Selling or Trading-In Your Games
to Fine Games
Fine Games is always on the lookout for strategy board games, especially wargames,
in excellent or mint condition. We purchase individual games of note but prefer to buy sizable lots, even entire
collections. We pay you either cash or trade-in credit once your games are received and inspected.
This page gives helpful hints about
- what we buy,
- how to offer your games to us, and
- how to properly package
& ship your games us.
What Type of Games Does Fine Game Buy
Fine Games focuses on wargames, first and foremost, and secondarily on more
strategy-oriented board and card games. Included within these parameters are all the accessories of the hobby
including magazines, gaming supplies, parts, etc. We are always on the lookout for games fitting these parameters
that are in excellent or mint condition. As games get further away from
this focus or those physical conditions, we have less & less interest in them. Which means we will
likely still buy them, but pay less for them.
Fine Games generally does not
seek out (1) Fantasy Role
Playing Games or supplements, (2) miniatures of any type, (3) collectable cards or sets, or (4) generic mass
market games (such as Twister, Barbie Does Dallas, or even Risk or Monopoly, etc. as well as most
Euro-style games). While we may buy such games as part of a larger
collection, we do not actively seek out any such item and will not offer much reward for these.
We are, of course, most keen on unplayed ("mint") games.
How to Describe & Itemize Your Games For-Sale
We urge you to review our own classification and coding scheme
described elsewhere on this web
site. By becoming familiar with how we describe games' condition, box type,
publisher, etc., you'll learn what we regard as important in ranking and evaluating games. You can use your own categories, so long as you define just what you mean by each. Whatever method you do
use simply needs to be applied objectively and consistently.
One of the criteria we use to decide whether to take the time to make an offer on a larger collection of 50+ items is what your asking price is for the list of items you've provided. Please provide an asking price that reflects the fact that you are offering to sell on a wholesale (not a retail) basis.
In addition, bear these factors in mind as you itemize your games for-sale:
Edition - Which revision or printing of the game are we dealing with?, In many
instances, there were significant variations. This should be indicated on or with the rules.
Box Type - how is the game packaged? Often there were many box types, including a
non-boxed ziplock or folio format. Plus, some people remove their games from the original box.
Smell - does the game have a musty or mildew smell?
Tobacco smoke smell?
Staining - does the game have any spots, spills or stains? Mildew stains or spots
often--but not always--accompany mildew smell or storage in a damp place. And many games are marked by
coffee or other liquid stains.
Box Integrity - How is the box packaging holding up? Is the original box & cover
sheet included? Are there major scuffs, abrasion or wear to the box?
Defective or Missing Components - What's missing from the games' part's inventory?
Note that games with seriously defective counters (those missing information) cannot be mint even if
unpunched, nor can they be excellent if otherwise clean; this defect must always be explicitly revealed.
Where components are noticeably mix-&-matched from different editions or copies of a game, this should
be noted, too.
Game Buying Policies & Procedures
The following guidelines are offered to help you understand how such purchases & trades take place.
Games must generally be received & inspected prior to completing any deal. This is
to assure that your games are in the condition you say they are. Inspection times vary depending on the number
and condition of your games, as well as other business & personal demands upon my
time. Things can take a day or several weeks depending on many factors
including how well kept your games are. You
agree to be patient when you agree to a trade-in transaction.
Remember that trade-ins are not "cash;" if you expect
immediate turn-around, then we recommend that you pay for your games and
take reimbursement for trade-ins at a separate & later time.
- If you have more than about 50 items to offer, and wish a quoted offer from us prior to concluding a deal, you must provide us with a ballpark asking price. This will inform us as to whether your expectations are realistic before we invest time to form an offer.
A peek at the various Fine Games catalogs will quickly inform you of the type of games Fine Games
focuses on: historical & strategy-oriented board games, magazines & accessories. Think wargames in all flavors. Only rarely
do I pick up sports, role playing or collectable card games.
We seek popular games in excellent or mint condition. Games in lesser condition will be considered
but are valued disproportionately lower. We especially seek those items not currently shown in Fine Games'
Typically, a cash amount will be offered for games offered for sale or trade. You can take this in cash
and/or new games at face value. In many cases, we can offer proportionately more trade-in credit depending on
the specific items you wish to trade for.
We can accept shipments during November, December and January, but due to the press of business during that time will not do any inspection during that time. So, your shipment will await live becoming a little less full in February.
Should the games you sell or trade in prove to be in a condition
materially worse than that which our offer was based --
typically due to missing components, wear or other flaws not disclosed -- the value of the item will simply be
reduced to reflect the actual value of what arrived on our doorstep.
Because the time and effort required to inspect your games cannot be reversed, your offer to sell your games
also can generally not be reversed. Instead, the value you receive will simply be reduced to compensate for the
actual condition of the games as they are received here.
Games which arrive in disorder, especially larger games with counters floating all around
inside the game box, lose value for that very fact. We strongly recommend that counters properly containerized
prior to shipment.
