EB Games/GameStop Gets Rid Of Used Games Section

EB Games/GameStop Gets Rid Of Used Games Section

An employee of Canada’s EB Games (read: GameStop) has let us know that, in one of the company’s shittier moves in recent years, the distinction between “new” and “used” games is apparently going to be all but removed.

Instead, according to internal documentation forwarded to Kotaku, all games will be lumped into the one section, and all games will be stickered with the same white price tags (pre-owned games previously had their own distinctive yellow stickers in Canada, something I understand US stores did away with a while back).

New games and used, living together, mass hysteria. It’ll be chaos.

It’ll only be case condition, a price difference and an enquiry with an employee that’ll separate the new from the pre-owned, which sounds like it’ll make shopping a pain.

While that’s all that’s mentioned in the official written notification, the employee tells us there’s more. They’ve apparently been instructed to, in the case of games with both new and pre-owned versions available, hide the new copies behind the used ones.

Every time you start to worry about the demise of specialist games retail (surviving, pleasant indies aside), stuff like this comes along and reminds you the sooner it shuffles off this Earth, the better.

Since this has yet to be confirmed, we’ve contacted EB Games, and will update if we hear back. Or until helpful Canadian readers can pop into a store and verify!


  • This is a REALLY shit move. The only way to tell the difference is by the 5 dollar discrepancy on brand new/used game pricing…

    • And thats assuming they don’t decide to hide all actually NEW copies (possibly not even on the shelves at all once they have enough used copies) and jack the price of their used stuff up by 5 bucks to profiteer all the more.

      • To me. This seems like the first shot fired back at the production industry. For quite a while we have been seeing “pre-packed DLC” coming with games on launch to discourage people buying second hand.

        This looks like a shot back at the publishers – with the retailer saying fine, let the end consumer do the work and find how painful it is to need to buy this content for your game from you mr publisher.

        Basically, they appear to be trying to force a confrontation on the Pre-Packed DLC.

  • Thankfully, if they tried this in Australia, the ACCC would come down on them like a ton of bricks.

    Also, I would point out to my US friends that Walmart and the like might see the death of the of the specialist game retailer as an excuse to slightly raise their prices on games, like k-mart and target would if specialist stores died in Australia.

    • “the ACCC would come down on them like a ton of bricks”, I hope so.

      Hopefully it fits the definition of misrepresentation and perhaps misleading conduct (been some time since I’ve read the ACL) so retailers here wouldn’t dare try.

    • It happened to me once. I bought trauma center for the DS new from the EB games in Eastgardens long ago. I went home and found that it was a US version of the game, AND it had someone’s fucking game save still in it. I didn’t do anything because I lived too far away from the store. I regret not doing anything about it.

      • Funnily, I just did an exam on consumer law.

        From my understanding off the top of my head, they’d be liable for both s18 deceptive/misleading conduct and -I think, im not dragging my notes out- s29(subsection something) for misrepresenting a used product as new (which has criminal sanctions). The reasonable person in this case (we’ll assume EB’s target audience is the mums n dads and the non-gamers – inflated EB prices are reason enough not to shop there), unless the USED tag is clearly displayed on the front with the pricetag would likely assume the game to be new. Therefore, misleading/deceptive conduct.

        Call ACCC, lodge complain, hope they don’t botch it.

        It’d effectively be the same situation as mixing new and used cars together in a saleyard without any way to discern which is which.

    • No it WONT, passing off used copies as new is the epitome of misleading and deceptive behavior. The ACCC would slap EB so fucking hard that they wouldn’t know their head from their arse. If EB Australia is properly advised they would not dare engaging in such brazen tom foolery.

    • Are you sure you’re talking about the ACCC, the same government department that brings the wet lettuce leaf of justice down on the shonks and price gougers throughout this wide brown land?

      • What I don’t understand is how they can even do trades. I work in the second hand industry and there are strict guide lines that need to be followed that they just ignore. I doubt they have a licence to do what they are doing in the first place and are boarder lining on illegal practising.

        I want to know if they are linked to sper, do they hold all used copies for a week after purchase which is required by law, they also when selling second hand goods must record the person details such as name address etc of who is buying the goods.

