Metacognition: The Way to Shop

We’re back with our “thinking about thinking” series! If you’re interested in our previous deep thoughts, check out the Metacognition series.  Join us for some deep thoughts (and maybe the occasional not-so-deep thought) about gaming. If you find one you’d like to answer, you can either comment below or write a post and share the link so we can all read your fantastic thoughts!

Do you prefer shopping at larger stores (e.g., BestBuy, GameStop, Amazon, etc.), online, or at local stores for games? How do you make this decision? Are there local stores near you?

To be honest, I used to predominantly shop online for games from Amazon because most often they had the best prices for both new and used games. More recently I’ve found myself drawn to brick-and-mortar stores in a sort of one-woman crusade against online shopping. There’s nothing wrong with online shopping, of course, but there is something to be said for not only the familiarity that comes from being a regular at a store, but also knowing that you are helping to keep people in your community employed that is a big draw, at least for me.

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There aren’t a lot of options in my immediate area for games; most places that sell games are chains like GameStop, or huge multi-department stores like BestBuy or Target. There is one small video game lounge near me that is trying to make a go of it, and the consoles and games are there on consignment, but the few times I went there, the selection was low and, upon hearing that I am an RPG fan, the woman who owns the lounge told me that she doesn’t get many RPG customers… Which is a shame, because I do try to support local businesses.

I also tend to not frequent stores that aren’t for a specific thing, like Target or WalMart. BestBuy has run every other electronics store out of town so I often have no choice, but when it comes to games, I side with the only store specializing in games, and that is – to the horror of some of you, I’m sure – GameStop.

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Sure, maybe it’s not a great place to work. Sure, maybe it exists to make money like businesses do, and has a questionable PR department. But I know the people who work there, and they greet me by name. They know not to try and upsell to me, or try to force pre-sales down my throat. The store that I go to feels less like a giant, impersonal store and more like a local mom-and-pop shop, just because of the people. These are people I want to help keep employed, so I pay the few extra dollars (compared to, say, Amazon), and support my local game store.

The other GameStop I go to when my usual store doesn’t have whatever it is I’m looking for has a similar feel: they don’t know me by name, but they do know me by my N7 jacket and welcome me back. There are, of course, other stores near me, but they don’t have that personal touch, like the two stores I go to have. So, I don’t go to those other stores. At the end of the day, at least for me, it’s all about the personal relationships with the people who work in the stores, more that almost any other factor, that leads me to shop at one place or another.

What about you? Where do you shop for games? Are there local game stores around you? If there are, do you give them your business, or stick with the convenience of online shopping? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon!
~Athena

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9 comments

  1. I hear ya on the personal interaction factor. I used to go to the EB Games across from work for all of my video game and Amiibo needs. The staff was amazing, they knew me, tipped me off on preorders, and we really cool people to talk to. Then they all disappeared for some reason, and a whole new crew works there now. I just don’t connect with the new people in the same way so I stopped going (they are pushy upsale types). Amazon is my go-to place for new games and Amiibo nowadays.

    I’m also not very good at people-ing so I find online shopping a true blessing, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s cool! I think whatever corporation owns your GameStop, also owns our EB Games. They just didn’t rebrand in Canada like they did in the US, or something like that… *shrugs* Oh and Canada still has Toys R Us. They didn’t shut it down here, which was interesting. 🤔

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I might shop local if I knew of a place near me that did it. Right now I almost exclusively shop at Best Buy because I can actually get games cheaper there when they’re new. I somehow ended up with a Gamer Club membership until 2020 despite only paying for two years. I’ll take that…

    I used to shop only at GameStop when I worked there, but it’s hard to justify the full $60 for a new game when I can get the same game $12 off somewhere else. Amazon was a nice alternative until they killed off their game buying incentive with Prime.

    So yeah. It’s about the money with me. At least until the ride with Best Buy is over since they axed the Gamer Club thing…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve heard that about Best Buy but I haven’t seen any great deals. I guess I missed the boat with their Gamer Club membership… wasn’t that dissolved recently?

      Yes I’m pretty unhappy with the changes Amazon made to the gaming scene, as well :/ But occasionally there is a good deal, especially with used games, I’ve found.

      Money is definitely a consideration!! It’s up there with “supporting people,” for sure. I don’t want to spend buckets of money in general, and especially if it seems like a store isn’t at least attempting to keep up with other deals elsewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I got in right under the wire I guess, because they at least have honored what I paid for. I don’t know what will happen once I run through the end of my membership though. Maybe I’ll finally start shopping around?

        I need to look locally too. I should support local businesses if I can at that point. We can at least afford to be more flexible in that way now as well.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. For a while I was using Amazon for everything but now I try and shop at local independent shops as much as I can for both games and music. There is a cool game shop in my city called G-Force, they have all the big new releases and a good selection of other games, both new and second hand. They also sell some cool imported stuff like soundtracks and have a loyalty card – buy 5 full price titles get 10% off the 6th – so not bad!

    If I fail to locate what I’m looking for there I go to Game (which is the biggest video game chain in the UK). It isn’t always that great an experience but some of the staff are really friendly and knowledgable. In the time I’ve lived here there has been a marked decrease in the number of video game shops though, which is a real shame.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s nice that you have a shop near you! I can appreciate the allure of Amazon, but it’s sometimes nice going to a real store, isn’t it? And they have good rewards programs sometimes, too!

      I appreciate that there is someone else who will go shopping in a brick-and-mortar store!!

      Liked by 1 person

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