Staff at UK retailer Game were told to take advantage of the low prices of 3DS at the nation’s supermarkets, with hardware purchased elsewhere to be sold as pre-owned stock – for the same price as new systems.
A disgruntled member of staff at the UK’s biggest specialist game retailer leaked an internal memo to Eurogamer in which management allowed staff to purchase up to five systems from UK supermarket Tesco, which was selling 3DS for £175 when bought with a game.
“Whist we are unable to competitively match this offer in terms of a mint price,” the memo says, “it offers a great opportunity to gain 3DS consoles and games for your store’s pre-owned stock.
“It has been authorised by the business that members of staff from stores are able to purchase stock from Tesco stores and then trade back in to your store as pre-owned stock. Any consoles purchased should be put to one side and sold to a customer if you run out of mint hardware.
“The price of preowned consoles will be set at the same price as mint due to expected supply shortage on the market and the quality of the stock.”
The memo makes clear that “this task is not mandatory,” but one member of staff said his store was reprimanded for not taking part.
A Game spokesperson said: “Some of our stores wanted to move quickly last weekend to build their pre-owned stocks of 3DS at the same time as their local competitors, so we gave them a process to do that. It was not mandatory, and happened in small volumes.”
This is the latest move from the retailer to build its portfolio of pre-owned stock as soon after a new release as possible. Earlier this month Game began a new scheme where customers could pre-order pre-owned games, available a week after release for a £6 discount, shortly after it had guaranteed £35 trade-in for new releases Bulletstorm and Killzone 3, provided they were traded in within two weeks of release.