I love you, MegaMan!
In the previous post we discussed the idea of keeping your business fun and stimulating by focusing on picking and selling items that interest you. Today I'm going to do a little bragging about how this thinking led to one of my biggest scores to date.
I recently submitted this closed auction to Suzanne Wells, the Ebay Coach, and she posted it on her excellent blog eBay Selling Coach as a "Seller Success Story". She was generous enough to post a link to my humble blog here as part of the post. Thanks, Suzanne. I, however, gave her a misspelled link. D'oh! So much for my brilliant marketing plan.
Yet somehow you got here so let me further expound on my great triumph.
I love video games, and always have. Since I first got a Nintendo Entertainment System as a youngster back in the mid-1980s, I've enjoyed playing them and talking about them. As an adult I've found that I'm more of a retro-gamer, pining for the days of noisy arcades and games that came on cartridges instead of CD-ROMs. Luckily for me, there are legions of guys (and a few girls) like me out there who are willing to drop a pretty penny for some classic games.
What's even better is that a lot of parents are cleaning out the attic and consider these old home game systems worthless. Who would want a 25-year-old 8-bit system when there are XBox 360s to be had? Almost every garage sale has a few Sega Genesis cartridges for sale for next to nothing. They're right there next to the old encyclopedia. Most of these games truly aren't worth very much on their own, so I often try to make a bulk deal and get as many as possible for as little as possible. I've had a lot of success selling vintage video games as lots, or buying lots and then reselling them individually.
But occasionally some games are worth more... a lot more. Certain video games, and even systems, were not very successful and pulled off the market. Some were released only in certain regions, or as promotions for specific events. Some were never officially released at all and only created as demos. The important thing is that most collectors aren't concerned with the quality of the gameplay, just the rarity of the game and the condition the cartridge (and packaging) is in.
With this in mind, on a trip to a local thrift store I was happy to procure six Nintendo Gameboy games, complete with boxes and manuals, for $18. That averages out to $3 per game. I actually have a working Gameboy and planned to play these games and then add them to others to resell as a lot, hopefully making a small profit. $3 each for a Gameboy games isn't a great deal and I almost didn't buy them.
Some quick internet research led me to believe one game might be kind of rare: MegaMan IV. The cartridge alone was fetching over $30 on eBay, so after giving it a quick test to make sure it worked, I listed mine in auction format. I started it at $18, figuring I would at the very least cover the cost of all the games I had bought that day.
I immediately got several messages asking me if I had a "Buy It Now" price in mind. This is a good sign. By the seventh and final day of the auction, the bidding had topped $100. Whoa, baby! Things went from awesome to extremely awesome when, in the final seconds, the bidding topped out at over 280 bucks! Even if I take a total loss on the other 5 games I bought that day, I made a tidy profit of over $260 (not including eBay/Paypal fees). Check it out:
click image to enlarge and be jealous
I'll be the first to admit I got lucky. But I wouldn't have even been in the position to get lucky if I wasn't constantly on the lookout for vintage video games. I enjoy learning about the games (in addition to playing them), so I was able to capitalize on my lucky score. I made big bucks and enjoyed every minute of it.
Perhaps in future posts I'll go into more detail about how to make money (normally in much smaller increments) Picking and Selling video games. But for now I want to wallow in my own glory for one more moment.