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Thread: Really, how good are flea markets and Goodwill good for classic gaming consoles?

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    Cherry (Level 1)
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    Default Really, how good are flea markets and Goodwill good for classic gaming consoles?

    I really want to pick up a NES (or a few other classic consoles) but 80 bucks on eBay = RIDICULOUS! I have a Goodwill store in my town, is it worth the drive, or is it usually just luck?

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    Kirby (Level 13) zektor's Avatar
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    Well, ONCE I got a good deal at a Salvation Army. I found a mint Jaguar and 16 games...all for $40. That was the one score I got...

    I guess it depends on the area, but my area completely sucks. Flea markets and the like. Nothing but beat up crap...destroyed I should say...and they all think every single stick of videogaming entertainment is worth a fortune.

    No, garage sales *sometimes* are where it's at here, although I have restricted myself to these very forums (buy & sell) and ebay for the past few years for my retrogaming pleasures.

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    Kirby (Level 13) norkusa's Avatar
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    5-6 years ago they used to be great for finding stuff but now they pretty much suck. At least around here anyway. For the Goodwills, if the employee's don't swipe the stuff before it hits the floor, it'll get snatched up within the first hour it's out for sale. And Goodwill starting up their own online auction site doesn't help either.

    I still see some classic stuff at the flea market but it's usually all overpriced now. The only things I ever get good deals on at flees now are PS1/PS2/Xbox games.

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    They are terrible, don't go!

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    The problem with flea markets and thrift stores is that everyone and their dog seems to be in on the "oldschool gaming" craze. The NES, being the most popular 8-bit platform, is probably the oldschool system that is in the most demand right now. Because of that, people like you and I are scouring flea markets and thrift stores looking for that great deal. That means all the vendors are as well. That's to say, all the people who put food on the table by selling video games are picking up all the deals before you and I can.

    Every now and then a good deal comes up, or, if it's a more obscure system, you'll find those for cheap (3DO, 32X, Jaguar, etc.) But for things like the NES, everyone thinks they can make a buck, so you'll find whole tables set up at your local flea market with overpriced NES R1's.

    Garage sales seem to be an okay source, so long you show up early and the owners don't think that *their* R1 games are worth twenty bucks a piece all scratched up and loose.

    But, the vendors and other collectors already have a head start on you. They've already made deals and pacts with the other flea market vendors (i.e. "Whenever you get a NES game in, set it aside and sell it to me.") So, the best thing to do is strike up a conversation with a few vendors (flea market, thrift store, or otherwise) and see if they're willing to put a few aside for you. However, this will only work if you consistently stop in and buy.

    As with most things in life, it's all about who you know and how your networking skills are.

    Of course, there are still those rare finds buried beneath a box of random AC adapters, and those will continue to be fun

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    Default I wouldn't say...

    Don't go. I go to them once a week or once every two weeks. 2 weeks ago, I found an N64 with one controller (in good condition) and 2 power supplies for 19.99 along with Castlevania 64... That's up to you whether it's a good deal... Same trip I also found Nintendogs DS Dalmation for 3.00 complete- book and everything. And on my trip today (to the same store) I was looking in a bin of stuff they had just brought out but hadn't sorted and found an NES and Forsaken for the N64 that weren't priced... So I asked, and the lady priced the NES for 2.99 and Forsaken for 1.99, also found resident evil 3 for the PC (in a CD bin) for 2.99 without any scratches... and 2 dreamcast controllers for 3.99 each (not great deals, but oh well). The Nintendo had no accessories but I brought it home tonite... took it apart, used some metal cleaner on the motherboard contacts and used a magic eraser to wipe off all the scuffs... and now it looks really good and it plays games, like new, without blinking- I tried about 20 games (which have all been thoroughly cleaned with the metal cleaner.) It also had mario and duck hunt in it. But I also saw a Genesis today with sonic 2 and another game... and it looked like it had all accessories for 39.99- which was way over-priced... Anyway... You can find some good stuff if you go regularly... But different Goodwills yield different stuff... some suck... But I also go to another one a few miles away and the most I've ever found, gaming wise, was a sega genesis ascii joystick for 2.99. I've found, the bigger the Goodwill, the less it has to offer.
    Last edited by TheDomesticInstitution; 08-04-2007 at 12:12 AM.

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    It just depends on where you are. I live in Athens, and there is a flea market here that is awful. Same goes for the game store, for that matter. However, whenever we go to see my grandmother in Sheffield, there is a flea market that is really great. I have found Rainbow Islands for $5 there, and Eternal Arcadia import for $3. There's also a thrift store nearby where I got a lot of SMS games (around 8 or so boxed) for $20.

    It just depends on your luck and what you're near.

