An Ultimate Guide to Buy & Sell Video Games for 2021.
I’ve bought and sold video games for years. Coincidentally, over those years I’ve learned from my mistakes. And because of those mistakes, I now am able to offer you the Absolute Ultimate Video Game Collectors Resource – The Guide To Buy & Sell.
Before I get into the resource, it is my moral duty to tell you that inside this article there will be some links that are affiliate links. If you click and use those links from this article I can in fact receive a commission at no extra cost to you. But I would rather be up front at the beginning so you know. Also since I’m putting this massive collectors resource together for you guys, I expect to get some e-mails from members wanting to be part of the Collector Showcase and show off their collections. And now that that’s out of the way, on with the Collectors Resource – The Ultimate Guide to Buy & Sell Video Games.
How to Buy & Sell Video Games
New to collecting? Here’s a good place to start for a new buyer/seller or even a seasoned vet. You might not know where to start sometimes. With the video game industry being around $160 billion this year, there’s going to be a lot of places to buy or sell games. That’s giant money.
In this post, I’ll explain where the best places to find retro and modern games can be in person and online. In addition, I’ll also explain where to sell your games, and the advantages of each place. Also I’ll give you tips on how to value your collection or game titles. This is the Collectors Resource. Whether you want to flip games for a profit, or build your collection for less than usual, this will guide you to doing just that.
First on our list is eBay. eBay is probably the most widely used resource when it comes to pricing games, and also a big place to find some really rare titles. eBay boasts having 25 million sellers, but also 180 buyers with 2 billion transactions a day.
In the collecting world and reseller world, everyone preaches to find the price you should pay or sell by looking at the “sold comps,” comparable items that have sold for an item, and then average them for a “market value.” And that works, usually. If you’re new collector eBay’s sold comps is a great collector’s resource.
Having that in mind, taking an eBay sold value based on comps isn’t always the most accurate. As a reseller for many years, I always was able to command a higher price for any item because I was able to maximize my listings using tools like 3DSellers. One my absolute favorites, 3DSellers easily helps you plug in details on your listing to gain SEO. Yes eBay can be leveraged for SEO.
So I would rank on the first page often. I know this isn’t a guide on how to sell on just eBay, but stay with me on this for a second. eBay sellers have, on average, a sales conversion rate of just 0.5-1.5%. That figure is how many people see your listing, click through, seeing the description, then results in a sold listing.
With 3DSellers and quality pictures, listing habits, etc., I’m able to have a sales conversion rating at 4 times the average seller. And that’s all through SEO and presentation.
eBay’s Sold Prices is an Excellent New Collectors Resource
What does that have to do with video games? Well, I’ll tell you. With eBay you can either score games really cheap because discouraged sellers often lower their price to rank higher in search before doing anything else. That can result in a sale that will skew that “market value” we talked about. Also because that market value can get dinged by sellers who don’t know how to maximize SEO, that can result in a lower selling price for you.
Personally I think eBay is great if I’m searching for retro games. Just based on the amount of sellers alone you can often find games there you can’t find elsewhere. But because sellers like myself can rank higher, that can often result in a buyer paying more. Or can result in a seller accepting a lower sale amount.
eBay is fantastic for the amount of variety it can bring you. But unless you know the tricks to selling higher it’s not the best place to sell. And unless you know how to find the deals on eBay, you might end up spending more than you would elsewhere.
Thrifty Collectors Resource Tip – Check eBay’s Auction & Uses an Auction Sniper
A good tip for your collectors resource when buying on eBay is to look at auctions. And bulk lot auctions. Once I won an auction for 8 Nintendo games that were complete in their box with manuals. They looked practically brand new. They were in amazing condition
For that occasion I used an auction sniper app, but thought I overpaid at $230. But back then I was buying them strictly to resell them. And I listed them for really high amounts on Facebook Marketplace and other sites including eBay. And they sat..for awhile. But within 2 months I ended up selling all of them and made over a $500 profit. So just because a sold price today says it’s worth that much, doesn’t always mean that. Something is worth what someone will pay.
Check out ebay.com to sign up. Especially if you’re new. Use this as step one to your collector’s guide.
The Facebook Marketplace (FBM) can be a great spot for finding some killer deals on used games. One of the ways I teach reselling students at School of Self Made to source reselling inventory is through buy/sell groups and using FMB in their area.
