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Subject: Game Speculating rss

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Jason Brown
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Have you ever speculated on a game? By that, I mean buying it just to resell it later for profit. I see lots of folks do it with Kickstarters and it raises some strong opinions. I've certainly sold games for more than I paid, but I've never gone in with the express intent to sell it later. I got $50 above what I pledged for Arcadia Quest: Inferno and 8 games off my wish list and $50 for Zombicide: Black Plague, but another recent event has begun to change my mind, though.

I just sold my copy of Gloomhaven for $325.

I pledged for it 2 Summers ago with the intent to run the campaign with my group. It was delayed by almost a year however, and I'm moving this Summer and couldn't play it the way it was meant to be played. I put it on eBay with a starting bid of $225 and someone hit the "buy it now" button 4 hours later. I was stunned.

So, this has me thinking. Someone thought my $80 pledge was worth $325 ($375 with shipping), and that person is super happy right now. Why shouldn't I do it again? I'm pledging Rising Sun right now and the number of exclusives is off the chart, even for CMON Limited. I'm pretty sure this $100 game is going to go for at least $250 when it drops next year. And you know what? The people that buy it for $250 will be ecstatic that they got a Kickstarter version after missing the campaign. I will have paid for my pledge and then some. Everyone is happy, right?

It's worth noting that CMON is actually offering a retailer pledge level on this campaign that will ship the Kickstarter version to retail outlets, with the express agreement that they not sell the game for more than $100. I'm betting those copies will be gone before they hit the shelves, though.

So, is it worth it? Is it right? Am I taking advantage of other gamers or just doing the economically sensible thing? Also, have you ever purchased a game for way above retail? Were you angry? Or were you thankful you got the game you wanted?
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Rich
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I don't think it's a matter of right and wrong. You're not robbing anyone, they're willingly paying a premium for a product that they want that you own. There's nothing wrong with what you're doing. Me personally, I couldn't do it because I'd want to keep the game.
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Jason Brown
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Glorious Strategist wrote:
I don't think it's a matter of right and wrong. You're not robbing anyone, they're willingly paying a premium for a product that they want that you own. There's nothing wrong with what you're doing. Me personally, I couldn't do it because I'd want to keep the game.

I was thinking of buying two to sell one...
 
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Rich
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MAJBrown22 wrote:
Glorious Strategist wrote:
I don't think it's a matter of right and wrong. You're not robbing anyone, they're willingly paying a premium for a product that they want that you own. There's nothing wrong with what you're doing. Me personally, I couldn't do it because I'd want to keep the game.

I was thinking of buying two to sell one...


Go for it. Use the one you sell to finance the one you keep.
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Posthumous Jones
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however you feel about what you do is all that matters. Nothing you did was illegal. Go for it. If people think you're an asshole, that's on them.
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Martin V
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As noted above, I don't have an issue with buying to resell. Personally, I can't speculate like that.

Your example, Rising Sun, at the moment I write this, it has just shy of 20K packers...some of those I'm sure are just for the second market. Maybe there'll be demand...maybe there'll be market saturation. $100 may not be that much to risk, but I'm not certain I can make it back, and don't want to take the chance. If it was a game I think I'd perhaps enjoy, it may be a consideration, but it's not my cup of tea, so I'd be struck with a product I don't want.

Hey, I hope it works out for you. Good luck. It is a Lang & CMON game, after all.
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Freelance Police
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No one forced him to buy the game from you.

Gloomhaven will have a KS in April, but that still means it might be a year until the next copies arrive. We also don't know the pledge plus shipping price, and speculation is that it *will* be higher than KS1. For some, it's well worth above MSRP to get a copy NOW. For all we know, since Gloomhaven is a legacy game, your buyer wants the game NOW so he can see if he wants a second copy through the KS. If he doesn't like the game as much as he might, you've just saved him a $100 pledge.

I will say that, as KS becomes more popular, you're not going to make out as much as others did with their KS speculative buys. RS plus exclusives won't makes as much profit as BR plus exclusives, because RS was promoted more heavily and no CMON game have been so well received by Eurogamers. "Intent to sell" goes *both* ways, there's still a chance you'll either break even or take a loss, and nobody's going to reimburse you for your loss if you have one.

BTW, if you can paint, assembly-line paint both RS copies and sell the extra at an even *higher* amount! laugh
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Jason
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If you're OK with the risk that you'll potentially lose money speculating, then I don't see any reason not to do it. While there's probably still meat on CMON KS speculating, I don't think you're going to see numbers like the $250. It's probably more likely a $50 profit like you received off AQ:I.

You're taking on the risk by backing a KS (especially, if you double-back it). It's not really unfair if you try to re-coup some of that money.

