Gamestop as a fee-free, convenient banking institution


Why not?

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because it is so crazy it might just work.


this was on /v/?

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And if it wasn’t for you nosy kids, 4chan might have gotten away with it, too.


Seems like it would be a lot simpler to just learn to keep track of how much money you have in your bank account. As it is, this guy’s just being a total asshat to Gamestop employees.


Plus when GameStop inevitably goes into receivership, the fed is almost certainly not going to intervene to protect your several thousand dollars worth of pre-orders.


Well, Gamestop benefit from this too. They have his money interest free for as long as he has it ‘deposited’ with them. Presumably the parent company is investing on the overnight market, so even though they don’t get many game sales out of him, they are profiting (or at least not totally losing on the deal).

I heard of a similar scheme a few years ago here in NZ. There’s a nationwide chain of TABs - betting shops and agencies, where you can place bets on horses, sports games, the dogs, and whatnot. There must be hundreds of them - every podunk little village has one, often located in the local pub, and even smallish towns might have three or four. The basic idea is you open a betting account but (and this is obviously the key point, and a potentially key point of failure) never place any bets. All monies get dumped into the account, and you can make withdrawals as and when you want. Often the TABs and agencies are open till 10pm and on the weekends, meaning there’s few occasions when you can’t get your money back. No interest, but no fees, more branches in more convenient locations, much better hours, and no bank spam.


Wait, Gamestop employees get flogged if someone cancels a pre-order?

Pffff! They should get a better union!


pretty clever way of getting fee-free banking from an institution with more branches, and better hours, than many banks.

The most clever thing I’ve seen is how banks convince the public to pay fees to take their money. The public pays for the privilege to have banks take their money and invest said money into whatever the banks like while giving the banking public a paltry return in interest that never even puts a dent into the fees they are charged. What a racket.

Hey, if anyone wants to pay me to take their money so I can invest it and reap all the rewards… lemme know. I’ll be right here with open arms.

edit: @JonS , just saw your post that’s in a similar vein. :dancer:


To paraphrase Voltaire: “If the banks didn’t exist it would be necessary for people to create them”.

The Irish banking strikes of the 1960-70s are a really interesting example of an entire unofficial banking system springing up in the absence of “real” banks. What I found most fascinating about it was the way that it was based on the one thing the banks seem to have lost, trust. It worked because people trusted the people they were trading with, or the people who drew up the IOUs they were using to trade. Currencies and banks only exist as a manifestation of trust.


Currencies and banks only exist as a manifestation of trust.

Drug cartels trusted banks like HSBC to be more adept at keeping their dealings secret and they betrayed that trust.

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A dangerous bunch to betray the trust of

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As a Brit, I can never understand why everyone doesn’t have “free” banking like us.
We don’t even get charged when drawing out money from a competitor-bank’s ATM.

I guess it’s cultural, but the idea that we should get charged for getting access to our own money in an account with zero interest just seems ridiculous.
Even savings accounts generally have no fees unless they are a bond or some other specialised limited access account.
I don’t understand why the famous American ‘free market’ doesn’t result in some bank offering a free-access account (and making its money by investing your money and using it as a fractional reserve instead of charging you for access). Surely they would destroy their competition by doing this.


They would destroy the competition, but like the New Jersey auto dealers convincing their local legislature to illegalise Tesla Cars from selling direct to the public, there are ways to prevent competition. Utterly bad for the consumer, which confuses me, as there are clear laws laid deep down in the structure of the legal system to prevent (and punish) anti-competitive behaviour.

Also, when you set up a bank, or go with a product like this, eventually your backers / investors / advisors will say “hey - there is little elasticity of demand on the pricing so long as we don’t go crazy - people are so stupidly used to paying for services that should be free that they’re not really picking up on this free deal thing we’re offering - so let’s maximise return on investment and differentiate a different way”.

But … we’re turning a corner now, and tech is the enabler. I’ve seen live demos of real bank accounts from real banks (new banks) that are just incredibly interactive and informative.

Corporate Deathwatch is a real thing.

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incumbents have no need to.

We most certainly do have this. I have had accounts with 4 different major banks here, and I have never once paid a fee for my checking or savings accounts, except to order checks. Most banks do offer free checking and savings accounts, where having the account incurs no fees. Sometimes to avoid a monthly account maintenance fee you need to meet a minimum balance, or have direct deposit, or use online bill pay. Santander even has an account that pays you $20/month for doing those things.

Fees come about in other ways. When you use an ATM not branded as your bank’s, both the ATM owner and your bank may charge a fee, sometimes several dollars each (some credit unions reimburse you for such fees up to some limit, but not most). If you overdraw your account with a debit card, banks will process the transaction but charge a large fee (tens of dollars) for the “convenience” of not being denied (this is supposed to be an opt-in feature now, but they use all sorts of slimy tactics to get people to opt-in). It used to be (iirc this is no longer legal) that overdrafts were determined at the end of a day, but that transactions were processed out of order: all debits before all credits, largest items first, which maximized the number of times an overdraft fee got charged.

So yeah. If you have enough money and/or know your account balance, you’ll never get charged a fee and can get your bank to pay you. If you’re poor or careless, you get charged for a whole bunch of things.


Is there a way to decline to purchase the actual games, when their delivery date comes around? It seems that the pre-order bank account only works in small chunks of money up until the game is released - then I’d have to either buy the game or cancel the order and immediately order another new game.

Or are there pre-orders out for really distant games?

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We do have something like that, it is called credit unions, I have no idea why more people don’t become members and use them.

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The banksters or the drug lords? :wink: