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Dumpster Diver Calls Out GameStop for Being ‘Cheap and Greedy’

But is that accurate?
March 11, 2015, 8:11pm

​"Why is it that you throw away your items instead of donating them?"

That's what a YouTube user named JayPee is asking gaming retailer GameStop after allegedly finding a trove of purposely damaged games and gadgets in one its dumpsters.

The video is provoking ​angry reactions from some gamers who see a ruined copy of Grand Theft Auto V and expensive headphones with the cord cut, and assume the game company is destroying usable merchandise.

However, how much of the accusations are true is hard to determine.

Let's start with the supposedly discriminating video. JayPee goes dumpster diving (sans gloves!) and finds scratched CDs of some popular games, like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty: Black Ops. There are even controllers that had their wires cleanly sliced.

"Everything in here is broken and useless, because you couldn't donate it because you're cheap," he argues. "You buy your games cheap, you sell your games high—and you're cheap."

JayPee isn't the first person to find purposefully damaged goods lining the dumpsters behind GameStop locations. Last year, IGN literally dug into the "secret world" of dumpster divers who go scouring through the bins to find basically new good games to reuse or trade in.

The story claims that workers throws away "perfectly useful games and accessories" even though it's against company policy.

Motherboard reached out to GameStop to ask about this video in question and a spokeswoman told us that this is an "anomaly."

"Our policy is that items aren't to be destroyed, unless they've been identified as non-working," said Jackie Smith, a GameStop public relations manager.

She added that working games and gadgets are supposed to be sent to its refurbishment center, where they're either cleaned up for resale or donated. So, it's in the realm of possibility that the games and controllers in that particular bin weren't working anyway.

But if they were working, that store has some explaining to do. GameStop is looking into see where the store was and when this was filmed (the date on YouTube shows an upload date of Feb. 15) to see if they violated company policy.