Board Gaming is becoming one of the biggest hobbies in the world and with the plethora of publishing companies pumping out game after game, it can become exhausting trying to find money and shelf space to store your games.
Here are some suggestions to keep your collection under control. Let’s start this off with 4 questions that you can ask yourself as a thought-exercise to gain some perspective on your collection. Not all of this will apply to everybody, since we all have our own reasons for keeping or getting rid of games like the amount of space one has, or their financial situation.
1. Does it Get Played?
One of the best ways to know if a game is worth keeping is looking at how often you play it. If there is a game that has sat on your shelf for a year’s worth of game sessions without being played, then it is safe to say that the game will not be missed.
Save for very specific situations like waiting for the perfect group of people to get together to hit the sweet-spot for player count, if there isn’t a niche reason that the game hasn’t been played yet – maybe it’s time to put it in the “maybe” pile, at least? If you’ve had opportunities to play this game but you’ve chosen other games time and time again, that says something, at the very least.
2. Does it Bring You Joy?
Take a good hard look at the box and try to recall your previous experiences with that game. Is there a fond memory attached to the times you’ve played or does it get lost in the mix of all the other games you’ve played? If it is not memorable, then there are probably plenty others in your collection that are more important to you.
If seeing a game on your shelf stresses you out because all you can think about is how much money you spent on it and how little you’ve played or enjoyed it, that’s worth listening to. You could cull it and free yourself from that burden.
3. Is it Too Specific?
There are some games that are absolutely perfect for the right group, but you only have the right group once every year or more. There are plenty of other games that are perfect for that same group and can be played in other situations, too. The same thing can be said for a specific player count. 95% of the time you’re game group is 2-4 players, and yet, you have games in your collection that are only playable at 6 or more players. Focus on getting rid of games that have very low likelihood of seeing the table. That’s a really good starting point. You don’t have to get rid of them all, it’s fun to have some “I’ll play this on the perfect day” games, but only to a certain point.
4. Is it Too Similar?
There are some mechanics that you just love and having many games that utilize the mechanic is worthwhile. However, there are so many games these days that do just a very slight twist on the same old mechanic. Try to isolate the one that does it best, keep that one, and get rid of the rest.
Now that you have decided what games you should get rid of, jump on over to Part II which will focus on how to get rid of these games.
What To Do With The Games You’re Getting Rid Of:
Board Gaming is becoming one of the biggest hobbies in the world and with the plethora of publishing companies pumping out game after game, it has become exhausting trying to find money and shelf space to store your games.
When you’re tired of a game, or want to get rid of it for any other reason, here are some ideas of what you can do with them.
5. Trade Them Away
There is a whole underground scene of people trading games with each other. The best place to trade games is through boardgamegeek.com. Their trade database has recorded over 200,000 trades since the site started allowing trades back in 2004. It is a great way to move on from a game that didn’t quite work for you with minimal loss.
Users can rate each other so you can see at a glance which users are reliable and which are not. You can list whatever games you want to trade and just wait for offers to pile in your inbox, or you can proactively search for a game you want and it will automatically match you with users that have interest in games you have up for trade. Once you have completed the trade, just package it up and drop it at the local delivery service.
Another source to trade games away is boardgameco.com which has made a business out of trading games. You trade games now for store credit later or trade directly for games that he currently has in stock.
6. Math Trades
Similarly, boardgamegeek.com has what is called Math Trades. Math Trades use an algorithm to make as many trades as mathematically possible. You list the games you want to trade and what games you want to get in return. The math trade will trade your game to Person A, their game to Person B, their game to Person C, who will trade their game to you. In the end, you always get something you want and without the negotiation of a person to person trade.
7. Sell Them Online
If you are looking to make some cash off of your collection, selling it is a great way to do so. The most common methods to sell are through eBay and the boardgamegeek marketplace. The marketplace will be the most active in terms of buyers but also the most competitive in terms of sellers.
There are also sites like Craigslist and apps like Letgo where you can list your games for sale online, but sell them to somebody locally. Most medium to larger-size cities will have some demand for used games through classified sites.
8. Check With Your FLGS
If you are not keen on dealing with the shipping and online marketplace stuff, then you can also try your friendly local game store. Many FLGS these days offer to buy used games and then resell them. This is a great way to support your local store and get something in return for your unwanted games, while helping feed games back into your local board game community to increase the spread of this hobby locally.
The popular games that sell often are probably more desireable to them, but they could be interested in some rarer and more obscure games, too. They probably won’t want stuff like Scene-It! and games based off of movies from 5 years ago, etc, but for stuff that’s in-demand like newer games and some of the classics, there’s usually demand for that kind of stuff. Modern board games that are borderline classics are always in demand!
Some games are very expensive new, and they’ll like get higher prices on the used market – but it really depends on the game and how badly people want it, whether or not it’s still in print, and so on. First edition prints can be desireable to some collectors, but players may be more interested in more recent or updated versions. Again, it really depends on the game. Some cheap board games under $25 won’t fetch a lot on the second hand market, but that’s okay, they didn’t cost much to begin with!
9. Donate Your Games
If you are not looking to capitalize on getting rid of your games, then the best thing you can do with them is donate them to someone else who can enjoy. I recommend checking with your local schools to see if they have any after school gaming clubs. Also, some other options are children’s hospitals, orphanages, retirement communities, shelters, youth clubs, etc. Just make sure that you are donating suitable games for the group that will be receiving them.
We’ve all seen people posting their incredible thrift store finds online, so you could also make someone’s day by giving it to a thrift store but make sure you’re comfortable with the business model of the thrift store. Certain local thrift stores end up doing a lot more good for charity than some of the huge national “thrift chains” that aren’t really charitable at all.