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SpaceDice2010

How "soft" is the Atari market.

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Looking at Ebay lately and some of the games that are selling at auction is interesting. London Blitz for $6. Pooyan for $5. The list goes on. Is the market for loose games really that soft?

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The market for loose games is very different than that of complete games. Many people that collect loose games do so due to money constraints. They want a large collection, and the easiest and cheapest way to do that is by collecting loose. Since people that collect loose games tend to be those with a bit less money to throw at the hobby when the economy starts to stumble so do the prices.

 

Even common boxed games are affected. IMO, prices on common titles have gone down a bit in the last ffew years as well. The really rare games are hit and miss. Many have gone up in value (based on sale prices) and some have fallen. I think the fact that people in the market for these games have more money likely helps the prices stay up.

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The market for loose games is very different than that of complete games. Many people that collect loose games do so due to money constraints. They want a large collection, and the easiest and cheapest way to do that is by collecting loose. Since people that collect loose games tend to be those with a bit less money to throw at the hobby when the economy starts to stumble so do the prices.

 

Even common boxed games are affected. IMO, prices on common titles have gone down a bit in the last ffew years as well. The really rare games are hit and miss. Many have gone up in value (based on sale prices) and some have fallen. I think the fact that people in the market for these games have more money likely helps the prices stay up.

This is a pretty bad generalization.

 

I would submit that most people who buy loose carts aren't collectors at all, and are merely buying the games to play them, not to ferret them away in some collectors stash.

 

Just because someone doesn't see the point in spending $30 for a dated video game for a dead system, doesn't mean they don't have the money to do so. More likely they just don't place the same inflated nostalgia value on said games that collectors do.

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Horseboy hit it right on the nail.I collect loose now because of the bad economy, i have to watch my money and make it stretch as far as i can.I, like anyone else would prefer complete boxed games, sealed is even better.The price of collecting CIB is pretty pricey nowadays.

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I buy cart only because I'm only interested in playing Atari. If I wanted boxes and manuals, I'll pick a more recent system so the the cardboard and paper won't have had as many years to age and deteriorate as those from Atari.

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I to have seen rarer cart go for lowe prices, and like everyone else, other than the auction winner, I still didn't think it was worth it. Something is oly worth what 2 people are willing to pay, unless someone else is willing to spend more, the price stays low. I can only assume that collectors more serious than me already have them, and maybe they aren't as

1)rare

2)desireable

as people thought.

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The market for loose games is very different than that of complete games. Many people that collect loose games do so due to money constraints. They want a large collection, and the easiest and cheapest way to do that is by collecting loose. Since people that collect loose games tend to be those with a bit less money to throw at the hobby when the economy starts to stumble so do the prices.

 

Even common boxed games are affected. IMO, prices on common titles have gone down a bit in the last ffew years as well. The really rare games are hit and miss. Many have gone up in value (based on sale prices) and some have fallen. I think the fact that people in the market for these games have more money likely helps the prices stay up.

This is a pretty bad generalization.

 

I would submit that most people who buy loose carts aren't collectors at all, and are merely buying the games to play them, not to ferret them away in some collectors stash.

 

Just because someone doesn't see the point in spending $30 for a dated video game for a dead system, doesn't mean they don't have the money to do so. More likely they just don't place the same inflated nostalgia value on said games that collectors do.

 

 

That is why I clearly said people that COLLECT loose games, and not people that BUY loose games. There are collectors and there are gamers. There is some overlap, but people generally fall into one of these groups. Collectors drive the price of the games. The gamers do not. Gamers think like you and will only pay a few bucks for any game unless it has some sentimental value or something. Collectors tend to pay more for games that are harder to find and drive up the prices that you see on ebay. So, yeah, there very well might be more gamers buying loose carts, but the prices of loose carts are driven by what collectors are willing to pay for them.

 

Not everyone thinks the same way you do. Think outside of that tiny box every once in a while. It was a very sound and rational generalization that I put forth.

 

Edit-- I just wanted to clear something up. There is nothing wrong with being in the gamer category. Gamers don't value the rarity and collectibility of the item and therefor won't pay much for them. As we all know the people not willing to pay for something don't move the price. The people willing to pay for something do.

Edited by horseboy
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I'll buy CIB if I can afford it but never NIB. I buy the games to play, but having all the niceties that go with the game is never a bad thing. NIB, typically still sealed is pointless for me. You also don't know what you're getting with a sealed game. Someone could have emptied the box and put a block of wood in there then put new shrink wrap on it for all you know. There's one guy now selling a sealed copy of Dig Dug for INTV for like $4000 on ebay but there's no way in hell I'd buy it. I'll wait for a CIB if I want it that bad or settle for a loose cart.

Edited by OldAtarian
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I was really more reacting to the baselessness of the generalization the "collectors of loose games must be broke" rather than just people who aren't so infatuated with complete boxed games.

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Not really sure what you are asking here Mr Space Dice, I happy to pay a reasonable price for my games and I like to buy them from Atari or retro game specialists so I know what I'm getting is in good condition and working properly.

