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Actually Eric took the lead on this article, and while I share some of the feelings as him my stance on GameStop is actually closer to yours.
There was a point where I refused to deal with GameStop, but through experience I've come to find out that many of my local game stores are not much better. In general I feel like you're getting ripped off wherever you decide to trade in your games. Obviously the better option is to sell your games online, but like you mentioned if you take advantage of GameStops trade in promos you can get a fair amount more. Usually I only trade in at GameStop if they are running some sort of promo.
I've also noticed, like you mention, that GameStop is not nearly as pushy with their reservation and EDGE card program as they once where. If you find a decent GameStop with good employees, chances are that you won't have to worry about being pestered to reserve games of sign up for their discount card. I shop at two different GameStops, and over the past several months I've never been asked to reserve a game or sign up for the discount card, and that's because: 1. I already have a discount card 2. The employees know me and know that I have enough knowledge to know which games I should or shouldn't reserve.
Now my stance on GameStop from an employees perspective is much different. As a former employee, I can tell you that the company has a terrible stance on employee relations. Most employees are underpaid and unappreciated, because from the companies point of view you are replaceable. Before I get to far ahead of myself I'll stop and save if for a future installment where I do add my 2 cents.
I'm sure it's just a coincidence, but it's ironic.