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What is my arcade worth?

Determining arcade worth - Quantum cabinet photo Here’s the scenario – You own a couple of arcade games. Maybe they’re something you inherited from a family member, maybe you bought a couple from a local auction a few years ago, or maybe you just bought the games a few years back and are just not sure of the value today. You want to know – “What is my arcade worth?”

Determining how much your arcade is worth $$$$

No official arcade game price guide exists, mostly because the market for collecting machines is speculative. One person will pay $300 more for a game than the next person, it is all about context. If you are a true ‘arcade collector’, you know the true value add of a nicely restored game where the electronics have also been bullet proofed. But if you have a more casual interest in owning an arcade game for your home and only plan to keep it for a year or two, then you won’t want to pay much for the machine.

What is a good rule of thumb for determining ‘worth’?

Well, to get an idea of arcade worth, I would start by searching the following three websites;

  • RGVAC Newsgroup – Text based arcade collectors user group
  • Crazedlist – ‘Crazed’ way to search Craigslist. Search every single Craigslist at once. (Requires Firefox, and some small mods to the browser)
  • eBay Arcade Jukeboxes & Pinball
  • Step by step analysis

    Step 1: Search RGVAC. Get a sense for what collectors are asking for your arcade game. This will give you a good idea of a baseline of value, ie, the lower end of your arcade worth.

    Step 2: Search one of the ‘regional’ sections on Crazedlist.org – Northwest, Midwest, wherever your state is located. Find mentions of your game, average the prices, throw out the outliers. This will give you an uneducated guess from a wide variety of folks on what your stand up arcade is worth.

    Step 3: Search eBay’s arcade game section. Get a sense for the prices from this open secondary market prices for your game. Only consider instances for games that currently have bids. ‘Follow’ the games to track the end prices. This will help give you a range with the RGVAC values.

    Step 4: Add all the values into excel and plot them on a graph and see where the distributed values lie. Toss out the outliers again and get a sense for the average value of your game in a similar condition / working condition.

    Its hard determining an arcade’s worth

    You need a lot of data to make a truly educated guess. Most folks don’t have that much time. So here is the other option….

    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. That knowledge about ‘worth(s)’ is something that cannot be replicated without being fully ingrained in one of the online arcade game communities. I can evaluate the worth of your arcade game, all you need to do is email me.

    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 arcade game is worth.

    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 idea of what your coin operated arcade game is worth, (usually) within 24 hours.

    Photos are absolutely crucial, I need to see the artwork.

    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 rothecreations@gmail.com. Please note, if you do not send photos but ask about the value of a game, your email will be ignored.

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