I dont keep them locked away in some glass case, I have them on a shelf under my TV, above my Atari 2600 and I play them from time to time :)

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I was really more reacting to the baselessness of the generalization the "collectors of loose games must be broke" rather than just people who aren't so infatuated with complete boxed games.

 

That is why I phrased everything the way I did. I said MANY of the people that collect loose games. Not ALL of the people. I never said broke. I said they didn't have as much money to throw at collecting. I think 9 out of 10 loose collectors would say they would rather have a collection full of boxes if money was no object. What if Wonder offered up all his boxes to a loose collector in a lottery. I think every loose collector that knew about it would enter the lottery. Do you really think that if any of the collectors on here were a billionaire that they would collect loose games? Not a chance.

 

There is nothing wrong with collecting loose games, but money is usually the underlying reason. I have been collecting since 1995 and I just started collecting boxes a couple of years ago. My rationale back then was "would I rather have 100 boxed games or 500 loose games?" I chose the latter. And just because someone collects boxed games doesn't mean they have more money than a loose collector. The loose collector might just have more common sense. You see people all the time selling off collection because they need the cash. I never said boxed collectors had more money. I simply said they had more money they were willing to spend on games.

 

From your posts in this thread and others it is clear you have something against collectors. I am not sure what it is, but you get angry when people spend decent money on games. Maybe it is because they drive your prices up. I have no idea, but quit saying ridiculous things and spinning everything I say out of context.

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Not really sure what you are asking here Mr Space Dice, I happy to pay a reasonable price for my games and I like to buy them from Atari or retro game specialists so I know what I'm getting is in good condition and working properly.

I dont keep them locked away in some glass case, I have them on a shelf under my TV, above my Atari 2600 and I play them from time to time :)

 

What I am asking is I am noticing games that would normally go for $30 - $40 loose a few years ago, being sold for around $5. And it's not a one off deal, but seems to be the norm.

 

What I don't get is if those are gamers, why not drop $80 on a Harmony and be done with it. I have a hunch that items like the Harmony cart depress the prices of loose carts.

 

I personally collect both CIB and loose as well as label variations.

Edited by SpaceDice2010
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Not really sure what you are asking here Mr Space Dice, I happy to pay a reasonable price for my games and I like to buy them from Atari or retro game specialists so I know what I'm getting is in good condition and working properly.

I dont keep them locked away in some glass case, I have them on a shelf under my TV, above my Atari 2600 and I play them from time to time :)

 

What I am asking is I am noticing games that would normally go for $30 - $40 loose a few years ago, being sold for around $5. And it's not a one off deal, but seems to be the norm.

 

What I don't get is if those are gamers, why not drop $80 on a Harmony and be done with it. I have a hunch that items like the Harmony cart depress the prices of loose carts.

 

I personally collect both CIB and loose as well as label variations.

Playing games on a Harmony just doesnt have the same nostalgia value and plugging in the physical cart for gamers and collectors. The Harmony is awesome, as it allows people to play games they otherwise would never be able to afford/find, but it wont replace the need for gamers and collecotrs to collect games

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Maybe... people don't want to pay $40 to play Pooyan.

That's my two cents, but they're from 1981 and worth significantly less now thanks to inflation.

Edited by Rex Dart
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Boxes are not my style. I have better ideas for what to do with my storage space. I don't mind having a bunch of loose carts. I also don't collect label variations. Just not that interesting to me. My primary interest is to have the games available for play. And, no, I'm not gonna spend a bunch of cash on any single game. Not just to say "hey, lookie what I got!"

 

Also, I basically think in the line of ... the commons are the best to collect anyway, because they are primarily the best play value. From what I've read, most of the uncommons are junk titles that didn't sell well ... because they were junk.

 

With that, I guess you can put me in the "gamer" category.

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Actually I prefer cart+manual. When I find manuals, they are typically quite affordable, especially compart to CIB. I don't get any enjoyment from the box, but for some reason I do really like having the original manual. The funny thing is, even the rarer games, maybe 5-8s, are still frequently much cheaper than original price when new in he 1980s.

Plus as much as I love seeing pictures of collections with all the boxes lined up, I could never devote that much time,money and space to them. As for Atari market being soft, they all seem that way, there is so much newer tech for cheap, only the really rare and nostalgic gets attention. It seems that the demand for this stuff from people like me and I assume most of Atari age readers is dwindling fairly even with the release of supply on the market. They days of finding collections in Goodwill everyday, and several at each flea market are gone.

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I have no interest in boxed games (except for disc type games) but I'll buy them if it means I can get a manual. Let's face it, there are a LOT of old games that make almost no sense without reading the manual!

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I dont collect CIB games because I don't have the space. The only exception is the Genesis, Master System, and the modern consoles.

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Not really sure what you are asking here Mr Space Dice, I happy to pay a reasonable price for my games and I like to buy them from Atari or retro game specialists so I know what I'm getting is in good condition and working properly.