Maybe it’s me, but I think Marketplace is best for buying used games in bulk. I’ve found countless deals where I end up paying less than 50 cents a game. Typically these games aren’t exactly retro, as they’re usually PS2 and newer. Most times my strategy is to see someone offering a large amount of games for $5-10 a piece, then messaging them and asking how much for all of them.
Often on Facebook, someone thinks that something is worth way more than it really is. Remember when Nintendo Switch’s were in short demand in the States and people were selling them for upwards of $500-600 on Facebook? If you’ve ever used FBM, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “it’s going for this much on eBay,” when someone is asking an unreasonable amount. Unfortunately a lot of fly by night sellers are on Facebook so you have to deal with that.
Absolute Collectors Resource Tip – Know What You’re Willing To Pay
When buying in bulk on Facebook, don’t be afraid to walk away. Typically, I find one game out of the lot and am willing to pay up to 80% of the market value of just that one game for the whole lot. Pro tip, you can tell who is willing to make a deal by looking at their profile. For example, if it’s a mom of a bunch of kids and she doesn’t put effort into her listing, she’s probably just trying to get rid of stuff. Usually she’ll accept less.
Facebook, like any local meetup site, should be used with precaution. You always want to make sure you’re safe. A lot of cities have spaces specifically for FBM and Craiglist. If not, you can always have a seller meet you at your local police department parking lot or in a well lit, high traffic area like a WalMart parking lot. If you do meet someone, please just go during the day and make sure someone knows where you’re going.
Selling on Facebook has changed tremendously in 2020. To compete with the other marketplaces, Facebook with Instagram has increased their approach to selling. Facebook has even offered no shipping fees for months at a time this year. If I’m using Facebook to sell, it’s typically because I bought way too much again, and want to blow out inventory quickly. Since I source very really low, I can stand to deal with the lowball offers on Facebook.
The biggest downfall with Facebook and other local meet ups is the amount of no shows you have. To curb that, I don’t leave my house unless the buyer has again confirmed with me they’ll be there. Another thing I’ve done is create a separate Facebook account just for Marketplace. You can never been too safe today. I’ve been robbed once from a Facebook meet up for an iPhone. While it wasn’t too serious, I don’t want that happening again.
Use facebook.com to sign up. However, new profiles have to wait 30 days to use the Marketplace.
Mobile app, Mercari has come into its own this year. While it’s a mobile app by design, you can still list and buy on a computer. If you’re selling on Mercari and eBay, save some time by opening both windows and copy/paste your listings. Mercari is nice because there’s not as many item specifics as an eBay, and you can make listings really quickly.
While it’s true, Mercari doesn’t have the following of eBay or Amazon has just yet. And they probably won’t any time soon, but I have found that often I’ll get a higher price on Mercari for certain games just because there’s not as many options on the platform.
If you’re a collector or have been one for at least 3 months, you probably know that sports games are usually not worth a whole lot to the gaming community. There’s exceptions like NCAA 14 that goes for around $150, but typically they’re only worth a few dollars. For whatever reason I can usually sell a sports game on Mercari for at least $10 when I can only get $5-6 on eBay. Again, I think it’s because the lack of competition allowing me to get that much.
Collectors Resource Tip – Get Creative – Sell Sports Games With The Cover Athlete’s Name First in the Title
I’ve found that collectors or fans of that specific athlete will pay more for the game than the average gaming collector. Look no further than NBA Live with Kobe Bryant on the cover. When you list things on online marketplaces, the search results are often based on your ordering of keywords.
Kobe Bryant fans are looking for Kobe memorabilia, they’ll probably see a lot of the same kinds of items. But if you put his name in the first title position that will put that game in the same search results (remember 75% don’t look past the first page) and since it will be different than most of the other things buyers will have a higher “perceived value” of what it’s worth.
Mercari has 10% fees, just like eBay for the most part. But you do get to avoid the PayPal 2.9% fee. Mercari holds your sale funds up to 3 days after the buyer gets the item, but that’s really not an issue unless you’re hard up for money.
