Why I Hold On To GameStop: The Complicated Trade-In

On the previous article in the series, I talked about the sense of belonging I feel whenever I walk into a GameStop and how this can be traced back to my first experiences with video game stores when I was younger. But, although important to me, these feelings are not the only reason why I continue to support the franchise; their exceptional customer service and attentiveness have always surprised me and kept me coming back. Over the next few articles I will go through examples where GameStop and its employees went the extra mile for me.

The Complicated Trade-In

It was late summer 2012 when the Nintendo 3DS XL arrived at stores. As a Nintendo fan it was both exciting and a kick in the nuts. The system had a larger screen and better overall look than the standard 3DS but also somehow sported more battery life, a general gripe that most standard 3DS owners had. So, I went to GameStop planning to trade-in my standard 3DS towards the XL.

A size comparison between the original Nintendo 3DS and the 3DS XL version.

Everything was going pretty much according to plan until we realized that, in order to transfer my data and content from the current system to the new one, the handhelds would need WiFi access. I thought the transfer would only require some form of SD card swapping and was immediately worried. Amongst other things, I did not want to lose my Streetpass progress, Ambassador program status and downloads. Also, I really could not afford to just buy the XL outright, do the transfer at home, and then come back later to trade in the standard version.

The guy on the other side of the counter must have noticed my conundrum and came up with a plan to solve it. After we completed the trade-in and purchased the XL, he asked the other employee on shift to take over the register. Then, we walked out of the store and across the mall to a Barnes & Noble, where the free WiFi was reliable. Finding no empty chairs like in the cafe area, we spotted a good corner and sat on the floor. And, proceeded to spend the next thirty minutes performing the transfer.

Aside from potentially guaranteeing a sale and a trade-in, there was no reason for this GameStop employee to do this. But he did regardless. I am not even sure that walking out of the store with merchandise (my standard 3DS which was now store property) was even something he could do. But he did, and I left that day with a nifty Nintendo 3DS XL containing all of my data. I was completely satisfied. That might have been one of those few times in which I actually filled out the little employee survey on the store receipt. It was well earned.

The store where this complicated trade-in took place.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. The Otaku Judge says:

    Nintendo are miles behind Sony when it comes to this sort of thing. I never understood why they tie purchases to a console rather than an online account. Hopefully that has been addressed in the Switch.

    Kudos to that Gamestop employee. He went the extra mile to help you out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Soul says:

      I hope they tie purchases to the account going forward too. This is key if they want their eShop business to grow. People are probably more likely to buy if they have the confidence that their purchases will “persist”. This is especially true for Virtual Console titles, where many have had to repurchase classics multiple times on multiple platforms.

      Liked by 1 person

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