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Thread: Game hunting.

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    Default Game hunting.

    I am pretty new to collecting games. I plan to go hunting for games this weekend, anyone have tips for searching? Also, how does one know when a flea market is in your area? I live in Alexandria, Va but cant seem to find any near my area. Any help is greatly appreciated . Thanks

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    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
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    Flea markets in general are not random. Use google, you'd be surprised how often there are websites out there that log what exists and you may find something. That's your best best, secondarily I have had good luck with community wide garage sales where little neighborhoods all go in at once.

    When I was out west since it rained never weekly on Sunday I'd hit this place religiously each weekend and even after things got greedy and slid ever worse starting in 2011 I could still pull something out of there every week except on a rarer bad day, and before it got stupid I could have a bag of stuff for $20 or so. Community garage sales for me haven't been about bulk but a nice hit somewhere in the area and those I've down back out here now, fleas have been a lot more 50/50 here at least with games (but I do often find awesome badass vintage toys.) Community yard sales this season in spring netted me 3 CIB N64 games for $5/ea at one home, another week got me some other goodies too like Harvest Moon 64 for $3. It's random but consistent, just not bulky.

    Your worst best would be local non-chain retail, even shops who play the ebay game tend to slip up if they have plenty of stock, and some will price 10-20% under ebay and randomly throw out a 30+% off bone to keep people coming in and you can do nicely that way too.

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    Strawberry (Level 2) Ro-J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanooki View Post
    ...community wide garage sales where little neighborhoods all go in at once...
    These have been the best score for me over the past several years. I typically look for old games, vinyl, 80's toys and board games and can often bring home a respectable haul. Unfortunately the peak time for community yard sales (May\June) has passed.

    Another great place to look, Church sponsored yard sales\flea markets. Typically things are listed at give-a-way prices and definitely worth going to if you see any advertised.

    YMMV, but check your local Patch site for upcoming yard sales and flea markets, sometimes they're listed.

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    Key (Level 9) wiggyx's Avatar
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    Craigslist will often have flea market listings (in my neck of the woods at least). Garage sales are great, but depending on where you live, there may be lots of other gamers/resellers trying to hunt for deals too. My advice? Find the most promising listing, and then get there right when it starts.

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    My advice is to check craigslist every day. Every damn day. I'm always finding more deals on there than I can even respond to. Also never forget thrift stores, local small ones and Goodwill stores. They can be a real mixed bag sometimes but I've found more jackpots there than anywhere else. Garage sales are always a must.

    One big thing too is to not always just believe the price the seller is asking for, no matter what. Often times sellers will mark up games that are big-name titles or that they want you to believe are rare. Today at a local game store I had the guy behind the counter try to convince me that a common n64 racing game was "blockbuster exclusive" because it had one of those "property of blockbuster" stickers on the label. He had marked it up to $70! That happens so much.

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    One thing I don't do - bother with yard sales that actually advertise video games. (1) When they specify like that they generally want a lot for them and (2) its like chum for resellers and you'll be fighting them.

    I try to go to the out of the way sales, out in the county. That's where I've had the best luck. Resellers try to maximize their time and go to sales in the city where sales are closer together.

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    Key (Level 9) wiggyx's Avatar
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    ^^^ that hasn't been the case in my experience. I don't bother with garage sales that DON'T advertise games because 95% of the time, they actually don't have any. On the flip side, those that do advertise for such often have fair or really great prices.

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    Hit up as many garage sales as you can, finding stuff isn't about luck or timing. Don't give up, go to as many sales as you can, and always ask if they have any video games if you don't see any

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    If you're willing to do the drive, on Rt. 1 between DC and Baltimore, there is a flea market every weekend. There's a guy that has a crap load of games. We go like once a month to his stall and always fine something. I don't recommend buying anything from him above SNES. But he prices all games from any given console the same price. So I found Final Fantasy and it only cost $5, because all NES games are $5. He also gives you a 'discount' if you buy more than 2-3 games.

    I find Craigslist in the DC area to be very over priced. I know a lot of people have a lot of luck with it in other areas.. but in DC, we very rarely find a good deal.

