Boardgames in the News: Changes to Game Selling on BoardGameGeek

Many gamers have lots of older, unloved games that take up space that could be used for new or more exciting games.  There are lots of solutions to this problem, but one is to sell, but the question is, “Where?”  Historically, there have been two main solutions to this:  ebay and the BoardGameGeek Marketplace.  The advantages of ebay are the size of the market and the tools that are available, however, for many, the BoardGameGeek Marketplace has been the venue of choice for several reasons.  These include the feedback from names recognised on the forums, and the fact that sellers/buyers are dealing with gamers who talk the same language and typically care about similar things or at least understand their concerns (e.g. how well it is wrapped, marks on the back of cards, wear to the pieces etc.).

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As mentioned recently, in March, BoardGameGeek announced a new Marketplace to replace the old one.  This was to be a more professional offering produced in partnership with Marketbase and was rumoured to be required by the US Internal Revenue Service.  However, a week ago, it was announced that this new market place (which was still in the beta-testing phase and had not been released world-wide), was to be closed on 1st September with no new listings from 15th August.  The explanation given was that the “marketplace software and service provider was unable to replicate the same success across other communities and is now forced to close their marketplace offering.”  It is perhaps worth noting that although Marketbase claim there was a “150% month-to-month growth” any increase in sales was probably strongly influenced by a free shipping offer.

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The new Marketplace had been quite divisive and many people were pleased to see its demise, however, that was short-lived as yesterday, BoardGameGeek announced that the “Classic Marketplace” would also close on 1st September.  In its place, there will be new, commission-free “flea market” forum pages on each game page.  At this time, it is not clear how much of the subscription service, feedback and other features (like price tracking) will be retained and how, but it is clear that the current plan is to completely remove the old market place and with it, all the historic data.  This loss of information is a great shame as it means there is no evidence to support expectations of how much games are worth and as a result, reduces BoardGameGeek to the “Wild West” that is the FaceBook Marketplace and the myriad of FaceBook selling groups.

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