Armin Hierstetter discusses His new retro project with us
Armin Hierstetter tells us about retroplace, his new one-stop community for retro gaming buyers and collectors
nowadays, when people are looking at boosting their retro collections, they typically head to the likes of ebay or use various groups on social media. Armin Hierstetter is hoping to disrupt this with the introduction of retroplace, a new website that not only acts as a portal to buy and sell retro games, but also allows you to track your own personal collection. “The story of [retroplace] begins with a simple observation. There is no international marketplace dedicated to retro games,” begins Armin. “You would think there is, but there is none. Now, of course there are ebay, Amazon and the likes, but we felt that those are flawed in many ways, starting with very high sales commissions that drives prices up. Also, the process of buying and selling is far from ideal, but the major issue with the big guns is [that] they are not focused on what retro gamers want, apart from selling and buying games. So, two years ago, we decided to take a much more retro community focused approach that we call retroplace.”
As Armin notes, there are plenty of places you can keep track of your collection, but he’s confident that retroplace is a good alternative. “It all starts with a very strong foundation, a database of currently 110,000-plus retro games.” But why is this impressive number so important and how will it attract gamers? “All other features build on it: managing your collection, wishlist, buying and selling games etc,” he continues. “Whatever you want to do with a game – adding it to your collection, selling it, buying it – the database makes it incredibly easy because it does most of the donkey work for you.”
Data entry is incredibly important for any project like this and retroplace has some nice tricks that Armin hopes will separate it from similar sites. “Retroscan is a barcode scanner that allows you to scan the EAN code of a game,” Armin explains. “This is extremely helpful when adding a lot of games to your collection. It also comes in handy when you want to quickly check whether a game is in your collection or when you want to sell a specific game. It works wonderfully on your desktop and on your phone.”
Armin is also confident that the fact retroplace has a built-in auction site will help boost its success, but it’s important to note that various other retro-themed auction sites have failed to impact on ebay’s success, so we were keen to know how retroplace were going to break this stranglehold. “It was not a lack of passion that has led to failures in the past. If – at all – it was the lack of relevant advantages compared to ebay and Amazon,” suggests Armin. “It is very hard to add a new platform on the user's radar. Unless you offer a far greater experience than existing websites, users simply don't see a reason as to why they should even bother.
"Even if you get that right: trust is even more important and harder to earn at the same time," Armin continues. "If you cannot build trust with your user base, you have a problem. Experience in running a business also is needed in order to even stand a chance to be successful: I’ve been in ebusiness for more than a decade, while Christian Corre is the owner of one of the most prestigious independent game shops in Germany.
It is very hard to add a new platform on the user's radar Armin Hierstetter
We combine a total of close to 30 years of entrepreneur experience.”
It’s going to be interesting to see it retroplace can become a destination for retro gamers, but it sounds like Armin and the rest of his team are certainly up for the challenge.
The market section of retroplace allows you to filter by system, region and condition.
Christian Corre came up with the idea of retroplace and currently runs Nippondreams in Munich.
User Bluemansl is leading the collection charts with an impression selection totalling more than 3,000 games.
Armin and Christian are well-versed in the selling of videogames, as the success of Nippondreams proves.
and Armin is retroplace’s programmer for over ten years. has worked in business