Most of us have a stack of games that never get played. They take up space and represent a nice little chunk of money that you can put towards newer games.
It can be very tempting to take this stack and trade them in at a game store. Resist the temptation. The trade-ins are nearly always extremely undervalue. Trade values of $3 - $5 are pretty common, not much of a return on a $50+ title. It makes business sense after all, the stores have to make money on the resale of pre-owned games. But there is no reason why you need be a part of this.
Instead you should be selling all of your old video games on eBay. It takes a little bit more effort but you can easily make three times as much as the trade in value at a store. For a game that trades for $5 thats at least $15. Sell a couple and you easily have enough for a brand new game.
I have been selling games on eBay for many years now, in total I think I have sold around 50 video games. In this time I have picked up on the best ways to make listings to attract bidders and maximise the final selling value.
Preparing the Game for Sale
The first thing you want to do is give your video games cases and discs a good clean.
Remove any promotional stickers from the case carefully by peeling them off and using a goo remover to remove any residue. Occasionally I will leave the original price sticker as it can help convince bidders of the original value of the game.
To clean the disc use a soft cloth and wipe out from the centre of the disc to the edges. If there are any marks you can't get off with a dry cloth use a slightly dampened cloth and then dry the disc thoroughly. If marks still remain purchase a good quality disc cleaning product - one bottle should last you a very long time so you will be able to make the cost back.
After some experimentation I discovered the best way to photograph video games to list on eBay is to take out the instructional manual and disc and lay the case and manual side-by-side on a clean surface with the disc on top of the manual. See the picture below for an example.
I have a pretty low quality camera (hopefully I can upgrade soon!) but this layout looks appealing to bidders and shows them that the case, disc and manual are all included and in good condition.
Upload a picture like this as your main image (you can include one image in the listing for free) and make sure to select the option for including the picture in search results. Including the picture in the search results can sometimes cost a small fee but it really helps your game stand out from the others.
Giving Your eBay Listing a Title
The best way to list a game on eBay is as follows:
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent for Microsoft Xbox 360 - Like New Condition
There is a character limit on listing titles so if you can't fit everything you can remove the condition statement at the end.
A title like this includes all of the likely keywords a person would use to search for your game, it has the title of the game first and the platform (Xbox 360) second. If you can fit a statement about the condition of the game then that can help people decide between your listing and another similar one, in your favour of course. This title format also looks professional and not 'spammy' like titles that include a bunch of exclamation marks and stars.
Giving Your Listing a Description
Descritptions for video games are perhaps less important than for other items. Your typical buyer will know what the game is about and everything else they want to know like price and condition are elsewhere in the listing.
However, there are a few people that browse eBay for video games without knowing what they are looking for. On eBay your job is to always maximize the potential bidders for your listings so providing a good description can still help.
The first step is to reiterate your title in large font size with the condition underneath. Give the title of the game an appropriate color to help it stand out. Using our previous example it should look like this:
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent
For Xbox 360
Like New Condition
Now go to a video game review site like IGN.com and search for a review of your game. Let's use the IGN review for "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent" as our example. Copy the editors comment from that review into your description along with the score awarded to the game and any other awards. Using our example it would look like this:
"Amazing" - Editors Choice, IGN.com - 9.0/10.0
This game got a 9/10 and an editors choice award. This looks fantastic for our listing so make sure you include those.
The next step really helps your listing stand out - add a screenshot from the game in your description. The easiest way to do this is to embed a good looking image from the IGN review. To do so first switch to HTML editor in the listing editor. Then right-click the image you have chosen and click "Copy image URL" and paste this somewhere to use later. Next copy the following HTML code into your description:
- <img src="/replace this with your image's URL" alt="" />
Add your image's URL to the HTML code. Make sure you leave the quotation marks or it won't work!
Next, you can include a short description of the game or simply add a link to the review. Follow this up with "Thank you for bidding" and "Feel free to contact me with any questions".
Finally play around with the formating to make it look good. Personally, I like to centre everything and put any quotes in italics.
I hope this guide to listing video games on eBay has been helpful. If it has or if you have any questions be sure to leave a comment below!
If you are looking for more ideas check out this article: