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Bargain Bandit Tuesday 1/15/2013

Today is Tuesday and that means it’s time for my Bargain Bandit episode. Every week, I share information about some of my recent sales, show off some favorite picks, and shout out to fellow you-

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Bargain Bandit Tuesday 1/15/2013

Games You Should Pick # 7: Pirates of th

Hi everyone! I thought since board games are my specialty, I would do a Game of the Week feature where I talk about a different board game and why you should be picking it up. We’ll call this fe

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Games You Should Pick # 7: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest Pirates Dice Game

YouTube Round-up 1-5-13 to 1-11-13

In this weekly feature, we’ll post links to various videos on YouTube that were posted in the past week. These videos may be helpful to pickers just starting out or to seasoned veterans. Or they

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YouTube Round-up 1-5-13 to 1-11-13

Highlighted eBay Post: Clue (1963)

In this weekly feature, which will be posted every Thursday, I will talk about a current listing of mine. I’ll explain why it’s a good pick-up and why it might still be for sale on eBay in

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Highlighted eBay Post: Clue (1963)

How-To Wednesdays: Checking Board Games

Every Wednesday, we’ll do a short how-to where we’ll tackle a topic in the reselling space and try to give clarity on it. eBay and other selling platforms, as well as picking itself, can b

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How-To Wednesdays: Checking Board Games for Completeness

How-To Wednesdays: Checking Board Games for Completeness

13
by on January 9, 2013 at 5:29 pm

Every Wednesday, we’ll do a short how-to where we’ll tackle a topic in the reselling space and try to give clarity on it. eBay and other selling platforms, as well as picking itself, can be daunting. If you have a topic you would like to see in the How-To Wednesday topic, please leave comments and we will try to add it to the schedule. Thanks for reading!

A very common question I get all the time is “How do I know if a game is complete?” There are a variety of ways to figure this out.

2013-01-09 17.22.31First, and most commonly, the instructions inside the board game will usually have a detailed list of everything that is supposed to be in the game, including how many cards there are supposed to be (if it’s a game with cards.) If the instructions are missing, fear not, because on newer board games, the back of the box will often have that same listing of contents.

2013-01-09 17.23.15If it’s an older game without instructions or the instructions don’t detail what’s supposed to be in the box, which is a fairly common issue with games that are pre 1970, knowing what is supposed to be in the game can be difficult. One of the easiest ways to check for completeness is to check other eBay listings to see what people are saying there is supposed to be. If you find three or four listings with the same contents list, it’s pretty likely that’s what a complete game looks like.

If you can’t find other listings that detail what they have in the game and the other methods are failing you, another great place to check is boardgamegeek.com. This website is full of information about board games, and the older games will usually have a contents listing or someone will have posted on the forum what the game is supposed to have. If not, it can’t hurt to post yourself and ask what’s supposed to be in the game, and maybe someone who knows they have a complete copy will give you a list.

Finally, Google is your friend and a Google search for the game, if all other methods have failed, will usually result in a million listings that have nothing to do with what you need to know, but one somewhere in that haystack that will give you the info.

When all else fails, simply list the game on eBay and detail out what the contents you have in the game. Do not say it is complete, let other people come to their own assumptions about the game. If you do not claim it is complete, because you aren’t sure, and you list everything that is included, then the person buying the game knows what they are getting.

Hope this helps!

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Games You Should Pick #6: Aggravation

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by on January 7, 2013 at 11:20 pm

Hi everyone!

I thought since board games are my specialty, I would do a Game of the Week feature where I talk about a different board game and why you should be picking it up. We’ll call this feature Games You Should Pick. To make this interesting, I’m only going to talk about games I’ve actually managed to find and sell. There’s all kinds of games you should be looking out for, like Fireball Island and Dark Tower, but I haven’t managed to find either of those yet!

This week’s game is Aggravation.

Aggravation (1)

Aggravation is a popular marble game in which players move marbles from their base to their home around a board. It’s very simple gameplay that has been released many times over the years. The first release of this game was in 1962 from the CO-5 Company. It has since been re-released by Lakeside Games and Milton Bradley.

The pricing on this varies from $15 to $60 based on condition.  The age actually has very little to do with the price as well. Original first year copies sell for about the same as copies from 1998. The important thing with this game is that all the marbles are there. The board should also be in very good condition. Even poor condition boxes will sell very easily and for pretty decent money. The better the condition, though, the more valuable the game. Sealed copies from the 60s to the 80s could sell as high as $80. Very good condition copies from all years could net anywhere from $20 for newer versions to $60 for vintage copies (but these need to be near mint). Poor condition copies, with significant box damage, will still sell easily for $15 to $20. These games are difficult to keep in stock, so easily do they sell.

I’ve sold two copies of Aggravation. The first was a 1999 copy that was in excellent condition. I sold that one for $19.99 plus shipping. The other I sold was a very poor condition release from 1977. The box was a complete disaster and the die was a replacement die, but all the marbles where there and the bottom box along with the insert were still in fairly good condition. That copy sold for $14.99 plus shipping. Both copies sold within a couple of days of being listed.

