Jul 9, 2014

Fun with Board Games

Board games transcend generations, they allow adults to relive their childhoods and give them a vehicle to create bonds with their own kids. Board games are a chance for people to unplug and relate to each other while having fun! As a seller, my family and I are sure to test drive every board game I sell. Sometimes, we end up keeping them, it happens….

Board games have been around for thousands of years. The oldest known being an Egyptian game called Senet. This game has been found in tombs dating back to 3500 BC. Although the rules of the game are long gone… lost to time….some historians have pieced together the game. There are a few different versions; however the objective is the same, be the first player to move all of your pieces from the board following a few basic rules.

Board games have always been a popular part of human history, but for Americans they really boomed during the depression. Families were painfully poor and entertainment was definitely on the list of expendable expenses. This was when a lot of board games really gained their popularity, one of the most well known of course being Monopoly. It was also a common practice in this time for families to create their own board games. My family did not have a lot when I was a child in the 1980’s and I believe this led to my love affair with games. We always had board games as they were a way that during Christmas, instead of buying 2 gifts, one for each kid, my parents only had to buy one.

As an adult, my love of board games was rekindled with vintage games. I am particularly drawn to the games from the 1950’s to the early 1980’s. The graphics are incredibly fun and the games range from very simple like Mastermind to incredibly complex like Microdot.  My personal collection started about 10 years ago while at an estate sale. I found 3 flawless vintage games, “Clue” from 1959, “Booby-Trap” from 1965 and “Microdot” from 1975. I love collecting, so the only way I keep from moving into hoarding is by having designated areas that my collection fits into, once it over-flows, it is time to cull! When it is time to sell a game or two, I often start by posting on my personal Facebook page to give my friends the first shot. This way I can avoid the photographing, posting and fees that go along with my shop.

There are some things to look for when buying board games. The very first thing is to ensure the pieces are all there. Even one missing piece and your game has little to no value to a collector. Most games will have a list of contents in the first paragraph or two of the instructions, you always want to make sure that the instructions are present as well. How does the board look? Is it firm? Are the graphics still bright? The condition of the box is also relevant when taking into account the resale value, particularly if the corners are split.

If you are going to sell vintage games, there are a few things to keep in mind besides condition. When listing a board game, you want to talk about condition, graphics and objectives. If you have played the game, it is good to relate your experience. Photographing board games can be very challenging, but they are definitely rewarding photos. Some of my game shots have been my very favorite of all time in my shop. You can create some really interesting angles and compositions. When thinking of pricing, you of course want to take into account what you paid, condition and what the market reflects. There is an amazing site called BoardGameGeek.com where you can find all things game. I do not think there has been a single game that I have not been able to read about there. The final thing to take into account is shipping. Many game boxes are quite large. If the box is very firm, to save the buyer shipping cost, I will often reinforce with some cardboard and wrap in a few layers of bubble wrap paying special attention to the corners. 

Now go play a game!


Jennifer said...

Very interesting and informative! Thank you!

Linda Shore said...

Great write-up and beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing.

Sarah ~ Magnolias Attic said...

Great article -- and some great tips!