Author Topic: Tips on purchasing games”  (Read 305 times)

Tips on purchasing games”
« on: February 28, 2021, 02:46:19 pm »
Hey all, I’ve been on the site since 2016 ever since I decided to start holding on to my game purchases. I’ve been using VG Collect to keep tabs on what I have to avoid purchasing it again for whatever reason. Took me this long to finally decide to post something in the forums.  :P

I’ve been following some tips I’ve heard over the years to make sure I get the most bang for my buck. And ever since the pandemic here in the states, the prices of a lot of games went way up. And eBay and Amazon seem to have the most expensive prices of what I’m looking for. And my luck with the bids has been pretty bad. And I can’t ever seem to find anything in the pawn shop these days. ;D

I use PriceCharting to compare prices to my local area. And with the exception of a very small amount of stores, they use PriceCharting to mark their prices. Sometimes, I check out other sites including eBay and Amazon to see if I’m getting the better deal and not paying more than what it’s worth.

So I was hoping there were some collectors or gamers out there that could give me some additional tips that would help myself and others expand on their catalog of games or some advice that would help out both short and long term.




Warmsignal

Re: Tips on purchasing games”
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2021, 03:21:43 pm »
You're doing okay if you can find local sellers who actually base their price on value averaging websites like VGPC, or GVN. I've encountered a few sellers who distrust those sites as being somehow skewing prices too cheap. The other week I was picking a game from a local seller, VGPC said $13.50, Game Value said $16, but he insisted on just basing a price from sold eBay listings. The majority of sold ones were in the $9 - $14 range with a few odd ones around $20 to $27.... what did he charge me? $20. Sellers will charge what they want, doesn't matter what the average actually is. They see the higher price, they want the higher price.


My best advice is to just pursue aftermarket items which can facilitate the playing of any and all of the games, on your original console, for a fraction of the cost. These are after all, just shelf collectibles at this point. I paid $20 for a shelf item. Roughly 10 more of those and I could have myself an everdrive with all SNES games at my disposal.

You really have to ask yourself how important it is to have a shelf full of these items, versus just playing those games, because there is almost no winning these days with physical collecting. Everyone knows what they have now, and if they don't, they pull up eBay and you are screwed. You might as well surf eBay, because they're gonna stick that to you.

My only other tip would be focus on collecting current, or last gen stuff. It's always underappreciated and undervalued until it gets to be a few generations old. Right now, nobody cares about Nintendo Wii, but in a few years it's going to be all the rage and everything will be pricey. Look into Nintendo Switch games, they're fairly inexpensive to buy even brand new copies. There's so many interesting smaller print games you can pick up that nobody is currently paying any attention to. In a few years, many will become sought after. It's easy to find vendors selling overstock and closeout of many last gen titles on PS4 and Xbox in brand new condition. IMO that's always the best option, even if used would be a little cheaper. It's better to have something nice and mint by giving an extra $8 or $15 will the option still exists.

NickAwesome

PRO Supporter

Re: Tips on purchasing games”
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2021, 03:26:52 pm »
Start studying trends and buy certain games before they increase in price- Wii, PS3, 360 are key targets- now. Once they skyrocket- sell and trade them for equal market value of games you actually want.  Rinse and repeat. 

Network with other collectors- share finds, cut each other deals, I get so many under market deals from collector friends just from being friendly and also willing to cut a deal.

Expand your outreach to more than just eBay and Amazon. Search for retro game stores that operate online shops- sometimes they underprice and you can get a deal. Lukie Games and eStarland are usually way overpriced but if you dig, occasionally you catch them slipping.

Join Facebook local, regional and national collector groups- Great deals abound and can often tip you off to new trends or games that have recently launched in price that your local stores haven't discovered yet.

Shop smarter- trying to buy Nintendo in local shops is usually a waste of time and money- they overprice it because casuals will pay any price. If you shift your focus to less popular consoles- you'll often be able to get better deals/negotiate. For example I collect 3DO and Jaguar- this stuff will sit for years at most game shops.

Good luck! It's a jungle out there but by adjusting your strategies to the "new normal"- you'll likely be a lot more successful in your collecting.

Re: Tips on purchasing games”
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2021, 04:33:15 pm »
Buy the cheaper stuff you think you're gonna like (in the best condition you can find)  first than focus on the more expensive stuff, once you have most quite a few games to play, then focus on the more expensive stuff you think you are gonna like. If you try and get all the high value games first you will not have as big of a collection in the long run, time is limited, and you don't want to be stuck with an expensive game you don't like, if you collect to play like me. Don't buy just any game. Buy what you like or think you will enjoy, or else, you won't be happy unless you only put things on a shelf to look at.

If you buy games just to put them on a shelf, it's like buying a bunch of empty game cases with artwork printed on them in my opinion.


(PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY)
Life on earth is only temporary and If you believe in God and do good in life. You can continue to live with any possessions  you desire, in the afterlife, as long as you do good and don't do evil in real life.

Re: Tips on purchasing games”
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2021, 05:24:22 pm »
Start studying trends and buy certain games before they increase in price- Wii, PS3, 360 are key targets- now. Once they skyrocket- sell and trade them for equal market value of games you actually want.  Rinse and repeat. 

Network with other collectors- share finds, cut each other deals, I get so many under market deals from collector friends just from being friendly and also willing to cut a deal.

Expand your outreach to more than just eBay and Amazon. Search for retro game stores that operate online shops- sometimes they underprice and you can get a deal. Lukie Games and eStarland are usually way overpriced but if you dig, occasionally you catch them slipping.

Join Facebook local, regional and national collector groups- Great deals abound and can often tip you off to new trends or games that have recently launched in price that your local stores haven't discovered yet.

Shop smarter- trying to buy Nintendo in local shops is usually a waste of time and money- they overprice it because casuals will pay any price. If you shift your focus to less popular consoles- you'll often be able to get better deals/negotiate. For example I collect 3DO and Jaguar- this stuff will sit for years at most game shops.

Good luck! It's a jungle out there but by adjusting your strategies to the "new normal"- you'll likely be a lot more successful in your collecting.

Some good tips here! I thought about utilizing the FB Marketplace for about two weeks. I intend to play what I purchase. And that’s usually the first question that comes to mind. Then if I will get my money’s worth. I don’t have friends in my area that collect video games. But I try to build connections with those who own the mom and pop shops and they cut me some deals. So expanding my network seems like the perfect step to take from here. Much appreciated!

Re: Tips on purchasing games”
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2021, 05:32:58 pm »
You're doing okay if you can find local sellers who actually base their price on value averaging websites like VGPC, or GVN. I've encountered a few sellers who distrust those sites as being somehow skewing prices too cheap. The other week I was picking a game from a local seller, VGPC said $13.50, Game Value said $16, but he insisted on just basing a price from sold eBay listings. The majority of sold ones were in the $9 - $14 range with a few odd ones around $20 to $27.... what did he charge me? $20. Sellers will charge what they want, doesn't matter what the average actually is. They see the higher price, they want the higher price.


My best advice is to just pursue aftermarket items which can facilitate the playing of any and all of the games, on your original console, for a fraction of the cost. These are after all, just shelf collectibles at this point. I paid $20 for a shelf item. Roughly 10 more of those and I could have myself an everdrive with all SNES games at my disposal.

You really have to ask yourself how important it is to have a shelf full of these items, versus just playing those games, because there is almost no winning these days with physical collecting. Everyone knows what they have now, and if they don't, they pull up eBay and you are screwed. You might as well surf eBay, because they're gonna stick that to you.

My only other tip would be focus on collecting current, or last gen stuff. It's always underappreciated and undervalued until it gets to be a few generations old. Right now, nobody cares about Nintendo Wii, but in a few years it's going to be all the rage and everything will be pricey. Look into Nintendo Switch games, they're fairly inexpensive to buy even brand new copies. There's so many interesting smaller print games you can pick up that nobody is currently paying any attention to. In a few years, many will become sought after. It's easy to find vendors selling overstock and closeout of many last gen titles on PS4 and Xbox in brand new condition. IMO that's always the best option, even if used would be a little cheaper. It's better to have something nice and mint by giving an extra $8 or $15 will the option still exists.

I feel collecting for the last and current gen makes sense. Especially now that the prices are cheaper and will eventually go up on some stuff. I see the PS2 and other systems in the earlier gen and some have crazy prices. What I purchase, I have the intention of playing. One of my biggest mistakes was buying any game that I saw cheap and ended with a bunch of games I didn’t enjoy. So I keep it strictly to what I will play, share, and enjoy. eBay is usually my last resort if I can’t find anything I’m looking for in my area for sometime. I’m usually a patient person and I’ll wait around for the best price to pop up.

Interestingly, you mentioned the Wii, I had started purchasing more Wii games I want to play because I felt it was only a matter of time before prices shoot up and end up missing the opportunity. And it’s pretty cheap with the exception of a small batch of rare or expensive games (Dokapon Kingdom...).

I will keep your advice in mind though. Next time I get a chance, I’ll be a little more through when I look around for some games. Thanks!

Re: Tips on purchasing games”
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2021, 06:42:26 pm »
Buy the cheaper stuff you think you're gonna like (in the best condition you can find)  first than focus on the more expensive stuff, once you have most quite a few games to play, then focus on the more expensive stuff you think you are gonna like. If you try and get all the high value games first you will not have as big of a collection in the long run, time is limited, and you don't want to be stuck with an expensive game you don't like, if you collect to play like me. Don't buy just any game. Buy what you like or think you will enjoy, or else, you won't be happy unless you only put things on a shelf to look at.

