I’ve recently gotten back into the world of eBay after having been out of it for almost 15 years, and it’s become almost addicting to try and make a few bucks here and there. I’m definitely not making a living selling anything on eBay, but I’m definitely clearing out some of the clutter around our house, cutting down on crap that we no longer need or use, and trying to flip a few things from local Salvation Army and Goodwill stores to make a few bucks.
One thing that I’ve been selling a lot of is my old collection of Blu-Rays (some DVDs) and old video games. My parents pretty much kept everything that we ever played with as a kid, or anything we showed a large amount of interest in, so that means there is a treasure trove of old stuff from the 80’s and 90’s sitting my parents attic waiting for me and my brothers to go through. But since we haven’t had the time to go up there and pull all that stuff down, I’ve just started selling some of the things that were more easily accessible. Things that were already in my home, or things that were in our old bedroom closets at my parent’s house.
Blu-Rays and DVDs Were a Huge Waste of Money
Had I actually believed that streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu would slowly kill off the need to own physical media, I probably would not have spent tens of thousands of dollars on Blu-Rays and DVDs, but hindsight is 20/20, so there’s not much I can do about it now except try to clear out some space and make a few bucks.
I won’t go into too much detail about the Blu-Rays and DVD selling in this post, since this is gaming site after-all, but I have over 1,000 DVDs, most of which are basically worthless these days, and a couple hundred Blu-Rays that I’ve been slowly getting rid of on eBay.
None of this is making me a bunch of money, but that many disc cases takes up a significant amount of space, even if that space is a storage space or the attic, so clearing them out, and making a bit of cash on the side is well worth it to me at this point.
I honestly can’t remember the last time I put a physical disc into a Blu-Ray or DVD player to watch a movie… I don’t even think I have a player hooked up anywhere in the house outside of my Xbox One X.
After selling about 50 Blu-Rays for prices ranging from $3 all the way up to $20, I decided that I should try and sell off some of the old video games I have as well, just to see how much I could make.
Selling Retro Video Games on eBay
Honestly, I’m using the term “retro” pretty loosely here in regards to what I’m actually selling. In my mind, retro is things like the Atari 2600 (or earlier), the NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, TurboGraphix…. things in that era. I may even call the original Playstation console retro, but in my mind it that generation doesn’t seem that long ago, even though it was.
Most of the games that I have sitting around my house, and that I took from my parents house, are Xbox 360, PSP, Nintendo DS, Gamecube and Playstation 2 games. I did find a couple original Xbox game cases, but unfortunately the games are nowhere to be found… I know I also have some original NES, Genesis and Atari 2600 games (and system) over there too, I just haven’t dug them out yet.
I also found my old Gamecube system w/ controller, but without the AV cord, as well as 2 Playstation 2 consoles, one of which has the PS2 Network Adapter attached to it.. and honestly, they both might have modchips in them, I can’t remember for sure. I do know that they both had Gameshark Memory Cards in the memory card slots, and I know that had something to do with loading up pirated games, but since I’ve grown up and can actually afford to pay for video games, I couldn’t tell you the last time I pirated a game, so the modchip aspect of the consoles is irrelevant to me.
So after gathering up all of these games, it was time to figure out how much they might be worth and if it was worth my time trying to sell them on eBay.
Pricing Video Games for Sale on eBay
The first thing I did was went through and created a spreadsheet that includes all of the games that I plan on selling, what console they are for, what condition they are in, and if they include manuals, extras, etc..
The next step was to do some research to figure out what prices these games were selling for and if it was worth it to try and sell the games at those prices.
I decided to focus most of my energy on selling the games on eBay instead of places like craigslist, LetGo, or OfferUp, because I felt like eBay gave me the best opportunity to sell them for higher prices due to the fact that there is a much broader audience out there on eBay than just in my home area. The only benefit to selling locally is that it’s cash (most of the time), and there are no shipping fees, or seller fees. So if you sell a game for $3, you walk away with $3, not $2.64 after eBay fees.
