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Thread: What kind of Online Retro Game store would you like to see?

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    Default What kind of Online Retro Game store would you like to see?

    Hi everyone,

    Let me preface this by saying this is not an advertisement/spam, and no mentions of my now non-existent site's name are present. I do not plan to spam this forum but will be purchasing advertising in the next month or so.

    I have been a retro game collector for 2 years now and have amassed quite a collection since being here in Japan. After seeing the prices here and comparing them to what I used to pay online from Europe, I have decided to open my own online retro gaming store. I am good friends with the owner of a local game shop (corridors of retro games!) and he, quite interested in my idea, has offered me discounts on my purchases.

    I have the site system and design completed. I have bought about 20 games (Pre-owned both loose and boxed) and 3 consoles to begin a stock. I also have invested in several small boxes, perfect for shipping games.

    From my own experiences, what I have focused on is:
    - All prices INCLUDE standard shipping costs.
    - Games selling from $3 - $10 dollars.
    - Simple, Paypal accepted checkout system. Site registration optional.
    - All pre-owned games tested by myself.
    - Suggest a game and we can find it's availability and stock it within 24-48 hours.

    So, what would everyone here want from a site like this? What kind of site features would make it attractive to you and what kind of stock would be nice to see?

    Thanks in advance for any opinions and advice.

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    Cherry (Level 1) Xander's Avatar
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    So just to be sure you will be selling mostly NTSC-J game?

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    All I want from a JP games supplier is shipping from within the US. I can get almost anything I want from sellers like hit-japan and yamatoku-classic on eBay, but shipping prices are what slow me down.

    Now if you were to setup with someone in the US to distribute the stuff for you...


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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    So just to be sure you will be selling mostly NTSC-J game?
    That is correct, Japanese games, hardware and merchandise.

    Quote Originally Posted by wiggyx View Post
    All I want from a JP games supplier is shipping from within the US. I can get almost anything I want from sellers like hit-japan and yamatoku-classic on eBay, but shipping prices are what slow me down.

    Now if you were to setup with someone in the US to distribute the stuff for you...

    I already run a business here selling other items (Food & Drink). Due to the high volume of parcels we send daily we receive discounts from Japan Post. I am incorporating these prices into the product price so shipping is included.

    Also, the high prices that I used to pay on eBay when I was in Europe has driven me to do this. These sellers profit margins are ridiculously high.
    Last edited by RetroGamerJapan; 03-31-2013 at 06:45 PM.

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    Some questions,

    By "Games selling from $3 - $10 dollars", do you mean you will be focusing on stocking games valued at that level? Will you stock games valued significantly above $10?

    I don't have much to contribute in terms of suggestions except to ask for the following,

    If I were to buy 3+ games simultaneously, would there be the possibility of a discount/deal of some kind? I'm interested in building japanese collections for different consoles, but I'm starting from scratch, so extra incentive to buy games in bunches or even significant lots would be great.

    I wish you the best of luck, I'm intrigued by what I've heard so far and you have my attention.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RetroGamerJapan View Post
    That is correct, Japanese games, hardware and merchandise.



    I already run a business here selling other items (Food & Drink). Due to the high volume of parcels we send daily we receive discounts from Japan Post. I am incorporating these prices into the product price so shipping is included.

    Also, the high prices that I used to pay on eBay when I was in Europe has driven me to do this. These sellers profit margins are ridiculously high.
    I'm sure hit-japan gets that same discount considering they have thousands of items listed at any given time. Point being, volume alone isn't going to give you an advantage over a company like hit-japan, not to mention the slow-ass delivery time.

    There used to be a few JP games sellers on eBay that operated on the west coast. That was a big plus in my book. I got the games quickly, from people fluent in English (which is obviously a bonus when dealing with you as well), and with dirt cheap shipping.

    I'm just saying THAT is what would bring my bucks to a JP-focused retro seller

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    I can give you some suggestions based on my perspective and my needs, you can extrapolate on this as I imagine my needs will match a % of your potential client base. Especially since some of the feature that could interest me is not something I've ever found on another website offering the same kind of service you want to provide.

