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Thread: GAME HUNTING TIPS?!?!

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    Rebel scum Shining Hero MrMatthews's Avatar
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    Default GAME HUNTING TIPS?!?!

    So I asked this question on Instagram and got a bunch of Ďlikesí and not a lot of responses.

    In an age where collecting video games is insanely popular and competition is fierce, building a collection can be discouraging for someone just starting out. If you could condense your years of video game collecting experience into a single nugget of wisdom to pass along to a fledgling collector, what would it be?

    Iím specifically looking for game hunting tips; whatever tricks and techniques and practices you guys have developed over the years to find retro video games out in the wild.

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    AKA Mister Xiado Master of Shinobi Raijin Z's Avatar
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    I live in an area with a LOT of people on the dole with false disability claims, and they spend their every waking hour scouring the area for anything that can be sold even for a 1% profit on ebay. It's a bad place to be a game or toy collector, for sure. Before TRU closed, they told me that the usual types would come in on stocking days and just buy whole cases of toys. Before I gave up on, well, everything, I would hit rummage sales, flea markets, community sales, and the like, but since everyone got an iPhone in 2007, pickings have been nil. Your mileage may vary, and it's been years since I've seen any games that aren't EA sports garbage anywhere.
    What I would do when I had time, money, and the desire to leave my office, was to check the classifieds for sales, mark down their starting times and locations, and then make a path to hit them all. I bought a bunch of 3 button Genesis controllers, a flatbed scanner, and a PowerMac G4 867 Quicksilver for about $25 combined at a flea market about 40 miles south of where I live about 8 or so years ago. Three or four years ago, I got a pair of older computers that had lamentably been stripped of most of their expansion boards and all of their hard drives for $20 each at a yardsale in a wealthy neighborhood out in the country. Got some random Xbox and PS2 games at some community sale in western Pennsylvania a a few years back, around the same time as the computers. One rare time in the past five years, I stopped at a Salvation Army thrift store, and got a half dozen decent PS2 games. Mostly Capcom stuff, DMC, RE4 and the like.

    I suppose I can boil it down to: go to places you would normally only expect old people to shop (barring obvious dead ends like clothing consignment shops). Avoid hunting on days where there are known regular sales. Go the days before.
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    Road Rasher needler420's Avatar
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    As old a member as you are you should have acquired many things over those years that you won't find now. Like the poster above said desperation is making people flip for 1% profits and now that everyone has a smart phone they know what they have. With the way the current market is , it's not a good time to start collecting nor be out hunting. You'll spend more in gas time and wear and tear then you'll have payouts. I mean you'll find some stuff but it won't equal to the effort that goes in. Best best is emulation and mods and let the resellers pop this market bubble and have a market correction.

    A lot of the serious collectors started focusing on other things to resell to fund their collection. So if you are going out hunting don't just pay attention to video games. Familiarize yourself with what's popular and has value. That's going to be the stuff you find. You'll see when you're out hunting the resellers at the garage sales and flea markets and you'll hear the sellers saying they been asked about games multiple times. You'll see the people using their cell phones to scan at goodwill and thrift stores.

    The old people idea from the above poster is something that used to work. I specifically used to target those areas retirement places, and can say I never found anything good. Even the old ladies are checking stuff out on their phones and going back and asking their kids and grand kids about the video games they own.

    The hobby right now is saturated by people who have no interest in video games other then monetary capitalization. From the resellers to the people in the industry marketing new retro products.
    Last edited by needler420; 07-01-2019 at 04:01 PM.

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    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMatthews View Post
    whatever tricks and techniques and practices you guys have developed over the years to find retro video games out in the wild.
    If you just want anything physical, living in an area where bootlegs thrived helps :​P (and I don't mean the modern shitty bootlegs that stop working after 1-2 weeks, I mean the older ones from back then that could hold on their own just as well as legit copies and with snaps that were harder to open than winning against Segata Sanshiro) You even find copies of games that went unreleased!

