I had to go to GameStop to trade in some old games recently. The woman at the counter, after telling the other employee to run some old games through the shrink wrap machine they have in the back, took my stack of games and started scanning them to see how much they were worth.
She stopped when she got to a copy of James Pond: Robocod (DS) that I got as a gift, but never got around to playing.
“We can’t accept this,” she said.
“Why not?” I asked.
“We don’t accept any games that are shrink-wrapped,” she explained.
“Why not?” I asked again.
The lady gave me a very serious look, like she somehow suspected me of robbing the local Best Buy and trying to fence my stolen goods for 53 cents of trade-in credit at GameStop. “It’s company policy,” she said. “We can’t tell if a game is new or not, just based off the shrink wrap. We’ve had incidents in the past where people ran a used game through shrink wrap, and they tried to sell it to us as a new game, so they could get more credit for it.”
“But…you have a shrink wrap machine here in the store,” I said. “You just told that guy to run some games through it.”
“So?” she asked.
“…Isn’t that the same thing?” I asked. “You’re running old games through shrink wrap to make them look new.”
She blinked, not understanding my point. “Right, company policy dictates that we can’t accept trade-ins on shrink-wrapped games. Sorry.”
“OK,” I said.
There was a pause.
“Hey, wait a second!” I said, smiling. “I just remembered that I have a second copy of this game! One that’s not shrink-wrapped! Let me go get it.”
I took the offensive, shrink-wrapped James Pond game behind a shelf where the lady couldn’t see me rip off the shrink wrap. Twenty seconds later, I emerged with a non-offensive, not shrink-wrapped copy of the game. She accepted it right away and gave me my precious 53 cents of trade-in credit.
After I had traded in all my old games and purchased a new DSi, I started to leave the store. Then I turned around and looked at the lady.
“By the way, I noticed that there’s some shrink wrap on the floor behind that shelf there,” I said, pointing. “You might want to clean that up.”
“I’ll get Josh on it right after he finishes with the new Madden games,” she said.
“Great,” I smiled.
The above story is about 80% true; I changed the ending to make it funnier. In reality, she acted like she was doing me the biggest favor in the world by accepting the game as trade-in credit. But still. GameStop, your company policies about shrink-wrapping games are completely bogus.