When you’re picking something up as a Christmas present, it’s always nice to know that a return could be possible, and many companies offer an alternative policy around the holidays.
Not only does GameStop not have any extended returns period around Christmas, but their policy is pretty restrictive, and it actually makes it quite difficult to get a refund or an exchange on any gift that you might have given or received.
Read on to discover what the GameStop returns policy says, and how that might affect your Christmas shopping.
What Is GameStop?
Before we get into the sort of return policy that GameStop has, and why it is pretty limited when it comes to holiday purchases, we should take a look at the company itself and see what they are all about.
GameStop is a retailer that primarily sells video games, consumer electronics, and gaming merchandise. They started life in 1984 as the company Babbage’s, which was founded by two classmates from Harvard Business School: James McCurry and Gary M. Kusin.
They quickly turned their focus to video game sales, particularly for the Atari 2600 which was extremely popular at the time.
The company has grown and changed a lot over the years, even being owned by Barnes & Noble for quite some time. In the past, they have been highly successful but saw a significant decline after 2016, when the market for physical copies of video games started to wane.
As of January 2022, GameStop operates 4,573 stores, mainly in the United States but with many more around the world including Canada, Australia, and Europe. They employ about 12,000 people and reported revenue of around $6 billion in 2021.
GameStop is struggling to keep customers returning to their stores now that digital downloads have taken over the market, so you might expect them to offer a generous return policy as an incentive. Unfortunately, that is not the case!
What Kind of Gifts Can You Buy At GameStop?
If you are struggling to think of what to buy for a friend or a family member, there are certainly some great options for fun gifts at GameStop.
Their selection is not just limited to video games either, as there are a lot of toys, games, electronics, and more on their shelves.
At GameStop, you can buy:
- Video Games (Including PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, etc.)
- Consoles and Console Hardware (Including Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Oculus Quest 2, etc.)
- Gaming Accessories (Including Audio Equipment, Controllers, Cases, Stands, Chargers, etc.)
- PC Parts and Components (Including Desktops, Laptops, Monitors, Keyboards, Headsets, etc.)
- Electronics (Including TVs, Tablets, Cell Phones, Cameras, Smart Watches, etc.)
- Collectibles (Including Funko, Figures, Statues, Replicas, Model Kits, etc.)
- Toys and Games (Including Action Figures, Playsets, Board Games, Dolls, Plush Toys, Trading Cards, etc.)
- Homeware (Including Appliances, Art, Furniture, Lighting, etc.)
If you’re stuck for Christmas present ideas, you will definitely find something entertaining and interesting at GameStop, and there is a lot more to choose from than you might think.
With that being said, it’s worth considering the return policy that you are going to get with your purchase.
Does GameStop Offer a Christmas Return Policy?
We all know that shopping for Christmas gifts can be a bit of a gamble, so you often find that retailers will give you a slightly different returns policy around this time to help people feel more comfortable when they’re buying. Does GameStop have a Christmas return policy at all?
Unfortunately, no. GameStop does not have any alternative policy or extended returns options around Christmastime. You are stuck with the same policy that they operate all year round.
When you look at that policy, it is actually quite restrictive, and it is not particularly friendly when it comes to gifts.
What Is the GameStop Return Policy?
There is a single return policy at GameStop that you get for most items, and it is not a very generous one.
You have 30 days from when you make a purchase or receive a shipment in which to make a return. The item needs to be in its original condition, and all returns require a receipt or GameStop.com order number.
When it comes to Christmas gifts, 30 days is no time at all, and having your proof of purchase is pretty unlikely.
Unless you are doing your Christmas shopping the night before, most of that time will be gone after the gift has been delivered, opened, and people are ready to get back to the real world.
Not only that, but all electronics need to be returned unopened. For GameStop, this means that you can’t even take it out of the plastic wrapping, which is a big ask if the item is being given as a Christmas gift.
On top of all of those restrictions, the policy explicitly states that “GameStop reserves the right to limit, or decline returns or exchanges regardless of whether the customer has a receipt”.
So even if you, by some miracle, get your return in on time without touching the plastic film, and you have the receipt, you might still not get your money back.
What Are the Exceptions to The GameStop Return Policy?
One of the other reasons why the GameStop return policy is so restrictive is that there is a long list of exceptions to the standard 30-day rule.
- Sale items or promotions may not be eligible for returns or exchanges
- Electronics must be unopened and with a receipt
- Online orders over $500 cannot be returned in-store
- Laptops, Desktops, Monitors, and PC Components cannot be returned to GameStop – you need to contact the manufacturer directly
- Pre-owned software must be returned within 7 days
- Digital content, Gift Cards, Point of Sale Activation (“POSA”), and Trading Cards are not eligible for return.
All told, there are quite a large number of things that you can buy from GameStop which don’t even come with the very limited 30-day return option.
You can find the full list of every exception in the policy, which is located on the GameStop website here.
How Do You Make a Return to GameStop?
Actually, making a return to GameStop is a pretty simple process, even though the time frame you have and what you are allowed to return is extremely limited.
You have three basic options:
- Take the product to a store with the receipt or order number
- Call customer service at 1-800-883-8895
- Start the return process online through their returns page.
If you are eligible for a return, you will receive your refund for the original form of payment, or you will be offered a suitable replacement.
Be very careful, though. If you do mail a product to GameStop that is not eligible for a return, then they will not send it back to you. Not only will you not get your money back, but you will have lost the item itself as well.
Can You Buy Gift Cards at GameStop?
Gifting video games and electronics is a particularly difficult option for the holidays, as it’s easy to end up picking out the wrong thing for one reason or another.
You might select something for the wrong console, or something that the person has bought for themselves already.
If you’re worried that you might end up buying a gift that’s not quite right, then you might be better off choosing a gift card instead.
At GameStop, you can buy a GameStop gift card that is redeemable for almost any products in their stores or online at GameStop.com, or you can choose a gift card for a number of different popular brands.
Among the gift cards the GameStop has on offer, you will find:
So, what is the GameStop Christmas return policy? In short, there isn’t one. GameStop does not have a specific return policy for the holiday period – you are stuck with the same limited returns options that you get all year round.
GameStop has some great options for Christmas gifts, but you should be absolutely sure of what you are buying because it is very difficult to get a refund.
You only have 30 days from the date you purchase and most products have to be completely unopened – including the plastic wrap.
You might be safer going with a gift card.
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