After my wife and I bought our son a Nintendo Switch for his birthday (he’s 20 now lol), we planned a Gamestop trade in trip. It turned into a nightmare. It took three trips and a near meltdown to finish the trade with new games in hand. Atlthough Gamestop enjoyed boost in their stock by the reddit short squeezers. They have serious problems.
First of Many Trips to Gamestop Trade
My son and I both use Micrsoft Gamepass, so we started our adventure by packing up all our old Xbox stuff. We had 2 Xbox 360s, 2 Kinects, a Xbox One X and a ton of controllers. It was a pain trying to find all the cables and backs to all those controllers. Spoiler alert, we didn’t find them all.
Anyone trading in older stuff like this knows the pain well. The hardware was only the first half of our hunt, with many games spread throughout the house and half of the cases empty. It was a process, but we managed to find most everything and were off to Gamestop.
Once inside, my son and I browsed for games, while the box sat in the trunk of my car. He played most Luigi’s Mansion 3 with me, so he wanted another single player game. There was a small line, so I figured I’d wait until we were ready to checkout before I grabbed the box. That was the first mistake.
Mistakes were Made
The same line of people were all still in line when my son was ready to buy the games he chose. There were two additional people in line then, so I regretted my decision to not immediately get into line. On top of that, there was only one employee. If there’s a long line and only one person working, run!.
Since I didn’t take my own advice, I kept my son looking at games and I grabbed the box full of our trade in stuff. The line moved so slow it felt like an eternity before the guy in front of us was next.
That guy was not trading games or buying game, he was there to sell cell phones (apparently Gamestop is doing whatever to make money). At that point I really regretted not entering the line sooner. What followed was a painful cycle of the Gamestop employee taking forever to give him quotes for each phone, then pausing to take a phone call and pace around.
Never Ending Line for a Simple Gamestop Trade in
At this point I ordered takeout food on my phone and noticed it was already the time of the day I’d normally be coming home from the gym. My patience was running thin and my son was ready to explode. He just wanted those games and now hungry. He started mumbling things about the employee and the cell phone gun under his mask.
The Gamestop employee and cellphone guy were chit chatting with the line at four people deep behind us. If that weren’t bad enough, the cell phone guy pulled out another phone from his pocket to get another quote. My son was about to erupt when I finally pulled eject and got us out of there.
We were both unbelievably angry, hungry and way behind schedule, but at least we were out of line. My son blew up in the car and I’m glad we skipped that drama in the store.
Second Trip into Gamestop Trade in Hell
After I picked up our food and finally hit the gym, I was on a mission. I wanted to get at least one of the games for my son to enjoy. I checked a different Gamestop miles away for my trade in, but noticed our previous Gamestop was still open for 30 minutes. According to Google, that was the best time to go.
I lucked out on trip to with noone in line. The Gamestop employee started closing up. It was perfect, now was my turn to waste his time. It was satisfying to see the look on his face when I strolled in with the box. I even yelled out “time for round two”.
To his credit, he was very apologetic and became very helpful. I could tell he was nervous when he told me old Xbox 360s are not tradeable. I figured as much, but he was nice enough to suggest a nearby retro gaming store to get cash for those. He did confirm the Xbox One S was working and tradeable, but the controller was broken, because of course it was.
He was helpful enough to suggest I buy one of their used controllers and just deduct from the trade in value. It was still more than enough to cover the games my son originally chose: Ghostrunner, Burnout Paradise Remastered, and Vampyr.
Between the trade in and the new games, I still had store credit left so I grabbed Splatoon 2 (another of those “must play” switch games). I was lightning quick since there was now another person in line behind me and I know that struggle is real.
There was one last wait (for this trip) to wait for the Gamestop guy to find the switch games and put those in cases. It’s another time consuming step. He did finally find and package them up after several minutes. I paid and finally walked out of the door. Mission accomplished, finally, or so I thought.
Suprise! a Third Trip to Gamestop Trade in Hell
As I happily drove home, a sinking feeling crept in that he forgot one of the games. I “watched” him, but my eyes were glazed over by then. All the Switch cases were filled with their correct switch games, but there were only 3. Splatoon 2 was the 4th game I chose. I hung my head in shame for not checking before I left.
I whipped back around and found Gamestop trade in guy locking up the door. More bad news. Lucky for me, the other customer from trip 2 was still in there trading his games in. I knocked on the door and was eventually let in. I filled him in on the missing Splatoon 2 switch game . He said he never charged me for it.
To be home is what I really wanted, so I was fine with not having that game. Unfortunately, it was clearly marked on the receipt in my car. After giving him the bad news, the nightmare continued as he could not find the game. He eventually found it, but with no case. Again with the waiting.
I don’t eat until after the gym, so I was beyond hungry and it was past 9:20pm at that point. It almost felt like someone was pranking me with the snail-like speed with which he printed a sleeve insert and put that into one of those generic Gamestop cases. It was a used game, so I did mind that part, but the extra time was horrible. Still I let him live.
Gamestop has Some Problems
The Gamestop Corp. circled the drain to the point there were tons of short sellers on the stock market. By now, most people know about the reddit short squeezers that drove the stock price up. They paid off their debt, but the company still has a ton of problems.
Their software is slow (which many Gamestop employees confirmed for me in past visits). For a technology/game sales company, this is crazy to me. The slow software adds to the inevitable lines. It can easily take 10 to 20 minutes just to buy a single game on a normal day.
God forbid you don’t have a Pro membership or are close to your renewal date. Employees are pushed to sell you on the Pro membership. There’s a whole spiel they give that adds even more wait time. The employee basically confirmed all of that to me without saying it directly. He joked about being recorded, but I think he was only half joking.
Despite my nightmare visit, I root for Gamestop. I love the concept of games trade in and I love the novelty of shopping at a game store instead of online all the time. That said, they need to speed up processes and software, then get rid of the pushy selling of their Pro memberships or they will become the next Blockbuster video.