Valuable Vintage Board Games – Part 2

Valuable board games

In July, we shared tips to help you spot valuable vintage board games in your online auction search on StorageTreasures.com. You can find that article here.

This month, we will share some examples of popular board games that should fetch you a high price on the resale market these days. Board games have been around since the late 1600s. They have become much more sophisticated in recent generations, but they have been a favorite way to pass the time for thousands of years. While you probably won’t find an original board game from Ancient Mesopotamia in a storage unit, there are games from recent centuries that you might be able to pick up at a storage auction.

Dark Tower

Dark Tower Vintage Board Game

Dark Tower, produced in 1981, was very futuristic for its time. A fantasy game where players need to get the magic wand from the evil king and then defeat him, Dark Tower also came with a small battery-powered computer to track players’ scores. Dark Tower sold for $125 in 1981, so it was tough for most households to afford such a luxury. As a result, the game is scarce. Not only did the game cost a lot to buy, but it also cost a lot to make and advertise. Orson Wells, the famous actor, and director, promoted the game in TV ads. Dark Tower has sold on eBay for $300-$400.

 

Lost in Space 3D Action Fun Game

Lost in Space Valuable Board Game

Based on the TV show of the same name, this game of luck was made in 1966 by Remco. Players travel all over the wild planet of LOST IN SPACE. Your goal is to travel all three levels to reach Earth and identify as many planets as possible before your ship runs out of gas. Remco published Lost in Space in 1966 during the height of the space race between the United States and Russia and was wildly popular with youngsters. However, it is very intricate with multiple levels and many small pieces, so it is hard to find a complete set of this game. Dark Tower previously sold for approximately $700.

 

The Elvis Pressley Game

Elvis Presley Board Game

In Part 1 of this StorageTreasures blog series, we learned that some genres of board games are more popular than others, and one of those genres was famous people or characters. The Elvis Presley board game came out at the height of Elvis’ popularity when he worked on the movie, Loving You. Elvis also purchased his family home, Graceland, the same year, 1955.

Much like Elvis’ ability to make ladies swoon, this game is an early variation of a dating game. Teams of boys and girls race through the stages of life such as “let’s go steady” and “go get the preacher.” To get to the various stages of life, players must answer questions or sometimes get a punishment, like “walk like Marilyn Monroe.” The game sells on eBay for around $430.

Inflation

The Inflation Game

“Buy, Sell, and Trade Your Way to $1 Million.” This game, published in 1974, was not only meant for entertainment but also to teach people how proposed “share-your-wealth plans would increase taxes and place a heavy burden on all citizens.” In the game, successful players gain dominating positions in the economic affairs of the country. The government makes every man a king, and from there, he must take care of himself and manage his affairs to beat inflation. While this game sounds challenging to learn and play, the difficulty is a feature collectors find desirable.

The United States was in a recession from 1973-1975, and the Federal Reserve was trying to stop inflation after a Wall Street crash. Thus, another timely game for current events in our country. The game has many pieces with a similar setup as Monopoly, and it isn’t easy to find a complete set. Interested collectors can find The Inflation Game on eBay for around $1,000.

Keywood

Valuable vintage board games from the Keywood Series

One of the newer games on our list, Keywood is a settler’s game created in 1995. The original publisher made only 200 copies. The original version of this game had a thin, paper-like board game in black and white. Players have colored tiles and pieces they can use to build their villages. After building villages, leaders emerge to make decisions about taxes, licenses, and markets. The Keywood pieces have intricate designs, and with only 200 ever made, a complete set of this game is valuable, selling for up to $1,200.

 

Dr. Mario

Dr Mario Board Game

Dr. Mario includes popular Nintendo characters like Mario and Luigi. The goal is to find the correct color “viruses” and remove them from the board without getting a buzzer. The game is very similar in fashion to the game Operation. It isn’t easy to find any information about this game, much less find the game itself. Nintendo released versions of this game for their consoles and the Game Boy. It is possible Nintendo did not produce many versions of the board game because consumers preferred the digital versions. This version of the game has sold at auction for up to $1,500.

