Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
20 July 2006
Did you know there's a buy-two-get-one-free sale at Rhino?
Found myself with an hour of free time and no kids, so I hit the Rhino Games to give the stock a good once-over. As I entered the store, I noticed that the same annoying dude who'd given me the Madden pitch last time was behind the counter. I tried to be invisible, but he saw me anyway and asked if he could help me find anything in particular. I said I was just browsing and avoided eye contact.

As I finished going over all the PSP and PS2 games on the wall, he pointed out this table of clearance priced crap in case I was interested. I wasn't, but he went on to tell me that they'd done a lot of price reductions across the store, so don't hesitate to ask questions.

After going through the GameCube and N64 games, I was thumbing through a bin of Dreamcast games when he told me just how great Dreamcast games were and that they were buy-two-get-one-free. Now, it turns out that they have signs up on just about every shelf announcing that Dreamcast games, along with everything else pre-PlayStation 2, are part of a buy-two-get-one-free sale. I'm sure he just wanted to make sure I knew in case I were illiterate. I thanked him and kept browsing. Despite my attempts to stay clear of him, he found me crouched beside the PSOne games and whispered (you read that right) to me: "buy two, get one free!"

To top it all off, I picked out three cheap PSOne games (to take advantage of this buy-two-get-one-free sale I hear they're having) only to have them tell me that one game case (Spider-man: Enter Electro for the curious) had been on the shelf by mistake and they didn't actually have the game in stock. So I walked out without buying anything.

--Matt Matthews at 18:45
Comment [ 11 ]

Comments on this post:

Game store clerks are the pushiest and most annoying out of all. And you're right, they all do think that you want to reserve Madden.

Are you sure? Are you SURE?

By Blogger Bigelow, at 21 July, 2006 20:53  

Just as well. Enter Electro is a bit shite. I can't really pin down why, because it has all the elements of the original game yet somehow doesn't know how to use them to make a compelling game. Plus all the new elements don't really seem to fit in properly. There isn't really any template it seems, and the seperate elements don't really feel like they form up to a cohesive whole. I guess it'd be a good example of seeing how not to make a sequel.

I'll sell you my copy if you want! $5. Comes with the case and manual. Disc is in good condition but there's a small (1.5-2 inch) crack on the front near the top. I'm trying to get rid of some old games I don't play anymore, let me know if you're interested.

By Anonymous Mr. Mechanical, at 22 July, 2006 09:40  

Last time I was in a GameStop, I too, encountered the dreaded pushy store clerk. I felt almost bad for the kid, since his manager was probably forcing him to do the hard sell to every customer.

I only buy games online or at the big stores (Frys, etc) nowadays. I seem to recall game stores like Software Etc/Babbages being relatively nice places to visit. What happened?

By Blogger Dan-o, at 22 July, 2006 15:21  

I second the crap assessment of Spider-Man 2. I think the biggest problem was that Neversoft handed the development off to Vicarious Visions, due to being busy with the PS2 Spider-Man: The Movie and THPS 3. It just seemed like a rushed product, with little to no attention paid to flow and fun.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 25 July, 2006 04:05  

being a former game store clerk (and about to be one again) i can actually empathise with you guys on this. at Gamestop (which bought out software etc., babbage's and funcoland years ago) we were demanded to push "Subs and Res". Subs are those stupid Game Informer magazines and the discount card, which is an ok deal $10 once and you save 10% on everything used (except systems). depending on how much used stuff you buy it could potentially pay for itself in a few visits. Res are reserves. which is self-explanatory. the only reason i think reserving can be a good idea is bc i had an instance where i could not find a game anywhere on release day. from that point out i reserved titles i knew i wanted "just in case" and it doesn't hurt to do that with some of the crazier rpgs. i remember my location of gamestop only getting two copies of Disgaea when it released and the demand for that suddenly soared. subsequent games that came from the company reserved well at our location (due to our more rpg-knowledgable sales associates) and we got 16 copies of some of the other titles.

Rhino, however, doesn't push reserves as a company the way Gamestop does. Rhino doesn't get many titles on the day of release. in fact, EA games are some of the few titles that they actually recieve the day of release. i know that there was a contest at Rhino to see who could reserve the most Madden and that is why this douche apparently can't take 'no' for an answer. also, Madden consistently reserves in HIGH numbers. that is why it is given that extra push by companies. it is a guaranteed hit and they want that hit to be Gamestop or Rhino or EB's hit (btw Eb's hit would be Gamestop's hit, as well, as they have begun to merge into one company).

