Equation fun. Oh boy.

Ever wondered how I calculate postage costs? Well, I just decided to automate it. What fun.

=IF(F10 < =1;(((D10-(D10-C10)/2.7)-0-((D10-(D10-C10)/2.7)*0.034)-0.13-0.66-0.2)*0.091)+0+((D10-(D10-C10)/2.7)*0.034)+0.13+0.66+0.2;(((D10-(D10-C10)/2.7)-0.1-((D10-(D10-C10)/2.7)*0.034)-0.13-0.66-0.2)*0.091)+0.1+((D10-(D10-C10)/2.7)*0.034)+0.13+0.66+0.2)

That's how :) A mario star to anyone who figures out what even one of those values represents :) Extra stars to someone who can tell me how to refactor the damn thing to stop code reuse :(

Update: Yay for comp sci training.

=IF(F47< =1;((G47-0-(G47*0.034)-0.13-H47-0.2)*0.091)+0+(G47*0.034)+0.13+H47+0.2;((G47-0.1-(G47*0.034)-0.13-H47-0.2)*0.091)+0.1+(G47*0.034)+0.13+H47+0.2)

Update 2: Had someone ask about this again last night. So instead of fancy looking spreadsheet stuff, here's the actual equeation, lest I ever forget it :)

T = Ta + Tb
Ta = I + E + P + Ps + Pp
Tb = V * 0.091

Where:
T is total P&P field price.
Ta is all fees other than eBay final value percentage (10%), being:
I = insertion (0.05 or 0.10p)
E = the envelope (13p)
P = postage (66p)
Pp = PayPal percentage (3.4% of the total item value)
Ps = PayPal set fee (20p)

Ta is ebay percentage fee. This is calculated by taking Ta away from the total projected selling cost ( Value, V) then timsing the remainder by 9.1%. This should be 10%, but I need to take in to account that preferably I need to know Tb before I can calculate what Tb is. Which isn't possible without a multi-pass algorithm. Which I don't know if I can do in a simple spread sheet. Luckily for almost all items it's just about 0.9% of V-Ta. Meh, I'll never remember what that means...

Anyway, escentially it moves all fees, postage, packaging and payment processing costs in to the P&P field to ensure extra fees aren't charged on top of other fees. 10% is enough, ebay. You can forget getting another 10% of that 10% (ie. 11%). Especially as you've pretty much forced the UK in to giving you a further 3.4% + 20p for everything.

And as it's constantly annoying seeing people complain about this all over the place, excuse me while I rant. My (and many other's) starting bid values plus P&P never exceed the current market value (well, not unless CeX's value does, only 1 game does though afaik, fable ftw!). The total value is then left up to bidders. If you want to bid the market value *and* pay postage on top of that, that's your choice, not mine. eBay's fees and your inevitable choice to use PayPal are generally what's causing you an extra ~15%. Still, if you'd like to make an offer on items on the Buy page here, you may claw back some of that 15% :)

Coming Next Thursday 26th

ebay260309Jumping the gun a bit but… I recon it’s xbox week 🙂 Along with the stuff you see to the right – sealed forza and pgr 2, vgc KOTOR 2, crimson skies and wild card boxed GC controller – should be a couple of crystal xbox controllers. They’re good sellers, as are S type official xbox controllers in general (have sold ~£8 – £10 for the past year), and rightly so as they’re the best quality controller on the xbox, I recon followed closely by the slightly smaller Joytech controllers, and obviously the crystals hold a premium. The same ain’t so true for xbox memory cards (one of which I’ll throw in to auction too), but more about that another day.

Update: I stand corrected. GameCube controller coming 2nd April, hopefully with a console.

It’s not so great…

Current hottest deal on the HotUKDeals website this week is this – yet another MegaDrive clone. For nearly £40 you get some presumably quite expensive games and some not quite so expensive hardware.

I can only assume it’s hot for the games as you can pick up an original Sega produced Mega Drive for a few pounds on eBay, many of which come bundled with games. And as for the games themselves, you could probably pick them up for under £40 too, but to be honest, when you can run Sonic and general romage on your three year old 2nd hand Archos Gmini 400 mp3 player, why bother with a huge device hooked up to your tv?

