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Sunday, March 1, 2009

EB Games = what comic stores used to be

The trends that are happening in the video game industry... I've seen a lot of this stuff happen before-- in the comic book industry.

And on this line of thought, I've come to the conclusion that EB Games are basically what comic stores used to be.

  • They're disorganized.
  • they smell bad.... what is with that anyway??
  • They're staffed with annoying, smarmy, know-it-alls.
  • Completely non-girl-friendly.
  • They're like dungeons.

EB Games employee personality equivalent.

We all know the cliché comic book store experience, complete with the "Comic Book Guy" made so famous by The Simpsons. It got so bad that around 2000-2001, Diamond, the main distributor of comic books, launched a campaign to try to "clean up" this image through educating comic store owners that basically, as "nerdy" as comics, toys, sci-fi etc. is, at the heart of it, it's a business. Whatever it is you're selling, whether it's groceries or comic books, you have to treat your customers in a professional manner. You find out what they want, and you do your best to sell it to them. That's how retail works.

You have to make sure your store is a place people want to go into-- NEW customers, not just the regulars that would shop there no matter what the place looked like.

As a retailer, use your knowledge to best serve the customer, but don't ever, EVER belittle a customer's opinion about a product, especially one you carry-- since you want to sell that product-- otherwise, you shouldn't carry it.

I can't keep track of how many times I've read stories about EB games or GameStop clerks forcing their opinions on customers... 'cause obviously they know better than the people who want to throw down cold hard cash on something. Not everybody likes the same things.

Keep the store tidy & organized-- why is it that EB Games stores seem to all smell bad??? My game collection doesn't smell like that..... so why does EB Games???? I try not to really breathe until I get out of the place.

I know that some comic stores are STILL dungeons that reek of unfriendly nerdom & "keep out of our clubhouse"-ness. But in general, I find they're getting better.

On the other hand, EB Games are like a trip back to the comic stores of 15 years ago. Why the video game industry hasn't learned any lessons from the comic book industry is beyond me. I think it's because there's still tons of money in the video game industry, so they don't have any incentive to shape up. Unfortunately, EB Games are still incredibly popular, being the biggest used game dealer I know of. During Boxing Day & Christmas, lines were out the door.

And sure, some EB Games might be great (I've never found one) with employees that are really helpful. The point is that there's no STANDARD, so it's a fluke if you come across one like that.

It will take some kind of wake up call, like maybe the current recession, before they raise their level of professionalism. Once it really starts to cost them money, then they'd change. Until then.... welcome to the dungeon.....


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