The Gloomhaven prices baffle me when there's a re-print planned with some component upgrades. But, people are always willing to part with large amounts of money to have something first (-ish).
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Trevor Taylor
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As with any market speculation, there's always a risk.

For every profit making post Kickstarter delivery sale you see, there's also likely a few more that are not making profit. Obviously some people will become more experienced in this (as with any trader) however you have to gauge the following.

1. Ensure the game you are buying is going to be in demand. If you back to sell this game, but everyone who could possibly want this game has also backed. You'll end up having no-one you can sell it to (except maybe cheap to someone who didn't fancy the cost of the kickstarter).

2. Can you actually recoup your shipping costs? If you're selling on a big heavy box that you have already paid once to get shipped to you, a significant portion of your profit may end up going away as some of the price you're asking is being eaten by shipping/insurance.

3. Exchange rates. Obviously, depending on your country this can differ. However, if you back a Kickstarter in a foreign country and then that currency is devalued after your pledge is taken, you could end up not making a profit as your game is now far cheaper for others to buy.

4. You're not alone. You won't be the only person trying to do all the above. If more re-sellers than backers were on the kickstarter, you could end up being the one too many. Every else sell this $200 pledge for $300 but now they've all sold it and there's no market left. Or worse, no-one buys at $300 and so others start reducing their price, which forces you too and in the end the most desperate sellers will set a market price that you might not be happy with.

I'm sure there are more hurdles, but those are the main ones I can think of off the top of my head.

I backed 3 or 4 games that I could turn a huge profit on when I received them and they weren't even games with lots of exclusive or anything. However, I've never turned a huge profit like this as generally the ones in demand are good games that I've wanted to keep. I only back games that I want to play as I'm not in this to make money (however much I enjoy a good trade/sell-on that feels like I won in the market) I'm in this to get more cool games.

If my wife and I don't gel with The 7th Continent I will probably move it on early and that may well make me a profit. But that's a bi-product of my backing it, not the goal.
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mortego
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Whatever floats your boat but for me, it seems like too much work.
Good Luck!
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Steve Greasby
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Speculating means you will exploit supply and demand for your benefit. It is significantly easier to do if you have familiar with the market trends. With board games there are at least three factors working against you: low demand due to small market, a glut of other games people could get as an alternative (lowering demand), and unpredictable satisfaction with any particular game (again keeping demand low).

I personally think that there are much safer bets. Lego is a good example. They retire sets after about 2 years, adults that missed out on a set will often pay a lot to get it. The quality from set to set does not fluctuate much, some themes are predictable, and you can piece sets out if they do not appreciate. A a result, most sets hold their value and a good number appreciate.
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Jason Brown
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I suppose there are a few factors working against me here:

1. With 19.9K backers and 3 weeks still to go, this is on track to be CMON's most popular game

2. CMON is offering a retailer pledge level that will ship the KS version with the caveat that it cannot be sold for more than $100

3. The cat is officially out of the bag wrt Eric Lang and Adrian Smith.

I realize not every game can be a Blood Rage or Gloomhaven, but it still does look likely that I can turn a profit on Rising Sun. I checked eBay and even poorly rated CMON titles like B-Sieged and The Others are going for 50% above their pledge values. I'm still undecided, thanks for everyone's input.

I'd still be interested in hearing from folks who think it's wrong or who bought games above market value 2nd hand.
 
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I for one am not in favour of it, as it only serves to artificially inflate the price of what you speculate on. I think it's poor form. Put that on my being a former M:tG player, who was utterly sickened he had to pay about $100 for a single fetchland because people were sitting on what is in the end a card, meant to be played, but which they thought was nothing but an investment. You've got a lot of them "players" who stock up on limited edition when they're relased only to sell them at a high cost later.

Now that's not what you're proposing of course, and it ain't against the law. But I don't approve.

Someone mentioned The 7th Continent, and I'm a backer also, who, based on The 7th Continent: Print & Play Demo, am wondering whether I'll try the game or just sell it upon receiving it, as I fear it will be too close to escape games and Unlock! Escape Adventures, which I strongly disliked.
I'm usually not making profit upon selling limited edition. Just because I wasn't there when the campaign was active shouldn't mean I must pay $300 for $80 dollars box.

I'm glad good games get new campaigns and ruin speculations. I'm all for reprints. If it's good, make it easy to grab and disrupt those who make a profit on the back of others.

As such, I despise CMON and won't back the game anyway. Or purchase it.
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Joel L
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I'm against speculation for limited items because it raises the price for the people who want the thing. However in this case they had an opportunity to pledge and they missed it, so the only way they can acquire the product is through the secondary market. The speculator is actually providing a service.

