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How to sell your board game collection

Posted Tuesday, 13-Oct-2015

When the time comes to let go of some of your games, there are plenty of ways to make them pay for your next purchase.

 

By Carol LaGrow and Andrew Knighton

Updated May 15, 2019

 

 

There are many reasons you might want to sell board games, even as you keep playing the ones you love.  With a range of different sites offering both general and specialist markets, you can make money back on your old games from the comfort of your home.

 

Why would I sell my board games?

Even for the hard core game fan, there are plenty of reasons you might want to sell board games.

Maybe you’re running out of storage space and want to fit the latest releases on your shelves.  Maybe you have games that haven’t been played in years, and clearing them out will make it easier to find your favorites. Perhaps you want to raise some money to pay for that new Star Wars: X-Wing expansion or the latest version of Carcassonne.

Whatever the reason, it’s probably a struggle to bring yourself to sell board games. You love your games, you don’t want to let them go, even the unplayed ones.  If you sell games online, it at least takes out a lot of the hassle, making it easier to overcome that resistance.

 

Sell your board game collection all at once

Listing, selling, and shipping games individually can be a lot of work, especially if you have hundreds or even thousands of games to sell.

Fortunately, there are websites that will buy multiple games, or entire collections, making it easier and much more convenient to find some space on the shelf and boost your gaming budget.

 

Noble Knight Games is the largest board game buyer on the internet.  They have been in business since 1997, and have over 250,000 unique items in stock. One of the great things about Noble Knight Games is that they will let you sell board games in bulk to them.

 

Noble Knight Games’ warehouse is 25,000 sq ft.
Noble Knight Games’ warehouse is 25,000 sq ft.

 

Aaron Leeder of Noble Knight Games tells us more:

 

BoardGamePrices: Are there best practices, or do you have any tips for people looking to sell games to you?

Noble Knight Games: We are pretty flexible in making the process simple and painless. For those that wish to have a quote ahead of time, make sure your list includes the manufacturer and edition of the game, as well as noting any cool expansions or promos (which can sometimes be worth more than the game itself!).  We also have some sellers who just prefer to send their items/collections in for a quote. Completeness is important. Sometimes a missing piece or two can really affect the value of a game.

BGP: Is there a best time of year to sell to you?

NKG: Not particularly. Busy time periods like the holidays might take us an extra day or two to process, but there is no best or worst time.

BGP: What is the average number of games a person sells to you at one time? What’s the largest collection you’ve bought?

NKG: It varies greatly depending on whether someone is just weaning a few games out of their collection, or potentially moving and looking to sell their entire collection.  The largest collection we purchased was 4 POD’s full!  That one took more than two weeks just to quote.

 

Noble Knight Games’ receiving area
Noble Knight Games’ receiving area

 

BGP: What information do you ask for when someone wants to sell a game?

NKG: Typically we are looking for title, edition and condition and any extras or incompletes.  If we have specific questions, we will write back.

BGP: How much can someone expect to receive for a game? How much does it change for a new game versus used condition?

NKG: The percentages vary greatly depending on demand, condition, edition and our supply.  The best valued games are ones that we are out of stock on, because that typically means a game is readily sellable, or a rare collectible item.

BGP: How is the postage handled?

NKG: As long as the trade is of sufficient value, we mail out prepaid FedEx labels so that you may mail your games to us and bill it to our account directly.  We are also working on integrating an e-label system in the coming months so that we can just email the seller the pre-paid shipping label.

BGP: What about packing? Do you prefer a certain size or type of box? How much and what kind of packaging? Bubblewrap, peanuts, paper?

NKG: Boxes in the neighborhood of 16x12x12 are an ideal size, so as not to be too heavy or too large. Bubblewrap is perfect, but paper and peanuts work just as well if used diligently around the edge of the box.

Click here to learn more about selling board games to Noble Knight.

 

BoardGameCo.com is another established retailer who will buy board game collections.

Alex Radcliffe of BoardGameCo gave us an inside look.

 

A bird’s eye view of BoardGameCo’s 3200 sq ft warehouse
A bird’s eye view of BoardGameCo’s 3200 sq ft warehouse

 

BoardGamePrices: Are there best practices, or do you have any tips for people looking to sell games to you?

BoardGameCo: 1) When selling games to a store, understand why you’re selling to a store. Stores offer convenience. They’re a great place to sell your games when you want to get a quick payment, and a single shipment.

