Trials and Tribulations of a Reseller & Collector By: Josh “joppybabbo” Boley

[notice]This is a guest post from a friend (Josh Boley) on Reddit and feel free to leave comments and questions here for him[/notice]

This is a dangerous admission considering I’m an active member of /r/gameswap and /r/retrogameswap, but here goes:  I am one of those dirty, disgusting, lying, low-balling, no-good video game resellers.  Now before you get out your torches and pitchforks, try to understand that I’m a collector first, and a reseller second – I only use reselling as a means to grow my personal collection.

I’m getting ahead of myself; let’s go back to the beginning.  I grew up in a middle-class family, in a small town in the Midwest.  I got into gaming before I went to kindergarten.  Now since my family wasn’t wealthy, if I wanted a video game I had three options:  1. Wait until my birthday 2. Wait until Christmas 3. Trade in all or parts of my collection toward something else.  Well the first and second options only happened once a year (each), so I always ended up trading in my entire collection for something newer.  Every time I did that, there was guilt, shame, and a general sadness that followed me around.  I still get stuck on that depressing image of past me, gladly handing over an entire collection for some shiny piece of next-gen hardware with one or two decent games.   I did this over and over again, well into my adult years.

Fast forward to age 27; two growing boys, a lovely (understanding) wife, and a decent full-time job.  Money was spent on diapers and family things, and buying or playing video games was a rare treat.  Every time I would sit down to play for an hour, my oldest son would be intrigued.  He always asked me if he could watch me play, but I told him I’d rather play *with* him.  We started off playing Plants vs. Zombies from the PSN network.  I could tell he enjoyed it, but he couldn’t read yet, and the complexity and strategy of the game was a few years above his head.  First thing the next morning, I scour Craigslist for a Super Nintendo.  I found with a few games for $40, and promptly picked it up later that evening.  When I arrived home, I hooked up the system, popped in Super Mario World, and asked my son to sit down and play with me.  He absolutely loved it!  It was like I was reliving my childhood all over again with my son.   When I went to bed that night, I asked my wife if I could set aside $200, and start buying some more games for us to play together.  She agreed, and I started wheeling-and-dealing on Craigslist.  The problem was, any games for sale were being sold with a system.  So I started buying $40-$50 lots, taking out what we wanted to keep, and then tried reselling what was left over to recoup some of our expenses.

After a few trips half-way across Colorado, I decided that if I was going to do this, I needed to be smart about it.  So I created a spreadsheet, made a budget, and started keeping track of everything.  It’s now been six months; a LOT of stuff has come through my doors.  Some of it has been hard to let go, but in general, it’s been a blast.  I have a bunch of lessons learned that I will post, and a few not-so-proud moments I’d be happy to share if anyone cares.

* Being a reseller is not as evil as it’s made out to be.  If you do it with some integrity, it’s a great source of income that you can use to satiate your need to collect.

Continue reading to PART TWO: Buying —>

Dustin

Founder of VideoGameRescue.com and host of our podcast Video Game Rescue!