PriceCharting.com

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Rental DVD's With Missing Features Suck

I rented Scott Pilgrim vs the World last night and loved all video game references. I noticed ones like the Zelda Link to the Past theme, Q*bert sound when a guy jumped down the stairs, and all the enemies turning into coins like in River City Ransom. There were probably tons of references I missed so I decided to watch the commentaries and trivia on the Bonus Features menu.

This is what the DVD shows though:

"This disc is intended for rental purposes only and only includes the feature film."


"Own it on Blu-Ray or DVD to view these bonus features and complete your moving watching experience"


What a pain. I was watching a rental and not a purchased copy. The deal with a movie rental used to be I get it for a limited time vs owning it and being able to watch the movie as many times as I want.

Now rental means I get it for a limited time AND features are missing. I won't be surprised if someday rental means I get to the final fight scene and I get a message saying:

"RENTAL COPY: Buy the DVD or Blu-Ray to see the rest of the movie"

Has anyone else seen this on their DVD's from Netflix or RedBox? What do you think about it?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Will Super Mario All-Stars Stay Limited Edition?

I was out shopping for Christmas presents this year and saw tons of signs for Super Mario All-Stars Wii at my local Best Buy. Every corner of the game section had a Wii case with Mario all over it, but none of them had the game inside. They only had other Wii accessories and games. The game was all sold out according to the sales clerk.

My local Target, two GameStops, and a Wal-mart were the same way.

I checked online GameStop and they were all out too and so was Amazon.

The game is reselling for $55-60, which is nearly double the $29.99 MSRP. Nintendo must not have made very many copies.

Do you think Nintendo will keep this as a limited edition and not make any more copies or will more Mario All-Stars flood the stores soon after the new year?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Beatles Can Help You Make Money Next Christmas

Beatles Rock Band Limited Edition Wii
If your looking to make some extra money next holiday season and you have some extra storage space - buy and resell Beatles Rock Band Limited Edition for Wii.

This year the price of Beatles Rock Band for Wii increased from about $230-240 in the summer to $425 in December. The lowest price on Amazon right now is $430 and eBay is $479.

These are list prices so people might not pay these high prices, but I personally sold a Limited Edition Wii version in December for $380 and the most recent sale on ebay was for $300.

Here's what you do:

Next August or September you find the lowest prices for the complete package (you could use our handy current listing comparison feature if you want). Buy five or six of these and store them in your garage, basement, or anywhere else. Around the 1st to 15th of December list these for sale on eBay and Amazon with a Buy It Now price of $340-350 and see if they sell.

My guess is next year you will be able to make some money doing this. MTV Games isn't making more of these limited edition bundles and they seem to be really popular Christmas gifts.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tabs and Better Completed Auctions

Now With Tabs

We've finished reworking our game page design to better highlight some of the features available. The new design also frees up some screen real estate for future enhancements. The top portion of the page is the same as before. The bottom portion has a series of tabs:



The Used Prices tab is the content you see when loading the page. It highlights typical prices from various online retailers. The Current Listings tab shows the comparison of live listings feature that we've mentioned before. Unlike before, the current listings feature doesn't destroy the page; so you can click back to Used Prices instantly.

Completed Auctions Tab

The Completed Auctions tab displays information about recent sales on eBay. When the tab first loads, it looks similar to the pop-up dialog we used before, but inside a tab. It shows the date, amount and auction ID for each auction. A moment later, we ask eBay for some additional details about each auction and expand the table with the auction's title.


Having the title immediately available makes it easier to compare the several auctions without having to click through to eBay. If you notice a mistake, like that "Disc 2 only" copy of FF VII above, click the thumbs down button so we can remove it from our database.

Seeing the title also makes it easier to compare prices based on condition. If you're looking for a copy with the original box and instructions, just scan through the list to find a similar auction.

We're interested in adding more details about each completed auction. For instance, we might be able to show:
  • number of bids
  • shipping cost
  • seller's feedback score
  • item's condition (Good, Like New, etc)
  • an auction thumbnail image
Let us know in the comments what extra details you'd like to see.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Shipping Price in Live Listings Comparison

Earlier this year, we added a feature to let you compare individual listings across Amazon, eBay and Half. The feature is great for shopping because it queries the three vendor sites directly and compiles up-to-date results in one place. You can be sure you're getting the best deal without having to visit each site separately.

The resulting comparison price now includes the shipping cost for each item. This was the most requested enhancement to this feature. Unfortunately, Amazon doesn't provide an API for for shipping prices, so we assume $3.99 shipping for each Amazon listing. It's not ideal, but reflects typical Amazon shipping rates. eBay and Half listings reflect the actual shipping returned by their APIs.




Let us know in the comments if you want any other enhancements to this feature. Happy holiday shopping!

20% Off Gamestop Used Games

Gamestop is doing a promotion for 20% off all used games. The discount is only available on their website.

Use the coupon code: 20USED

When you are comparison shopping on VGPC keep this extra discount in mind. It might make the Gamestop price cheaper than other sites on a few games.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Black Friday Deals Start Early at Amazon


Amazon is starting their Black Friday video games dealsoff early this year.

Every couple of hours there is a new deal. Right now Batman: Arkham Asylum for 360is $14.99 brand new. But that deal only lasts for 2-3 hours, then a new deal starts. We thought some of our readers might like knowing about some of these deals.

I'm hoping to pick up some games I never had a chance to play and maybe a few Christmas gifts for family. I'm also checking the TV section every couple of hours because I'm wavering on buying a new HD TV. If the deal is good enough I must just pull the trigger.

Anyone know other websites or stores with video game or TV Black Friday deals?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Browsable PC Games

When we first added all PC and Mac games to our database, we couldn't fit them on a single page. 7,500+ games was just too many. Today we finished some changes allowing you to browse all the PC games on one page. If we did our job, it should work smoothly without bogging down your browser.

We also adjusted the way that filtering works on the console pages. When you select a genre from the drop down, you get a new page which you can bookmark. This is pretty handy if you like to check in on the most expensive RPG games for the PC, for example.

Let us know in the comments if you experience any problems.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Christmas Gift Ideas for Game Collectors

Buying Christmas gifts for game collectors can be tricky. They usually own all the easy to find games for their favorite systems. Maybe your lucky and the collector on your list is starting to collect a new console and has a huge list of games they need, but more often then not their collection is almost complete.

I hear from collectors all the time "I only need 6 more games to have the complete NES collection". So what do you get for these collectors? Here are a few ebay auctions up for sale right now that I'm pretty sure they don't own:

1992 Campus Challenge

1992 Campus Challenge
A video game collector has listed his copy of Nintendo Campus Challenge 1992 on ebay. The game is one of three known to exist and is for the Super Nintendo.

The opening bid is $15,000 which definitely sounds like a lot but the 1991 Campus Challenge for NES recently sold for $20K. So this gift is almost too cheap to pass up.

Pepsi Invaders

Pepsi Invaders Atari
If $15,000 is a bit out of your price range maybe you can afford something for $1,500 instead. Pepsi Invaders for Atari 2600 is up for sale now.

Pepsi Invaders was made by Coke and given away at a Coke sales convention. Only 125 were ever made.

Caltron 6-in-1

Not as rare as the other two, Caltron 6-in-1 is selling for $9.99 right now and will probably close at around $150-200. That's 1-100th the price of Campus Challenge 92.

Caltron 6-in-1 is an unlicensed game with six games on the cartridge. All of them are notoriously bad though so don't expect the collector to play it very long.

Whatever your budget is give the gift of game collecting this year - buy a rare game for a loved one.

Monday, November 8, 2010

New Chart Design

Today we've changed the charting component we display on game pages. The new chart looks like this:


You'll notice that the dots for each data point are gone. We removed them to make the chart less cluttered for games with long price histories. You can still move your mouse around the chart to see the price for each data point. As you hover, dots appear indicating which month you've selected. The price for that month is displayed in the upper-right corner:

These new charts should load quite a bit faster than the old charts, on average. Hopefully you'll spend less time waiting and more time enjoying the chart.

The new chart also does a better job scaling the vertical axis. This allows the chart line to occupy more screen real estate and shows better definition on price variations. The horizontal axis is divided by year making it easier to spot seasonal trends. For instance, Mario Kart 64 above consistently sees a small price increase in September with a larger increase in December.


You can also zoom in and out of the new charts by clicking the zoom links in the upper left.

By default, we show you all the data we have. If you only care about prices in the last year, you can show only those ones. For now, we don't provide additional price detail when you zoom in. We'd really like to support that, but haven't implemented it yet.

Some of you may notice that this new charting component uses Flash just like the old one. If you have an iPad, you're probably disappointed. We considered using a chart component based on HTML 5 and JavaScript, but couldn't find any with the features we needed.

