Show Some Love

Posted on Jul 1st 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (Crabmaster2000)
Posted under Trading, Collecting



Is there any better feeling for a collector than adding a new item to your collection? How about simultaneously adding a new item while helping a friend also get something they crave? Lately, I've seen the phrase "Trade is King" used quite often in game collecting groups. I really can't argue with it. Other than perhaps scoring a crazy good deal at a garage sale this is my favorite way to get new games these days. And honestly, it's a lot more likely to happen than a thrift store pick up nowadays.



PEER TO PEER

These kinds of trades are with fellow collectors. Might be someone from a forum, facebook group, or maybe someone you met at a convention or local store. I find these to be among the least satisfying trades typically, although there have definitely been amazing exceptions. This is a trade taking place between two, well-informed people, typically each with quite desirable items. Since there is no familiarity with the other party, it's hard not to just go by straight hard numbers and say "my game is worth $50, yours is worth $30. What else you got to sweeten the pot?" Easy enough to negotiate these days with places to check value like eBay, vgpc.com or gamevaluenow.com, just not as much satisfaction when you are just adding up the numbers on your internal calculator until they match.

FRIEND TO FRIEND TRADE

One of the trickiest, yet best feeling trades when pulled off correctly. You want to give your friend a good deal. You don't expect a good deal in return, you're just being friendly. Your damned friend won't accept your wonderfully charitable offer because you're being far too nice. So you have to sneak that extra game/manual/guide/controller into the trade that you know they've been eyeing up for weeks now. They say "I can't accept this, it's too much" so you secretly leave the extra item in their mailbox while they are at work. Ha! That'll teach them to reject my benevolence! Until you get home and BAM! That bastard knew I needed that Mega Man 3 manual to complete my CIB MM3 and he gave it to my wife while he knew I was at work. Just wait until his next birthday and I'll show them the true meaning of sneaking around behind my back and getting me an awesome gift that I'm grateful for!

If you can't tell, this can just be a lot of fun as you try to one up each other with kindness. As long as you follow the simple rule "they are my friend, don't rip them off" you really can't go wrong trading with a buddy. Games shouldn't get in the way of a friendship.

TRADING TO A STORE

This one can be surprisingly satisfying too. Typically you're trading to a store for the convenience. So you've got some doubles or maybe it's a game you thought you were gonna love, but for some reason that copy of Bubble Bobble 2 just doesn't have that magic that you thought it might. Why not turn that stuff into something I'll enjoy? I definitely won't get as much value out of these as if I traded directly to another gamer, BUT I get to wander around and cherry pick my very favorite items from a large inventory that is readily displayed for me as long as I have the time to look. The more desirable items I have, the more leverage I have and can maybe wiggle in those couple extra Tengen games to help me complete my set or perhaps pry that Dead Moon manual away from the HU Card they have. I think the main benefit here is the options and the guarantees.

STRANGER DANGER

Trading with a non-collector/gamer. Friend of a friend, co-worker, casual acquaintance, etc. This can usually go one of two ways now. Either "I've got some old junk I want to get rid of and I want something new and shiny (Xbox One/PS4 games or maybe even a non-gaming item)" or "I heard these were worth BIG $$$$ online!" Obviously, the 1st scenario is more ideal. You've got someone with no expectations, so you can make reasonable offers (don't screw them over because you want to keep your spotless reputation intact and it also just makes you a jerk), this leaves a lot of options open. Do they just really want a copy of Witcher III for their Final Fantasy III? I'd do that trade and then head over to EB Games and pick up another copy of Witcher III when I have the time. Easy Peasy. They need a new bike to get around and it'll score you an Atari Jaguar that you've always been curious about. Looks like I'm taking the bus to work tomorrow!

For the second scenario where the person thinks all their stuff is gold, just take it slow and be honest with them. It may be a lost cause before it even starts, but some people are reasonable and you can show them "These SNES games typically only sell for like $20 all together, I really just want them for my collection. How about I trade you for a free movie pass w/popcorn that I have in my wallet?" Doesn't always work out, and is rarely a great deal with it does, but new games is new games!

ONLINE TRADES

Trading on forums is similar to peer to peer, but with a few caveats. It's up to YOU to make requests and ask questions. You don't get to see the games in person before the deal is made. It takes a little extra homework to make sure you know the condition, the completeness, the authenticity (an unfortunate reality these days), and anything else you'd normally be able to see up close in your hands before trading. As long as you spend the extra time, things usually work out well. Most peers are familiar enough with the hobby to know about the things you might ask (creases in books, rips on boxes, torn labels, writing on carts), but if you're trading for something more specialized, make sure to get as many pics as possible in case the person isn't as familiar with H-Seams vs Y-Folds vs Sticker Seals. And always remember "MINT Condition" is a meaningless gibberish. Pics will speak far louder than descriptions.


