And, on the whole Gamestop thing. This made me lol:
it's a retail position, no experience is needed to get hired because if you needed experience to get into retail, no one would ever get their first job.
You, sir, are going to have an awkward time getting a real job someday. A competent manager will always take someone with experience over someone without, all else being equal. They definitely do not say "Well, no one will ever get a job if we don't let them work with no experience, so I'm gonna ignore the experienced guy and hire the inexperienced newb." If your Gamestop was hiring people with no retail experience, it's because they weren't getting any decent applicants with retail experience. Which, actually, makes sense, since I doubt many people with meaningful retail experience want to work at Gamestop.
No, actually, I'll have no trouble whatsoever finding a job as I've already earned my bachelors, am working on my masters and have had two full-time internships with companies within my field as well as actual employment experience in it and have an offer from one of the people I interned with lined up already if I choose to accept it when I finish my MBA. ''
My point about the gamestop position was that it's a retail cashier/clerk position and they very clearly, from my experience there when I was an undergrad, do not require their employees to have previous "sales experience". Moreover, they made it very clear that the interview was all about proving two things; you have enough people skills to answer customers basic questions/push reserves and can demonstrate decent knowledge of the game industry. They hired a lot of college kids and a couple of high school seniors and experience was not prerequisite to getting a position at gamestop. My response to his post had nothing to do with my expectations of "the real world"; the point was that the truth of the game sales industry was not at all how he wanted to portray it. Jobs like gamestop clerk, which start at minimum wage, do not require previous experience.
It's a different story if you're interviewing for a position as a store manager, or even key holder, but certain positions, such as supermarket cashier, gamestop clerk, blockbuster clerk, subway sandwich clerk, etc. do not require experience, as if they did, no one would ever have the experience necessary to gain these starting positions in the first place. That ties in to the part of your post I bolded; why would anyone with "meaningful" retail experience apply for one of these positions (short of falling on hard times)? That's WHY they don't require any legitimate sales experience to attain. Edited, Mar 8th 2011 12:02am by MCraine
So what your basically telling me is when you were working at GameStop, you were never held to a productivity standard that was based on a metric scale. Futhermore, you are telling me that when you worked at GameStop, your hours were never predicated on your performance and all you had to do was stand behind the counter, ring up customer purchases, and push pre-orders on upcoming titles.
That is what your telling me, right?
This may be how things work at GameStop, but at GameCrazy, things were not that way... and I suspect things are a little more complicated than you are willing to admit. At GameCrazy, everyone from Manager on up to Regional Manager received a quarterly bonus based on a productivity metric. This metric basically boiled down as follows:
For every 10 transactions, you needed to sell 1 MVP (membership) card (10%)
For every 10 transactions, you needed to process 2 preorders. (20%)
For every 5 systems you sold, you needed to sell 3 Extended Warranties (60%)
Preorder conversion required the store to sell at least 75% of it's preordered units.
Each employee was held to the first 3 metric standards. The last one (preorder conversion) was a store-wide metric standard and is used to determine preorder allocation (stores with a higher preorder conversion were given higher priority when it came to title distribution). Note these were the minimum standards and not a form of cap. Employees who did not meet this standard on a weekly basis would receive couching (verbal warning) from the Store Manager or Assistant Manager (who was reprimanded by the District Manager either via a personal phone call or during the weekly district-wide phone conference). If the employee did not achieve the metric standard the following week, the employee would be placed on a Performance Evaluation Plan (written warning) and that employee's hours would be cut back and given to other employees until that employee was able to meet the metric standard. If, after a month, the employee did not meet the metric standard, that employee would be terminated.
Let's look at an example metric:
SYSTEM SALES: 15
SYSTEM SALES: 5
In this example, OberonQA has achieved the standard metric for the week, whereas JoeBob has not. JoeBob would receive the couching (verbal warning). If JoeBob did not improve and reach the standard metric the next week, he would be written up and his hours reduced accordingly. If, after a month JoeBob had not improved and reached the standard metric, he would be terminated.
One of the biggest reasons for the metric standard is actually quite simple.... retail game stores are very competitive. Not only did Managers get a quarterly bonus based on the performance of his/her employees, the District Managers got a quarterly bonus based on the overall performance of his/her district and the Regional Managers got a quarterly bonus based on the overall performance of his/her region. Just like employees were held to a metric standard, so to were stores (which was a cumulative percentage based on the scores of the employees that worked that store), the districts (which was a cumulative percentage based on the scores of each store in the district) and the region (which was a cumulative percentage based on the scores of each district in the region).
Due in part to this competition, no manager would want to be called out and reprimanded during the weekly district phone conference. It would be embarrassing to be reprimanded by your boss in the presence of your peers. Furthermore, districts that performed poorly would result in the District Manager being reprimanded by the Regional Manager... and so on and so forth up the chain. This lead to a lot of competition, and the successful stores (like mine) were the ones that took that competition seriously.
But what your telling me is you weren't held to this kind of metric standard. Furthermore, what your telling me is there really wasn't any reason for you to actually push preorders or the Edge card (GameStop's membership program) or anything of the sort. What your telling me is you basically punched a clock and as long as you showed up to work every day and weren't rude to the customers, everything was fine and dandy.
I don't buy that. I'm sorry. Perhaps you were not aware of the true nature of the business due to being a GSR (or whatever GameStop calls them).... or perhaps you weren't there long enough to learn about this. But I cannot believe GameStop doesn't use a similar metric for measuring performance. I cannot believe that because GameStop districts are much bigger than GameCrazy districts were, so there would be a lot more room for competition between stores in a district and even competition between districts. If this is indeed the case, I cannot for the life of me fathom how GameStop remains in business, as no store can make profit just selling new games. At GameCrazy, we always pushed the used copy of a game if we had it... because used games are where the lions share of a stores profit is derived. A new game that costs $60 ultimately cost the company %50-%55 just to get on the shelf. Whereas with a used game, you can make at least a 100% increase in profit... and usually even more than that.
Here's an example:
Tim comes in to buy Halo: Reach for $59.99 USD. The store receives a $5.99 profit. Tim comes back in a month later and trades Halo: Reach in for $25 store credit. The same day, Bobby comes in looking to buy Halo: Reach. If the store sells Bobby the used copy that it just aqquired from Tim, they sell it to him for $49.99, making a $24.99 profit ($49.99 - $25 store credit given to Tim). If the store sells Bobby a new copy, the store only makes another $5.99 profit. That is almost a 400% profit selling the used copy over the new copy.
Furthermore, in regards to your "game retail doesn't require sales experience because if it did, no one would be able to get a job to get the experience in the first place" argument... let me ask you something:
Do you even know how easy it is to get and show sales experience?
Seriously, do you?
Anyone can get sales experience... even the kid who is still in high school. Did you sell raffle tickets at your school's football game? If so, you got yourself some sales experience (cash handling). Did you work as a cashier at Mcdonalds? If so, you got yourself some sales experience because Mcdonald's cashiers are required to ask all customers if they would like to SuperSize their order (which is referred to as upselling). Heck... you said yourself your only experience prior to working at GameStop was at a supermarket. Did you ever help a shopper find something while you worked at that supermarket? If so, you got yourself some sales experience (identifying the needs of the customer and making personalized recommendations based on that customers needs).
Sales experience is a complete and total no-brainer to pitch and anyone who can pitch their sales experience (regardless of how off the wall) shows they have sales experience. Edited, Mar 7th 2011 10:37pm by oberonqa