JB Hi-Fi vs. EB Games: Battle of the Retailers

by Ben Salter Featured 43 Comments 46 Votes 13394 Views 24/07/2012 Back to Articles

With the closure of GAME and department stores carrying limited stock, there is but only two choices when purchasing video games from your local bricks and mortar: EB Games and JB Hi-Fi. So which do you choose?

It all depends on what you want from the experience. Below we take a look at how JB and EB stack up in all the areas that matter to the average consumer.

Launch Day Price

Two years ago, launch day price was a non-issue. If you wanted the best option from a physical store, you would head to JB Hi-Fi. Realising its fault, EB Games has reduced the price discrepancy of late, and Harvey Norman even emerges as a viable contender from time to time.

However, JB is still Charlie Sheen-ing. I’m yet to see them bested in the price department by EB and I get the impression that JB is setting the pricing structure: EB is simply forced to match it.

Winner: JB Hi-Fi

Price Matching

Seen it cheaper? We’ll match it!

EB’s price matching policy is far superior to JB’s, and so it should be. Instead of trying to compete with every retailer, EB has devised the cunning tact of simply matching them if you ask and can provide proof. Their policy is to match an advertised price, so don’t let a sly staffer try and convince you it needs to be in-stock at another store. It doesn’t. Complain enough, even if sold out elsewhere, and they should give it to you.

JB, on the other hand, is less tolerant of price-matching when Gerry inexplicably decides to have a good deal. The other store in the same complex will need to have it in stock for JB to match the price.

Winner: EB Games

Pre-owned Stock

Honestly, I don’t understand buying pre-owned. I’ve always had disc condition problems on the few occasions I’ve taken the gamble, and in that situation, EB is the preferred option.

EB tends to have a much greater selection; however, JB is the victor when it comes to pre-owned stock pricing. We had a look in-store today, and both had Gears of War 3 for $69 new. Pre-owned copies were $49 at JB and $59 at EB. What’s the point in buying used for a $10 saving?

Then there are the laughable cases of new releases sitting on the pre-owned shelf. EB Games generally subtracts $5 from RRP, which conflicts with their many sales. I vividly remember Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 being $104.95 pre-owned at EB Games, while a new copy was $79 in the very same store.

I recommend eBay over either of them, but JB just edges EB out due to lower prices.

Winner: JB Hi-Fi

Return Policy

Return games within 7 days with no questions asked at EB Games. Well...there is a question, but “didn’t like it” and “too short” will suffice. In other words, you can return a used game for a full refund. EB prefer you exchange it for another game or store credit, but you’re entitled to your money back, as long as it’s in re-sellable condition.

Gamers tend to abuse such generosity, with the evolution of the “EB rent” -- buying a game, returning it within 7 days, and getting your money back. Essentially renting it for free with a $89 deposit. We don’t condone such behaviour, but the policy is there to allow it to happen.

Winner: EB Games

Trading In

Neither are brilliant anymore. Expect to lose most of your games for little reward if you’re trading them in at a retail store.

JB had some fantastic promotions when it first entered the used market, including getting new release games for three old titles, and even the occasional deal which resulted in a free new game in exchange for just one.

Those deals have, for the most part, been retired. JB still offers the three for one trade-in deal, but its value has been compromised by an overgrown exclusions list. Now that JB has expanded its pre-owned stock, the balance of power has shifted and deals are no longer tailored in the consumer’s favour.

If you need cash and plan to trade regularly, EB is a better option with bonus credit as you progress up the ranks of its EB World loyalty programme.

Overall, when it comes to trading old for new, I prefer JB’s simplified system of three games earning you a new release, even if the exclusions list rarely has gamers coming out on top.

Winner: JB Hi-Fi

Customer Service

Once the domain of very pretty, but moronic, blonde women, EB Games has followed beardy Branson’s lead and trained its staff in an area they should excel. The beauty before brains hiring policy has been relaxed somewhat to allow normal humans into the mix, and most of them have a decent grasp on the video games industry.

If you require assistance, go to EB Games. The staff are more inclined to offer help, but their recommendations still prey on clueless parents. Extended disc warranty, for example, is the biggest scam since the Ab King Pro.

