I made $10 by not pre-ordering Portal 2.

I don’t pre-order games. I don’t see the benefit of it. In fact, I’ve been burned several times in the past by pre-ordering hiccups, mainly caused by unscrupulous game store employees. All that aside, though, I am a simple man who likes simple monetary transactions. Like the one I had at Best Buy last night:

“Hi. I want Portal 2.”

“That costs $60.”

“Here you go.”


Now, I had to go to Best Buy because Gamestop was sold out — sold out! — of the item I wanted. How on earth a store that sells nothing but video games could possibly run out of what is probably the biggest blockbuster game of the season is beyond me, but here we are. That is the reality we live in.

(It’s actually not beyond me. Gamestop was out of Portal 2 because they only ordered enough copies to cover their reservations. They did this so they could tell anyone who didn’t pre-order “sorry, we’re out; next time you should pre-order!” They did this to try and goad me into pre-ordering whatever the next game is that I’m going to buy. But no rational person can follow that train of insane anti-logic, so let’s just pretend we don’t know what’s going on here, and get on with the story.)

I solved the problem like any mature adult: I cried myself blind. After fifteen or twenty minutes of this I remembered that I live in a city with about forty different retail chains which sell games, then drove up the road to Best Buy. Upon arrival, the aforementioned exchange took place.

With one catch: they gave me $10.

For some reason, perhaps the bounty of Christ, Best Buy was giving away $10 gift cards with the purchase of various new releases — one of which was Portal 2.

My plan is to keep that gift card in my wallet and bring it back up there with me next month when I go to purchase L.A. Noire. Which, I should point out, would be really stupid of me if I had pre-ordered it at Gamestop when they asked me about it. Phew! Dodged a bullet there!

I realize Gamestop doesn’t make their money selling new games, and I realize that I’m nowhere near their ideal customer. Still, though, I have to wonder. I mean, their scummy, irritating business practices just lost them $120 in sales. How is that a win for them?

“Hey Brick, doesn’t your friend Lys have a blog that he began quietly last month and then didn’t tell anyone about, not even you?”

Why yes, hypothetical reader. Yes he does.

12 comments to I made $10 by not pre-ordering Portal 2.

  • Merus

    I saved $50 by buying it through Steam. I would have had to pay $100 for it, if I’d bought it at EBGames. I mean, I wouldn’t have bought it at EB anyway, because they’re awful, but still.

  • Man every time something like this happens to me, I wanna resist laughing at the poor cashier who KNOWS the guilt he’s trying to inflict on me is stupid and awful and part of his job. “Oh, okay, I thought this place was actually supposed to be the best place to buy video games, but I forgot you’re probably the worst. I’ll go give Best Buy, Walmart or Play N Trade my money instead.”

    But no, by putting poor, impoverished slave-boys up front, I am forced to be civil about it. 🙁

  • Issun's Butt

    They gave you a $10 gift card because they were selling it for $10 more than everyone else. Gamestop has it advertised for $49.99. So you actually made $0 by going to Best Buy. In fact, you would have saved yourself a drive if you had just broke down and pre-ordered it. =D

  • Issun's Butt

    I’ll even go so far as to say that Best Buy played you for a bigger fool because they know that no one is going to spend $10 or less. So they have effectively locked you into coming back and spending more money. I consider this a far more evil practice than Gamestop trying to practice good inventory control.

  • Issun

    I sure am glad there are no puerile douchebags posting comments on this blog. Yessiree.

  • Biff Slamkovich

    I picked mine up at Toys R Us because they were giving you a $50 giftcard if you bought it with Mortal Kombat. That’s like getting one of the games for $10. Crazy times!

  • Olli T

    Preordering is for chumps.

  • I actually like my local EB. And I try to preorder stuff that I know I’m going to get because they’ll contact me when it comes in. Which is handy, since in Canada some medium to small name titles get delayed by a few days just because they can.

  • Lys

    I continued my campaign to help Amazon take over the world by ordering the PS3 version from them and got a $20 credit to a future videogame purchase. Since the PS3 version comes with a copy of the game for Steam too, I basically feel like a bandit. It’s okay, though: it was for Science.

    And it’s true what they say: every joker’s got a blog these days! 😀

  • Elfir

    I saved $60 by making the husband put it on his Gamefly queue instead of buying it. Well, probably $40 because he’ll eventually get it discounted on Steam for $10-20.

  • blinkpn

    Yeah I got that $10 gift card too. Best Buy has been doing that with all the bit titles lately it seems. They gave me $5 when I bought Pokemon White, and a whopping $20 for Halo Reach!

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