As someone who is a video game collector, there are many tips and tricks I’ve accumulated from fellow collectors, and from my own experiences, to help people who are starting their own game collections.
5. Try to collect for systems released about 10 years ago
For many, the cool systems to collect for may be the Dreamcast or Super Nintendo, but because those systems have been out for quite a long time, there are more people who want to collect for them, thus the games, consoles, and accessories are fairly pricey. If you’re starting to collect, go for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or the original Nintendo DS. The consoles themselves are about as cheap as they are going to get and same goes with the games. They’re easier to find them in retail stores, and because of their relevance, not as many people are as interested in currently amassing a collection. It may not be as chic as owning a Sega Genesis, or Neo Geo Pocket, but it’s certainly a great affordable starting point.
4. Buy Games in Bulk
It may seem like buying games in a lot is a costly measure, but you’ll be surprised how much you can get when someone is selling a set of 10-15 games for $75, when you could find them individually for $10-$15. Plus, if there are games in the lot that you don’t want, you could go ahead and sell them on your own to recoup some of the money spent. The best case scenario is that you get a handful of games you want, sell the ones you don’t, and essentially make enough to get back what you paid for the entire lot.
3. Keep track of what’s in your collection
Not all games you buy are going to be complete in box. Some may not include the manual, others may be loose carts, and once your collection grows, you want to know what you already have and what you need to compile a complete copy. Also, you want to know what games you have so you don’t unknowingly buy a duplicate copy, because that’s certainly not fun. The best site for creating an organized list is RFGeneration.com. They have complete, printable game lists for every system and every region, with lists for current systems updated regularly. You can also create an online list as well, so that your list is always accessible. Their lists include collectors editions, greatest hits, and all variations of games released so it’s a great site to check out to keep yourself organized.
2. Mercari is God
An online shopping app I recently stumbled upon is one called Mercari. Trust me when I say, it’s the best online retailing site for games that I’ve ever used. There are some of the greatest deals on there for not only game lots, but for games systems as well. In fact, it’s the best place to go to start scooping up systems to collect for. You have to strike fast sometimes to insure snagging a phenomenal deal, but compared to Craigslist or eBay, it easily trumps both just based on those deals alone.
1. Believe in GameStop
I know this sounds like a shocker given the overwhelmingly negative reputation that GameStop has in the gaming community, but hear me out when I say that shopping at GameStop can quickly inflat your burgeoning collection. Now I would never advocate buying something as overpriced as a used copy of Zelda, Mario, or Call of Duty, games that they sell for 25-50% more than the going price anywhere else. But if you’re collecting for a last gen console like the PS3, Xbox 360, or Nintendo DS, there are a good amount of $1, $2, or $3 games that you can walk out with. Sure, the majority are sports titles, which shouldn’t matter if you’re trying to build a collection, but there are a handful of games like Metal Gear Solid 4, Killzone 2, and Mass Effect that are well worth playing and worth the asking price of $1-$3. So, go to a few local GameStops if you’re collecting on a budget, and see how many games you can find for under $3. You’ll feel pretty good about yourself when you’re leaving with 10-12 new games for a sum of $25.