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Thread: Help for a novice collector!

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    Default Help for a novice collector!

    Hi everyone,

    I hope this is the right place to put this. I read what content should be posted in the other forums, but it still didn't seem to be exactly correct. Move it if you need to

    Anyway I recently received free copies of the Video Game Collector Magazine (Thanks VG Collector!) and was quite impressed. I was most surprised by the pricing guide in the back which also is what my question is about. In short, how fair/accurate do you think it is?

    I know most of what I'm asking is an opinion that can be summed up as, if I think it's a fair price, it's a fair price. I understand and appreciate that for the games that I desire, it's the ones I don't know much about that causes me to question their approximate value.

    If you have looked at the magazine, do you think the pricing chart is based off of rarity, the quality of the game, and the prices most people are realistically going to see, or more like the way DP does it (not that it's bad)? There is a pretty big difference between the two pricing guides so while VGC seems to be more in line with the prices I see at the places I look, compared to DP I feel like I'm getting ripped off.

    To look at it another way, if the magazine regularly set prices of common SNES games at 50 dollars, like one of the stores in my area, and it was all I knew, it may seem to me like the store was giving me good prices. Knowing what I know, both the magazine and store would be crazy. I know the extremes, I'm not passing on a radiant silvergun for 10 dollars and I'm not paying 50 dollars for super mario world. It's everything in the middle that I need help on and in your opinion does VGC do a good job at fair "realistic" pricing?

    A small side note: Pricing based on Quality is very important to me. I'd much rather have a fantastic common game, then a rare sucky one in my collection. I could be way off here, but it seems like DP doesn't factor in the quality due to the subjectiveness, however purposefully or not, based on my browsing of the VGC guide, it appears that good games are marked as worth more, even if they aren't all that rare. If I'm way off on that, let me know.

    Thanks you everybody!

    P.S. If this sort of thing has been posted a million times... go easy on me

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    The prices in DP are old; don't use them. The rarities should be pretty accurate (no way for them to be 100%, though, unless the number of units made for a certain game is known). As for pricing in general, it can quite often have nothing at all to do with the quality of the game. Super Mario Bros. is a great game, and is worth less than a dollar. Action 52 is a horrible game, and is worth around $40 (from what I've seen). It's a question of both rarity and desirability. Some bad games are worth more because they're famous (like Action 52) and rare. Whereas, other famous bad games (say, Taboo) are worthless, because they're common and there's no special back story behind them.

    On the other hand, mainstream good games will usually be pretty affordable. The Mario games, for instance: aside from Galaxy, you should be able to find all of them for less than $10. Same with Zelda, Metroid, etc. (I seem to be picking Nintendo games today, heh.) Other good games, though, can have really high demand (such as the technically extremely common Final Fantasy VII, which sells for $60+ still). If it's a rare game, and in high demand, then you've got high value--such as Panzer Dragoon Saga.

    Hope that helps some. It can be complicated, and pricing out what you want when you first start can be a daunting process. Eventually, though, it'll all make sense.

    As for VG Collector, I couldn't tell you if their pricing guide is accurate. I'd imagine it's closer to reality than DP's.
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    Thanks for reading Video Game Collector Jackattack! If you received a free issue, I am going to assume it was issue #9 (NiGHTS on the cover), so you will have to know those prices will reflect the values of games as of late February. We will be printing issue #10 sometime this week to make our May submission deadline (three full months out of February) so if you should pick one up (www.vgcollector.com or from one of a number of online stores), the prices will be updated the best they can be as of roughly one week ago. We have a number of people working on this guide now and we've freshened it up so much, I've even penned a brand new intro to the price guide for issue #10.

    I won't devulge too much at this time since issue #10 isn't out yet, but please allow me to kind of go through the obvious points. I spent an entire week building off the current systems' (PS2, 360, DS, etc.) prior sheets to create an accurate list. No longer will the cancelled game Advent Shadow be found in the PSP list or non-existant ports such such Ghost Recon for the Wii be listed in these guides. I've filled in as many holes as I possibly could to include games that were missed before while adding packaging variants for any game I could find current values for. While that doesn't really directly answer your question, it does deal with accuracy and it's something I want people to look forward to.

    As for prices, seriously, the process is exactly as detailed in the magazine: "The Price Guide's dollar values are an average of published and reported prices from a variety of sources: Retail sales, eBay auctions, online price lists and private transactions." We take a look at what the game has successfully sold for because, in earnest, why would you report what a game doesn't sell for or "could maybe, possibly sell for." Really the price of anything is dictated by the business mantras of supply and demand that form a pricing curve which we follow the best we possibly can for our video game guide. The odd thing is, though, in video gaming, demand can completely destroy supply. There are games out there you could find in a day where you would pay 100x more than a game that could take you six months or more to find in the wild. This is why we use multiple sources to track down data on what people have paid for the item and settle for nothing less.

    Also, the key is "average." A game listed at $20 in the guide can sell for $10 somewhere and $30 elsewhere, for example. Even so, I have seen games that average $20 or so and still manage to catch $50+ in a single auction. With every average there is a high and a low. It's no different than Beckett - just because it says a card is worth $50, doesn't mean it always sell for $50 - so, really, any guide whether it be VGC or DP is exactly that: Something you can use as a guide to get an idea what someone would pay for a game.

