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Tips for Buying EarthBound

March 1st, 2013 | Auctions, EarthBound

Once a month I update the EarthBound pricing info on buyearthbound.com by hand so that fans can get the best deals and avoid spending too much. Here’s the latest price info:

Average Prices:

  • EarthBound cart: $205 (up from $189, lowest: $149.99 / highest: $269.95)
  • EarthBound guide: $120 (up from $103, lowest: $75.00) / highest: $215.95)
  • EarthBound complete set: $818 (up from $626, lowest: $355.00 / highest: $2215.00)

So this marks the begin of EarthBound cartridges costing over $200 just by themselves. It’s still hard to fathom – when I started EarthBound Central just a few years ago I was always telling people, “Don’t buy EarthBound if it’s over $75, you can get it at $70 if you’re patient.” Now the price has gone insane 😯 It seems like retro games in general have dramatically increased in price over the past few years – I guess it’s because kids who grew up in the 80s and 90s are now adults and have the money to try to relive their nostalgia? I dunno, it’s all pretty crazy and there are probably multiple reasons.

A couple complete EarthBound sets solder over $1000 too. If I ever get a time machine, I think I’ll go back and invest in Google and buy up all the cheap copies of EarthBound.

Here were some other related eBay listings that caught my eye:


Later this month the Wii U Virtual Console version of MOTHER 2 is being released in Japan… I don’t think we’ll necessarily hear anything about an EarthBound version immediately afterward or anything, but man I hope it gets released outside of Japan too eventually.

Anyway, as always, check out buyearthbound.com if you’re thinking of buying a copy of EarthBound or the guide or the box or all of it – it’ll probably save you tons of money! Don’t throw your money away like you do if you invest in Orange Kid!


Other Related Posts:


24 Comments to EarthBound Price Update (Mar 2013)

HpBoost said on Mar. 1, 2013

I’m fortunate to have an awesome friend that bought me a copy last year, but I still need to save up for a complete one in mint condition.

Prayer For Safety said on Mar. 1, 2013

Dang it’s hard to believe that the games so expensive now. Like you Mato, I remember the days when $80 and $90 was to much for the game.

Hopefully we’ll see a rerelease outside of Japan, and the game will get cheaper. I have my doubts about that happening but still want to hold out hope for it.

EarthBound fans prayed from the bottom of their hearts to Nintendo
“…Please give us strength!
Anyone who can hear our plea….
Help us…”

PSIpunky said on Mar. 1, 2013

That’s just insane… $244.95 for just the box? What the heck? It’s hard to believe the cart alone now sells for $200.00. I think it’s true though, as we grow up and have more access to funds, we invest and buy expensive items, even for old retro things.

Runaway Dawg said on Mar. 1, 2013

I’ve got an Earthbound strategy guide with a detached front cover and the first few pages torn. I bet I could still get $40 + for it, if I ever wanted to sell it.

Someone Else said on Mar. 1, 2013

It might also be that, as time goes by, it’s becoming easier and easier to learn about all of the retro games in the first place, increasing the demand as there are more people willing to buy them.

Douglas Vieira said on Mar. 1, 2013

Got my copy in my country (Brazil) last week for about US$ 160. Now it’s time to search for the guide and, maybe, the big box. =)

DD said on Mar. 1, 2013

Money to try to relive their nostalgia? no way! $244 for a box is too much. Could end up being a fake for all I know. Plus $244 is equal to almost a half a months rent/pay where I live. I was only able to afford one college class this year. Can’t imagine paying that much for the game box. :/

Mato said on Mar. 1, 2013

In my experience (and my own personal experience) what happens is that once someone’s out of college or whatever and lands their first real job, they’re getting more money than they ever had before… and the first instinct is to buy lots of stuff that’s part of their hobby or whatever. I can totally see that happening here.

I also think the rise of YouTube game reviewers and Let’s Plays and stuff like that has also gotten lots more people into retro games and collecting. And the rise of game collecting sites. And the fact that it’s easier for pawn shops, garage sales, and such to figure out the market price for games than ever before.

Opinionated Vector Chimera said on Mar. 1, 2013

I believe I explained this earlier in a comment on another post, but I think that paying ~$100 for a guide alone and ~$200 for a cart is just ridiculous. ~$800 for a complete set is just overkill. However, buying a Wii U just to play EarthBound is just as bad, because the console itself costs $300-$400, and then you need an additional $20 for a points card just to download it, as well as some Virtual Console-exclusive controllers. Finally, you have to take other variables into consideration. It’s not worth the high cost in my opinion.

You could just as easily relive your nostalgia (illegally!) with who-knows-what. As for me, I played EarthBound on an emulator and enjoyed every bit of it, and I think that’s all that needs to be done to experience it.

