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Thread: Classic video game stores suck.

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    Peach (Level 3) Zthun's Avatar
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    Default Classic video game stores suck.

    It amazes me when I go shopping at the mall and I walk into a store like Hot Toys. The store clerks there (probably also the owners) hate me. Why? It's not because I do any damage, but I can't help it but to laugh when they have a boxed NES that comes with mario/duck hunt for $150. So the NES in there has a 150% mark up off the original price when it was brand new and around a 180-200% mark up from eBay. Wonderful.

    I can make the same complaint about flea markets and the goodwill, but at least with those places, you can find deals with people selling their old collections. It's much easier to find a copy of Mario RPG or Secret of Mana for $10 at a flea market rather than $40-$50 that most mom and pop stores run. I can bet my left arm that most of these places use eBay to get their inventory, as if nobody else can.

    I've seen stories on here about people beating their heads into the wall over thrift stores and not being able to find anything. Do you ever get this feeling about classic video game stores as well, or do you just go in with the expectation that they will have outrageous prices and unreasonable inventory (mind you that the games in these stores do tend to be in pretty bad shape)? I've seen stories on here about thrift store success as well. I have never seen a success story about a classic video game store.

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    Yes. Very yes.

    I went to a flea market recently, and there was a stand full of games. I saw a copy of Mario 3 in a Funcoland case for the dirt cheap price of... $15. There was a sign listing prices, and it vaguely said "Atari-- $5." I saw a four-switch VCS below it, and asked if I could see it. They handed it to me, and I noticed a sticker proclaiming $40. Not only that, but I was going to buy a three-button Genesis controller to use on my 2600 Jr., and they wanted $8 for the fricking controller. Then, I noticed a case full of Game Boy Colors and a lot of games, with a copy of Pokemon Gold for $35. What. The fuck. And right below the games were handguns. I kid you not.

    Needless to say, I now have proof that the idiots running the stand shouldn't be allowed within 40 ft. of a NES. This overpricing crap may work on others, but this pissed me off for a few days. In short, idiots shouldn't use eBay to price copies of Mario 3.

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    The only local "retrogaming" store in my US hometown finally closed its doors last month.

    Imagine someone selling PS1 Greatest Hits games for $70 because they're still new. Even though they're sunfaded from being left in the store window for the past three years. I hated that store a lot, especially because the guy had a habit of clearing out every single retail store with a clearance bin (like Target) just to resell at his crappy store.

    Anyway the building it was in was kept under lock and key for close to four months after the huge earthquake from last Easter. They were finally slapped with an eviction notice and thrown out two weeks ago.
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    I must be lucky in that I have several stores in the area that offer fair prices. The one local chain that is somewhat overpriced still isn't too over the top. I still get most of my stuff from thrift stores though, when they aren't pricing stuff crazy high that is. Yesterday I saw a loose Mario Party 3 at Goodwill for $30 and a loose Goldeneye for $20.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zthun View Post
    So the NES in there has a 150% mark up off the original price when it was brand new and around a 180-200% mark up from eBay. Wonderful.
    Wait, I'm confused. Wasn't the original NES released at the $200 mark? Maybe even higher? I was just a wee lad, but I could have sworn the NES wasn't exactly a cheap piece of equipment back in the '80s. Sorry, maybe I am reading this wrong, but now I'm curious as to the original NES launch price.
    Last edited by frogofdeath; 10-04-2010 at 09:16 PM.

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    !!!

    i went to a local flea market this past weekend and some one wanted 20 bucks for a loose copy of super mario land with a messed up label on gameboy because"they dont make them anymore"!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zthun View Post
    I've seen stories on here about people beating their heads into the wall over thrift stores and not being able to find anything. Do you ever get this feeling about classic video game stores as well, or do you just go in with the expectation that they will have outrageous prices and unreasonable inventory (mind you that the games in these stores do tend to be in pretty bad shape)? I've seen stories on here about thrift store success as well. I have never seen a success story about a classic video game store.
    I rarely go to dedicated stores, the ones that were close by are now out of business. There is a decent one that's north of where I am but it's not like stuff is dirt cheap. I did get a complete copy of Gunstar Heroes for $4.99(plus tax) well over a year ago which is what thrift stores were charging for old games at the time, but I mostly walk out empty handed.

    Craigslist and Kijiji are where I find most of my finds now.

