Video Game Collecting is a Competitive Sport
Whenever I visit a garage sale, thrift store of flea market, the first thing that I look for are video games. More specifically anything Nintendo related. I look for mostly old school things from the NES, SNES & Gameboy era.
I collect video games because it is a dangerous and competitive sport.
I often times call my home town “Reseller City.” In the last year, 5 vintage video games store have opened, and there are at least 50 other people that are actively selling on local classified sites. If a good game, or lot of games shows up, and you have not contacted the seller within 2 minutes of the ad going live, then you have lost out.
I enjoy the thrill of the hunt, and nothing is more exciting than hunting an endangered species. Especially when there is an element of risk. A lot of the resellers are actual crack heads: they fund their addiction by buying and selling video games. Here are a few of the fun things that happen if I get a good deal on Craigslist:
1. I get threatening or harassing emails from other resellers. I’m not sure how they know it is me. I think they might just send out blanket threats to every person who is a known collector that they have an email address for.
2. My neighbor’s house gets vandalized. At some point I must have bought something from a crack head reseller, and they delivered to my house. I’m guessing that they forgot which house I lived at. It may be just a coincidence that every time I get a great deal on Craigslist my neighbors house gets vandalized.
3. Fake ads get put up using my email address as the contact information. Games like Chrono Trigger, Earthbound & Final Fantasy get listed for $5 each, and my email is given as the contact info.
It even gets mean spirited.
Each week as I watch the garage sale listings appear on my local classified sites I invariably see a few fake garage sales. These sales typically and filled with terrible grammar and spelling, and unreal video game deals. The resellers try to trick the other resellers to heading to these garage sales first so they can have first pick at the legitimate garage sales.
Here is an ad that one reseller posted about another reseller:
I think another reason I collect is for the entertainment value. It’s like a soap opera sometimes.
Prices are insane!
You want a copy of anything related to Pokemon, Zelda, Final Fantasy then you will pay more than $50. The reseller brain works very counter intuitively to regular marketing and undercutting. For example if a company saw a competitor selling something for $25, then they would try to undercut by a few dollars to get the sale. The opposite happens in “Reseller City.” When a game is listed at $25 a competitor will list their for $30, the next person at $35. It has continued like this so that the prices are insane, and there are a ton of crackhead sellers.
I went to a pawnshop once and saw a copy of Super Mario 3 for $80. Just to push some buttons, I told the employee that I would bring mine in and sell it to them for $40. The countered with $5. The ensuing conversation got me kicked out of the store.
This is why I collect video games
I love finding that great deal or finding that rare or awesome game in the wild. NES games are almost impossible to find in the wild, which is why I love collecting.
Check out the “want lists” of a few of the other League bloggers.
- The Nerd Cantina is looking for Star Wars figures, and enjoys liberating them from their sealed packages.
- The Nerd Nook has a great want list, as well as enjoys that “jolt” of nostalgia from when hunting for treasure.
- Good Will Hunting for Geeks has a pretty big list, but what stood out to me was the search for the Planescape Boxed Set.