UK retailer GAME has been caught dispatching staff on a secret "mission" to buy up cheap Nintendo 3DS stock from supermarket Tesco using store money, which was then sold on as "mint" quality pre-owned stock. According to an internal GAME document, acquired by Eurogamer, staff could take £209.90 from the cash register and use it to take advantage of Tesco's 3DS launch deal, which offered the console and a game for less than the £219.99 GAME price for the 3DS alone.
"Whilst we are unable to competitively match this offer in terms of a mint price, it offers a great opportunity to gain 3DS consoles and games for your store's preowned stock. It has been authorised by the business that members of staff from stores are able to purchase stock from Tesco stores and then trade back in to your store as Preowned stock" GAME memo
The memo lists the eight titles eligible for Tesco's promotion, listed "in priority order," and suggests that while up to five consoles can be bought in any one, single transaction, staff could make repeat visits. The resulting stock was then to be sold once GAME's own supplies was exhausted, at £5-10 less than the full retail price.
"Some of our stores wanted to move quickly last weekend to build their pre-owned stocks of 3DS at the same time as their local competitors, so we gave them a process to do that. It was not mandatory, and happened in small volumes." GAME statement
Despite GAME's assertions that the policy was "not mandatory", Eurogamer has apparently heard from at least one employee that his store reprimanded another member of staff who refused to take part. Tesco is yet to comment.