Starting a Board Game Collection on a Budget

It finally happened, you played that one game that got you hooked. You are ready to start a collection of your own, but you just don’t have a lot of money. That doesn’t mean your dream is over, there is plenty of ways to build a collection on a budget.

Start with affordable games

Not all games are expensive. Actually some of my all time favourites are on the smaller side. Games like Here to Slay, The Mind and The Crew are all really affordable at their regular price. Try starting out with a couple small affordable games before jumping into the bigger more expensive options.

Check your board game store for sales

Sales will always inevitably happen. Take that opportunity to pick up some good finds. Check websites regularly for sales or clearance items. For my friends in America, I hear Target has a decent selection and occasionally big sales. Last time I was in the US I got a copy of Space Invaders for five dollars.

Research what games you want

The last thing you want is to fill your collection with games you don’t want to play. Be selective and know what’s out there before you shop so your money is going to the right games for you.

Start with a small collection with a lot of variety

At the beginning your collection will be small but with the right type of games no one will notice. A lot of games play the same and just have a different theme. If you can’t afford everything make sure what you do have feels unique so you’ll get a lot of use of each one.

Sell anything that’s weighing you down

There’s a lot of people that like games, if you happen to buy a few that really aren’t your cup of tea, consider selling them. You won’t make all your money back but it will give you a bit of extra money to buy something that you will actually play.

Thrift stores and Garage sales

Check out your local thrift stores or yard sales. I bought a copy of Wits and Wagers, unopened for four dollars at a garage sale. There’s a lot of people that just want to get rid of the clutter they don’t use. Use this as an opportunity to buy. Just make sure you check to make sure the game is complete.

Facebook groups and marketplace

Facebook has been very good to me. I’m a member of a local buy/sell game group and I also regularily check marketplace. This is a great way to get the more expensive game at a discount. A lot of people selling here are also collectors so the games are in great condition and sometimes you can even get a kickstarter edition. It’s a great option for getting into the heavier games and a great option for getting games that are no longer in print.

Local trades and auctions

Keep in touch with local board game groups in your area, there’s bound to be math trades or game auctions. In math trades, you are trading what you don’t want for games you do. You agree to the trades so you will only get the trades you want. At buy/sell auctions you will have the option to sell games you don’t want for cash, or get a lot of great used games for really cheap. At one of the buy/sell auctions I got a copy of Ticket to Ride for thirty dollars, complete with sleeved cards, special edition trains and an expansion. Pay attention to your local board game groups and events and these will pop up from time to time.


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