Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rare Games Sell in Waves

Most rare video games are hard to find, that's why they are called "rare games". There might be only 5 or 6 available for sale during a twelve month period. But often times these rare games come in waves, with no sales for months on end and then two or three sales within a few weeks. This can be great information for video game collectors to know about as I will explain below.

First let me show some examples of what I mean by rare games coming in waves.

Stadium Events NTSC Sale Timeline

Stadium Events Sales Timeline
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This timeline shows all the NTSC Stadium Events sales that have happened in the last 16 months. There have been fifteen sales during this time period, which would be an average of almost one per month. These sales didn't happen evenly though during the 16 months. There was one gap of 4 months and one of 6 months where no sales occurred at all. And then there were times when two sales occurred within two days.

Nintendo World Championships Sale Timeline

Nintendo World Championship Sale Timeline
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The same thing happens with Nintendo World Championships Gray cartridge. Long breaks of 3-4 months with no sale and then multiple sales within ten days. There are many, many examples of this but below are two more, Donkey Kong Country Competition and Bubble Bath Babes.

Donkey Kong Country Competition Sale Timeline

Donkey Kong Country Competition Sale Timeline
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Bubble Bath Babes Sale Timeline

Bubble Bath Babes Sale Timeline
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Why Do Games Come in Waves

Many times the sale of one rare game will bring out sales of more copies because owners of the game see how much it sold for the first time and think "I should sell my game if I can get that much for it."

This happened after the $13,000 Stadium Events auction. Within two weeks there were at least six more NTSC Stadium Events up for sale and even more PAL Stadium Events.

One successful sale leads to more.

How to Use this Information

This information is interesting but how do you use it to help you with your video game collection?

Don't Overpay, More Games Will Come - I've done this myself. I'm looking for a rare game I need for my collection. I wait and wait for an auction to show up on ebay but there isn't one for months on end. When an auction shows up six months later I'm so excited to finally have a chance to buy it that I bid too much just to make sure I win. One week later the game is up for auction again, and usually sells for less than I paid.

If you know there is a good chance another game will come up for sale, you don't need to overbid because your anxious. A little bit of patience can save you hundreds of dollars.


GamesOgre said...

I’m a surfer, and there seems to be a parallel here. After bobbing around waiting 10+ minutes without a decent wave, we can get a little stir crazy. We finally see the next wave forming in the distance, and, trying like crazy to be the one to catch it, everyone starts to jockey for position. What we often forget is that waves come in sets, and that there are generally two or more waves right behind the one we’re seeing. Generally the following waves are a bit cleaner in shape, thus making for a better ride.

It sounds like super rare video game sales work similarly. For whatever reason, we’ve all gotten into the what-if-it’s-the-last-one-on-earth mindset while bidding and, as a result, spent way too much. You’re trending of these sales is a good reminder that more rare games will come. And, as we’ve all experience, there’s probably another copy of better price and quality if we’re just patient.

JJ Hendricks said...

GamesOgre - Great analogy that is exactly like the video game market. Patience can definitely pay off and jumping on the first game won't always be a good idea.

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