If you swim in cash, you can probably preload and buy whatever you want. The old “cheap” ways of buying games seem to be wilting (garage sales and flea markets are now hard work in terms of “time/profit ratio”). Given the limited time I have as an adult with two kids, I usually stick to two main sources: my favorite local store and eBay listings.
These are some ideas and tips that have really helped me enjoy the hobby as I navigate all the rising prices and interest! If you find an old Playstation game that interests you, but the bottom of the disc is scratched to hell and may not play well, do not always hesitate to buy it if the price is correct. You can bring these games to a store with professional disc recycling to get them back in good condition.
You can also create wish lists and share them online with friends so they can refer to them to go and keep an eye on the games you’re looking for. For more information on game database solutions, check out my previous Gamer Guidance article on this topic here.
I’m sure every collector has a game or two that they regret selling, but it’s not wise to collect games at standard retail prices of $60 when the same games will cost $10 or less in 10 years and can be obtained with pocket money. If you walk into a store and find that their prices are much higher than those of other stores or websites you’ve seen, avoid them like the plague. The best retro game stores price their merchandise based on average selling prices and not random auctions on eBay. You’ll want to deal with fair trade stores, so use your online resources before buying from game stores to make sure they stay honest. Also, don’t be afraid to negotiate with employees to see if you can get a better price. Many stores offer you discounts if you are a regular customer or if you buy games in batches.
Often, you can turn a loose cartridge you own into a full cartridge in a box if you find the box and manual in a store without the set in it. Keep in mind that the box will often sell for a pretty penny if the game is quite rare, so Trading Card Games Social Network don’t expect to always spend a dollar or two on a box and turn a $50 game into a $100 game so easily. So if you’re looking for a way to relive childhood in a fun and engaging way, collecting video games is about as good as it gets.