    Here is what I am:

    + English speaker, I do not speak japanese and do not wish to learn.
    + Game collector, strong focus on NTSC english games.
    + Curiosity towards NTSC-J, % of my collection dedicated to NTSC-J is < 1%
    + Ignorant as to what console have native NTSC-J support and what games have dual language built-in OR games that are english friendly (close to no story, english menu, strong emphasis on gameplay)

    Here is what I want:

    + A website that will educate me as to which console can play NTSC-J natively, and what are my alternative (for example I know the SNES is NTSC-J friendly and only need to have two plastic tab removed, tell me that!), also sell me NTSC-J consoles!
    + A website that will identify what games are english-speaker friendly. If it's a game with close to no text and is all about gameplay, yeah I am interested! I just probably don't know about that game, tell me about it and you'll create a need I did not have before (good example would be Parodius Da! for SNES, that game is awesome and you don't need to be japanese to enjoy it, there are probably a lot more game that fit in this category)
    + Competitive pricing. If I can find your product cheaper on ebay, I will buy it on ebay.
    + Paypal, it's simple, it's efficient, don't make me register on another paying service.
    + Picture of every item (stock photo is fine), a youtube link to a gameplay video (that's hot), and a description of the product that is not the useless text found on the back of the box.
    + Good inventory. Going to an online game store and finding that everything is out of stock sucks balls. Your idea of having a request to stock that will be fulfilled within 48h is very cool, if you can deliver on this.

    If you manage to create an online store that incorporate all of this, I will give you my money!

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    Unless you can (nearly) beat the price of using an intermediary on YAJ, I will stay away from the imports. Of course, I say this as I'm watching something on eBay...need to get out of that habit. What I like to see is good service and careful description of items (whether pricey or not) with stickers (yes this is time consuming, as I remember every time I take pictures). What I DON'T like to see is another flipper selling things for a gigantic markup and pushing everybody else out of YAJ...seen enough of those scum for a lifetime but people still do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GREEN00 View Post
    Some questions,

    By "Games selling from $3 - $10 dollars", do you mean you will be focusing on stocking games valued at that level? Will you stock games valued significantly above $10?

    I don't have much to contribute in terms of suggestions except to ask for the following,

    If I were to buy 3+ games simultaneously, would there be the possibility of a discount/deal of some kind? I'm interested in building japanese collections for different consoles, but I'm starting from scratch, so extra incentive to buy games in bunches or even significant lots would be great.

    I wish you the best of luck, I'm intrigued by what I've heard so far and you have my attention.
    Yes, some games would be more expensive. The super rare titles would be slightly more expensive and I plan to sell new products a little bit over 10 dollars (I currently have boxed and sealed Chrono Trigger which I will list for about 11 dollars).

    Buying more than 1 product saves me on shipping costs, so I would of course incorporate this into the store.

    Thanks for the comments!


    Quote Originally Posted by wiggyx View Post
    I'm sure hit-japan gets that same discount considering they have thousands of items listed at any given time. Point being, volume alone isn't going to give you an advantage over a company like hit-japan, not to mention the slow-ass delivery time.

    There used to be a few JP games sellers on eBay that operated on the west coast. That was a big plus in my book. I got the games quickly, from people fluent in English (which is obviously a bonus when dealing with you as well), and with dirt cheap shipping.

    I'm just saying THAT is what would bring my bucks to a JP-focused retro seller
    Their prices, without shipping, is what I am aiming for WITH shipping included (cheaper if possible). And also by not going through eBay i save on eBay fees, which makes the products cheaper still.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    I can give you some suggestions based on my perspective and my needs, you can extrapolate on this as I imagine my needs will match a % of your potential client base. Especially since some of the feature that could interest me is not something I've ever found on another website offering the same kind of service you want to provide.

