Damn you, Indecision!

Why go to GameStop or EBGames?

I’ve seen a bunch of blog articles regarding GameStop’s and EBGames’ upcoming pre-order period for the PS3 and the Wii. Just a few minutes ago I saw an update saying that GameStop “sold out” of their pre-order spots within minutes on the day they started offering them (of course, since I heard they allow their employees to buy at least two of the pre-orders… :P). Why should I care about this, when other much larger stores like Target, Wal-Mart, and Best Buy will also be selling these game consoles? Lik-Sang was offering pre-orders PS3 (last I heard) for no money down. Granted it probably means you may not get your machine during the first round of arrivals, but hey, that is a possibility at GameStop or EBGames, and you have to pay $50 there.

I guess some people like the “convenience” of pre-ordering, but it has been said that even if you pre-order, it’s not a guarantee you’ll get one of the game consoles on sale day. I’ve heard stories of angry customers not getting the DS Lite they pre-ordered when other people buying elsewhere were rewarded with their DS Lites. In addition, these smaller boutique stores are pretty bad about marking up prices, and offering game consoles only in bundles with useless accessory packs and games you’re not interested in… I could see people wanting to shop at smaller stores if they get more personalized service, or more knowledgeable salespeople, but my personal experience is that many GameStop/EBGames employees are on par with those at the “big box” stores, and that’s not saying much. 😛 Besides, these smaller boutique stores get a lot smaller allotment of machines to sell than stores like Target and Best Buy do. Why not increase your chances by going with the bigger stores?

Before the flames come in, I know there are exceptions to the blanket statement I made above; there always are. I’ve just heard more negative stories about the tactics that these smaller stores use to rip off their customers than I’ve heard positive stories of employees giving people good deals and inside information. And I’m not excusing the big-box stores, either. I am trying not to spend money in a Best Buy ever again, because I don’t like their tactics/ethics. I hardly go to Wal-Mart anymore, but I admit that I will go there if they have games or DVDs that I want. I mainly shop at Target, Fry’s, and online now. I’d continue going to Circuit City more because I appreciate their generous return policy (and no, I don’t abuse it), but they seem to be struggling. They don’t stock enough stuff from the brands I like, and their stores don’t seem to be expanding as they should. It’s a pity, because I like them.

Anyway, I just wanted to comment that news of pre-orders at GameStop and EBGames is really not newsworthy. I’m as excited to get a Nintendo Wii as most people, but not excited enough to line the pockets of stores like GameStop or Best Buy. If I gotta wait to get one later, so be it. Weird to hear that from a neophiliac, isn’t it?? 😀


One response

  1. Actually, prices on consoles are fixed, so they can only mark up prices on games, which are often fixed as well (at least initially), and accessories. This practice helps the boutiques to stay in business otherwise they’d be crushed by deep discounts at the big box stores. They also stay afloat on sales of used games and games that may not be suitable for Wal-Mart shelves.

    Back on track, the only allure of pre-ordering products that are not limited editions is the “first to buy it” rush. I used to make my living selling pre-order products and let me tell you, there’s no better customer than the guy who will lay down money for something that does not yet exist.

    October 17, 2006 at 11:25 am

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