Upcoming shows/vending:






 Know of a show I should go to? Tell me!

Catalog Your Video Games the Easy Way

Cataloging Your Video Game Collection Using a USB Barcode Scanner:

I wrote a Python program to search an online database by UPC and scrap specific data into a table. This makes the task of inventorying a video game collection as simple as scanning the UPC on the back of the game. I talk about how I did this with Python, Raspberry Pi, and the database pricecharting.com.


Wait, what?
Go to pricecharting.com and search a barcode say like 008888511120. Cut and paste the title and prices of that game into an excel chart:

Beyond Good and Evil (Xbox)  8888511120     Action&Adventure $15.03 

And repeat...The program I wrote does all that for you, just scan the barcode with a $17 USB barcode scanner. Neat!


If you have a huge collection that you want to catalog and inventory, email me your barcodes and I will scrape the data for you. I am looking at you GameSack, LGR, My Life In Gaming....

Note this database only works for North American (NTSC) games.


PC game UPCs do not play nice with pricecharting's database. I surmise PC games can have a slew of different UPCs for one game title and their database does not capture that. Console games however are simple, usually one barcode per title. My success rate was about 98% for inventorying games spanning eras  from Sega Gensis to PS4 (~1990-2017). Although that accuracy is really dependant on the database, so #usless_statistics. 

II taught myself to program, so this code is... of that quality.


"Will you scrape my games for me?" -Yes

October 2017 update: Scraping service available. I rewrote this program to read a .csv file full of UPCs and return the same data.

Email me your barcodes in a .csv file (like the example below) and I'll scrape the data for you! Email  me for details. $0.01 per scraped game.

example upc comma separated values
Comma separated value file [126 Bytes]

Sept 2017 Update:

I added just a bit more function to this application, like calculate a running total (games scanned and total value) at anypoint during the scanning process.  I was sorting through parts and forgot about thie 3.5" LCD for the raspberry Pi. After some digging on the web for its obscure drivers (KeDei 6.x) I tried the app in a more portable handheld version. I like this way more than lugging a monitor around with power cords tethered to it.

Unecessary backstory: I devoted 6 years of my life working at K-mart in between highschool/college. I was always curious (more like "what's the deal") when it was inventory week and this contracted team lurched around with these handheld scanning systems. Now my dreams are complete.

Print | Sitemap
© 2013-2023 Ryan Bates and © 2013-2023 Retro Built Games, LLC. All photos, designs, documents, and graphics (C) Ryan Bates. All Rights Reserved.

This site is best viewed on a desktop PC. Raspberry Pi is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation. ARDUINO® and other Arduino brands and logos published in the website are Trademarks of Arduino AG.