JB Hi-Fi stores have one “games specialist” in store, but he or she will be busy drawing funny pictures. The business follows the principle of a high turnover of customers and isn’t designed to offer much in the way of customer service, especially if you’re only buying one video game. Help is available if you seek it out, but JB is designed for customers that already know what they want.

If you're reading this, however, you probably know a thing or two about games: that's what JB Hi-Fi is all about. It's for customers that already know what they want.

Winner: EB Games

The Store Experience

EB is undeniably a friendlier store to visit. The Rundle Mall store, back when I called Adelaide home, even has some sweet gaming stations, allowing customers to play a round of Call of Duty, Halo or whatever the flavour of the day is.

As a multi-facet retailer, JB can’t compete with such frivolities. It also doesn’t want you to linger in the store as much as EB, and the alternative (read: hipster/emo) hiring policy is conducive to less bubbly personalities. Then there’s the matter of the security guard; it’s annoying if you’re carrying a bag. Although, the reviews are good for a chuckle.

If you’re looking to kill some time in a video games store, head to EB Games.

Winner: EB Games

Sales

Does EB Games even have walls? They might as well just stick a bunch of plastic “SALE” signs to a couple of sticks. Every single store is plastered in the red and white monstrosities all the time. We’ve become immune to them and EB Games sales have become meaningless.

There is the occasional real sale, but such events require thorough research. The sale signs littered all over the place sure as hell mean nothing.

JB makes a better meal of it with regular 20% off bonanzas. Such sales are normally confined to a four day weekend, and you’ll know about it as soon as the store is insight.

Winner: JB Hi-Fi

Game Condition

There’s a negligible difference between new release stock; however, JB is more likely to use dummy cases and give you a brand-spanking-new factory sealed copy. EB has adopted this practice with some of the bigger games, but are still fans of the damaging gutting procedure.

Both retailers keep discs behind the register for older titles. EB has also garnered a reputation for attempting to resell games that have been returned as new.

There’s little difference, but JB’s preference to keep new release games sealed during launch week earns it the win.

Winner: JB Hi-Fi

Loyalty Rewards

The carrots thing is more entertaining for its hilariously bad promotional videos, but at least it’s a genuine rewards programme.

EB World is a free rewards scheme that earns you one virtual carrot for every dollar spent. No real carrots, I’m afraid. It includes a four tier level system, with perks increasing at each stage. Bonus trade-credit is the only reward of real value, but the others are better than nothing, which is exactly what JB offers.

Winner: EB Games

Pre-orders and Quantity

As Australia’s two leading video game retailers, you should never have a problem getting a game at either, even if they want to coerce you into pre-ordering. The last game I had trouble buying off the shelf was Halo 3.

Don’t be tricked into pre-ordering to “secure” a copy of a game; although hardware is a different story. However, that isn’t to say pre-orders are never worthwhile. Both EB and JB regularly offer exclusive pre-order bonuses for the same reduced launch day price. Which is best will depend on the individual offer.

Winner: Tie

By Ben Salter - Bio

Link to us http://wii.mmgn.com/Articles/jb-hi-fi-vs-eb-games-battle-of-the-retai
n
Vote for this article Log in with Facebook

JB Hi-Fi vs. EB Games: Battle of the Retailers Comments

Leave a comment Log in with Facebook
It's interesting to see this.
I think it really depends on the game and release date.
But with price matching, I've found they only do if the store you wanna price match with is in the same complex, and has that item in stock.
If neither are applicable then they won't price match.
JB wins in my books.
Good article, however I do have one point to make. You say that EB has a greater 'store experience', but go on to complain about the excessive promotional material. Surely that diminishes the experience?

I know in Perth, just about every EB store regularly looks like the image under 'sales', to the point where it's annoying to go in because you can't see a thing and are constantly ducking and weaving around posters and people.

Tsunamo said: JB wins in my books.



This. I've always shopped at JB and the fair few occasions i've walked into an EB Games i have either: a) had terrible customer service (which factored into me not wanting to purchase anything) and b) only gone in there with friends who wanted to have a look.

The JB Hi-Fi i go to has 2 people always at the gaming section. Ready to offer help or even look up what's in stock.


Plus with JB i can check out the car sound stuff aswell ^_^

iSR said: Good article, however I do have one point to make. You say that EB has a greater 'store experience', but go on to complain about the excessive promotional material. Surely that diminishes the experience?
I know in Perth, just about every EB store regularly looks like the image under 'sales', to the point where it's annoying to go in because you can't see a thing and are constantly ducking and weaving around posters and people.



