Monday, July 22, 2013

Community post: Collecting by Mohannad Ashtar

Game collecting is not a very understandable hobby to outsiders (non-gamers, comics/ manga collectors, parents...etc) to say the least, actually, not only outsiders but to many fellow gamers who can only see games as a software to be enjoyed then discarded eventually. However, if you have the slightest interest in game collecting this small article might help you further shape your final thoughts.

To my friends who are new to the collecting scene, I thought I'd show you a small example of the price difference between 3 copies of the same game, one used, one new and sealed, and finally, one sealed and graded. For this example I picked Super Mario 3, I tried to find the 3 cheapest copies from each category on ebay, as you can see the price ranges dramatically.

A lot of people new to collecting don't understand this or find it "stupid" or "illogical". Also a lot of times especially on online shops like ebay I see people offering what they think is a rare title and they ask ridiculous prices for it, however it would be used and in reality not worth quarter the price they are asking. The logic behind this is simple; the fewer the units, the more expensive the item, let's focus on our example, Super Mario 3 in itself is not a rare title at all, almost everyone who had an NES had that game hence $25 is actually an exaggeration for this one in my opinion, however, how many copies still remain sealed? how many people spent good money on this when it was out and were smart enough to keep it sealed in hopes of owning a historical piece in 15-20 years? how many bought 2 copies just to keep one sealed? how many retailers or shops still have it since 20 years? the answer is surely not many, hence when you do find a factory sealed copy it must be worth 10 times the normal one at least. Moving on to the graded copy, out of these few factory sealed copies remaining, how many are actually truly factory sealed and not refurbished and are authenticated AND graded a decent score, it is very hard to find a 20 year old sealed game graded 90+ or 95+ or 100, which means that when you do find those (if ever), they will probably cost double the price of a sealed copy graded 70+ or 80+.

Is the collectors market crazy? maybe so, but what you may not realize is that it is just blooming and experts say that it will be on par with the comics collectors market within 10 years so if you think it is crazy today, you havn't seen anything yet. This also means that if you pick what you buy carefully you might build a small fortune within 10 years, because some sealed games that may cost you $100 can possibly sell for $2000 some day, of course not every sealed and graded old game is worth a lot, that's why I said if you pick them carefully, in fact some of the stuff listed on ebay for $500+ is hardly worth $50 in the actual collectors market.

If you want to enter this hobby as a serious collector I suggest studying the collectors market well before doing so and always remember prices online are always exaggerated and you can always bargain with the seller, to give you a famous example, the "Legend of Zelda Prototype NES cartridge" which is a 1 of a kind item and is the holy grail of game collecting had an asking price of $150,000, the owner ended up selling it to the first offer he received... $55,000 - record breaking in the collectors market btw - which is a hell lot of money but still 1/3 of what the seller asked.

This article was a community post written by one of my followers. Send me an email at if you'd like to have your content featured here as well. 


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