Friday, November 18, 2011

Too Many Good Games Causing Low Sales?

That's what GameStop's PR department is saying. I won't lie. I laughed. And while the overall profits have gone up, it's not what the company had anticipated. As such, shares went down a tad.

They also state that a lot of people are not paying off pre-orders; just plopping down the $5 minimum and never coming back.

Possibly financial reasons are preventing people from picking up their games. I won't deny that considering the current state of money in the U.S. But I'd also like to present the argument that GameStop pressures people into pre-ordering a lot of things.

Why?

Sales Associates are monitored on their stats, performance reviews, and potential "raises" based on how many pre-order reservations they're able to make for customers. Amusing considering how much GameStop is trying to push the market more towards Used/Pre-Owned sales and less on the new products. So they pressure people into pre-ordering a lot of things, and either those people forget about it, think it's too much of a hassle, or buy their product at another location that is cheaper and doesn't have staff that is pushy. It's an old, antiquated system best known for car salesman.

I'm not saying it's wrong for associates to want to make suggestions for future titles to customers; sometimes people aren't aware of the products that are out there, or will be out there. But to base a performance system on what you can sell is out of date. Sales /= how good of an employee you are. I'd wager that 70% of the employees at GameStop stores do a great job without the need to pressure people into pre-orders. But because the company has this system in place, their work suffers.

Anyway, my 2 cents. Having been there, I know that a number of people either forget they have pre-ordered (because it was so long ago, some cases years) or find a better deal at another store. On the plus, if you are one of those people that pre-ordered and never picked up the game, you CAN receive a refund on your deposit. Just visit the store. Hopefully you have the receipt, otherwise they'll have to play cat and mouse with customer service to figure out where you pre-order is.

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