Game Hunter’s Journal: Selling Duplicates

Game Hunter’s Journal: Selling Duplicates

Talk to any game collector who’s been in the trade for some time and they’ll undoubtedly have a sizable collection of games they have multiple copies of just lying around. Maybe they came from a great bundle that was too hard to pass up, a generous friend parting ways with games, or just irresponsibly buying a game for a second time because they didn’t know they already had a copy.

Literally all of these things have happened to me.

Duplicates and their value are likely hit or miss with many collectors. You might see a great game for a great price, but do you want to buy it again? Do you want to go through the hassle of reselling a game just to make back your cash and then some? Or do you just pass on the deal, since you’re already set and want to leave that find for another collector? All of these are excellent questions to ask yourself.

If you’re in the the former camp, I’m here with some tips on the best ways to sell your duplicate games (or really any game, for that matter). Over the past year or so I’ve been steadily reselling games I’ve had duplicates of for literal years. Making a few bucks back off those purchases is definitely nice, and knowing what you’re getting into is something I think every collector should know.

Here are some tips I’ve learned from selling my games.

Be descriptive and use photos

Let’s just get the obvious out of the way first: The more descriptive you are for your listings on eBay or Craigslist or what-have-you, the better. Seeing a title for Final Fantasy VII on PS1 as “FF7 Used” is much less appealing than “Final Fantasy VII (PlayStation) – Complete, Black Label”. You’re a collector: you know what you have, so tell other people. You might entice a non-collector to buy and then it won’t matter much, but you might also snag a game collector who wants to know those things. Get those alluring titles and add a descriptive detail to let potential buyers know what they are getting.

Photos are your friend. Blurry photos and unnecessary shots are just that: unnecessary. Take a nice shot of the game itself, the front and back of the case and manual, and maybe both sides of the cartridge or disc. Then accompany those images with the aforementioned description. Does the disc have some light scratches on it from normal wear and tear? Note that: buyers will want to know.

If you want to be super nice, you could also adjust the price accordingly. If you’re missing the case and manual for a game, you know it’s gonna be cheaper than a complete copy. So if your game isn’t in great condition, or some piece of the package is not 100% perfect, document it and reflect that in the price. As a buyer myself, I greatly appreciate anyone putting in that time to tell me exactly what I’m getting.

Use eBay to sell higher priced games

eBay is a wonderful website to sell all manner of items, not the least of which games. With that convenience comes a price. eBay will charge you for each listing you do (usually a couple cents), as well a asses a final value fee which is calculated based on the final selling price of the item. Lastly, on eBay the buyer purchases shipping, but the seller (obviously) has to purchase the envelopes and packages to ship those things out.

What all this amounts too is your copy of Final Fantasy VII may have sold for $25 with shipping included, but your net profit after all is said and done will likely be below $20. Because of this, eBay is NOT a good choice for low priced games. My general rule of thumb: If the game will sell for less than $10, eBay is not the right outlet. For that, there’s always….

Craigstlist, garage sales, swap meets, etc.

Your sort of catchall for selling games are your local options. Facebook marketplace is free to use and has a great mobile version to shop. Everyone knows of Craigslist, and you’ll likely get some people interested rather quickly. Swap meets don’t come around too often, but you can certainly bring your dupes there to try to sell or trade. And though I haven’t done this, I know of others bringing their games to someone else’s garage sale to either sell or trade. All of those (usually) don’t have any fees associated with them like eBay, and they are all (usually) local so you won’t have to worry about shipping.

Another plus for these options are the community you’ll meet: some of the fun of selling (and buying!) locally is getting the chance to meet like-minded game enthusiasts. Some of my favorite game collecting moments are those exchanges and reminiscent moments right before the deal is completed. It’s just a couple nerds talking about old games, and it’s awesome.

Actually list the price you want for something

“Make me an offer” is without question the biggest turn-off for a deal.

Aside from this being a completely loaded question, this makes me as a buyer feel like no matter what I say, the seller will counteroffer with something higher.

Don’t do this when selling/listing your games. On sites like eBay your price is clearly listed, but on Craigslist it isn’t. In your description for what you’re selling, you absolutely need to list a price. This introduces to the buyer what you are expecting to get, and a potential buyer can make a decision then and there if this is something they want to pursue.

Being firm on a price is totally okay too, just be aware it might restrict your buyers. In my opinion, the best listings will say something like “$100 for the entire collection, but I am open for discussion”. This lets me know you have a range of price in mind. Honestly if I think $100 is fair, I’ll just message away I’ll take it. If I think it should be lower, and since you said you’d be open for discussion, I’ll message a new price. You’d think this common sense, but you’d be baffled how many times this doesn’t happen when shopping.

Oh, and one last thing: don’t be a dick. Some people selling used games don’t know what they have. They might have a copy of Chrono Trigger tucked away in a lot of SNES games they think are worth more money (Super Mario World, A Link to the Past, Donkey Kong Country, etc.). Low balling them is just sleazy. I’m not against getting a good deal, but at least offer something reasonable. There is no sense being toxic when we can be reasonable.

Be timely, and communicate

This is more a tip when you’re selling online, but can work in person too. If a potential buyer has questions: answer them. If they are wanting more pics and you can actually get them, do it. This not only creates a great rapport between you and the buyer, it also could factor in to your sale. Same thing goes for timeliness: if you can’t get something for someone right now, but you can later, maybe send a message saying that. Hearing something, even a no, is better than hearing nothing.

I’m in no way here yet, nor do I really intend to be, but if you’re looking to make a business selling stuff to others, getting a good reputation is key. General customer service would tell you this, but the online reselling of video games is a wild landscape, and you can run in to all sorts of folk.

Understand your market

Okay, now we’re on to stuff about directly selling games.

Before you throw up a new listing on eBay for Final Fantasy VII, check and see what it’s actually selling for. You might think $25 is a pretty good price, but maybe it’s been trending around $15 lately. In this instance, maybe price your listing lower, or hold off until demand rises.

Likewise, know what some games just won’t move. No one ls likely liking for the original PS2 trilogy of Jak and Daxter, or at least they aren’t going to fork over huge bucks to buy those games. But that threesome of games might look enticing if you threw in a console, controller, and memory card. This is a great practice to sell systems and games you won’t sell on their own. Bundling together a couple decent games with a couple more less sought after games is a great way to clear your own inventory, but also make a few extra bucks. It’s not a guarantee, but it’s a start.

Use the resell value of games to buy more games

How often have you looked at a bundle of games for sale, only to see a handful of new games mixed in with a boatload more games you already have? How often have you thought to yourself how much you could resell those duplicates for, therefore making the overall total of the package deal even sweeter?

If you’ve been collecting games for awhile, you’ve likely done this. Personally I do this just about every time I look on Craigstlist or Facebook marketplace. It’s not a bad practice to do, but there’s one caveat: you actually have to sell a game for that price. Sure, you might think Final Fantasy VII is worth $25, but if no one buys it, it’s worth $0 to your bank account.

There’s a risk/reward system at play, yes, but it’s usually a safe bet you can sell the games eventually. Keep in mind selling games as a collection to get rid of those harder to sell individually games. And remember you aren’t required to sell everything right away. It might be worthwhile to sell some items at a later date. Personally I found a great time to sell games was the holiday season!

There you have it, some tips on selling your used games. Having multiple copies of games was something I never really wanted to end of having, but after years of collecting I… ended up having. But with some effort and persistance, you can sell through your overstock in no time!

And, what’s better than getting money from games to buy more games?


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I've been writing about video games for years and playing them even longer. You'll find me playing all types of games, old and new. Mega Man III is greater than Mega Man II.

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