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Buying game collections: ever have someone want it back years later?


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About 8 years ago, I bought a coworker's game collection from him. He had some top quality stuff, but was getting out of collecting, and I paid good money (at the time) for it. There were lots of boxed consoles, and nearly every game was CIB and in perfect condition. There were even receipts for a good portion of it from the date of original purchase! Since there was a lot of doubles and redundancy with my existing collection, I sold a decent chunk of it off, but I still have everything I wanted to keep.

 

Over the weekend, the guy contacted me, asking if I would sell it back.

 

Now, it's been nearly 8 years, and the market has completely changed. I could sell just ONE of the games that was in that lot now for the price I paid back then, and there were a lot of "heavy hitters" in that lot that I still have. And more importantly, I don't want to sell those games back, as they are integral parts of my collection.

 

Am I being a jerk, or is it OK for me to keep this stuff without feeling bad? I did tell him I'd help him hunt some titles down, and that I have some spare consoles I could probably part with, but the games are staying with me.

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Only you can answer how to feel really, but when I've bought/sold/traded stuff among my friends throughout the years, sometimes comes with a contingency that they let me buy back if they were to sell or give them first crack at something that they might want back. It's a courtesy thing to be sure. Has happened both ways in the past and have had good luck in all cases. Sometimes you pay a little more since the market does change, but so long as you give them first crack at it, helps to even things out and they're usually appreciative of that.

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Only you can answer how to feel really, but when I've bought/sold/traded stuff among my friends throughout the years, sometimes comes with a contingency that they let me buy back if they were to sell or give them first crack at something that they might want back. It's a courtesy thing to be sure. Has happened both ways in the past and have had good luck in all cases. Sometimes you pay a little more since the market does change, but so long as you give them first crack at it, helps to even things out and they're usually appreciative of that.

When it comes to friends, I've done the "give them the first crack at it" method in the past. That's one thing. This is another. This is a guy I used to work with 8 years ago, and we lost touch over the years from changing jobs, life, etc. He wasn't a close friend or anything like that; just a guy I used to work with.

 

I feel that if he's getting back into collecting, I'd help him source some stuff. But the stuff I bought that I still want... that's staying with me.

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That's fine. You're under no moral or legal obligation to re-sell back at any specified price or anything.

 

I have a complete IIgs setup with accelerators, memory, superdrive, monitor, and various bits and pieces and more. I cash-advanced the guy some $300 or $400 back in the dot-com era. I told him it would be there in the future if he ever wanted it back. So far I have been unable to locate him to offer it back. Eventually I'll call it my own. But for now it sits..

Edited by Keatah
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That's fine. You're under no moral or legal obligation to re-sell back at any specified price or anything.

 

I have a complete IIgs setup with accelerators, memory, superdrive, monitor, and various bits and pieces and more. I cash-advanced the guy some $300 or $400 back in the dot-com era. I told him it would be there in the future if he ever wanted it back. So far I have been unable to locate him to offer it back. Eventually I'll call it my own. But for now it sits..

 

Pretty sure that was me. I'm ready to take it back now. :D

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I had this happen, but in reverse. The person that I sold my Amiga 2000 to in 1997 came back not quite two years later and asked if I wanted to buy it back at a substantial discount (about 40% less IIRC). Since I was starting to liquidate everything I could before moving across the country later that summer, I turned him down. I have a feeling he sold it to someone for even less.

 

If there's someone here that lived local to the Riverside, CA area in 1997 that bought an Amiga 2000 with two internal 3.5" floppy drives, a Trumpcard w/80MB Seagate SCSI drive and 2MB RAM expansion, a complete Digi View setup and a 1084S monitor for next to nothing, it might have been mine.

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You can absolutely turn him down. 1) This isn't a few days, or a few weeks after realizing there's seller's remorse. This is EIGHT YEARS later. It's been yours almost a decade now- if it had been a pet, it could be dead by now! 2) There was no condition added at the time of sale for buy-back rights. It's not like when I gave my brother my spare NES with the caveat that "it's not a gift, it's a perpetual loan- you can't sell it & I can ask for it back at anytime". It was straight- up sold to you, he gave up his claim on the items in exchange for money. 3) This isn't a close friend who you see often, with whom you might want to compromise to preserve a friendship. It's just a former co-worker. I have received & given games to coworkers, and I wouldn't expect any of them to agree to a take-back.

