Quoted from ryanbrooks:
Can anyone document where a sample or proto game brought at least 10% more than fair market value of that title? I just never see it happen. And by the way, most sample games-those which were used for beta testing and earnings samples before general release-got abused by guys like my father and his friends in the 80s and 90s. They never kept the samples for the route. The samples always went back to the manufacturer and as soon as it left, we’d call the distributor and order 2-5 production games. Samples got abused and neglected and never cleaned or maintained.
Not always true, though it would depend on the game, and the agreement the operators had with the distributors, and distributors had with manufacturers.
Challenges Arcades down in Atlanta had an agreement that they would take test games - early samples - and submit problem and earning reports weekly. As 'reward', we could buy the games for a discount. We always did. Because why return it and buy 3 games at full price, when I could spend 2.5 games worth of money and get 3?
We had a sample TZ (now the one I own), WCS, Corvette, TOM, MK2, and... a couple others I can't recall at the moment.. all while I was there, and we kept them all.