Old Games - Sell or Donate?
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  1. #1
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    Old Games - Sell or Donate?

    While not the collector by any means, I do accumulate a lot of games. Not just TTRPG books, but board and card games as well.

    Many games get a lot of play for a while and then go unused and I realize that I wouldn't miss them. As I said, I'm not a collector and a regularly de-clutter my house.

    I used to bring games to Half-Priced Books ("HPB", a used-bookstore chain in the USA). I would use the money made to buy books for my kids to read. The money you get is so small, however, that if you have a large collection of expensive games, you may be better off donating them for the tax write-off. But I've never gotten rid of enough games for it to make a big enough difference.

    My last trip to HPB, however, left me feeling a bit guilty. I got rid of some awesome game, just got a little bit of money, and since HPB really isn't geared for hobby enthusiasts I felt I was almost throwing them away. My favorite FLGS has a great game library that I've donated games to in the past and which I've made a lot of use of. I feel better contributing to that and will probably stop going to HPB. Besides, the time spent driving to HPB and waiting in line, doesn't feel like it is worth the money, whereas I can always hangout at the FLGS and play a game afterwards.

    Are there other ways to donate great used games? I tend to take very good care of my games (cards are sleeves, components organized in labeled baggies that include the items counts to help ensure everything is put away after the game). Most that I sell/give away are in excellent condition. The only ones that are in worse than "good" condition are those that I've purchased at garage sales, which tend to be common games like Battleship, Tiddly Winks, Monopoly, etc. that I would not bother to buy new.

    I know that there are game exchanges by mail and at conventions, but those always seem like more hassle than they are worth, especially if you have to pay postage.

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    If money is any kind of factor, then the tax write off is probably the "smart" option.

    As for other donation options, it depends on where you are, and who you think needs it most. I could see game donations being equally appreciated at libraries, veterans' groups, hospitals, prisons, local schools, or gaming clubs. Although a local game store probably won't be able to give you the necessary receipts for a write off, a school or hospital might. Granted I don't know what kind of shelf life a game donated to a hospital will end up having as opposed to your FLGS, but *shrug*.
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    Besides sci-fi/fantasy/horror books, Iĺve donated games- used and new- to the USO in the past. Lots of wargamers and RPG hobbyists serve in our armed forces, and not all of them are able to keep personal copies as they move. Dice are also appreciated.

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    You might consider a high school library. Whether it is a tax write-off or not may be dependent on how the school district accepts donations. One thing is for sure - your game will get played.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pogre View Post
    You might consider a high school library. Whether it is a tax write-off or not may be dependent on how the school district accepts donations. One thing is for sure - your game will get played.
    This.

    Local schools (not just the high school- middle school 6-8 too!) and public libraries often run gaming events for the youth, and would appreciate donations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowkey13 View Post
    This.

    Local schools (not just the high school- middle school 6-8 too!) and public libraries often run gaming events for the youth, and would appreciate donations.
    Thirded. Our local library hosts game nights that are super popular. It's a pretty awesome thing to see a bunch of kids who cant afford a hobby like M:tG still have a regular place to pick up a deck and play. Our local grange hosts monthly D&D nights also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lowkey13 View Post
    This.

    Local schools (not just the high school- middle school 6-8 too!) and public libraries often run gaming events for the youth, and would appreciate donations.
    Agreed.

    Local schools and libraries, Boy's and Girl's Clubs, Scouts, and other youth organizations may be able to take these off your hands in a constructive and tax-deductible manner.
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  8. #8
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    Places that may be willing to take donated games:
    Local YMCA - if family friendly
    Local schools - ibid.
    Local Senior Center. (Corvallis, OR: the Senior Center hosts a weekly boardgame day. Good luck finding parking. Not restricted to seniors, either.)
    Local college gaming club. (falls under the Uni's Non-Profit status in most states)
    Local civil gaming club, if one exists as an incorporated or city-chartered club.
    Local fraternal society's auctions.
    Local scout troop for auctions.
    Some church auctions and/or youth groups.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pogre View Post
    You might consider a high school library. Whether it is a tax write-off or not may be dependent on how the school district accepts donations. One thing is for sure - your game will get played.
    Not always. If the district has rules about games...

    I worked for a school district for 15 years...
    they banned CCGs, anything looking like a CCG, wargames, anything looking like a weapon (including toy soldiers and GI Joe figures), anything with lurid art, and anything with "Adult Themes" (sex, drugs, illicit romances). Religious themes were administrator discretion.

    Donations of disallowed games were required to be trashed. (In practice, a staffer would usually take them home, instead.) They were explicitly not allowed to be used in auctions, either.

    Now, the school wasn't so strict about outside users, provided the use was clearly not school-related.
    And outside use included teachers using personal games outside school academic use hours (school day + after-school activities timeblock)

  10. #10
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    Thanks everyone for all the great ideas. For now I'll probably continue to donate to the FLGS's public library as I know they'll get a lot of use and be taken care of by the staff. Also, it is really simple to do. But I'll look into some of the other suggestions as well.
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