What do you think of the new charts? Do you have any suggestions for improvement?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

How Big Is the Game Category on Ebay? Infographic

Have you ever wondered how many video games sell on eBay during the course of a day? Or what the most expensive game ever sold was? Or maybe how many copies of Super Mario 3 have sold since eBay was founded? (The answers are: 19,012 games per day; Stadium Events for $41,000; and 12,091 Mario 3's since founding)

We asked eBay to answer some of our readers' questions about the video game category on eBay. All the answers are compiled below in a handy infographic.

Ebay Video Game Infographic

Ebay Video Game Infographic
See Bigger Version Here

We want to give a huge "THANK YOU" to all the video game category managers on eBay who worked with us to gather all this information. All the data in the infographic comes directly from them.

What do you think the most interesting statistic is from the infographic? Let us know in the comments below.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

More PC and Mac Games


As mentioned earlier, one reason for rewriting our pricing algorithm was to handle the extra volume of Mac and PC games. A couple days ago, we added about 850 Mac games and 7,400 PC games to our database. Most of them have prices now. As time passes, more games will have prices and the reported sales volumes will improve.

We know that we've missed some games. We'll continue adding the stragglers as we find them. If you have favorite PC or Mac games that aren't listed yet, please let us know.

Unfortunately, with 7,500+ PC games, we aren't able to fit them all on the PC Games console page. Instead, we added a PC Games search box on that page to help you find what you want. We have a couple ideas how to show a price list, but haven't implemented them yet.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tons of Rare Games on Ebay This Week

Lots of video game collectors decided to sell some of their rare games at the same time. Ebay has quite a few rare games listed for sale, many with low starting prices and no reserve (and others with crazy high starting bids).

Nintendo World Championships Gray - $25,000 starting bid
Atlantis II for Atari 2600 - $250 starting ($454 now)
Extertainment Bike Rally and Speed Racer - $320 starting bid
Brand New Cheetahmen II - $0.99 starting (now $975)
Zelda's Adventure CDi Game - $0.99 starting (now $146)
New Dead Space Ultra Limited Edition - $0.99 starting ($3,350 now)

Complete Panesian NES games all from the same seller:
Hot Slots - $1,200
Peek-A-Boo Poker - $1,100
Bubble Bath Babes - $1,100
and a 2nd Sealed Cheetahmen II from the same seller

X-Play Video About Rare NES Games

The X-Play video we mentioned in a previous blog post aired last night. It is actually a well done piece about Nintendo World Championships, Nintendo Campus Challenge, and Stadium Events NTSC and VideoGamePriceCharts got some nice face time too.

See the video below:


Thanks Anyonymous blog commenter for giving us the heads up about the video posted on the G4 site.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

VGPC and Rare Games on X-Play

X-Play on G4TV is going to air a segment on Monday October 18th 2010 about the original Nintendo NES. As part of this episode they are going to talk about Nintendo World Championships Gray and Gold and Nintendo Campus Challenge.

They contacted us to get some high quality images for all three games and will put a "Courtesy of VideoGamePriceCharts.com" on the screen when they show.

VGPC will have officially made its debut on cable. Even though it will be the lower right corner and probably show for about 2 seconds, we were glad we could help spread the love for some rare video games.

Unfortunately I don't have cable or G4TV, but if any of our readers can watch the show on Monday please let us know how the segment is. And be sure to shout "I use that site!" to anyone in the room when the pictures show up.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Live Listing Feature Adjustment


In March, we released a feature for comparing individual listings from Amazon, eBay, and Half in one location. It's a convenient way to find the best deal across those sites without having to visit each one separately.

After using the feature ourself and monitoring how you use it, we've made a couple minor adjustments. When comparing listings, they're grouped by condition. We originally showed Brand New at the top and Acceptable at the bottom. It turns out that the Acceptable category is 5 times more popular than the Brand New category. We've now reversed the category order so that fewer visitors have to scroll down to see the listings they want.

When we first released the feature, we showed 10 listings in each condition category. It turns out the bottom 5 listings in each category weren't useful. The real deals happen in the top 5. We now show only the 5 least expensive listings in each category, so that you're not distracted by over-priced items.

We have other ideas for making this feature more useful like including shipping prices and adjusting the condition category based on each item's description. If you have ideas for improvement, let us know in the comments.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New Pricing Algorithms

Summary


After several months of effort, we've changed the way calculate we prices. For most products, the prices are close to what they were. For rare games and very popular games, the new prices better reflect the market. Here's a summary of the changes
  • a dramatically reduced weight for JJGames prices
  • more accurate prices for low-volume games
  • statistically confident prices for high-volume games
  • infrastructure changes to support more products (so we can add all PC Games eventually)
The full, gritty details are below.

