OK so it’s been a while but the much anticipated second part for tips and tricks on starting a retro video game collection for those on budgets is here.  If you haven’t read the first part then no worries!  You can check it out right here and come back to this one.  Or just go ahead and keep reading this one, I don’t judge.


Know the Cost of Consoles

Now this one isn’t really a tip but more of a ‘heads up’ for those who are set on starting a console collection.  Even though these consoles are older, they are not as cheap as you might think or want them to be.  I did some research and went to the Frank and Son collectible show in the City of Industry California to get some averages on the prices for these consoles and here are the results starting with Nintendo.  Keep in mind these are all “complete” consoles meaning that the people selling them include all the necessary cables and at least 1 controller.  I’m also including loose consoles, those that are Complete In Boxes (CIB), and some special edition ones I was able to find while collecting the data.


  • NES Loose: $70
  • SNES Loose: $83
  • N64 Loose: $70
  • N64 Special Pikachu Edition: $260
  • N64 Toys R Us Exclusive Gold: $250
  • N64 Transparent Black Edition: $250
  • GameCube: $63


  • Master System loose: $100
  • Genesis Loose (all types): $48
  • Genesis Bundled with SEGA CD: $140

    A CIB PlayStation, Intellivision and the sealed $3,000 NES. The seller was asking for $200 for the Intellivision.

  • Genesis 3 CIB: $175
  • Genesis 2 CIB: $100
  • Genesis Nomad Loose: $130
  • SEGA Saturn Loose: $97
  • Dreamcast Loose: $60


  • PS1 Loose: $40
  • PS1 CIB: $100
  • PS2 Loose: $60
  • PS2 CIB: $125

Hand Helds

  • Game Boy Loose: $51
  • Game Boy CIB: $100
  • Game Boy Color Loose: $48
  • Game Boy Color CIB: $60
  • Game Boy Advance Loose: $30
  • Game Boy Advance SP Loose: $50
  • Game Boy Advance SP CIB: $150
  • Game Gear Loose: $45
  • Game Gear CIB: $250

Now these are just the averages I found while I was out and about but they should give you a general sense on how much you’ll be spending on the console of your choice. If you’re just starting out but want to get a CIB console make sure you’re OK with dropping a ton of money. I saw a CIB NES that was completely sealed, never opened and on sale at a booth.  The price almost made me faint.  The seller wanted $3,000 dollars for it since it the system was never opened.  In my honest opinion the 3 large price tag is a little much but as these systems get older, the more expensive they get.  Of course the data provided was from a limited source and there is a MUCH bigger market online, however that brings me to my next tip


Now this should come as a no brainer when it comes to seasoned veterans in the collecting world, but if you are starting out I would be VERY careful when purchasing things online.  Especially when it comes to games and consoles.  If you’re a new collector I would highly recommend going to brick and mortar used game stores before buying games online. Not like GameStop but stores that specialize in retro games and collecting.  They normally are really picky with their trade-ins and won’t sell games or systems if they don’t work.  Also going to a retro video game convention or a trade show is another way to make sure these games are in great condition.  Since most of the games are used you can open them up and check the quality of the games, especially the disc based games.  If a disc doesn’t look right or you’re concerned if it will play or not, the stores normally will have tested it before hand or they’ll test it again to put your mind at ease.  If they can’t test it, talk to the seller, normally they’ll give you a business card with their contact info on it just in case something goes wrong.  I bought a game at a con once and was nervous it wasn’t going to play.  The gentleman running the booth said that if the game didn’t work I could email him and he would send me a copy of the game I bought free of charge.  Luckily the game did work but it’s things like that that where I was comfortable just in case something did go wrong .  Buying online is a bit of a crapshoot unless the seller has a good reputation. Luckily I have had no issues when I bought second hand games off of sites like Amazon or Ebay, but the fear is always there for me.  Even when I did buy a game at a trade show I didn’t look at it properly and it was a faulty game.  Luckily the guy I bought it from was kind enough to do a exchange but always make sure the games are in good and playable condition before you buy a game.

With these tips you should be more than prepared to start your collection.  Collecting video games is a great hobby and if you have even more tips share them in the comments down below.  It’s a big world with multiple subsections and niche’s that it will look intimidating at first, but once you get into it you’ll find a great hobby.  Plus the best part about it is that you get to play some awesome games!


Ben Magnet Ben Magnet (71 Posts)

Ben is a man of many hobbies. Aside from his deep love of video games, he also does 2 podcasts (The Fake Nerd Podcast and Basement Arcade: Pause Menu), reads comics, loves films, and studying up on video game history. His favorite eras in gaming are the Console Wars between SEGA and Nintendo, the early 2000’s, and the mid 80’s when he wasn’t even born yet.