I knew that this discussion was going to get some attention, when I originally brought the topic up on Twitter I got flooded with replies pretty quickly. However, it was at least a little surprising to see the topic become one of the most hotly discussed topics I think I’ve ever broached. Of course, people are going to have fairly strong feelings on how they spend their money and the service they expect when they hand over some of their hard earned cash.
What was perhaps most surprising was how many of you still regularly shop in a brick and mortar store. I was expecting an overwhelming response from almost everyone that they only shop online now, and rarely go into shops. Whilst there were obviously a number of you who said you do all your shopping online, it wasn’t a complete domination. In fact for some of you, such as cc_star, bricks and mortar retailers are the only place you can shop.
I can’t buy games online, I have to spend the cash in my pocket if I want games which means bricks & mortar retailers.
Therefore I have a choice of indies, supermarkets or the big gaming retailers from the GAME Group, so GAME & GameStation obviously.
There were of course a good chunk of you who also shop online, but use high street stores to trade-in your games once you’ve finished with them. However, it seems that GAME and GameStation have fallen out of fashion for trade-ins now, and CEX is king, as Death_In_Flamez detailed.
For me, it’s either CEX or the best internet site. Gamestation’s bold claim stating they have “the best trade-in prices” is nonsense and I once almost had the nerve to take one of their staff down to the CEX on the same high street and prove it. GAME has some good pre-order bonuses, but are too highly priced. In the end, the only real winners here are CEX and the internet.
Now, let’s move onto the point of this all; GAME and GameStation. It was unsurprising to find that many of you agreed with me about the differences between GAME and GameStation, 3shirts being one such commenter.
The Game and Gamestation in my town were completely different experiences. GAME sold at close to full RRP with crap trade-ins deals, overpriced pre-owned titles and moronic staff but it was big, impressive looking and thus where the parents went to buy presents. Gamestation was smaller, staffed by gamers and had good trade-ins, cool retro gear and even classic consoles and games like Megadrive, N64 and Gamecube.
Some of you went so far as to fully elaborate on what you like and dislike, with Jen A and Foxhound_Solid standing out for producing pretty detailed breakdowns. In particular Foxhound’s description of GameStation stores as ‘rancid’ made me laugh whilst recalling pretty much every visit I’ve ever made to a GameStation store.
Ultimately though it seems many of you have no real preference, and it’s all about price. That’s completely understandable, and a pretty logical way to make your choice on where to purchase from. Forrest_01 seems to sum it up nicely, so I’ll let them have the final say.
For me, it’s all about the best price – Usually online leads the way on this of course, but sometimes it’s nice to go home with game in hand. When I do get that urge, it tends to either be Gamestation, CEX or HMV that profit from it & again, whichever has the best price on what I was looking for. I do shop in GAME occasionally, but it has to be a really good offer!