    Here is what I am:

    + English speaker, I do not speak japanese and do not wish to learn.
    + Game collector, strong focus on NTSC english games.
    + Curiosity towards NTSC-J, % of my collection dedicated to NTSC-J is < 1%
    + Ignorant as to what console have native NTSC-J support and what games have dual language built-in OR games that are english friendly (close to no story, english menu, strong emphasis on gameplay)...
    Thank you for the comments and in particular your advice about info on console regions and fixes. I plan to include as much info as I can on this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Oscuro View Post
    Unless you can (nearly) beat the price of using an intermediary on YAJ, I will stay away from the imports. Of course, I say this as I'm watching something on eBay...need to get out of that habit. What I like to see is good service and careful description of items (whether pricey or not) with stickers (yes this is time consuming, as I remember every time I take pictures). What I DON'T like to see is another flipper selling things for a gigantic markup and pushing everybody else out of YAJ...seen enough of those scum for a lifetime but people still do it.
    No offence, but buying from eBay will save you money over YAJ.

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    That's really cool and fantastic idea of selling retro games through an online shop. But it involves high-risk and security. For an online gaming store there must be a separate lounge for each type of game and also add a shopping cart to the site. I really like your idea, and I am here to support you in any manner.
    Last edited by charleskinley; 04-04-2013 at 12:36 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RetroGamerJapan View Post
    No offence, but buying from eBay will save you money over YAJ.
    hahahaha that's a good one, April Fools is over though

    OK, show me where eBay deals on PCBs and X68000 games are much better than YAJ...on eBay you're more often than not dealing with flippers who bought stuff off YAJ.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Oscuro View Post
    hahahaha that's a good one, April Fools is over though

    OK, show me where eBay deals on PCBs and X68000 games are much better than YAJ...on eBay you're more often than not dealing with flippers who bought stuff off YAJ.
    With all the fees involved, it certainly is cheaper to buy if the products are actually available on eBay.

    But for PCBs and X68000 games, I don't honestly know. It's quite a niche of a niche, and not something I am too interested in.

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    I truly think that sellers need to lower the prices on some classic/retro games. I know of a store about 30 minutes from me that specializes in classic gaming (with some modern gaming) and his prices are absolutely insane. He has a copy of Contra for the NES sitting in a glass case with other more expensive games with a price tag on it of $17, and it's been there for what seems like years. Retro gaming is not as big as it was some years back, I remember 2001-1007 there being multiples stores that dealt in retro gaming in my area and other stores that had a small section of the store specifically for retro gaming, now they're all gone. All of them. People are buying their games online and even then they're more expensive than they should be. Unless the game is truly a rare find and/or comes with it's original box with instructions and sleeve than I don't think anyone should have to pay more than $5-$10 for an NES game, and $10 being a rare thing. If we're talking a Dragon Warrior IV or something than that's different, but a game like Contra or Kid Icarus shouldn't cost me nearly $20 to buy.....that's just plain silly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetroGamerJapan View Post
    With all the fees involved, it certainly is cheaper to buy if the products are actually available on eBay.
    And locally located, and old ownership...but we all know that many items on eBay are just turned around from a YAJ purchase, often times made by a buyer outside Japan. In any case, the shipping costs and profits come right out of the final buyer. And don't even get me started on STV-style shenanigans, using multiple accounts to bid against a proxy bid made on the buyer's behalf, just to milk more money.

    It's not just obscure things and arcade games that are too expensive on the 'Bay. Most every example of a sought-after game can be found, if it is, lounging in somebody's eBay store at outrageously inflated prices.

