't happen is when a voucher is distributed (preorder this and receive this type deals).

These type things happen in all retail environments, and are considered the "perk" of the job. Otherwise, a minimum wage job isn't too helpful. Trust me, much more shady things go on behind closed doors that I won't discuss. I'm not saying that people steal or anything, as that's illegal, but the gray area things all happen. Return policies are usually violated, depending on the manager and how the store is policed.

Remember, those working in stores are usually gamers, so doing things like this benefits them. Getting a friend a tough to find system benefits you, as you'll more than likely be playing it or borrowing games.

The retail world is a scary place once you realize the things that go on in it. Why do you think I got out as fast as I could?
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Old 11-08-01, 04:54 PM   #4
Kaiser Soze
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I have never worked at a video game store before, but I have worked at both an independent record store and a skateboard shop for many years.

We would get so many promotional items at both stores. The manager/owner always got first pick of anything they liked. The manager of the record store had a CD collection that was over 2000 when I left a few years ago. The owner of the skateboard shop always let me and one other employee take just about whatever we wanted from the promotional stock: videos, shirts, CD's, stickers, magazines, etc...because we had worked there the longest. It was actually kind of cool. I was getting things that no one else out there could get their hands on. I do sell quite a bit of stuff on Ebay, but I never sold any of that stuff...just because it was stuff I actually wanted to keep. I could probably make a few bucks by selling a lot of it now, but I really don't want to because most of that stuff is super hard to find.

I guess it does suck for the normal public, because they are unable to get their hands on some of this rare merchandise...but I always just considered it one of the perks of the job. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 11-08-01, 05:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by mmeadows
Why? Well because we knew that they'd end up there anyway, and when you're making minimum wage, or just above, a little extra cash always comes in handy. The managers usually get first crack, then the employees, then the customers.
That's what minimum wage means.....take what you can while you can cause your salary ain't gonna cut it.
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Old 11-08-01, 07:11 PM   #6
don carleone
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kinda off topic but to anyone who has or is working at Software ETC., is working there enjoyable? im thinking about applying there myself...
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Old 11-08-01, 08:56 PM   #7
Liquid Death
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The only thing I don't like about Game Store promos is when you're SUPPOSED to get something (you buy the game, the employee is supposed to give you a free shirt) and they don't. That ticks me off...

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Old 11-08-01, 11:26 PM   #8
darkside
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Quote:
Originally posted by Liquid Death
The only thing I don't like about Game Store promos is when you're SUPPOSED to get something (you buy the game, the employee is supposed to give you a free shirt) and they don't. That ticks me off...

That was one of the things we discussed. Many of the really good promo items like the Puppets for Lunar 2 that were supposed to go to customers did not.
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Old 11-09-01, 09:41 AM   #9
Liquid Death
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I got my puppet! There would have been a fight if I hadn't - I preordered the game almost a year in advance and I was the first one. I also got my FF map - alot of the times, if you KNOW what you're supposed to get (from the 'net or from magazines) and you ask them for it, you'll get it (I figure alot of it has to be employee ignorance). And for the demo discs, sometimes I'll ask if they have any extras just laying around when I buy a game and sometimes they hook me up. Again, thats not such a big deal, unless you're supposed to get one (ala preorder Lunar and get the Lunar demo free which was a Working Designs promotion).

As for the Arc the Lad or other such rare promotional items not intended to be given to customers, hey, thats only natural that they'd get that stuff. I work at a video store and I don't give out posters/displays to customers (unless I really really really like them) - even if they beg Hey, we're hiring
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Old 11-09-01, 09:50 AM   #10
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Whenever there's a hot preorder at my local game store, I make sure that I get a spot on the top of the list by doing a little "under the counter" work if you know what I mean.
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Old 11-09-01, 10:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Groucho
Whenever there's a hot preorder at my local game store, I make sure that I get a spot on the top of the list by doing a little "under the counter" work if you know what I mean.
You do wha.... nevermind, not going to even go there
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Old 11-09-01, 10:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Groucho
Whenever there's a hot preorder at my local game store, I make sure that I get a spot on the top of the list by doing a little "under the counter" work if you know what I mean.
Ewww!
Wouldn't want to touch that list when you're done with it.
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