Buying games off of Mercari is nice as well because you can follow a listing, and as the seller “promotes” it, the price of item drops. You’ll get a notification every time it drops, allowing you to set your budget and buy when you want. Because of the fewer item specifics I can’t recommend enough to not sell in giant bulk lots. Listing is quicker than eBay because of that. But you should always look at buying in bulk lots on Mercari.
Sign up for Mercari at mercari.com
Amazon is great for buying brand new, sealed games. As a resource for buying and selling video games, maybe not so much. But if you want to buy brand new games Amazon is a good place to try. To sell on Amazon you need to supply paperwork showing a distributor deal for certain ‘gated’ categories. But with buying new games you can always use Amazon Prime and get them delivered quickly, sometimes same day.
In addition to consistency, Amazon is also really good for things like new releases. While retailers like WalMart or Target might run out of the brand new Xbox Series X or the PS5, Amazon has their own stock. Amazon is a massive retailer and almost 50% of all product searches start on Amazon’s website.
Earlier I mentioned the price gouging that Facebook Marketplace provided for Nintendo Switch’s. Amazon doesn’t have that. In fact Amazon is usually pretty good about making sure their sellers aren’t gouging their buyers. They know that the buyers are what brought Amazon to taking over the online space, and soon in store retail world.
Collectors Resource Tip – Buyer Beware – Be Careful Buying Used From Amazon Because of Vague Conditions Reporting
The downfall of buying on Amazon, is you’re not getting actual pictures of items typically. Most times an item is listed in a generic condition category. Because of this and also the lack of retro games on Amazon, I really only use it if I want to buy a new game or have something delivered through Amazon Prime. By the way, Prime is amazing. I know it had its downfall at the beginning of Covid, but it’s back in full swing for me. Being able to get free shipping and stream newer series and movies for a small fee is nice.
Give Amazon FBA a Shot
If you can get ungated on Amazon to sell games, I would absolutely do it. Amazon FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) is a great program where you ship them your inventory and they take care of the rest. The problem, is that Amazon returns happen all the time. And because of how loose the return guidelines are, buyers abuse that privilege.
Take a look at Amazon’s best sellers in the video game category right now. You can see they typically have the current best games out, and usually pretty reasonable. What’s nice about Amazon is the ability to buy gift cards right away as well. Since you’re getting them immediately, you can use them immediately or e-mail them to someone.
Lastly, the other big selling point on Amazon as a buyer is you can’t beat their products when it comes to PC Gaming. Sure you can get some from other sites, but Amazon is the leader when it comes to getting quality with a refund promise if something is faulty. And if you have Prime, and sometimes without Prime, you get free shipping. Check out this Cyberpower PC Gaming Computer. Amazon even gives you the option of financing.
Sign up for Amazon, Amazon Prime, and more at amazon.com
Here’s one that’ll probably catch me some heat. Facebook groups have grown so much in the past two years. And they’re a great way to buy and sell games. The problem with Facebook groups is it leaves you open for some fraud.
Right now there’s hundreds of Facebook Groups for different kinds of gaming and overall general gaming. Some allow you to post buy/sell links, some don’t. Typically, what these groups won’t do is allow you to post anything that could be considered an outside link.
While I understand, it’s super annoying to have anyone spamming you, and probably even more so inside of a private Facebook group. But I’ve been in some groups where the admin/moderators took this role way too seriously. And having to watch where you step all the time is no way I want to be able to source video games.
Collecting Should Make You Happy, Not Angry
I’ve had posts deleted because I’ve used phrases that made a moderator insecure that I was going to stage a coup or something and throw him out of his own group. Because of moderators and others, that’s why I don’t do a lot of buying or selling in these groups. A lot of them though do make a rule that you have to sell at least 10% below that “eBay comp” price I mentioned before.
When you max out the amount that someone can sell something for, then I don’t exactly think it’s seller friendly. Especially because I already explained that eBay sold price is flawed because it takes all of the sales, and not just the ones on the front page.
If you ever do find yourself buying or selling video games in a Facebook group, always cover yourself with PayPal Goods & Services. That you can at least attempt to get your money back if someone tries to scam you.
Facebook Groups Aren’t All Bad. I’m in Several That Are Great.
While it may seem like I’m not a fan of Facebook Groups, that’s not the case at all. I currently am in several. But the groups I’m in don’t have moderators on power trips and are filled with mostly good sellers. I recently purchased a few Sega Saturn games from someone in one of the groups. Had zero problems with it.