 

I'd explain that it's been years, you've sold some stuff, you've deleted his old saves (I'm assuming that's the case), and you're just not willing to part with any of it- but you're happy to help him find deals on replacements. If he's mad, let him be- lots of people sold their stuff cheap a decade ago, he can go cry about it with them.

 

I once had a friend try to get back her SNES games years after giving them to me- I told her basically the above, but since it was a friend offered to pay for replacements on at least a few games. She ended up being more mad I'd deleted her save files. I just shrugged it off- I have 2 siblings, they remembered SNES & wanted to play too. That's the 3 save files standard on most SNES games anyway. What did she expect?

Edited by HoshiChiri
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No, but if they did, tough noogies. *shrug*

 

I don't think there's any harm or unreasonableness in asking a purchaser if they still have something you sold to them and if they are willing to sell it back. But I would find it quite ridiculous, galling, and honestly borderline offensive if anybody just assumed any right to something they sold to me, no matter how long it's been.

 

Unless a condition of the original sale was that they would later buy it back, plus interest or something else extra to make it worth my serving as, essentially, a pawn broker. But that's not a deal I could see myself entering into in the first place. A) I'm not like that, and B) when I buy stuff, I want to keep it until I decide I don't want it anymore. ;)

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You shouldn't feel bad at all about keeping it. I've asked to buy some stuff that I sold back before, but it was just a few months later and not 8 years later. I never expected to be told "yes" either, because the person who bought my stuff clearly wanted it for their own collections and were under no obligation to sell it back to me. Some of it I got back, some of it I didn't, and that's okay.

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Tell him to take a Fucking hike!

 

 

 

Seriously, you bought it. It's yours....It is annoying as Hell to be sure! Was he hinting that he wanted it at the same prices? That'd really set me off! :mad:

 

 

But you handled it well! Probably exactly like I would have, if I'm being honest ;)

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Yeah, I tend to agree. I've had a couple similar situations... Someone sells me something, it skyrockets in value, then they pop up out of nowhere hoping I hadn't noticed and want to buy it back. Don't feel bad telling em no.

 

On the other hand, if it's preagreeded that it's not yours, and just a long term loan, there's not much to do but give it back.

 

Such was the case with a KORG ME10 and a matching sequencer. I fell in love with the things, and USED them, but years later the original owner came back and reminded me that it wasn't a gift, but a loan. So nothing to do but give em back.

 

Also in high school, my best friend 'gave' me all his Magic cards after he kinda had a breakdown in an intense game he lost to me. He had a Royal Assassin (we were beginners, and if you don't know the game, this was one of the very best cards you could possibly have at the time). After a couple of weeks, I couldn't resist and I traded the Royal Assassin away for some desirables. A couple of weeks later, my best friend got his mental state back together and asked if he could have his cards back.

 

Sure! He's my best friend! Of course you can have them back. But, kicks feet in the dirt, I, um, traded away your Royal Assassin. I hope... Um... You understand...

 

And yeah, he understood. And he's my best friend. Still even. And I gave him every other card back. I was probably even a little on the 'heavy pour' side when we did trades afterwards... You know, some guilt and good-spirited well-wishing.

 

Anyway, this guy was/maybe still is my best friend. Not an ex-coworker who comes back at you at the point where you half-way forgot this name.

 

So yeah. The distinction for me, if they aren't a life-long close friend, is if there was money exchanged. And if so, as long as there was no agreement of obligation to remit... They are yours. As I once heard from local law enforcement, (I hope I'm getting this right) "Possession is 90% of the law."

 

Hope this helps you sleep better and stand by your call.

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Good input everyone. Yeah, I'm not going to sell back the stuff I want to keep, but I'll certainly offer him some spares and point him in the right direction.

 

I wish I still had some of his stuff that I sold off so I could sell it again at today's prices. :lol: I sold much of his stuff shortly after I got it from him, since I was moving and needed the space for my own collection.

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He wants the stuff back because he hit that sweet spot where he's nostalgic for it and it's not just "old stuff taking up space"; he wouldn't be reselling it. He is so far out of the game that he doesn't have a clue about the value of stuff today. Everything was 16-bit era and newer, but the really good stuff was the Gamecube, GBA, GBC, and Dreamcast stuff. LOTS of quality titles, and all in perfect, boxed condition. He actually kept his NES and some of the then-current stuff like the PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360.

 

I still haven't heard back from him since the weekend, but I have no problem selling him doubles and pointing him to decent local shops for stuff. Hell, I'd even go with him!