 

 

Swift Meats Major League Baseball Game

Swift meant's Major League Baseball

This game is one of the most exciting valuable vintage board games on the list. A meat company, Swift Meats, now known as Swift & Company, is headquartered in Greeley, CO. In 1957, they had the idea to issue a free kids baseball game with meat orders. People found individual cards in Swift Meats Hot Dogs packages, or a complete set was available through the mail. The game ha has 18 players and a game board, including Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, and Ritchie Ashburn. The players came in the form of punch cards with a paper game board, and the game pieces were very delicate. As such, it is hard to find them in mint condition. Swift Meats Major League Baseball previously sold at auction for $2,600.

 

Fox and Geese by the McLoughlin Brothers

Fox and Geese by McLaughlin Brothers

Fox and Geese is an old hunting game from the Middle Ages. The McLoughlin Brothers released Fox and Geese in 1830. The Fox and Geese board consists of unequal sides rather than a traditional square or rectangle game board. The game of geese hemming foxes and foxes capturing geese is made of medieval leather. This game is precious due to its rarity, the intricacy of the pieces, and because collectors value the McLoughlin Brothers as game designers. The last know version of the Fox and Geese game sold at auction for $18,000.

 

Monopoly – Atlantic City by Charles Darrow

Valuable vintage board games, Charles Darrow Monopoly

This handmade version of Monopoly is primarily credited as the first edition of Monopoly. The original version of Monopoly is hotly contested as many contend that Elizabeth Maggie’s version of The Landlord’s Game is the authentic original version of Monopoly. The Charles Darrow version was purchased by Milton Bradley in 1935 and became the game we all now know and love.

Darrow’s valuable board game version was round rather than being square, and each piece was handmade. Darrow drew the design for each card, such as Chance and the railroad cards, and his son colored each design. Soon, they made them for family and friends. Darrow eventually hired a printer to produce 5,000 copies of the game to sell to department stores. The last known set of hand-drawn pieces sold at auction for $147,000.

 

If you think you might have a valuable, vintage board game, you can learn more about the game at BoardGameGeek.

While it might be unlikely you would find the last two games on the list in a storage unit; you never know what treasure awaits you. Anything is possible in this business. Go to our website now to see what you can find. For more tips on how to determine the value of items you find in a storage unit, see our blog post, I think I found Something in a Storage Unit…How Do I Know?

Starting a Resale Business

starting a resale business

The resale market in the United States has snowballed in recent years. Reselling is when you source a product second-hand to resell for a profit. ThredUp, a popular website to resell clothing items, reports the resale market, now valued at around $28 billion, will grow to $64 billion by 2025. There are many theories about why the resale business is exploding. The global pandemic is producing cost-conscious shoppers. The rising unemployment rate means many buyers are looking for bargains. Another theory is that the younger millennial consumer base cares deeply about resources used to make clothing and find second-hand shopping more comfortable. Finally, widespread access to technology to resell items has made the industry much more mainstream and efficient.

Storage auction bidders have been reselling items for decades. Reselling is their business, and they were doing it long before the internet provided easily accessible places to resell items. Storage bidders have been sourcing goods to sell since before eBay and the dot-com bubble. Their success and the popularity of storage auction TV shows led to an explosion in the resale trade. Unfortunately, the TV shows glamorized a business that is much more than an easy side hustle. Many people don’t realize when they start bidding on storage units; buying and selling items from storage auctions is a material, legitimate business. It is a resale business. Here, we will share some tips with you to be a successful reseller.

 

Setting Up Your Resale Business

Success in any business requires a lot of pre-planning. First, you will want to obtain your business license from your state. See here for a state-by-state guide for obtaining a business license. If you plan to have a second-hand store or sell items in person, you might want to consider getting liability insurance. Liability insurance provides protection against claims due to injuries or damage. Insurance will protect you, your employees, and anyone who visits your shop. You will also need a resale permit. This permit allows you not to pay sales tax when you buy your inventory. You will need to charge sales tax when you sell the items and then report your sales tax collection each year. You can get a resale permit from your state’s Department of Revenue.

Besides licenses and insurance, you will need a way to track all of your purchases and sales. Think about purchasing an accounting program, like QuickBooks or Zoho Books. You should have a business bank account separate from your personal account. Co-mingling your personal finances and your business finances could lead to a tax nightmare in the event of an audit. It is important to know which purchases were made for your personal use and which ones were made for the business.