I may dive into those local reseller sites for some of these games that don’t sell, but for now eBay is my goto.
Note: I did try to sell a bunch of the blu-rays on Facebook Marketplace and had zero luck. Apparently nobody reads the descriptions on those sites and just assumed that all I had was the movies in the first picture, when I clearly stated that there was a Google doc that listed out everything… so it was more annoying than anything and I’ve already sold enough on eBay to make it worth my time there.
But anyways, back to the games.
So now that I had my list of games, I set out to figure out what I could list them for in order to sell them the quickest, and maximize the amount of money from each game. And since I didn’t go out and buy these games from someone with the intention of flipping them, any money I brought in was profit at this point.
I know it’s not true profit because my brothers and I (or my parents) would have had to have purchased these games originally whenever we got them, but that was years ago, so it really doesn’t even matter at this point. I didn’t even remember having half of the games that I found.
So for the sake of argument, all of the games I initially listed were going to be pure profit. I have been experimenting with flipping games recently, but I’ll write about that in a different post.
To research what price to list these games for, with the intention of selling them quickly, eBay is your best resource.
Video games, as with anything in the world, are only worth what someone is willing to pay for them. Just because you see that a game sold for $10 last week, doesn’t mean that someone else is willing to spend that much, so you need to find a balance.
Go to eBay, search for the game you want to sell, then scroll down the search results page and on the left hand side, filter by SOLD listings. I usually then also filter by US Only, since I’m in the US and only ship to the US, but that’s your preference. Now your search results screen will be filled with auctions for your game that have actually sold for that price.
Go through the listings and get an idea of what your game is selling for and come up with a good price to start your listing. Be sure to keep shipping costs in mind.
If you see that your game sold previously for $10 with free shipping, but you don’t want to offer free shipping, then you shouldn’t list your game for any higher than $6.25-6.50. Typically it costs $3.50-3.75 to ship a video game using USPS in a padded envelope. This would bring your total cost to the buyer to around $10, which is what your researched showed the game selling for previously.
Listing and Photos
After you’ve determined what the game should be listed at, and what you think you can sell it for, it’s time to setup the listing.
My advice for setting up the listing is, be as descriptive as possible and don’t lie about anything. If there are scratches on the disc, say there are some scratches on the disc. If you haven’t tested the game yourself, make sure to state that. If the game comes with the manual and all the inserts, be sure to mention that and take pictures of everything.
Good photos are a huge help, try not to use the stock images if you can help it. People are more willing to trust you if they can see an actual image of the actual product. It shows that it is in your possession at the time of listing, as well as shows exactly what a person is going to get if they win the auction. There’s no guesswork as to what shape the case may be in, if there’s stickers everywhere, if someone wrote their name on the disc, if the manual is torn, etc.
Take as many pictures as you can showing all angles of the game and any imperfections. While it may seem like showing this much detail could hurt your chances of selling it over a more pristine copy, it will prevent returns and questions that you have to answer after the fact.
Packing and Shipping
The most annoying part about selling things on eBay is the packing and shipping. When I first started selling my Blu-Rays on eBay I was buying 12-packs of 8.5″ x 11″ bubble mailers from Staples which costs almost $15 after taxes… that’s more than $1 per envelope. And since some of these movies were selling for $3, which nets me about $2.50 after eBay fees, that was only $1.50 per movie that I was making… great if you’re selling a ton of them and just don’t care, but I actually paid retail for these blu-rays and it was heartbreaking to see them netting me so little money. Not that the $2.50 is that much more money, but I’d like to get the most out of it that I possible can.
So eventually I figured out that the Blu-Ray discs, as well as most normal video game cases, will fit in the 6×9 bubble mailer and I could get a 25 pack from Staples for $7.
