Dear EB Games… Are You Serious About This?

Our favourite video game retailer has had their fair share of shenanigans in the past when it comes to selling used or rather “refurbished” games and consoles, but this by far takes the proverbial cake. While browsing on the EB Games Canada website I was caught off guard by what I saw. I noticed that the listing for a refurbished Nintendo Switch was set at $999.99 which immediately made me want to cover this. I have searched online to see if anyone else has noticed yet and I have seen no mention of it yet.

Now at first I thought that maybe this is a placeholder price and not the actual price they are selling refurbished consoles at, but I immediately remember about many pricing fiascos that EB Games has been part of in the past. Now this extends to GameStop in the US as this is the same brand, on occasion situations like this have happened both in Canada and the US so it is worth mentioning. As of 30 October, 2017 there are no listings on the GameStop website for refurbished Switch consoles so it is difficult to say if this might also be the case for the US in the future. EB Games has been known to gouge prices in the past, especially with hard to find Nintendo products. Noteworthy amongst such instances are games such as the Metroid Prime Trilogy and Xenoblade Chronicles. Both those games were so sought after that used prices skyrocketed above the original MSRP at the time of $59.99. These instances though saw prices raised by $10 to $20 but this is just incomparable. MSRP in Canada for the Nintendo Switch is $399.99. This apparent price hike can be seen as nothing else but gouging.

Since the launch of the Nintendo Switch in the Spring of 2017, consoles have been scarce in retail stores with the majority of the secondhand market being flooded by unscrupulous scalpers looking to make a quick buck based on speculation alone. With demand so high and mostly positive reviews being reported for the Switch, few have been interested in or willing to entertain the possibility of selling it back to a retailer like EB Games. Production of more units also slowed down as Nintendo prepared for the launch of the SNES Classic Edition, but demand for the Switch has still not let up. Going into the holiday season there is no doubt that the Switch will be a hot ticket item. So how can this insane pricing be justified in this day and age? In the past it made sense that if a product is hard to find and the demand is there, prices will reflect that demand. But will people even consider buying a refurbished Switch for $1000? I think not. This has to be either a mistake on the part of whoever programmed the site or the misguided thoughts of some out of touch executive. Hopefully though we can get an answer to this so that I can amend this article and explain why this even happened in the first place.

Even ignoring insane scenarios such as this, the price of gaming has skyrocketed in Canada over the last few years. I have mentioned it time and time again that due to multiple factors, what use to cost $59.99 now costs $79.99 and as for the Switch, while the American price is $299.99 brand new the Canadian price is $399.99. We have had to deal with paying more for our games over the last two years, even when taking differences in currency valuations into consideration, the prices still do not add up. This situation now with the refurbished Switch pricing is an extreme example of what many Canadian gamers have had to deal with over the past few years.

Seeing as no one has addressed this issue yet, let’s see what comes of this. If you have any hard facts or opinions on this matter please do respond below. This has to be brought to the attention of both the public and EB Games so that something may be done to rectify it, otherwise what does it say about us if we are ok with this?

***Update*** 10/31/2017


Today EB Games announced via Twitter that they will be selling a bundle featuring a refurbished Nintendo Switch with a copy of Super Mario Odyssey for $449.99, yet the price for the refurbished console on its own is still priced at $999.99. What could be the reason for such an oversight? At this point it is almost definitely a placeholder price but it still makes no sense. A bundle is announced but it still requires the customer to select the items individually which could still result in people purchasing the console for the inflated price. Still no response has been provided by EB Games. 

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