Arcade Game Price Guide
Have some arcade games sitting around, but don’t know how much they’re worth? Get in touch with me, and send me 3-4 photos, and give me a general idea of current working condition and within 24 hours I can give you a ballpark value of your old video game.
Figuring out the worth / value of your arcade game
No official arcade game price guide exists, mostly because the market is basely largely on comparison speculation. If you want to know more about this reasoning, read more about why no arcade price guides exist lower on this page. Having been collecting, trading, and monitoring arcade game values for many years now I have a concept of what something is worth. If you want to know the context of my experience learn more on my about page.
I have sold a ton of games through Craigslist, eBay and through this website and I have price point data for a ton of arcade games through those channels. The largest audience for selling an arcade game is to the ‘collector’, and for that reason you also have to have a sense for what a ‘collector’ would pay for an arcade game. That experience is something that cannot be replicated without being fully ingrained in that community.
Oh yeah? Give me some data.
I can do that. Here is some sample data from the listings I have. 10 auction results for a fairly easy to find arcade game – Super Pac-man. This data includes the final sale prices, city, state as well as the condition of the game / cabinet on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being the worst.
This is not a large enough data set to really do any good analysis, but you can see that in general the Super Pac-man’s would sell, working, in the $250-$350 range. You may get +-10% in value, but that is where you should set your expectation on how much that game is worth. If you think that you may just create a listing on eBay, you may be interested to check out my “How to sell an arcade game on eBay” guide.
What I need from you to determine the ‘worth’ of your arcade game
To accurately give you a realistic ‘collector’ geared price I need a couple of bits of information / photos;
- Photos, Photos, Photos!- 3-4 digital photos of the arcade game in question showing every side
- Description of condition- Artwork faded? Where are the chips and dings in the cabinet? How much of each piece of artwork remains and in what condition? Those sorts of things
- Does the game work? – If not, what does it do?
- Monitor condition – When the game is off, does the monitor have ‘burn’, or a ghosted image of the game burned into the screen, and if so how bad?
If you can submit that information to me, I can provide a general value of your game (usually) within 24 hours.
Where do I email the information and photos?
To submit the information to find a dollar range value of your arcade game, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note, if you do not send photos but ask about the value of a game, your email will be ignored.
Just know, your arcade game probably isn’t very ‘rare’
Most people don’t have the really rare games. Rare is a relative term. Most arcade games are fairly hard to come by, you can’t head down to the supermarket to find one. But these secondary online channels exist so tracking down a game within reason, isn’t too hard. The Ms. Pac-mans, the Donkey Kongs, and the Dig Dugs sold in the tens of thousands of units and thereforce are very easy to find and are very easy to estimate a value – which hasn’t changed much in 12 years.
It’s the arcade games that were made from the late 70′s to early 80′s and only had several hundred or maybe as many as a thousand units made, that also had a cult following, that retain the kind of value you might dream about.
Why an arcade price guide doesn’t exist
I get a fair amount of questions about why there is no permanent price guide for arcade games.
Simply put, there is no price guide because prices are highly subjective. Each individual person will be different in what they are willing to pay for a game and what sentimental value that game had to them. The worth of an arcade game is also based upon the level of one’s income believe it or not. Some homeowners would rather have a really nice looking game with a service guarantee than get a beat up game to fix up.
That is the argument you typically hear on the values of arcade games and pinball machines. However, as an example, baseball cards have price guides, and those prices are subjective to what a collector is willing to pay as well. It just happens that baseball cards have a bigger market than arcade games.
Using secondary markets for an average range
The generally accepted mantra is that by using a combination of Craigslist, eBay, and private sales you can get a price range of a couple hundred dollars of what any given machine is worth.
The particularly interesting this about full size arcade games is their size. A rare arcade game is not as easily sold on eBay as a ‘rare’ cartridge of a console game, so there is an added element to the worth of any given arcade. It’s not completely preventative, but it is a hindrance. Plus, these games are nearing 30 years old for some of the classics. No one is making new ones, and each year the supplies are dwindling. They predated eBay, so unlike Nintendo or Atari cartridges, there was a whole stash of games lost before eBay came into existence as a mode to resell them.
Want to learn more in general or looking to find a specific game? Use my contact form.