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Game admits buying 3DS stock from Tesco

Game admits buying 3DS stock from Tesco

The Nintendo 3DS is selling fast; too fast for some.

The popularity of Nintendo's new 3DS handheld was always going to result in stock shortages, but it's emerged that high street retailer Game has been willing to go to extreme lengths to ensure it has enough stock.

The staff over at Eurogamer received some documents showing that Game authorised its staff to purchase additional stock of the device from Tesco, taking advantage of a £175 + game bundle, and then sell it on as pre-owned stock.

In response to the document, a Game spokesperson told Eurogamer: '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.'

While stores weren't explicitly ordered to buy up Tesco's stock, the fact that it was authorised company-wide by Game's head office at all is still astounding. By doing this, Game staff took competing, cheaper stock out of the market, while selling its own more expensive bundles.

Have you had trouble getting your hands on a Nintendo 3DS? Does this kind of activity surprise you? Let us know in the forums.

46 Comments

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BlackRaven 30th March 2011, 16:23 Quote
Thats good business
Tangster 30th March 2011, 16:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackRaven
Thats good business

This is true. People who want one are probably going to buy it anyway, regardless of an extra £20-30.
mpr 30th March 2011, 16:41 Quote
How's that any different than the Stock Market or big buisinesses buying up competing buisiness and shutting them down... other than the fact that the only potential losses will be had by Game and not any employees of Tesco as happens during buy outs.

As stated above, good buisiness.
bluespider42 30th March 2011, 16:42 Quote
I seem to remember a similar story with the Harry Potter books.
Lance 30th March 2011, 16:48 Quote
Years ago when I worked at a sports shop we were only allowed to sell mens 1 football shirt per customer because a rival was trying to buy up our stock.

As above, its good business, controls demand and keeps prices strong. Better for the games industry (I am aware they don't see the higher prices now, but it means they can keep their price to suppliers higher for longer).

Creating high demand like this is good. The poor miss out, but then they should work harder and become less poor.
r3loaded 30th March 2011, 16:52 Quote
Bit of a dick move, but that's the principle of arbitrage for you.
Ph4ZeD 30th March 2011, 16:54 Quote
Only way that GAME can compete anymore is to try to buy out their rivals so the only place that people can buy from is themselves. They can't compete on price or convenience.
Phalanx 30th March 2011, 16:57 Quote
Am I the only one who sees no problem?

They bought it legally, they were notifying people it was not brand new and were selling it used. I'm missing where this was illegal or misleading.
NethLyn 30th March 2011, 16:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3loaded
Bit of a dick move, but that's the principle of arbitrage for you.

My discounted Kick-Ass DVD from Zavvi had an Asda sticker on it, but I suppose that was just overstock from Christmas. I don't see the problem, pick the best price or the preferred reward scheme, it's not like the Wii where they couldn't be bought for months on end unless you travelled to Germany like some of my brothers' friends.
sp4nky 30th March 2011, 17:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ph4lanx
Am I the only one who sees no problem?

They bought it legally, they were notifying people it was not brand new and were selling it used. I'm missing where this was illegal or misleading.

No, you're not. I'd have thought that Tesco aren't displeased that they sold all their stock.
smc8788 30th March 2011, 17:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ph4lanx
I'm missing where this was illegal or misleading.

No one said it was...
TWeaK 30th March 2011, 17:05 Quote
Lol at anyone who thinks that GAME is at fault for this. Frankly, I commend them. I don't support GAME much, and I remember the time when they were undercutting and muscling out local game stores, but Tesco have that practice as their bread and butter (literally!).

Tesco use loss-leading products - they sell some items at a loss as a way to drive customers into the store; they know their customers will want to buy the cheap items but while they're there they'll also buy other things. If GAME employees are buying 3DSs using company money then I doubt they'll be buying anything else. I see it as the lesser of two evils - and I'm happy for anyone to stick two fingers up towards Tesco.

@sp4nky: If Tesco are selling it at a loss then I'm not so sure they would be pleased that it's GAME employees buying them!
Phalanx 30th March 2011, 17:05 Quote
And yet everyone is laying into Game... Me no get!
smc8788 30th March 2011, 17:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ph4lanx
And yet everyone is laying into Game... Me no get!

I don't really either. There's no victim here, I hardly think Tesco would be selling them at a loss anyway so GAME would be making less than stock bought from Nintendo wholesale. It's not really profiteering, just making sure they have enough stock for their customers.
Mitcian 30th March 2011, 17:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWeaK
Lol at anyone who thinks that GAME is at fault for this. Frankly, I commend them. I don't support GAME much, and I remember the time when they were undercutting and muscling out local game stores, but Tesco have that practice as their bread and butter (literally!).

