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GameStop’s new and used game sales policy could be considered “deceptive”

Saturday, 11th April 2009 08:25 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

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Dallas-based attorney Mark Methenitis has told Law of the Game that GameStop’s policy of selling opened games as new may be “deceptive”.

Kotaku claimed yesterday that Gamestop was taking discs from new games before putting them on shelves – presumably to prevent theft – but that staff were allowed to take them home to play.

Dodgy? Methenitis thinks so.

“From a legal standpoint, ignoring any pragmatic analysis, it certainly seems that way from the letter of the law. Certainly, it’s something the FTC could investigate, but more practically, it may be a matter for state deceptive trade practices law,” he wrote.

“In Texas, for example, it is a deceptive trade practice if you are ‘representing that goods are original or new if they are deteriorated, reconditioned, reclaimed, used, or secondhand.’”

Methenitis said that GameStop is not “as nefarious as many people seem to think it is” but in theory it is deceptive.

You can read the full back and forth on all of this through the links.

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7 Comments

  1. Gekidami

    This actually happens often in alot of shops, i’ve even heard rumours of shops selling games they’ve used for exposition (pretty much running all day, everyday) as new, and cases where the shops staff take a new copy home, play the game then put it back in the box and sell it full price, i agree with Mr Methenitis; its not right, as soon as a box is opened we have no idea where or what its been used for and therefore shouldnt be considered ‘first hand’.

    #1 6 years ago
  2. Quiiick

    I’d never buy a new game at full price without the original cellophane sealing fully intact.

    #2 6 years ago
  3. Madlink

    I’m really surprised that an official policy exists to let Gamestop employees do this.

    I’m all for employees getting up to speed on the latest releases so that they can talk about them effectively with customers, but a potential copy for every employee that is then sold as new is not cool.

    In GAME, you have to ‘gut’ or ‘dead’ two control copies of whatever quantity you receive. The boxes of these two then go on the shelf next to display cases of the particular title. So there will always be at least two copies of the game that are not in their original cellophane seal.

    There’s no official policy that allows GAME employees to take games home, but I’ve seen several cases of this happening.
    Stock often moves so fast that it’s easy for one copy to go unnoticed for several days.

    #3 6 years ago
  4. Patrick Garratt

    There’s no way I’d buy a “new” game unless it was sealed.

    #4 6 years ago
  5. The Benny

    That is a rather dodgy practice.

    Minor correction: Methenitis didn’t exactly tell the Law of the Game blog anything, it IS his blog. And the link has an extra ‘/’ at the end that stops it working.

    #5 6 years ago
  6. frostquake

    This is very True. I was interviewed for a manager position and was told that I would be allowed to “check-out” console games for up to 4 days. I also have friends who now work for Gamestop and they check out Console games all the time and then let friends borrow them, just as long as they get back to the store in the 4 day “check-out” period. This story is very True. I would highly recommend buying only sealed games from Gamestop, and not buying an Open “New” copy, because they have been taken home by the Employee’s.

    #6 6 years ago
  7. Gekidami

    This actually came up some time ago on the micromania forums and their defence was that the employees are “professionals” and this makes it ok for them to take the games home, as to what exactly made them “professionals” apart from wearing a blue T-shirt at work was never really mentioned.
    When i worked in retail and a customer asked about a game either we had played it through our own means and knew about it or we simpley looked up reviews for the game, opening new copies was out of the question (apart from one for display).

    #7 6 years ago

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