How bad do Gamestop employees have it?

By Spencer . February 26, 2007 . 5:09pm

One Gamestop employee spoke out about the problems and daily annoyances of working for the US’ largest video game retailer. In his tirade he goes on about the problem with pushing pre-orders and the annoying phone calls he gets like this one:


Please. It’s about time we get some payback! Do you know how many calls I get a day from customers asking if we have Gears of Duty? How about Ninja Garden? WWW Smackdown vs. Just Bring it? How about all of the people who call and ask if we have any Wii games, and the conversation goes something like this:


"How many?"

"A whole bunch."

"Could you hold one for me?"

"Which one?"

"The Wii Game."

"Which game? Did you mean the system?"



Don’t get me started. Have these idiots ever played a game in their life? Maybe if they ever played an RPG, then they would know how buying and selling works. You buy a piece of equipment in a game. When you try to sell it back, you get half the price you paid for it back. That’s right, half price! Do you know what GameStop does? They give you half the value they’ll sell it for used.


Maybe the angry words weren’t the best choice for his time on the soapbox, but the point is clear: give the employees at Gamestop (or any other retail place) a break. They can’t change the price of buying games back, they are forced to ask if you would like pre orders and he or any other employee isn’t responsible for the phone calls. I don’t usually frequent Gamestop to buy stuff so I can’t comment on the quality of the employees, but working in retail is painful. Do Gamestop employees get an undeserved bad rap? Or is the hate towards them justified?

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  • KageNaruto

    The hate they get is very justified, for how many stupid employees they have, and for them asking you about pre-ordering eight games when all you wanted to do was buy a charger cable.

  • EvilAkito

    I don’t work at Gamestop, but I know how much retail sucks. People need to chill out and not get so upset when things don’t go their way. Just go into the store, get what you want, pay for it, and leave. It’s that simple. If you don’t want to pre-order a game, simply say “no thanks.” It isn’t that hard. If you don’t like the trade-in value of the game you’re selling, then keep it. It’s not like Gamestop has any obligation to buy it from you, and you have no obligation to part with it. And last but not least, if you have a problem with company policy, then tough luck. There is nothing that the employees or the store manager can do about it.

    Let’s not forget that Gamestop is a business, not a public service. The store you walk into is their private property, and you’re a guest. The merchandise they’re selling belongs to them and they can refuse any sale. The money in the register also belongs to them, and they don’t have to give you a fair price for the item you’re trading it. You either agree to the trade or you don’t, it’s non-negotiable. And if you think the cliche “customer is always right” philosphy applies to a large corporation like Gamestop, then you’re in for a rude awakening. Even if you stop shopping there, you won’t make a dent in their business. Hell, if they lived by that philosophy, they’d give their games away and pay you a fortune for your worn-out copy of Madden ’06. And you know what? Losing a customer is a much smaller price to pay.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to defend Gamestop or anything. I think it’s awful that they don’t give their employees a plesent, or even a safe place to work. But I just want everyone to understand that employees are just normal people who are trying to do their job, and there is no reason to go in and make their lives a living hell.

  • Once again, as an EB employee, I always understand the kinds of things people get frustrated with here. But I think people need to remember that if you have a bad shopping experience at one Gamestop, that doesn’t mean every employee acts that way! Some employees are gonna be awesome, and some are going to be jerks.

  • Jo Jo

    With an attitude like that, how is anyone new going to be turned on to video games? No wonder gaming people get such a bad rap. They wish video games would appeal to more people, but then they turn around and bite people’s head off because they don’t know the finer details of what gaming is about.

  • LittleOni

    Thank you EvilAkito. I think you wrapped up what everyone in retail wants to say, but can’t say to a majority of customers. It’s much harder to work retail than those who don’t do so can ever imagine. And when we are yelled at over something as trivial as a video game purchase (no one puts a gun to your head to MAKE you buy it, it is NOT a necessity, so stop treating it as such) it makes us care a little less about how much we used to enjoy the job we have.

    The thing that really saddens me is that for all the bad press big-box video game retailers get, no one ever hears about the crazy stuff that happens to our staffs. We have gotten robbed, shot at, beaten up, threatened, and (not that long ago) even had staffers murdered. Over what? Video games and money… No one ever hears that sort of stuff. They just hear that we might give you two bucks for a game that cost you fifty bucks three years ago… It is both sad and frustrating.

  • Hanso

    Why people work retail is beyond me. I try to avoid going to EB/Gamestop is little as possible.

  • sabo

    you know, normally it doesn’t bother me. hey i’ve worked retail i know it’s crap i know you get alot of shit. On the other hand, it’s when i walk into the store and certain employees ignore me, then if i have a question or something act as if im doing a great disservice to their holy highness by asking about a game. It’s when they act like I somehow owe them something by walking into their store is when it’s a problem.

