Over the past few months, we have had the pleasure of hearing from the retrogaming experts of SuperMegaStore. From Speed-Running on N64 to PS1 Hidden Gems they’ve got it covered. For their third installment, they tell us all about the pitfalls of retro video games clickbait… SCROLL DOWN TO WIN A MILLION DOLLARS!*
RETRO VIDEO GAMES CLICKBAIT
There seems to be a wave of incredibly misleading clickbait articles relating to retro games. Like a bad small they surfaces every 6 months or so. Titles like ‘YOU’LL NEVER BELIEVE HOW MUCH THESE OLD GAMES SOLD FOR’. Or ‘SELL YOUR OLD GAMES FOR THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS!’ to name but a few.
These articles are infuriating for most readers. Even more so for retro gamers and collectors for a multitude of reasons! Number one being the information in the articles is usually just false. They always manage to overprice each game or console, by a factor of at least two if not more. In one article I was told that a game we sell on our website was worth ten times the price we sell it for… and I do my research!
This article is going to have a clickbait title, it’s going to draw you in. But hopefully it’s going to educate you so you don’t overspend on something that’ll be worth half, if not less than half of what you paid, because BuzzFeed said so.
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR
You want to avoid being lured in by people trying to sell the game for a lot more than it is worth. I’ve been drawn in by this before. I purchased a SNES in my early days of collecting after seeing that it was easily worth £80 out of the box on a video games clickbait article that I took at face value. So when I found a used SNES in a market in York for £65 I thought I’d hit the jackpot – I hadn’t. I had just overpaid £25 for a console that wasn’t even in good condition.
Another thing – a lot of these video games click bait articles obfuscate where the value actually lies. In one instance I found a site professing that the big box price of Metroid was the price that the cartridge alone sold for. I would hope most people know that is so untrue that it makes me legitimately angry. In fact, it was the reason I decided to write this article in the first place.
I’m sure some of the video games clickbait isn’t designed to rip people off but a lot of it seems to me, to be malicious. Tricking people into putting a lot of real money into a collection, an investment, that isn’t worth half what they paid for it. Like the scheme that people have been running in crypto currency over the last few years, called a “Pump and Dump”.
In a “Pump and Dump” you artificially inflate the price of a stock or crypto currency. This is done by buying up as much of it as you can or by tricking others into buying it through phishing emails and spreading inaccurate information. Average people with less knowledge of the market start purchasing at more and more ridiculous prices. So, because you’ve been inflating the price and now own a lot of it, when it’s time to cash in, you sell everything effectively crashing the market price, making millions and everyone else destitute.
Obviously, this isn’t quite as extreme. But if someone is trying to convince you that Super Mario Bros for the NES is worth £600 you need to ask yourself why. Luigi’s Mansion was one of the bestselling games on the GameCube, yet some video games clickbait articles value it at £400 – it’s crazy!
We do our best to help new retro gamers pickup games and consoles for prices that match the market. Sometimes we manage to get what they want for them below market value. Even though we try to make sure everyone is getting value for money we can be wrong too. I hate to think of someone investing good money into a game, only to find out that it isn’t worth a day’s work.
Luckily I wasn’t put off by my early misadventures into retro game collecting via eBay. Rather than an investment it was pure nostalgia. I worry though that future collectors will be fooled by this blatant attempt to attract views. Or tactics to trick people into paying over the odds for their collection.
I usually air on the side of cynicism. And in this case, I don’t think I’ll change my attitude.
Retro game collecting can be tough. Especially if you don’t have a lot of money to sink into it. If I had to give one piece of advice to an aspiring collector it would be to compare prices. eBay, Gumtree or your local charity/thrift store or all good places to start. In some cases you’ll realise that the initial price you were offered is way above the market value. You might find they have undervalued the game you’ve been looking for the whole time… And who doesn’t love a good bargain?!
If you have games you think we should play, review or stream you can let us know on our Twitch, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube you can also find retro games priced for collectors on our website: www.supermegastore.co.uk.
*You can not win a million dollars on this website.