I dont keep them locked away in some glass case, I have them on a shelf under my TV, above my Atari 2600 and I play them from time to time :)

 

What I am asking is I am noticing games that would normally go for $30 - $40 loose a few years ago, being sold for around $5. And it's not a one off deal, but seems to be the norm.

 

What I don't get is if those are gamers, why not drop $80 on a Harmony and be done with it. I have a hunch that items like the Harmony cart depress the prices of loose carts.

 

I personally collect both CIB and loose as well as label variations.

Playing games on a Harmony just doesnt have the same nostalgia value and plugging in the physical cart for gamers and collectors. The Harmony is awesome, as it allows people to play games they otherwise would never be able to afford/find, but it wont replace the need for gamers and collecotrs to collect games

For me, the nostalgia/enjoyment hit doesn't come with inserting an authentic original game cart in my VCS as much as actually playing the game. Sure, I have about 100 original game carts and a couple homebrews, but what really does it for me is playing the game, not simply plugging in a cartridge. I expect to own a Harmony one day, and when that happens I imagine my cartridge accumulating will come to a screeching halt. The single exception to that will be that I will continue to buy homebrew carts, because I want to support homebrewers' efforts.

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What I can't believe is that there is actually a grading and encapsulation service for video games now like there is for comics, cards, and coins. I saw a copy of M-Network Armor Ambush on ebay not long ago all sealed up with a grade on the label. That's taking things too far as far as I'm concerned.

 

http://www.vggrader.com/

Edited by OldAtarian
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I was really more reacting to the baselessness of the generalization the "collectors of loose games must be broke" rather than just people who aren't so infatuated with complete boxed games.

 

That is why I phrased everything the way I did. I said MANY of the people that collect loose games. Not ALL of the people. I never said broke. I said they didn't have as much money to throw at collecting. I think 9 out of 10 loose collectors would say they would rather have a collection full of boxes if money was no object. What if Wonder offered up all his boxes to a loose collector in a lottery. I think every loose collector that knew about it would enter the lottery. Do you really think that if any of the collectors on here were a billionaire that they would collect loose games? Not a chance.

 

There is nothing wrong with collecting loose games, but money is usually the underlying reason. I have been collecting since 1995 and I just started collecting boxes a couple of years ago. My rationale back then was "would I rather have 100 boxed games or 500 loose games?" I chose the latter. And just because someone collects boxed games doesn't mean they have more money than a loose collector. The loose collector might just have more common sense. You see people all the time selling off collection because they need the cash. I never said boxed collectors had more money. I simply said they had more money they were willing to spend on games.

 

From your posts in this thread and others it is clear you have something against collectors. I am not sure what it is, but you get angry when people spend decent money on games. Maybe it is because they drive your prices up. I have no idea, but quit saying ridiculous things and spinning everything I say out of context.

 

You can throw as many qualifying adjectives as you want at it, but it's still a generalization that has a negative connotation/stigma attached to it. The Haves vs. Have Nots, etc. "They would all have CIB collections if they could afford it."

 

Yeah. I'm not a big fan of that kind of elitism.

 

I wouldn't say I have a problem with collectors per se, and they certainly don't make me "angry". But I would say that many collectors (of anything not just Classic Videogames) tend to be very provincial and elitist in their views towards non collectors, or even those collectors with inferior collections to their own. It's a nasty little side effect of collecting. Lots of people get greedy with it. And just like you said - it drives the price of things for everyone, even those who aren't collectors.

 

My only point really was that most people in this community aren't collectors. They're gamers. They love videogames, of all types, but especially the classics they grew up on. Sure, many attach some nostalgic value to the games they buy, but I would submit that most of the people here really just like the games, and the fun of playing or talking about them.

 

But many Collectors are a different sort. Nostalgic value is superseded by perceived monetary value. It's all about driving the price up, and making their own collection worth more, and having bragging rights to show off their collections of rare expensive trinkets. Many don't even play the games. They just seal them off in a display case and wait for the value to go up.

 

I think for those who strictly collect and don't even enjoy the games, their actions do a disservice to the classic gaming community, and anyone who wants to have fun playing these games.

Edited by Underball
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Not really sure what you are asking here Mr Space Dice, I happy to pay a reasonable price for my games and I like to buy them from Atari or retro game specialists so I know what I'm getting is in good condition and working properly.

I dont keep them locked away in some glass case, I have them on a shelf under my TV, above my Atari 2600 and I play them from time to time :)

 

What I am asking is I am noticing games that would normally go for $30 - $40 loose a few years ago, being sold for around $5. And it's not a one off deal, but seems to be the norm.

 

What I don't get is if those are gamers, why not drop $80 on a Harmony and be done with it. I have a hunch that items like the Harmony cart depress the prices of loose carts.

 

I personally collect both CIB and loose as well as label variations.

Why should gamers be priced out of the market by collectors, or forced to buy multicarts and not the real thing?

 

I have a Harmony. I also still buy carts, because some games don't work the same on a Harmony.

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