As gamers, we have plenty of options when it comes to where we purchase games; we have retail stores such as GameStop, the Microsoft Store, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and even buying games online at Amazon. Now that online shopping has become bigger, it’s much more convenient for gamers around the world to get a hold of gaming products.
Mom and Pop stores are having a difficult time acquiring shipments of these items. Some may wonder why they can’t sell official gaming products? Some sellers may ask: Is it fair for retailers to have exclusive rights to sell a gaming product?
To answer this, we have to look at how merchandise is sold. As a person who has sold gaming products for Toys “R” Us, I know that there are rules and money involved. Companies pay for space to sell their products in a retail store. They send merchandise and equipment to make their area appealing and marketable for consumers to visit. With displays, trinkets, accessories, consoles, and handhelds, all of these products must stay in the designated area as long as it’s on the shelf or in a case for retail. These companies have representatives visit these stores to make sure that their products and areas are kept up. They also want to make sure that the employees who are in that area know the products and upcoming merchandise that they will receive in the future; and lastly, they take notes to see what needs to reorders. A lot of systems are in place.
Knowing that information, retailers are able to control and manage their gaming products, and make it more accessible for consumers. Prices are also controlled so that each business will make some profit. With pre-orders and special bundles, these gaming products are sold fairly across the board to consumers, and this allows various forms of payment used to buy them. Depending on the stock and inventory retailers receive, gaming products can be monitored through sales and policies. Yes, policies. M-Rated games can’t be sold to those under 17. There’s also rules in place to make sure that AO rated games are only sold in stores that allow it.
One issue that has become more apparent in recent years is how resellers and scalpers affect retail stores. Lately, it’s become increasingly difficult to acquire certain gaming products. Yes, retail stores themselves are having a difficult time with receiving consistent stock, which makes it frustrating to consumers who just want that product without dealing with resellers and scalpers setting their own ludicrous price points.
That isn’t to say that all is fair for retail stores. For example, when PS Vita was released, the memory card for the system was limited in quantity. When retail stores like Target and Toys ‘R’ Us weren’t receiving restock, but GameStop and Best Buy were, it became frustrating due to Sony’s change in their business decision. In the end, no stores were selling it at a point and Japan themselves, were the only place you can have one shipped. Yes, even Sony’s own stores, here in America, didn’t have any to sell. That exclusive right was way extreme and showed that some exclusive rights aren’t meant to be. All the stores wanted to sell the machine and the accessories but Sony’s decisions hurt them and a lot of retail stores in the end.
So is it fair for retailers to have exclusive rights to sell a gaming product? Yes. Yes, it is. With the way gaming products are sold now, retailers make it easier and sometimes, less stressful to make a purchase. Of course, it’s a struggle acquiring various products when companies change their business deals, but when you can buy it, you feel relieved and excited to get home and enjoy it.
How has your retail experience been when you purchase gaming products? Let us know in the comments or on Discord.