Background

We collected our first price point in December 2006. At that time, VGPC wasn't even a glimmer in our eye. Collecting prices was an internal JJGames project to try and get a better idea what used games were worth. After using the data internally, we realized that others might want to see it too. When we launched VGPC in November 2007, we used the same pricing algorithm we had used from the start: an average of Half, Amazon and JJGames prices.
In February 2008, we started collecting eBay prices and added them to the average.

The following month, we recognized that using an average was inaccurate in many cases. We asked an economist friend for an easy way to improve the system. He suggested a two-tiered algorithm using the median price for products with 3 or more price points and the minimum price for products with 2 or fewer. We've used that algorithm for the last 30+ months, although the minimum rule rarely triggered.

In October 2009, we started discussing ideas for a more flexible pricing algorithm that adjusted itself to market conditions common with used video games. For example, there are lots of games that only sell a few copies each year. Other games sell dozens every day. Most games are somewhere in the middle. We wanted an algorithm that did "the right thing" for each of those classes of games to give the most accurate prices we could come up with.

Here's an explanation of how we achieved each of the main goals.

Lower Weight for JJGames Prices

One of our first goals was to give JJGames prices a much lower weight than eBay, Amazon and Half. JJGames does a much smaller sales volume than those three. It's also not a consumer-to-consumer marketplace like the others. The new algorithm only considers raw sales data from JJGames (never listing prices) and mixes those sales directly with eBay and private sales. We plan to add true sales data from other sources in the future.

The net effect is that a single sale on JJGames contributes substantially less than 1% to the final price of a game on VGPC, on average. This change has caused the VGPC price of some games to decrease which we think puts them closer to market value.

Collectible and Rare Games

Our second main goal was to price rare games more accurately. We're big fans of the rare game market and were disappointed that our site sometimes messed up when pricing rare, collectible games. Communities interested in artwork, baseball cards, Stradivarius violins and rare video games tend to price rare collectibles based on the most recent sale.

For example, there's only one copy of Nintendo Campus Challenge 1991. The last time it sold was for $20,100. Our old algorithm priced it at $14,000 which is obviously wrong. The new algorithm prices it correctly.

The trick was deciding when a game was rare enough to qualify for this algorithm. Some games have a low sales volume, but are readily available on Half or Amazon. We decided that a game averaging less than 1 sale per month with no available retail listings would be eligible. Currently about 4% of used games and 7% of brand new games are priced this way.

High Volume Games

Games that sell dozens of copies in a single day offered an exciting opportunity during the redesign: statistically significant market prices. In internal discussions, we had often wondered whether it were possible to have objective confidence about the prices we calculate. For most games it's not currently feasible, but for some high volume games it is.

This technique is only used for about 1% of prices (both used and brand new), so we won't belabor the details. The end result is that we're 80% certain that the price we calculate for these games is within 10% of the "true" market price. We also dynamically adjust between one, three, seven and fourteen days worth of sales to balance accuracy and recency. We choose the most recent sales data for which we can have the necessary confidence.

Typical Games

Most games are neither rare nor traded in high volumes. For these games, our old algorithm worked quite well. About 87% of used games and 71% of brand new games use the following algorithm now:
  • calculate the median sales price during the last 2 weeks
    • if there are no sales during that time, find the most recent sale
  • find the lowest listing price on Amazon
  • find the lowest listing price on Half
  • calculate the median of these three values.
It's worth noting that we do not include GameStop and JJGames listing prices in this algorithm. Those sites are retail venues with prices set by a single decision maker. Amazon and Half prices are established by a market interaction between buyers and sellers.

This algorithm uses the median heavily because the median is a robust way to measure central tendency. That robustness is very handy when dealing with sparse game data where outliers are likely. (Incidentally, the median is as robust as theoretically possible since it has a breakdown point of 0.5)

Although considering listing prices is not ideal, they're included because many games have lots of listings and the lowest list price is close to the sales price. Specifically, the list price is typically within 6% of the sales price.

No Price at All

Unfortunately, there's not always enough data to estimate a game's price at all. About 7% of used games and 20% of brand new games are in this category. As we continue to collect more sales and listing data, these percentages should decrease.

Scalability

While reworking the pricing algorithms, we also made some substantial architectural changes to our site so that we can handle higher sales and product volumes. Many of you have asked us to add all Mac and PC games to our list. These architectural changes were the last major hurdle holding us back.