Definitely depends which store. The Adelaide and Melbourne city ones are pretty cool. Much better than standard mall ones.
Ben, You forgot GameTraders! -_-
So thr are 3 choices!
There's way too much sale stuff in the EB Games store I can barely get to the PC section because I can't see anything so The Store Experience goes to JB for me

Their policy is to match an advertised price, so don’t let a sly staffer try and convince you it needs to be in-stock at another store. It doesn’t. Complain enough, even if sold out elsewhere, and they should give it to you.


I guess the store managers get a different policy to what they tell customers.


W84NO1 said: Ben, You forgot GameTraders!


Not really. I think there is only 2 gametraders stores in WA compared to the dozens of EB and JB stores, so I wouldn't count it.

** nope, the one in the city closed, so on only 1.
punk
+
the overall winner was very anti-climatic.

Personally I think JB HIFI has gone down hill over the last couple of years. High turnover or not, I still expect some semblance of customer service when I walk into a retail store.

I've never taken advantage of the EB return policy but at least the competition is bringing their prices down giving me more reason to enter the store.
The EB store in the photo under "The Store Experience" would have to be the neatest I've ever seen. I have never been in one anywhere near that organised.
Shop at neither. Buy online. Save money and avoid dealing with the horrendous staff at both stores. Until Australia retailers start to wake up to the fact that their prices suck and their service is below par, I will continue to shop online. The amount of times I've tried to find a staff member (at both stores) with a simple question and had them pretty much ignore me or treat me like I'm a hassle, you'd think they don't want your money.
harvey norman gives me the best release date deals, and if it's cheaper by the time I come to pick it up they will give me money back (brought skyrim was 79, picked it up for 68 when I went to store)
I am usually happy with both stores.
Go to JB for the price but EB has way superior service that I'll be inclined to walk the extra 5 minutes to just price match.

With that said, I was going by both stores recently and EB actually had the cheaper copy of Dragon's Dogma by $5 I think.

Also, the EB staff look much more professional compared to the JB staff and are great when it comes to pre-order stuff. On the occasions that I've been there, I've gotten quite a few DLC codes even though I didn't pre-order.
Yeah, i cant decide between JB and EB.. Hard decision..
i refuse to shop at EB. It has to be a cold day in hell before I frequent EB.
I've stopped going to EB since the never ending "sale" of used games started. I hate the sale signs everywhere, it makes it harder for me browse with people in the store etc.

I just go to JB so I can gawk at all the other gizmos and electronics [Derp]

davidhes said: Shop at neither. Buy online. Save money and avoid dealing with the horrendous staff at both stores. Until Australia retailers start to wake up to the fact that their prices suck and their service is below par, I will continue to shop online. The amount of times I've tried to find a staff member (at both stores) with a simple question and had them pretty much ignore me or treat me like I'm a hassle, you'd think they don't want your money.



This


Eb now sell collectables
Preowned games wherever you go
none of them have a community like MMGN thou

Amazon has done a great job marrying community & retail.
EB. ^_^

Matteh said: EB.

Matteh just says that because he has a friend to whore off of there :P
For as long as I can remember, there has been so much war between EB Games, and Jb.

I find that the EB Stores are quite small, but the Jb-Hifi is larger, and has more items. As well, this store is not only good for games, but other movies and electronics, too!
JB anyday.

Unless they don't have the game I want in stock. :( Then I try everywhere (Big W, Target ect.) and if I get really desperate, then I'll go to EB.

But EB are a lot more knowledgeable on games. :) (Most of the time).

TrblyXlent said: For as long as I can remember, there has been so much war between EB Games, and Jb.
I find that the EB Stores are quite small, but the Jb-Hifi is larger, and has more items. As well, this store is not only good for games, but other movies and electronics, too!

Thank you for that information. Im sure people found it useful

yuh25 said: There's way too much sale stuff in the EB Games store I can barely get to the PC section because I can't see anything so The Store Experience goes to JB for me


Stores make it that on purpose so it makes customers go through the store making u stay in store longer which makes u buy more. It's a common retail stragety, I know because I use to be a store manager in a video store.

