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I have been buying and selling on eBay for about 8 years now. Lately I have been looking at purchasing various old games, but the other bidders are either scammers, have money to waste, or don't understand how much something is really worth.... The past few days various auctions have been high as hell, and crap like this is starting to piss me off because it is setting a higher standard for other sellers.

 

Am I the only one that feels like eBay is starting to get a bit worthless? I feel craigslist is the only place inline that has decent deals nowadays.

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It really is a seller's market at this point, and many buyers are willing to pay astronomical prices for popular old video games (especially if those games are on a Nintendo brand console). It's a tricky time to be a collector, since good deals on older games are becoming few and far between, and that basically leaves you with two options. Option one is to become more patient and wait to try and get a deal that you think is reasonable, which will happen eventually but could take a very long time to find. Option two is to accept that due to many buyers valuing certain games higher than those who have been around and collecting for a while, some games are starting to become worth more than any long time collector would think they should be; and that new value is just what you'll have to pay if you want to own them.

 

It's a tough situation for sure, especially for someone like myself who is living on a fixed income, but patience is a virtue. These days the real question you have to ask yourself when collecting is "Which do I have more of? Time or money?", then pick your poison.

Edited by Jin
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I think some of the buyers have helped keep prices real and It's eBay's BIN policies that have encouraged some of the ridiculous pricing. My examples would be an auction for Dragon Warrior CIB (I think it was missing the adventure guide card) that went for auction at $22 which I don't think is bad but Keio's flying Squadron is usually a BIN of $400.

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Prices fluctuate. Patience is the key. One of these days, an auction will slip under the radar and then you can get stuff - even off ebay - for reasonable prices. Also, flea markets are usually the better place to find decent deals, especially for obsolete software. Less potential byers around, so even with resellers on flea markets, patience can pay off. If you see a game and you think it's way too expensive, leave it. Chances are high that it'll stay there for weeks (even months) and you can soften up the seller to lower his price. I grabbed a complete Super Nintendo console once for 25 Euro. That particular piece of hardware was on the reseller's table for almost half a year, and he was asking 65 Euro in the beginning. People often rant about those nasty resellers. That's mostly bullshit. They're just ordinary people like yourself, doing their job. So be nice to them, and you will get good deals eventually. Also, let them know what you are looking for, so they remember you when they acquire new stuff.

 

And anyway: Just snatching crap off ebay really pales in comparison to the thrill of hunting in the wild. Ebay is like fast food. You go there, you get it, you eat it. And it leaves a bland taste in your mouth. Finds in the wild are like a self-cooked meal. It might not taste perfect, but you appreciate it more, and the item has a story behind it. To me and many games in my collection, that aspect is something which goes beyond just having a particular item that cost me X bucks.

Edited by karokoenig
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I would agree it is definitely a collectors market now a days, and finding deals are far and few. I have noticed the Nintendo brand is definetly going for top dollar. I just think there are more people out there now trying to make an extra buck instead of having passion for the hobby/games.

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I've been kinda wanting to get a 5th Apple II (not +) for spare parts. But they typically sell for between $1000 - $3000. And they're really not worth that much unless you participate in the serial number baggie-chase that's going on. The lower the number the higher the price.

 

In reality the II is inferior to the II+ and //e. Especially in the user-friendliness and expandability departments.

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Prices fluctuate. Patience is the key. One of these days, an auction will slip under the radar and then you can get stuff - even off ebay - for reasonable prices. Also, flea markets are usually the better place to find decent deals, especially for obsolete software. Less potential byers around, so even with resellers on flea markets, patience can pay off. If you see a game and you think it's way too expensive, leave it. Chances are high that it'll stay there for weeks (even months) and you can soften up the seller to lower his price. I grabbed a complete Super Nintendo console once for 25 Euro. That particular piece of hardware was on the reseller's table for almost half a year, and he was asking 65 Euro in the beginning. People often rant about those nasty resellers. That's mostly bullshit. They're just ordinary people like yourself, doing their job. So be nice to them, and you will get good deals eventually. Also, let them know what you are looking for, so they remember you when they acquire new stuff.

 

And anyway: Just snatching crap off ebay really pales in comparison to the thrill of hunting in the wild. Ebay is like fast food. You go there, you get it, you eat it. And it leaves a bland taste in your mouth. Finds in the wild are like a self-cooked meal. It might not taste perfect, but you appreciate it more, and the item has a story behind it. To me and many games in my collection, that aspect is something which goes beyond just having a particular item that cost me X bucks.

