Inside a Gamestop Refurbishment Centre

August 11, 2012

Love them or hate them, Gamestop (parent of Australia’s EB Games chain) are a big company who make lots of money off selling used goods. How do they ensure that those goods are up to scratch? The Verge’s Sean Hollister goes inside one of their refurbishment centres to find out.

It’s an interesting insight into a side of video game retailing that we don’t get to see, and shows how the biggest video game retailer in the world is fighting back against online delivery and other technologies that seem set to end the concept of the video game retail store once and for all.

In the year 2000, GameStop started refurbishing games and consoles with just 20 employees in a different building down the street. Now over 1,100 work in a plant formerly used to build wire harnesses for an automotive company, and consoles are just the beginning. We peek inside a giant metal cage where factory workers are testing iPads, iPods, and iPhones for basic functionality: the buttons, the screen, the microphone, the headphone jack, the charging port, and software features. It all happens fast: “Every 42 seconds, a unit will be rolling off this cell,” he says.

Fascinating stuff, and well worth a read.