Retailer Buys 3DS Units From Competitor, Then Marks Up The Price

Console launches are normally times for absurdity, but this report coming in from the UK - of GAME staff popping down to their local supermarket to buy 3DS units - is something else.

Eurogamer has got hold of documentation sent to employees of GAME, a major specialist retailer in Europe (and Australasia) at the time of the 3DS' launch over the weekend, urging employees to raid the shelves of their nearest Tesco supermarket (which was selling the 3DS for £35/$55 less than GAME) in order to "gain 3DS consoles and games for your store's pre-owned stock".

To do this, staff were allowed to take money from the register, walk down to Tesco and buy a number of 3DS + game bundles, walk back to GAME and sell the consoles as "pre-owned".

These "pre-owned" units would then be kept as reserve, and once the retailer's allotment of handhelds ran dry they would be sold at "the same price as mint due to expected supply shortage". GAME's "mint" price being £220 ($350).

So Tesco, a large supermarket chain in the UK, sells consoles at an enormous loss just to get people in the door and take business away from their competition. And GAME, Europe's largest specialist video game retailer, resorts to buying 3DS units not from official distributors, but from a... supermarket.

Madness.

GAME staff told to buy 3DS from Tesco [Eurogamer]


Comments

    Wow, and this just shows you how desperate GAME are for sales. They couldn't even get the stock that they needed, or provide the customer service to customers that they have to buy someone else's stock just so that customers are forced to buy from them... There is a reason GAME downsized last year... and this proves it.

    This isn't new. I used to work for a shop called Games R Us in Brisbane city when the ps1 and Dreamcast and 64 were out. We would scour magazines for consoles on sale below cost price and do the exact same thing. However my manager sold them off as brand new given they were never opened. It's dodgy yes but it's a way shops maximize profit on console purchase when nearly no profit exists on hardware and barely any exists on software any more.

    Here's hoping Nintendo embargo and fine their LAME asses on next shipment for breaking supply agreement. Customers have long abused tradein loopholes, but a store chain doing it is a disgrace. Thankfully GAME wont exist in 5 years.

    Time to match some serial numbers, methinks.

    When I worked at a pizza place if we run out of chicken I'd walk to red rooster and buy chickens. Is thus the same?

    (the prior statement was a joke. Not a good one)

    I was looking at the Game website yesterday, they had a whole 3DS info page with big obvious graphical links to that page, but nothing to indication they were actually selling it. Maybe they're waiting to see how many units they can grab from kmart.

    Interesting. Nintendo won't like this and could potentially hurt the supply of stock to Game.

    Kinda like Game traders in Australia with the importing of Wii games etc from overseas. I'm pretty sure Nintendo Au burnt them on that one.

      Would also like to add something else I remembered afterwards. I used to know a manager from Game (Who no longer works for them) who once told me about a directive he received to do something similar to what has been reported in the UK. I believe there was a ridiculous price on one of the consoles at BigW/K-mart/Target. They were told to go buy up and sell in their stores... He apparently refused to do it.

    Amusing. I used to work for them, and I can tell you this article does not suprise me.

    Smart really, and yet it angers me. It reminds me of when I got Wind Waker from EB Games on launch and they were in cases with "EB Games Preowned" printed on the spine. This was during the week of release and there excuse was 'Nintendo didn't send them enough boxes'.

      I remember that, wasn't there some sort of extra disc or something that came with it that they were removing and selling separately?

    I think that it is a great idea. If the opposition is selling at below cost price then this is a really good way to make a bit of extra money.

    If GAME are doing this to competitors who are deliberately making a loss on the product just to undercut their opposition, I applaud this move. It makes Tesco look like a bunch of idiots.

    If Tesco can't compete fairly, then that should open the way to new ways for their competitors to level the field, as far as I'm concerned

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