You will also need an inventory management system. When you are ready to file your taxes, you will need to know what sold and for how much. Additionally, you will need to know what you purchased that did not sell. Zoho offers an inventory management system with a free edition. eBay also offers the Easy Auctions Tracker. The Easy Auctions Tracker is an Excel-based spreadsheet, but it is sophisticated and robust.

Do Your Research

What are you planning to sell? Do you know what typical prices are? Some reseller pros recommend finding a niche market. Still, as storage auction bidders, it is difficult for you to pre-plan your inventory, so you might need to become an expert on selling many different types of items. Below is a list of things you might find in a storage unit to resell:

    • Electronics
    • Video games
    • Clothing & shoes (especially sneakers)
    • Collectibles
    • Sports equipment (varies by season)
    • Kitchen appliances and parts
    • Auto parts
    • Legos
    • Plush toys

Resellers can get overwhelmed when it comes to shipping items to their items. One problem is there are so many shipping methods to choose from. Another problem is online sites, like eBay, have shipping fees built into their platform. If you don’t have a clear understanding of how these fees work, you can end up overpaying.  Do you want to set up used fixed shipping fees or use a shipping calculator? You also do not want to price yourself out of the sale if your shipping rate isn’t competitive. It is worthwhile to learn about how shipping works unless you plan only to sell locally. You can consult the United States Postal Service about the weight of shipments and shipping rates. You can get free boxes and mailing envelopes from the USPS. Many of the online resale programs also offer guidance on shipping. For example, you can find out about shipping with eBay here.

Where to Sell

There are so many websites you can use to resell items. Some sites, like OfferUp or Letgo, allow you to sell almost anything. However, several sites like Poshmark and Etsy have specific requirements for what you can sell. Other sites specialize in a certain type of goods. You could get more money selling on the specialty sites than you might on a general resell site. Be sure to look at all different places to see where you might get the best return for your items.

  • Poshmark – designer brands, on-trend fashions, and shoes
  • ThredUp – new and used women’s and kids clothing and accessories
  • The Real Real – jewelry and designer goods
  • Kidzien – kid’s clothing
  • Etsy – vintage or hand-made goods
  • Ruby Lane – antiques and collectibles
  • Chairish – high-end furniture and décor
  • Swappa – tech gadgets
  • 5miles – sell within a 5-mile radius

The most important thing you can do to be successful is to treat reselling like a real business. Be active and consistent with your postings. Post often and follow through with all requests. You might find other resellers in your area and network with them. They might be willing to share their experiences and tips with you. If you want to get started right away, check out our two-part blog series Reselling Clothing: Best Practices. You can find part one here.

There is endless information about reselling that you can find on the internet. We are going to share several tips and tricks of the trade here on our blog. For example, do you know how the descriptions in your product listings become keywords for shoppers to find your items? Check back next month for marketing tips to enhance your listings.

Be sure to visit our website to see what great units await you to jumpstart your resale business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valuable Vintage Board Games: Part 1

Charles Darrow Monopoly

Valuable Vintage Board Games – Part 1

Those of us in the storage auction business see board games in storage lockers all the time. They seem to be a staple of abandoned units, just like artificial Christmas trees. Unlike artificial Christmas trees, vintage board games can be precious and highly desirable. According to Research and Markets, The World’s Largest Market Research Store, the world board games market will grow to 10% by 2024. This estimated growth equates to $12 Billion in revenue.

Do you know how to determine if a board game is valuable and how you should resell them? There are many, many things to look for to determine the value of a board game. See some tips below to see if you can get top dollar for your vintage board game finds.

Rarity

How challenging is the game to find?  How many copies did the publisher release? Board games dated back to pre-historic times and were handmade and painted. A complete set of a pre-historic game would be invaluable.  Games produced in the late 1800s and early 1900s were often made of wood and paper. The ones available are very pricey.

Because a game is old does not mean it is rare or valuable. Parker Brothers produced thousands of monopoly games in the 1950s and 1960.  Likely, the only old versions of Monopoly that would be valuable would be first editions or first copies. New games can also be valuable. Limited edition games produce in the last ten years are valuable.

