(The somewhat brief version, anyhow)
Sometimes people ask me how to sell a game.
Because I have a website, I guess. Usually the questions are in these two categories.
Craigslist is probably the easiest thing to do. Post the game cheap, and it will go. Of course, you have to figure out the pricing and deal with various Craiglist crazies.
If you’re in Northern California, call Pinball Pirate. They have good moving tools to get games out of awkward locations in your house.
CaptainsAuctionWarehouse.com, if you can get the game to Anaheim, is a good way to go. They take a few weeks to pay and a substantial seller’s premium, but it’s a good way to get “full” value. You might also try eBay, although of course, you’ll have to figure out shipping (perhaps have the buyer contact Michelle Bianchi).
Last, and least, I buy games. If it’s something I’m looking for, I can give a good price. But I’m not really looking for anything right now–so that means I am buying at prices that are just too good to pass up. If you want to sell something to a nice guy always looking for a good deal, email me and get an honest lowball offer.
Pricing is very difficult, and differ wildly based on title, condition, and location.
A lot of games are given away just because they’re not worth the trouble. If you’re giving away games, email me.
Parts value of a game probably starts around $200, but nobody pays $200 for a parts game. They probably bottom out around $50.
A decent Pac-Man might be $1000. It’s in demand, but it was made in large numbers. A really clean Pac-Man, restored, might be higher. A home-use one, unmoved since 1981, would go for a lot more.
Now, your game can be higher or lower value than that. There are enough Pac-Man cabinets that most everyone who wants one has one. The same cannot be said for Spy Hunter or the “environmental” version of Discs of Tron, so these go for more money.
I recently (late 2021) sold a working, decent Spy Hunter at auction for over $4000. In private sales, I think it would go for half that.
On the other hand, for a generic conversion game with no following, you might be looking at just the cost of a parts cabinet.
Cabinet condition matters, but as these were commercial equipment and were widely mistreated, most cabinets have flaws. Water damage happened to seemingly every particle board cabinet.
Restoration probably helps the value if it’s done well — and it frequently isn’t.
Minor glitches in controls don’t matter much (they’re easily fixed) but electronic problems may or may not affect value.
There is another consideration that is important: the seller’s motivation. If you’re moving, expect lower offers on your prized collectible. If it’s down a flight of stairs with a 90-degree turn in a basement with mice? Less. Much less. Maybe $0.