Collecting tip #9: Deciding what to do with unwanted games


At some point in your collecting, you’ll find yourself with a sizable box of games that you no longer want. Whether they be duplicates of games that you already own or games that wanted but have decided to part with, knowing what to do next takes a bit of strategy. So it’s a good idea to think about all of your options before making a decision:

1. Selling them online

If they’re valuable games and you’re looking for some quick cash, selling them online (eBay, Amazon or Craigslist) might be the way to go. This is especially great for those who are able to find games cheaply at second-hand sources like garage sales, thrift stores and flea markets. If you can liquidate some of your collection, that could provide you with resources to find the games that you really want.

Selling on these different online platforms can seem intimidating at first, but it’s a skill that everyone should learn– retro collectors and otherwise. Selling your old games is a great way to teach yourself how to list items on eBay. Once you’ve sold your first few items, you’ll find that it’s a lot easier than you’d think.

Try checking completed listings on eBay first to see if they’re worth selling. If you’re selling a game for $25, you should expect to pay $3 for listing fees and about $5 for shipping. If you have a game that’s worth less than $15, you may want to consider accumulating several titles from a single console and sell them as a lot.

2. Trading them to other collectors

Being able to find the right collectors to trade with will require some networking. Thanks to the internet, there are so many platforms for conducting trades. I’ve done trades on Facebook, Instagram and online gaming forums. It takes some time, but once you’re able to get to know some collectors and what they’re looking for, you should be able to connect with others who want what you have.

When I’m getting ready to slim down my collection, I usually have some people in mind who might be interested in what I have for trade. Some of my friends are focusing on Gamecube games, some only collect Sega. So the more people I know, the more I’m able to find other collectors to trade with.

The key is to be polite, resourceful and patient. Trading with other collectors is something we’ll go over in much greater detail in future collecting tip posts. So be sure to stay tuned!

3. Trading them to a local game store

Not everyone is fortunate enough to live near a retro game store. The good news is that retro game stores are constantly popping up. So sometimes there’s a retro game store in your area that you might not even know about. So before you discount this option, be sure to search the web for any stores that might be within driving distance from you.

If you happen to live near a good store, it’s might be worth trading in your unwanted games there for cash or credit. Different stores have different trade-in policies, so it’ll be important for you to familiarize yourself with their terms. Since selling games can be a hassle, it’ll be worth it sometimes to take a liquidate some of your collection for 60 percent of its face-value.

Generally, I look for stores that will give me at least 50 percent of the resale value of my games in trade credit. I also make sure that it’s a store that will frequently have some of the games that I’m looking for in stock and for a fair price. I collect for a wide variety of consoles, but my primary focus has been on NES collecting, so I only trade to stores that have a decent inventory of NES games.

So before visiting your local game stores for a trade, be sure to ask an employee what their trade policy to see if it’s worth it.


Featured photo by Brian Vasconcellos. Stay tuned for more collecting tips right here on Retro Chronicle. And be sure to leave any comments or tips of your own in the comment section!

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