You can get them on Amazon as well for around the same price, but some of the reviews didn’t seem super great so I stuck with the Staples ones. They didn’t stock them in the store near me though, so I had to order them and have them delivered to the store, otherwise shipping would have driven the cost up.
So 6×9 bubble mailers work the best for shipping games and movies, and if you buy them in bulk, they are pretty cheap.
In regards to actually paying for shipping and all of that, eBay makes it super easy to print out shipping labels, at a discounted rate, right from your own home. Then all you have to is slap the label on your envelope (or box) and drop it off at the post office. You can even schedule a pick up at your house if you want to.
In my case, I live around the corner from the post office, and it’s on my way to my daughter’s school, so it’s extremely convenient for me to drop things off there when I go to pick her up at the end of the school day.
This was actually one of the reasons I stopped selling things on eBay previously, I hated going to the post office.
Keep in mind though that you need to know the weight of your items if you want to print out shipping labels at your house.
Most of the time when you go to list an item that a lot of people have listed, eBay will already know how much an item weighs, and will properly charge you for shipping. Most of the time it’s $3.50 or $3.75 for a First Class Package/Envelope, shipped anywhere in the US (although that may change soon with rate changes).
I picked up a fairly cheap shipping and postage scale a few weeks back and it’s one of the best investments I’ve made. I was always worried about shipping weights and charges when I would combine multiple items into one shipment, but now I don’t have to worry since the scale tells me the exact weight. But if you’re selling just single games, this shouldn’t be a huge issue.
Which Games Sell on eBay?
The last thing I want to talk about is knowing which games are going to actually sell on eBay and which ones will not.
I’ve had good luck with Nintendo stuff recently. Everything from Gameboy Color games, Gameboy Advance, Nintendo DS, Gamecube and Wii games. I found that the Mario and Zelda games on any Nintendo system seem to sell pretty well, as did Resident Evil Zero on the Gamecube.
It’s really hard to know what is going to be a great seller, because it all depends on whether or not someone is looking for what you’re listing. So while I may have sold those games above fairly easily, you might not have the same luck.
For example, I did my research on a bunch of PSP games and determined that I should be able to sell some of them for $6,7, even 8, based on previous sales. I’ve sold only one of them, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 Remix, which I sold for $12, and I still have 6 more sitting here that haven’t sold after being relisted multiple times. So it all depends if someone is looking for what you’re selling at that time… and if you have the best price.
I’ve had the same issue with Xbox 360 games, and I just listed a bunch of Playstation 2 games that I feel may go the same way, but we’ll see. I do think you need to go back to the older cartridge games to really see a bump in price. So if you have Nintendo DS, N64, SNES, NES, Atari, things like that, those will probably net you more of a return than the disc based games. Unless of course you find a rare disc based game.
And I can tell you for sure what will not sell and isn’t worth it, most of the time, is sports games. Nobody really cares about old outdated sports games that are released every year. You’re probably only going to end up selling these to a collector, or someone that’s dumb enough to think they can flip them because you’re unloading them at such a low price. It’s really not worth it. (as I sit here with 5 sports games listed on eBay…)
Flipping Video Games on eBay
I do not have much experience in flipping anything on eBay at the moment, but I am in the process of giving it a shot. I will do a full case study with real world examples after things sell or don’t sell. I actually don’t intend to make any money on this first “flip”, but it’s a good learning experience and I’ll share the results in a few weeks.
If you’re looking to get into flipping now though, here are the basics. Buy the games as cheap as you can, but do your research before you buy anything. Buying games in lots or bundles is a better way to get your moneys worth than to buy individual games. Most people on craigslist, LetGo, and Offer Up know what the games are worth so it’s hard to find deals on single games that will net you a profit on eBay, so it’s better to hit up places like thrift shops and garage sales where people may not know what they have.
So there you have it. A quick rundown on how you can sell your old video games on eBay for some extra cash. You’re not going to get rich selling your old games, but it can put a few bucks in your pocket for not a lot of work.