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    Banana (Level 7) Atarileaf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggyx View Post
    ^^^ that hasn't been the case in my experience. I don't bother with garage sales that DON'T advertise games because 95% of the time, they actually don't have any. On the flip side, those that do advertise for such often have fair or really great prices.
    You gotta ask, many of my best finds were at garage sales where I asked if they had any, which they did, but didn't think anyone wanted "that old junk" so they don't bother putting it out or advertising it. Sometimes they forget they even have it until you ask. Got a great N64 lot that way a few years back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BarcaBoy View Post
    I am pretty new to collecting games. I plan to go hunting for games this weekend, anyone have tips for searching? Also, how does one know when a flea market is in your area? I live in Alexandria, Va but cant seem to find any near my area. Any help is greatly appreciated . Thanks
    there is eStarLand in Chantilly VA, press start games also but thats way out in winchester or front royal. If you really want to travel there is cartridges galore in Cumberland Maryland (they have good prices) and lastly there is a guy in the Strasburg flea market/antique bazaar that sells a lot of games.
    COMPLETED MY USA SMS SET!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ImMelody View Post
    If you're willing to do the drive, on Rt. 1 between DC and Baltimore, there is a flea market every weekend. There's a guy that has a crap load of games. We go like once a month to his stall and always fine something. I don't recommend buying anything from him above SNES. But he prices all games from any given console the same price. So I found Final Fantasy and it only cost $5, because all NES games are $5. He also gives you a 'discount' if you buy more than 2-3 games.

    I find Craigslist in the DC area to be very over priced. I know a lot of people have a lot of luck with it in other areas.. but in DC, we very rarely find a good deal.
    and if you go a little farther down the road off of RT 100 to Glen Burnie. There is a place called Power Gamer that is located in the Glen Burnie mall. They have everything from Atari 2600 to current, but be ready to pay top price...and I mean top price.

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    I know it's true most of the time, but don't just dismiss and drive by those yard sales with little old ladies with dishes. Again, these people had kids and grandkids and sometimes those old game systems are there. The nice thing about older people, is they tend to keep stuff in great condition so many times the boxes and packaging are all still there and in great shape. Found a nice Tandy Coco boxed lot many years ago from an older couple that seemed to just have old dishes and knick knacks at their sale. Normally would have driven by myself but the wife wanted to look at something and I just happened to ask, and guess what, old vintage computers and software they forgot they had. Gold mine that day for me.

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    Thanks for all the tips guys. it was a 50/50 this weekend. I was able to go to a few thrift stores here and there . I found Final Fantasy 12 for PS2 which I had been looking for this past month. Not Bad

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    Flea markets are hit or miss in my area. There is always an up and down, such as one flea market will be loaded with awesome games but they have an insane price tag while another flea market will have a million copies of NES Golf or SNES/Genesis sports titles for $1-$3 each. It's like I can't win. I suppose eBay is the best bet, but even then the prices are getting out of hand and have been for a while with common games being sold for extremely high prices, but you sometimes comes across a gem or two. Yard sales or garage sales are either hit or miss too, I've been seeing less and less in the way of video games being sold this way as of the past couple of years.
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    I've honestly given up on flea markets and stores around me. They have very little to nothing that I am looking for or their prices are just silly. There is one place near me that, if I was collecting NES or SNES loose games, I'd walk in with a 100 bucks and walk out with like 40 games or so.

    For me, ebay is were it is at. Easy to do, I don't have to drive all over the place and spend hours hunting at garage sales and what not for nothing. So far I've never found a single worth while thing at a garage sale. Hell I spent 8 hours on saturday looking during a huge yard crawl (like 30 miles of stuff) and found nothing but a Gamecube + hookups + 3 controllers and 2 madden games for $10 bucks. Ebay prices aren't bad if you watch enough items and keep looking daily. I've scored a bunch of low cost CIB games (talking like .99 cents).