Community Input

We've spent a lot of time thinking about, implementing, testing and adjusting these algorithms to produce accurate prices. Our goal has been to make prices that are useful for gamers and small game stores. We're very much interested in adding new pricing algorithms based on your feedback.

What do you think about the new algorithms?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

DLC Activation Codes Have No Effect On Used Game Prices


Video game publishers have started including downloadable content (DLC) activation codes in some new releases in an attempt to discourage the purchase of used games. When sold new, games like Mass Effect 2 came with a code that would allow you to access downloadable content for the game. If you bought the game used you can still access this content by paying $15.

Publishers like THQ, Electronic Arts and Microsoft have started using the DLC Activation codes in all their new games but has it affected the used game prices? Are gamers less likely to buy a used game when the new version includes extra content? If activation codes are having the publisher's desired effect, there should be less demand for the used games and they should decrease in price quicker than games without activation codes.

Price Comparison Between Games With and Without DLC Activation Codes

Price Comparison of Games with DLC Activation Codes and Without

The data above shows the average game with a DLC activation code decreased in price $0.28 per day while similar games released without activation codes decreased $0.31 per day. This price difference is NOT statistically significant though.

DLC Activation Codes Don't Affect Used Prices

The data at this point shows that the DLC activation codes do not affect the prices of used games at all. The prices still decrease at the same pace and consumers are probably not discouraged from buying the used games.

Publishers might make more money on the deal though because they are able to sell downloadable content to some of the used game customers. If even one buyer of a used game purchases the DLC for $10, the publisher made more money on that sale than they would have for a regular used game and I bet a pretty good percentage of customers end up paying for the DLC.

Methodology

We compared fourteen games released in 2010 with DLC activation codes to their previous games. For 2010 releases, we looked at the price change from the release date to September 23rd 2010 and divided the total change by the number of days the game was out.

For older baseline games we calculated the price change from the release date to a date the same number of days from release and calculated the price change per day.

For example: UFC Undisputed 2010 was released on May 25th, 2010 at $59.99. On September 23rd, 2010 the PS3 price was $24.75. The total price decrease was $35.24. Sept 23rd is 121 days after May 25th so the price decrease per day is $0.29.

UFC Undisputed 2009 was released on May 19th, 2009 for $59.99. 121 days from May 19th is September 17th. The price on September 17th 2009 was $38.47. The game decreased in price $21.52 over 121 days for a decrease of $0.18 per day.

We tested the difference between the two means using a t-test for differences of two means. The p-value was .535 and needed to be below 0.05 to be significant.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Nintendo World Championships Gray Auction


A seller on ebay has a Nintendo World Championships Gray up for auction (number 132 for those who like to keep track). Bidding is at $255 right now so it is still a bargain.

Expect bidding to close around $4,000-5,000, which is the usual price for these over the last few years.

The seller only has three feedback but they are all positive. If you win this, be sure to pay with an escrow service just in case.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Real Blockbuster Video Game Championships II

Blockbuster Game Championship II Sega
Two weeks ago I wrote about a Blockbuster Video Game Championships Reproduction that was up for sale on ebay, now the real deal is up for sale.

The asking price is $12,500 with the make an offer feature available. The seller shouldn't be expecting that much considering the last sale was for $2,000 back in April 2010. If I remember correctly the condition of the sale in April was not very good so this copy of the game should sell for more than $2,000.

The seller of Blockbuster Championship II has really good feedback, 3682 with 99.3% positive, so there shouldn't be any problems with the seller on this item.

In the listing the seller mentions getting the game authenticated by two people at Game Galaxy in Tennessee. Incidentally, I've bought games from the owner of this arcade before. Anyone who lives nearby should definitely check it out.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Another New Music Machine 2600

Sealed Music Machine
There is a Music Machine for Atari 2600 auction on ebay. The rare game sold for $5,250 last time it sold in November 2009 and bidding on this auction is already at $1,050.

One word of caution for potential buyers of this game. It looks like the seller has multiple sealed copies of Music Machine for Atari 2600. Here is a picture from the auction.
Lots of Sealed Music Machine Games
The game sold for so much the first time because it was super rare to find a sealed copy, but if this seller found a box of these somewhere there might be another three coming up for auction at some point and potentially even more.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What Would You Ask Ebay?


Ebay is working with us to make an ebay video game inforgraphic. It will show all sorts of data about the video game category on ebay, but we need to know what info you're interested in. If you could ask ebay anything about their video game category what would you ask?