        • don’t know where you come out with that crap. My SO and myself work in industries heavily policed by the ACCC. When a corporation gets a letter from a ACCC it ain’t a happy day. Hell I used to respond to the ACCC. Its not easy. We’d easily spend over $10k for a single letter. Ramifications are huge if you screw it up.

          Same for my SO. The other day they recalled a product mainly because if they didn’t jump on it fast enough that they would pay significantly with the ACCC downstream in the dispute process.

          Only a fool or an idiot ignores em.

    • +1

      I’m convinced they already do this in Aus – even if it isn’t part of any formalised procedure. I’ve been into EB many times and questioned the condition of supposedly ‘new’ copies of games. I’ve even heard from former employees that, when people returned games within their 7-day return policy, they would just put them back on the shelf as a ‘new’ copy.

      • I used to work in EB, you are right about the 7 day return policy. We used to put it back on the shelf and sell it at full price. I never buy from EB games anymore. Why should I have to go to EB games and tell them that it’s cheaper at JB hifi so they ‘guarantee the lowest price’. If they guarantee the lowest price they should do their price hunting and bring it down before I have to come in. Not only that, it was the worst job to work at. Only enjoyment I had was telling the kids parents that GTA has prostitues and drugs in the game.
        The evils the kids gave me… classic.

      • GAME in Australia allow their staff to borrow a game for up to a week (I think it was), didn’t matter if it was new or not, if it was new then you could bring it back and shrink-wrap seal it up and put the full price sticker back on it and put it back on the shelf for some sucker to buy.

  • That’s ridiculously stupid!! I have people come in and still get confused with the YELLOW stickers.. imagine the pandemonium when this hits AU shores…

  • I always feel uneasy walking in EB Games, expecting something like this could very well be happening. This article justifies my paranoia. Thanks Kotaku. 😀

  • EB Games overcharges anyway, should start a massive movement for people to shop at GAME or purchase their games from overseas retailers..

    • Hah. GAME is an EBGames/GameStop subsidiary (They bought it to expand into the United Kingdom, look it up). You’re not exactly shopping elsewhere there.
      GameTraders on the other hand is not owned by EBGames/GameStop, but they’re about it and as rare as hens teeth.

      • My gawd I miss the days when GAME was still Games Wizards =(

        Those where the days when they were still an independant game chain like GameTraders is today.

  • Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s actually illegal over here to fail to distinguish between a new and a used product. GL to them trying to carry across that policy here…

    TBH I’m bloody surprised they can get away with it in Canada, too :/

  • This is bullshit. I really dislike EB Games, they are in it for nothing but the money. A lot of employees aren’t gamers (note: from personal experience, and not ALL), their style of hoping no one price matches and charging them an extra $20-40 than what it’s worth, and now this. They’re a terrible, terrible store. Unless they get the Half-Life 3 Collector’s Edition, SC2 CE, or BioShock Infinite CE exclusive to them, I won’t be going there anymore. I’ve bought one game from there in the last 2 years and I felt dirty doing so.

    Anyone know of any local/independent video game stores in Perth I could support?

        • Really?

          “(note: from personal experience, and not ALL)”

          From my experience, nearly every time I’ve been to the 2-3 EB Games they have been unhelpful and I usually end up educating them on a release date or a game title/genre/platform. I didn’t say all, and this is just from my experience.

          • Yeh I have to agree with you Simon.

            I went to preorder White Knight Chronicles 2 from EB Games, keep in mind this was an “EB Games Exclusive game” they had no idea when it was coming out, I had to inform them, and they also asked which platform I wanted it on, when it is a PS3 exclusive game!

          • I had the same thing at the Menai store in Sydney, the guy behind the counter asked me which console I wanted Uncharted 3 on…

          • You should have asked for a 360 copy and then paid in advance. Would love to see what happens when you demand what you paid for :3

      • I used to buy from them until my local one shut down. Probably the most customer friendly game shop I’ve been to, they genuinely enjoy being there; or at least, once again, from my experience.

        That said, when they shut down I lost $100 of credit I had with them, which kind of soured my experience. Meh.

        • Yup, the exclusive thing happens nearly every time. Even when I went to pick up Uncharted 3 from GAME the guy asked “PS3 or Xbox 360?” I gave him the Yao Ming face. It’s only the biggest PS3 franchise n_n

      • gamertraders in morley galleria is pretty good, bought many a game from them. Very helpful staff with good knowledge.