Coming Thursday

hoard170309

PlayStation 2 week again 🙂 with an extra PS1 and PS3 game chucked in for goodness. Crash is actually a relist from last week, apparently offering 6 different methods of payment doesn’t stop people from strangely finding they have no ability to pay for something once won 😐 .

Highlights would be Naruto 2 (see previous post for how that ends up here), and Street Fighter EX3. Anyone know if the servers are still up for games like Monster Hunter? Seems like it’d be great if so, I never got around to going online with any consoles.

As always, feel free to offer away, but once they’re in auction with bids on they’re not going anywhere so you’ll have to bid normally with the rest of the world 🙂 .

Not For Sale

360remoteOne thing I probably won’t sell is this official Xbox 360 DVD remote. Found it lying around in the junkiest messiest 2nd hand store you’ll ever see – big warehouse with just boxes of unsorted everything – and generally useless. Found a box of old remotes and saw this, looked in decent condition, had no idea if it needed a dongle, or what it was worth, but I know original xbox remotes sell ~£5, and PS3 Blu-Ray remotes ~£10, so asked for a price and got it for £2, expecting it to either be broken or missing a part or something.

Well I got lucky, to a degree. They are stand alone, it is working, and they sell for ~£6. Except, after a quick look I noticed it’s also an RC6 ir remote. Which is identicle to the not quite as smooth feeling MCE remote I got ages ago for my yet-to-see-major-use HTPC. It doesn’t control anything under Windows but the MCE remote’s receiver does seem to pick up a signal, and I’m guessing LIRC under Linux will let me grab the IR signals and do something useful with it. And as it’s got pretty much the same buttons, feels smoother, and looks much nicer, well… I can’t resist keeping it 🙂 If anyone needs an MCE remote though…

A fine example of the perils of amature game re-selling.

Aka. why I’m not some mean guy, robbing the streets of cheap games, selling them to the masses at inflated prices, and ripping everyone off. Far from it, unfortunately.

I just spent the day looking for games, and good ole GAME came through once more. They have an ongoing “3 for £20” sale going on with their PS2 pre-owned, which is pretty good value if you find three games you like, and for me if I get it right I can make a small amount back while providing you with games cheaper than if you purchased them individually from the same store. 2x win 😀

So today, I picked up Jaws Unleashed, Star Ocean and Street Fighter EX3 (currently selling for inflated prices due to SFIV release no doubt) for you all. Which on it’s own was touch n go. This is why:

game170309Jaws Unleashed – current minimum eBay value = £8 (£6 profit after all overheads – p+p, fees), on it’s own £9.99 in GAME.
Star Ocean current minimum eBay value = £8 (/£6), on it’s own £9.99 in GAME.
SF EX3 = £10 (/£7.75), or £9.99 in GAME.

The A grade GCSE owners among you will see that, if all games sell for their regular minimum price, you save £1.99 on two of the games, pay 1p extra for SF, and I make £19.75 or a loss of 25p.

Except, I’m just hoping that, with worldwide distribution, someone will pay a little more for the pleasure. Say, £10 for each game. Then, you pay exactly the same as you would in GAME but get it posted to your house wherever you are. And I make £3.25 instead of GAME. Now, is it worth the 30 minutes I spent looking through games, compiling price charts, and spending the whole day finding little else? Maybe… except..

Get home, test Star Ocean, and bam. Due to a small dent in the disc, it fails data read at ~85%. I didn’t bother waiting two hours for the thing to finish, knowing it wasn’t fully working was enough. Luckily, there’s a different GAME store a 15 minute skate from me, and having spent a while in there last week I know they’ve got another copy of the same game there. So off I go, disc, nero scandisc printouts and laptop in hand, and ask about a replacement. They’re fine with that, they check their copy, and oh dear another scratchathon. So they stick the original one in a disc repair machine for 10 minutes and hand it back, hoping it works. Luckily the boy scout in me came prepared with the laptop, so in goes newly re-surfaced disc (I dunno what they do but their machines give pretty nice looking results) and off it scans again.