    To touch on your comment about good games, while the demand usually drives a game's value and means it's a good title, there are games where due to their obscure rarity, value is based on supply, regardless of the game's quality. VGC doesn't pick apart good or bad games in its price guide, we strictly base the prices on what the game has been selling for. However, we try to offer a number of reviews based on classic games so you can get a taste of how good or bad these high-valued games are. While it might seem silly on the surface to review a game 20 years after it has released it in fact has its purpose and this is one of those instances.

    I can't really speak for the classic price guide, which is being handled by a very capable member, but I literally spent an entire week updating the system which are still in circulation and I can honestly say it's the most accurate it's ever been. Games like Tetris DS, Resident Evil DS, Lumines, Capcom vs. SNK, Wii Sports and more have been updated to reflect their stellar eBay sales as of roughly a week ago and you'll notice massive flucuation in the prices (both up and down). EA Sports games from seven years ago are no longer posted at values higher than $5 and you'll notice newer games have been reduced as they fall in price at retail. I've researched a load of games in the past week and I hope everyone recognizes the effort I've put into the current systems. I have seen people in the past note no real changes in the price guide between a couple of issues, but please know this is not the case and the prices are a culmination of human time and research.

    I hope that answers your questions and also clarifies some things to everyone on the site. I am on this forum quite often, so if anyone has any questions, thoughts or comments, please feel free to direct them to me. I'll be promoting issue #10 really soon so I hope everyone will join me in enjoying the new, special issue.
    Last edited by nestlekwik; 05-23-2008 at 05:39 PM.

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    Nestlekwik, this may seem like a silly question but, do you plan to try to get your magazine aviliable at bookstores, like Borders, etc?
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    Wow, thank you so much for the great replies! I'm in a way pleased to hear that the DP guide is so out of date because I never see prices like that. I'm also glad to hear how much you care about, and put into, the guide, it really speaks for its quality and accuracy! I also really liked your explaination for how you determine price. It sounded great to me, assuming you don't follow the ridiculous demand curve that drives up prices like crazy. :-p Only kidding. Lol now that I have my prices, I just have to find out how to figure out and remember all the amazing games for each system so I don't allow anymore to slip through on my hunts. At the moment I wouldn't even know if they have

    Thank you both again!

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    I have a subscription of VGC so I'm not looking for them, but I have always seen them at my corner Blockbuster Video store, in the gaming magazine section. Don't know if this is nationwide, local, or what, but I would try there.

    Or just subscribe....

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    Quote Originally Posted by kainemaxwell View Post
    Nestlekwik, this may seem like a silly question but, do you plan to try to get your magazine aviliable at bookstores, like Borders, etc?
    We are currently exploring many avenues right now that would place our magazine in a number of retail outlets. At present day, we have a deal with a number of regional video game store chains and the number of Blockbuster Video stores we will be available in is also increasing. If the Blockbuster near you does not carry VGC, please mail us the location and we'll see if that is an avenue we can reach at that point in time. With every issue that goes by, locations carrying VGC are growing at an exponential rate and we're looking to get magazines out to where people who don't know about the magazine can casually come across the publication as well as making them more available to our dedicated readers. I don't think we can rest until you can go into any bookstore and find our magazine, so as long as we keep pushing, I think you will see that in the future.

    Thanks for the feedback as well Jackattack. Considering the price guide is pretty much half of the publication and the main draw to someone who doesn't know what VGC is, we have to take it seriously. You'll have to message me some time and let me know what you think of the editorial content as well.

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    I didn't read through all of the stuff posted here, but to answer one of the questions, no, the VGC prices aren't accurate. They give a decent idea as far as which games are worth more, but the values are off. For instance, Game A might be marked as $12, B is $9, and C is $6. In actuallity A is $6, B is $4, and C is $1. VGC usually gets the trends right, like if you looked at a bar graph they would be similar, but the values are incorrect.

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    nestle, I'll check one the local Blockbuster's near me and let ya know.
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlcarlson View Post
    I didn't read through all of the stuff posted here, but to answer one of the questions, no, the VGC prices aren't accurate. They give a decent idea as far as which games are worth more, but the values are off. For instance, Game A might be marked as $12, B is $9, and C is $6. In actuallity A is $6, B is $4, and C is $1. VGC usually gets the trends right, like if you looked at a bar graph they would be similar, but the values are incorrect.
    I would encourage you to read the thread as your statement is basically what is answered above as: "Also, the key is 'average.' A game listed at $20 in the guide can sell for $10 somewhere and $30 elsewhere, for example. Even so, I have seen games that average $20 or so and still manage to catch $50+ in a single auction. With every average there is a high and a low. It's no different than Beckett - just because it says a card is worth $50, doesn't mean it always sell for $50 - so, really, any guide whether it be VGC or DP is exactly that: Something you can use as a guide to get an idea what someone would pay for a game."

    There's no "official world consortium of video game prices" so I don't understand how one can pick out games at exact values as fact like you did in your example. Every game has a high and a low to account for the average (just like in any other price guide) so, of course, the prices won't be exact across the board. Please take the time to read the process above and you'll see in issue #10, the guide will be as accurate as a guide can be based off actual sales data.

    And thanks for checking the Blockbusters kainemaxwell. It is much appreciated.

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