Tesco use loss-leading products - they sell some items at a loss as a way to drive customers into the store; they know their customers will want to buy the cheap items but while they're there they'll also buy other things. If GAME employees are buying 3DSs using company money then I doubt they'll be buying anything else. I see it as the lesser of two evils - and I'm happy for anyone to stick two fingers up towards Tesco.

^ This
sandys 30th March 2011, 17:17 Quote
Game have done it before, its annoying I'm not interested in 3DS but if I wanted one I'd be pretty annoyed that I can't buy one at a good price with what I want, I recall being very annoyed when Game snapped up all the cheap 360s from Tesco when I was after one, course Game were charging more for the console bundled with some secondhand crap I did not want.

Doesn't make it wrong though its just business for them, but I can't help feeling a little pissed off with them about it having missed out due to this behaviour.
NethLyn 30th March 2011, 17:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluespider42
I seem to remember a similar story with the Harry Potter books.

Well Asda took all the Childrens' Editions of the last book and flogged them for a fiver in the first weekend, so undercutting Waterstones which has been closing branches at the time and ever since. I made do with the adult version for a tenner. Like TWeak says, any retail chain can take any product and make it the can of beans just to get people in the store.
flibblesan 30th March 2011, 18:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ph4lanx
And yet everyone is laying into Game... Me no get!
Probably because they are selling these as pre-owned and charging the same price as a new 3DS. IMHO there would be less of an uproar if Game just sold these as new in the first place.
greypilgers 30th March 2011, 18:38 Quote
A similar thing happened with the cocoa harvest a couple of years ago, didnt it? A hedge fund or investment company realised that due to some global climate or weather trends the cocoa harvest globally was going to be significantly lower than in previous years, they then bought up all the (then) cheap cocoa and hoarded it until the shortage became apparent - this pushed up the prices so they were able to sell at an inflated price and reap the profit from companies, and in turn people, who had to pay more for something than they did previously. This is capitalism in effect, and the same thing is in effect here - GAME not able to secure enough for their projected demand, so they take advantage of a lower price elsewhere, thus decreasing supply somewhat whilst enabling them to fulfill the demand with higher priced stock.
Everyone sniffs at Tesco, but personally I quite like being able to buy groceries cheaply and conveniently. I struggle to see what the issue with that is - at least the consumer is getting something out of it. With GAME's tactic, the consumer is getting less choice about the retailer, and a higher price for what they were after.
Bridaggs 30th March 2011, 19:12 Quote
Tesco will have had more buying power, and probably bought larger quantities across the country than GAME did. As such probably paid less per unit for them than GAME, so can sell cheaper and still make profit.

At a place I used to work (a large national retail chain) we had a guy who used to come in and buy our PS2 packages to sell because we were cheaper than him getting bulk stock direct from Sony.
Kroy 30th March 2011, 19:47 Quote
From a company who take second hand, traded-in nintendo cartridges and sell them as new (yes, it had save-game data on it) nothing is surprising.
Waynio 30th March 2011, 20:41 Quote
:) But doesn't make sense to sell them as 2nd hand :?.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kroy
From a company who take second hand, traded-in nintendo cartridges and sell them as new (yes, it had save-game data on it) nothing is surprising.
Really? wow thats freaking awful but so is the fact they unwrap new games & put the disc in the manual which could add scratches to the disc to try & curb shop lifting & charge as high of a price as possible, they should deduct at least £5 off the price imo, I never buy new games from GAME after working there unless it's the online shop.
Omnituens 30th March 2011, 20:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kroy
From a company who take second hand, traded-in nintendo cartridges and sell them as new (yes, it had save-game data on it) nothing is surprising.

TBH, mistakes can be made like this. Only takes one temp at christmas to file a bunch of stock in the wrong place, and the mistake might not be notices for weeks, even months.
MaverickWill 30th March 2011, 20:58 Quote
I'll come out and say I have a problem with this. Side-stepping the whole "capitalism in action" thing, this is the case of a company buying up a load of stock of something from a consumer retail channel, so the consumers can't. Surely, as consumers, we should be condemning this. Imagine the uproar here if Scan put a GTX580 on special for £250, and 5 minutes later, Ebuyer bought the lot to sell on at regular retail price.

Is it possible to do it? Yes.
Is it moral to do it? No.
Is it to the benefit of the paying customer to do it? Not a chance.
keezo 30th March 2011, 21:37 Quote
lol, how clever of them.
law99 30th March 2011, 22:40 Quote
Hell, I worked on a sinking ship known as Borders that used to do this very thing. Buy better than half price books from Tesco or Asda when low.
SMIFFYDUDE 30th March 2011, 22:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by flibblesan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ph4lanx
And yet everyone is laying into Game... Me no get!
Probably because they are selling these as pre-owned and charging the same price as a new 3DS. IMHO there would be less of an uproar if Game just sold these as new in the first place.