82%… 83%… 83.4%…. cock. This time I trundle in with the laptop open and Nero still running, give everyone a good look at all the red unreadable areas, try to explain what it means, and eventually get to swap the whole game for a seperate one in the 3 for £20 – I didn’t fancy asking how they figure refunds for that kinda thing – £9.99? £6.66? £20 for the 3 games back? Anyway…

Over two hours spent in and out of GAME, cleaning and testing discs, and I now have working copies of Jaws Uleashed, SF EX3, and Naruto Ultimate Ninja 2. Which is worth about 50p more than Star Ocean. And yes, I knew it was there last week too, and really wanted to get it, there just wasn’t anything left in that store to make it worth while. Funny how things work out, eh? 🙂

So is it worth the trouble to make a potential ~£3.50, face a possible loss, and get nothing for the time spent? Not to many, but I’m desperate 😉 And I figure it’ll be good for the CV.

And that’s that. I’m not robbing the streets of cheap things, ok I find the odd £10 game for a pound, but I only know that after spending a year memorizing prices for games. Most of the stuff makes me very little, and I just have fun doing it, learning things, and spending my £3.50 on an easter egg for my sister 😀

Coming Soon

Coming soon to an auction near you… I’d normally put pics but I’ve gotta be quick as I’m about to go and write listings for these, so…

Buzz Mega Quiz + Buzzers.
Monster Hunter
Shiny brand new sealed copies of PGR 2 and Forza for the xbox – they’re the first sealed xbox games I’ve seen in a year of collecting stuff, and came with a couple more I’m holding on to that I’ll mention later…
Oblivion 4 GOTY edition for the PS3. I rarely sell newer stuff but couldn’t resist this as I figured I could make 50p. Yes, I really do it for the p’s. And lost far too many yesterday 🙁 *must update price charts more often*.

Anyway, that’s all for now, coming up this Thursday but if you want to know more, just ask. I don’t know how yet as I’ve not set up ay email address for the site 😐 Oh well… immortalsoon@gmail.com for now!

Disc Repair

I first found the site that got me in to game selling, GameHoarders, via a review they did for a Venmill disc repair machine. I’d been trying to find out more about commercial options, but as I’ve been through a few now I’m gonna shamelessly promote my favourites 🙂

Pay As You Go

If you’re lazy, and have a Gamestation store near you, then almost all of them use the Venmill 3500 and will stick a disc in it for you for £1.99. The machine itself will melt a thin layer of the disc plastic, buff it smooth for either 30 or 60 seconds (tip – ask them to stick it in Deep Buf mode for the 60 second spin time), and let it re-set. It’s not perfect and doesn’t help major scratches or dents (at least not without multiple spins, which costs more), and tbh the DIY method below is probably just as good, but for £1.99 it’s worth it if you have an expensive game. It does however leave a very nice finish, not much different to a normal disc.

Do It Yourself

Most DIY disc repair methods involve someone recommending either tooth paste or Brasso metal polish. Both work in the same way; they contain small mildly abrasive particles which, when rubbed against the polycarbonate disc surface, will wear down the surface stripping back enough until enough of the scratches are removed. Brasso at least (I’ve never tried toothpaste) is a decent solution, but takes forever to work and leaves a uniformly lightly scratched surface when done, and isn’t quite as good as a professional machine.

Here’s some tips to use it:

1. Put a paper cloth on to a flat surface, lightly dab some water on to the paper, and place the disc top-side down on top of the damp paper. This will ensure the disc is on a flat but cusioned surface, and will be gripped by the water so hopefully won’t slide around while polishing. DO NOT hole the disc while poslishing – the pressure you apply while polishing will likely cause small cracks in the disc without it being held on a flat surface. I killed two discs before realising this 🙁

2. Dab a j-cloth (also slightly abrasive) in to some brasoo, and polish in a radial motion (from inside edge to outside, or vice versa). Add a bit more polish to the cloth every few minutes so it doesn’t dry out completely on the disc. And keep going for 15 minutes before wiping all the polish away with water and testing. You may have to go for up to an hour for deep scratches, and even then it may not work, which is why I’m not a huge brasso fan.

