I’m going to start by confessing that the Sega Dude and eBay have had a falling out. I’m tired of premium prices on both goods and shipping. And I’m actually offended when I see eBay’s ‘customs services’ included via eBay’s Global Shipping Program as if it’s a feature that the buyer will benefit from.
I’ve been using eBay since the early 2000’s (maybe earlier) and on December 2015 I closed my eBay and PayPal account. I believe I’ve suffered from the ‘frog in boiling water‘ syndrome. Maybe someday I’ll go back but so far I’m surviving life without eBay. And my bank account is fatter for it.
What’s the alternative for retro video gaming? For me I’ve found that forums are really good places for buying and trading retro games. If you decide to check out forums do yourself a favor and do not treat them as stores. Treat them as communities and participate in discussions and see what others are up to. You’re going to have to be known to established members before you’ll really be able to benefit from their markets. The markets are for invested community members and not Joe off the street.
I really do enjoy buying games directly from other gamers just like myself and cutting out the middle man. Doing so has really helped reduce the cost of many of the games I’ve been buying. Of course there is no denying that eBay is convenient and the single most likely place to find that special retro game that you’ve been looking for. So maybe it would be rash to run out and cancel your own account but there is no harm in expanding your shopping horizons and peeling back the curtain a little bit more to see what else this Internet of ours has to offer.
If you’re curious here are a few excellent retro gaming related forums to check out:
The alternatives don’t end with forums.
Occasionally I’ll find good deals at local retro video game stores and buy a few games or do some trading. These are very fun places to visit. But better still are retro video gaming conventions. Thanks to Nintendo Joe I’ve found out about many of these events both close to home and in neighboring cities. We both really enjoy going to these gatherings and we always seem to come home with a few good finds.
Before I even completed this post I have already re-signed up for a new PayPal account. I’ve learned that PayPal is pretty much required for purchasing games from individual gamers on the forums scene. People know how to use PayPal and trust in the protection it offers. So, I managed to go about 2.5 months without PayPal and I now see it as a requirement for the hobby. I still do not have an eBay account and I’ll tell you about the things I miss. eBay was very convenient and affordable for a bunch of miscellaneous things. I’m currently looking for good alternate places to buy clear plastic case protectors for Sega Genesis games, cap kits and game manuals (and other misc items). And for these reasons I may someday return to eBay but it’s my hope that I’ll manage just fine without it. Of course it would be better if value returned to eBay but it has been lost now for many years now and I’m not too optimistic. This is my opinion and I do believe it’s shared among many other people. If you use and enjoy eBay I’m happy to hear it. Maybe you can give me some pointers? 🙂 For me the final price of the things I’ve been buying after all is said and done has consistently just been too high for my liking. I’ve been spoiled for many years buying games for great prices and maybe that’s all there is to this. But I do believe this venting has been very therapeutic, so thank you for listening!
What are your favorite types of places to hunt for Retro Video Games?
Update: Since this post I managed to go about six months before signing up for a new ebay account. Why? The short answer is sometimes you will find good prices on ebay and sometimes the convenience is worth the premium. *For the specifics of my return the see very bottom of this post.
Update: As of Dec. 2016 I have closed my ebay account again. I just don’t feel like I’m getting good value there. Let’s see how long it lasts this time 🙂
Update: As of Jan 2019 I am still without an ebay account. It’s been a little over two years and I feel better for it. With massively inflated prices, hidden/bogus fees and misrepresented reproductions/bootlegs it’s hard to find value in ebay. I have no desire to go back.