Here are some examples: What is the most expensive game ever sold on ebay? How many Super Mario 3's have sold on ebay since it started? What is the most popular game on ebay? How many games sell every minute?

They can't guarantee they have the answers to every question, but they will try to answer whatever you ask.

Leave your question below and we will ask ebay for you. Hopefully we will have the answer for you in picture form in a few weeks.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Blockbuster Video Game Championships II Reproduction For Sale

Blockbuster Video Game Championships II
UPDATE: THIS IS A REPRODUCTION. STILL LIMITED EDITION BUT NOT EXTREMELY RARE
A seller has listed a complete in the box copy of Blockbuster Video Game Championships II. There is no reserve price and the bidding is just $0.99 so far.

The last sale for Blockbuster Championships II was for $2,000 back in April 2010.

The Blockbuster Video Game Championships II is very similar to Nintendo World Championships but the cartridge was made for the Sega Genesis and was made for a series of Blockbuster game competitions.

The seller has great feedback and I know them from other video game message boards and collecting websites. He is a very good seller and there shouldn't be any problems with the item or transaction which is really nice with these really expensive games.

Game Pages were Down

Most game pages and some search results pages were broken this weekend. The site is back to normal now.

When some sales volume calculations ran on Friday night, they created a database error which broke these pages. We have monitoring set up to text me whenever the site goes down, but it didn't notice these particular errors. I've added extra monitoring to try and catch future problems like this before they inconvenience everyone.

Sorry for the trouble.

Friday, August 27, 2010

New & Improved Price Lists

We've changed the appearance and added some new features to the price lists for every console. The price lists should be easier to read, easier to compare, and easier to use. Here is a sample of what the NES price list looks like with the new design:
NES Price List

Below is a list of some of the changes we made:

Tabs to Sort the Data Faster


Price List Sorted by Highest Price
We added tabs to the top of the price lists so you can easily sort the data the way you want and the page will more clearly show you how you are currently viewing the data by highlighting the tab in blue.

Sort by an Item's Popularity


Price List Sorted By Most Popular
You can sort the data based upon how popular the items are. This is based on the number of sales we have on record for each game.

Easier to Read & Matches Overall Site Appearance Better



There is more space between each row and each row as a very light dashed line separating them so it is easier to read. The overall color scheme matches VGPC.com better as well so the price lists are a bit more pleasant to look at.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Three Rare NES Games In Auction

Myriad 6 in 1
There are three auctions on ebay for rare Nintendo NES games.

Myriad 6 in 1 - bidding up to $338. Last sale $713

Hot Slots - bidding at $49. Last sale $876.

Peek-A-Boo Poker - bidding at $51. Last sale $450

The best part about all of these auctions is there is no reserve price on any of them. The highest bidder gets the games.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Most Expensive Zelda Video Games

The Legend of Zelda was released in 1986 and since then there have been 28 different Zelda games released (including collector's editions). Zelda continues to be one of the most popular video game series of all time selling 59 million copies. The Zelda series is also popular with video game collectors with a couple different titles fetching more than $100. Below is a list of the most expensive Zelda games.

The list is ranked by the average sales price per game from July 19th, 2010 to August 19th, 2010.

Zelda Test Cartridge (Nintendo NES)


Zelda Test Cartridge PricesAverage Price: $799
Official Nintendo Repair shops used this game to test Nintendo consoles they repaired. The game is the same as the original Legend of Zelda, but it comes in a yellow cartridge. The exact number of test cartridges isn't known but the game very rarily comes up for public auction and when it does it sells for extremely high prices.
See Historic Prices | See Ebay Listings

Zelda Twilight Princess DS Demo (Nintendo DS)


Zelda Twilight Princess DS Demo PricesAverage Price: $143
When Zelda Twilight Princess was first shown at E3, Nintendo made some Nintendo DS cartridges with the preview trailer on them. They gave these preview cartridges to everyone in attendance at their E3 press conference. The cartridge is just a video demo of the game, but it routinely sells for $140-150.
See Historic Prices | See Ebay Listings

Zelda's Adventure (CD-i)


 PricesAverage Price: $100
The third of the Zelda games released for the Philips CD-i. It is the most expensive of the three because it is even more rare. The game plays similar to other 2D Zelda games with a top-down view. The game has really bad cut-scenes with horrible voice acting but is very popular with Zelda collectors because it is so rare.
See Historic Prices | See Ebay Listings

