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My grandparents passed away recently, and my mother is cleaning out their house. They have some vintage board games (ca. 1960's, maybe?) in their house, and she's wondering what to do with them. I don't know if any of them are collectible or not; she sent me a rather low-res picture in which a few are identifiable: Mille Bornes, Barrel of Monkeys, Flinch, Contack, Yahtzee, a few card games like Old Maid and Crazy Eights.

How would I go about finding out if there's a market for any of these? I tried checking BoardGameGeek, which shows what's for sale there and on eBay, but that tells me nothing about whether anyone is actually buying those games (well, in some cases it tells me a little; if there are a bunch of eBay auctions, all with no bids, there probably isn't much demand).

Is there any good way for me to determine if there's a demand for any of these games? Is there a good place I should try and sell them? Or should I just give them to the local thrift store, as it probably won't be worth the hassle of storing them and listing them for sale?

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You should rephrase the title to something like 'How could I evaluate the value of an old Board Game'. –  DavRob60 Oct 22 '10 at 12:22
    
What exactly is BCG? Board Game Central? Link might help :) –  Jon Hadley Oct 22 '10 at 14:14
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@Jon Sorry, have clarified now. I thought that BoardGameGeek was well known in the boardgame hobby. By the way, BGG is BoardGameGeek; BCG seems to be how people are referring to this site, the Board and Card Game StackExchange. –  Brian Campbell Oct 22 '10 at 14:56

5 Answers 5

up vote 6 down vote accepted

If you look at who wants a game on BoardGameGeek, you can get an idea if there is any demand for the game. (It's under the statistics section on BoardGameGeek.) Unfortunately, for any item in a market, it's hard to know if people are actually buying that item. While I haven't done it for board games, I've followed eBay auctions with active bids to see what they close at. It can be difficult to see if an item will sell, without trying to sell it. I'm skeptical of price guides for antiques cause just cause people say something will sell for X, doesn't meany anyone will pay that for it.

You could always donate them to a something like the Salvation Army or Goodwill if you'd just like to have them find new homes. I'm not sure it costs money to put things up in the BoardGameGeek marketplace, but you could list them on their instead to see if they're interesting to general gamers.

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I personally bought an old 1960 Mille Bornes game on eBay. I wanted the old game for sentimental reasons, but I wasn't willing to pay too much for it. When I was shopping for those, there were some at around $20.00 USD, but with patience I found one for $12.60 USD including shipping. While I was happy to find one, this is not an outstanding value for this particular game.

So, yes there is always demand for these games; I personally think eBay is a good place to evaluate the values of those. But you will only get a good price if you are patient and/or lucky. Is it worth the hassle? It depends of how you evaluate the whole process of selling them. But I would personally pack them in the basement and wait for the next garage sale.

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The Games section of the well respected Miller's Antiques & Collectables Price Guide might be a good place to start.

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The first thing I alway do is search for them on Ebay and see how things are going. If there's a few auctions there then follow them to see how they end.

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I have had some great luck with some of my own personal old games in my collection by reaching out to a reputable and good local (and online) boardgame store. In my personal experience I sold a bunch of games to Noble Knight Games in no small part because they support many of my favorite gaming related podcasts.

In dealing with an online store that buys & sells older games (in my case I sold them both boardgames and role playing game materials) you will need to provide them with detailed information about the games you have, their condition, completeness etc and they will then make you an offer. In most cases they, like many used dealers online and offline will offer you a bit more in store credit than they would pay in cash. You probably also won't get exactly what you might see individual games selling for on EBay - but then neither will you have to incur the Ebay fees, payment fees, shipping costs and more or the hassle of listing many items and relisting the many which likely won't sell the first time around.

Some local game stores may buy and sell used games - but generally to do so successfully requires a store with an active online presence which ensures that they turnover their inventory reliably and often.

In your particular case I would suggest that you have your relative box up all of the games and ship them to you - you can then inspect them for completeness and take more detailed photographs. Personally I would also suggest keeping a few if they are games you actually play (or might actually play).

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