High Street retailer GAME has been caught red-handed buying cut-price Nintendo 3DS consoles from Tesco and flogging them back to punters as pre-owned.
A top secret document unearthed by Eurogamer authorises staff to take more than £1,000 out of store tills in order to buy game-and-console packs from the supermarket giant and re-stock them as pre-owned.
Tesco is thought to have set the price of the recently-released 3D handheld below the wholesale price as a 'loss leader', banking on the fact that anyone visiting the store for the gaming machine would probably do a week's shopping, or at least stock up on Cheesy Poofs and frozen pizza, at the same time.
Tesco was flogging the console for £175 when bought with a £35 game while GAME's in-store price for the console was £220. 'Used' units sell for as much as £215, so each sale could have netted the retailer 40 quid a pop.
Anyone who went to Tesco on launch day to buy a 3DS on launch day and ended up buying a used one from GAME instead would be well within their rights to be be mightily miffed.
GAME says staff were not forced to go on the sneaky buying mission but at least one staff member was on the wrong end of a bollocking for not taking part.