Zelda Faces of Evil (CD-i)


 PricesAverage Price: $45
The Philips CD-i had three Zelda games. All three are widely regarded as the worst of the Zelda games. Nintendo decided not to allow Philips to create a CD add-on for the Super Nintendo. As part of this decision they allowed Philips to create 5 games with Nintendo characters. One of these is Zelda Faces of Evil.
See Historic Prices | See Ebay Listings

Zelda The Wand of Gamelon (CD-i)


Zelda The Wand of Gamelon PricesAverage Price: $40
Zelda Wand of Gamelon and Faces of Evil are side-scrollers like Zelda II for Nintendo NES, but with full motion video cut scenes. Nintendo didn't help develop these games at all, which is evident when you play one. They are so awful, they have developed a cult following. Like a car accident, they are horrible but you can't look away.
See Historic Prices | See Ebay Listings

Zelda Wind Waker & Ocarina Master Quest Combo (Gamecube)


Zelda Wind Waker & Ocarina Master Quest Combo PricesAverage Price: $38
A combo package that included The Zelda Windwaker game and Zelda Ocarina of Time Master Quest disc. The cover art shows pictures of both games and there are two discs inside. Master Quest is an unreleased verion of the game with harder dungeons and battles (see below).
See Historic Prices | See Ebay Listings

Legend of Zelda Collector's Edition (Gamecube)


Zelda Collector's Edition PricesAverage Price: $30
A collection of four different Zelda games. Includes Legend of Zelda, Zelda II, Zelda Ocarina, Zelda Majora's Mask, Wind Waker 20 minute demo, and some Zelda video clips. The game was never sold in stores but was given away as part of the holiday 2003 Gamecube bundles. Everyone who bought a system received this promotional prize inside.
See Historic Prices | See Ebay Listings

Zelda Ocarina of Time Master Quest (Gamecube)


Zelda Ocarina of Time Master Quest PricesAverage Price: $30
To encourage preorders for Zelda Wind Waker, Nintendo offered everyone a bonus: A copy of an unreleased version of Zelda Ocarina of Time with harder dungeons. This preorder bonus for the Gamecube was never sold in stores but hundreds of thousands are available because the program was so popular. For $5 (the usual cost a deposit) you got a Gamecube version of one of the highest rated games of all time.
See Historic Prices | See Ebay Listings

Zelda Twilight Princess (Wii)


Zelda Twilight Princess PricesAverage Price: $22
The first Zelda game ever to launch with a new console, Zelda Twilight Princess was available on the Wii at launch. The game sold millions of copies so it is definitely not rare. But gamers still want to play the game on their Wii so prices stay relatively high. Of all the games on this top 10 list, Twilight Princess for Wii has the best chance of dropping off. Prices are likely to drop once the Wii loses popularity.
See Historic Prices | See Ebay Listings

Zelda Twilight Princess (Gamecube)


 PricesAverage Price: $22
Right before Twilight Princess launched on Wii, Nintendo announced that the game would still be on the Gamecube too. The Gamecube was on it's last legs but Twilight Princess still sold fairly well, not quite as much as the Wii version though. The Gamecube version is identical to the Wii version, except for the way it is controlled. The Gamecube version uses the controller while the Wii version uses motion controls.
See Historic Prices | See Ebay Listings

VGPC.com has daily updated prices for every Zelda game. See all the Zelda game prices.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Emergency Site Maintenance

This evening, a hard drive in our main web server failed. It took the hosting company about 40 minutes to replace the problem hardware. It took us about another 20 minutes to repair the file system and get everything working again like normal. The site was down for about 1 hour 10 minutes altogether.


Sorry for any inconvenience.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sales Volumes


When buying and selling video games, the price isn't all that matters. For instance, in our recent analysis of how the World Cup affected video games, the price was flat but sales volumes changed dramatically. Likewise when determining how rare a game is, one might be interested in how frequently the game is sold. We've now made sales volume information available on our site.

In the box below the price chart, we've added information about sales volume:


The calculation is based on the total number of sales we've ever observed for the game and the time span over which those sales occurred (including eBay, JJGames and private sales). We change the wording based on the magnitude of the volume. For instance on Grand Theft Auto IV, it says "about 30 sales per day" while for Nintendo World Championship Gold it says "about 1 sale per year"

Let us know what you think or if you have any questions.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Mr. Boston Vectrex For Sale - Only 5 Known To Exist

Mr Boston Vectrex Cover Art

There is an ebay auction for Mr. Boston for Vectrex. The bidding is up to $860 already with about six days to go.