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    I understand some stores selling overpriced merch, but guess what? In this economy indie stores need to survive too. A genny controller for $8 is a decent deal at a brick & mortar store. In fact I sold two at that price last Saturday. Super Mario 3 constantly sells for $15, because that's the only game every one wants when they buy an NES. A refurbished 2600 for $40 is a good deal. I understand being frustrated about not getting dirt cheap stuff, but a retro game store is not the place for $5 systems, it's a place to obtain easily something that is only sold online. You are paying for convenience. Now if the staff of the store is a bunch of dicks, then don't support them. Just don't take them for granted, or they will be gone.

    It's all Supply and Demand, and it varies in your area. Somethings in our area don't sell at all compared to other areas. But I can get $15 for Super Mario 3 from any Joe Schmoe off the street any day of the week.
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    Great Puma (Level 12) skaar's Avatar
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    Hey fuckwad, this forum is brought to you by the owner of a classic video game store that happens to not suck. I'm sure he'd appreciate this thread.

    Don't judge 'em all.
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    Yeah, I agree. It's one thing overpricing products to outrageous levels, such as say, $130 for Kolibri (That was a real Brick and Mortar price up at a store in the Poconos). But in economics, the goal is to make as much money as you can. And you can price things as high as you want as long as it sells. If Super Mario Bros. 3 is selling at Next-Level Videogames for $15 and we can't keep any in stock then well, that's saying something now isn't it?

    Really, you can't get all the games for dirt-cheap. Brick and Mortar stores aren't flea markets, they're actual businesses trying to stay open. And if Super Mario Bros. 3 is selling at $15 and it helps your revenue, then why price it any lower? And the collector isn't going to want Super Mario Bros. 3 anyway, chances are they already have it.

    Stop complaining.
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    Dirt cheap and at prices that I want them to be or GTFO!

    Seriously? We've done this 'argument' more than a few times. Just because they've got a price up, doesn't mean you can't offer less for it. Worst that will happen is that they'll go to their videogame store owner forums and bitch that some customer wanted to ONLY spend 5 bucks on a game that they sell for 15 all day long.
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    I'm not seeing anything too far off on the prices there. It's a bit on the higher end, but yes this is a B&M you're tracking through that specializes in video games. As stated above, the casual shopper that just wants to pick something up might not mind the $15 for a one-time shot, but a collector that buys to fill shelf space for that system and holds onto it longer might avoid buying Mario 3 for that price as they already own it or dedicate the time to shop around. If it is an uncommon game I would certainly pluck a few bucks down knowing I won't spend countless hours digging through garbage sports at a thrift store or elsewhere just to not find it. Remember, if you already own it you can always look to resell a duplicate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zthun View Post
    It's not because I do any damage, but I can't help it but to laugh when they have a boxed NES that comes with mario/duck hunt for $150. So the NES in there has a 150% mark up off the original price when it was brand new
    You fail math forever.

    I do notice some classic game stores aren't exactly the place for deals. There's one in my area that always charges significantly over Ebay for most things. They're super high, like $100 for a loose Dragon Warrior 3 high. I like to go in there and look around and all but, you know, I have a computer. I know where fleamarkets are. I can get most of their stuff easily for a quarter of the price, I just can't see paying as much as they're asking for it unless I have to. So I don't. Also, they do this thing where they "update" the prices but don't update the game on the shelf, so you'll take it to the register and find out it's a lot more than the sticker. That annoys me, I don't mind the updating the price but it shouldn't officially be updated until someone puts the new price on it.

    Now, there's another guy, conveniently closer to me, who sells classic games. He isn't giving the stuff away but his prices are fair, usually a little lower than online, and you get a square deal from him. He sold me Dragon Warrior 3 loose for, I think it was about $15. No, it's not an amazing deal that would have people oohing an ahhing in the finds thread here, but it wasn't a ripoff either.

    So simply saying "classic game stores suck" isn't fair, because they're not all like that.
    Last edited by shopkins; 10-04-2010 at 10:38 PM.

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    Since there's a lot of "dirt cheap" talk after I posted using those words, maybe I should clarify what I said(I'm not sure if the posts following mine were aimed at me or not).

    The stores that used to be near me charged around $30 for a loose copy of the original Dragon Warrior, $10-$20 for common titles that most people wouldn't care about like Top Gun, Mach Rider, Star Voyager, or Total Recall. At the same time they would give maybe $3-$5 in trade for those titles if you wanted to trade them towards other overpriced games. These stores are the ones that closed up. The closest one that closed up got me to pay $40 for a loose copy of Excitebike before I knew any better about prices, I'm still upset about that. This was around 9 years ago, and the label was covered in masking tape which I had to clean up.

