22 – A Gripe With GameStop

This won’t be a very sophisticated entry into the halls of NaBloWriMo, and it probably would actually fit my Ventday theme quite well, but I’m a little upset with Gamestop at the moment. I went uptown, downtown, and just all around town in general today in search of a used GameCube controller, but I ended the day empty handed. Part of it is my fault, but a good chunk of the blame must fall on the video game giant where I intended to shop.

As I wrote back on the 8th, it is in my opinion that the GameCube controller is the best controller ever conceived by any video game company. Unfortunately, in my possession I now have only one working controller for the Cube. While I have enough controllers for my Wii U to keep a group of people huddled around the TV engaged, I’d like to have the controllers necessary to fully enjoy the library of fun GameCube games I have.

Since GameStop advertised it’s “Buy 2 Get 1 Free” promotion today, I thought I’d take a look and see if the retailer had any good Nintendo-made controllers in stock. A quick search on their website yielded several stores by my office that supposedly had them. After visiting four different locations today, only one out of the lot had one. The rest of the stores either had crappy 3rd party controllers or had no GameCube controllers at all. The website lied to me! I considered buying a controller at the one store that had them (it actually had two in stock!), but that store happened to be the one with the most limited selection of other used games I might have been interested in. I left the store frustrated.

After returning to my apartment I set out to try to find any other online retailers selling the GameCube controller, but it’s so hard to find an original controller that isn’t going for >$100. I’d take a stab at a 3rd party controller, but most have such horrible reviews online that I’ve been scared away. I could buy two new 3rd party controllers for the price of a used Nintendo controller from GameStop (who actually recently raised the price of the controller after news quickly spread that it now is compatible with the Nintendo Switch), but I am seeking the quality required to survive an epic Super Smash Bros. fest. A 3rd party controller just isn’t that reliable.

I’m now considering just ordering a controller from the GameStop website in the hopes I’d get lucky and have a decent one sent to my door. Based upon the reviews on the website, it would appear GameStop doesn’t really test the used products they sell before delivering them to an unsuspecting populace, with many commentators lamenting that the controllers they received were faulty. Granted, people usually only write reviews when they have negative things to say, but I am not taking what they’ve said so lightly. I may take the risk anyway just so I don’t have to do a lap around NYC again to find the one store that actually has one in stock. If I order it and the one they ship to me sucks, I may just return it and press my luck again.

With GameStop, however, the odds don’t always seem to be in the consumer’s favor.

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