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Subject: Questions about selling games... rss

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Kevin Garnica
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Dear BGG community,

I need your help/advice.

I have about 40-50(ish) games that I need to sell. I've been wanting to sell them for a while. But I don't know where to sell them. Here are my two options:

A) BGG auction or marketplace, perhaps...
B) eBay

I'm aware of BGG's 3% commission. I don't know about eBay. But what I'm really confounded by is the shipping rates. How do people do it? Here's what I mean:

On eBay, I often see the postage and shipping rate given. How do sellers know this? Do they size it first and ask at the post office how much it would cost to ship? Furthermore, I don't want to ship until I receive payment (I'm sure that's understandable, right?), so do I wait till someone buys it, THEN go figure shipping, THEN come back and tell the buyer the cost of shipping, THEN wait for payment, THEN finally send it off? Seems like a lot of little steps in between. But maybe this is how it works.

I'm sorry, I just feel sort of dumb because I can't understand how this is done. I don't want to jump into the process until I am prepared and know how it all works out. Any insight as to the best way to go about selling a large fraction of my collection and how to do it properly would be greatly appreciated.

Sorry for the long rant, and thanks for reading.
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Chris Miller
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Typically you have the buyer pay shipping - you agree on a price and box it up - put the box size and weight into the USPS/ups calculator and send the buyer the final total + shipping (maybe giving them a couple of options like parcel & priority) - they send you the $ (typically paypal) and you ship the item.

On ebay you typically put in the box size/weight for that item and they calculate the cost to the buyer and it is automatically included.
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Nate Straight

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Get a cheap postal scale at walmart. Weigh the games in a random box with a handful of random packing material. Consult usps.com for rate.
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Robert Beachler
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Your best bet of selling is a combination of Craigslist, Here, Ebay and Amazon. Craigslist is nice because it is free and can often eliminate the shipping and handling hassles though finding the right price can be a bit of tinkering. But if it is a game people want they will come for it. Mainstream stuff tends to sell better on Amazon over Ebay and vice versa with more hobbist games selling better on Ebay. Anything fancy like handpainted miniatures might be worth trying Etsy for but unlikely, Ebay hits a wider audience for such things.

Measurements and weights of games are sometimes set on Amazon which makes it easier to figure out postage costs but their shipping credit is terrible. Ebay you can set your own postage to whatever you want, granted if it is absurd no one will likely buy your stuff. I have found the flatter Medium Priority Mail box to be one of the best bang for your buck shipping options FYI. Lots of games fit in it and it'll be cheaper for even the heaviest of games. For very large games and heavy games UPS tends to be the least expensive. On rare occasions FedEx is the cheapest but also the most problematic getting shipped as you have to take it to them. The USPS and UPS will both come get your packages if you want.

Selling's biggest hassle is taking inventory of your stuff and making sure they are complete and in the condition you say they are. Listing all the stuff can be a tad bit time consuming as well no matter what the site you use but in the end if you have something worth a good bit of money it can be lucrative. Especially around the Christmas shopping time because prices for things go up and you can make a lot more than any other time of the year.
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Kevin Garnica
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Thanks for the tidbits, keep them coming.

Some items I have are slightly desirable. Some of my "big ticket" items include games like Quebec 1775, 1812: The Invasion of Canada, out of print games like Egizia, Mission: Red Planet, and popular flavor-of-the-month games like an unopened copy of Kickstarter Euphoria Supreme.
 
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Stokey Brown
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Ebay charges you about 15%, even on the amount you collect for shipping. It's absurd.

I sell most of my games here on BGG. For the stuff that's not worth the cost of shipping, I have a used book store in town that's happy to take them from me for a store credit.

The best and easiest way to ship games is to use the Post Offices Flat Rate Priority Mail service. They have boxes in various sizes that cost a flat rate to ship regardless of weight. It takes all of the guesswork out. They even give the boxes away for free. Just go to your local PO and pick some up or order some online for delivery. 90% of games will fit nicely into a medium flat rate box.

For the other 10% of games that don't fit nicely into a flat rate box, that's either because they're a) too big, or b) too small (i.e. they can be shipped for cheaper than the flat rate). Since the cost to ship depends on how far it has to go (in addition to weight), I just pick a price that's in the middle of the range as the price I'll charge the buyer. If I'm a few bucks under, it's not going to break the bank.

