Last Updated on September 22, 2023
Perhaps, you are a gaming enthusiast and looking to make money off the industry at the same time. That’s a smart move you won’t regret if done right. As a support for your cause, we have developed this guide on how to start buying and selling video games for profit to walk you through.
But let’s first introduce you to basic knowledge. The tactic is to buy games at low prices and sell them at higher ones – that’s flipping. Additionally, you can partner with game developers for promotional activities for more profit, despite the initial cost of promotion. Promoting multiple games can increase your returns. And if you can go a step further, you could establish an online game store, inviting developers to host their games on your platform.
Enough with the stories now – this post will guide you “step by step” on strategies and a clear pathway to turn your love for video games into a lucrative venture.
How to Start Buying and Selling Video Games for Profit
1. Start with a Careful Market Research
You need to understand the video game market before investing in it. The typical step is to research popular video game platforms like PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, and PC. Study the top-selling video games. Try to understand what makes them successful. Investigate the target demographics and their gaming preferences.
You will also keep an eye on upcoming game releases. Use sources such as gaming websites, forums, social media channels, and online marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, and GameStop. Consider developing a spreadsheet to track trends and pricing details.
Here are our tabulated market research activities:
|Popular Platforms Research||Understand which platforms have high demand|
|Top-selling Games Analysis||Find out what games sell best|
|Demographic Studies||Understand your potential customer|
|Upcoming Releases Monitoring||Be prepared for new game launches|
|Price Trend Tracking||Predict potential profit margins|
2. Buy the Video Games
Once you’ve done your research to start buying and selling video games for profit and developed a strategy, start purchasing video games. Remember to stick to your budget and not rush. Take time to inspect the physical condition of used games and the reputation of online sellers.
And importantly, maintain a record of all your purchases, including the cost and source, for future reference and accounting purposes.
|Inspection||Ensure the game’s quality|
|Seller Reputation||Check to avoid scams|
|Purchase Record||Track spending and source of purchase|
For the best deals on video games, industry experts recommend looking at listings on websites like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Shpock. You’ll find two types of sellers: those who list their consoles at a low price for quick selling, and those who might need a bit of haggling.
You can hunt for the best deals by looking for
a. Look for Local Listings
Local listings often give you the best deals. Firstly, you save on shipping fees. Secondly, you face less competition because most buyers prefer home delivery over self-pickup. Here’s how to find local listings:
|eBay||Sort listings by ‘distance first’ to see the ones closest to you. Look for ‘free collection only’ listings to avoid postage costs and minimize competition.|
|Facebook Marketplace/Shpock||These platforms show local pickup listings by default. You can also filter the search results for a better match.|
b. Look for Cheap Bundles
Even if you can’t collect in person, there are ways to find cheap bundles:
|eBay||Filter searches to find auctions. Here are two strategies:|
|Ending soonest: Try placing a bid at the last second to get a good deal.|
|Newly listed: Sometimes, sellers who don’t know the value of their item might list it at a low ‘buy it now’ price.|
|Facebook Marketplace/Shpock||Message sellers directly for negotiation. However, keep in mind these sites operate on a ‘first come first served’ basis.|
3. Determine the Value of the Game
When you find a game bundle that catches your eye, you then determine its value before calling or making a bid. One tool you can use is the retailer CEX, which lets you look up the price they’d pay for each item. CEX is no longer available in the US though; now in the UK.
Consider the purchase price, current market value, condition of the game, and platform fees.
Selling platforms, as earlier mentioned, include eBay, Amazon, Facebook Marketplace, and your website. Each platform has its pros and cons, like visibility, fees, and user base, which should be considered when choosing where to sell.
Let’s say you are using CEX UK…
- Go to CEX’s website.
- Use their search tool to find the items in the bundle.
- Note down how much the platform would pay for each item.
Do this for each item in the bundle. If you have an account, you can add the video games to your selling basket, select ‘I want to sell this item’, and CEX will automatically calculate the total for you.
Now, let’s illustrate this process with a new game bundle example, this time from eBay. This package includes a console with all cables, two controllers, two nunchucks, a fitness board, two steering wheels, and 9 games.
Before you jump in, check the images and descriptions to ensure all parts are included and functioning.
