Results Of Midwest Gaming Classic

Anyone who didn't go - shame!

The show was quite huge. The museum took up a whole banquet hall, with a large display for every system ever made, even one's you've never heard of, and you're free to just sit down and play dozens of games for all of them.

Then there's free play on dozens of pinball and arcade machines. And gaming contests.

And of course, the vending!

There was one guy there who had a long booth with hundreds and hundres of minty fresh imports for all systems. I mean just tons of hot shooters and rpgs I've never even heard of. They were all priced at e-bay rates, but e-bay rates are in the 30$ to 300$ range for these games.

The most amazing sight was this Transformers 1 on 1 fighter for the PS2. I'd never heard of it, but it looked really cool. It was all original transformers too, like from the 80's. Not the new junk. I didn't get it since I don't have any way to play it. Damn $ony. The PS3 only plays PS3 imports, not PS1 or PS2. What a piece of crock. Or course I don't have the PS3 anyway, and never intend to, but I would have if it played all imports.

I actually did better than I thought at my booth. I sold 14 complete systems and at least 1/3rd of my games.

I priced everything based on average e-bay rates. But it seems that most of the big vendors use "book" value (which I think is a price guide created by the big vendors as an excuse to charge more than market value for their games) which is usually twice or more as expensive as I was charging. The guy next to me kept buying stuff from me and then putting it out for sale in his booth at a markup.

I mean, my base price for common games was usually around 3$, 5$ with box and manual. Good games might get 6-15, and very few rares 15-40. But the big vendors base price is usually 6-8, with many in the 15-25 range.

Also, I had very few junk games. I think I only had like 4 sports games in the whole lot, and priced them all at 1$. Lots of good stuff. Not like what you see at local game crazy's, which is about 90% sports or junk games.

Surprisingly, NES games were quite hot. Even though most of them are commons, they went anyway.

I have to wonder if I should have priced my stuff much higher. Since the big vendors were still selling lots of games, I have to assume that the average MGCer wasn't caring how the show prices ranked against e-bay. But me personally, that's what I always go by. If I know I can get it cheaper on e-bay, I will. Unless it's one of those "thrill of the hunt" finds, and you're just amazed to actually find it in person. E-bay is kind of "too easy" some times.

But then, if I'd had higher prices, maybe I wouldn't have sold as much, and actually made less total.

I must have sold over half of my volumn (300+ games and 23 systems), so I'm pretty happy in the end that I priced things competitively and was able to sell so much.

In the end, though, I don't think it would work well as a business. I mean, even if I sold everything I brought, it would only have totalled to around 2k$, and it took me 3 years of thrifting to collect it all. And it cost 100$ in gas, 200$ in hotel, 65$ for the booth, and 20$ for credit card processing. Profit margin probably was around 80% on average (varying from negative 20% to 98%, depending on the item, yes some things i sold for less than I paid, but as I said, I priced based on e-bay rates, not based on my cost).

So take revenue minus 20%, and then subtract 400$, and that's all that was left for profit. And my wife went to the Bead and Button convention 30miles away in Milwaukee, which ended up totalling more than my profits, so technically the whole "trip" was in the red.

And then of course I had to buy some stuff from the imports guy... So in the end I figure I traded 100 games and a dozen systems for 4 imports. Was it worth it? Maybe :)

But I don't do it to make money. I do it because it's a hobby, and it's fun.

Also, it worked out well to use PayPal for credit cards. First, you have to upgrade to a Business account (which is easy, only took 5 mins), and then you apply for Virtual Terminal, which takes about 48 hours, and they do a credit check. Then you can take credit card payments using an on-line PayPal form. The MGC hotel had wireless internet, which was necessary to make that work. I had 4 credit card transactions during the weekend.

In the future, I'd find a chipper motel for sure. This time I stayed at the hotel the MGC was at for convenience, and they had a special rate, but still twice what a motel would be. That would save some money. I couldn't imagine that they get many people from far away to come here though. It just doesn't make sense to spend 300$ on plane tickes and 200$ on hotels unless you really intend to buy a lot of stuff or really enjoy the museum or contests or something. They should hold more around. If they held one in Minneapolis, I'd definitely vend again. But I don't think I have enough inventory left to make it worthwhile for a few more years.

I'll probably post my remaining inventory up here shortly before it goes on an e-bay store or something.
If it was in Minneapolis, I so would have been there. Driving down to the cities is easy. But wherever this was, Milwaukee is too far for me to drive.
Agreed, if it was in Minneapolis I would definitely go. Fargo is even better, since I technically live much closer to there even though its a different state.