Aggravation Original (1)

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Games You Should Pick #5: Guess Who

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by on December 31, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Hi everyone!

I thought since board games are my specialty, I would do a Game of the Week feature where I talk about a different board game and why you should be picking it up. We’ll call this feature Games You Should Pick. To make this interesting, I’m only going to talk about games I’ve actually managed to find and sell. There’s all kinds of games you should be looking out for, like Fireball Island and Dark Tower, but I haven’t managed to find either of those yet!

This week’s game is Guess Who.

Guess Who (1)

Guess Who? is a children’s game that originated across the sea in Great Britain in 1979. The first U.S. release was in 1982. It’s an incredibly popular and fun game that children of any age and even adults can enjoy playing. The objective is to figure out what the hidden card is by asking pointed questions, like does the person have red hair or do they have a mustache? Based on the answer, players flip down cards that couldn’t be the matching card. It’s 20 questions, portrait style.

Because of the popularity of these games, there are a lot of copies out there. However, as it’s primarily a children’s game, good copies are few and far between. Most are missing cards or have damage. Even ones that seem in great condition are often missing the scoring markers. If you do find a complete one, the year of release actually matters very little. This is one case where the older versions actually tend to under perform  compared to the ones from the 1990s. The pricing of this game can be all over the place, as well. At any given time, there can be about 150 copies of this game, in varying versions, up on eBay. Some people just want to sell theirs quickly, so they really undercut the price. But at the same time they are undercutting, people overcharging are selling their copies too. Because it’s a popular game, a lot of them do sell.

Another interesting thing is that because of its popularity, this game is one of those that comes in many themes. There’s a Star Wars theme, a Marvel theme, a Pokemon theme, and many more. The themed versions tend to not perform as well as the original versions, but they will still sell, so it’s worth picking up. There’s also an electronic version of Guess Who? that is not worth that much and does not sell well, so be sure you get those for very cheap.

I’ve sold three copies of Guess Who? in varying versions. The themed version of Guess Who? I’ve sold was a Littlest Pet Shop copy. I sold it with a Littlest Pet Shop Go Fish game as well, for $21.99 with free shipping. My profit on that one ended up being around 9 dollars ,and only because I did include a second themed game. Otherwise, it would have sold for less. The other two were non themed versions. They were the 2002 release (shown above) and the 1996 release (shown below.) I did better on the newer release, selling that one for $12.99 plus shipping and clearing about $10 profit. On the 1996 release, there were some pretty big condition issues, so I sold that one for $20.99 with shipping and made about $8 profit.

Guess Who Game (1)

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How-To Wednesdays: Taking Pictures of Board Games

9
by on December 27, 2012 at 1:59 am

Every Wednesday, we’ll do a short how-to where we’ll tackle a topic in the reselling space and try to give clarity on it. eBay and other selling platforms, as well as picking itself, can be daunting. If you have a topic you would like to see in the How-To Wednesday topic, please leave comments and we will try to add it to the schedule. Thanks for reading!

Sequence (1)

As with anything where condition is everything in the price of an object, taking plentiful quality pictures of board games is critical. The more collectible, vintage, or expensive the board game, the truer this gets. It’s important that when a buyer looks at the pictures, they know exactly what the game they are going to buy looks like. The description is equally as important, especially when describing defects that don’t photograph as well, like creases or faint stains, but the proof is in the pudding and in this case, the pudding is the pictures.

First, it’s important to take a good picture of the front of the box. This is the ‘drawing in’ picture and should actually present the game in its best light. This is first picture people will see when looking at the listings. If the first picture is not attractive or shows the game, even a game with significant defects, as a quality product, most people won’t even click on it. Be sure to get the box in full in one picture.

Risk Newer Version (4)It is also important that you get detailed pictures of the contents. If there are small collectible figurines, like in Monopoly, you  may want a shot of just those tokens. If there are condition issues on the contents, be sure you get an up-close shot of the worst of those condition issues. In the picture of the green Risk piece, you can see that I am demonstrating that some of the pieces have come apart. I disclosed how many of those pieces came apart in the description, but having at least one picture of that damage in the listing prevents a buyer from trying to claim that I didn’t describe an item properly. Also note, I still sold that Risk game for a lot of money, so damage to unimportant pieces (and these are relatively unimportant pieces since no one ever uses them all during one play of the game) will not actually affect whether someone buys it or not. But not disclosing that info will affect whether they complain when they receive it.

The final, and perhaps most important, item to take good pictures of and disclose in the description is the condition of the box. This can range from disclosing minor shelf wear to significant damage to the box. Take as many close-up pictures of box damage as possible. Here are a few examples:

Othello (2) Battleship Vintage (4) Stock Market Game (3) Aggravation Original (2)

I hope this helps you take better pictures and sell games quickly.

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Games You Should Pick #4: The Stock Market Game

6
by on December 26, 2012 at 3:39 am

Hi everyone!