My only issue is the lack of protection and the maximum you can charge to get a game. If you’re in this for purely collecting that might not matter to you. But if you’re wanting to buy and resell games for a profit, Facebook Groups might not be the best option.
You can also meet some really good people in these groups. For the most part, people are genuine and decent. And you never know if a collector is just wanting to sell stuff because he’s tired of looking at it. So you may be able to get a good price.
Big Box Retailers – WalMart, GameStop, Target & BestBuy
The corporate chain, big retailers definitely have their place in game buying. Not so much when it comes to selling. You can often find games on clearance at WalMart. And believe it or not you can also often negotiate a clearance rate at places like Best Buy.
Target has a limited gaming section that’s only for new, unopened games like most of these retailers. But GameStop does have some used games and refurbished controllers. They even deliver now, which is convenient.
These retailers should be used strictly for buying only. While GameStop does have a rewards program, which is pretty convenient, they’re not exactly a place I would go to to sell my games. Just as I wouldn’t go to a comic book store to sell my comics. You just won’t be getting the best price for them.
Secret Collectors Resource Tip – Use the WalMart App and Look For Hidden Clearance.
Not all WalMart locations price things the same. Sometimes you can actually find a clearance item for even lower than the price tag by scanning it with the WalMart app. You can also find things that aren’t priced as on clearance with clearance prices. Inside the glass displays and on top of shelves are the best places to look. These sometimes get forgotten about and the WalMart system automatically marks them down but an employee doesn’t change the price tag.
If you want to splurge one day pop in to a retail store and pick something up. You might get lucky at GameStop with some used titles. The only downfall is the amount of stickers they put on the cases. But with GameStop’s loyalty rewards, you can often pick up a game for cheaper than you expected because you had some coupon built up without knowing.
I will recommend to check WalMart, Target, and the others on Black Friday. Often, each year they heavily discount video games as a loss leader to get customers through the doors. You can find some good titles brand new. And if you’re planning on reselling them, you can often get multiple copies.
OfferUp/LetGo & Craigslist
Maybe you haven’t heard by now, OfferUp recently purchased LetGo. LetGo was a great resource for buying video games in the past. I always had great luck finding lots from individual sellers who had poor photos and descriptions so the average person would look over their listings. That would allow me to make a small offer. Further, 90% of the time I didn’t pay over $1 per game.
LetGo was never that successful of a selling platform for me in regards to video games.
Take a look at a portion of my stockpile of games.
However, I have sold tons of furniture using the platform. But when it came to selling video games I didn’t have much luck. I believe that’s because the people buying them were people like me who knew they could get them for cheap. The casual buyer who would spend more was on a bigger platform like eBay.
OfferUp was mildly ok when it came to buying video games. Typically in my area the people who listed on OfferUp put the same listings on LetGo anyway. Now that they’re one app, I imagine it’ll be easier for them. On occasion you could find some rare finds. Small collector resource tip for OfferUp, find the listings that are months ago and send them a message. Most times I found they hadn’t sold them and were willing to practically give them away 6 months later.
Collectors Resource Tip – Don’t Sleep On OfferUp As a Place To Sell
Now perhaps the most underutilized selling tool would be OfferUp. OfferUp allows you to ship across the country. They hold your payment just like Mercari would. And after the buyer gets the item they release the funds into your account. They take a small nominal fee. But that charge is nothing compared to the bigger platforms.
Best part about OfferUp is that there’s actually a lot of quality buyers on the platform. You’ll get the occasional negotiation, but rarely will you get the extreme lowball. OfferUp provides you with a shipping label and the price of shipping gets passed on to the buyer if you’d like.
Since the merger I’m curious to see how OfferUp/LetGo go forward and change. I think the current plan is to keep using the combined name. But do yourself a favor and sell a couple things on there. You might be surprised.
Don’t Forget About Craig and His List
Then there’s Craigslist. Craigslist has been around forever it seems like. However, they haven’t changed a whole lot. The only difference now to before is that a lot of sellers now will list sourcing ads on Craigslist, something I’ll cover later.
Craiglist is good to find a buyer who just wants to get rid of things. When they’re motivated to sell in giant lots typically the cost goes down quite significantly. And their demographic of a seller is often older people who want to clear space in their house.