I like the perception you gave about ebay. LOL. I really love to venture off to flea markets, pawn shops and yard sales, but my luck hasn't been too successful. I went to a few pawn shops that I have t been to before, and they were selling Contra for the NES for $75. I asked the lady if that was a typo, and she said it wasn't. I told her to get the F outtake here! Nobody would pay that much for a NES game....

 

Anyone know of any good flea markets in northern Virginia?

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I agree the Buy-It-Now thing on eBay is what's driving prices up. For about the same cost as a 7-day auction, or less if you have an eBay store, you can list a game with a set BIN price for 30 days. 30 days is a long time, and the odds are good someone will eventually come along and nibble, as long as you haven't made the price too extravagant. Where that "too" line is is left as an exercise for the reader, but obviously sellers are having pretty good luck with it.

 

Often when deciding what to ask for a game, I'll look at the sold eBay auctions. The successful BIN's have always averaged higher than the successful auctions.

 

As others have said, you can still find good deals, both on eBay and on craigslist, if you're willing to take the time to look for them. Also, keep an eye on the small thrift stores in your area, not the chains like Goodwill and Value Village, but the little mom-and-pop shops. Thrift donations in general aren't what they used to be, and more people are scouring them now, but the odds of finding stuff at a small shop, and finding it at a good price, are still better than trying your luck with the chains. The money usually goes to a better cause as well, which is nice.

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It also depend on WHERE you shop. Japanese sellers on eBay are one way to grab games and system on the cheap - 10/15$ for a loose Famicom, 15/20$ for a PC engine, 50/60$ for a CD-ROM² unit, PC engine cards and CD from 2$ to 15 for the most common, etc...

 

Also, time and patience as said already - sometime auctions get past the radar and you get a Super Nintendo for 20 bucks - not a super deal, but not a steal either, those days.

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Finding deals on Ebay are few and far between. The most luck I'm having nowadays seem to be only Craigslist, as the flea markets around me have dried up. In many cases people use Craigslist if they need money fast and sometimes you can get some good deals

Edited by BadHornet

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For me, time is money. If I want something, I'll pay what I consider a reasonable price to get the item and avoid the hassle of a hunt. I simply do not have enough time in the day to go traipsing off everywhere in search of a particular item. If I found the item, chances are I would have probably spent 5 times that amount in gas looking for it.

 

Now, if I'm looking for a specific retro item, I'll ask here on Atari Age first, because for the most part people here are a little bit more down-to-earth (sane) in the pricing of items.

 

I agree with the assessment of many people here, some of those Ebait auction prices are crazy. One can ask anything they want, but actually getting it is something else. I still convinced some of those astronomical auction wins are the result of some individuals or groups laundering money.

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Finding deals on Ebay are few and far between.

 

You can still get NEW hobby related stuff cheap on Ebay... shipping included. I buy a lot of my electronics components from Ebay. If you are patient and can wait three weeks, you can get the items delivered to your door cheaper than the gas it would take to drive to Rip Shack.

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eBay is very hit and miss for deals. But indeed, soemtime, because of ending auction time, poor ly written description, or just you don't know why... you can get the same item ending 3 times more expensive.

From the same seller, with like 3 days of difference, there was the same Street Fighter II champion Edition on PC Engine.

When I say same, it was in the same state, shape, completeness (no missing instruction manual or craked jewel case on one. The first one sold for 18 buck, the second for 12 and the one I grabbed was 6$. And there are still plenty of them games that pop up in that shop so... why?

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The first one sold for 18 buck, the second for 12 and the one I grabbed was 6$. And there are still plenty of them games that pop up in that shop so... why?

 

Fluctuation also applies to demand. Even with the perceived Nintendo craze mentioned so often here on AA, collecting of old games still is a niche hobby, and not all that many people are doing it. There will always be a week or so when really no one is around in a given region (say ebay Germany) to look for a particular game. That's when patient people strike.

Edited by karokoenig

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Yep.

People are crazy about the famous Saba Videoplay cart N°20 (Chess) only released in Germany.

I managed to snag one for 25€, including shipping :D

But in the case I mention, those games were sold by the same seller, with like 12/16 hours apart from each others. It's not like they popped over the course of different weeks. I had to wait like 1 day and half to get the cheaper copy.

People doesn't even bother, it feels like most just stumble over the first ad and don't look for something else.