        Try them

      • Gametraders in Carillion City is owned by possibly the best game store owner in the counrty. His name is Darmesh and is probably the most passionate person I have ever met working in a game store.

        I actually miss getting my games on release day from there since I now reside in Melbourne.

    • Don’t tend to shop there because of their high prices. To me the seem alright, they matched the Skyrim price from Dick Smith even though it was sold out XD

  • Call me an unsympathetic bastard if you like (it is, after all, true) but shit like this just make me love ozgameshop all the more

    • Mmm, I mean it’s probably not best for Aussies in the long run for so much business to go overseas, but when we get treated better by a faceless foreign site than our local retailer one wonders if they even want business still.

  • I don’t think I’ve ever bought a new game from EB, I only ever browse in there if I see bargain bins or whatever. They’re usually way more expensive than other shops and way above online shopping in general. If they start doing this in Oz, I don’t I’ll have any reason to actually go in there again ever. Won’t bother me though, because I know I can shop at other places, not be treated like a retard and not get ripped off.

  • protip to all panicking people, this only mentions the US and Canada, so this only applies there.

    Also, I think this demonstrates why so many studios are against second hand games, because places like gamestop try to sell used games at full price. They probably didn’t see used games as an issue before used games prices became near to that of new games.

  • I take it this is retaliation to the whole online pass and launch DLC shit the publishers pull?

    This will only get uglier IMO, and the consumers lose out because we’re forced to take a side and support a developer but also a huge publisher that screws everyone over and only cares about money or a retailer that screws the developers over.

    If the publishers get their way, we’ll see more of the bullshit we see now (day 1 DLC, unfair pricing, DRM, etc.). If Gamestop Corp. gets their way, we’ll see the developers lose money from people not supporting them.

    As for buying from EB in the future, it doesn’t really worry me as long as EB include disc guarantees for their games. I’m not too comfortable with buying a “new” game to find it has a scratched disc.

  • Could this be misleading the customer? When this hits australia, someone get the ACCC on this, because this is a clear move to trick the consumer into thinking this game is new when its not, because really how will they know? The clerk mostly like got told not to tell them as well.

    Oh well they are clearly digging there own grave, more pre owned = less new game sales which in terms = less games which = pre owned games = less sales.

    • It actually results in more money for GS because they don’t need to pay the publishers, developers or distributors anything when they make a sale on pre-owned games. They get 100% of the earnings. By blurring the lines between pre-owned and new, alot of casual gamers and parents won’t be able to tell the difference and will end up buying pre-owned because it’s slightly cheaper. Thus, more money for Gamestop.

      • I forgot the less, in less pre owned.

        If there is less pre owned because pre owned caused less games to be made in the first place equals less money for gamestop. Its like feeding your dog humans, its cheaper, but sooner or later you will run out of humans and the dog will kill you, okay that was pretty bad.

        • That logic is flawed on the assumption that one could only trade in brand-new titles. Pre-owned titles can also be traded in, which essentially means that Gamestop will be making even more money (as they will be reselling an item they received by selling another item i.e. credit).

    • Indeed, both consumer and commercial protection protection come in here,

      consumer because it would be considered misleading labeling, and commercial because they would be going out of their way to make sure that the game producers and publishers would be less likely to get a share of money.

  • Bullshit moves like this make me thankful that we have authorities to stop them doing it here!

    It’s a whole new level of low for a store you already think have reached the lowest they can go.

  • I’ll be interested to see how they handle games that are no longer sold new or games that they have too many of. They can’t keep that dumpster full of Madden ’09 on the shelves. It’ll also be interesting to see if it helps eliminate that garage sale vibe EB stores.

    Although I can’t help but laugh at the idea of people taking games to the counter to get them price matched onto to find out that the pre-owned version is more expensive than the new at another store. You know it’s going to happen sooner or later.
    I’d really laugh if it blew up in their faces and, by putting the fact they’re selling second hand games, they inadvertantly made people forget that they buy second hand games. Thus killing their buyback rate and forcing them to stock more new.

    • *price matched only to find
      *by hiding the fact they’re selling

      There’s no way to edit a Kotaku comment is there? Am I going to have to live with this shame forever?