Condition

Board games, like most things, will likely fetch more money if they are in good condition. It is often hard to find board games that have not been opened or played with, but these games would sell at a premium.  Collectors like to display the box as part of their collection, so a game box in good condition is more valuable.

Does the game have all the pieces? Collectors usually look for a complete set of the game. Simple missing pieces are easy to find or replicate. Intricately designed missing pieces, specialized pieces will lower the value. If you do find an incomplete board game, there is a market for selling the parts by themselves to others looking to complete a set.

There are a few key terms collectors use when talking about the condition of a board game.

  • OOP – Out of Print
  • P/UP – Punched or Unpunched
  • Mint or Mint in Sealed Box (MISB)
  • NRFB

Graphics, Lithography, and Illustrations

Details are key. Collectors consider box covers a work of art. Games with more intricate details and vivid colors are more likely to be valuable. For instance, games made before 1860 are often hand-colored and considered extremely rare and valuable. Different styles of design are also important, such as Art Deco or Futurism. Collectors looking for the artistic element of valuable vintage board games often care less if the game is good or fun to play.

Genre

Specific genres of games are more valuable. Namely, the following examples.

  • War Games
  • Miniature Games
  • Games depicting personalities or cartoon characters
  • Sports Games
  • Movies
  • TV Shows

Have you had had a big win with a vintage board game? Head over to our Facebook [link ttps://www.facebook.com/storagetreasures] page and tell us all about it. Revisit our blog next month for part two of this series, which will feature specific games and why they are so valuable.

Have you found what you think might be a valuable vintage board game? Check out BoardGameGeek.com or TheBigGameHunter.com to learn more about your game.

Do you hope to find a valuable vintage board game? Head over to StorageTreasures and see if you get lucky!

Are you new to storage auctions or thinking about bidding on a storage auction? Find out HERE What Happens After You Win a Storage Auction.

Featured image source: The Saturday Evening Post sourced from, The Strong National Museum of Play, Rochester, New York.

Is Reselling on Etsy Good for Storage Auctions?

Etsy for reselling items

There are many places for reselling items found in a storage unit in today’s digital marketplace. From eBay to Facebook Marketplace, Offer Up and so, so many more, your resale options are endless. However, some platforms may prove a better place to sell your storage auction finds. Etsy describes itself as a shop for hand-made, vintage, custom, and unique gifts. Have you found items like these in a storage unit you won at auction? Is Etsy the right place for you to resell items you find in a storage unit?

Etsy is a website where you can find homemade items such as birthday cake toppers, hand-made cards, costumes, wedding décor, pre-made scrapbook pages, and so many more special items. It is the go-to place for busy Moms who want to provide that special touch to their gifts or home. Etsy is not just for women. I have purchased several music-related items for my husband on the site as well. It is a great place to sell or find vintage t-shirts and clothing. Again, I ask, is Etsy the right place for reselling items you find in a storage unit? Let’s take a more in-depth look at the platform to find out.

Etsy Fees

Etsy is very user-friendly, and they have a mobile app for you to use. The first thing you should do is learn about the fees that Etsy charges. They have listing fees, transaction fees, advertising fees, and more. You can learn about all of Etsy’s charges here.

Setting Up Your Shop

Setting up an Etsy shop is easy. You will need to create a shop name and fill out some background information. You are not required to have a business license to list items on Etsy, but they do expect you to follow all applicable state and federal laws regarding commercial transactions.

The following is a list of other items you will need to set up your Etsy shop.

  • A banner and shop logo
  • Shop announcement – a brief welcome message to shoppers
  • About section – a place to upload videos or stories behind your products
  • Shop members – if you have other members on your team
  • Shop policies for shipping, returns, exchanges, downloads, and other guidelines
Marketing & Optimizing Your Shop

This part of the process is what will probably be most difficult for you. You have to promote your shop personally. Etsy does offer advertising space for an additional fee, but otherwise, you will need to rely on your network. You can link your social media accounts and use the location search to help people find you, but ultimately, it comes down to making your listing stand out and get recognized.

Just like eBay and Facebook, there are ways you can optimize your listing for Etsy search. Below, you will find optimization items to consider.