Edited by CatPix
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Love eBay. Still find enough "deals" (a VERY subjective term) to make it fun to look. I have no time for the 'thrill of the hunt', nor did I ever really find it a thrill, especially when 95% of the time I end up empty handed. The thrill is FINDING something. The hunt sucks!

 

Other people valuing things differently or simply having more money to spend than me on a hobby...well that's life.

Edited by GoldenWheels

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sometimes i find a good deal on half.com but you alwyas have to add like $3.50 for shipping

 

i am not a commie so i think people can offer for sale any item they want for any price they want and if you don't like it don't buy it

value is determined by what someone is willing to pay along with supply and demand

 

i want space gun for sega master system and the cheapest guy is someone in germany who wants like $12 euros supply is not there so i can either take it or leave it so far my gun hand has not agressivly demanded alien blood so i have will power

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I was surprised to see how much snes Metal Warriors was selling for. Ebay said Ave. sale price was $280. I checked completed and it was all over the place. $280 was like the highest. Most seemed to be selling in the $200 zone. I figured why not. I tossed mine on for $275 and it sold 40 minutes later.

 

It just blew my mind. I generally get a higher end for my stuff when it is very good condition as I take good pics and show the board on rare games. I agree the prices are high but when people pay for them instantly, what are you going to do.

 

Nes and snes prices are so crazy dumb right now. They have to fall at some point in time. I'm selling every rare game I own. It has gone past a collectible point to me now. I would rather have a repro instead of pile of $$ on my shelf lol.

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It's the market--but don't worry, as we die off prices will drop again.

I expect that the last few of us will live to see old games become next to worthless.

 

Most games seem to be settling into fairly large collections (by back-in-the-day standards).

Future generations might pick up an old system or two to look hip and "ironic," but they won't want the numbers of them that we do. So as we die, supply will skyrocket as demand falls.

 

You're welcome.

Edited by Reaperman

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there are still cheap games

Especially for Game Gear. Poker Face Paul's Gin at $4, Woody Pop at $3. Apparently all the Game Gears quit working or something!

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Especially for Game Gear. Poker Face Paul's Gin at $4, Woody Pop at $3. Apparently all the Game Gears quit working or something!

I think it has more to do with the bad screens... I don't play my game gear much because the ghosting makes it too hard to follow a lot of the time, so as a result I don't collect much for it. (Is there some sort of game gear adapter for a console, ala Super Game Boy? I'd love one!)

 

I'm at a point in my collecting where I'm usually after specific titles, so Ebay tends to be my friend. It's far easier to check everyday amongst the available copies of what I want, then scrounge around the local secondhand shops hoping for good luck. It does not help that I live in a 'nerd-heavy' area, so there's a lot of competition. Plus prices tend to be higher due to knowledgeable sellers. On the plus side, it does mean an excellent local selection if I'm willing to settle for fair prices instead of deals.

 

I tend to watch the Best Offer auction a bit more closely than other buy it nows... it's a little rare, but if you see someone's sat on the game for a few months, you can try to talk them down. This is doubly useful if you don't need everything they're selling- sometimes if you say you only want the case/the insert/a specific game in a lot, you can get them to sell it separately for less. (I'm super excited because someone finally agreed to sell me the case for their copy of Lunar: the Sliver Star. After 14 years, my copy will be complete!)

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I have been buying and selling on eBay for about 8 years now. Lately I have been looking at purchasing various old games, but the other bidders are either scammers, have money to waste, or don't understand how much something is really worth.... The past few days various auctions have been high as hell, and crap like this is starting to piss me off because it is setting a higher standard for other sellers.

 

Am I the only one that feels like eBay is starting to get a bit worthless? I feel craigslist is the only place inline that has decent deals nowadays.

Yeah eBay has gotten bad lately and I think it has a lot to do with economic conditions. I noticed during the 2008-2009 recession prices started to trend lower and it was a good time to buy.

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I would agree it is definitely a collectors market now a days, and finding deals are far and few. I have noticed the Nintendo brand is definetly going for top dollar. I just think there are more people out there now trying to make an extra buck instead of having passion for the hobby/games.

I'm both a collector and a reseller looking to make a buck. The time and effort I put into hunting down carts and consoles, and restoring them help put food on my table. People that don't have the time but have the money are willing to pay for the extra convenience of purchasing from eBay, so I'm willing to provide them that service at a price I can live with.

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