I like both but I go to EB because of their loyalty card which I get discounts, bonus services like 14 days returns and extra bonus value when I trade my games and also the hot chick that works there knows my name *_*

Btw Why I see alot of hipsters going to JB Hi-Fi?

I'm still carrying a grudge toward EB for not returning a game coz i said it was really bad... It was about 8 years ago lol, so ive since abused their new return poilcy a couple of times. I pretty much exclusively buy from ozgameshop.com but have picked up the occasional 2 for $50 type buys at both retailers.
eb
eb or jb
never liked buying games online, even if its cheaper [MOG]
Well since i ventured into EB and joined their loyalty cards i must say i may be shopping there now.
1: Because it's the closest to me.
2: The location is inside a shopping mall, So that's good.
3: Might as well use my loyalty card i got signed up for

[MOG]
you nugget

Schnapman said: you nugget



Atleast i'm not in fake Australia

GreenThumb said:

Schnapman said: you nugget


Atleast i'm not in fake Australia


I'm not in fake australia. Im in the slow australia since Im apart of australia......you nugget
Lies. You guys just wish you could be part of Australia.

You're like that piece of poo that gets stuck to your arse hairs because he really wants to stay with you, But we all know he has to go [Shifty] [sick]
nice description and i thought that was tasmania

Schnapman said: nice description and i thought that was tasmania



Tasmania is the last drop of urine that comes out when you go to the toilet.


And New Zealand is the semen shot [MOG]
I thought tasmania was the inbred unwanted child :S
Well said and well written...........but a tie?? anyway just letting u all know, that if u find a pre-owned game that is worth more then a brand new copy from else were, EB will see u the PO copy for five dollars less. [MOG]
Jb wins in my book BUT I also think about of the service stuff comes down to the store as well and what kind of relationship you have with them.

If you can build up a rapport with your local Eb/Jb then they are bound to at least try to take care of you the best they can :P

GreenThumb said: Well since i ventured into EB and joined their loyalty cards i must say i may be shopping there now.


Same. JB is always cheaper so I go there first to check their price. Then I go to EB and get them to price match. So I get the lower price and the reward points. :)

Post a comment

Leave a comment Log in with Facebook

Recently Read

Featured Wii Content

Games of April: Your Most Anticipated?

Games of April: Your Most Anticipated?

27/03/2014 Polls 8 13
Publishers and tickets confirmed for EB Expo 2014
Gryllis 2 days News 2 7
Nintendo rejected exclusivity on Skylanders concept

Nintendo rejected exclusivity on Skylanders concept

Gryllis 3 days News 6 5
Super Smash Bros. Melee's acapella version

Super Smash Bros. Melee's acapella version

Tano 3 days News 2 5
Free-to-play is the future, says free-to-play game dev

Free-to-play is the future, says free-to-play game dev

Tano 4 days News 4 5
Super Mario 64 in first-person with Oculus Rift
Tano 5 days News 1 6
Aus remains the only overseas PAX, Texas added

Aus remains the only overseas PAX, Texas added

Gryllis 6 days News 1 7
Friendly Fire Show 50th episode spectacular!

Friendly Fire Show 50th episode spectacular!

Podcast 6 days Articles 2 7
Friendly Fire Show 49: Tano finds his voice

Friendly Fire Show 49: Tano finds his voice

Podcast 07/04 Articles 1 5

Community Content

A loser's review of FIFA 14
03/03/2014 Blog 12 0

MMGN Updates

Status
Updating..
Username

zurczner, tsubibo commented on Razer Blackwidow Ultimate Review

zurczner 11 hours ago
Username

CybaCowboy posted a news - Blade Kitten 2 DLC Coming to Steam!

CybaCowboy 14 hours ago
Username

CybaCowboy posted a news - Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection Release Dates Confirmed!

CybaCowboy 15 hours ago
Username

iSR, Mike2DMaxx4 commented on The Lego Movie review

iSR 17 hours ago
Username

zurczner, GunSlinger, DarkJibTEC commented on Anime.MMGN Member Interview - xxSoS

zurczner 23 hours ago
Username

Blak, Kenni commented on Anime.MMGN Member Interview - xxSoS

Blak 1 day ago
Username

tsubibo, inubazh11 commented on Free-to-play is the future, says free-to-play game dev

tsubibo 1 day ago