    In any case, if you can source things at a price that is competitive with directly buying off YAJ (either out-of-country collections or local purchases off the grid) then I support your effort...I don't want to sound like good new sources aren't appreciated. But I highly doubt even the most noble seller is going to turn down the chance to sell at eBay or even YAJ pricing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Manga4life View Post
    I truly think that sellers need to lower the prices on some classic/retro games. I know of a store about 30 minutes from me that specializes in classic gaming (with some modern gaming) and his prices are absolutely insane. He has a copy of Contra for the NES sitting in a glass case with other more expensive games with a price tag on it of $17, and it's been there for what seems like years. Retro gaming is not as big as it was some years back, I remember 2001-1007 there being multiples stores that dealt in retro gaming in my area and other stores that had a small section of the store specifically for retro gaming, now they're all gone. All of them. People are buying their games online and even then they're more expensive than they should be. Unless the game is truly a rare find and/or comes with it's original box with instructions and sleeve than I don't think anyone should have to pay more than $5-$10 for an NES game, and $10 being a rare thing. If we're talking a Dragon Warrior IV or something than that's different, but a game like Contra or Kid Icarus shouldn't cost me nearly $20 to buy.....that's just plain silly.
    Brick and mortar stores have a totally different dynamic because of the very high relative ongoing costs compared to running a smaller operation without a storefront, or maybe even running off the (tax) grid as a private person looking for extra income. If you truly feel that having a brick and mortar retro games store provides a valuable service, you'd pay for it...but of course nobody does, especially when the 'net is a much better place to do learn and find unusual things quickly.
    Last edited by Ed Oscuro; 04-02-2013 at 09:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggyx View Post
    All I want from a JP games supplier is shipping from within the US. I can get almost anything I want from sellers like hit-japan and yamatoku-classic on eBay, but shipping prices are what slow me down.
    With Hit-Japan Ive realized its just way better to save up and buy 200-500$ worth of games at once. If they know you are buying alot the will gladly hold whatever you want for weeks and give you bigger discounts on price. They also offer flat rate shipping on really large orders if you contact them, and also upgrading to EMS isnt really that expensive, and EMS doesnt take 2 weeks.
    Ive bought hundreds of games from Hit-Japan over the years, and the reason I keep going back is mainly price, but also condition/quality of the items is almost always better than advertised (which is what I look for the most).

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    Quote Originally Posted by RetroGamerJapan View Post
    So, what would everyone here want from a site like this? What kind of site features would make it attractive to you and what kind of stock would be nice to see?

    Thanks in advance for any opinions and advice.
    Permit what YAJ permits. Searching (if you have a search function anyway) and display the actual names. One of the most irritating things when looking for items on places like eBay is that sellers don't follow the same patterns for romanization and there are also errors that are prevalent too. It's so fucking annoying to search for one item using MANY terms to try to catch all these stupid mistakes and obnoxiously wrong conversions.

    But when I search on YAJ it's wonderful (usually) because everything is written correctly.

    If I want to look up 蒼穹紅蓮隊, or 悪魔城, or 謎の村雨城, or 天地創造, or 超魔界村, or 銀河英雄伝説, then dammit that's the way I want to type it instead of trying to guess what ass-backward romanization was chosen!! I'm pretty sure I've NEVER seen 蒼穹紅蓮隊 romanized correctly on eBay

    The issue doesn't present itself for games and items that use English names anyway, but when a title is in native Japanese it's insanely obnoxious to search for these things unless it is in the original text. (Nevertheless I probably will use the native format. I type ロックマン MUCH more frequently than "Rockman") Brings me back to the original point which is, allow the kinds of searches that are done on YAJ. >_>

    Also use only the real names of all the consoles. Don't list things like PC Engine or Mega Drive under any other names. When I use a site and don't see PC Engine under the "P" section I begin to scream and break things. Same idea extends to games too. I'll have to kill a kitten every time I see, for example, a Rockman cartridge auction listed only under "Mega Man"

    If your store supports this functionality that would be awesome

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    Quote Originally Posted by bb_hood View Post
    With Hit-Japan Ive realized its just way better to save up and buy 200-500$ worth of games at once. If they know you are buying alot the will gladly hold whatever you want for weeks and give you bigger discounts on price. They also offer flat rate shipping on really large orders if you contact them, and also upgrading to EMS isnt really that expensive, and EMS doesnt take 2 weeks.
    Ive bought hundreds of games from Hit-Japan over the years, and the reason I keep going back is mainly price, but also condition/quality of the items is almost always better than advertised (which is what I look for the most).
    Yup!

    I purchase a TON from hit-Japan, including a lot of the GBAs that I modify for my business. They're really great for letting you stockpile completed auctions for a few weeks if need be, plus they're pretty good about accepting reasonable "best offers". I've found that they'll almost always accept 20-25% off the asking price of BIN or BO items

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