That aside, you're still expending time and money to speculate, with only minimal gain. I would only do it if you enjoy the process of selling games on eBay, and are prepared to take a loss if the speculation backfires.
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Jessica
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MAJBrown22 wrote:
Also, have you ever purchased a game for way above retail? Were you angry? Or were you thankful you got the game you wanted?


I rarely buy anything above or at retail prices. However, I have made one exception. It was a kickstarter for a 2nd edition of a game that had a sort of cult following. I had missed the original kickstarter, but knew the game had a good reputation in a genre I really enjoy. I would periodically check the KS updates to see if it was close to release. I won't go out of my way to track down exclusives or promos so I was content with a retail box. However, the creators ended up not making enough money off the KS so they decided a retail option was no longer feasible and only KS copies were going to exist. So, I knew I'd likely have to overpay, if I wanted a copy. I ended up paying $350 for a $275 pledge. I am thrilled to have a copy.
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Bryan Thunkd
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killerjoe1962 wrote:
Whatever floats your boat but for me, it seems like too much work.
Pretty much this. Add in the risk if you can't resell it or have to sell it for a loss and it's really not worth the hassle.

I'm a board gamer because I have fun playing games. I don't really want to turn a fun hobby into a side job.
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Jason Brown
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Thunkd wrote:
killerjoe1962 wrote:
Whatever floats your boat but for me, it seems like too much work.
Pretty much this. Add in the risk if you can't resell it or have to sell it for a loss and it's really not worth the hassle.

I'm a board gamer because I have fun playing games. I don't really want to turn a fun hobby into a side job.

It's not a side job though, I can buy a stack of brand new games with the profit I made from Gloomhaven (I actually just ordered 3 new Meeple Realty organizers). If I can sell a second copy of Rising Sun for $200, I will have essentially gotten the game for free and someone who missed the Kickstarter will have all the exclusives.

As an aside, I use my PayPal account as sort of a gaming slush fund and only get new ones when I'm in the black. I've found that board games retain their value better than almost anything else I've ever sold and I use that to keep my library full of games that get played.
 
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Matt Brown
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MAJBrown22 wrote:
So, this has me thinking. Someone thought my $80 pledge was worth $325 ($375 with shipping), and that person is super happy right now. Why shouldn't I do it again? I'm pledging Rising Sun right now and the number of exclusives is off the chart, even for CMON Limited. I'm pretty sure this $100 game is going to go for at least $250 when it drops next year. And you know what? The people that buy it for $250 will be ecstatic that they got a Kickstarter version after missing the campaign. I will have paid for my pledge and then some. Everyone is happy, right?


You might want to factor in Gloomhaven having 4.9K backers as where Rising Sun could have something like 5x that.
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Jeremy Mease
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As far as an investment, you are out 100 bucks for a year or more in the hopes you see a good return. Also the market gets saturated once the games go out with new ebay listings. I thought about this as well, and you would need to back dozens of games and resell them to make this worthwhile. More like a bank. They can't just do one house loan and make good money. They have to do lots and lots to keep money coming in as money goes out.

Plus, why the heck are people still paying 200-300 for Gloomhaven? It's being reprinted in April, and I'll just back it then since I missed the first go round.
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If the game is a fixed limited edition, like only 1000 ever being made, I could see feeling bad about it. If it's unlimited and the publisher just prints the number that they need to fulfill the KS, how could speculating possibly be hurting anyone? You've only made it easier for someone to get a copy.
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Bryan Thunkd
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MAJBrown22 wrote:
Thunkd wrote:
killerjoe1962 wrote:
Whatever floats your boat but for me, it seems like too much work.
Pretty much this. Add in the risk if you can't resell it or have to sell it for a loss and it's really not worth the hassle.

I'm a board gamer because I have fun playing games. I don't really want to turn a fun hobby into a side job.

It's not a side job though, I can buy a stack of brand new games with the profit I made from Gloomhaven (I actually just ordered 3 new Meeple Realty organizers). If I can sell a second copy of Rising Sun for $200, I will have essentially gotten the game for free and someone who missed the Kickstarter will have all the exclusives.
You have to invest money up front, then solicit people to buy your extra copies, pack them up, mail them out, collect payment, follow up on any missing/damaged shipments, resolve disputes, etc. That's more work than I want and is what would qualify it as a side job for me.
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Dave Lartigue
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pff, why waste your time on something niche like board games?

Buy up all the toilet paper in town and sell it yourself at a profit! It's not illegal, so you don't have anything to worry about. And nobody's forcing anyone to buy it from you. Go for it!
 
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