The more info you provide about the games you have to offer, the better. Surprises are rarely pleasant
for anyone. For instance,
Did you buy the game new or mint yourself, or did you buy it 2nd hand already punched? Have you checked
it for completeness?
Is there any smell to the game components due to mildew or tobacco smoke?
Is there any mildew spotting or staining to any components?
Are there any indications of moisture warping or staining?
Is there any sun fading or discoloration?
Are all components included: counters, box, dice, counter trays, etc.? Are all counters
originally included in the package still there?
How much wear has the game received? Is the box torn, scuffed, concaved? Are the rules highlighted,
soiled or torn? Are there crude repairs to any components (such as with scotch, filament or masking
tape)? Is the map colorized? Any food spills?
Is the binding of rules or magazines (generally a couple of
staples) still intact?
Responsibility for shipping from you to us is negotiable on larger deals (generally, those
involving entire collections of hundreds of items). Typically, though, shipping is included within the trade or
purchase amount quoted to you. (There is a very good reason for this:
in the past, when we paid shipping, sellers frequently did really foolish
& wasteful things. You can still do whatever foolish and/or wasteful
thing you want, but you will pay the cost, not us.)
Please submit all offers of trade-ins or sale via mail or email;
as a rule, we cannot provide an offer without reviewing & researching
the list of what you're offering. While we *might* be able to make an
offer on a small handful of games by phone, we will still need to document
it which takes time.
- Retirement (i.e. moving on to another phase of life including bicycling the world) is on our horizon. Used games typically take many years on average to sell, now more than we have. For that reason, we discount what we pay for worn games of nearly all types.
How to Prepare & Ship Your Games to Fine Games
Here are our recommendations for how to prepare and ship your games to us.
You can find our mailing address in the header of this page as well as on our Contact Info web page.
You can ship by any means you wish, but ground service via UPS or FedEx
is generally the most cost-effective means, especially for weights
of 5# or more. Call UPS at (800) 742-5877, or FedEx at (800) 463-3339, to arrange a one-time pickup for a small, per-package fee.
See below for the UPS Locator.
If you ship by UPS, we strongly recommend that you ship with UPS or
FedEx directly rather than use a third-party
mailer (such as Mailboxes Etc. or the UPS Stores -- which are
charge markups just as other 3rd party shippers do.). Third-party shippers typically add 50% to the actual cost of
Punched counters should be containerized; loose counters are easily lost and reduce the value you receive for
your games. Containerizing counters is easy: Put them in zip-lock bags or even envelopes while retaining as
much logical organization as possible (e.g. one side's pieces in one bag, the other side's in another, markers
in a third). In multi-game sets such as Quad games, keep each game's pieces separated from the others.
Loose counters or large amounts of intermixed counters will reduce
the value of the game.
Alternatively, when counters are already neatly stored in counter trays, you can very easily seal the counter
tray itself with a few, inch-long pieces of 3M Magic tape, 1 or 2 pieces per side. This can be reinforced with
rubber bands if necessary.
DO NOT tape game boxes closed. DO NOT use strapping, masking,
duct or Scotch tape. DO NOT use excessive amounts
of tape. Please. Using tape in inappropriate ways will likely
damage the games as well as consuming our time needlessly. Both reduce the
value of your games.
Select an appropriate sized box for shipment. Boxes can be purchased at third-party mailing stores. They can
also be scrounged for free at most retail grocery and hard goods stores. Just find one the right size and
Pack the games with weighty and hard-to-damage items
on the bottom. Magazines and mag-issue games are hard to
damage, for example. Then, put more fragile games on the top. Try to pack boxed games so that they stand on
their sides rather than lay flat so that games are not stacked on one another. This prevents box damage.
To minimize your shipping costs,
use the fewest shipping boxes you can while bearing in mind these
considerations: (1) heavy packages (say 50# or more) are more likely
endure abuse, particularly corner dings; (2) magazines are nearly indestructible
yet relatively heavy, while boxed games are often delicate
& light; (3) effective buffering with paper or styrofoam allows you to
pack more games in a given box; and (4) damage to your games in transit
due to poor packing or any other reason is your responsibility.
Fill all vacant spaces in the box with tightly wadded newspaper or, better yet, Styrofoam popcorn. This is very
important to prevent damage.
Lastly, make sure to seal the bottom seams of the shipping box's seams. This prevents the escape of any stray
counters that otherwise get loose.
Use the UPS
Locator web tool, or the equivalent FedEx
web tool, to locate locations worldwide from which you can ship your
packages at the lowest cost. Just take your
properly packed package(s), and address info, to one of these locations
to ship your packages. Be aware that UPS & FedEx Stores locations
charge a substantial markup (about 50%) and so we do not
recommend them. Also listed are UPS service stations that do not help
you ship packages.
Again, you can call UPS or FedEx for a one-time pickup for any
location you wish, and pay a somewhat reasonable pickup fee. See