The money pit: money goes in, it doesn't come out.
June 24, 2010 12:44 PM   Subscribe

How can I sell my Star Trek/Star Wars Customizable Card Game cards and Miniatures game pieces for the best balance of money/hassle?

More than a decade ago I was really into the Star Trek: The Next Generation Customizable Card Game made by Decipher Inc, and spent a lot of my then meager earnings collecting them. I have some cards that are/were very rare or expensive. I have completed sets of the core game, as well as the first two expansion sets, as well as a large number of cards from later sets. Most of these cards are in very very good condition (some are in so-so condition).

More recently (3-4 years ago) I went through a phase where I collected the plastic Star Wars Miniatures made by Wizards of the Coast, and used them in games with my friends. I have quite a lot of minis, mostly from the first 3 sets, as I didn't keep up with the game after that. All are in good condition, but are not mint in box and bag (I actually used all of them to play the game).

Now, I am interested in selling these things. I haven't used them in ages, and I don't collect things just for collecting's sake. However I'm not sure if/how I can get a decent price for them. I'm guessing I spent more than $6,000 on all this stuff altogether, over many many years. I don't expect to make my money back, but I'm hoping to find a way to make at least $400 on the whole lot. I find it hard to accept the idea of selling everything to a 12-year-old for $20. On the other hand, selling them one item or card at a time seems like it would be more trouble than it's worth... unless you know something about their value that I don't? I don't have the time to sell things for $2 here, $3 there. If I could list a lot that would get at least $40 I'd consider it.

Any idea how to sell these things? EBay prices seem to be very low, and the listings that seem to do the best are of the one-at-a-time variety. I'm not sure if local comic shops might be interested in my Star Wars Minis, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't want an old out-of-print Star Trek game though.

I'd just like to get small fraction of the money I've paid back without spending more than, say, 10 hours total on the selling process. Possible?

If it isn't possible, is there any reason to wait to see if they'll be worth more later, or should I just give up and get whatever I can for them (or maybe even just throw them out)?
posted by Vorteks to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My local comic/game store still has unopened booster packs from ST:TCCG that will probably never sell. I've been trying to offload my collection for years; it feels like the cards aren't worth the paper they're printed on.

Check your local shops (especially those with an active in-shop gaming scene) to see if they do consignment sales -- some of my shops have recently adopted this model to help people sell niche products that don't do well on eBay.
posted by Wossname at 12:56 PM on June 24, 2010

Without knowing anything about this particular collectible market, these things are always, always a tradeoff of time and money. You can put the whole lot up on eBay or maybe take them to a local game shop. You'll be done with it quickly but won't make much money. Or you can do the time-consuming research, list the rare and high-value cards individually, list the rest in lots (maybe 20 to 50 cards/lot?), spend significant time photographing, listing, mailing, and maybe get something close to what the current market worth of the collection is.

You can't expect to choose the quick route and make any real money because you're shifting the time-consuming part onto someone else.
posted by 6550 at 12:58 PM on June 24, 2010

Stop in to your local gaming/comic stores and ask them about this. If they are buying cards/and minis this is probably your best bet. You might have a harder time selling the ST cards, but I imagine there is still a fairly active SW minis community so these might be easier to unload.

If no local shop is buying then I would separate out only the rarest/most valuable minis/cards and sell these individually. Probably on ebay. The rest I would put into some big lot and either craiglist or ebay it.
posted by cirrostratus at 1:04 PM on June 24, 2010

Other than Magic: The Gathering, I haven't heard that most CCGs actually turned out to be all that collectible.

I'm not sure I'd sell off the good cards individually though. Yeah, you'll get more per card that way, but it's going to take time and effort and will come with no guarantee that you'll actually be able to move them all. Instead, I'd list out the good stuff in your collection, then either sell it in batches with a bunch of stock cards or in one big lot, e.g. "This list of rare cards plus hundreds of commons/uncommons," etc.

Your theoretical sell price is probably lower that way, but you actually move all your cards. I'd say this is probably the best way of maximizing your actual revenue.
posted by valkyryn at 1:13 PM on June 24, 2010

Ask around at the various games shops in your area. If it's anything like when I worked a sports card/game store the $$$ value is in whatever is currently popular.
And that means that whatever games are not popular are, unfortunately, not worth much.
Still, it may be worth your time to at least find out from the local shops.
posted by nickthetourist at 6:23 PM on June 24, 2010

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