A Guide to Buying Out of Print Games

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It could happen to anyone: after a lovely evening of board games with friends, the urge to purchase one of those played suddenly strikes. Hopping online to pick up the game from the manufacturer via Amazon, the page contains those four little words that strike fear into the hearts of even the most hardened fans: available from these sellers. Amazon and eBay are good first stops to find out of print games, but they aren’t the only place to look. Smart shoppers can avoid the robotically inflated prices and heartbreak of being sniped at the last second of an auction by checking these sources:

Used bookstores

The refuge of the book loving nerd that wants to build a library on a budget is also a beacon of hope for finding board games. Many used bookstores also accept board games thank to the rise in board game popularity. Stores like Goodwill also often have games, but make sure to take a moment in the store to make sure that all the components are inside (or at least the ones that are missing can be easily replaced). National chains such as Half-Price Books have also recently started allowing customers to search their product databases to compete with sites like Amazon and eBay.

Board Game Trade Forums

The places where people go to talk about board games passionately are also where people with big board game collections go to get ride of unwanted games. Board Game Geek and the boardgame Reddit both have areas where users can sell their old games. Often, these users are looking to exchange board games rather than sell them outright, so fans with games gathering dust can switch things up a bit for the price of postage.

Specialty Retailers

There are retailers that also specialize in finding and selling old and used games. Places like Noble Knight Games, Fine Games and Don’s Game Closet have storefronts on auction sites, but dealing with them directly often allows for deeper digging into their inventories for hidden jewels. Retailers also offer some of the protections from the hassle of private sales, like customer service follow-ups and questions about the product after arrival.

The Friendly Local Gaming Store

Out of print doesn’t necessarily mean out of retail stores. These ideas often get confused when talking about games online. Out of print games are harder to find but still might be in stores for years after the game came out. The challenges of shipping and distribution sometimes mean a lag between shipments or that a local store still has copies of a game even if the company isn’t printing any more copies to ship out. A few phone calls to local stores within a short drive could be worth the time if that forgotten treasure turns up in the corner of a new game store.

What’s your favorite place to find hard to find games at decent prices? Share your secret stash in the comments!

Image credit: Pixabay

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