Specialist retailer GAME has admitted that it encouraged staff to buy 3DS units from supermarket Tesco in order to sell them second hand in stores.
Once its own 3DS units had ran out the company planned to sell the second hand consoles at the same price as mint stock.
"It has been authorised by the business that members of staff from stores are able to purchase stock from Tesco stores and then trade them back in to your store as preowned stock," said the letter from head office, distributed to stores on the evening of the console launch and forwarded to our sister site Eurogamer.net.
It has been authorised by the business that members of staff are able to purchase stock from Tesco and then trade them back in to your store as preowned.GAME letter to staff
"It offers a great opportunity to gain 3DS consoles and games for your store's preowned stock."
The company detailed how team members were to take money from tills and buy consoles from Tesco's £175 offer, which involved buying a full price game at £34.90, but not sell them until all GAME stock had sold out.
It also included a list of the top games staff should buy with their Tesco bundle, with Warner Bros. LEGO Star Wars III at the top due to "limited market stock".
"Please note this task is not mandatory, it is only to be done when and if you have staff available and not to be done under any circumstances if you feel it may compromise personal safety. If you do this, you should consider the risks associated with this activity," warned the letter from head office.
"The price of preowned consoles will be set at the same price as mint due to expected supply shortage on the market and quality of the stock."
GAME admitted that it okayed the move in a bid to secure preowned stock.
"Some of our stores wanted to move quickly last weekend to build their preowned stocks of 3DS at the same time as their local competitors, so we gave them a process to do that," said the company in a statement.
"It was not mandatory, and happened in small volumes."