British games retailer GAME instructed its employees to purchase Nintendo 3DS consoles from supermarket rival Tesco in order to build up pre-owned stock, according to an internal document seen by Eurogamer.
On launch night Tesco was selling Nintendo’s new handheld for just £175 when purchased with any 3DS title. This prompted GAME’s management to authorize their stores to buy 3DS bundles from Tesco at £209.90 and then sell them as pre-owned to their own customers at £219.99 – the same as GAME’s price for a brand new 3DS.
The document states that this “pre-owned” stock was only to be offered to customers after GAME’s own stocks had been depleted, and instructed staff not to “up-sell” the Tesco-sourced 3DS’s to customers.
GAME has responded to Eurogamer, saying the practice of mass-buying 3DS’s from Tesco was “not mandatory” and only occurred on a small scale in order to allow its stores to compete with local rivals.
Let us know what you think of this sort of release-night chicanery in the comments. Are customers being unfairly duped, or is this just a natural part of the competitive retail world?