[notice]This is a guest post from a friend (Josh Boley) on Reddit and feel free to leave comments and questions here for him[/notice]
This is a dangerous admission considering I’m an active member of /r/gameswap and /r/retrogameswap, but here goes: I am one of those dirty, disgusting, lying, low-balling, no-good video game resellers. Now before you get out your torches and pitchforks, try to understand that I’m a collector first, and a reseller second – I only use reselling as a means to grow my personal collection.
I’m getting ahead of myself; let’s go back to the beginning. I grew up in a middle-class family, in a small town in the Midwest. I got into gaming before I went to kindergarten. Now since my family wasn’t wealthy, if I wanted a video game I had three options: 1. Wait until my birthday 2. Wait until Christmas 3. Trade in all or parts of my collection toward something else. Well the first and second options only happened once a year (each), so I always ended up trading in my entire collection for something newer. Every time I did that, there was guilt, shame, and a general sadness that followed me around. I still get stuck on that depressing image of past me, gladly handing over an entire collection for some shiny piece of next-gen hardware with one or two decent games. I did this over and over again, well into my adult years.
Fast forward to age 27; two growing boys, a lovely (understanding) wife, and a decent full-time job. Money was spent on diapers and family things, and buying or playing video games was a rare treat. Every time I would sit down to play for an hour, my oldest son would be intrigued. He always asked me if he could watch me play, but I told him I’d rather play *with* him. We started off playing Plants vs. Zombies from the PSN network. I could tell he enjoyed it, but he couldn’t read yet, and the complexity and strategy of the game was a few years above his head. First thing the next morning, I scour Craigslist for a Super Nintendo. I found with a few games for $40, and promptly picked it up later that evening. When I arrived home, I hooked up the system, popped in Super Mario World, and asked my son to sit down and play with me. He absolutely loved it! It was like I was reliving my childhood all over again with my son. When I went to bed that night, I asked my wife if I could set aside $200, and start buying some more games for us to play together. She agreed, and I started wheeling-and-dealing on Craigslist. The problem was, any games for sale were being sold with a system. So I started buying $40-$50 lots, taking out what we wanted to keep, and then tried reselling what was left over to recoup some of our expenses.
After a few trips half-way across Colorado, I decided that if I was going to do this, I needed to be smart about it. So I created a spreadsheet, made a budget, and started keeping track of everything. It’s now been six months; a LOT of stuff has come through my doors. Some of it has been hard to let go, but in general, it’s been a blast. I have a bunch of lessons learned that I will post, and a few not-so-proud moments I’d be happy to share if anyone cares.
* Being a reseller is not as evil as it’s made out to be. If you do it with some integrity, it’s a great source of income that you can use to satiate your need to collect.