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Buying or Selling, when is the best time in the year to engage the market?


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I think I might have casually asked this question ages ago on NA, but I'd like to have a seasoned veteran discussion about buying and selling.

I don't consider myself an eBay seller but I have often bought lots of stuff, knowing that the few items I wanted would often near-cover the other stuff and with time I'd sell of the extra items to recoup some money.  I never need to sell my back inventory (well, not for money but some times I do just to make room), so I have the luxury to just by and "HODL".

Conversely, sometimes you want to buy stuff that's semi-common but it's not at the top of your list.  In that case, you might want to wait until the right time to pick up that item, especially if it's not a hotly sought after item.

So, in this specific context, when you can wait to buy or sell, when are the best seasons of the year to engage the video game market as a buyer or a seller.  I'm looking for general guidelines to this question, however, if there are nuanced exceptions to specific types of games, genres, systems or even rare vs. uncommon vs. common titles, feel through out any other points of wisdom coming from your years of buying and selling.

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Notionally, you sell in tax season (Feb - April) and buy in summer when people are generally busy in other aspects of their life.

That's a fine theory, but in reality, none of that matters.  You buy and sell whenever and market fluctuations aren't tied to specific times of year. 

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My personal experience says prices are generally haphazard and subject to the 24 hour news cycle (SMB 100K sale, sticker seal hype, Stadium Events feature on ESPN, etc). If I had to make any generalization, I'd say prices rise in summer (young people get some disposable income and time out of school, stragglers get their tax refunds, and a lot of big businesses slow down i.e. auto industry) and dip in the Winter as people spend money on others rather than themselves.

eBay probably has some amazing data that shows seasonal fluctuations in just about everything, but that's some valuable info and we aren't ever gonna see it. For what it's worth, GVN doesn't show much fluctuation with calendar year.

Screenshot_20191125-140142__02.jpg

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  • 2 months later...

I feel like I was able to find some good deals last month. Like maybe people had spent a lot already with the Christmas season and there was less competition. On the flipside selling was harder of course. I hear from people who do a lot of volume on eBay that January is always slow. 

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34 minutes ago, MiamiSlice said:

I feel like I was able to find some good deals last month. Like maybe people had spent a lot already with the Christmas season and there was less competition. On the flipside selling was harder of course. I hear from people who do a lot of volume on eBay that January is always slow. 

December is awesome for selling. January is always sluggish. Then tax season hits and it picks up for six to eight weeks with higher than usual prices. At least this is my experience over the years.

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58 minutes ago, Bubbapauls said:

December is awesome for selling. January is always sluggish. Then tax season hits and it picks up for six to eight weeks with higher than usual prices. At least this is my experience over the years.

That is consistant with my annual financial situation.

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There are unique times or periods of the year where game values spike. Examples: Castlevania games tend to spike in price in October and games that prominently feature a celebrity will spike if they hit trending national news (like Moonwalker did when Leaving Neverland was released).

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  • 1 month later...

For me personally buying is best in the spring and selling is the best in winter. Depends on the game and system though. Some systems are up and some are down, SNES was super expensive and N64 was cheap, and now the loose market as a whole is taking a nosedive. 

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