If you buy games just to put them on a shelf, it's like buying a bunch of empty game cases with artwork printed on them in my opinion.

At the moment, there is only one game that I have on my wishlist that goes for quite a bit. Meanwhile, I’ve been picking up the few that I want to play and enjoy. That’s pretty much my collection. Games that I really want to enjoy. I learned that the hard way. Back when I first started getting the hang of building a collection. But glad to know there are like minded collectors that collect to play.  :)

Re: Tips on purchasing games”
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2021, 11:09:22 am »
I'm a fan of looking for good deals on games in plain sight. Pretty much what this means is going to places like game stores, used media stores, or places that are known for selling video games relative to what they're selling for. Not only do you know you're going to find something, but there's an additional component to it. No one is perfect and everyone messes up some time. This applies to game stores and other retailers who sell games too. You'd be surprised how often game stores misprice games (pricing CIB copy at loose price, marking rare editions the same as normal editions, using outdated prices) or with how rapidly game prices can change they often are behind the curve on what something is currently going for. I've bought so many games that jumped in price significantly for 20-70% under their going rate because no one at a store caught the price jump, customer or employee.


This is how I primarily find my deals now. I rarely go to places like thrift stores, flea markets, or pawn shops anymore since nearly all these places are keenly aware of how popular and valuable games are. Sure, people still score at these places from time to time, but I find the effort to payoff ratio completely skewed in the wrong direction these days. There are garage sales, and I personally know someone who finds some insane stuff at them still, but he will literally garage sale all day long and go to hundreds of sales sometimes to find what he does. His trick is he literally asks every single sale if they have video games and many of them will often remember that they do and bring them out. What's nice is until he asked these people had no idea what they had or what it was worth so they often are willing to let it go at a fraction of its current value. I commend him for his commitment and the energy he puts into doing this, but it is well and beyond what I'm willing to go through these days to find good deals.


I was all about the hunt 6+ years ago, but I'm just not as motivated these days. I've found countless insane deals, I've bought and owned many rare and desirable games, and I've bragged about my finds many times. I guess I feel like it's someone else's turn and if they're willing to put in all that effort than they deserve it. It was a different time when i was hardcore collecting and it was significantly easier and cheaper. If you want an idea of what it was like watch The Game Chasers earlier episodes and that's pretty much it. I really miss those times, but all good things must come to an end eventually.

Re: Tips on purchasing games”
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2021, 06:31:43 pm »
I'll second that thrift stores, pawn shops, etc. are just not worth the time to pursue these days considering how rarely they are ever stocked with anything notable. If you absolutely need loose copies of Big Brain Academy and Drake & Josh: Talent Showdown though, you'll be in heaven at those places.

Has anyone had any luck with finding great deals for games at estate sales? When I used to be more of an avid record collector, estate sales were goldmines for finding really good old LPs, especially when its apparent the person who died was also an LP collector. though back then I never thought to seek out ones advertising video games for sale.

Re: Tips on purchasing games”
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2021, 09:23:42 pm »
I'll second that thrift stores, pawn shops, etc. are just not worth the time to pursue these days considering how rarely they are ever stocked with anything notable. If you absolutely need loose copies of Big Brain Academy and Drake & Josh: Talent Showdown though, you'll be in heaven at those places.

Has anyone had any luck with finding great deals for games at estate sales? When I used to be more of an avid record collector, estate sales were goldmines for finding really good old LPs, especially when its apparent the person who died was also an LP collector. though back then I never thought to seek out ones advertising video games for sale.


As I mentioned in my post, I know a local collector who finds some incredible stuff at garage sales. That's actually his primary source of finding stuff. Only problem is that he has to spend a lot of time doing it because most people he asks don't have anything. However, he stays persistent and typically finds someone who has an N64 and games or their kids' old Dreamcast in their basement collecting dust. The best part is they weren't planning on selling it, nor do they have any idea what it's worth so they're usually willing to part with it for a fraction of what its current value is.


With that said, I'd stay away from garage sales that advertise they have video games. These things are a bloodbath these days; there was one a few months back in my area that was posted to a Facebook group I below to and like 20-people showed up hours before the sale was supposed to start. The worst part is someone tipped the seller off to the prices too so they weren't cheap anymore when the people arrived.

Cartagia

Re: Tips on purchasing games”
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2021, 08:23:22 am »
I'll second that thrift stores, pawn shops, etc. are just not worth the time to pursue these days considering how rarely they are ever stocked with anything notable. If you absolutely need loose copies of Big Brain Academy and Drake & Josh: Talent Showdown though, you'll be in heaven at those places.