I generally ship big stuff via FedEx Ground. Most game listings here on BGG have a section listing the game's weight and dimensions. You (or your buyer) can use FedEx's website to figure out a shipping estimate. Just add a few inches on each side for the box, plus about .5 lbs for the added weight of the packing materials. Of course, with FedEx, you'll have to supply your own box and packaging. I just save all of the boxes I get stuff in and reuse them when I sell something.

For smaller stuff, I'd send it through the Post Office. Again, use the dimensions and weight listed in on the game's page for your estimate.

For the stuff that's not worth the effort, just give it away to the Goodwill or something. You won't miss it.
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Nate Straight

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pacman88k wrote:
Thanks for the tidbits, keep them coming.

Some items I have are slightly desirable. Some of my "big ticket" items include games like Quebec 1775, 1812: The Invasion of Canada, out of print games like Egizia, Mission: Red Planet, and popular flavor-of-the-month games like an unopened copy of Kickstarter Euphoria Supreme.

You will do much better selling here [in a Geeklist auction ideally] than on eBay or Amazon or certainly Craigslist unless you're in a large city.
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Russ Williams
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I sold a bunch of games a while back and found that it was easiest/simplest to first offer them for sale to friends and people I already know, then sell them for local pickup via craigslist etc, and only later go to methods like ebay which require shipping.

If your time spent dealing with ebay listings and packing and shipping is a consideration, another tip is to find a friend experienced with such things and offer to give them part of the proceeds if they'll deal with that stuff for you.
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At usps.com, you can order free Priority Mail boxes. In addition to Flat Rate, they also have Regional Rate, which come in convenient sizes, and can offer good alternatives. The Regional A box, for instance, is a little bigger than the small flat rate and a little smaller than the medium flat rate, and only about $9 to the other coast... much cheaper if closer. If you have a scale, you can get plain priority boxes and calculate your own postage.

Regional Rate postage has to be printed online (you can print it right from PayPal), but you'll want to do that anyway, as you'll get an online discount (plus Priority has free delivery confirmation and free $50 worth of insurance).

FWIW, I tend to skim over any auction that only offers flat rate shipping. It can be twice as much as someone shipping Priority with another method.
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Patrick C.
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Quote:
FWIW, I tend to skim over any auction that only offers flat rate shipping.

This.

I understand that flat boxes make it easier for the seller, but it also can result in lower bids. The person who wants the game the most might live only a few hundred miles away. By weight the game might ship for $4 or $5 less. That person, if they're doing the math, will drop their max bid by that amount. If it's cheaper to go by weight you're basically giving money to the PO.
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Gregg S.
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It might be best if you did a practice run. Just throw that Egizia in a box and ship it to me so I can help you test out the process. whistle
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Kevin Garnica
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NateStraight wrote:
pacman88k wrote:
Thanks for the tidbits, keep them coming.

Some items I have are slightly desirable. Some of my "big ticket" items include games like Quebec 1775, 1812: The Invasion of Canada, out of print games like Egizia, Mission: Red Planet, and popular flavor-of-the-month games like an unopened copy of Kickstarter Euphoria Supreme.

You will do much better selling here [in a Geeklist auction ideally] than on eBay or Amazon or certainly Craigslist unless you're in a large city.

Last question:

Do I have to list it through an actual "auction", or could it work if I create a geeklist as an auction- because that's how they all look to me?
 
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The Tak
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First, try to unload them here. The people are better, the fees are lower, and the dollar return is better.

If that fails, definitely get a scale, pack them the way you will ship them (assuming they all sold individually and put them up on eBay as individual listings with the option 'calculated shipping'. You put in the package weight and dimensions and it calculates the rate by official postage rates depending on which carrier and service you pick. I have a $20-from-Amazon scale and it has been a HUGE time saver and worth every penny. Nothing beats the convenience of printing off the shipping labels at home (at a discount and with tracking included, at that) and just dropping the boxes at the post office instead of standing in those lines to get a quote, get back home and punch it in, wait for a reply/updated invoice/etc...

In my experience, the best way to send off large quantities of 'stuff' is to just stick it up as a 7 day auction, starting about 8EST on Sunday, starting at 99 cents with no reserve, no buy it now, and buyer-paid shipping. eBay bidders love them some photos. You get 12 for free with each listing, so take advantage of it and get as many good photos in there as you feel you need. 12 is overkill enough for most things.

Yes you can set up a Buy It Now for whatever you feel a fair price is and sit on it for a length of time, but the HUGE reach of the eBay market means that you WILL sell your item and the vast majority of the time you WILL sell it for market value. What you'll find is that your expectations of market value may be too high, influenced in part by all those people still sitting on their $100 BIN items while you're counting your money and admiring all your new-found shelf space.

