Mine’s probably the most tame.
Hardcore Gamer Magazine was a short-lived successor to Gamefan Magazine back in the mid 2000’s (it lives on at hardcoregamer.com). Like most gaming magazines, it had a fanart section in the back, and every month they’d pick their favorite and it’d get a prize pack of goodies
Since it was kind of a niche mag and wasn’t super well distributed, I figured competition wouldn’t be terribly fierce, so I polished up a few pieces of fanart and submitted them. Sure enough, I ended up winning the very next month – receiving a prize pack of THQ games, one for each platform: WWE Day of Reckoning for the Gamecube, Evil Dead Regeneration for the PS2, Destroy All Humans for Xbox, and rounding everything out the Dawn of War: Winter Assault expansion for PC. Not a bad spread, but I only had a Gamecube at the time, and zero interest in wrestling.
So, I took these four brand new, still-shrink-wrapped games to my local Gamestop. I knew I wouldn’t get full price for any of them, but each one was worth at least $40. Surely I’d get a good deal, right? I mean, I’m not one to trade games in, so I didn’t really know, but I expected to walk out of there with $70 or maybe even $80.
Gamestop clerk gives me the stinkeye when I plop them down on the counter and ask for trade-in credit. He slides Dawn of War back my way, audibly annoyed: “We don’t take PC games on trade.” Okay, fair enough, I completely understand.
Then, one by one, he breaks the seal on each console game and cracks open the case to inspect the product. Uh. Well, sure! Gotta make sure everything’s on the up and up! He doesn’t know me. To him, maybe I look like some kind of shady character! I just dumped over $100 worth of brand new software on his counter, after all.
“Trade in value for these three games is $21.”
“Together. As a whole.”
In shock and feeling more than a little embarrassed, I take the $21, put it towards a pre-owned copy of Resident Evil 4 on the Gamecube, and slink out of the store with my tail between my legs.
At the other end of the parking lot was our town’s Wal-mart. Dawn of War: Winter Assault still in hand, I hit up the returns counter and they give me a cool $30 for it. For that one game. Whereas Gamestop’s trade in credit for the other three games was $7 each. I was quickly turning furious.
And that was the first and last time I ever tried to trade anything in at a Gamestop.