Game Hunter’s Journal: Magic Price

05 Feb

Game Stack 2 I’ve discussed the “Magic Price” with Jett and Mat on an episode of the Recurring Bosscast (which you should listen to right now!), but I wanted to touch I the topic again. Buying games isn’t cheap, but if you are patient and work under the confines of your own budget, you can own piles of games that will keep you occupied for the foreseeable future. Not to mention amass a collection to make the rest of your gaming buddies jealous.


What is the Magic Price?

Put simply, the “Magic Price” is a dollar amount that you are almost always likely to purchase a game at should you find it at that price or lower, no matter the title in question. For example, if you’re Magic Price is $10, then if you find a video game priced at $8 that you don’t already own, you have a slight interest in, and the game meets your collecting standards (i.e. New, Loose, or Complete), then you’re likely to purchase that game. Having the right Magic Price ensures you a collection of quality games at a price you can manage. It’s called the Magic Price because, like magic, when in the presence of a game that meets your Magic Price quota POOF! Your money has become a video game with little to no effort. It’s magic!

Five Dollars equals Games

With a Magic Price, $5 equals stacks of games!

My Magic Price is $5. There’s something about that cheap bill that makes me much more inclined to purchase a game. I’ve bought hundreds of games for five dollars or less, many of them titles that are actually worth playing! Your Magic Price may be more or less than mine, and that’s okay. The Magic Price should be whatever amount you can afford and won’t feel guilty with spending.

Why is the Magic Price important to collecting?

No matter what your Magic Price may be, it’s important to have one for several reasons.

1. Budget
Financial problems can plague you from any aspect of life, not the least of which being video game collecting. Having a price range in mind will eliminate you from scenarios in which you buy a game at a high price when you can’t afford it. Sticking within your budget will mean passing by some games the first, second, and even the third and fourth times you see them in order to pick them up when the finally meet your cash requirement.
2. Amassing games
The only way to see your collection grow is by adding games to it. The simplest way to do so is to pick up cheap games. The definition of “Cheap Game” can go two ways, but i this case I’m referring to a game being inexpensive. Inexpensive games are usually the ones that have been around for a long time. Peruse the shelves at GameStop and look for games from four, five, six years ago. These games are always priced incredibly low, even triple A titles. This is a great time to invoke your Magic Price and add quality titles to your collection on the cheap!

Buy 2 Get 1 Free Ad

At the right time, this sign is a collector’s dream

3. Find deals
You’ll be surprised how much $5 can get you (or whatever your Magic Price may be). You should almost always shop around for prices when looking for games, and this includes cheaper ones. Lots of used titles at GameStop may be under $10 but not quite at your Magic Price. Just wait. Sooner or later the store will have a sale, the games will be reduced, or, better yet, you’ll find the game somewhere else for a significantly lower price! Adhering to your Magic Price means you can find top games for low prices if you just keep looking.

What should I do to start using my own Magic Price?

The first thing you need to do is determine how much you’re willing to spend on games you’ve never heard of, might not enjoy playing, or otherwise wouldn’t give a second thought to. Seriously. Take some time and think about it. Collecting games is a massive hobby if you don’t have direction. Think about how you’d like to live with 200+ PlayStation 2 games in your future? Or dozens of loose Game Boy games?

Once you’ve convinced yourself on that, settle on how much you can spend on said games. I like five dollars because it’s a small amount compared to how much I make working. I also like the fin because it’s one bill, and the only bill lower than it is the one dollar bill (excluding the two), which is of course the lowest we go in the United States.

Now that you’ve appropriated a budget for random game spending, start investigating games. Look up game information online, find similar games to titles you like, and basically absorb all you can about random games (Slick Anthology can help you a lot with this). Knowing about games can help you when looking in the wild for titles you otherwise would look over. A lot of these obscure games are cheap, and likely fall into your Magic Price!

All you have to do now is commit to buying the game. Again, make sure it passes your collecting standards (is it complete, in good shape, do you already own it on another system and don’t want to buy it again, etc.). If all signs point to yes, then go right ahead a enjoy your new game! If not, put the game back and keep looking. Believe me, there will be other opportunities to buy a game if the first time you find it it doesn’t fit your requisites. Discovering a game at the right time takes patience, so stay calm and keep hunting!


Following these rules, with a little bit of luck, you too might score Diablo on the PS1 for a mere $3!

There you have the Magic Price. So long as you don’t spend more than you can afford, following the above rules will guarantee you a prosperous video game collection. Not only that, it’ll open you up to buying and trying video games you may never have bothered playing before, and you could discover a game you actually like!

If you have a question or topic you’d like covered, let me know and I’ll be happy to answer it in a future post!

Happy Hunting,

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Posted by on 02/05/2013 in Collecting


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