    The store that's still open is about a half hour drive north of where I am, I actually like this store. Sports games for NES, SNES, and Genesis are usually $0.49 each. I see some SNES, Genesis and N64 games at $0.99-$2.99 each, which is very good. The popular games are priced higher but I already have those so I don't need to worry about them, and they still sell fast whenever they're in stock. Used games are guaranteed for 6 months, if there's any problems they can be exchanged or returned. The reason why I don't buy much there is because the games I'm still looking for aren't usually in stock. I don't have a lot of space so I don't just buy any game that's at a good price, I would only buy a game that I'd want for myself. Sure there are plenty of common NES games for $4.99 each, but since there's nothing that interests me I don't buy anything. The good stuff sells fast so unless I keep checking the store daily I'll miss out on stuff, it's too far away for me to do that so I don't visit it unless I happen to be passing by. I think the last time I was there I picked up some DS games, that's it.

    I don't have anything against stores that price things fairly and if I was close to Jersey I would visit the DP store. Still, no matter where I am I'd only buy something at a fair price if I personally want it. I don't have money to burn so I can't just buy whatever to support someone else.

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    I've found a mixed bag at the store near me. They use a pricing scheme where a loose copy of Super Mario 3 and a boxed copy are the same price. I scored a boxed Super Mario 3 in awesome shape for $14. Also scored a Mass Effect 2 Collector's Edition with Codes intact for $40. It can be a mixed bag, but it is nice to be able to see the product all in one place rather than driving to 1043821098320318 flea markets hoping to find one game. Personally, my time is more valuable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by frogofdeath View Post
    Wait, I'm confused. Wasn't the original NES released at the $200 mark? Maybe even higher? I was just a wee lad, but I could have sworn the NES wasn't exactly a cheap piece of equipment back in the '80s. Sorry, maybe I am reading this wrong, but now I'm curious as to the original NES launch price.
    After doing some research, you are correct and I am wrong. The original NES retailed for $199. I could have sworn to Christ all these years I got mine for $99 retail, but I didn't remember since I was around 6 years old and my mom spent the $50 I had saved up for several years in pennies and quarters. My bad.

    I think a lot of you misunderstand what I'm talking about. $15 for Mario 3 is reasonable and not too far off of the market price; you can usually sell it for $7-$10. Add in the cost of shipping, and you're almost there. My problem comes is with stores charging somewhere between $40 for Mario 3 (yeah, I've seen this). I'm sorry, but a store that does that just sucks.

    In this economy indie stores need to survive too
    No store NEEDS to survive. The earth is not going to implode because an indie store goes out of busniess.

    My point is that classic gaming stores eventually die because there is simply no market for these games. Collectors like you and I like old games, but were just a speck. The vast majority of gamers trade in their old games and never even give a second thought to playing them again. Sometimes they like to talk about them, but that's about as far as that goes.

    Gamestop survives because of it's used games market. The shop I described survives because it sells way more than just video games (also sells figures and other collectibles at OK prices). Outside people's private collection, the only way FOR a raw B&M video game store is to blow up the price of any game to well beyond any reasonable market price. If I found a copy of Mario Kart in decent condition at one of these stores for $20, I can give them the benefit of the doubt. In my experience, however, these stores will be charging $40 for the game. Surviving or not surviving, that doesn't mean they don't suck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zthun View Post

    Gamestop survives because of it's used games market.
    Not really true. It depends on location. The retro store near me sells quite a bit and has been around for a few years.

    And not only that, I do get customers at work that request parts for older consoles. I recall one lady come in asking if we sold N64 AC Adapters.

    I agree that stores need to make revenue too. But if they have an item that has sit on the shelf for years and does not sell, that should ring a bell to the owner to reduce the price. Or sell it on Ebay. Or let it rot there for many more years to come. It's their decision.
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    I think people who say "Classic video game stores suck" suck.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Zthun View Post
    No store NEEDS to survive. The earth is not going to implode because an indie store goes out of busniess.

    My point is that classic gaming stores eventually die because there is simply no market for these games.

    Surviving or not surviving, that doesn't mean they don't suck.
    Quote Originally Posted by digitalpress View Post
    I think people who say "Classic video game stores suck" suck.


    Last edited by GrandAmChandler; 10-05-2010 at 08:44 AM.
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    One of my greatest finds came from a B&M classic video game shop. I got Master Builder (R8) for the 2600 for $3. The one in my area has (or had, I haven't been there in awhile) all Atari carts for $3 no matter what the title or rarity.

    Granted there prices are quite high, higher than ebay even, on most of there other stuff.
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