The games in this bundle are:
- Grand Theft Auto
- Call of Duty
- The Last of Us
- Red Dead Redemption
- God of War
- Resident Evil
To give you a better idea of the value of this bundle, let’s look up the value of each item on CEX site:
|Item||Cash Value at CEX||Voucher Value at CEX|
|Console with all cables and remote||£11||£16|
|Grand Theft Auto||£8||£12|
|Call of Duty||£7||£10|
|The Last of Us||£4||£6|
|Red Dead Redemption||£4||£6|
|God of War||£2||£4|
|Steering Wheel (x2)||60p||£1.20|
4. List Your Video Games for Sale
Create engaging, honest listings for your games. Include high-quality images, detailed descriptions, and condition reports. Answer potential buyers’ questions promptly and professionally. Provide excellent customer service to encourage positive reviews, which can boost future sales.
|Images||Show the product visually|
|Description||Provide details about the game|
|Condition Report||Detail the game’s condition|
|Customer Service||Maintain good relationships with buyers|
5. Make a Bid
Make a bid once on your preferred platform once you’ve estimated an item’s worth, decide on the highest amount you’re willing to pay while still making a profit.
You could, for example, aim for at least 50% profit on your investment. If you’re targeting a bundle that costs $60, you might want to set your maximum bid at around $30 for cash, or $40 if you want a voucher (depending on the platform, and let’s say you use CEX).
At eBay auctions, you can specify a max bid. The system will then bid up to this limit for you. You only have to bid once and then just watch the auction. If the bids exceed your limit, you’ll simply lose the auction (remember not to exceed your set maximum).
However, if no one else surpasses your limit, you’ll win the item. You might even pay less than your limit if the bidding doesn’t reach that high.
If you’re buying from Facebook Marketplace or Shpock, remember your max price and start a conversation with the seller.
Start by offering slightly less than your max price, allowing room for negotiation. If the item is already a good deal, avoid negotiating as it might discourage the seller. Use your discretion here.
6. Resell Video Games After Getting a Good Deal
… and confirming a potential profit on a platform like CEX, you want to decide on how you’ll resell.
a. Sell to CEX
CEX offers cash or a voucher for your items. You can either visit a store in person or use their online service by printing a free postage label and sending your items to their warehouse. Once processed, they’ll send you payment.
If you’re looking for a quick profit with minimal effort, sell everything to CEX immediately. However, be aware that you might not get the best value for all items.
CEX sometimes offers poor rates for certain games (like 1p cash), so consider excluding these. Items worth less than £1 at CEX can often fetch a better price elsewhere, like eBay.
b. Resell on eBay
Often, eBay offers the highest prices for reselling consoles and accessories. How does it work?
- Listing your items: You can list your items on eBay using the ‘Buy It Now’ option. Generally, set the listing for 30 days and price your item appropriately.
- Finding the right price: You can find the average selling price for similar items by searching for your item, then filtering to ‘completed and sold’ listings. This will show you what these items have sold for in the past, helping you set your own price.
eBay and PayPal charge fees to start buying and selling video games for profit. eBay charges a 10% fee on the sale price (including P&P), and PayPal adds another 3% in fees.
start buying and selling video games for profit
Now, let’s look at some specific items you might sell on eBay:
|Item||CEX Value||eBay Value|
|Wii consoles||£11 (Including console, all cables, and a Wii controller)||$10-$20 for just the console and wires; £7-$10 per controller|
|Wii Balance Boards||£4 for a balance board and 1p for a Wii Fit game||$15-$25 for a balance board and game bundle|
|‘1p’ games||20p or less per game||Around $30 for a bundle of 18 games|
It shows that you can often get a higher value reselling video games of items on eBay than at CEX.
7. Choose How to Get Paid
There are two main options when you’re selling your items to CEX – getting paid in cash or opting for vouchers. Both choices have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Cash vs Vouchers:
|Cash||Immediate liquidity||Might need to declare it for tax purposes|
|Vouchers||Higher price for your items, no need to worry about taxes||Only useful if you plan on buying from CEX again|
If you’re selling your items to make cash (also known as flipping), remember you might need to report this income to the tax authority. This holds true if you’re selling things on platforms like eBay as well.
If you’re buying items just to resell them, you might need to complete a self-assessment tax form at the end of the year. So, make sure to keep track of everything!
However, voucher payments can be a smarter choice since you get a better price and also avoid having to deal with tax issues (if you use CEX platform or similar).
8. Manage Shipping and Customer Service
Once your games start buying and selling video games for profit, you’ll need to manage shipping and customer service. Ensure items are shipped promptly and safely.
Follow up with customers to ensure satisfaction and address any concerns quickly. Good customer service can lead to repeat purchases and positive reviews, further enhancing your reputation.
|Shipping||Ensures safe and timely delivery|
|Customer Service||Ensures customer satisfaction and fosters repeat business|
There you go – that’s the basics you need to know to start buying and selling video games for profit. Now you’re ready to get into the business both as an enthusiast and as someone who just needs some profitable side hustle.
Read also: How to Open a Thrift Store with No Money