Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Silly Yahoo

I might write up something insightful later. But I have to post this “article,” if that’s what you want to call it, from the front-page of

How to Sell Old Video Games for Cash!
“There are two basic ways to get cash for old video games. The first is to sell them yourself, on an auction web site or in person. This method takes time, however, and can be tricky. Your second option is to sell them using a service like RadioShack's Trade and Save Program.”

It’s a RadioShack ad. And oh look! There’s another picture-ad just to the right of this “article.” Wow!

Really guys? We’re not that gullible. You’re about 10 years too late and not being subtle about it.

This “article” could have had potential. There is a trick to getting more money out of your old games. But RadioShack doesn’t outline any of it. Clearly this is an advertisement parading as an article. Good job guys!

*scrolls down* This page is littered with RadioShack ads. But it’s good to see that the commenter’s are not swayed by the stupidity.

So how about some REAL tips about selling your used video games from someone that worked at a REAL gaming business and knows how things works. I present to you:

“The REAL Article on How to Sell Your Old Video Games.”

Let’s break this down to a few segments.

1 – Your game is not worth the original retail value.

This is the biggest misconception I heard from customers constantly, and still read on blogs or Kotaku. If you buy Madden 2013 and attempt to sell it back a week later, it is not worth that original value. Why? Because it’s been “used”. Once you open that package and void the return policy, that’s it. Your game has now decreased in value.

2 – If you sell your game through a retailer, be prepared to be offered a really low value. Retailers are a BUSINESS. A business of what? To make money.

Long #2 but it’s the truth. You will never, ever, ever, and I mean EVER find a retailer that will give you $59.99 for your used copy of Madden 2013. At most…maybe $18.00 if you have the original box and manual included with no scratches.

Look. These guys are businesses; a business to make money. They gain no profit if they buy your game for $59.99 and sell it back to another customer at the same value.

“But GameStop sells the used game at $54.99.” Ok. Same principle applies. If GameStop gives you $54.99 for your used game, they make no profit. They gain nothing by giving you the game at the price they plan to sell it at. It’s just like a pawn shop. How do pawn shops stay in business? They give you an estimated value of your product and knock off 10-30% depending upon the condition and likeliness of resale. That’s what you get. The pawn shop sells the product at the estimated value.

It’s always about making money in the end, which leads me to #3.

3 – If you don’t like the value being offered to you by a retailer or pawn shop, you don’t have to take it.

Another complaint that I heard constantly. Who forced you all to sell your game to GameStop or GameFly? No one did. They made an offer, which apparently you couldn’t refuse. But now you don’t like it and want to get your game back? Make up your minds people!

Shop around! If you don’t like the amount a retailer offers, try selling it online or go through one of the smaller online shops that specialize in rare titles. Sometimes they’ll offer more, or you can get a better dollar amount. Madden 2013 used at GameStop is $54.99, but on EBay hundreds of people are selling the same quality of the used GameStop game at $25-45. You’ll still make more money than you would at a retailer (remember those shipping fees of course). What you lose out on is the convenience. EBay or any auction site can take weeks to cultivate a sale.

So keep the options open. Just because someone makes an offer doesn’t mean you have to jump on it.

4 – Do your research.

Anyone remember that Storage Wars video posted on Kotaku about a guy who thought he found a $13,000 Nintendo, only to be told that it was worth $10?  Good stuff!

A lot of us made fun of it. Why? Because this was a man who had 0 knowledge about video games and what to look for. He also confused his facts. Greatly. That $13,000 Nintendo machine doesn’t exist. That was actually a sealed copy of Stadium Events. A game that had very few copies produced and was subject to the purge after Nintendo bought the rights to the Family Fun Fitness pad. And the game itself wasn’t 13 grand. It was the game, plus 4 others and an NES that were sold on EBay.
Just because you have a Nintendo game doesn’t mean it’s worth a lot of money. Just because you have an Atari doesn’t mean it’s worth a lot of money. A number of Nintendos, Ataris, and CalicoVisions are sold for $20 online. Original box and never opened? Maybe $50.

So research your games. Figure out what’s hot and what’s not. A lot of SNES and N64 games are in style right now. You’ll find a lot of the online game collector stores are stocking up on those products.

5 – Keep them clean. Keep the box. Keep the manual.

Very simple. You’ll get more money that way. Games with the original box and manual are worth more versus the game by itself. I never understood why people tossed away the box and manual after opening, but oh well. If that’s their deal. I always keep mine.

If the game has never been opened, the value is greater.

6 – Follow the local stores.

Here’s what I mean. Games styles and trends do come in waves and can be separated out by regions. One store may be taking in more first person shooters because of higher demand, thus they’re willing to pay more for it. Whereas another store in a different county might be looking for more RPG’s. Don’t be afraid to ask around and see what retailers are looking for. While some companies will have a blanket value available (sports games are subject to this), stores can have a little bit of leeway here and there to offer more for a product that they are eager to resell due to demand.

7 – Looking for the big bucks or to sell a collection? Go online.

Here’s the thing with brick and mortar retailers. They’ll only sell what can guarantee them a profit, fast and! What can be played on current gen systems-the things that they stock and sell. I can’t name a current retailer that will accept anything older then a PS2/Xbox game. Even then, that may be highly questionable.

So if you have a game made within the last 3-5 years for a current gen system, then a retailer is fine.

If you have a PS1 collection of the Persona series that’s never been opened, go online to sell it. You’ll get more money, you’ll have more serious bidders, and there are a number of smaller online gaming retailers that will want full collections. It’ll take them longer to sell, sure, but they know there will be a special buyer for it and they’re willing to hold it. Their business model is smaller and they will be much more willing to accommodate you and your collections then a GameStop, Best Buy, or RadioShack.

8 – Visit your local nerdy conventions for on-the-spot cash.

Those smaller online gaming retailers are making their presence known at anime, gaming, and general nerdy conventions. I’ve been able to finish up some collections because of it! And yes! They are willing to offer you a price for your games right then and there. Sometimes even more then online because, guess what, no one pays for shipping. So start looking at local conventions to see what dealers will be showing up. You might be surprised at what you can sell, and what you can find.

9 – The obvious: Don’t expect to sell a copy of Super Mario Bros. for the NES at $100.

You’re not going to get it. Even an unopened copy. There are still so many of those rolling around that it might be at least another 20-30 years before we’ll start seeing the prices escalate.

Only the rarest of the rare will ever fetch that type of value. Like #4, research what your games might be worth. A good rule of thumb is to take the GameStop, RadioShack, or Amazon value of your game and add $10 to it (if you plan to sell online, that is).

Or if you’re unsure, go to an appraiser. Many auction houses now understand the value of new media and will give you a logical and fair estimate.

There. I think those tips will suffice.


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