Retro collecting is an expensive hobby. Prices fluctuate so frequently that some retailers don’t even bother putting prices on the merchandise.
It doesn’t take long to notice the fact that systems, although varied in price by system are usually in the $60+ range, there’s game easily going $5+. You know what you’re paying is a considerable profit in comparison to what the seller has paid for the merchandise in most cases as a majority is stock bought from people bringing in their stuff.
I’ve had conversations with resellers and found a few different routes they take as far as getting stock, the main 3 are:
1. Buying collections off people for as little as possible, maybe going half value for it.
2. Offering more in trade but less in cash as trades can save money, as the seller is trading their marked up merchandise and loses less profit on the deal.
3. Some offer higher deals for buying which can bring in better merchandise and then make up the profit margin on volume.
Unless the person walking through the door isn’t aware of the value of the merchandise, most collectors are not interested in getting half value on a system. This opens up a new can of worms because collectors become resellers to support their collections. It’s easy to fetch a good price on that spare NES you have, so why wouldn’t you?
I don’t personally have an issue with it, while hunting you come across deals on things that maybe you don’t collect for but you can’t pass up. My thing is then how much do you charge? It’s handy to make a few extra dollars, but is it always worth squeezing every cent out of it?
The higher the prices go on these systems, the game prices follow and as more people enter the market, the more scare and thus valuable the items become. I think it’s great that people are showing love to old systems again, but as collectors we’re blowing up the market on ourselves. This is why I refer to it as a dual edged sword, we’d love to see prices come back down but we also actively drive the prices up.
I don’t see this changing too much in the near future as retro gaming is gaining more abd more in popularity.