    On a more serious noteÖ yeah no clue, you may as well give up as there are people desperate to turn these into museum pieces worth thousands each. Focus on only getting the games you actually want to play and not everything you run into, trying to collect absolutely everything is how we got to this situation in the first place.

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    Rebel scum Shining Hero MrMatthews's Avatar
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    I didnít mention this because I didnít think it would affect anyoneís responses, but iíll clarify that Iím not looking for advice for myself. I have a nice game collection that has pretty much plateauíd, as I now have most of the games I want that arenít prohibitively rare or expensive.

    I really just want to hear about the practices of other collectors. Are you still hitting up thrift stores and flea markets? Do you go out every day or just on certain days? Have you written off flea markets and thrift stores entirely and just stick to Craigslist, OfferUp, etc? Do you hit up garage sales and church swap meet events? Do you go out at a certain time?

    Stuff like that. Game hunting was/is fun for many of us, thereís surely a bunch of us that still do it and have developed a loose strategy.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert MushaAleste's Avatar
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    I think its over. Everybody has a mobile phone and can check ebay prices on the go. In the long run the overpriced, common and overrated stuff will drop and level. And the rare and sought after games will climb even higher. Unless you have a time machine you will have a hard time finding fun in collecting these days. One possible strategy is to get rare nintendo switch carts now. So that you may trade them for the retro carts you really want, at some point in the future.

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    HNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNG Raging in the Streets Moirai's Avatar
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    Its 2019. Give up.

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    The Future Is Yesterday Hedgehog-in-TrainingRaging in the Streets SegataS's Avatar
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    Everything I used to do no longer works. They all caught on. You will notice I don't buy a whole lot of retro games. I used to. I still will from time to time but in the wild...almost never any more. It's done.



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    Road Rasher EddieJ1984's Avatar
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    I gave up a few years ago and never been happier, hate to say the raspberry pi cliche, but yea thats what I do now.
    I have over 100 genesis carts still at my parents.
    I still would say the best tip is thrift stores that typically do flat pricing or someone selling games at a flea market that don't really know much about games, tho it is becoming less and less.

    I do still look for video game accessories like arcade sticks and such., so I'm not completely out of hunting.

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    Comrade as in friend. Master of Shinobi ComradeOj's Avatar
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    I kind of have to agree with a lot of the cynicism in this thread. Game hunting isn't what it used to be. So many people are picking up games just to re-sell or add extra dollar signs to their collection value. When I was a kid in the early 00s, my favorite old systems were the Genesis and Atari 2600. I remember how easy it was to find games and accessories at thrift stores. My dad used to take me all the time to find new games for cheap. Now these items are much more scarce. I don't really collect games very much. I'm pretty happy with the stuff I already have. Still, I love going to thrift stores as often as I can, mostly for electronics and sometimes games if they have something interesting.

    I'm always seeing people combing through thrift stores with their phones trying to find shit to flip. It's more than games too, a lot of cool stuff you used to see on thrift store shelves is being scooped up for resale. Even the thrift stores themselves are starting to open eBay stores to auction things off.

    I still have a few tips:

    1. Just visit thrift stores a lot. You never know what you might find, and could get lucky.

    2. Visit smaller mom-and-pop or charity stores over chains like goodwill.

    3. Look out for garage sales and visit them as early as you can.
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    Rebel scum Shining Hero MrMatthews's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sik View Post
    no clue, you may as well give up as there are people desperate to turn these into museum pieces worth thousands each.
    Quote Originally Posted by MushaAleste View Post
    I think its over.
    Quote Originally Posted by Moirai View Post
    Its 2019. Give up.
    Quote Originally Posted by SegataS View Post
    It's done.
    Quote Originally Posted by EddieJ1984 View Post
    I gave up a few years ago and have never been happier.
    Quote Originally Posted by ComradeOj View Post
    I kind of have to agree with a lot of the cynicism in this thread.
    Iím honestly surprised by the amount of cynicism here, even though I see where you guys are coming from. I actively hunt for stuff (not just games anymore) quite often, and I usually find at least one cool thing a week. And no, itís not always ďbrag-worthy,Ē but I find uncommon games & consoles and get good deals regularly enough that I canít agree that thereís nothing out there or that itís not worth looking. If having to compete with more rival collectors than ever and having to deal with more stupid resellers has spoiled the experience for you, I guess I just donít understand. Was your hobby just LOOKING for games? I still get joy out of what I have and what I find. The thrill of the hunt is a big part of collecting, but itís a just a bonus... itís not the be-all, end-all.

