Collecting On a Budget

Gaming has always been a form of entertainment that has transcended class and financial clout whether it be 20p a game at the local arcade or a brand new Sega Saturn, so why should that change now?

Michael Crocombe looks at how you can get the games you want, on a budget you can afford.


Ebay –

Now, for any of you who regularly visit internet auction sites you must think I’m mad. Inflated prices, ignorant sellers and questionable postage costs all add up to, on the whole, a pretty negative experience. But trust me, there are way to find cheap, quality games on eBay.

 It’s all in the search. Have you tried misspellings? Incorrect listing categories? Newly listed ‘Buy It Now’ auctions? They’re all good ways of getting games for a great price, I’m not saying it will work on a day-to-day basis, but remain dedicated and it will pay dividends.

 Another helpful feature on eBay is the ‘search in description’ option. Instead of trawling through mixed lots and boot sale auctions, just enter key terms into the wholesale category and find hidden gems that way. It takes time to finally stumble on the right textual combination but when you receive those cut-price cartridges you’ll feel vindicated.

 Aside from mistakes and low listing prices, try searching for ‘pick up only’ items in your local area. The lack of postage options limits the number of potential buyers and the collection means you won’t be doubling the price of your item with premium postage.


Classifieds –

 Always keep an eye on your local classified pages. Whether it be in a newsagent’s window, Craigslist or Gumtree, make sure you keep abreast of what’s being listed.

 You’ll often find that people using classified pages generally want to get rid of their things with minimum hassle and cost. If the asking price is a little high, or you just fancy pushing your luck, most will be willing to haggle down to a happy middle-ground.

 Don’t draw the line at local pick-ups either, if there is something listed that you really fancy, offer a postage fee and you might get lucky. Remember, it never hurts to ask.


Boot Sales–

 Although you’ll have to wave goodbye to your lazy weekend, boot sales are a real goldmine in regards to value gaming. You have to remember that there will be other gamers there and also the dreaded re-sellers. If the advert says 7am start, aim for 6.30, 9am? Well then you might want to get in the queue at 8. Being first in line means an awful lot.

 Prices are low and time is of the essence, so although bartering on big lots or consoles may be worth it, just getting round the site quickly and before someone else does, is key. If you’re unsure on a lot then ask the seller to keep it back whilst you get some change but be careful in leaving a potentially attractive item.

 Always remember to have a more detailed search after your initial bargain sprint, checking CD wallets and delving deep into boxes to find those illusive deals.



Trading and swapping –

 You must always keep in mind that there are many people like you who collect games on a strict budget. There are a number of sites where you can locate these like-minded individuals and discuss wanted lists, doubles and potential trades.

 Remember to pick up any spare games you may see of any potential swap value, so you can obtain the games you’re looking for by giving up some of your trade pile.

 Don’t get tied down in collecting hundreds of games you don’t want or already have, but if you see something that you know another gamer may well like, then buy it and put together a mutually beneficial trade.

 Seeing other collectors as friends not enemies will really improve your chances of getting the titles you want.



Spread the word! –

 Although in your eyes gaming is an expensive and serious hobby, other people will be unaware of the values involved in the pastime, so make sure you let people know you collect.

 Whether a friend is moving house or an Aunt spots something at a church fare, it’s worth spreading the word.

 You never know what people have hiding away that they would be happy to part with. 

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