Guide To Buying Video Games

If you’re thinking about starting to collect video games or if you’ve been collecting, this guide will cover some essential tips when it comes to buying video games for collecting purposes or if you’re looking to just replay some of your classic favorites.

Item’s Condition:
Depending on what condition you want will change the price of an item sometimes drastically.

Brand New – The item should be in the original packaging and unopened. Make sure to check the shrink wrap on the items, some stores will re-shrink wrap the item, some do it to keep the item clean but sometimes shady merchants will mark the item as brand new even though it isn’t. Not only that, some shady merchants have mastered the art of shrink wrapping and they make it harder to spot re-shrink wrapped items. There are usually guides for specific games on how to determine if it is truly brand new.

Some items won’t have shrink wrap on them, but they will have a seal to indicate if it’s been open before. However, this isn’t always the case, there are some exceptions where items will not have a seal or shrink wrap, you should do some research on the item if these type of things are important to you.

Most video game consoles from Japan are not shrink wrapped nor do they have a seal on them. This is because the Japanese tend to have a strong moral and honor system from my understanding, so they don’t feel the need to have to seal the items is my assumption.

New – Typically, this means the item is complete and brand new, but the package has been opened and the item may have been turned on once or twice to test it works. Make sure the item is complete if that’s what you’re looking for.

Used – This means the item is not new and has been used. There is no guarantee of it being complete. You will in most cases just receive the item with no case or packaging.
Ex: Disc only, and no case.

Complete and In-Complete:
If the item is complete with all inserts and nothing missing, then the item is more valuable than if you were to just have only the game itself. Sometimes the box or case of a game is more valuable than the game itself because most people threw away their game cases or other packaging, which means there are less circulating around.

For instance Pokemon HeartGold. The game sells for roughly $80 by itself as of right now. If you have the original box, pokewalker, and inserts, you’re looking at almost getting $150 if not more.

Chinese Replicas:
Some of the most popular games on cartridges for the GB, GBC, GBA, DS, Etc. are being remade illegally. Merchants sometimes will let you know the item is a replica, but some will not. Some people will resell replica copies without even knowing it. If you’re about to drop a good chunk of change on a game, make sure to look and compare

Online Retailers:
1. Ebay pricing does not necessarily control the true price of an item.
– Pay attention to sold listings only. This tells you what people are actually paying for the items.
– Some people pull the trigger on over priced items because they don’t want to wait or have the patience to look around. This drives up prices but does not mean an item is truly worth that amount.

2. Amazon Third-Party Sellers
– Not Amazon, so don’t expect a top quality item/condition of a product, be cautious as Amazon doesn’t have additional photos like Ebay does, so you’ll have to just hope what you buy is accurate and in a decent condition.
– Usually, it’s always more expensive than Ebay for really no reason. My bet is people assume it’s from Amazon and not a third-party seller so they don’t mind paying the premium.

3. Mercari/Offer up/ETC
– Be extremely careful, the customer support on these platforms are not on the same level as Amazon or Ebay, you can be stuck with an in-accurate item and not receive a refund(If this happens, reach out to your bank).
– Pay attention to user ratings, you can score items for cheap and with confidence.
– Pay attention to the photos, some users will try to hide flaws, Mercari, will not refund you if you receive the exact same item listed, so make sure ahead of time for any signs of damage or wear if the condition matters to you.

Generally everything said above can be applied to any of the platforms. If you have any information you’d like to add, please leave a comment.

We hope this helps some of you out on your video game collecting adventure.

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