Tips on buying and selling consol games

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Some tips on buying and selling  games that you may find useful.

Thing to look for before buying:
1) Format.
You need to know if the game will play on your consol, so look for the format on the listing, it should say PAL.  All games made to play on UK consols are PAL, it's to do with the equipment you use to play and view the game on.  If it says anything else then it may not play on your consol.  Games are produced all over the world and are formatted to play on consols sold in, say for example US & Canada so instead of PAL it would say NTSC.  If you see 'other' where it says format on the listing, then it's proberbly a copied game so if your consol has not been modified, it wont play.  You must check the format BEFORE you put a bid on or you will have no comeback with the seller later, when you find it won't play.  The exception to this rule are video games.  Where it has no format and says 'video game', these games will play on most consols and also your PC, these seem to be produced in Israel.  (I have one, it plays on PS2, x-box and my PC).

2) Condidtion.
Games will not play forever, they wear out over a long period of time and use.  This is when you get games that go 'streaming' or you get stuck in the graphics and have to start again from your last save.  Small scratches from normal wear and tear dont have much effect on the game playing but a larger and deeper scratch's will.  So if your thinking about bidding on a 'well used' or 'I've played it loads of times' game, you may be the player to find thats it's worn out and won't play.  Check with the seller that it is still playing well before bidding.  Beware of buying games used by young children as they are intent in playing rather than replacing games in boxes, which leaves the game open to damage.

3)  Genre.
This is the type of game it is, such as a puzzle, shooter, action game.  Check this out before you buy.  If you like football games and end up with a snooker game because you bought it by just looking at the picture of the ball on the cover, then you can't expect a refund as the seller did nothing wrong, the mistake is yours! (see below).

4)  Picture & Age.
Dont rely on information from the picture of the game.  Some games carry a cartoon picture, dont be fooled into thinking it's a game for children!  Lots of games have cartoon type pictures but the actual game is for anyone over say, 16 years old.  Which means that it could be difficult for a 10 year old to complete the game, but anyone over 16 should be able to.  The same thing applies the other way round, a game with an age rating of 3+ may not be what an adult wants to play. Check out the age, if it doesn't say what it is in the listing, then send the seller a question and ask.  Dont bid on games with an 18+ rating for your child, not only because of the difficulty completing the game but also because it may contain bad language, sex and violence (some 18+ games are VERY violent)..

5)  Stock picture.
Beware, this is not a picture of the actual game that is for sale, it is a picture of what the game should be.  Sometime sellers use stock pictures as they dont have a digital camera, sometimes because the cover on the game they are selling is damaged or missing, sometimes because they have a whole batch of that game to sell, but don't forget that if it's a copied game, it won't have a picture.  Always e-mail a question asking why a stock picture has been used if you don't get that information from the listing.

6)  Cost.
Remember to add the postage to the amount you are prepared to pay. Example, I have £10 to spend and the game I want is now at £2.99.  (I'm not prepared to pay more than £10 as I can buy it from the high street for £10.99).  I'm prepared to bid up to a maximum of £7.75 and no more, because the postage is £2.25 (game @£7.75 + P&P@£2.25 = £10).

So now you have bought your game and it's arrived in the post - then what?  Don't leave any feedback until you have tried it to see if it plays, its no good say in feedback that it arrived this morning then sitting down to play in the evening only to find it won't play, as you have indicated that everything was OK. Check the disc for scatches, if it say's PAL and the type of consol you bought it for (PS2, xbox, PC etc).  Check you got what you paid for, if you paid for a boxed game with a manuel, is the manuel included?  What was the packaging like?  Some unscruplous sellers will send a faulty game in just an ordinary envelope so that when you complain they can say it was damaged in the post and claim from Royal Mail.  Only leave feedback if your happy, if your not happy, re-read the listing to check you understood it properly then use the e-mail option to try and sort out the problem first, before leaving a negative.  Remember the golden rule - when in doubt - don't bid!

Selling?  What does the buyer want to see?

The best way to sell, in my experience, is to give a full discription and also your honest opinion of what it was like to play.  Just writing what the game is, is not enought to encourage a bid from a cautous buyer who's not familiar with your game. Don't assume a prospective buyer knows all about your game. For example, your selling a playstation game.  If you just say that this is a great game in good condition, thats fine but only people who know the game will bid on it.  If the person reading your listing is looking for a new game to play and knows nothing about your game, you havent given them any information to make them want to buy it, so you have proberbly lost this buyers interest. 

1)  Discription.
Take the time to give a brief explanation of the game (and you dont have to rack your brains to do this as the information is already written on the case for you by the manufacturers!)  Remember to include if the game is suitable for 3+ or has an 18 rating, say if you enjoyed playing it or if it's not your sort of game.  In otherwords, make your listing 'personal'.  The sort of questions you might want to know if you was interested in buying are exactly what the prospective bidder will want to know. 

2)  Pictures.
Add a photo (I never buy if there is no photo as I want to see what Im buying!) the first one is free and you can add a second one for about 15p.  Think about how you browse on eBay, do you scroll down the written titles or is it the photos that catch your attention?  Dont put a border round your gallery picture, it makes it hard to see the game picture when your scrolling down the listings. The extra few pence for a gallery photo quite often get you more attention and extra bids which can lead to a higher selling price.

3)  Questions.
If you are asked questions on your item, add these to your listing with your reply, other's who may be 'watching' will see that they are not the only people interested and this usually leads to some interesting last minute bidding and a higher sale price for you!  Also saves you answering a stream of e-mails.  Remember to invite questions for anything that you may not have thought about (and trust me - there will be!), and when your writing the item 'title' try not to write it all in capitals.  This takes most people longer to read than small case letters. 

4)  Do your homework on price.
Before you write your listing, have a look at other peoples listings and see what they have written. Try using symbols to catch attention such as <<>>, ****, ~ ~, ^^^, :;:;:;, they are all on your keyboard, make your 'title' is 'different' from the rest and it will get more attention.  See what others selling the same game have started their bidding at, watch a few with a BIN price to see if they sell, if they don't sell then the BIN price was proberbly too high.  Your could be wasting your time and money if you list with a starting price of £2.99 and others are only making £2.99 at the end of their auction, you end up with fees to pay.  Remember this is ebay, if the high street is selling at £24.99 who's going to buy your BIN for £24.99 plus £2.99 P&P (total of  £27.98). You can add a 'buy-it-now' price but this is very limiting in my experience, starting with a low bidding price around the minimum you are prepared to sell for, may encourages more watchers followed by bidds.

5)  Catagory.
Make sure you get it in the correct catagory for people who do specific searches.  If it's a xbox game your selling make sure your listing doesn't end up in PS2 games.  If your not sure about the catagory, let the automated service do this for you (you can always change it later) or you do a search for the same game and look at the catagory list along the top of the listings.

The main thing to remember is how you use eBay, what catches your attention, what gets you interested in an item because on the whole, we are all the same when it comes to these things, your prospective buyers are no different!!  Give them as much information as you can.  When they are shopping in the high street they can see true colour pictures, scratches on disc's, they can pick it up and read whats written on the box then ask the shopworker questions, you need to do all of this for the buyer in your discription if you want a successful sale and good feedback later.

When you have finished writing your listing, read the pre-view, put yourself in a prospective bidders shoes and ask yourself   -   WOULD   I   BID   ON   THIS ?

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