Secrets of Video Game Retail
There’s a lot that gamers don’t know about video game retail, which may drive them out of business in the long run. If you’ve ever wondered why Gamestop pushes used video games and third party accessories, it’s because they make more money on them then on anything new. Also, video game stores in malls often have slightly higher prices than other stores, due to additional mall costs.
Consoles work on the razor/razorblade business model. Stores basically break even on sales of a new console, expecting to make more money since you have to buy games. Some employees can even give you discounts depending on what you buy, though you have to be nice.
What about buying or preordering online to avoid sellouts?
Games almost never sell out, unless they are a surprise success. Katamari Damacy, for example, was hard to find since no one expected it to do well. Halo 3 or Call of Duty, however, will always be in stock. Don’t let the spooky idea of sell outs force you to preorder something you wouldn’t otherwise.
Individual Gamestop stores will sometimes not have enough copies on hand on launch day, but that’s due to the way they stock their stores. Their warehouse is full, but they really want you to preorder since it helps them manage their inventory. Target, Best Buy, and Walmart will always have copies of the biggest games on launch day. I don’t even go to Gamestop anymore if I haven’t preordered.
I still like retail, because I don’t have to wait on the mail. Still waiting for my Fallout: New Vegas to finally arrive from BestBuy.com. Next time, I’m picking it up at the store.