I thought since board games are my specialty, I would do a Game of the Week feature where I talk about a different board game and why you should be picking it up. We’ll call this feature Games You Should Pick. To make this interesting, I’m only going to talk about games I’ve actually managed to find and sell. There’s all kinds of games you should be looking out for, like Fireball Island and Dark Tower, but I haven’t managed to find either of those yet!

This week’s game is The Stock Market Game.

Stock Market Game (1)

Stock Market Game: The Aristocrat of Money Games is a family game for 2 to 8 players. The goal is to have the most capital by strategically buying and selling shares of stock at constantly changing prices. The first person to $100,000 wins the game. It was published by Western Publishing Company in 1968.

This game was a popular buy in its time. As such, there’s quite a few of them out there on the market, but many of them are not in the greatest of condition. It was not only popular to buy the year it was released, but it was played like crazy by those who got it. There were two other release years of this game. The 1963 version is actually worth less than this year’s, but there are fewer of the 1963 year out there, and if you can find one in great condition, it might be worth quite a bit. The 1981 release is worth about the same amount as the 1968 release.

I have sold two copies of the 1968 release of this game. The first one was in poor condition. It was well played with and the box has a lot of condition issues. I was able to sell it for $20 plus shipping.  The second one was in much better condition. The box had very few issues and the game did not appear to be handled very much. Because of the lack of condition issues, this one was a much better sale. I was able to sell it for $40 plus shipping. Also, because of the better condition, it sold much faster. This is the truth for any type of board game, the better the condition, the faster it will sell!

Stock Market Game (9)

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Games You Should Pick #2: Life is Ruff

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by on December 11, 2012 at 3:25 am

Hi everyone!

I thought since board games are my specialty, I would do a Game of the Week feature where I talk about a different board game and why you should be picking it up. We’ll call this feature Games You Should Pick. To make this interesting, I’m only going to talk about games I’ve actually managed to find and sell. There’s all kinds of games you should be looking out for, like Fireball Island and Dark Tower, but I haven’t managed to find either of those yet!

This week’s game is Life is Ruff.

In 1979, Target. Inc. released the Life is Ruff Board Game. It is based upon philosophy taught by Howard Ruff in his newletter “The Ruff Times.” It’s a financial simulation game. Each player’s goal is to obtain a survival package of items that are not adversely affected by inflation. The player with the most survival assets at the end of the game wins. This version is the special collector’s edition.

This is an extremely rare game. As with everything, condition and completeness matter to value. However, even ones in poor condition or missing non-important pieces will sell pretty well. $30 is not unheard of for a poor version of this game. Mint condition copies that have never been played can go upwards of $60-70. The important thing to realize with this game is that putting it up for auction is not a good idea. This needs to be a fixed price item, because although it’s valuable, it has a low demand. If you want to sell a good copy quickly, sell it for $40 with free shipping and it will go fast. If you want to maximize your profits on this game, list it for $70 with best offer and you might get quite a few offers quickly, but hold out for at least $60. As with everything, condition and completeness matter to value.

I have sold one copy of this game. It had one repaired corner and some shelf wear, but was otherwise in great condition. It did not look like it had been played with. I sold it for $39.99, including the shipping. I bought this game for $1.50 from an estate sale (my honeyhole estate sale).

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Games You Should Pick #1: King Oil

11
by on December 4, 2012 at 1:19 am

Hi everyone!

I thought since board games are my specialty, I would do a Game of the Week feature where I talk about a different board game and why you should be picking it up. We’ll call this feature Games You Should Pick. To make this interesting, I’m only going to talk about games I’ve actually managed to find and sell. There’s all kinds of games you should be looking out for, like Fireball Island and Dark Tower, but I haven’t managed to find either of those yet!

This week’s game is King Oil.

King Oil was released in 1974 by Milton Bradley. It’s a 3 dimensional game where players take on the roles of Oil Barons and have to build pipelines and drill for oil. The goal is simply to become the richest player in the game, while bankrupting all your competitors. There is a randomness built into the game (to the point that there are 1,728 combinations possible) with the game board, so every game will be different.

This game has a lot of small pieces and completeness is very important. What’s even more important with regards to pricing with this game, though, is box condition. If the box is in rough condition with torn or repaired corners or other kinds of damage, it dramatically reduces its worth. The individual pieces have some value too, so be sure to pick it up even if it’s obvious it’s not complete.

As far as value goes, in mint condition (meaning no shelf wear on the box at all and the inside pieces in unplayed condition), $100 is not an unreasonable expectation. From there, the price goes down dramatically. Some shelf wear with pieces in excellent condition could net as much at $65-70. A game with significant box issues or game piece issues will still go for between $30-40.

I have sold one copy of this game. It had some pretty significant issues with the box and the interior contents were well-played with. I sold it for $30, not including the shipping. I bought this game for $1.50 from an estate sale at the end of the last day, where I purchased 17 other games. It was a nice collection of vintage games and this one of the most valuable games to come out of it.

 

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