  • Tag and title relevancy
  • Item attribute relevancy
  • Listing quality
  • Customer experience

You can read more about Etsy’s recommendations for optimizing your shop here.

In 2019, Etsy reported over 45.7 million buyers worldwide and a sales volume of $4.97 billion.* It would be a shame to leave this market untapped when reselling your storage finds. If you need to hunt for more items to list in your Etsy shop, go to www.StorageTreasures.com now.

RELATED ARTICLE – If you are interested in being an eBay seller, check out our recent article, Storage Auction Winnings: Become an eBay Pro.

*Source: https://www.veeqo.com/us/blog/etsy-statistics

Storage Auction Winnings: Become an eBay Pro

Sell storage auction items on eBay

You finally won a storage auction. What do you do with the items now? Re-sell that inventory, of course. There are many different options available for reselling, eBay is one of the most popular places for storage auction buyers to resell their inventory. However, successfully selling on eBay is a little more involved than posting a picture and waiting for the bid to go up. eBay makes several recommendations for successful listings. You can read more about them at this LINK.

Even with all the tips from eBay about selling, it seems like some people are still better at selling on eBay than others. Have you tried all the eBay tips and still not had great results? Have you wracked your brain trying to figure out what other people know that you don’t know? You are in luck; some successful eBay sellers are willing to share their secrets to make you a better reseller.

eBay

In addition to the best practices listed above, eBay also offers the eBay Seller Center, the eBay Community, and eBay Upfront to help you resell items purchased at storage auctions. The eBay Seller Center resources like the eBay for Business Podcast and shipping tips. The eBay Community includes discussion groups and a weekly chat with eBay staff. The eBay Upfront is a traveling conference in which eBay sellers and groups come to you!

eBay Radio by Voicemarketing, Inc.

eBay Radio is an internet radio program produced by Voicemarketing, Inc. They host live shows with eBay’s top sellers, eBay news, and general e-commerce. One of the hosts of eBay Radio is a long time eBay employee and the Dean of eBay Education. Their website also features an extensive archive of past shows you can watch anytime.

Udemy

Udemy is a website where professionals can host all sorts of classes to share with those looking to learn. A search of “eBay” returned 997 results for classes, of which 113 were free. The paid classes range from The Complete eBay Course – eBay from Beginner to Advanced to eBay Hacks: Optimize eBay Seller Listings. The average price of a lesson on Udemy ranges between $10 and $15.

Skillshare

Skillshare is an online community with a focus on creativity. There is no charge for the classes listed on Skillshare, but there is a membership fee of $8.25 per month. They do offer a two-month free trial. Skillshare offers a course titled eBay Mini Newbies Boot Camp. The class has 14 lessons, and you can watch the first lesson for free to see if the content is right for you. The website boasts an attendance of 756 students so far to the Boot Camp.

Ed2Go

Ed2Go is a virtual continuing education platform. They offer classes and certifications to help people educate themselves and advance in their careers. They offer a 6-week course called Learn to Buy and Sell on eBay for $149. That price might seem a little steep, but the class has twelve sections, including one on The World of Digital Photography. It is also taught online by a real professional, rather than a series of videos you watch independently. The class is recurring, with different start dates available.

Facebook Groups

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of eBay Groups on Facebook full of people willing to share their knowledge. Some examples are: eBay Selling Basics Nothing but eBay Basics, EBAY SELLERS, Stay at Home Moms Selling on eBay, eBay Warriors, and eBay Sellers Helping Each Other. You can also join Facebook groups dedicated to storage auctions to learn more.

YouTube Videos

YouTube has long been the go-to source for how-to videos for those who prefer to learn by watching. That includes all things Storage Auctions, such as selling your winnings.  Searching “Selling on eBay” returned several titles. There are also videos for how to sell specific items on eBay, such as books. Some of the videos include tutorials for using the website, and others explore how to spot things you can resell on eBay.

To win another storage auction to help hone your eBay skills, check out all of our units on StorageTreasures. If you want to learn more about being a bidder on StorageTreasures, check out our Help Center articles here.

Header Image Source: Daniel Krasoń – stock.adobe.com