  • RowD

    I’d have sympathy if the employees at my local EB Games didn’t snicker when I bought a copy of Meteos instead of Halo. We get it, your life sucks, you get your kicks by making fun of other people. Yay for assholes!

  • RowDs got it. Selling is selling, and quite simply, these guys aren’t salesman. You are SUPPOSED to kiss peoples’ a*s when you want them to buy something. Most heads that work at Gamestop (as most game stores, or music stores, etc) tend to think (or even “KNOW”) that they know way more then you, the customer, ever will. When in reality the soccer mom does NOT CARE how awesome you are in your Counterstrike league or what level you are in WoW BC. They want you to sell you some damn Mario games.

    Thats what it boils down to. People that work in retail, for the most part, are not the salesman-lite that they are supposed to be. They are people who applied for the job because it is one of their hobbies and in turn treat their “uninformed” customers like sh*t.

  • Mister L

    I work at gamestop and I can understand people getting furstrated with us constantly asking for subscriptions and preorders, but the thing is that directly factors into how much we get paid and how many hours the store has.

    I understand that somtimes some employees act like assholes and act superior, but the reason for that is everyday we get 10 people in the store who act the same way to us, but much worse. Just yesterday we had somone come into the store with a copy of madden ’05 and argue with me for 10 minutes that he should be able to even exchange it for a used copy of ’07. Its a very frustrating job and, at least in my experience, most of the emplyees help as much as they can most of the time.

  • rob

    im in the bronx,and the gamestop i go to is nothing like what you people are complaining about.the 3 guys that work there are cool an i usually bullshit wit them for like 10 minutes after i pay.why do you all get so bothered by preorders?i bet you all are the ones that end up paying extra for something on ebay cause you were against preorders

  • steve

    i work at gamestop. it doesnt matter now, we dont have to ask you for pre orders. although this looks good for us, it is no longer NECESSARY. i still do it now and then, but somtimes i understand when not to. cut us some slack, its not as easy as you might think, but i love it, and it is VERY low stress. the low pay tho is rather annoying. only TRUE gamers could work here.

  • Gamestop Guy

    OK, i work at a Gamestop and i am sick and tired of seeing this sort of opinion about the way things go in Gamestop stores. First off, Steve, you have no idea what you are talking about in regards to company policy on pre-orders, and you have no business talking about those policies on lne. Secondly, There are a lot of bad employees at our stores, and i am not making excuses for them. But you tell me of any retail store in this country that isnt staffed with poor customer service. The staff at most gamestops consists of 16 to 18 year old high school kids who could care less about thier minimum wage job thier parents are forcing them to have. That is the problme right there. Simple as that. Most customers are treated fairly at Gamestop, and the fact is the trade prices at gamestop are set in stone and are ever changing. If you dont like the fact that your madden 05 is only going to get you a dollar, maybe you should have traded it in before the other 60,000 people did. That is why trade prices are poor. No one is going to buy our 900th copy of enter the matrix or madden 01 or nhl 2003 or even that awesome nascar thunder 2004.

    The point is, gamestop is better than any other retailer in the world for trades. I challenge you to prove otherwise. We have the best trade process, and for the most part the best trade values. I am seeing other retailers everywhere using the trade in your games thing and they are all failing, Game crazy, blockbuster, best buy, FYE…. all of them are taking trades in select markets, and if you think gamestop is bad, try buying one of the wonderful used PSX games at FYE, for like 23 dollars, seriously.

    The fact is, if you dont like gamestop then dont go there. You’ll always have wal-mart and best buy. Just try asking one of the employees there ANYTHING about video games. I cannot even begin to tell you the number of times a customer has asked, what game would be good for my 6 year old daughter, i mean, thank god for nintendo. But customers are also always saying how they could not get any help at the Large retail department store. Gamestop is the best at what we do in every regard. I’m sorry we have to ask you about pre orders. But so many people buy the game on release day, and none of them pre order. Why not?

    it benefits all parties to pre order games. We get sent more games when people pre-order more, then we wont run out. You get your game for sure, on the release day, and it doesnt cost anything extra. YOU EVEN GET A PHONE CALL REMINDING YOU TO PICK IT UP.

    seriously. People in this country really aggrevate me. You think you should get whatever you want by complaining to someone. The fact is, most people who work crappy retail jobs and complain about this stuff are the same people who go shopping and complain about everything.