One of my biggest collection buys was someone from Craigslist. I found an older gentlemen who was selling his adult owned collection. It cost me close to $2,000, but the resell value on the things I didn’t keep was close to $14,000. And the best part, most of his collection was near mint condition, complete in the boxes.
Collectors Resource Tip – Save Time -Make Ads On Craigslist for Sourcing
Selling on Craigslist isn’t easy oftentimes. It’s a lot like Facebook Marketplace when you have people who make up stories about the hard financial times they have or the ones that just completely lowball you. But occasionally if you’re clearing out extras like 3 dozen sports games, you can get a newbie reseller to buy them for a couple bucks a piece.
My recommendation is checking Craigslist for deals. One thing that I like to do to save me time is to actually create ads that say I will buy your collection. Saving me time having to sort through listings is a big help. The key to getting a good buy is to tell the seller “you’ll come today, cash in hand.” With that kind of approach they’ll often let things go for way less than normally.
Check out OfferUp/LetGo at offerup.com or using their mobile app.
And find Craigslist at craigslist.com. They also offer a surprisingly decent mobile app as well.
Pawn Shops, Local Stores, Flea Markets, Yard Sales
If you haven’t checked out your local pawn shop lately, I highly recommend it. After going a few times you can build a report with the owner and eventually he’ll let you know when good things come in. If you don’t build that relationship, expect them to try to gouge you on prices because as a pawn shop that’s their job.
Selling at a pawn shop is a no go. You’re looking at making around 30% of what it’s actually worth as they have to make a profit on the item when they sell it as well. But you’ll never know what you’ll find at a pawn shop. The other good thing is often they’ll price something years ago, not get around to rotating inventory and not realize the price has gone up.
Local stores can be hit or miss. The one in my area has expanded to several locations at this point. They’re worse than GameStop when it comes to buying games from you. They’ll offer ridiculous amounts like 10 cents. And when you go to buy, usually the price is pretty high or comparable to “eBay prices.”
Use local shops when just looking around and casually shopping. I never go to those places to buy games to sell later. I would only buy if it’s something I wanted for my own personal collection.
Collectors Resource Tip – Go Big – Buy The Collection of a Former Reseller
However, with Covid, flea markets have been a big resource of buying video games. Most flea markets were forced to close forcing the sellers to either pivot, or try to unload their inventory. I picked up a couple hundred Wii, Nintendo DS, and GameCube games from a guy who didn’t want to deal with taking pictures to sell online. Got them all for around 75 cents a piece.
Personally I’ve never sold at a flea market, but I imagine it would be alright. I don’t think anyone shopping at a flea market is expecting to buy anything super expensive, so I would think it’s best to take your doubles or less valuable games to sell there. Then you could at least get $10 cash for that copy of The Black Eyed Peas Experience on PS2.
Collectors Resource Tip – Hidden Treasures – Yard Sales Can Be Huge!
You know, I think the absolute best place to find games for the best prices is often times yard sales and garage sales. Most of the time people are just cleaning out their houses and want things gone. You can grab a lot of bulk inventory for cheap. Always use the phrase “how much for all of them?”
And when you’re out at a garage or yard sale, make sure you ask the seller if they have anything else inside they want to sell. I found the more you buy, the better the deals. That’s the name of the game. If you’re into anything else like comic books, action figures, or whatever, be sure to ask if they have any of those inside as well. I was able to score about 3,000 comics for $60. And the first book made that whole investment back.
If you want to sell at a yard sale, just know it’s not going to be consistent. Feel free to bundle things up and sell them just to move them if you’re tired of looking at them. Just don’t expect to make too much selling at a yard sale.
There’s a few other places that are resources for buying and selling video games. Those kinds of places are things like retro gaming conventions or con events. You’ll always pay full price. But often times that’s where you can find the grails and gems.
It would be completely silly if I didn’t mention what I think will be a game changer in the future. kando is brand new, so right now admittedly there’s not a ton of action. But I have seen the site in 2 weeks go from 150 hits a day to around 700 a day. That’s in 2 weeks.
