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Advice on Selling Games:

chickenscometoroostchickenscometoroost Registered User new member
Hi, folks; brand new here and created this topic to get some help with a little bit of a "flea market" situation.

A bit of background: after getting rejected by over graduate programs this last year and having just returned from a two-year stint teaching in Hong Kong, I'm in the middle of the lurch and have had to move back home to a remote corner of Louisiana. Now, I'm not looking to stay in the podunk South for too much longer and have aspirations to move out of here soon (I expect you'll get a post about that soon). To that end, I'm looking to sell my collection of videogames. I no longer have the time or the interest in them and they're just taking up space; whatever money they could give me would be a boost -- small or huge, it doesn't matter -- to moving where my aspirations are pointing me. To that end, I would like some tips on selling these games. No, I'm not here to advertise; I just want a few general tips on getting the most money I can for those games that I have. I figure that a number of you have some experience selling and/or buying games and might be able to give me a few tips on making the most of my efforts and collection. So a few questions:

1. I'm going to assume that ebay is the best place to sell games. However, are there other bidding sites or services or even communities that might be good for some of these? I do have some rarities and was hoping to get top dollar for them (no, not just collector's editions of things; I'm particularly interested in getting rid of this Donkey Kong Competition Cartridge) and am afraid of getting fleeced on an auction site. Any message boards or other auction type sites that specialize in games?

2. Where's a good place to sell "homebrewed" systems, like a PSP? I've got one -- no explaining how -- and figured that ebay's not going to take too kindly to me selling what is effectively pirate booty on their website.

3. Assuming I'm going to use ebay, what's the best way to make my games visible? Obviously, I plan on taking pictures of my games and posting those with my sales. But what else should I do so that my listings become more visible on the website? Any tips on titling, picture taking and just general "advertising"?

4. What's the best way to price material to make certain that I get a good return on it?

5. What about the logistics of shipping? I'm a tad frightened of getting everything sold off at a nice price only to find that I'll be losing 30% of that to shipping and handling. Should I promise free shipping and handling on every item, or are most buyers willing to overlook a $3-$4 shipping cost if it means getting that game they want?

6. Should I be concerned if my bid is stabilizing/staying low for the first few days? I've sold on the website before -- just once or twice -- and have been fortunate enough that my listings shot up to a nice maximum after just two days. Is that normal? Should I be worried if I have one or two items that keep hovering low for the first few days, or is it normal that the majority of bidding takes place in the last few hours of activity?

7. Should I sell all of my games in lots, outside of the outliers (those games that regularly fetch over $100)? For instance, if I have a few games that will sell for $40, should I throw them in with all of the $5 crap? Or should I sell that on its own? What will get me the most money most efficiently?

8. Finally, I've tested and cleaned all of my games prior to this (a monumental task: it took the better part of 3 days) and have been lucky enough that only 1 is broken. However, this one game (an SNES cart) is particularly stubborn: I've cleaned it using every trick in the book (obviously, the old blowing, but I also tried the windex and rubbing alcohol tricks, to no avail). Anybody here an expert on fixing old SNES games who might be able to help me?

That about does it. If there are any questions I forgot to ask, well, I'd be thrilled if you could point those out for me. Any advice at all will be great. Thanks, guys; really appreciate it!


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    Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    Holy crap that's a lot of questions:

    1) Ebay. The end. How can you get fleeced in an auction?

    2) I have no idea. If your item is legal then you can probably sell it on EBay if listed accurately. If it's illegal then you can't sell it anywhere.

    3) Take a picture to show you genuinely have the item. Make a sensible auction title. All the other promotion guff is a con to my mind. If people are looking for it they will find it. Nobody 'browses' Ebay.

    4) List at the minimum price you would be happy with. Let the auction and the free market deal with the rest.

    5) Shipping free or included is a bit of a wash as it all ends up in the price somewhere in the end. If you do go free shipping, be sure to factor that into your minimum sale price.

    6) Bid activity means nothing until the last 60 seconds. You can take the number of watchers as a vague register of interest but essentially you don't know until it's sold. Hence listing at a starting price you'd be happy to see it sell for.

    7) Individually is almost always the best way.

    8) Nope, no clue.

    Other advice would be to always send recorded delivery so you can reclaim the cash from the post office if the item gets lost in the post (or tell if the buyer lies about it being lost in the post).

    Hope that helps!

    Jam Warrior on
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    HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    2. If it's a PSP, I'm assuming you have a CFW on it? You can flash it with the most recent official firmware and nobody will know the difference. Some mods for it don't even flash the firmware, so a hard reset will clear it.

    Many game stores aside from Game Stop won't care if a PSP is modded, either, because they update it to the current official firmware themselves.

    Hevach on
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    NobodyNobody Registered User regular
    Holy crap that's a lot of questions:

    1) Ebay. The end. How can you get fleeced in an auction?

    Several ways actually:

    a. "I never got it"
    b. "Item not as described"
    c. "Item was damaged"

    Ebay will force the refund and not care if you get the item back or not. From what I've heard, having a tracking number will (usually) prevent the first one, but Ebay won't care about the other two.

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    cabsycabsy the fattest rainbow unicorn Registered User regular
    Ebay is all about buyer protection, NOT seller protection these days. List items as-is and no refund or exchange; take clear pictures; make a clear, detailed listing; ship with tracking, ship with tracking, SHIP WITH TRACKING. Also set your minimum bid at a fair price or expect that some things will sell for less, as ebay will take a maximum bid from a bidder and bid only as much as necessary to win the item. Buy it Now is nice and all but the minute someone bids it is removed, so if you want to do Buy it Now set it at around a fair market price but expect that to do absolutely nothing for you. Also don't forget eBay takes its (not insubstantial) cut. Figure out if you want to ship internationally or not or mention you are willing to ship internationally if people specifically request it but don't set it as a default.

    Also eBay doesn't really give many shits if you have a modified system as long as you list it that way. Bootleg listings are pretty common. The only issue is if you list something, say, new in box or mint condition and you send it out and it has a different OS on it and the buyer cannot use it in the same was as the original system defaults, because they can then claim not as advertised.

    If you have a large quantity of $5 used price games you would probably be better off posting them on craigslist or selling them to a store such as GameStop just because return on time investment after eBay fees and listing time and shipping costs will be little to nothing. As frustrating as it is it is generally easier and far better to take a dollar or two less a game than it is to lose a dollar or two a game in fees and shipping on top of the time commitment involved.

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    chickenscometoroostchickenscometoroost Registered User new member
    Thanks, everybody! I really appreciate the help on this one.

    I've actually gone and gotten a few of these things listed up; I might be looking at some nice returns (that DK Kart went out like a LIGHT! And for over $800!). We'll see where this goes from here!

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    MulletudeMulletude Registered User regular
    One tip about cleaning your old cartridges...Do not blow into them. You only make the problem worse.

    XBL-Dug Danger WiiU-DugDanger Steam-
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    ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Let's keep our threads and advice here strictly on the level. Forum rules forbid pretty much even the most basic discussion of some of this stuff.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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