I used to work at Gamestop for seven months, so here are some tips and tricks from a former employee!
  1. Avoid the discount card unless you spend more than $1000 a year on games.
    The discount gets you 10% off - most well-meaning parents buy it and only use it at Christmas. Buy if you're a hardcore gamer, skip if you're not.
  2. Don't buy Game Informer.
    A really outdated magazine not worth your dollars. There's better gaming info out there & if you need help getting through a certain part of a game, consult Gamefaqs (totally free!)
  3. Buy used.
    You can score some great games at deep discounts, especially older games.
  4. Take advantage of the return policy.
    In my time there, if you returned a used game within 7 days, you could get a full refund. You can also swap out used games for other used games. GameStop employees have to give you returns/exchanges as part of their policy.
  5. The only handheld game system worth buying is the Nintendo 3DS.
    Backwards-compatible with a great game library. You can play older, non-3D games, too.
  6. Don't pre-order games.
    GameStop always has tons of extra copies and even if they do run out of a game first day, they'll usually have it within a day or two. No reason to let money sit in their 'GameStop Bank.' Unless you are crazy about a title, no reason to pre-order it.
  7. If your game has scratches or doesn't play, return it!
    If anything they sell you is defective, you're entitled to exchange or refund.
  8. Buy warranty for your used game system.
    Especially for older game systems, like the PS2/PS3 or the XBox... They were built to last maybe 3-4 years, so it's possible to have a perfectly working system for a few months and have it fail on you. The warranty is cheap and you can return your system up until the day of your warranty expiring. If you're buying an older system, buy a 1-year warranty and keep swapping out your system even if there's nothing wrong with it - older technology will fail no matter what.
  9. Don't take suggestions from Gamestop employees unless their taste matches yours.
    From my limited experience, you don't even need to be a gamer to work there. I was, but a lot of them have specific tastes... And occasionally they'll just be entirely different than yours. Do some research on the game you want to buy, check out videos, etc.
  10. Know someone who works at GameStop.
    They get access to new games before anyone else, and employee discount is 15%, which is cool if they extend it to you.
  11. Consider the ethics.
    Some of this might seem counterintuitive or unfair to game developers. If you want to support game developers, buy new... But frankly, game prices have become a bit inflated - it's often $60-75 for a new triple-A title and you're stuck with it, even if you don't like it. Certain game companies (like Rockstar, famous for its Grand Theft Auto franchise, or EA Sports) are making a killing off their games, year after year, on sequels that honestly aren't that special or new.
  12. Side note: support indie games!
    GameStop is not a great place for indie games, but the internet is. Tons of room for new, diverse voices ... And often the games are for free or cheap!