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    Heat Guy WCPO Agent Lync's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if these are tips, but these are some of my personal rules to buying games:

    In General:
    1. Make a list and the price you're willing to pay. Know what you want and are looking for.
    2. If you find a deal, even if it isn't on said list, buy it. Then sell it or trade up towards something you do want.

    In the Wild:
    1. Don't be afraid to walk away, especially when people try to 'price-check' items online.
    2. Don't be afraid to strike gold. If someone is selling something for far less because they simply don't know, don't be a martyr and tell them.

    In the e-Bay/Online:
    1. Ask questions. If that seller doesn't answer your question, bag it. That to me is a sign the seller doesn't care about their listing or you buying it.
    2. Always ask if they accept offers. You'd be surprised how many people are open to offers, and if they say no, at least you asked. What I've saved in asking, I've been able to put towards the next game.

    Those are some of mine.

    I feel that the biggest change in the field today from when I started buying over ten years ago, is that reproductions have become very sophisticated and has made knowing what to look for that much harder.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingWCPO Agent avlon's Avatar
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    Here's one that I rarely see anyone bring up. Talk to friends, family, and even trusted coworkers about your hobby. Let them know that you just enjoy playing old games. Notice that I didn't say collect, but enjoy playing. I've had people literally just give me stuff or let me know when stuff is available from simply knowing that I'm on the look out. Psychologically, knowing that you enjoy something also makes people feel good about giving you their unwanted goodies.

    Flea markets still have stuff. Again, let friends/family/coworkers know. I've had people find and text me for stuff that I would have NEVER found on my own. I paypal'd/venmo'd/ect the money with a little extra for their effort and got some uncommon stuff that way. Go early, stay away from the resellers, stick to families that just want to get rid of stuff for whatever reason.

    Random thrift shop trips. I won't go out of my way, but if I'm in the area of a shop, I'll make a point to at least drop by. No reason to waste gas/time if you don't have to. It all comes down to luck anyway. Occasionally, I see NES carts, and recently I came across a DC & Gamecube with GBA player + games.

    Keep up to date with homebrew development. Some of it is quite good and it seems to be improving all of the time. Sometimes, there is a long window (Super Russian Roulette) to get something, but other times (Ultracore comes to mind) you have to be on point. Good homebrew seems to also go up in value once it isn't as easy to acquire.

    Honestly, it's not the opportune time to get into this hobby, but with patience, a hobbyist is bound to run into something eventually.

  14. #14
    Master of Shinobi Gentlegamer's Avatar
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    Game hunting in the wild is long over. The hobby of classic game collecting was hunted to extinction by collectards.

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    End of line.. Hero of Algol gamevet's Avatar
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    I have the good fortune of having a job where I travel all over the southern region of the country. You'll generally find, that the more money that is in a city or town, the more expensive old items are being sold for.

    -We have Half-Price-Books all over the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Stores in the Northern side of the metro-plex tend to price games higher, while a town like Midlothian, or Mansfield will have gems selling for half the price of what you find in Northern Dallas. I always look forward to having a job in the Mansfield area, because i always find at least one good deal there.

    - I usually avoid chain video game stores, because their prices are usually fixed for every store. You'll occasionally find a management discount, but it it's usually on newer stuff that isn't selling. We do have a small chain in Texas called Game Over. I did get a fairly rare C64c bundle from there for $99, which was a steal considering its condition.

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