I can’t encourage you enough if you haven’t already, sign up for the marketplace. Throw some old unwanted inventory on there. With the amount of casual traffic that will be coming through as we near the holidays you might be surprised at what you sell.
kando has the least percentage of seller fees. It’s a flat 5% for anything that you sell. The best part, you’re most likely selling to other gamers. At the very least they’re casual gamers. And you can negotiate deals in the community forum board.
The site kando was designed with an all-in-one location for gaming. I’m beyond excited that I get the privilege to bring this platform to the gaming community. Yes, I know it’ll be rough to gain real traction, but that’s ok. I’m not doing this to get rich. I want this to be a place everyone can come, contribute, and feel like an actual community. A living, breathing collectors resource.
And listing on kando is a breeze. Recently we updated the item specifics just to help buyer searches. You can brand yourself from your listings. You’re free to gain contact information from buyers unlike the other places. And really you can start your own online business through kando.
kando is Buy & Seller Friendly
If you’re a buyer, kando is absolutely somewhere I would want to buy from. The chances are you’re buying from gamers, meaning they take pride in their stuff. You can avoid the scams of the fly by night sellers on other platforms and buy from a trusted source. And if you do get scammed, you can get a refund.
Also, coming soon to kando will be our affiliate program. So you can actually make money for getting other people to sign up and sell or buy. Still working out the details, but hoping to have it before the holiday season. As I said before, this isn’t for the money. I want this to grow into something big. So don’t be surprised if I suspend seller fees for a month, just because.
You can sign up for kando by going to the marketplace here.
Collectors Resource Tools to Buy & Sell Video Games
So how do you price your games to sell? You can do the eBay comp price by taking at least 3 of the same, apples to apples comparison of products, adding the total amount sold and dividing it to get an average. That’ll give you a good idea. You can also use apps like Completely Pro that will do all the math and things for you. Fair warning, that’s a paid app. If anyone happens to know the developers of that app, pass their contact information to me. I’ve brought them several dozen signups this year alone.
Collectors Resource Tip – Don’t Be Afraid To Check Other Sources
You can also check PriceCharting.com for prices. I like PriceCharting. It gives you the ability to keep track of your collection as well. There’s a free and paid version. With the free version you can only do a lot calculator of 10 items. With the paid there’s no limit. And the paid version is so cheap at like $3 a month it’s worth it to me.
The owner of PriceCharting seems like a real cool guy too. He’s even done an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on the sub reddit r/gamingcollecting. Bet this guy knows a few things about a collectors resource. I’ve never bought or sold on PriceCharting, but with the way they run their business, I would imagine there would be no problems.
Another app you can use is Game Eye. It’s a free app. I think their prices might be a little off, but if you want to store and keep track of your collection, that is the quickest, most efficient way. Their barcode scanner is super quick allowing you to do batches. Also they have a cartridge scanner so for older games you can scan the cartridge and it’ll add the title to your collection. If you haven’t checked it out, I recommend it completely.
Be The Collector You Want To Be – Collectors Resource Final Words
Just remember that no matter what I say, or anyone else says, the only person’s opinion that matters at the end of the day is yours. If you want to spend more on something and I wouldn’t spend as much on, that’s totally ok. If you think something is worth more than what an eBay comp says; that’s fine too.
You’re getting into this because you have a passion for gaming. If you want to to pay 10x the average price, that’s your choice. Never let anyone, myself included, tell you that you can’t do something that you want to do. And that’s the beauty of this.
It Matters To Me And That’s All That Matters To Me
There’s some games in my collection that’ll never get rid of. And those games to me are priceless, especially the condition I have them in. They’re not worth much. But it doesn’t matter. You collect what you want to collect. There’s truthfully no right or wrong way as long as you personally are enjoying yourself. Collect what you want to collect and then let me know if you think I should consider your strategy for the next collectors resource post.
I enjoyed writing this as well. So keep a look out for some other guides. Please, let me know if there’s something you’re interested in me writing about. I’ll gladly give my tips that I use to get higher returns on sales, or even my sourcing strategies.
And if you found some value in this collectors resource, do me a favor and share it with your social media friends. kando as a whole is brand new. I want to have your input and the gaming community’s input on how we should shape this thing.
Thanks for reading guys.
Let me know what you think about the ULTIMATE Collectors Resource Guide by dropping a message on Twitter or Instagram @gokandogames
Until next time…