I'm not sure they can sell them as new because GAME bought them retail not wholesale. They might not be used but they are pre-owned.
Tangster 30th March 2011, 22:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by law99
Hell, I worked on a sinking ship known as Borders that used to do this very thing. Buy better than half price books from Tesco or Asda when low.
Mind you, it was the US Border's that went bust, UK Borders was doing reasonably well but got dragged down. I remember buying lots of 3 for 2 or half price books from there. (Mostly sci-fi/fantasy which you don't get at supermarkets)
flibblesan 30th March 2011, 23:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kroy
From a company who take second hand, traded-in nintendo cartridges and sell them as new (yes, it had save-game data on it) nothing is surprising.

Knowing people that have worked for Game in the past, this happens more often than you think. If a game is traded in and it's in excellent condition then the majority of the time it's resealed in the back and sold as new. And it's not exclusive to Game either.
CrazyJoe 31st March 2011, 01:42 Quote
I don't see much of a story here...
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaverickWill
Imagine the uproar here if Scan put a GTX580 on special for £250, and 5 minutes later, Ebuyer bought the lot to sell on at regular retail price.

If you're not fast etc...
MaverickWill 31st March 2011, 01:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyJoe
I don't see much of a story here...

If you're not fast etc...

A company buying through consumer channels, thereby taking low-price stock out of the market and keeping the price artificially high... They couldn't have shipped stock between the GAME branches and the Gamestation ones if they were in such a desperate struggle to get stock to necessary places?
dyzophoria 31st March 2011, 02:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ph4lanx
Am I the only one who sees no problem?

They bought it legally, they were notifying people it was not brand new and were selling it used. I'm missing where this was illegal or misleading.

same here, that's actually a good business strategy, they are not taking advantage of their customers since they are announcing the stuff as "used". quite a smart move actually,lol
greigaitken 31st March 2011, 02:50 Quote
I can't even see how this is in any way immoral, if i bought one from tesco, and sold it on ebay, thus making profit and 'removing a bargain from the consumer space' thats cool, but if company does same thing, then they 'bad to customers'?
infact, taking stock from tesco customers and putting it in hands of GAME customers, is surely good for GAME customers
MaverickWill 31st March 2011, 05:07 Quote
The difference of you being a consumer and GAME being a company removing substantial stock (and no, I don't believe this was an isolated incident or 2) is huge. GAME are artificially inflating prices. It's akin to cartel-esque behaviour. Again, if a single comapny bought up their competitors' high-end products (in our case, all the Radeon HD 6990s and GTX590s), would you not feel annoyed for the consumer if they sold the lot on for 20% mark-up?

Leave your personal slant on the 3DS at the door. This is BAD for consumers.
law99 31st March 2011, 08:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangster
Mind you, it was the US Border's that went bust, UK Borders was doing reasonably well but got dragged down. I remember buying lots of 3 for 2 or half price books from there. (Mostly sci-fi/fantasy which you don't get at supermarkets)

Yeah. They sold the UK company. Luke Johnson, who went on to sell us on to the now legendery Philip Downer. A man who despite having publishing companies agree to waver debts temporarily to keep Borders operational until future times, where they could pay back and reclaim some credit insurance, sold us down the river to MCR, a company hell bent on liquidating the chain even with a American backer trying to save us. That's right, Borders in the UK was going to be bought out by someone from accross the pond, but MCR rejected his offer because they would make more money liquidating the company than selling it on. It was pretty sad when they started bringing in "new stock" for us to sell when we were clearly in no state to be making orders.

Of course the next chapter is that HMV have lost their credit insurance; owning Waterstones also, meaning, ****, what is going to happen to high street Booksellers?
Stelph 31st March 2011, 12:09 Quote
No issue here for me either, A similar thing is someone buying them themselves and then flogging them at a hugely inflated price on ebay because stock is limited, in fact this is much better as Game have highlighted they are Pre-Owned and I assume are selling them at the same price or slighly cheaper as their own stock.
Bauul 31st March 2011, 14:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaverickWill
... It's akin to cartel-esque behaviour...

It's not akin to cartel-esque behavoiur as Tesco aren't part of this. The companies aren't working together to keep prices high.

It's not good for the consumer, but Game is perfectly within its rights to do this. It's a simple process:

Company A makes product
Company B buys product from Company A to sell on
... repeat until product reaches consumer.

