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What Are the Best Tips for Selling a Used Video Game?

Eugene P.
Eugene P.

It is not difficult to sell a used video game, but some planning and knowledge can dramatically increase the selling price of the game. So many different used video game titles exist that a good number of them are actually anonymous titles that either received very little shelf space and advertising or were published in very small numbers. These types of games might not garner anything more than a small amount of store credit, but there are rare and very coveted titles that can be more valuable than other used video games. Beyond just the popularity of the title, accessories that came with the original game can increase the value considerably, including items such as the original packaging, manuals and marketing trinkets that might have been in the box. Some games are more valuable in their first-edition state, as opposed to authorized reprints of the game or inclusions in larger anthologies, while some titles are simply desired for the playability of the game, regardless of how it is published.

Selling a used video game should always start by ensuring that the game works and is in good condition. Compact discs (CDs) should be cleaned and should not have large gashes on the surface. Cartridges that are made for specific console systems should be cleaned of dust, and the inner cartridge needs to be checked to make sure it has not rusted or cracked. If possible, any used video game to be sold should be either inserted into a machine or installed on a computer to be certain it actually works.

A man playing a video game.
A man playing a video game.

Having any of the original packaging can really increase the value of a game. The artwork on the box is sometimes collected for the nostalgia or because of the artist, independent of the game inside. Including the original instruction manual for a used video game also can increase the value for many of the same reasons. The closer the game and included elements are to the way it was sold originally, the more valuable it will be. Taking time to find the missing pieces of a game and its packaging can often be worth the effort.

A handheld video game.
A handheld video game.

Researching the game title can help determine whether there is a high demand for a specific used video game. Some will be unknown or have no fan base, while others might have large, active communities. These can be by game title or the community could be centered on a specific console brand or emulator. Fan communities can be a good place to attempt to sell a used video game.

Two important things to make sure of, especially with a used video game intended to be played on a computer, are that the game can be sold and that the game can be played. Games that are copies of an original CD cannot be sold, because it is illegal and can be prosecuted, so only the original CD can be sold. The second thing to consider is whether the game can be played by the new owner. Many massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) might look like normal games in a box, but the game can actually only be installed and used once because of a special activation code on the box or CD. These codes can only be used once, so an MMOG that has already been installed and used might essentially be worthless to anyone trying to play it on a separate computer later.

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Discussion Comments


I've bought some used games on Amazon before, because I couldn't afford the price of the original. I have to say, that I was actually pretty impressed. Everything was in working condition, and the games didn't have any bugs and/or glitches. Also, when purchasing used games on Amazon, one thing I really like is that they show you the advantages and disadvantages of each used game and/or game system. It told you what parts were broken, and if anything was missing, and the overall quality. This is great because you can't blame the quality of the game/system on the seller, since you know what to expect beforehand.


I agree with you. Based on my experience as well, used games often come cheap and broken, and they seem like nothing more than an excuse for vendors to make money off of you.


Used video games have their issues, and generally, I'm not too fond of them. There are always exceptions, but I guess you can say this is all based on a bad experience I had at Gamestop. One day when I was there, I was looking at the game Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. Though it's a great game, the used version (which I had bought) had several issues. There were bugs, glitches, and the game would often freeze. I guess that's what happens when you purchase a game that people have played multiple times. The sellers don't care about the quality, as long as they're making money of you.

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