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Old Jun 7, 2010, 10:14 PM
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Vert1 Vert1 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 325
Default VGMDB's A Beginner's Guide to Buying VGM

This should be an all encompassing guide for people wanting to collect vgm.

Tip #1- Avoid the Bootleg

Bootlegs are so common in vgm that you will see them in American malls. Be careful and ask questions to avoid getting suckered. My experience with bootleg CDs involved Chaos Legion OST. I had a friend buy my Chaos Legion OST on ebay for $13 (RED FLAG). I got the cd and realized that it looked off and was missing the mini-disc.

After that experience I developed huge mistrust of vgm sellers on the internet and in physical stores. Continue a few years later into 2009 or so when I had figured out vgm buying, I saw a copy of Panzer Dragoon Orta Official Soundtrack for $6 at my local Disc Replay store. In complete disbelief of such a slightly rare soundtrack I had to drive back to the store after printing off a copy of all the bootleg companies (list available at Chudah's-Corner) and scans of the OST covers. It wasn't bootleg. The guy who sold it probably only got $2 store credit for it.

Originally Posted by KeyLogic
Some other basics a beginner should know is that when dealing with online stores and individual sellers that you're not familiar with, it's always a good idea to look for the proper catalog number and/or publisher name and then compare it to the info here on VGMdb. Most legitimate sellers post this information.

Another tip for when dealing with individual sellers like on eBay is to check this database to see if there are scans available of the soundtrack you're interested in purchasing, look for where the publisher title/image is supposed to be and then ask for a unique picture of the of the soundtrack from the seller so that you can compare the images and see if everything adds up. The reason I say "unique picture" is because some persons might use pictures that are widely available on the net, or from here, to represent authentic soundtracks when in fact they're selling bootlegs.

in case you don't know, most times the publisher logo/title is shown somewhere on the album case or obi strip like so (see bottom-right corner) while bootleggers usually replace or remove the publisher logo/title like so.

Tip #2 Enter the Online Stores

CDJapan, Amazon Japan, Play-Asia, and are recommended websites to shop from. Amazon Japan is not as intimidating as English speakers may think; it lets you translate the page into English (ignore Google translate).

Tip #3 Shop Japan

Eventually you will get tired of limiting yourself to forum sales and online stores and want to go to "the ebay of japan". Not much else to say on the subject except that bidding is much different than on Ebay. When someone bids under 15 minutes left the timer resets to 15 minutes. When someone bids below 10 minutes, it goes back to 10 minutes. This extends the last minutes left tension. Plan your strategies accordingly.

Tip #4 First Come, First Serve

Everyone wants a good deal and those who wait will usually find one. The only catch is that to get the good deal you need to be actively checking on forum marketplaces as people will usually snatch good deals ($30 for Gunstar Heroes OST) immediately. This has resulted in me just barely emailing people seconds before others to win $100 valued albums for $30 and under (Beyond the Beyond and Shining In The Holy Ark).

Tip #5 Avoid Getting Ripped Off

To avoid getting ripped off you should know the market value of said item of desire and the rarity.
Originally Posted by GoldFishX
Neat trick...go on Amazon Japan, punch in a CD's catalog number (better than guessing between English or Japanese wording for the titles) and watch the fun in the form of bloated prices. Occasionally, I'll be pleasantly surprised (most old school Falcom albums can be had dirt cheap), but flipping through a number of albums reveals pretty insane prices.
If you see a Goemon or Donkey Kong Country 2 soundtrack don't expect to get a good deal. However, there are plenty of other albums that are somewhat rare that can be had for low prices. There are people on yahoo japan that want to sell you items valued for $40 dollars (Streets of Rage 2 Soundtrack and Persona2: Innocent Sin) for double the value.

Tip #6 Know Your Limits

Collecting video game music is one of the most selfish and costly activities I do. It's not enough to own the game (and listen to its music there), I have to own the soundtrack--and you will be surprised that the soundtrack costs even more than the game. With country economies on the verge of collapsing, people are getting desperate and selling all sorts of valuable vgm for great prices. So, the lesson is to acquire your "essentials" first and only acquire other items if they are abnormally underpriced. Also I think watching out for the signs of addiction is important. Shopping on Yahoo Japan is an activity that can get out of hand--you are allowed to spend 5x what you deposit to ShoppingMallJapan for your bidding limit. Know to shop when you're in a stable mood (note your shopping spree triggers).

That's it for now.

In Development:
FAQ Section:
Question 1. Is VGM collecting for me

Advanced Strategy Section:
Tip #1- Bidding Tactics

Do not ever think you have won a bid on eBay untill it says you're the winning bidder. On eBay, you should put in your highest conceivable amount you will spend on the album (also ask yourself how much over your "highest bid" is reasonable to you) in the last minute. It pays to snipe auctions, but it is risky as your internet or eBay may unexpectedly slow up. The reason you want to snipe auctions is to take advantage of other's confidence that they've won the item since no one bid on it and there are only 15 seconds left. If you bid too early, you give your inexperienced opposition a chance to raise your payment or outbid you.

On Yahoo Japan Auction, you should bid your highest amount before the last 15 minutes. There is a strategy of bidding such a high amount that bidders get discouraged after bidding more than twice to see their bid be outmatched. Also, if they outbid you and pay a huge amount then the next time that item appears you should end up paying less for it and have an idea what your competition is--sellers seeing such a profitable gain to be made could inspire them to put that same item up for sale.

Another thing is to never log onto VGMdb to look up an album under your username when you see an item get listed--guests draw less attention and usually go unnoticed on the 2nd page. You may cause someone to look up that said album on your bidding site and create a bidding war.

2. Taking advantage of your residing country (input from those in Asian countries on shopping for vgm in stores would greatly help)
3. ???

Input on adding new tips or refining tips is appreciated.


Useful Information

Yen to USD is about 80 to 1. (June 2012)
Special Order fees are a killer:
What do you think costs more a 10,000 yen album won from a Yahoo Japan Auction or 2 special orders albums totaling 8,500 yen?

If you said the two special order albums you are correct.

The 10,000 yen item will cost you $157.30
The two special order items will cost you $192.85

As of March 2013 the JPY to USD is 95 to 1. Enjoy.
As of late May 2013 the JPY to USD is 100 to 1. Enjoy.
As of December 2018 the JPY to USD is 113 to 1. Enjoy.

Last edited by Vert1; Dec 25, 2018 at 08:12 PM.
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