  • steve

    gamestop guy, i dont need to be told about my stores policies. i know them, and would rather not hear u tell me otherwise. but you are completley right about everything else. pre-ordering does benefit both parties. company policy encourages us to make the extra sales (pre-orders, subscriptions, etc) but they cannot fire you for not making the sales. the company’s new focus is customer service. this is due to the bad rap that gamestop frequently gets on websites such as these. many people dont like to be pestered to pre order, or subscribe to Game Informer, but it is only a service to them, and i dont understand why many people do not take advantage of this.

  • This is exactly why gamestop employees are getting a bad reputation Gamestop guy. You act all ‘holier than thou’. Who cares if the store is staffed with 16 – 18 year olds? I manage a video game store that is staffed with nothing but 18 year olds, and they all understand that if they aren’t going to treat the customers with respect, then I can always find someone else to do their job. You act like the only kids to hire out there are kids that “could care less about thier minimum wage job thier parents are forcing them to have.” And as for best trade value? ha! Play ‘N Trade and Game Crazy both routinely give better value for games, and when they don’t … they both have a guarantee to at least match if not beat anyone else’s trade in values. Plus, both of them take trades in every market, not just select markets.

    So you think that every 6 year old girl should only play nintendo? You guys really do suck at your job. Yes, while I will admit that they have a great selection for young girls, so does sony and microsoft. while young kids aren’t their core target, both still offer a variety of games that young girls would enjoy. Who’s to say that you can’t offer a girl Jak and Daxter, or Ratchet and Clank, or Tak, or Spongebob, or Avatar, or Bratz, or Barbie, or DDR, or Guitar Hero, or Pop Star, or whatever the heck she wants to play? How about instead of recommending things that you think that she should play, try recommending things that she might actually want to play. But I digress. I don’t have a problem with you guys personally. I understand the problems of retail (I’ve been in retail for long enough to know), but the complaint that I get more often than not is that gamestop employees are too standoff-ish. They hide behind the counter and don’t acknowledge you until you are ready to check out; and then, all of a sudden, they want you to buy this discount card, then they offer pre-orders that have nothing to do with what you are buying, and they act all butt hurt when you turn them down. If you spent some time helping us, we would be more receptive. And don’t try and give me the “Well these things are to help you out” speech because I know how this industry operates. yes, while the discount card helps me out, it also helps you out by tying me into your store instead of someone else’s, and while pre-orders are nice for me, to ‘guarantee’ (a term that I use loosely in regards to your stores) a copy, it helps you out too. Since the things that you are pushing are helping you too, then perhaps you should pull your own weight.

    And seriously… What is up with your Pre-Order System? Well, you’re guaranteed a copy on release day, unless it’s a big title. Then it’s first come first serve for those that pre-ordered it. I mean, even all of the vendors talk trash about gamestop employees. Think about that… THE PEOPLE THAT MAKE THE PRODUCTS THAT YOU SELL… DON’T LIKE YOU!

  • Jonny

    I gotta say, at the GS I work at, pretty much all of the employees go out to the floor and talk to the customers. And they still say no to preorders and magazines. This says to me that just talking to the people as “wasting your breath” doesn’t really change a whole lot. And steve, apparently you don’t pay attention at work, because preorders and subscriptions are required numbers. A guy that I used to work with for about 6 months got fired because he didn’t meet numbers multiple times. And, last time I checked, we do get one copy per one preorder AT LEAST. After the first two days, then its first come first serve. As for the “open new copy” thing, if you don’t like it, don’t buy it. And from what I’ve seen at GameCrazy, they charge more for their used games, which is why they pay more. Finally, and in all honesty, I want to point out that I only think customers are being stupid when they come in and stand around talking to us about the next Star Trek movie. The rest of the people are fine, and I don’t condescend. That about sums it up. Love it or hate it, GameStop is probably the best place to buy used games. (New ones are cheaper on Amazon)

  • Tim

    These employees do complain alot I have to say. I work for Geek Squad and we have to upsell, upsell, and upsell. We MUST offer service plans, service, and accesories. You work in retail. Get used to it and do your job. Be nice to customers, they don’t know what some games are called so what. Live with it.

  • Jake

    I also work at Gamestop, and it’s really pretty stupid for anyone that’s dogging the employees for for things that are untrue or they don’t have any knowledge about. I love how because you had a bad experience once, you go running to your computer and trash all of us because anyone that works at GameStop is a D#$k.

    I’m sooo glad that your little game store can keep the most pleasant and perfect staff in there, or that other retail chains treat you better. But you all need to realize that GameStop is huge, and being the biggest gaming retailer in the world means you’ll prob end up having the occasional A-Hole in a store, or maybe even end up with a whole store of them. Try going into every Wal-Mart in the country and not running into a few jerk kids, or worse some 55 year old ladies who don’t know the difference between a PSP and an ISP. I know, I worked there.

