Collecting Old Games: How Your Old Games Could Be Worth Big Bucks
Collecting old video games offers an opportunity to stay connected to your youth, and it can also be very lucrative. Interest in factory-sealed video games has soared in the past year, with some collectors able to make a substantial profit by quickly flipping the most coveted titles, according to The New York Times.
“The past two years have seen an influx of new money coming in to the classic game collecting scene, primarily high-end collecting experts from other areas of interest like comic books, Magic cards, and coins,” according to Kotaku. “They see video games as the next big thing. Like a mint-condition Action Comics issue 1 might be the ultimate trophy of nostalgia for the superhero age of the mid-20th century, so too might a sealed Mario be the perfect bottling of the pop-culture moment of the 1980s.”
So, whether you’re a new collector or have old games lying around your house that you want to sell and cash in on, there’s never been a better time to collect and/or sell video games. Let’s take a closer at how you can find out if your old games are worth big bucks, and what you need to do if you want to start collecting video games today.
How Do You Know If Your Old Video Games Are Worth Any Money?
With so many games and consoles out there, it can be difficult to know exactly how much your old video games are worth. Luckily, there are sites like Price Charting and Game Value Now, which are pure gold for video game collectors because they calculate the average listings of a game or console sold on eBay.
If you’re curious to see how much your games are worth, or how much you should pay for a game you want to add to your collection, just type the name of the game into the search area on Price Charting or Game Value Now’s sites, and you’ll get instant results.
So, if you want to know how much your Air Raid game for Atari 2600 will sell for, enter the necessary information on Price Charting, and then you’ll see that it’s worth around $4,000 loose or almost $33,500 CIB, which means Complete In Box. This means that you have the game, box, manual, and any other inserts that came with the game when you originally bought it.
But keep in mind that not all video games are as valuable as Air Raid for Atari 2600, which only had a limited number of games ever created. A game like Super Mario Bros. / Duck Hunt that you may have loved to play on Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) when you were younger goes for about $5 to $10 loose or up to $80 CIB, according to Game Value Now. Part of the reason why this game isn’t as expensive as some others is because it’s one of the most common game cartridges of all-time. Don’t let that stop you from buying it if you’re looking to start collecting games though. There’s certainly value and enjoyment to be had here if you want to play this classic game again. It just won’t make you a ton of money if you’re looking to sell it for a profit.
What Should You Do If You Want To Start Selling Your Video Games?
First things first, it’s important to keep track of the games that you have. So, make a list of all your games and then look up the value of each game at Price Charting and/or Game Value Now. Once you have an idea of what your games are worth, you can decide which ones you want to sell right away, come up with a plan for the games you want to hold onto for a future sale, and also choose the games that you want to keep for yourself or your family. For the games that you’re looking to sell right away, you may choose to get them graded. This way you’ll have a better sense of what they’re worth based on their condition. You should also familiarize yourself with video game collecting lingo.
What Are Graded Games?
With so much money in play when it comes to collecting video games, there are companies like Wata Games and Video Game Authority (VGA) that grade the condition of game boxes, cartridges, and manuals to give both buyers and sellers confidence in their transactions. When the games are graded, they are authenticated and then encased in hard plastic shells to ward off deterioration. Both companies have grading scales that reflect the condition that the games are in ranging from like new or mint condition to poor or very poor. By having a grading system in place, collectors and sellers are better able to assess the value of games. The higher the grade, the more expensive the game will be.
What Should You Do If You Want To Start Collecting Video Games?
Before you spend any of your hard-earned cash on classic video games, set a budget for yourself so you know how much money you can comfortably spend. If money is tight at the moment, you may want to hold off for a bit and save up.
When you’re ready to start collecting, make sure to educate yourself on the video game collectibles market. Do you know why certain games are valuable, while others aren’t? Are there specific games you want to add to your collection regardless of their potential monetary value in the future, but simply because they bring you joy? If you’re doing this to make a quick buck, it’s important to remember that there is a lot of risk involved. Ultimately, the games are only worth what someone is willing to pay for them.
That said, if you have a budget in place, space to properly store the games, and know you are collecting for the right reasons, you should be able to have a positive video game collecting experience. Make a list of the games you want to add to your collection and then start tracking them down. Just be aware that sometimes people sell fake and reproduction games, which you definitely don’t want.