Tales From Video Game Retail – Trade in Woes


Trade ins. Dear lord, trade ins. Don’t get me started on those sports games that come out at the same time every year, like FIFA, NBA, Madden, etc. Folks would want to trade in last year’s Madden game and FREAK OUT when they saw the trade in value, having not realized that games depreciate like anything else.

Like, bruh. I’ve got 20 drawers of games back here behind the counter and FIVE of them are FULL of MADDEN, and then I have another shelf of them in the back room on top of that. I could literally put out a dumpster fire with the amount of Madden copies in this store — just dump them in to smother the flames. No one would miss them, and we would still have dozens left! Dozens!

Image result for literal dumpster fire

Most customers just didn’t understand trade in policies and the fact that video game stores that resell used items are subject to state pawn shop laws, no matter how clearly we explained it. Pawn shop laws require a valid ID for each and every trade in and it took a hot minute to get all that information into our system, which didn’t please anyone.

Of course, people would come in all the time without an ID, then get really surly with us for not being able to process their trade in. Yeah, you know how you drive to go shopping without your driver’s license because reasons? Totally normal.

This policy also existed because of theft. Gonna bring us games you definitely just shoplifted from Walmart down the street? Okay, but we gotta put your legal name on that transaction so the police know who to contact. Not interested anymore? Color me surprised!

Once I had a guy try to trade in an iPhone but “didn’t have an ID”, so he left for a few minutes, talked to a stranger in the parking lot, then that guy comes in with the same phone wanting to trade it in. We ask for his ID and he asks why we need it. I say, “It’s pawn shop law. The item goes on a 30 day hold in the back so that police can claim it and contact the seller if it gets reported stolen.” The man nearly evaporated before my eyes. Nope nope nope.

Image result for simpson bush meme

More Retail Peeves

I’m not a dog ok? Don’t whistle. Don’t snap. Why are you like this? Use your words.

People who beg for a discount and try to get you to cut deals. Just like… This is not a bazaar. This is not a fish market. We don’t haggle. What. Take it or leave it, not gonna break my heart!

You could get it for less somewhere else and can’t find the supposed ad for us to price match? Okay then go there instead. No one cares if you “never shop her again”. If you’re a huge pain, we would actually love that. Put your money where your mouth is already.

“Please, can’t you just check in the back?” Boy, I stock “the back”. I know exactly what is in the back. The computer knows too. Why would either of us lie? Okay, fine, I’ll go and putz around on my phone in the warehouse for a minute while I “check”. Whatever makes you happy.

No, we don’t have Battle Toads. 2012 called and they want their meme back.

People, I swear.

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Did this amuse you? There’s more:
Tales From Video Game Retail: Black Friday Edition
Tales From Video Game Retail: The Hungry, Hungry Grandpa
Tales From Video Game Retail: Sandwiches and Shenanigans
Tales From Video Game Retail: Peeves and Lessons Learned

9 comments on “Tales From Video Game Retail – Trade in Woes”

  1. I spent a couple of 50% enjoyable, 50% hellish Black Friday-to-New Year periods working in game retail, and every one of these situations was entirely relatable.

    I actually didn’t mind doing game trade-ins so much, because sometimes they could spark interesting conversations, but I hate hate HATED doing phone trade-ins, because it was almost always dodgy, shady folks doing them.

    Oh, you want to trade in that brand new iPhone that hasn’t even had the shrink wrap taken off its packaging? Let me… let me just check something with a manager for one moment. I’ll be right back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad they hit home for you! Half enjoyable half not sounds about right hahah

      At our store we actually had a rule that we couldn’t accept trade in of items that were still in their shrink wrap.

      “Hey manager, this shoplifter is trying to sell us stuff again, halp.”

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s exactly what they imagine. I worked at a Best Buy before GameStop and our back warehouse was pretty big, but inventory was accurate so if the computer says we don’t have it, looking in the back is a waste. At the smaller store the back was just a few extra shelves plus sealed new releases waiting for launch day.


  2. It seems like a lot of people who ask these kinds of questions do so with the intent that you will comply with them unconditionally. They make these requests, but aren’t prepared for the person they’re speaking with to say “no”.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Speaking as someone who used to work in retail, I can confirm that is not true – no matter how much management likes to push it. I didn’t get terrible customers too often, but the ones who were managed to be completely in over their heads.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Although I’ve never worked in a video game trade-in shop, I have worked in retail and can definitely relate to some of these. Especially customer’s wanting you to check in the back, after you’ve already checked on the PC.

    Liked by 1 person

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