    When I was a customer at gamestop there were always certain employees I couldn’t stand, or entire store I would avoid, but there are like 8 gamestops near me so I usually had at least one I was comfortable at. I really am sorry if some people only have one or two Gamestops near them and they all have crappy employees. That sucks, but just avoid it and confidently say that those stores suck, and you’re not shopping there. I don’t think one decent employee would blame you, but it doesn’t justify coming on here and grouping us with them. I try really hard to be as helpful and friendly to every single person that comes in my store, and have made quite a few friends out of our regulars that come in and BS with us.

    And lastly, steve, I don’t know what backwards Gamestop you work at but Res. and Sub numbers are everything at every other store I’ve been in. Realize people, It’s our job to offer these things, and if you don’t want them just say no. It takes like 3 seconds. And to be quite honest, I can’t count the amount of times I’ve offered to someone asking about a game, and I get the “Psh, screw that, I’ll just come by and get it” response, and they come by and are angry with me when we don’t have it.

    As far as not covering our pre-orders, our shipping quantities are determined by pre-orders. So we always at least have enough to cover them. The only recent time I remember anything like that happening is with the PS3’s, which you have to kind of expect.


    Shut the f*ck up if ur going to complaint about a job ur suppose to do
    don’t work there If u don’t want to be hassled by customers quit

    Theres many other people I’m sure would be willing to work at a
    GameStop or any GameStop Corporation store

    If ur to stupid to ask for a raise get the f*ck out
    I deal with dumb f*ck employees every day
    that complain and whine when they could ask
    the Company for a raise
    They would more than happy to hear y u want a raise

  • GameStop Lady

    I believe that for the most part the Game Stop Employees do try, however, when I encounter District Managers who find it acceptable to “call on the carpet” their staff and managers in front of customers, It is no surprise that the staff act in a less than professional manner.

    Perhaps Game Stop should not hire managers that are terminated from one company for the same type of action and bring them on board. Or better yet, hire management that at least understands what a video game is.

  • Segageek

    Ok, i used to own an entire Gamestore called gaming underground, and to be honest, the gamestop people are usually alright. They push the orders alot and it gets annoying, but trust me i have seen far worse customer service in Gamecrazy. Trade ins half the time you dont get half in value its usually about a 1/3, but understandible cause that is how Gamestop makes there profit. People need to understand that Gamestop does not get a huge discount off new games. They do not make much profit off them. there profit as with most gaming stores is new games. so i can understand why trade ins are low.

    As with Gamecrazy most of the employees are cocky asses who act like there better then everyone i mean o yeah making the same wages as a standered fast food place is something to be proud of.

  • EBXGameGuy

    Okay, I have to comment on this, because I happen to work for EBX (GameStop) and what I heard about some of the “justified” bad reputations isn’t true for ALL stores. Basing this assumption off experience in one or two different stores doesn’t justify people calling us “stupid” or any other demeaning insult for that matter. Those are views on those PARTICULAR stores. Don’t place every stores’ employees into that catagory. I happen to be in a store that people love coming to, the employees are friendly AND knowledgable in our gaming experience and information, and we actually make contact with the customer, and their needs.

    Now, retail IS a stressful and demanding job, however, there are people like me that enjoy it, and even though I’ve had many long days, I still keep a smiling face and enjoy working with customers daily. None of the employees I know have a lot of these problems, and when we do encounter them, ie. people not knowing a games’ name or getting a call, we don’t ALL act out, as some of the comments have said.

    Bottom line, some of you call us stupid, idiots, moron, worthless, etc… when you need to look at your own comments and see what you’re making yourself look like. Don’t judge all the pages in a book by its’ prologue. We’re not all the same.

  • Landshark

    Ok, The question I have for everyone complaining about gamestop is…where do your buy your video games at? Do you still shop at Gamestop or do you shop elsewhere?

    Would you shop at a smaller, privately owned game store if the customer service was better than gamestop?