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    On the other side of town from me is quite possibly the largest flea market in Texas, and it's so dang big that there's always the chance of finding something. The problem is that there's a vendor/collector in the back that tends to go out first thing in the morning and scoop up anything that looks promising, like a boxed Vectrex with 18 boxed games he snagged from some unsuspecting idiot vendor last year. I have found a few things here and there, like a boxed Astrocade a few months ago, or a NES Myriad 6-in-1 cart last year. When I go out there, the first thing I do is hit all the areas where people have pulled up their cars and sell junk out of their trunks. I don't find too many things in the regular booths (although I did buy a pair of boxed Samba De Amigo maracas for $5 a couple years back at one) but there's usually something interesting out in the 'average Joe' selling areas.

    In the end, it's all about persistence. Keep hitting the fleas and thrifts, you'll start coming across good stuff, and it'll motivate you to keep looking. I always recommend using Google Maps to search for businesses using terms like 'flea', 'thrift', and 'resale'. You might find a little hole in the wall thrift store that's got something really great in it. It happened to me, right when I was about to give up on thrifting all together. Found a $5 Vectrex there, and passed on a $50 Rastan arcade cab. Once I reconsidered and went back, it was gone.
    Last edited by Steve W; 08-04-2007 at 12:16 AM.

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    $25 dollar Nomad with official carrying case, $3 boxed/complete NES games (ranging from R2-R6's), $5 for a Model 1 Genny and 10 games (most notable of the lot being Master of Monsters and Splatterhouse 2), Mega Man 4 (NES) for $2, SNES systems with hook ups and 1-2 controllers for $15 on multiple occasions, Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen (SNES) for $2, 2 Dreamcasts, an NES missing its door, and 10 controllers (DC, NES, & PS1 controllers) for a mere $5, etc.

    These are just a few examples of some finds I've had in the past two years at just one flea market.

    It really depends on your area, and luck, but boy oh boy, you can sure get a good deal if you're persistent.

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    Its a crap-shot, you cant expect to have a great find everytime you walk into a goodwill. Flea Markets on the other-hand, are usually pretty places to look. I've had good luck with flea markets at least.

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    Phase of the moon really.

    I've gone and found nothing, and then i'll hit a jackpot. I guess i'm lucky because I enjoy digging through bins of old crap.
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    It all depends on the store, The donations the store gets, And the employees. Some employees may figure "Bah this ain't worth anything let's toss it" While others may think "Wow a game system! My fortune is here!" And some will think "Eh a game system.. Let's put it in the store for a reasonable price and be done with it"

    And then there are those real stiff people that won't let you buy anything out of the back room (Since when was that a crime? I just want to buy stuff, doggone it! Once when I was looking in the back, The guy closed the door, Went to the front and watched me like I was going to steal something! Sheesh!)

    There are all types of employees. You just have to be in the right place at the right time and you'll get cool stuff. Heck, One time I bought 71 games for about $18! (No I'm not lying, But I bought that lot in august 2004, Before they stated their auction site)
    Last edited by Slate; 08-04-2007 at 02:28 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzball24 View Post
    I really want to pick up a NES (or a few other classic consoles) but 80 bucks on eBay = RIDICULOUS! I have a Goodwill store in my town, is it worth the drive, or is it usually just luck?

    It's usually luck.
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    I say give it a shot. As the others have said, thrifts are hit and miss, so if you don't find something on your first trip (or even your first few trips), keep going and don't give up on them.

    Along with thrifting, it wouldn't hurt to check your local Craigslist every once in a while. Like any other place, you'll see some overpriced stuff, but keep checking and you're bound to make some good finds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzball24 View Post
    I really want to pick up a NES (or a few other classic consoles) but 80 bucks on eBay = RIDICULOUS! I have a Goodwill store in my town, is it worth the drive, or is it usually just luck?
    This discussion has come up a lot recently, as you'll see if you do a search for same.

    Personally, the Goodwills in my area are garbage, but other people tend to find the occasional goldmine there at their stores. I only go when I'm in the area and have time to kill (which isn't often).

    If NESes have suddenly tripled in ebay value to $80, I need to start selling again. I'm pretty sure you can get one MUCH cheaper than $80.
    .

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    It's all in the thrill of the hunt for me. I usually go to the local dirt mall every week or so, and though most of the time I'll find incredibly overpriced crap (no, ma'am, you can KEEP that $20 Mario/Duck Hunt cart), it's the times I DO find some good deals that keep me going back (Tengen Tetris complete for $2? Yes please. Four bucks for Dragon Warrior 4? Sure. Fifty Cents for Mega Man 3? Sign me up!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slate View Post
    And then there are those real stiff people that won't let you buy anything out of the back room (Since when was that a crime? I just want to buy stuff, doggone it! Once when I was looking in the back, The guy closed the door, Went to the front and watched me like I was going to steal something! Sheesh!)
    Heh! You got caught looking in the "forbidden" room ! These places are all the same.....

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    Ladd Spencer (Level 17) Captain Wrong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryborg View Post
    This discussion has come up a lot recently, as you'll see if you do a search for same.


    Exactly and I'd like to point you to this thread from not quite a month ago covering the same territory: http://www.digitpress.com/forum/showthread.php?t=102995

    Thanks.

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