Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

Collecting Tips to Boot Part 2: To the Stores

In a recent article, I gave my personal tips into how to get the most out of the car boot sale. However, if your hungry for more games finds there’s more than one place to hunt. In this article I’m going to go through the other places I have located gaming deals.

Charity Shops

goodwillThis has always been a fascinating one to me. I know people that will literally avoid charity shops like the plague because they don’t want to be looking through other peoples junk. This is a real shame as you can genuinely find some amazing deals in charity shops (in America this will be like your Goodwills). In the UK the majority of charity shops are linked to charity like the British Hear Foundation, Oxfam, Cancer research etc. Charity shops take donations usually from the local community, Oxfam however, actually does send stuff to various stores through donation bins found at supermarkets. Most charity shops generally will have a dvd rack somewhere with a couple of games thrown in. Now it will really depend on the the staff at the specific store to whether the games are priced reasonably or not. If there is a volunteer that is into gaming there is actually a possibility they will take the games for themselves and leave the stuff they don’t want for the shelves. This is of course is a pain but its something you just have to put up with. Some staff have no idea about pricing games usually they will sell them for the same value as DVDs or even CDs. But then I have seen examples of staff over pricing video games because they think they are worth more than DVDs. What is quite sad in the UK is I have heard stories of charity shops receiving donations of loose consoles and carts but they consider these junk and throw them away. This doesn’t happen everywhere though, I have actually found loose N64 carts in an Oxfam store before but this is quite a rare occasion. Some advice here is if you feel brave enough you can actually say to the staff you are looking for old games and if they see any loose carts or consoles you will be whiling to take them off their hands. Most of the time the staff will feel uncomfortable with this and will give you nothing. But on that rare occasion someone might take note and even bring out some stuff they were intending on chucking possibly for free. But remember this is a charity shop so its only fair to give a donation if you get lucky here. It’s also only worth doing this with the stores that are close to where you live, unless of course you enjoy travelling far out to stores.

BEST SCORE: A couple of rare N64 loose carts including Mystical Ninja: The legend of Goeman, Mystic Quest, Diddy Kong Racing, Shadowgate 64, and The World is Not Enough

Local Auctions

auctionLocal auctions in the UK are auctions usually within the local community where people are selling off their junk from their house and it goes under the hammer in a hall somewhere. These are not the same as those big Antique actions where you have a pay a fee to get it. These are free and the majority of the stuff sold is auctioned for a cheap price. I have seen entire wardrobe sets sell for a single pound in my local auction but there is of course other competition. Most of these auctions will also allow you to view the items before you bid on them, So you can actually see if there are any games on offer before you waste an entire evening watching other junk go under the hammer. Most stuff that sells will be in bulk. I usually see crates of games at these places, entire console sets with accessories. They usually come in various conditions and states so I definitely advise viewing before bidding you don’t want to end up with an old CD based console with no power supply. On that note remember you are taking a risk there’s no guarantee the stuff you bid on will work but at least you may be able to get it for a cheap price. The main downside is if the item you want is far down the list you may waste a long evening waiting only to be outbid by some bugger. You can view items and leave a bid on the books if you don’t want to wait but they will only take your highest bid and which runs the risk of being outbid if your not there. Quite a fun experience but I don’t often go to these as it takes a lot of time out my evening which I could be spending doing other things… like eating cheese.
BEST SCORE: Mega CD Model one complete with Mega Drive model one, three Mega CD games (including Night Trap) and a couple of Mega Drive titles (controllers and all hook ups included).

Yard Sales

garageYard sales are common place in America but are quite uncommon in the UK, at least where I live. This is basically a car boot sale but in people’s gardens. They do vary, sometimes you will come across just one house having a yard sale, maybe the residents are moving away and getting rid of there unwanted stuff. The best ones are when the entire town or village is joining in the event. This way you can walk round and visit several stalls and see what’s for sale. This is practically identical to a car boot. So you really never know what your going to find. Most stalls will be whiling to hook you up with a deal if you buy several items. As mentioned in the previous article save yourself some time and just ask them if they have any games or consoles. You may have to clarify to some people what you mean but sometimes they will pull out some games or consoles that they were not intending on selling but are happy to get rid of. Definitely something that’s more fun on a Sunny day. Not sure its worth it for just one house but if your driving past anyway it might be worth a look. These sort of events are rarely advertised online so it helps to pay attention to local newspapers that will advertise events like this or noticeboards in shops windows, town halls or even churches. You never know.

BEST SCORE: Box of boxed Master System games


vendor_tentConventions occur all year long whether its a Comic Con or a gaming convention. Usually there is a stall selling games. Of course most dedicated game stalls will be selling games for the expected online price and that’s fine. However, sometimes you will come across some stalls that are selling a mixture of stuff like figures as well as a couple of loose game carts thrown in. These are the vendors that are usually whiling to sell the games for a cheap price. Conventions are also the places your more likely to find uncommon titles. Vendors are aware people are nostalgic for various old collectibles including games. You will probably pay more than most of the other places mentioned on this list but you can usually negotiate a deal with the vendor if you buy a few things or you just want to try cut a deal. What’s also enjoyable at conventions is usually the vendor will want to share stories and memories of games with you, so you never know you might make a new friend also. Be nice and you never know they might be more whiling to hook you up with a deal. Unlike most of the other places mentioned in this article you are more likely to come across gaming merchandise at conventions like figures, posters, books etc. You can sometimes find a good deal on these at selected vendors however, this being a convention some vendors will of course jack up their prices if they think the stuff is uncommon. Even if its too expensive its still fun to see rare figures.

BEST SCORE: Four loose Final Fantasy 8 figurines

The Internet

internetIts worth covering the internet because after all more and more people are using the internet to get rid of there stuff. The two main places I look online for local game deals are Facebook and a site called GumTree (which is like Craigs List in America). I have had very mixed success with these sites. Unlike all of the other places mentioned you are literally competing with the entire internet and not just the local community. On Facebook you can search for local groups which are selling stuff. Some groups are specifically selling games in your local community. You have to be pretty quick on these as they are usually a first come first serve sale and you may even have to drive to someone’s house to collect the items. It’s important to mention that you should avoid giving out any personal information to strangers or agreeing to let them meet you at your house. Always meet them at their place or negotiate a meeting spot in a public place you are both happy with. GumTree works exactly the same only you usually have to call the person up on the phone first. Sometimes you will see some great stuff sold for a great deal but you have to be real quick and for some this can become a obsession and you’ll be literally checking these sites constantly. I’ve not had a whole lot of luck finding good deals online because I only have time to check these sites after work when the deals are usually over but there are still deals to be found.

BEST SCORE: Deadpool on 360 and Valkyria Chronicles on PS3 sold in a bundle deal – not the best deal I know but this was after Deadpool was pulled from store shelves so I was quite happy.

Now there is a obvious omission from this list. I’ve missed out ebay. The reason for this is you can pretty much find whatever you want on ebay. I don’t use ebay much because for one its very hard to find a good deal and more importantly its actually really enjoyable venturing into the unknown and finding a game you didn’t expect in the wild for a decent price. It’s one of the best feelings as a collector. As mentioned you will have more misses than hits but its all about the thrill of the hunt and its even better when you can share the experience with someone else and the community online. There are also a few locations I haven’t mentioned but I may have those for some future entries in this series.

Written by jamalais

April 19, 2015 at 6:10 pm

Posted in Blog

Tagged with , ,

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