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He wants the stuff back because he hit that sweet spot where he's nostalgic for it and it's not just "old stuff taking up space"; he wouldn't be reselling it. He is so far out of the game that he doesn't have a clue about the value of stuff today. Everything was 16-bit era and newer, but the really good stuff was the Gamecube, GBA, GBC, and Dreamcast stuff. LOTS of quality titles, and all in perfect, boxed condition. He actually kept his NES and some of the then-current stuff like the PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360.

 

I still haven't heard back from him since the weekend, but I have no problem selling him doubles and pointing him to decent local shops for stuff. Hell, I'd even go with him!

 

Can't be that pricey for him to replace then. I was assuming you got the heavy hitters from the NES & SNES not the much newer stuff like that. Those items are not so pricey compared to the NES & SNES, not even close.

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Well,...The more you describe it, the more it sounds like he was just interested in it again, as opposed to being a jerk who'd try to profit off the current retro craze or anything... So that's cool. He should file it under, "Hey, it doesn't hurt to ask". If prices hadn't risen like they have, and if circumstances were different, who knows?

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You know as a side note you could point him to Emulation as a cheaper option rather than trying to get back all the physical items. Just saying when you got nothing but remember good times take the safe route and try it before you buy it again just my thoughts there.

 

I know I deal quite often with 2 close friends for trades and buy offs but one of them is adamant about not selling his collection to either of us knowing very well he might want it back in the future and knowing the person who has it. Call that a good move or not I am not sure to be honest but its definitely a method to keep things up and up with friends as an option.

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  • 3 weeks later...

It's always rough when you deal with stuff from people you know. Like 7 years ago my neighbor lost his job and he had a sweet game collection and he talked to me about selling it. He had lots of N64 boxed games. Now back then n64 boxed stuff rarely added much value as compared to cart only. I ended up keeping all the boxed stuff and selling off my cart only. I looked up all his stuff and priced out what I would profit from if I sold it all online. I then handed him like $700 cash for it all, which is what I would have made after fees and shipping.

 

Say he had a Mario Kart, back then cart only may have been like $20 where complete might have been the same or $25. We are talking very little difference in cart vs boxed back then. I ended up selling some of his stuff, a lot of my cart only stuff and for stuff he had that I didn't and I wanted to keep, I ended up selling other items from my collection I didn't like as much until I got the $700 back.

 

He still claims I pocketed his collection. It really irritates me because I didn't make any money from selling his stuff for him at all. I handed him full cash value for what his stuff was worth at that time and put forth tons of my time to sell all of his stuff. I didn't make any money from selling his stuff. I was happy being able to pick and choose what I wanted to keep from his collection in exchange for selling it for him. What's more ridiculous is at the time he didn't think the stuff was worth even half that and he would have likely sold it for like $200 to anybody who offered.

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It's always rough when you deal with stuff from people you know. Like 7 years ago my neighbor lost his job and he had a sweet game collection and he talked to me about selling it. He had lots of N64 boxed games. Now back then n64 boxed stuff rarely added much value as compared to cart only. I ended up keeping all the boxed stuff and selling off my cart only. I looked up all his stuff and priced out what I would profit from if I sold it all online. I then handed him like $700 cash for it all, which is what I would have made after fees and shipping.

 

Say he had a Mario Kart, back then cart only may have been like $20 where complete might have been the same or $25. We are talking very little difference in cart vs boxed back then. I ended up selling some of his stuff, a lot of my cart only stuff and for stuff he had that I didn't and I wanted to keep, I ended up selling other items from my collection I didn't like as much until I got the $700 back.

 

He still claims I pocketed his collection. It really irritates me because I didn't make any money from selling his stuff for him at all. I handed him full cash value for what his stuff was worth at that time and put forth tons of my time to sell all of his stuff. I didn't make any money from selling his stuff. I was happy being able to pick and choose what I wanted to keep from his collection in exchange for selling it for him. What's more ridiculous is at the time he didn't think the stuff was worth even half that and he would have likely sold it for like $200 to anybody who offered.

 

That's pretty messed up! Him, not you.

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I can understand someone regretting selling and wanting it back but, ultimately, a sale is a sale and if you don't want to sell back you shouldn't have to. I'm glad that you're going to help him get back on his feet instead of telling him to get lost. That should be good enough for any friend and, if it isn't, they're the one with the problem.

 

From his point of view, it was worth a shot because, for all he knew, you might have got bored of the collection yourself and if you don't ask you don't get.

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