  • Mando 651

    seriously not that many gamestop employees give a rats butt what game you buy. heck im not gonna sit in front of the tube and play that game with you. so why should i care i dont make commission. personally i suggest you buy a used game just because if “YOU” dont like it you have those seven days to try it out!!!! that being said go buy a car for maybe ten thousand pay it off for five, two how ever many years you want now go back when your done paying for it and get your 2 thousand…. this is isnt charity its a business simply said. now me pushing a reserve on you is different. hands down i admit i push them the hardest at my store. i get maybe two reserves and three g.i. subs a shift. now i bring the fact that reserving from my view is like putting something on layaway. you put five here next week two then maybe next paycheck you put twenty!!! thats my sale point. i really dont care like i said i dont make commission. f my manager she can go do her self for all i care that goes for the company too. ima gamer no where near the best but i care bout the business in a whole. some of us do care and some of us just clock in and clock out. hell i know the prices suck and i cant lie ive known employees that only worked for the discount which isnt gold either. personally i love my job. if you ever have a problem with a employee just go to the other guy/girl theres almost always two of us working at one given time. and if you dont like anyone in a given store just go online gamestop has a store locater that will tell you the 4 closes stores to you and if that doesnt work just ask to speak to the manager. and if there hard headed baffoon also just ask for there boss. little fish get eat’n buy bigger ones. big fish gennerally dont like phone calls. i apologize for anyone who has had a bad experience at one of the gamestops just keep some hope and look at the brigth side… we cant spit your food.

  • GSwinner

    I work at a gamestop, its an ok job, easiest job i had in a wile, what i hate is that my stor grosses 2.5 million a year three full time employees and we are still gettin 150 hours! thats thirty hours for part timers! and we got to divie that up between 9 employees.its a little agravating as well when employees spread little rumors or misinterpit somthing about other staff and get them in trouble. When i said “you need to getsome reserves” is not “you need to get some reserves or i find sombody who will” im just venting this and other things have botherd me…

  • JohnBristow

    I live in Bloomington, Indiana, and the Gamestop I go to is always extremely helpful, and the people who work there are very friendly, and are far from assholes. Sometimes the trade in value can be dissapointing, but oh well. It’s a business, they are trying to make money.
    So yeah, I can give them some slack. I think they do a great job.

  • Anti-GameSpot

    @ Gamestop Guy
    you said: “The point is, gamestop is better than any other retailer in the world for trades. I challenge you to prove otherwise. We have the best trade process, and for the most part the best trade values.”

    LMAO. you realize blockbuster gives almost double what gamestop/EB does on trade-ins.

    Gamestop is a horrible store, plain & simple. It’s whole market-share is ignorant school-kids & their eager to please parents. Any mature, respectable adult gamer either buys online or from whatever store they happen to pass after the game they want is released.

    Gamestop thinks their “culture” should have people lining up at midnight for the privilege of buying from them. Well, look at the Halo 3 launch; more people lined up outside Wal-Marts. that should tell you something.

    The truth is “culture” is another way for saying assholes w/ an excuse.
    “When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.”
    -George Bernard Shaw

  • missyd

    Anti-GameSpot you couldn’t be more wrong about more things. No Blockbusters anywhere in our area take in game trades. It’s a limited market that does that. The “culture” of lining up isn’t decided by Gamestop as much as by the consumer who always like a “happening”, so Gamestop obliges. THEN you follow up with the fact that more people lined up at WalMart (again, nowhere near me)while blaming GameStop for the “culture. Fool.
    The store my two sons works at (one is a GA, one a Asst Mgr) has a huge ADULT customer base who appreciate talking with people who share their passion. Sure, there are plenty of kids (not necessarily ignorant) and parents going in as well. I used to be one of those parents with kids who were anything but ignorant. It’s a fun place for young gamers to go, and we started when it was FUNCOLAND so I know how it works. I’d have to drag them out and the employees were mostly friendly and understanding. I’m not suprised they ended up working there. The older one started at Starbucks becasue THAT was supposed to be the hot place to be, but he is much happier at GS. I don’t expect this to be a career but I’m telling you for a high school/college job it’s not a bad gig. Beats cleaning out he mixers at Jamba Juice or cleaning the dining room at Fudruckers, both of which my other kids did when she was working her way through school. The only other part time job that even came close to being this good was when one of them worked at the theather, but even that had it’s share of problems. No job is perfect and nobody makes you go there, work there, or even think about it…much less post crap on a forum.

  • gamerguy432

    see i know how they would be pissed what kind of thing is it when someone calls for a game and they are so vague about it wtf at least when u make a call to gamestop know what ur talking about at least know the name of the game damn if its ur first time getting a game held ask them what is selling the most and is a good game dont just be so vague

  • gamestopslave

    yeah..i work at gamestop aswell…dont hate the little guys hate the big guys, we get fired if we dont get our numbers up, its like 10% preorders, and like 5% subs, its stupid, two, if there wasnt so many self centered ignorant ppl that come into the store we would prob be a lil nicer, but when you got ppl waiting a halfhour before the store opens to trade in there pile of S*** and expect 100 bucks for a bag of old foot ball games 20 every day it gets old fast, but this is why im in college so i dont have to waste my life at gamestop forever.

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