regardless, i left Gamestop over a year ago (last July). my boss had just been fired and while he was being fired he was told that he should blame his staff for not pushing sales and subs and res. our DM then cited an incident involving me that had just occured where a young man had come in to buy NCAA two weeks after the release. as he was buying it i said "hey man good to see you back!" bc about a month earlier he had asked about NCAA and when i offered him the mandatory reserve offer he said "nah i wont be able to afford it the day it comes out so i'll come back later". the response made sense so when he was buying NCAA i remembered him saying this and figured he probably wouldn't be able to afford Madden day of release either as it was around the corner. my pushy DM said "why aren't you pushing Madden on him? c'mon!" i said to my dm "that kid is buying NCAA 'late' bc he couldn't afford it he's not going to have the money for Madden" the DM gave me a dirty look so i said to the kid "hey my dm wants me to ask you why you haven't reserved Madden?" .... the kid's response "oh i'm not going to have the money for it on release day" my DM interjects "we'll hold it for you" (don't fall for this people the hold is 48 hours not two weeks) the kid said "yea, well i'm sure you'll have copies free by the time i come in" .... later that day i was again asked why i didn't offer a Madden reserve. my response this time was "he already has one" ... the DM then asked the guy if he would like to reserve Madden and the guy also said "i already have one" the DM then asked his name and went through the reserve folder in order to prove me wrong.

personally, i don't think i am a very pushy salesperson. i take 'no' for an answer if i know i'm not doing anything but annoying people. also, i did some pretty cool shit while i worked there. one day a small handicapped child asked me to come over and play games with him. that one trip turned into about six months of going over on the Sundays (even if i had other, more important things to do than play video games all day). also between my boss, my staff and i we knew the names of many of our customers and even were given phone numbers and screennames to become friends with these people out of the store.

not all of us sales people are the pushy type. sometimes it's corporate pressure.

p.s. i'm curious as to where you are located

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 01 August, 2006 12:41  

dude you guys suck, i know you are all video game gods. but give these people a break. they sell video games. they arent going to ask you if you want new tires. just cause your life sucks, doesnt mean you have to blame these people. youre just creating an air of negativity. how about you sit on your *behind*, and buy your games from home. that way you dont have to interact with actual humans. you make me sick, and i almost vomit when i classify you as human. you are a poor excuse for something resembling decent.

By Blogger gazthegreat, at 03 January, 2007 22:01  

Yeah, I'd have to agree with some of the comments here. It's just the game store equiv of "Would you like fries with that?" or the more common [for me] "Cheese on that Whopper?" -- Or the one I was supposed to hock at Waldenbooks once upon a time. "Would you like a frequent buyers' card?" (There was even an interesting script for following up with those who had one by "selling" Waldenbooks credit cards.)

They're just trying to make a buck, bless their hearts. What would you prefer they do? Give out shirts that say, "I'm not influenced by spoken repetition of printed ads"? ;^)

I believe the shirts are buy two get one free. I'll expect them in the cg store with the curmudgeon on the pocket soon.

By Blogger rufbo, at 03 January, 2007 23:03  

Have you ever heard of "customer service"? People are paid to ask if you need to find anything. That's not them being a douche, that's them doing their job. Maybe if you had a job, one of those things that distract you from sitting at home and masturbating to sexy pictures of John Madden, you would understand. But since you're too busy jacking off to a fat old sports commentator, you have no time for such menial tasks as "work".

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 January, 2007 00:53  

There's doing your job and then there's stalking the only guy in the store to whisper "buy-two-get-one-free" behind his back. There is asking about my interests and trying to be helpful and there is the shotgun approach to Madden sales. There is sincere interest in Dreamcast games and then there is feigning interest in Dreamcast games.

If the guy's trying to make a buck, fine. If he's doing it poorly, then I will complain. Best intentions, blah blah blah.

By Blogger jvm, at 04 January, 2007 09:23  

If the guy's trying to make a buck, fine. If he's doing it poorly, then I will complain. Best intentions, blah blah blah.

I suppose my slant is that he nor the store believes themselves to be doing the best for their bottom line by catering to your interests. Though you exhibit some immunity, pushing precisely what the customer doesn't want has at least historically produced/increased profits.

Look, I understand your idealism here. Might I now start up "Curmudgeon Gamer Theatre Presents: Two Lines From Glengarry Glen Ross":

And it's not right to the customers.

I know it's not. I'll tell you, you got, you know, you got...what did I learn as a kid on Western? Don't sell a guy one car. Sell him five cars over fifteen years.


Useless explication: Unfortunately Moss is only saying these things to make a sale to Aarnow, namely to show how the world is broken and he might as well break the law as well.

Nobody asks if I want [a twenty or thirty cent slice of processed] cheese on a Whopper from genuine interest in my well-being. Nobody suggests fries, as Spurlock as shown me, for my health and long-term happiness. And though I typically only sold Waldenbooks cards to people who were buying enough that it'd already save them money *based on that single purchase*, there sure as heck isn't a sticker on the card saying, "You'd probably be even better off hitting the used book store, fool."

These guys aren't doing a poor job making a buck. They're essentially following orders/doing their job. Ignoring that you still tried to buy three games, they simply aren't doing a good job making a buck off of you.


By Blogger rufbo, at 04 January, 2007 10:24  

See I must be having unique experiences at game stores... I'm at a loss to remember dealing with a pushy clerk even one time. When I go to the store I almost always know what I want and if I don't it's because I've got no money to buy it with.

By Blogger elementc, at 22 January, 2007 23:34  

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