3. Try not to polish right up to the inside edge – polish and liquid can seep inbetween the disc surfaces and cause small cracks if you do.

Due to the time it takes, and limited results, I now prefer a much quicker DIY method. While searching for Brasso at my uncle’s house, he (an newly ex car mechanic & motor parts retailer) recommended Xerapol, and handed me a few tubes. Not knowing much about it I tried it out on a failing Metal Gear Solid CD for a few minutes, and the result was imediately much more impressive than Brasso. After 3 minutes it had fully removed a scratch it’d normally take me around 30 minutes with brasso to remove, and the surface albeit very lightly scratched was much nicer looking than Brasso’s result and without the cloudy look that Brasso leaves.

Having read up more on the product, turns out it’s not actually recommended for use on polycarbonates (and guess what CDs / DVDs are made from?) but what can I say, it’s perfect for discs. It’s a more mild abbrasive than Brasso but still helps to scratch off a small layer of the disc, but more importantly it actually dissolves a thin layer of the plastic which no doubt helps speed things up a lot. Just erm… don’t try the included sand paper, it’s just makes things much much worse…

Oh and, if anyone wants a tube to try out, I have a few I’ll probably never use so just let me know.

Avoid

Having purchased a load of stuff from CeX in the past I can say two things. One – don’t. They’re all in pretty damn poor condition. Two – don’t use whatever they use to repair discs. I’m not certain, but I did see a Skip Dr product laying on their work desk not long ago. If that’s what they’ve been using then believe me, the result at least looks much worse than any of the methods above, and doesn’t seem to work so well either. It’s really little more than a quick and tougher version of brasso, just shaving off a layer of the disc but leaving a pretty scratchy looking surface when done. I don’t have one to test but I’m almost certain that any DIY method would work just as well and be cheaper.

First Hoard List

Ok, here’s some eye candy first, and then a history lesson.

hoard03092hoard0309

As with everything else I’ll be posting here, it’ll all be up on eBay soon. In fact, this time most of it already is. The FreeLoader GameCube disc just got pulled though, damn you eBay “let’s ban legal items” regulations. If anyone wants to make an offer for it, go ahead.

History now though. I’ve just started this site after a year of game collecting, hoarding and selling. Figure it’s about time to make something more interesting than just a few eBay listings 🙂 So last week I put together some fliers, figured out how to become self employed, and started putting this website together. Didn’t start off quite like this though…

Got in to selling stuff a year ago after some fun with original Xbox soft modding, just as a means to an end really. Sold a load of Splinter Cell and memory card bundles as they’re very useful when you know how to use em 😉 Also learnt a load about Xbox consoles, gaming and security systems, but didn’t really do much in terms of game selling or other consoles.

Then about 6 months ago I stumbled across Alex’s GameHoarders website, which got me reminising about my old PlayStation days and I decided to go out and see if I couldn’t find some cheapo classic gaming goodness lying around. And basically I’ve been doing that ever since, selling on whatever I don’t get attached to 🙂 In a few days I’ll probably post about my huuugee list of hand compiled game prices, some classic finds, and why eBay’s making everyone pay more than they need to for stuff.

Inaudible Games opens it’s virtual doors.

Hey, welcome to Inaudible Games. Please excuse the generic wordpress theming for now, will have to whip Mario’s arse in to shape later and replace him with some decent characters…

I’m gonna start sticking up previews of items soon to be sold on eBay here soon, and a few that won’t be, accepting offers on everything, bragging about what decent stuff I find, posting my favourite video game stuff, and generally trying to turn a hobby in to a job.

For now though, you’ve just got my eBay page to go on. I think I’m gonna change my ID soon to inaudible-games, so watch out for that. And if anyone has come here from one of the flyers I’ve send you, thank god! Took me 3 hours to print out 20 of them… don’t ask. Hopefully this place will actually have sales related content to interest you soon enough, so your visit is not in vain 🙂

http://shop.ebay.co.uk/merchant/immortal-soon

Christopher / immortal-soon.