JJ Hendricks naturally has game collecting tips to share, as he runs the game pricing platform PriceCharting, as well as his own retro game store JJGames. The four game collecting tips below service as quick references for anyone looking to pick up a classic game.
1. Be Informed
Before you buy a game, make sure you know the fair value of it. Hendricks’s PriceCharting site details the current going rate of any retro or current game, and also presents the history of the game’s pricing over the years.
2. Be patient
“The biggest thing is just patience,” notes Hendricks. “If you want to try and get a good deal, don’t just try and buy it right now, because chances are that price is probably higher than the market price.”
“Auctions in general will [target] a lower price than the “Buy it Now’s” because the seller sort of wants it to sell quicker,” explains Hendricks.
By monitoring auctions on eBay instead of Buy It Now offers, you’ll be able to buy a game for a market-set price, while Buy it Now prices can be manually set by sellers for artificially high prices.
3. Use Technology to Monitor Prices
Hendricks built a fantastic tool for monitoring eBay for deals: eBay Game Sniper.
“Whenever someone lists a game that’s below a certain price (based on a threshold you enter), we will notify you,” said Hendricks. eBay Sniper offers Desktop Notifications and enables collectors to be notified by either dollar price differences or % of price differences.
4. Buy and Sell Without Fees
eBay charges at minimum 10% for the sale of any auction items, and finding a way to buy games without a fee can net buyers decent savings. Traditionally, this means finding local game stores or using Craigslist, but PriceCharting’s marketplace is also worth a look. PriceCharting charges zero fees to sellers and buyers, resulting in most games selling for 5-6% less than eBay’s price.