Overview of Our Methodology

At PriceCharting.com, our goal is to track the market price of all video games over time. We collect completed sales from eBay (listings without a buyer are not included). Listing data from Amazon and Half. And sales data from other online retailers.

We then combine this information to calculate the current market price.

How We Combine Sales & Listing Data to Determine Price

We use four methods to combine the sales and listing data based upon how often an item sells and how confident we can be in the price based upon the volume.

This table gives a brief summary and how often each method is used.

Availability Method % of Items
Very Common 1 Week Average of Sales 4%
Common Median Price Of Most Recent Sales 84%
Rare Most Recent Sale 2%
No Price No price data seen 4%

Below is a more detailed description of each method and example games that use those methods.

  • Very Common: We use the average sales price if the volume is high enough that we can say the price is correct with 80% confidence. This is the most accurate method and is used on games like Madden 12 and Halo 3 that sell many copies every day.

  • Common: When an item sells less than five times per week we use a method that gives median price of the most recent sales. This is used on games like Duck Tales 2 and Beyond Good and Evil.

  • Rare: For items that sell very infrequently we use the most recent sale. This is generally used for items that sell less than once per year like Nintendo World Championships and Stadium Events.

Loose, Complete, and New Prices

We show prices for products in loose, complete (CIB), and new conditions. In order to determine the condition we look at the title and description for the listing.

  • New always means brand new, still sealed in the original box. If a listing contains words like "New", "Sealed", or other similar words we classify it as "New".

  • Complete means the item comes with the original box and manual. If the listing contains words like "Complete", "CIB", "Item, Box, and Manual", or other similar word patterns we classify it as "Complete".

  • Loose means the item does not include the original box and/or manual. If the lising contains words like "loose", "game only", "disc only" or other similar words in the title or description. "Loose" also includes all listings where we cannot determine the condition based upon the title. "Loose" is the default because often times that is what the listing includes if more descriptive words are not in the title. And loose is our lowest condition rating.

If you do see a listing classified incorrectly please click the red 'X' next to the auction title and we will manually review it.

Shipping Costs Are Not Included

The prices shown do not include shipping costs or any other transaction related costs. The price shown is the prices people are paying for the products themselves. You can read more about why shipping costs are not included on our blog.

Removing Bad Sales Data & Flagged Listings

Our prices are based upon actual sales data but sometimes auctions are listed or classified incorrectly. We have two ways to combat this:

Automatically Removing "Junk" Sales: During an audit, roughly 65% of our valuation mistakes were caused by incorrectly listed auctions. Something like selling a Famicom game as an NTSC game, listing game lots as individual games, or selling reproductions of the real game.

Our bots now recognize certain keywords as "junk" and automatically remove them. Words like "Famicom", "Reproduction", and "Broken" are examples of junk keywords.

We automatically remove about 200 junk auctions every day.

Users Flagging "Junk" Sales: Some listings are very difficult for a computer to recognize as junk. For example the auction title says nothing about the box and manual being included, but the photo shows the game is complete.

We rely on users flagging those listings by clicking the "Report" link next to them. Clicking that link flags the listing for manual review. We will then look at the listing and decide if it needs to be removed, reclassified, or left as is.

If you notice listing that is misclassified, please click the "Report" link. It will improve the prices for everyone.

The flag feature is only available for 90 days after the auction ends. At that point eBay removes the listing from their site so we can no longer verify the information.

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