It sucks being a GameStop employee.
Don't discount this as the ramblings of a disgruntled employee, ( I am disgruntled, but it's more of an interpersonal thing.) I've worked there for almost two years, and I can tell you some things about the shady dealings of our favorite source of reduced price video games, consoles, and accessories.
The trade-in policy is a blatant scam. Here's how it works- you buy a new game, usually 64.94 after taxes before including DLC, collector's packages, or any other merchandise. You play the game. It gets old, it's bad, or a new title comes out in the franchise. You trade it in so you can get a new game. In most cases you get around 10-12 dollars with trade credit before any promotions; depending on how recenty the game came out, the quality of gameplay, number of used copies on hand, and how many units were sold new at launch. If you should choose to get cash instead of credit, it strips away any promotions and leaves you with only 5-9 dollars. Then they turn around and sell your game for around 54.99. With these bleak numbers, you're lucky if you get 15% of your orignal purchase value. This is basically the point where the customer becomes angry and accuses the cashier of manipulating their trade values.
Here's a little secret: GameStop makes 100% profit for every used game they sell. Nothing goes to royalties, the developer, the publisher, or even the creator. When you get store credit, that is their money that they have loaned to like a credit card, and you can not spend it anywhere else. So when you opt for store credit, you are basically killing the economy.
This lack of protection for intellectual property gives rise to one of the banes of fulfilling gameplay: DLC. DLC is sold online so that no one but the customer can experience it. Sometimes, when a game is in development, the developer sets a part of the original game aside to be sold later as an expansion. They do this because they lose their money to used copies, and by releasing DLC, they can cover the loss. Then, when you're in a heated deathmatch at 2 A.M., a smack-talking 12-year-old will pull out an omnipotent derringer and lay waste to a score of other players, throwing the match into chaos; thus rendering gameplay into a nightmare of pay-to-win, additional purchase guns, and lag-tastic maps.
Then there is the matter of hours for the employees. Hours are like commission, the better your numbers are, the more hours you pull in. This can lead to paradox, and if any of us learned anything from Back to the Future, it should be that we avoid creating those, lest we wipe ourselves from existence by screwing our grandma. It's like the vicious cycle of unemployment (I can't get a job because I don't have experience, because I can't get a job), except it's worse because you are "gainfully" employed. I can't get hours because I can't get numbers, because I can't get hours. The management positions do not run into this problem, as they are given salaries, but for the lowly grunts, that can be the difference between poverty with cash or poverty with extra desperation. And since promotions are handed out according to performance, it makes it rather hard to advance in rank and wages. (It really doesn't help that the base salary is 7.25/hr. An infinitismal rate, considering that they make money hand over fist by selling the expensive games they buy for peanuts.)
And even more ludicrous is the policy for any military, police, or other discounts. They don't even bother. It seems really counterintuitive to a sound business policy. Consider this: Soldiers come off of their patrols, and most of them are looking to wind down before their next shift. Most of them either have their own handheld system, or share a console in the rec room on base. A soldier once said that 90% of a soldier's life is mind-numbing boredom, and the other 10% is sheer terror. So what do you think that soldiers do while waiting for their shift? They check Facebook, write home, smoke cigarettes, take pictures, Skype loved ones, and play games like Halo and Call of Duty. When they come home, most of them have a family waiting on them, so naturally, they have a console waiting at home also. When soldiers come into the store, they find out that the company will not give them a discount for their hard service, and most of them make a point to either leave or raise hell with the managers. Why not open a discount and help our troops out, I'm pretty sure it's not good for the company's reputation or stock prices if word got out about a lack of patriotism.
And they don't give the police discounts either. Considering that they respond to robberies and burglaries, you would think that they would at least get a 5% discount for making sure nobody steals their shit. Nope, they're too busy swimming in gold coins to care.
Between these disastrous policies, a devotion to corporate greed, and thriving online game markets like Steam, eShop, PSN, and Live; hopefully, there will be a restructuring of the company and we will see a lot of CEOs and lawyers out on their asses... Who am I kidding, they'll just golden parachute to another company and laugh as everyone jumps ship in an attempt to make more money. That's corporations for you.