Phoenix Resale Proves You Can Make a Living Reselling Video Games Online

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Just make it clear that your YouTube channel and game reselling business need to be treated as such and don’t give the haters more fuel than they need.

Yet another of my favorite gaming YouTube Channels I discovered through Retro Rick’s 10 Dollar Game Collection challenge is Phoenix Resale. Caleb is a former pool boy born, raise, and still living in the state of Kentucky, who started his video game resale business with just 500 dollars. After four years, him and his wife Erica saved up enough to actually buy a bigger house!

While some of the gaming channels I once enjoyed have gotten a bit too big for their britches, Caleb is now consistently giving back to the gaming community all the time, partly in memory of his grandfather who was always remarkably generous; his grandpa even bought him and his wife the Toyota Prius Caleb uses as transportation for a wedding gift. Caleb’s gaming hunts involve building close relationships with independent game store and pawn shop owners. Perhaps the best part of Caleb’s channel besides his own self-deprecating humor and video game market knowledge is the hilarious and skillful editing of Riff from Pixel Game Squad (the same editor that Retro Rick has.)

The GameCube Gambit is easily Caleb’s most popular series, in which he sought out to build an entire GameCube collection from essentially scratch; he only had a single Winnie the Pooh game to start the challenge. The concept of his series was that he would purchase items for the resale business like normal, but on certain days, the expected profit from these specific items would serve as his budget for the Gambit series. It was actually a really neat concept, watching him building a collection while doing what he’d be doing for his video game resale business anyway.

Here’s the complete playlist:

While this series was a relative success, there have been some naysayers. In the beginning, the GameCube Gambit appeared to be something that anyone who even bought and sold video games as a hobby could accomplish. But, over time, Caleb’s relationships really began to help him acquire some unique opportunities and deals. The reason I don’t have a problem with this is that relationships are the number one thing you need in a successful business; so, I’m not bothered by this aspect at all.

More recently, many viewers have taken issue with Caleb over selling a big chunk of the GameCube Gambit collection to help fund his Playstation Project mini-series soon afterward. Many commenters called him a fake collector and a fake gamer and being dishonest about the GameCube collection being his childhood dream. I don’t agree with any of the comments, and at first Caleb handled the criticism by being completely transparent.

The backlash with the Playstation Project series itself has been even worse. But, Caleb did admit that, yes, the Playstation Project wouldn’t have been a success without some good fortune and help from his friends. But, you know what, as Caleb fully admitted, the series was more about the journey than the end result. Unfortunately, since then, Caleb has left himself open to criticism when it comes to his future plans.

So, Caleb has a second channel, hilariously named Renix Pesale where he has additional behind-the-scenes type content. This channel isn’t edited by Riff, and unfortunately for Caleb, that editor got a promotion at work and had to give up video editing on the side, so it went dark for a bit. As soon as he got the chance, Caleb did make a video on this second channel defending himself on his decision making process. Unfortunately for him, Caleb didn’t give a very clear reason besides the fact he’s not going to pander to YouTube comments.

In that same video, Caleb also announced he’s selling all but 25 of his rarest Nintendo Switch games to pay for a game room in his new house. (Yes, he and his wife bought a new house recently, in part thanks to the success of the Phoenix Resale channel and business.) Then, soon after, Caleb will be making a series rebuilding his Switch collection nearly from scratch. But, he also made some strange comments about how he feels like he’s not giving enough back to his viewers; I completely disagree with these, but it opened the door for even more criticism.

Where Caleb failed to properly explain himself, having watched his videos for quite sometime, I’m actually very much on his side here; as it turns out, many large YouTube channels and fellow video game resellers completely agree with me. While I feel like this rant video was probably the wrong thing to do on his part, here’s why I am otherwise 100 percent behind Caleb’s decision making process.

Number one, him and his wife were in the process of buying a new home for months. Therefore, Caleb needed to sell games in order to fund the Playstation Project series; in fact, he blew out a lot of the GameCube collection in instant WhatNot auctions. It’s not like he was making a massive profit on games that people gave him deals on, and he actually lost money on a few games in the process. Also, a home is kind of twenty billion times more important than some games he could easily find again. Caleb sort of brought this point up, but only in passing. This should have been his main argument.

Number two, on the subject of finding games again, Phoenix Resale is a small business built on buying and selling video games. Therefore, it’s highly likely he’ll recoup many of the GameCube and Switch games he sold as a natural process of doing business over time. Unlike what many people seem to think, as a reseller, you are allowed to keep games and other items you buy in collections for yourself, because once you buy them they are YOUR PROPERTY! Plus, treating games as liquid assets is just a smart move, even if it’s sometimes hard to move on from certain ones, because he has to view both his channel and his games as business assets that need to maintain cash flow. That’s how you run a successful business, as he is so clearly doing.

Number three, um, they’re his games. He can do whatever he wants with them. If he wants to sell off his entire collection to go fly in a rocket to the moon, he can do whatever he wants with his inventory because it’s America and it’s a (mostly) free country!

So, while Caleb probably shouldn’t have gone on that unedited rant, I get his frustration entirely. The problem is, if he brought up these three salient points, he could’ve silence a lot of his haters. While I’ll continue to support him and his channel, I have to admit that he’s unfortunately going the way of a lot of YouTube channels when they start getting big. It’s not that I believe he should apologize; not at all. But, he needs to make clear that both his channel and reselling business are, well, a business. He needs to treat it as such. Thus, people need to chill out and understand how business works.

Anyway, I continue to enjoy his content, and whatever he chooses to do with his games, that’s fully his right. What do you think of YouTube channels regarding video game reselling? Do you think that they’re all fake to a point, or as I just suggested, is it all just part of a business strategy in order to pay the bills and make a living? I’m leaning consistently toward the latter.

Amelia Desertsong is a former content marketing specialist turned essayist and creative nonfiction author. She writes articles on many niche hobbies and obscure curiosities, pretty much whatever tickles her fancy.
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