    I like to collect and play the games, not waste my time hunting around. I'll stop in at places but only if I am nearby. Though I'll probably trade a bunch of stuff at one of the local places to get some hardware. I don't like in the city or even a metro area. I am in the middle of no where so that doesn't help + I am only collecting CIB master system stuff and 32x games which, again, doesn't help at all since the SMS was an unloved console in the states.
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    Strawberry (Level 2) sfchakan's Avatar
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    Bacon, I would love to find deals on eBay, but I've yet to see a single item that was a deal all month since I've been back at this stuff. Everything's inflated to a ridiculous price (lol wtf example, but still) beyond what it's value was just a couple of years ago. I've looked at single games, lots, mispellings, you name it. All the old tricks that used to net you some good stuff. I've yet to see anything on eBay in the past month that was a reasonable enough price to make me hit the button. The stuff's just not there anymore.

    Granted, I've probably used up my share of gas looking through fleas, thrifts, and yard sales during that time. However, I'm having fun with the kids that tag along with me now. Also, I'm not turning up empty handed, either. Get up and out the door at 8 or 9am on Saturday, hit up all of the sales that are near each other, go get some breakfast, and then call it a day a couple of hours later.

    I'll take a trip like that where I come back with a couple of random games for a couple of dollars over what's become of the online marketplace now. eBay just keeps end up being a frustrating waste of time. I can dump 2-3 hours a night looking and looking, and just wonder why the hell I'm wasting my time. That's not fun and it's just not worth it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sfchakan View Post
    Bacon, I would love to find deals on eBay, but I've yet to see a single item that was a deal all month since I've been back at this stuff. Everything's inflated to a ridiculous price (lol wtf example, but still) beyond what it's value was just a couple of years ago. I've looked at single games, lots, mispellings, you name it. All the old tricks that used to net you some good stuff. I've yet to see anything on eBay in the past month that was a reasonable enough price to make me hit the button. The stuff's just not there anymore.

    Granted, I've probably used up my share of gas looking through fleas, thrifts, and yard sales during that time. However, I'm having fun with the kids that tag along with me now. Also, I'm not turning up empty handed, either. Get up and out the door at 8 or 9am on Saturday, hit up all of the sales that are near each other, go get some breakfast, and then call it a day a couple of hours later.

    I'll take a trip like that where I come back with a couple of random games for a couple of dollars over what's become of the online marketplace now. eBay just keeps end up being a frustrating waste of time. I can dump 2-3 hours a night looking and looking, and just wonder why the hell I'm wasting my time. That's not fun and it's just not worth it.
    Ebay is all dependent on what you are looking for. Nintendo stuff....forget about it, there are very few deals to be had. Sega 8/16bit, lots of deals to find.

    I guess for me, I find it more fun that driving around all over the place and getting up at the crack of dawn on a weekend to be first in line. I'd pay a few extra bucks to just to save me the time.
    COMPLETED MY USA SMS SET!!!!

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    Cherry (Level 1) TheRetroVideoGameAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbacon View Post
    Ebay is all dependent on what you are looking for. Nintendo stuff....forget about it, there are very few deals to be had. Sega 8/16bit, lots of deals to find.

    I guess for me, I find it more fun that driving around all over the place and getting up at the crack of dawn on a weekend to be first in line. I'd pay a few extra bucks to just to save me the time.
    This is basically how I see it. If I can save money on gas and save myself some time I'll just order from eBay, but sometimes the thrill of the hunt takes over and I begin to search things out. Honestly, if I'm game hunting in the wild and I find something I need or want and it's overpriced I still buy them instead of hoping to find it elsewhere, especially if it's a game that isn't normally found while out and about.
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    I do not recommend weekends for thrift stores. My experience has been to hit the thrifts from Tuesday to Thursday, preferably day time hours if you can get away from work. Weekends is when all the hawks hit them hard so everything is picked.

    As far as yard/garage sales: Hit them hard and often. My success ratio has historically been about 4:1 (no games whatsoever to gaming goldmines). On the yard sales that run Thursday to Saturday, get there on Thursday if at all possible. Also, yard/garage sales are prime bartering grounds. Never pay marked prices for any gaming stuff.

    As has already been said, community wide yard sales can be gold mines. Always get out to them, but get there before the hawks arrive.

    Finally, never underestimate pawn shops. Some will only carry new gen stuff, but I have a few around my area that take in items going back to 2600 and 7800 days. I have found some sweet deals at pawn shops.

    Hope this helps.

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