The core product is what matters, but shouldn’t complimentary extras be taken into account, like the original box, and instruction manual? Should you accept these extras as missing for the same value as an identical twin with these extras? Absolutely not.
But guess what? GameStop, and other retailers are guilty of not offering a price difference between complete, used products, and incomplete, used products. This is unacceptable in wake of the price difference of new, and used products. Frankly I’m surprised that this has hardly been brought up before.
Complete products should not be sold for an identical value to incomplete products, as it is not of identical value. This fact is widely recognized, and yet many businesses attempt to slide by selling varying conditions of the same products for the same price.
To clarify, new products include everything the manufacture intended for the consumer in perfect condition. Used products can be missing any number of things or be damaged to any extent. New products has a definitive, given quality, which allows every new copy to be of identical price, however, since used products can vary so drastically in quality, how can all of it be of identical price?
Let’s say an individual purchases a car, and sells or trades it back in about the same condition. Now imagine the story is identical for another person who brings in the same type of vehicle to trade or sell on the exception that it’s scratched-up, missing panels in its interior and so forth. Would it be fair for the dealership to sell both of these used vehicles, that are of identical make for the same price? Obviously not, but this is what GameStop is doing with its used video games. As long as it works and is presentable Gamestop does not seem to care. It has a two-set mind: new and used. There are presently no varying conditions of price differences on used products. GameStop is seemingly assuming that all used copies are created equal, and this could not be further from the truth.
Varying condition on the video game front in a more direct manner is even more evident when you look at their collection of used portables and consoles. Some of their showpieces are scratched and/or made to scream for your attention with unattractive barbie and smiley stickers, but here they are with the same price as a near pristine used portable or console. And while this problem is mostly avoidable by selecting the better conditioned units at the same price, the problem should have already been realized, and corrected. Never should a consumer have to look at the a scratched-up unit covered with barbie stickers and a pristine unit for the same price.
While it is true that it is a person’s choice to purchase a low quality used video game or platform, shouldn’t the value be slightly different, anyhow? Is it fair for an individual to have bought the same used video game a day before, that was in near pristine condition for $25, for another individual to come in the following day to buy the same used video game for $25 without the original box and/or instruction manual? Absolutely not. There should be a price difference. This is not to say that GameStop should hike prices to make this possible, but it is a matter that probably should be addressed, as it looks downright bad to their corporate image and may be insulting to consumers.
To collectors, who like to display video game boxes, they may find it downright criminal to have to deal with in-equalized video game prices. So it is likely that GameStop, and other retailers are losing their money.
Collectors typically avoid buying a video game without its original box until they can find a used copy with its original box. Even so, it is possible for collectors to be tempted to buy a used video game without the original box and/or instruction manual without feeling cheated, if the copy without these extras was 20 or more percent cheaper, for example, than another pristine used copy. Therefore, on top of already being cheaper than new copies, the condition of said video game should be a base of how much more cheaper a specific used video game or platform should be in comparison.
It can be argued that buying a video game without its original box and/or instruction manual is akin to a digital copy, but the difference is undeniable; it is acceptable for digital copies to not have a box, because it’s a digital copy, is convenient, and is typically cheaper. However, this argument is mostly mute as a physical copy is what it is, and as long as a physical copy exist, it will be just that, and a physical copy without a box and/or instruction manual may feel like a gimped copy of the game.
The video game industry is still young, so maybe it hasn’t been fully realized yet, but a video game or platform with the box and/or instruction manual is significantly more desirable than without, as the product increases in age. This can be quickly affirmed by looking at NES collections. NES collections with boxes are worth a lot more than collections without boxes.
If you feel the same, contact GameStop, and any other offending retailers about this issue.