The game is complete in the box with the instructions, overlay, inserts, and everything. The seller says there are only two known to exist in complete condition.

What is Mr. Boston Clean Sweep Vectrex


Mr. Boston is a brand of vodka that is still made today.Mr. Boston Vodka
The liquor company customized the game Clean Sweep with their brand logo on the front cover, the insert, and changed the vacuum cleaner into a top hat inside the game. Mr. Boston then gave some of these cartridges away. The exact number isn't known.

There are said to be anywhere from three to five copies in existence today so the game is very rare and highly collectible. I have never seen a complete Mr. Boston auction so I can't say for sure what the final price will be but it should be several thousand dollars. Hopefully the seller's reserve price is so there is a completed auction.

UPDATE: The game did not sell on ebay because the reserve price was never met, but it did end up selling for $7,200 in a private sale on AtariAge.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What Was World Cup's Effect on Soccer Video Game Prices

The FIFA World Cup took place during June and July of 2010. I'm a soccer fan so I was glued to my TV watching big games or watching Univision's live online feed of every game. I started thinking - does all this excitement for soccer get people to buy more soccer video games and does it affect the price of used soccer games?

I analyzed the prices and number of units sold for 180 soccer games. This excludes games that were released within the last year because they would increase the average price during the month they released and would be comparing apples to oranges.

Average Soccer Game Price Before and During FIFA World Cup


World Cup Affect on Soccer Game Prices
Like most sports games, the price of the average soccer game has been decreasing over time. There is a fairly regular price increase starting in August each year and ending in October or November. This is most likely caused by the start of the European soccer leagues every fall.

The price during the World Cup (highlighted in blue above) was nothing out of the ordinary. The average price was $6.72 in May, $6.74 in June, and $6.85 in July. So over the course of the World Cup prices increased 2%, which is not statistically significant.

Prices on used soccer games didn't change much, but the number of items sold definitely did.

Number of Soccer Games Sold Before and During FIFA World Cup


World Cup Affect on Game Game Sales
During the course of the World Cup, the average number of successful sales on ebay went from 80 on June 10th to 130 on July 11th (the date of the Final game). A 63% increase.

The number of games sold per day quickly dropped after the World Cup was finished so interest in soccer games didn't outlast the tournament.

Why Did Prices Stay the Same While Units Sold Spiked?


Obviously the demand for soccer video games increased a lot during the Soccer World Cup, but prices stayed almost exactly the same. So supply must have increased along with the demand. Lots of people probably decided to sell their old soccer games now while they could take advantage of the World Cup.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Faster eBay Completed Auctions


Over the last couple weeks, the eBay completed auctions feature had become painfully slow. Often the data wouldn't load at all and many times it was taking 30 seconds or longer. Our goal is to make the site fast enough that you never have to wait for the data you're looking for.

I adjusted some database settings today which appear to have sped up the closed auction feature substantially. In testing, we routinely got back the data we wanted in under a second. If you notice sluggish performance anywhere on the site, please let us know and we'll try to fix it.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Server Upgrade

VGPC was down for about 40 minutes tonight while we upgraded our database server. All the historic price data was pushing the old instance to its limit. Everything's back to normal now with a shiny new server with 50% more storage.


For those that are curious, we currently have about 64 million price points including 8.5 million sales records. We add about 96,000 new price points and/or sales each day.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Reporting bad eBay auctions


Back in February, we added a feature to the site letting you see completed eBay auctions for games listed on our site. That feature has become quite popular. Some visitors have reported that auctions occasionally appear in the list which are for the wrong game. For instance, some eBay sellers list EarthBound keychains as if they were EarthBound games. Our pricing bots don't know the seller is being deceptive, so those sales sometimes push the price of EarthBound downward.

We've just enhanced the completed auctions feature to improve this situation. When you view completed eBay auctions, you'll see a thumb down icon in each row:

If you notice that one of these auctions is incorrect (maybe for just the box or manual and not the game), click on the thumbs down icon in that row. You'll see a confirmation dialog making sure that you really want to report the auction as incorrect:




If you click OK, it notifies us of the problem and deletes that row from the list of completed auctions on your screen. Now you don't have to look at that incorrect auction. We'll investigate the auction and if we agree that it's incorrect, we'll permanently delete it from our database (or assign it to the correct product in our system).

Hopefully this makes it easy for you to help us improve the quality of VGPC's prices. If you have any suggestions about this feature, or any other feature, please let us know.

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