Has anyone had any luck with finding great deals for games at estate sales? When I used to be more of an avid record collector, estate sales were goldmines for finding really good old LPs, especially when its apparent the person who died was also an LP collector. though back then I never thought to seek out ones advertising video games for sale.

As I mentioned in my post, I know a local collector who finds some incredible stuff at garage sales. That's actually his primary source of finding stuff. Only problem is that he has to spend a lot of time doing it because most people he asks don't have anything. However, he stays persistent and typically finds someone who has an N64 and games or their kids' old Dreamcast in their basement collecting dust. The best part is they weren't planning on selling it, nor do they have any idea what it's worth so they're usually willing to part with it for a fraction of what its current value is.


With that said, I'd stay away from garage sales that advertise they have video games. These things are a bloodbath these days; there was one a few months back in my area that was posted to a Facebook group I below to and like 20-people showed up hours before the sale was supposed to start. The worst part is someone tipped the seller off to the prices too so they weren't cheap anymore when the people arrived.

Exactly.  Anyone who is advertising on the internet has the internet and have likely done their research, or have had people contact them ahead of time.  You've got to get that person who had a SNES for their nephew who came over occasionally and now don't need it anymore and are just looking to clear out their basement.

Same with estate sales.  The last great bundle I got was at an estate auction about 3 years ago.  The online listing just had like a snippet of SNES games in the corner, and a PSVR up front.  Probably helped that it was freezing cold that day.  Some mom showed up to get the VR for their kid, but no one wanted the classic stuff.

And do not discount thrift stores - in the right area.  I've had incredible luck at Goodwill in some more affluent areas, with games and movies, but unfortunately that one closed, and my luck seems to have run out in that regard.

pzeke

Re: Tips on purchasing games”
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2021, 08:34:05 am »
You seem to be on the right track already, so not much to say, really - just keep buying what you like, and avoid getting games for the sake of filling your shelf.

Also, patience. That's your best broki.

Re: Tips on purchasing games”
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2021, 11:56:34 pm »
I'll second that thrift stores, pawn shops, etc. are just not worth the time to pursue these days considering how rarely they are ever stocked with anything notable. If you absolutely need loose copies of Big Brain Academy and Drake & Josh: Talent Showdown though, you'll be in heaven at those places.

Has anyone had any luck with finding great deals for games at estate sales? When I used to be more of an avid record collector, estate sales were goldmines for finding really good old LPs, especially when its apparent the person who died was also an LP collector. though back then I never thought to seek out ones advertising video games for sale.

As I mentioned in my post, I know a local collector who finds some incredible stuff at garage sales. That's actually his primary source of finding stuff. Only problem is that he has to spend a lot of time doing it because most people he asks don't have anything. However, he stays persistent and typically finds someone who has an N64 and games or their kids' old Dreamcast in their basement collecting dust. The best part is they weren't planning on selling it, nor do they have any idea what it's worth so they're usually willing to part with it for a fraction of what its current value is.


With that said, I'd stay away from garage sales that advertise they have video games. These things are a bloodbath these days; there was one a few months back in my area that was posted to a Facebook group I below to and like 20-people showed up hours before the sale was supposed to start. The worst part is someone tipped the seller off to the prices too so they weren't cheap anymore when the people arrived.

Exactly.  Anyone who is advertising on the internet has the internet and have likely done their research, or have had people contact them ahead of time.  You've got to get that person who had a SNES for their nephew who came over occasionally and now don't need it anymore and are just looking to clear out their basement.

Same with estate sales.  The last great bundle I got was at an estate auction about 3 years ago.  The online listing just had like a snippet of SNES games in the corner, and a PSVR up front.  Probably helped that it was freezing cold that day.  Some mom showed up to get the VR for their kid, but no one wanted the classic stuff.

And do not discount thrift stores - in the right area.  I've had incredible luck at Goodwill in some more affluent areas, with games and movies, but unfortunately that one closed, and my luck seems to have run out in that regard.


My last huge garage sale score that was advertised was probably 7 years ago. A guy was pretty much selling off all his video games he'd accumulated since being a little kid, but he wasn't a collector and had no idea what he had. He explicitly said no early birds, which I respected. I was parked in front of his house waiting for the sale to start, and while he's setting up a middle aged woman walks up with some papers in her hand and then I just see the guy start bringing out tubs, then see her taking games out. I jumped out of my car and feverishly started grabbing what I could. She was a reseller and her papers were lists of game values based on what was advertised and shown in the ad for the sale. While she was trying to pick out all the expensive games which she knew nothing about I was grabbing deals left and right, except when the lady literally put her arms over a tub and tried blocking me from looking inside. I probably made out with $600+ in games that I spent under $100 on despite what the reseller was able to grab, but I ended up getting way more in the end than her so I was content.


If that sale happened now, or hell during the last 4 years there would have been a dozen people there and I likely would have only got a few games out of it if any. I miss those days.