      • Nope, no edits. This will haunt your dreams until the day you die and the account of it will be written on your headstone for future generations to look at and say “that headstone is full of typos”

    • i recently brought a NEW sealed copy of Dead Space 2 for $32 at GAME. they had pre-owned copies in store for $69. How the hell does that work!?

      I only go to EB for game informer, and occasionally a day one limited edition only available there. They are pure scum.

  • So are GameStop responsible for selling a used game with a used up online pass on it and not informing the customer of this?

    • This was exactly what I was thinking. If there is no visible mention that it is used, then this is very miss leading!

      For a game savy person, maybe they will pick up on it is used, but for a parent / partner / friend who doesn’t know, could you imagine on Christmas day when you open it, just to find out you cant play your (insert heavy online use game here) online until you cough up the online pass??

      Then the bastards probably won’t let you return it as it is not faulty and has been opened. I am sure the ACCC here would not look to kindly on this….

      • EB returns games even if you don’t like them, they implement a policy for Christmas allowing you to return all purchases by a certain day in January allowing for doulbe up gifts or stuff you don’t like.

        EB guts all it’s games so they already come opened.

        This is not happening in Australia, but in fact Canada, so it has nothing to do with the ACCC.

        • “EB guts all it’s games so they already come opened.”

          And this is why you order from overseas.. cheaper.. and the games ARE factory sealed. It’s not rocket science to work out that EB are constantly reselling good condition returns as new games – particularly since they encourage gamers to return items a week or two weeks into it’s release..

          I still don’t understand why gamers who trade heavily over and over at EB don’t realise that they’re just making expensive game rentals :/

          • Two things

            1) Its perceived as a “decent” way of getting rid of older games/stash they don’t want anymore for a perceived value added return

            2) The illusion of said value added return in terms of a “discount” at their purchases.

  • I don’t think you can legally do this, although who know whats legal in the US anymore, with coporations having blurred the line so much.

    I tell you right now this has to be the scummiest thing they could ever do, its not even half as bad as when they only gave 5-10 dollars for used games( if you were lucky) and then proceeded to charge $5 less than a new copy.
    If it comes here and the ACCC don’t come down on it like a bag of hammers, then my shopping will exclusively be at JB and Gametraders from now on, pre order bonuses be damned.

  • I actually think it’s fucking hilarious that EB Games had the BF3 Steelbook edition for CHEAPER than what Origin was selling the same version for without the steelbook, etc. Also, the fact that EA think that they should charge $99 for a game ONLINE when it’s cheaper to buy a physical copy is ridiculous.

  • Why are people still buying from EB games? I went in there this week to have a look/laugh, they had Skyrim for $100 *IF* you also traded in a game as well.

  • People still buy from there? Ozgameshop has new release games for about half the price and if you don’t want to wait than JB HiFi is pretty decent. K-Mart and Big W also have pretty decent prices if you don’t mind people looking at you weird for buying a game.

  • If it were to be done here, games would have the same coloured sticker, but it will say PREOWNED above the price point. So you will still know the difference between preowned and new.

  • I’ve switched over to JB for everything except sales now. Did get skyrim from game though, probably the only purchase from them for a while.

  • This is tempting to forward to the ACCC ahead of time so they’re on top of it in case EBGames et al even consider trying it locally.

  • I shop at Gametraders, I only go to EB when I don’t have the time or money to take a bus to Gametraders, then I just go to the EB up the road.

    Ok… We need a Reality TV show where people come back to the shop to scream at EB staff becuase they bought a game they thought was brand new.

    I’d watch that.

    • Not really Aussie when they only sell import stock.
      + They’re not cheap all the time, when Uncharted 3 was just out, they were selling it the same price as local stores, except they were selling cheap import versions.

    • Yeah, Dungeon Crawl is good for mainly getting titles that either won’t be out in Australia for a while or AT ALL. But their pricing is still similar to JB’s to say due to some varying regions. But they’re not the really go-to place if you want a copy ASAP, they usually get it the week after release

  • I worked for EB for a few years back. They pulled very similar stunts (lies) like this while I was there e.g Originally the yellow pre-owned sticker was labeled “pre-owned”. Sometimes the labelling would disapper. I raised my concern to my manager about how it was misleading considering pre-owned and new games were thrown together in sales bins or tables. My managers response was that “customers know what the yellow means”. I told him that was BS. Was once a cool company with good people. By the end was like working at McDonalds in every sense.