PSIpunky said on Mar. 1, 2013

Buying a Wii U just to play it might seem farfetched. On the plus side, you have a new system to enjoy as it grows and new games. To enjoy it the way it’s supposed to be enjoyed would be to play it on a system, whether the SNES, GBA 1+2 or a remake/rerelease as it were.

But yes, paying $200 for the cart alone is out of reach for some. If you’re willing to invest that much then by all means. If you want to go the other route, to each their own. In my opinion, the fact that it has not been rereleased in the states has made this game gain a “rare” status that drives the price up as people find out about it.

Anonymous said on Mar. 1, 2013

I wouldn’t mind it being released on Wii U, since I’m going to buy a Wii U eventually anyway.

trickster2599 said on Mar. 1, 2013

If they release the games internationally, they WILL make a profit, plus if the game is cheaply priced, sales could go up immensely…

Tourist said on Mar. 1, 2013

Maaan… I remember when $30 was steep when I bought mine in 2001. Most used SNES games were selling for half that.
Still worth it though… I just new Ness from Smash was in. I had no idea what type of game it was. I was delightfully surprised when I fought my first runaway dog.
As for being worth $200+…. Let’s just say I’m eager to see if Japan get’s an edited Earthbound that handle those legal issues.

Douglas Vieira said on Mar. 1, 2013

People are talking about a re-release on Virtual Console, but we can’t forget that, if this happen, they’re going to change things and both games will be different somehow (Snes and Wii U).

And the release on Virtual Console doesn’t mean the prices will drop. Just an example: Chrono Trigger is on Virtual Console, Nintendo DS and PSX, but the cartridge for Snes continues overpriced.

Mr. Saturn said on Mar. 1, 2013

I sometimes like to hug and kiss my copy of EarthBound that I bought for $60 bucks 6 or 7 years ago.

EBBub said on Mar. 1, 2013

My family got Earthbound on sale at Best Buy for like $10 a little while after it came out~

thelucaskid482 said on Mar. 2, 2013

Lucky. Dog. I don’t even know what to say to a 10 dollar EarthBound. I mean seriously there’s this place downtown, near where I live, that sells retro carts and they get like two EarthBound carts in per month and the prices just go up, and up, and up, and up. Last guy that brought one in had the box too, and right now there being sold for the SAME PRICE of 199.99. But there’s another place a little bit farther downtown that sells old carts for there value NOT there rarity. So the lady at the cash register said the whole time she had been working there she had seen TWO come through the door. The people who traded it in got 15$ for it and they sold it for 29.99 in the store in (literally) a matter of seconds.

DD said on Mar. 2, 2013

A lot of good points have been brought up.

The prices of the carts may or may not change if they release Earthbound on the Wii U eshop. Who knows? Maybe the demand for carts will increase if it gets a virtual console release in western countries.

Buying a new console just for Earthbound may seem ridiculous because the end cost is close to the same as buying a cart. Of course, people who have the money for their hobbies are going to buy it despite the costs.

I ended up buying myself a 3DS after the price change (and saving here and there for it). I don’t buy game systems very often, but still that’s a lot of money.

Saturnome said on Mar. 2, 2013

I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed the rise of retro games prices! I have this text file from last year where I noted a few games I wanted and their eBay price… Quite a few games are 10$, 15$ higher than before ! I’m sure glad my collection is almost complete…

Buster The Fox said on Mar. 2, 2013

I got a Wii U just because I wanted one, so I’m glad about that. EB wasn’t the entire reason I bought it; in fact, I bought it before anything related to the series cropped up regarding it.
By the way, you don’t need to buy a classic controller for Wii U VC games… The game pad on it’s own has enough buttons to be used as an SNES controller. So, you really only need 370$; 350 for the system itself and 20 for the minimum amount of cash you can add to your eShop account at any one time. BUT, I recently saw a Wii U classic controller that looked exactly like an SNES controller, and I want it SO BAD.

Point is, though, Yay, Earthbound on VC! If it comes to America, I HAVE to get the mentioned Classic Controller.

Zeph101 said on Mar. 3, 2013

In the last price update I posted those ebay links of retro Snes RPGs. Somebody bought Terranigma at $200. That’s insane. I bought mine ten years ago second hand at about $40 complete in pretty good condition.
I wonder Mato, how long do you think those prices are going to stay? I mean, there are still quite a few NES games that are priced quite high despite virtual console releases and accessibility to emulation. Something tells me these collector prices are here to stay for quite a while.

Smokey the Crow said on Mar. 3, 2013

About half a year ago I got EB for $75 bucks at a local game/music store, it had a little bit of cosmetic wear; noting terrible, but it plays perfectly

Mato said on Mar. 3, 2013

Zeph101: I honestly don’t know – the retro game market is so crazy right now that it’s hard to say. It’ll interesting to watch if a VC release does happen though.

Anonymous said on Mar. 9, 2013

Earthbound has just gone to a point that no one can afford! It just gets higher and higher.


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