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GAME staff told to buy 3DS from Tesco

Console sold at same price as mint.

Eurogamer has uncovered evidence that staff at GAME were told to buy Nintendo 3DS consoles and games from supermarket rival Tesco on launch night to sell them in-store as pre-owned.

An internal document, below, reveals that staff were encouraged to make use of Tesco's eye-catching launch bundle offer for the 3DS on Thursday night.

Tesco sold the console for just £175 when bought with any 3DS game for £34.90.

"Whilst we are unable to competitively match this offer in terms of a mint price," reads the document, "it offers a great opportunity to gain 3DS consoles and games for your store's pre-owned stock."

The idea was to use cash from GAME tills to buy a 3DS and game for £209.90 – Tesco's bundle price, and trade it in to GAME for cash at the same price.

£1049.50 was authorised for removal per trip to Tesco – which equates to five bundles. "Your store can do this trip multiple times," reads the document.

The 3DS hardware would then be sold at "the same price as mint due to expected supply shortage".

Game's in-store Nintendo 3DS price is £219.99. Second hand 3DS units are sold between £5 and £10 cheaper.

It is important to note, however, that the document insisted the pre-owned stock only be sold once mint stock runs dry, and staff not "up-sell" it to customers.

While the document advises that buying stock from Tesco is a non-mandatory "mission", one GAME staff member told Eurogamer the store he works at was reprimanded for not taking part.

"I think it is interesting to note that the market leader in the UK needs to be doing such behaviour," said our source.

A GAME spokesperson told Eurogamer: "Some of our stores wanted to move quickly last weekend to build their pre-owned stocks of 3DS at the same time as their local competitors, so we gave them a process to do that.

"It was not mandatory, and happened in small volumes."