  • When I am forced to resort to walking into a GameStop I simply walk to the counter and ask for a new copy of whatever I’m looking for. If I’m lucky the employee stationed at the counter knows what game I’m referring to… which is admittedly not often.

  • Relax guys.
    They’re doing this in Australia already, but it’s not as harsh as the article says it would be.
    They are simply having the preowned games directly next to the other games, with a sign up above them saying “PREOWNED GAMES” like they would for the “NEW RELEASE” games.
    Nothing deceptive about it, you just have to look for a second to distinguish the different sections.
    I’m pretty sure they still have the stickers on them too.

    • the reason for the panicking is people are reading the article not realizing it is only referring to the US and Canada.

      Also, the main issue with what they are doing in the US is that they are hiding the new copies behind the preowned ones, and are not going to label clearly between new and preowened copies.

  • It won’t ever happen here in Australia unless consumer law changes. Until then, anyone who operates in selling second hand/preowned goods must clearly label them as being preowned.

    From a business perspective tho I can understand why Gamestop are doing it. US economy is kinda up the creek without a paddle or a life jacket rite now; what Game Stop really want are the margin dollars.

  • Literally the only time i have ever shopped at EB was donkeys years ago when they had the trade in 3 titles for one brand spanker and man did they get rorted, i would buy 3 5-10 dollar games and go trade them in for brand new games and copy them to my HDD on my ps2 and keep doing it and doing it and selling the new titles. 🙂 Life was good, till they stopped that from happening given they were probably running out of brand new games and experiencing an influx of “pool” and “tetris” games. Also firetruck you EB you guys are way overpriced and everytime i deal with your employees i want to kick their heads in sideways.
    /end rant

  • One more reason not to shop at EB.. not that I have for many years. Their prices are inflated beyond any reasonable amount of retail markup, the customer service usually (but not always) sucks, their price matching policies make it almost impossible to price match and even when you do find something that sits well within their policy they make it exceedingly difficult to do the price-match making it cost more in time and patience than you’re actually saving by price matching in the first place… and the list goes on.

  • I’m always amused at the fact that the company makes the staff wear over-sized business shirts and polyester suit pants and similarly for the female staff. I’d be more interested in their ridiculous, hyper upsells if they were dressed in cosplay Tron suits.

  • Dammit people don’t you realise yet? This is (economic) WAR!

    It’s all about money and nobody gives a green monkey shit wether it’s moral or even legal, it’s about what they can get away with and let’s face it, most consumers are cretins for what they let retailers get away with.

    But we are hurting them. Cheap overseas imports are digging into their bottom line and they are doing everything they can (except lower prices) to get around it. It wasn’t that long ago Harvey Norman and a few others tried to lobby the government to reduce the $1000 limit on untaxed imports AND FAILED!

    They’ve had it too good for too long people and have grown fat and slow with their greed, unable to react to rapidly changing market forces. In evolutionary terms they are the dinosaurs and we are the FUCKING COMETS!!!!

    Buy through importers like OzGameShop for great justice! Don’t let the side down! It’s us or them! ONWARDS TO (retail) VICTORY!!!!!

  • Heh, this is why I no longer purchase things from EB Games. Ever since they screwed me over with Bioshock 2 I go elsewhere for my games. If your in Adelaide I recommend Shin Tokyo in the city, Great prices compared to everywhere else.

  • how are they going to handle games that require steam client? buying a used game and then having to buy a reg key for it will not be fun.

  • Wow, you guys are all making a lot of ill-informed generalisations. Of course they’re in it for the money, show me a company that isn’t and how else would they pay their employees?
    There’s no mention of this coming to Australia, and even if it does, there are a few ways you can tell the difference between new and pre-owned games outside of the yellow sticker colour. Such as the price and the fact that all the pre-owned price rages say PRE-OWNED in huge bold font right on there.
    A few million people per day walk in and ask where the pre-owned games are even though there are massive tags on the shelves and along the tops of the shelves and we group them all together, so I really doubt this will make a difference, even though it will NEVER come here.
    There’s just no way in hell this is happening.

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