Mark Johnson's occasional & opinionated podcast about family strategy boardgames

Friday, March 30, 2012

BGTG 121 - Secondhand Games (with Greg Pettit)

I'm still trying to keep podcasts coming out more frequently, and now I've got friends who are actively pushing me along. That can only help! In this case, it's Greg Pettit, who I thought of immediately when I decided to do a podcast about secondhand games. Whether you're acquiring Out-Of-Print classics or being economical about the Cult of the New-To-Me, sometimes buying used games is the way to go.

As for selling, sometimes it's about subsidizing your hobby by turning a little profit on thrift store treasures, while other times you just need to clear some shelf buy more games. Either way, it's handy to know how best to be a seller of secondhand games.

Finally there's trading, which has the potential to be the biggest win-win of all. Both of you exchange a game you aren't playing--or don't even like--for one that's exciting to acquire. Whether you ship them across the continent or hand them off at a local game convention, trading can be a great experience.

Greg and I discuss the many ways that all of these transactions happen, and some of the tools and marketplaces we use. There's ebay, of course, but BGG Marketplace is often better for all parties. In-person deals at big & small conventions are discussed, and we tiptoe into the hobby-within-a-hobby of thrifting.

At the very end of the show I raise the question of whether I ought to migrate the (future) show notes & comment feedback system over to BGG instead of here on my own blog. I resisted that in the beginning, but now in 2012 I'm beginning to think it makes more sense. I'd welcome feedback on that topic.


Here are Greg's links to several resources relating to secondhand games

Thrifting for You List:
This is an interesting part of the thrifting community on BGG. Basically, you add a game that you’d like to have. If someone finds it, they’ll send it to you for the cost of shipping. It’s completely voluntary, but over a hundred people have received games this way.

OLWLG JeffyJeff
Stands for “On-Line Want List Generator.” I call it the Owl just because I can never remember the acronym. This is an awesome tool for anyone participating in Math Trades (it may even be required these days). It helps you search through the often very long lists and prioritize what you want.

Math Trades
This is the BGG Wiki article explaining Math Trades.

BGG Auction Meta-List
A nice meta-list for people to advertise when they’re holding a list auction. Subscribe to this list and you’ll be notified of new auctions as they appear. Administered by ColtsFan76.

BGG Auction Aggregator
This is a brand new tool jdludlow cooked up that searches BGG for List Auctions and compiles them in one handy list. Even better, you can enter your username and it will filter it to just games on your want list.

Spielboy Pricing Utility
You’ve probably seen this one before. This is really handy when pricing items for the marketplace or auctions. It pulls data from BGG and shows you the historical sales prices for those games. Sometimes there are outliers that skew the graph, but they’re easy to spot. Plus, it gives you a better idea of the market trends, as opposed to the “average” that BGG offers.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great podcast Mark. I always enjoy your insights and it's nice to hear from Greg again as well.

I LOVE trading games. Half of the fun of being a BGG user is trading with others. The practice is typically less expensive than buying a new game and allows both parties to make room on their gaming shelves. I very much relate to Greg's comments regarding games finding a new, more appreciative home and have traded several games with this in mind.

I also find trading akin to exchanging gifts. The parties involved are giving and receiving items that each are anxiously awaiting while contributing to another's happiness. As such, trading is a great way to contribute to the overall goodwill of the BGG community as well as a great way to enlarge your network of friends. Several of my trades end not only with a new game but also with a new geekbuddy and a greater appreciation for our gaming community in general.

In regards to moving the blog to BGG, I am fine with it. If it makes it easier for you, go for it.


John Rogers

10:31 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Re: OLWLG. It is a powerful tool, but it seems to be very difficult to grasp for many folks. Or at least, more work than they're willing to spend to read all the instructional stuff! You should also take a look here -- -- for a nice tutorial for the more visually oriented.

2:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would like to hear an episode on "print-and-play" games, from the perspective of construction techniques to the kinds of games that are available (and ones that might be copied from personal copies, etc.).


10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get an error when I click on the link. Can't save the file either. Am I the only one having a problem?

Stephen Glenn

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved the Secondhand Games show. You queried how it worked outside the US. In the UK I pick up some of my games at "Bring and Buy" stalls at various Wargame Shows but make an annual pilgrimage to an unassuming Scout hut near Stockport for the Manchester Board Games Auction. Roughly 50 people attend to buy and sell games with no postage and packaging costs. The Manchester club take a very reasonable 10% of the sale price to cover costs. An individual is restricted to about 12 lots each (although you can package up multiple games into single lots.) this means around 500-600 games get auctioned in one day. It's a complete mix of "proper" wargames and Eurogames. Because you have to wait to the end of the day to settle up for what you buy and sell you have a captive audience of 50 dedicated boardgames sitting there for around 5 hours, with nothing to do but bid on games - absolute bliss!


10:43 AM  

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