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Where do Gamestop.com used games come from?

Posted by EcchiBoi, 14 April 2010 · 304 views

BUYER BEWARE...

Gamestop has been offering some great coupons on their website lately. If you're buying used games, sometimes the deals are too good to pass up. Not only do you get your usual 10% EDGE discount just like in stores, you also get an additional 16% off with the CAG16 code. But why does Gamestop only do this online and not in-store? There is a catch.

The truth is, most gamestop.com used games are refurbished/resurfaced.

Think about it. Where does the online used merchandise come from? Customers trade directly to the stores, not to the website. So here's what I learned from a nice local GS employee who knows me from my frequent shopping and trading at Gamestop.

Whenever stores accept games that are scratched or scuffed (the ones that are hit with a 'refurb fee'), they are sent to the warehouse to actually be refurbished. What this means for games is that the disc is resurfaced (a thin coat is stripped) so it looks smoother, and it IS supposed to work better afterwards. BUT, depending on who is doing the resurfacing, they may have taken off more than necessary and rendered a somewhat playable scratched disc into a non-playable smooth disc.

How did I come about inquiring this information?

I recently took advantage of a code, DDEAL, which net me a bunch of titles at $10 off. Any $19.99 game became $9.99. $12.99 games were $2.99, etc. Stack that with EDGE, and you've got one hell of a deal. I used my massive store credit for the entire purchase of 12 games. When I received the games, I immediately checked for scratches (but did not test them in my console) and took 3 heavily scratched games to the local store to swap for better discs. Then a few days passed.

I wanted to play one of the games I just bought (CRACKDOWN) but every time I put in the disc, my 360 would display "Open Tray" instead of "Play Crackdown". Hmm, might be a fluke. So I tried another game, and... same thing. And another. Same. I was thinking something was wrong with my console. So I tested some game that I bought new. Loads fine. I tested the games I swapped at the local GS store. Works fine. Tried the games from gamestop.com. "Open Tray" it says. :cold:

I was on to something. These games look like new, very few scratches, but what's the problem. So of the 12 games I bought, 2 were new, 3 were swapped, and 6 resurfaced games wouldn't work at all. So that's 60% of the used games bought from gamestop.com were damaged, and that's not even counting the 3 I had swapped previously.

Lucky for me, the employee at the local store knows about this problem, and understood my situation, and he patiently swapped each of the discs that I brought back to the store and explained the situation.

So just a warning to my fellow CAGers. Feel free to take advantage of the online pricing deals, but be very wary about the discs and check them in your consoles ASAP, and swap them at the local Gamestop store if they won't work. And now you know...




BUYER BEWARE...

Gamestop has been offering some great coupons on their website lately. If you're buying used games, sometimes the deals are too good to pass up. Not only do you get your usual 10% EDGE discount just like in stores, you also get an additional 16% off with the CAG16 code. But why does Gamestop only do this online and not in-store? There is a catch.

The truth is, most gamestop.com used games are refurbished/resurfaced.

Think about it. Where does the online used merchandise come from? Customers trade directly to the stores, not to the website. So here's what I learned from a nice local GS employee who knows me from my frequent shopping and trading at Gamestop.

Whenever stores accept games that are scratched or scuffed (the ones that are hit with a 'refurb fee'), they are sent to the warehouse to actually be refurbished. What this means for games is that the disc is resurfaced (a thin coat is stripped) so it looks smoother, and it IS supposed to work better afterwards. BUT, depending on who is doing the resurfacing, they may have taken off more than necessary and rendered a somewhat playable scratched disc into a non-playable smooth disc.

How did I come about inquiring this information?

I recently took advantage of a code, DDEAL, which net me a bunch of titles at $10 off. Any $19.99 game became $9.99. $12.99 games were $2.99, etc. Stack that with EDGE, and you've got one hell of a deal. I used my massive store credit for the entire purchase of 12 games. When I received the games, I immediately checked for scratches (but did not test them in my console) and took 3 heavily scratched games to the local store to swap for better discs. Then a few days passed.

I wanted to play one of the games I just bought (CRACKDOWN) but every time I put in the disc, my 360 would display "Open Tray" instead of "Play Crackdown". Hmm, might be a fluke. So I tried another game, and... same thing. And another. Same. I was thinking something was wrong with my console. So I tested some game that I bought new. Loads fine. I tested the games I swapped at the local GS store. Works fine. Tried the games from gamestop.com. "Open Tray" it says. :cold:

I was on to something. These games look like new, very few scratches, but what's the problem. So of the 12 games I bought, 2 were new, 3 were swapped, and 6 resurfaced games wouldn't work at all. So that's 60% of the used games bought from gamestop.com were damaged, and that's not even counting the 3 I had swapped previously.

Lucky for me, the employee at the local store knows about this problem, and understood my situation, and he patiently swapped each of the discs that I brought back to the store and explained the situation.

So just a warning to my fellow CAGers. Feel free to take advantage of the online pricing deals, but be very wary about the discs and check them in your consoles ASAP, and swap them at the local Gamestop store if they won't work. And now you know...
I haven't purchased any used games via gamestop.com, only in store. But this is a very good thing to know. Thanks for the heads up.
Wow. Good thing I dpnt shop online very often.
I appreciate the heads up
Do you realize how much you'd have to grind away at a disc to "over"-resurface it? The data isn't on the plastic at all. It's on the underside of the label.
I really think you need to learn the meaning of the word "all." Please stop spreading misinformation. There's enough of that around in the regular threads.
OH
mY
GOD
I think most people that bought regularly from gamestop.com already knew this.
congrats on just finding this out. And Vegan makes a point you may not have known either
I'm not too worried since I ordered PS3 games.
it's not just refub discs.. if a store has an excess of some copies, they'll tell the store to pull some and send them to the warehouse
Vegan brings up a great response, as the reflective silver portion holds the data, not the plastic. Thats why some remedies for scratched discs like petroleum jelly works, as it stops the scratches from reflecting the laser instead of providing the correct information.
I thought this was common knowledge. Never had a problem with my used GS purchases. If I did I would exchange for another copy in store. No big deal.
Thanks for posting this information. I haven't bought from gamestop.com before, but in the future I will know to check 'em out if I do.
I didn't know this, and I don't know why everyone is knocking you for trying to help out.
Welcome to the internet, where instead of thanks, you get "we don't want your help and you should die in a fire."
I didn't know either and thanks for the heads up since I sometimes won't load up a game immediately especially if it looks fine.
I sort of already knew this.. I'm cool that way.
No seriously thanks for the info bh47.
Thanks for posting. I've not ordered used games from Gamestop yet, but was always wondering how they did it. This is good information to know.

I always test my games (new or used) when I buy them, but the limited return policy of used games sometimes goes by too quick, so now I will make it a priority :D

Thanks for the info!
Vegan & advanced, you're absolutely correct, but only for CDs, which do have the data under 1.2mm (equal to the thickness of the disc) of polycarbonate. However, DVDs have it sandwiched between two 6mm layers, while Blu-rays have only a thin 0.1mm layer over the data.

This was done to prevent disc read error due to refractions/disc tilt but turns out this causes the later-generation discs to be more and more vulnerable to the dangers which bh47 has so kindly written about.

Check: http://www.howstuffw...y.htm/printable
In my experience, you could get the game for the online and then return or exchange it in store within the return time frame and swap it out. worry free from here on in. Just a thought