PARTIAL TRADE, PARTIAL CASH

When someone wants their games and cake too! I've had good experience with these for the most part. Most people are invested as soon as you have a game they want. For example, I'm currently trading with someone locally for about $280-$290 worth of games they have that I want. I only have $150 worth of games they want though. Lucky for me, they REALLY want those games so I've got them hooked. He wants this deal to go through as much as I do, so he is motivated. I offered him the $150 worth of games and a nice crisp $100 bill. Didn't take him more than 10 seconds to agree. Not only did I save myself $30-$40 worth of value, if I were buying these online, but I didn't pay the full $150 value for the games I'm trading away (as I'm confident he didn't either), so I'm coming out even further ahead. This usually ends in a awesome scenario where both parties feel like they walked away with a deal. Love it!


RARE/VALUABLE FOR COMMON/CHEAP

I think this is the trickiest situation I've discussed so far. How do I value my Power Blade 2 vs. your lot of Contra, Ninja Gaiden, Zelda, type games. It's easy to add up the values and go straight dollar for dollar, but would I really want to? I have pretty good odds of finding those games at a thrift store, a garage sale, a friend's basement, a Kijiji/Craigslist listing for a good price at some point. I have very little chance of finding another copy of Power Blade 2 anywhere, let alone for a deal. I could hold out and try and trade it for something else of similar rarity/value instead, but that means a lot of waiting for that perfect deal. "I'll tell you what. I know the value is pretty close right now, but I'm gonna need you to throw in that Battletoads and Black Box Donkey Kong so I feel like I'm getting my rarity worth on this one."

These kinds of games are much harder to pry from peoples' hands and if you are serious about obtaining them, come to the table prepared to trade slightly over average prices for them if you're using items of significantly lower rarity, especially if they are in fantastic condition. Hopefully, you've been scoring some deals on your trade items so it won't cost you retail when it's all said and done.


TRADING PARTS/ODDS n ENDS 

This is your chance to turn your garbage into gold! Don't need those extra PS2 controllers anymore? Got a stack of manuals you don't care for? Duplicate N64 system? Those are someone else's gold. That's gonna be your new copy of Comix Zone and the strategy guide for Breath of Fire you've been looking for for years. Don't expect top dollar for your items, but if you're willing to do your house cleaning in bulk, it can really pay off.

MODERN FOR RETRO AND VICE VERSA

This one is an oddity. As a collector, it's hard for me to understand trading older items that can't be replaced by walking into a Wal-Mart to pick up off the shelf, for an item that you can. Always happy to take advantage of that though!

PAY IT FORWARD TRADE

These are super fun and kinda go hand-in-hand with the the friend-to-friend trade. You know that dude that is going for a full N64 set and is missing something dumb like Ken Griffey Jr. Slugfest? Just give it to them. Even something a little more valuable. Mario Tennis? No problem. Feel good and tell them to pass along a good deed themselves. It'll come back to you in good ways eventually!

SECRET SANTA

While not a traditional "trade" perhaps, if you think about it as essentially what it is. You just don't get to choose what you get in return. I find it super fun to put together a gift for someone and just patiently wait to see how much they love it. I have participated in a little more than half a dozen Secret Santas and have NEVER been disappointed. WildBil52 does a great job organizing one on RF Generation each year. Definitely check it out this year!

THE FLIP IT TRADE

Ever scored such a good deal that you feel the need to pass along a deal to someone else? Picked up that Earthbound for $10 from a thrift store. Maybe I'll trade it for an awesome $100 game instead of trying to milk that $150 out of it. I got a great deal, why shouldn't I spread some love and make someone else's day?

TRADING WITH THE LOTTERY WINNER

This is a relatively new one. With the rise of Facebook "Game Wheels" there are a lot of great rare and valuable games changing hands these days. The sad thing is that many of them are going to people that just wanna cash out, instead of someone who is going to appreciate them. Even more sad, is that it seems like a lot of the winners are willing to hold out for insane prices/trades even though they only spend a fraction of the item's price on a ticket to the wheel. I've seen stuff like a sealed Exertainment Mountain Bike Rally/Speed Racer, Star Fox Super Weekend, and CIB Bubble Bath Babes get shopped around for months with the new owner very publicly shaming people for "terrible offers" of thousands of dollars worth of cash and trades. These seem impossible to actually pry out of their hands even though they say they don't want them (why did you buy the ticket then!!). Anyone have a success story with one of these?



With how the deals from hunting for games keep diminishing over time, I've found that trades have replaced my regular hunting as the most satisfying way to add new items to my library. I enjoy talking with people and learning about their gaming/collecting interests and helping them achieve goals related to that. It can feel just as good  to help someone else, even a stranger, as it can to get new items for you to take home and enjoy. Now, update those wishlists and post your trades!!


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Comments
 
Great read!!!  I don't do much trading but the few that I have done were really fun to do.

Keep up the good work Crabmaster.

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