Guidelines for
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' catalogs.

  • 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 shipping.

  • 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 intact.

  • 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.

UPS Locator

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 above.


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