Did you buy video games with your stimulus check from Uncle Sam? Join the crowd. The IRS mailed the first stimulus checks on May 2nd and by May 6th video game resale prices started increasing. Just enough time for people to cash their checks and choose their games.
The chart below shows the average resale video game price for 2007 and 2008 (The average includes more than 5,000 video games from every console from NES to Xbox 360). The prices shown are an indexed price starting at 1 so you can see the relative price change easier. Because video games drop in price, for the most part, the actual 2007 average price is higher than 2008 average price.
Video Game Prices April 17th to June 16th - 2007 vs 2008
Zoomed in Game Price Data for May
The prices in April 2007 and 2008 followed almost the exact same pattern in price depreciation, but starting May 6th the prices diverge. 2008 prices start increasing while 2007 continues to decrease. The gap continues to widen until May 22nd, six days after the last stimulus check arrived. The difference in prices has slowly shrunk ever since.
This tells us a few things about the stimulus checks and video games:
- Some people bought used video games with their checks.
- People didn't wait very long to start spending the checks
- The stimulus looks to be only temporary. The prices are slowly going back to the prices they would have been without the checks.
It will be interesting to see when the prices actually do converge again and how long the stimulus actually lasts. I'll have to run another analysis later this summer to find out.
Average video game prices came from VGPC.com