2) Have a minimum quantity of games to sell. Shipping costs being what they are, selling a handful of games is never worth it.

3) Try to provide as much information as you can in the initial correspondence. Conditions, editions, extras, and more.

4) Opt for store credit if you’re still in the hobby. It will get you further than cash and if you’re spending the money anyways…

BGP: Is there a best time of year to sell to you?

BGC: February – September. Once we hit 4th quarter everyone is trying to sell their games to us in preparation for holiday shopping. There’s only so many copies of Pandemic we can take before the price drops. It might not be a huge difference but you’ll often get a bit more back between February and September when volume is lower.

BGP: How many games do you buy in an average month? In an average year?

BGC: We buy hundreds of games each month and thousands each year. Our peak season tends to be Nov-Dec where we can sometimes purchase thousands of games in a single month. Our volume has been steadily increasing this past year in pace with our growth.

BGP: What is the average number of games a person sells to you at one time? What’s the largest collection you’ve bought? Do you have a maximum collection size?

BGC: Most people sell between 10-20 games at once. The largest single purchase we ever made was for a collection of 150 games. We don’t have a maximum but we do have a monthly allocation of how much we spend on people’s collections. If you’re selling a larger collection you can expect to be paid out over several months to ensure we aren’t turning away other gamers.

 

An incoming shipment of games being scanned to the shelves
An incoming shipment of games being scanned to the shelves

 

BGP: What information do you ask for when someone wants to sell a game?

BGC: Condition, sometimes edition (when it matters), and any noteworthy extras or issues such as inserts, smoking home, etc.

BGP: How much can someone expect to receive for a game? How much does it change for a new game versus used condition? Do you offer store credit, and is it offered at a different rate?

BGC: It can range drastically from 5%-50% of market value, and even that isn’t the high and low end. Multiple factors contribute to that number; on the high end you’ll see closer to 50% when we don’t have that much stock and the game is popular enough that we expect to move it quickly. The longer we think a game will sit unsold, or the more copies we have in stock, the less we can offer. I would say that on average you can expect between 20-35% of market value across a selection of games, but of course that can vary.

We do offer more for extras and/or new, and we do offer store credit at a higher rate as it means we aren’t tying up cash.

BGP: How is the postage handled? Do you offer options for the carrier?

BGC: As long as you’re selling more than a few games, we’ll cover shipping. It’s all through Fedex as we have a significant rate discount with them. If you can only use an alternate carrier we can offer a bit more for the games themselves and you can cover the shipping.

BGP: What about packing? Do you prefer a certain size or type of box? How much and what kind of packaging? Bubblewrap, peanuts, paper?

BGC: Definitely. This is covered more in our selling guide but we like larger boxes over smaller boxes, as long as they are not too large and not filled with air. As far as packaging material, the main goal is enough material to ensure the games aren’t moving around in transit, and while we prefer bubblewrap or paper due to its lack of associated mess, anything is fine.

Click here to learn more about selling board games to BoardGameCo.

 

More places to sell board games online

Amazon and eBay both have well-established and trustworthy systems for secondhand sales, and eBay bidding can let you get a great sale price on your game.  On the other hand, the same bidding system can leave you earning next to nothing, and these sites don’t have a specialist audience of gamers. Amazon also has requirements that sellers must meet, especially around the holidays.

 

eBay and Amazon tend to have higher selling fees than other sites.
eBay and Amazon tend to have higher selling fees than other sites.

 

Although eBay and Amazon tend to have higher selling fees than other sites, games may also sell much quicker.

BoardGameGeek provides an audience entirely made up of gamers, and lets you set the price you want.  It’s free to list in the BoardGameGeek marketplace, and you’re charged a fee of 3% of the sale price when the game sells.

BoardGameGeek charges a 3% commission for selling board games.
BoardGameGeek charges a 3% commission for selling board games.

 

There is also a “geeklist auction” option that allows users to set a starting price and accept bids during a set amount of time. While most sellers accept PayPal, the seller may specify any payment method or combination of methods.

Reddit users can sell games using the BoardGameExchange subreddit, a place that draws those looking for second hand games.

 

Don’t Let Your Old Games Go to Waste

It can be fun to remember the times you played those games sitting on your shelf, but if you’re not playing them anymore, you can turn them into funds to buy something new.  Why not give it a go and make some space for new titles on your shelf?

 

Published by BoardGamePrices.com



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