Dumpster diving for fun (and sometimes profit)

[Disclaimer: This article talks about the used market for games primarily on consoles. But the ideas in the discussion can be used for steam-sales on the PC as well.]

Going to a game-store in this day and age is usually a pretty droll affair. The new games are too expensive, the stores might be filled with more ”swag” and ”loot” than games and the employees (bless their hearts) accost you with ”game-protection” and pre-orders. But, despite all this, I still make time to go to one every once in a while. I do this because of the magical place called the ”used games aisle”. Now, before we get into what I dig about used games, let's just clear the air (no housekeeping?).

Used games/pre-owned games is a controversial topic. There are good and bad arguments on both sides of the debate and I do not really wish to have that debate right here, right now. It is an interesting topic with two very entrenched sides, but this article is not about that. So, please leave those thoughts at the door for today.

Buying used games offers a great opportunity for anyone interested in broadening their horizons. You can get yourself some games you would probably newer buy at a pretty heavy discount. In a perfect world, games would be both affordable and profitable, but unfortunately that world isn't ours. Games are expensive, and buying a new game can be a pretty steep gamble. So, the oh so controversial used market exists.

Pictured above is a game I really liked, that I didn't think was for me, that I bought used.

Now, with that said, the risk of picking up something you don't like is just as big on the used market as the new. The real difference being that you might be spending 5 to 10 dollars, instead of 60. I've gotten a fair few stinkers, but I'm pretty happy with the turnout regardless. Because every game you play fit into your own catalog of games, and playing something you don't like will help you be able to formulate what you prefer. A good crap game can be the coffee between two really nice muffins. You need the bitter to appreciate the sweet.


Used games will also let you experiment. Is there a game you might want to play, but you just can't justify the price? Well, getting it used might soften that blow. You might even find something that you will grow to love, something that you never thought you'd like in the first place. That is the primary reason why I sometimes buy used. Here, in Sweden, a new game cost somewhere between 600 and 700 SEK, that is about 70 to 80 dollars. That's a lot of money, and I'm the kind of person who has a hard time forking over that amount of cash in the hopes that a game is good. Now, I wish I could just play a demo and see what was in store for me, but that doesn't seem to be the case much anymore. So I make good use of the used market, to try new things out, to take risks, so to speak. Simply because the price of entry is so much lowered. So, from a collectors stand-point, I would recommend the used market. We will, however have to discuss the weird financial ramifications the used market had, but that is a discussion for another time.