About a week ago I found out about a new video game grading service called Video Game Quality. You might be familiar with this name as we’ve featured plenty of items on VGA from him, but last week I took notice that the seller grades factory sealed video games. Yup, the sellers got his own acrylic cases with logo/grade.
Now I am not sure if it’s a recent thing, but there’s a whole grading system on his website, and after scrolling around I see on the bottom that the website was designed since 2010 so perhaps I’m one of the few that were clueless about this new player? But as they say, if it’s news to you it’s probably news to others. Anyhow, it’s not important when he started his services. Whats important is that there’s a change, and this seller brings competition for Video Game Authority which is healthy for the business. Why so? Well, competition drives innovation and pushes the players to offer something more, something better. But you might think what else is there to offer in the video game grading business? If you’re an entrepreneur you’re always trying to think of new things to bring to the table so it will be exciting to see what comes forth in the near future from both of them.
But anyways, lets move on to the topic of discussion; Video Game Quality. When you enter the sellers’ site the first thing you see is a message stating “Why you should buy Video_Game_Quality”. Here’s what’s written:
“Over 25 years of experience in the Video Game Market operating a video game store in the late 80’s into the early 90’s selling official products direct from Nintendo & Sega with training in official seals of quality. A foundation you can count on when grading sealed or open nostalgic video games.”
Not only does the seller mention he has experience of 25 years, he also owned his own video game store and trust me, it’s not the same as collecting sealed games and getting your knowledge from that. Owning a store means receiving thousands of brand new sealed games. I’ve mentioned plenty of times that I’ve worked at a video game store and when you handle everything from brand new Sega Master games all the way to PlayStation 3 games you start to acquire a particular knowledge on the way companies seal their games. It’s truly an art, and some of you might think for example that every Nintendo game should have a horizontal seam otherwise it’s not factory sealed. That’s not true. There are some exceptions such as unlicensed games. Because Nintendo never adopted these games the companies had to have a third party to seal their products, hence the “no horizontal seam”. Also, there has been mention of games being sealed differently abroad. But again, nothing’s better than handling thousands of sealed games a month and observing the seals. I’ve seen people attempt to create horizontal seams and sell the games on eBay. You could be easily fooled so it’s important that if you’re in this realm of collecting that you familiarize yourself extensively.
So how are the games graded? VGQ grades their games at Gold Level which are sealed games, and at Silver Level which are opened games. Also, the seller gives grades of 100 at Gold Level. They lay out everything for you on their Grade system’s Page. VGQ also shows you examples on validating Store Stickers, SNES seals, NES seals and etc… Just click here to see examples. Below are some pictures from one of the seller’s eBay listings:
So the question I have is; can any game really get a 100 Gold Level Grading? Because for me, to get a Gold Grade of 100 means that the game never went into circulation which would mean it’s “Mint”. But how do we know if a game went into circulation(meaning it was put on the shelf of a store)? For action figures, AFA gives a “U” for uncirculated if you send them an “unopened” case which the same logic should be used for video games. However, VGQ isn’t AFA, and they have their own grade system as mentioned above. So I guess a game gets a Gold Level of 100 if it’s in immaculate/impeccable/incredible/mint shape :).
I think the seller’s operations are quite new to collectors which is subjective, however, I believe he’s on the correct path. He has a website up which definitely helps his cause and aids collectors, and he has an eBay store. It’s the perfect place for his niche target market since 99% of sealed collectors run to eBay first. We’ll see how his business venture pans out in the future.
Here are a few auctions from Video Game Quality:
Nintendo GameBoy Advance SP Factory Sealed 100 Gold Level
Nintendo GameCube Platinum Edition System 100 Gold Level
Sega Genesis System II 2 Original Brand 95 gold Level
GOLDEN AXE WARRIOR Sega Master System 100 Gold Level
Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker Sega Genesis 100 Gold Level
Shining Force Sega Genesis RPG Factory Sealed 100 Gold Level
Turbo Duo CD System TurboGrafx Collection 95 Gold Level
Turbo Grafx 16 Factory Sealed with 6 Brand New Games 90 Gold Level
Sega Master system with Gun Sealed 90 Gold Level