If you have a large list of things to unload it is worth the hassle to list the items individually rather than sell them as a lot.


Good luck with your selling, and happy gaming
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river tam
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zurupeto wrote:
Ebay charges you about 15%, even on the amount you collect for shipping. It's absurd.

I sell most of my games here on BGG. For the stuff that's not worth the cost of shipping, I have a used book store in town that's happy to take them from me for a store credit.

The best and easiest way to ship games is to use the Post Offices Flat Rate Priority Mail service. They have boxes in various sizes that cost a flat rate to ship regardless of weight. It takes all of the guesswork out. They even give the boxes away for free. Just go to your local PO and pick some up or order some online for delivery. 90% of games will fit nicely into a medium flat rate box.

For the other 10% of games that don't fit nicely into a flat rate box, that's either because they're a) too big, or b) too small (i.e. they can be shipped for cheaper than the flat rate). Since the cost to ship depends on how far it has to go (in addition to weight), I just pick a price that's in the middle of the range as the price I'll charge the buyer. If I'm a few bucks under, it's not going to break the bank.

I generally ship big stuff via FedEx Ground. Most game listings here on BGG have a section listing the game's weight and dimensions. You (or your buyer) can use FedEx's website to figure out a shipping estimate. Just add a few inches on each side for the box, plus about .5 lbs for the added weight of the packing materials. Of course, with FedEx, you'll have to supply your own box and packaging. I just save all of the boxes I get stuff in and reuse them when I sell something.

For smaller stuff, I'd send it through the Post Office. Again, use the dimensions and weight listed in on the game's page for your estimate.

For the stuff that's not worth the effort, just give it away to the Goodwill or something. You won't miss it.

For the less valuable stuff, Giving used games to a women shelter or after school program is usually very appreciated and they will usually give you a good donation receipt for you taxes.
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pacman88k wrote:
Last question:

Do I have to list it through an actual "auction", or could it work if I create a geeklist as an auction- because that's how they all look to me?

Here are the nuts and bolts of making a geeklist auction:

http://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/geeklist_auction
 
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Michael Taylor
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pacman88k wrote:
On eBay, I often see the postage and shipping rate given. How do sellers know this? Do they size it first and ask at the post office how much it would cost to ship? Furthermore, I don't want to ship until I receive payment (I'm sure that's understandable, right?), so do I wait till someone buys it, THEN go figure shipping, THEN come back and tell the buyer the cost of shipping, THEN wait for payment, THEN finally send it off? Seems like a lot of little steps in between. But maybe this is how it works.

Personally I just charge $5 (media) or $10 (parcel) for shipping flat rate to all buyers (but I only sell in the United States).

Occasionally that's not enough, but I take the loss as the price of doing business.

I don't even bother bidding if the shipping isn't known ahead of time.
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Michael Carter
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I sell quite a few games on Craigslist. I'm in a college town, so there are quite a few gamers in the area.
 
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Kevin Garnica
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indigopotter wrote:
pacman88k wrote:
Last question:

Do I have to list it through an actual "auction", or could it work if I create a geeklist as an auction- because that's how they all look to me?

Here are the nuts and bolts of making a geeklist auction:

http://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/geeklist_auction

Thank you!
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cauldronofevil wrote:
Personally I just charge $5 (media) or $10 (parcel) for shipping flat rate to all buyers (but I only sell in the United States).
By "media" do you mean USPS Media Mail?

It was my understanding that board games don't qualify as "media" for Media Mail. Have I been wrong?
 
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raile wrote:
cauldronofevil wrote:
Personally I just charge $5 (media) or $10 (parcel) for shipping flat rate to all buyers (but I only sell in the United States).
By "media" do you mean USPS Media Mail?

It was my understanding that board games don't qualify as "media" for Media Mail. Have I been wrong?

Games don't qualify, but books (RPGs, for example) do. However, with online discounts and regional rate boxes, it's rare that media mail is the better deal, all things considered (time to travel, etc).
 
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media mail is subject to inspection also... so take that into consideration if there are loose things involved like a book that has cards with it. IE: memoir 44 campaign. Don't wanna lose things!
 
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Michael Taylor
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raile wrote:
By "media" do you mean USPS Media Mail?

It was my understanding that board games don't qualify as "media" for Media Mail. Have I been wrong?

Yes, I do. Well, I always understood that anything "paper" is media mail so I might have just been 'getting away with it' all this time!

