If you were wondering how my sell old games business was going, the answer is Very Good, thank you.
In fact, I am down to just two games left out of the original picture: Persona 2 and Castlevania: SotN. Everything else sold surprisingly quickly. And so I wanted to take a moment to share both how I sold the games and how I shipped them.
First, I sold on PriceCharting.com. Since that is one of the main sites to gauge how much a game is worth in the first place, it seemed easy enough to just sell it there. And just like with Wikipedia, you can always check the sources yourself (sold eBay and/or Amazon listings) to make sure the price is legit.
There are two interesting things about PriceCharting as well. One, they don’t charge listing fees or really fees of any kind. You do have to set up a Paypal account (which gets a cut) and then turn that into a business-level account and give them some rights to that in order for them to accept payment on your behalf, but it’s not that complicated. Two, PriceCharting tell you how many people have wishlisted a specific game and will then email them all if you list your game for less than the average price. Compare that with… what, listing on eBay and hoping people happen to search for it the week your auction is up?
Prior to selling anything though, you have to prepare for shipping.
After a lot of research, I went for a simple solution: USPS. If you live in the US, you can go to USPS.com and order packing material delivered to your house, for free! Specifically, I ordered Priority Mail DVD Boxes and Priority Mail Padded Envelopes. You can also order bubble wrap from USPS too, but it’s cheaper on Amazon. After a week or so, all your packaging will arrive and you will be in business.
Then just… use all of the things.
For PS1 games in jewel cases, I wrapped them up in one square (12″) of bubble wrap, then placed them inside the cardboard DVD box. I then cut strips of additional bubble wrap to stuff the DVD box some more to prevent the jewel case from sliding around too much. Once the DVD box is sealed shut, I put that inside the bubble mailer, which I then folded over and sealed. The end product looks like this:
Overkill? Maybe. The DVD box by itself seems too open to the elements for my liking, and I’m not even the one spending literal hundreds of dollars for a PS1 game. The bubble mailer would otherwise be the ideal method, but what else are you going to do to prevent it from sloshing around in there and possibly cracking the case? My shipping method combines the benefits of both for literally the same price. Specifically, a flat rate of $9.65 for 2-day shipping and a tracking number.
The Post Office probably wouldn’t be happy using their packaging this way, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
PS2 games in comparison are a breeze. I shipped them the same way, but the DVD boxes are built to hold them better than jewel cases, so bubble wrap is hardly necessary. Sometimes I cut a small square to place inside the game case though, to help lessen damage in case the disk comes loose.
The most advanced maneuver I had to do was the “double-double” wherein the same guy bought two double-jewel case PS1 games. Unlike the photo above with PS2 games, you can’t fit two jewel cases in a single DVD box. I did discover though that if you box up the two games separately and then cut off the cardboard “wings” of both DVD cases, you can just barely fit two of the cardboard cases inside one bubble mailer.
I ended up springing for extra insurance for that particular package, so I didn’t save much shipping-wise.
And shipping costs are kind of the rub for this hustle. Yeah, it’s absolutely worth it to sell the games if you still have them. But once you get down to the $40 range, paying 25% of that to ship it out starts to seem a bit silly. Then again, 75% of something is worth more than 0% sitting in a box, so maybe I keep things moving until it starts getting not worth the time spent driving to the Post Office.
Anyway. Might seem like a weird post, but this was precisely the sort of thing I was looking for before I started this endeavor, so… you’re welcome, internet. This is me paying it forward.