There's no technical difference between a company planning on selling the product to another company and a consumer. If Tesco doesn't like this, it's up to Tesco to be more careful about who they sell to.
greypilgers 31st March 2011, 14:05 Quote
Stelph - you havent read the article. GAME werent selling the stock at the same price or lower than Tesco - it was higher than Tescos price. Now all you people who say 'thats fine, whats the problem?' are obviously rich enough that paying more for the same thing is not a problem, but given the option, I'd quite like to pay LESS for something rather than MORE.. So in that instance, a tactic such as what GAME employs is not good for customers in general.
Stelph 31st March 2011, 17:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by greypilgers
Stelph - you havent read the article. GAME werent selling the stock at the same price or lower than Tesco - it was higher than Tescos price. Now all you people who say 'thats fine, whats the problem?' are obviously rich enough that paying more for the same thing is not a problem, but given the option, I'd quite like to pay LESS for something rather than MORE.. So in that instance, a tactic such as what GAME employs is not good for customers in general.

Well what I had said was selling at the same price (or less) than their own stock, i.e. games, so I was right with my comments.

I still don't see an issue as it is legal for Game to do this, if the consumer misses out on the Tesco offer because of it then they dont have to pay the higher prices offered by Game and should wait for Tesco to get them back in stock. No-one is forcing you to pay the price that Game offer.

A bigger issue IMO is the way that Tesco does sell massively hyped items like this well under the wholesale price to get people in the door, and also (im sure) to squeese out competition in their market, as a lot of the gaming store have pointed out recently with the releases of FIFA and COD

I have to say, its nice seeing the mature response that the bit-tech readership are posting here, as opposed to some other forums where people are literally crying blue murder over this!
EvoDOOM 31st March 2011, 18:07 Quote
Seems like good business for both of the companys
mikeuk2004 1st April 2011, 23:08 Quote
I guess they have not hit my tesco yet then because they still have around 30 of them on the shelve in those security cases.
Fizzban 1st April 2011, 23:22 Quote
I'm not bothered tbh. It's good business sense on Games part. The consumer doesn't miss out unless they choose to by not shopping around. Anyone with any sense shops around before spending their money. And any who don't deserve to pay what they pay.
SazBard 2nd April 2011, 15:36 Quote
I am astounding by the complacency being shown here by many and some even going so far as to condone such practices. This is really bad news for the consumer (the majority of us) as we lose out in the end and if you think this is all fine and dandy then, well you probably work for either Tesco or Game.

I do believe this kind of practice is not allowed by trading standards as it just boils down to price fixing, in fact it wouldn't surprise me if Tesco were in on the whole thing.

I wonder if Trading Standards have been notified?

This is what I love about the good people of this country and their attitudes... I'm alright Jack, f**k you.

What a sad state of affairs :(
M7ck 2nd April 2011, 20:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SazBard
I am astounding by the complacency being shown here by many and some even going so far as to condone such practices. This is really bad news for the consumer (the majority of us) as we lose out in the end and if you think this is all fine and dandy then, well you probably work for either Tesco or Game.

I do believe this kind of practice is not allowed by trading standards as it just boils down to price fixing, in fact it wouldn't surprise me if Tesco were in on the whole thing.

I wonder if Trading Standards have been notified?

This is what I love about the good people of this country and their attitudes... I'm alright Jack, f**k you.

What a sad state of affairs :(

It's not price fixing as game does not have a monopoly on the 3DS, if you as a consumer do not wish to buy from game you have the choice to buy from wherever you wish. Hell my local Tesco still has stock of them.
Stelph 8th April 2011, 16:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by M7ck
It's not price fixing as game does not have a monopoly on the 3DS, if you as a consumer do not wish to buy from game you have the choice to buy from wherever you wish. Hell my local Tesco still has stock of them.

Exactly, if anything I would say that SazBard is the one whos attitude is showing what a sad state of affairs we are in, in that people can get all wound up by something so minor when nothing wrong/illegal has been done.

A 3DS is a luxury item, there is no monopoly as Game is acting as a consumer and buying the product from Tescos and then selling it on second hand, no-one is forcing anyone to pay the price Game is asking (just wait for the price to hit what you are willing to pay), if anything it would be great if Game had bought all these and no-one bought them at that price, egg on their face!
CrazyJoe 9th April 2011, 04:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stelph
Exactly, if anything I would say that SazBard is the one whos attitude is showing what a sad state of affairs we are in, in that people can get all wound up by something so minor when nothing wrong/illegal has been done.

A 3DS is a luxury item, there is no monopoly as Game is acting as a consumer and buying the product from Tescos and then selling it on second hand, no-one is forcing anyone to pay the price Game is asking (just wait for the price to hit what you are willing to pay), if anything it would be great if Game had bought all these and no-one bought them at that price, egg on their face!

Nice summary, just a shame not all people see it this way...
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