Japanese used games scene

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Suetonius
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Japanese used games scene

Postby Suetonius » Fri Apr 01, 2005 12:08 am

I am going to Japan this Christmas for only two weeks. I was wondering whether I could buy a whole heap of games while I am over there and sell them on ebay here in Australia. Would I make any money? Or is it too much of a risk having big money tied up in video games? I am not trying to go there to make a fortune, all I am after is a little bit of money to cover some of my ticket. Also, what is the used games scene in Japan like? Do they have pawn brokers where I can get them cheap?

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Postby Azazel » Sat Apr 02, 2005 12:38 pm

Generally the risks outway the rewards. Also Ebay is more of a buyers market now than a seller market which it used to be some years ago. I think your best bet would be to maybe get a few high price items like a PC Engine Dracula X for under 10000 yen and try to sell it on Ebay for about $150.00 or so. This is just an example and not a guarantee of what you could make. Also if you check some Japanese websites they have price lists for what Medialand, Trader, Liberty and some fo the major big name shops sell stuff for. You could than compare that to what stuff goes for on Ebay and see if it would be worth your time and money.

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Sat Apr 02, 2005 3:12 pm

Azazel pretty much hit the nail on the head. 5 years ago, you could buy any random game and charge what you wanted for it. Now, it's not so easy. Yeah, everything is cheaper, but not THAT much cheaper. The high dollar, hard to find games are your best bet. Then again, sometimes they're hard to find in used game shops in Japan as well. :)
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Postby Suetonius » Mon Apr 04, 2005 2:19 am

Are there many used games shops in Japan? I was told by a Japanese that there are not many second hand/collectable outlets in Japan. She told me that japanese are not like us Westerners, Japanese people apparently just throw away old items? Unlike us westerners who are crazy about antiques and retro (rich people included) So in short, do Japanese have antique stores, pawn brokers, opp shops, swap meets and flee markets?

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Postby delafro » Mon Apr 04, 2005 2:24 am

Well, I suppose it depends on what you are looking for. For example, the secondhand market for manga appears to be absolutely huge. And it looks like some hipsters will only wear used clothing. But I imagine there are some things Japanese folks won't buy unless it's brand new. You should be able to find a used bookstore, probably with some games in it too, by any moderately-sized train station.

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:13 am

There's virtually no market for used furnirture. Big things like this is what your friend was probably referring to. Games, CDs, DVDs, and manga... there's mom & pop shops everywhere... moreso than the US I'd say. Even Tsutaya (Japanese version of Blockbuster) has a used games section. Used cars don't really carry their value at all, and are often sold for almost nothing.
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Postby Ganelon » Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:26 am

And don't European cars get sold for more than they do in the US?

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Postby Suetonius » Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:49 am

Gaijin Punch wrote: Used cars don't really carry their value at all, and are often sold for almost nothing.
Wow! here in Australia people pay big money for restored classic cars and Hot Rods (I see there are classic car collectors in the US too) Some of the older cars have more personality to them, as opposed to the bland looking newer models (give me a restored '70s Mustang anyday) I would love to get an old car (maybe an old Celeca) tune the engine up a little, add mag wheels, suspension, tinted windows, re-spray it, etc Anyway, back to games, I am glad that there are used video game stores in Japan! Games are my second favourite hobby (my favourite being playing Rugby League) So, I assume that these used games stores are cheaper than e-bay, but not cheap enough to buy and re-sell? (unless it is a rare item such as Radient Silver Gun)

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Tue Apr 05, 2005 6:39 am

Just depends. About 5 years ago when I first started selling on Ebay, the price difference was big enough to actually buy games in Akihabara and sell them on Ebay for a very decent profit. Then again, there was only a few people (if that many) selling direct from Japan. Most Ebay sellers were people with a connection in Japan, and that's about it. As the years went on, there were more white faces in Akihabara, and prices on Ebay were going down due to competition. I eventually gave up as I had a better job, and the profits weren't worth the hassle. I wanted to play games anyway. I remember playing VF4 w/ a british guy in Akiba a few times... I asked him what he did in the area, and he replied, "Oh, I sell games on Ebay." Almost laughed, as I always felt like I was one of the pioneers of that scene. Anyways, to cars. I'm not talking about vintage stuff. I'm talking about 3-4 year old cars. Japanese people have a thing for new...especially with cars. European cars sell probably about the same here as they do in the US. I've seen very affordable BMW's.
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Postby Ganelon » Tue Apr 05, 2005 6:48 am

Oh yeah, didn't Japan have a law against some sort of used game sale years back?

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Postby Suetonius » Wed Apr 06, 2005 2:23 am

What about other J-pop culture items? (such as anime collectables, music CDs, manga etc) is there any money in them? Anyway, I guess that at the very least I will save some money on my own personal games when I go to Japan. I buy a lot of vintage games on e-bay and I guess that over the years the postage cost alone is starting to add up.(By the way, games are not the reason why I want to go to Japan)
Gaijin Punch wrote: Anyways, to cars. I'm not talking about vintage stuff. I'm talking about 3-4 year old cars. Japanese people have a thing for new...especially with cars. European cars sell probably about the same here as they do in the US. I've seen very affordable BMW's.
I guess that used cars can be a lot of stress if you do not know how to pick a good one. If you have no knowledge of mechanics, you could end up with a real lemon. I drive a used (classic) car because my father is a machanic and he got a good one for me (three years and not a single repair) Plus, if a problem did happen, my father can fix it blind folded (with parts that cost next to nothing from the wreckers) I guess one bad point in regards to newer cars is that they can be very difficult to repair (they now have computers, complex wireing systems, etc) Puls the cost of parts would kill you.

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Postby NanashiAni » Wed Apr 06, 2005 2:39 pm

Collectibles are hit-or-miss, used CDs are hard to market (especially as there's an established store doing it) and you'll still be undercut by bootleggers, and manga kills you on the shipping unless you're stocking a store with a half-container or something similarly ambitious. You'd probably be best served making arrangements with people before you leave to find particular items that're inefficient to order individually---it's a pain to get a hold of things like "a couple random DraQue slime fridge magnets" or "a single SFami controller" or "a rereleased CD single" without paying more than double the price to the exporter, and more than double that to have it shipped.

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Wed Apr 06, 2005 5:38 pm

I think with the car thing, there's such a small market for used cars compared to the US that you don't hear about the lemon thing. I don't think I ever saw a used car lot with 10-year old cars in them. Not saying they don't exist, but they are rare. No joke, you can see hundreds of cars on the streets at one time, and none of them are crap. You'll see when you get there. :) And yes, shipping you will need to worry about. You can basically sell any J-crap, but you need to figure out the going price abroad before lifting. I never kept up with the US markets of really anything while I lived here, so if something was licensed in the US, it's import counterpart might be something hard to unload. Ganelon: No clue on any car laws. Never had a (real) license.
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Postby aerithhime » Sun Apr 10, 2005 3:23 am

You could sell doujinshi. There's certain game and anime series that sell good. You'd want to go with hard to find stuff like Final Fantasy 6. Then there's always the common popular series/rare content angle. For instance Inuyasha doujinshi are common but it's a gamble if the one you got is going to sell well but get one with a rare pairing like Kagome and Koga and it could go pretty high. Back a few years ago it was possible to make really good money on doujinshi with much less care. Now it's trickier and I don't attempt to get a book to sell unless I have something rare to offer. I'm not in Japan so what I have access to is limited. But it can be fun I always enjoyed looking at the stuff I bought to sell and sometimes I kept things for myself.


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