Selling used games on Amazon can be profitable, but as I found, it does take a bit of extra work. But sometimes the extra work does pay off. Read on to find out what I gained besides a profit when I recently sold a used Operation game.
Operation is a fun game where you use tweezers to remove ailments from Sam the patient. The ailments are located in cavities and in the version that I sold, if you touch the edge, a buzzer will go off and Sam’s nose will light up. I remember playing this game as a child and it was one of my favorite games. Finding an older classic version at the Goodwill was great but what was even better is that when I scanned in the barcode with Profit Bandit, it showed that used versions were selling for over $30.00. When I saw that number, I got excited, quickly counted the pieces and bought the game.
Missing a Piece
At the Goodwill, I checked the overall condition of the game and confirmed that all of the pieces were there. However, I must have miscounted or lost a piece because later at home, I discovered that the “Butterflies in Stomach” piece was missing. I was very disappointed at this point because I figured my $20+ profit was gone.
I checked listings from other Amazon sellers and noticed that quite a few were selling this game with missing pieces. I remember reading in an Amazon FBA group page that selling games with missing pieces is against Amazon’s rules. I haven’t confirmed this yet, but regardless, I didn’t want to list this game with a missing piece. What if a customer didn’t read my description that a piece was missing and went ahead and bought it? That didn’t sit well with me, so I made the decision to just hold on to the game and see if I could locate the missing butterfly.
I searched online and found that I could buy Operation pieces for $4.99. I decided against that because that would cut into my profit margin too much. Since I bought the game with a VISA gift card that was given to me (free money), I technically wasn’t out any money. So, my next strategy was to just wait until another Operation game turned up and if it had the missing piece, I would buy it.
It was over six weeks later when I finally came across another Operation game. The game was pretty beat up and had several missing pieces, but it didn’t matter. It contained the Butterfly in Stomach piece that I needed and the price was very affordable. I gladly purchased the game and was finally able to move on to the listing and prepping stages of the Amazon FBA process.
Taking Pictures and Giving a Detailed Description
Again, I checked over the listings of other people selling Operation and saw that many were being listed with missing pieces. My game had all of the pieces and the cards were still in the manufacturer’s shrink wrap. Other than a small mark on the front of the box, the game was in pretty good condition. I wanted potential buyers to know that my game was better than the other used Operation games out there, so I felt the best way to do so was to take pictures and write a few condition notes. Here are a couple of my pictures:
In the above picture, I wanted to show that all of the pieces are there and that it’s in pretty good condition.
In the picture below, I wanted to show the blemish on the box so that whoever bought it would know to expect that.
Another reason why I took pictures was to make my listing stand out more. At the time of my listing, there was only one other seller that provided pictures.
Got a Sale and a Surprise
Once the game was finally live on Amazon’s website, it sold pretty quickly. Here are my numbers:
- Price Sold: $35.99
- Amazon Fees: $8.76
- Cost of Game: $2.16
- Profit: $25.07
Getting that profit was nice, but what really made my day was that the buyer gave me a 5-star rating! Here is the comment that went along with my rating:
“Good price. Order arrived on time with Amazon Prime and was as described by the seller. Played it with my dad the night it arrived. Works great!” – Amazon Buyer
By treating my potential buyers right by providing a complete game, pictures and a description, I was rewarded with a profit and positive feedback!
p.s. Interested in learning more about profiting from board games? Then check out Stephen Smotherman’s ebook, the Reseller’s Guide to Board Games. It’s packed with information from where to find games, how to prepare them, finding missing pieces, pricing them right and shipping them in. Plus, much more…. I recommend this book and he just updated it in 2015!