I DID have a box of 'trading cards' returned. I asked the post office about it and they said that Medial Mail must be "educational"!

So you're mileage may vary.

I'm just recommending that you pick a flat price for all buyers. You'll make a few nickels on shipping which people WILL complain about, but every other option will give you even more headaches.

Even using Shipping Calculates which you would think would give you a *perfect* price for shipping to a customer -- gives outrageous prices so often that I personally won't even bother to bid unless it's a flat price.

Remember, no one will *tell* you why they won't bid - they just wont.

Also, remember, EVERYONE thinks their stuff is worth more than it actually is. So if you have a minimum price you'll be glad to take - reduce it by 50% and post it with Buy-It-Now and you're likely to get rid of everything with the least amount of hassle.

At the end of the day, the more money you want to make, the longer and more time consuming it will be.

JMO


 
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USPS wrote:
Only these items may be mailed at the Media Mail prices:

a. Books, including books issued to supplement other books, of at least eight printed pages, consisting wholly of reading matter or scholarly bibliography, or reading matter with incidental blank spaces for notations and containing no advertising matter other than incidental announcements of books. Advertising includes paid advertising and the publishers' own advertising in display, classified, or editorial style.

b. 16-millimeter or narrower width films, which must be positive prints in final form for viewing, and catalogs of such films of 24 pages or more (at least 22 of which are printed). Films and film catalogs sent to or from commercial theaters do not qualify for the Media Mail price.

c. Printed music, whether in bound or sheet form.

d. Printed objective test materials and their accessories used by or on behalf of educational institutions to test ability, aptitude, achievement, interests, and other mental and personal qualities with or without answers, test scores, or identifying information recorded thereon in writing or by mark.

e. Sound recordings, including incidental announcements of recordings and guides or scripts prepared solely for use with such recordings. Video recordings and player piano rolls are classified as sound recordings.

f. Playscripts and manuscripts for books, periodicals, and music.

g. Printed educational reference charts designed to instruct or train individuals for improving or developing their capabilities. Each chart must be a single printed sheet of information designed for educational reference. The information on the chart, which may be printed on one or both sides of the sheet, must be conveyed primarily by graphs, diagrams, tables, or other nonnarrative matter. An educational reference chart is normally but not necessarily devoted to one subject. A chart on which the information is conveyed primarily by textual matter in a narrative form does not qualify as a printed educational reference chart for mailing at the Media Mail prices even if it includes graphs, diagrams, or tables. Examples of qualifying charts include maps produced primarily for educational reference, tables of mathematical or scientific equations, noun declensions or verb conjugations used in the study of languages, periodic table of elements, botanical or zoological tables, and other tables used in the study of science.

h. Loose-leaf pages and their binders consisting of medical information for distribution to doctors, hospitals, medical schools, and medical students.

i. Computer-readable media containing prerecorded information and guides or scripts prepared solely for use with such media.
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I actually am a shipper for my company, so I just started listing stuff here and shipping them out UPS. I just started wondering about flat-rate shipping so I may get into that.

Anyway, yes, I list it here at a good discount because it is used and they will have to pay shipping. Once I get an order I bring it into work, get it packed up and weighed, than confirm everything with the buyer (price and my 'confirm' I am selling it) and than yes, I wait for payment. I tell them I ship Mon-Fri at 2pm EST so if their payment is made before that time I can get it out that day. The bad part for my buyers is that I do everything from work, so on a weekend people could be left hanging, although I usually contact them in some way shape or form.

I also am noticing that card games and the like are just not worth it selling-wise.

Anyway, it says here that I made quite the dime that is really only used to circulate my collection which is pretty cool (that's what I tell my wife anyways), and to keep the shelves manageable!

Just jump in with a few listings in the BGG Marketplace to get a good feel for it.

I have wanted to do an auction for awhile now, just never get around to doing it.
 
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cauldronofevil wrote:


Personally I just charge $5 (media) or $10 (parcel) for shipping flat rate to all buyers (but I only sell in the United States).

Occasionally that's not enough, but I take the loss as the price of doing business.

I don't even bother bidding if the shipping isn't known ahead of time.

I've been gearing up to do my first auction on here and I think I've decided to take this same approach.

Either just say it's a flat $10 for most regular sized games and $5 for small box games. Then maybe offer a percentage discount if multiple items are purchased.

That or I will just have a "free shipping"/"shipping is included" with the items.

I may be taking a little loss, but I figure having cheaper shipping rates may attract more bidders as I know it would appeal to me.
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