The day before yesterday, I was looking through some listings on Craigslist to see if there were any good sales going on over the weekend. The things about Craigslist is that you can’t just search for “Tag Sale” or “Estate Sale”. Most of these events don’t yield any classic games. The worst is when a Craigslist ad for a tag sale says that they have “electronics” or “collectibles”. The optimist in me sees electronics and figures that they will have a Sega Saturn. When they really have are a couple of old cassette decks and the alarm clock from Back to the Future. “Collectibles” is even worse. People. Collect. EVERYTHING! How does the word “collectibles” give people ANY idea what you are selling? When you search for games, it helps to search for “Nintendo”, “Games”, “Video Games”, etc. You will come up with a lot of hits with people selling their old games and systems, but you will also get all of the tag/estate sales that contain games. In my experience, most people selling their games and systems expect top dollar for them. I don’t pay ebay prices, so I stick with tag/yard sales. I came across a listing for an estate sale that mentioned “1980s Nintendo and games”. I’m listening…
I emailed the seller and asked if they wouldn’t mind sending me a list of which games that they had and the prices. I didn’t want to drive an hour and find out that all they had was Super Mario Bros and Duck Hunt. I didn’t ask about the system because I already have a Nintendo. They emailed me back with a list of pretty good games as a $40 package. Sounded like a good deal so yesterday morning, I took a little drive. I got the the sale a few minutes after it had started due to a few crazy traffic and gas station situations, and I was very nervous that the games would already be gone. Video games and systems are typically the first things to sell at these sales. I walked over to the armoire and the games were all sitting in a pretty little basket. I picked up every game in the basket, turned to pay, stopped, turned back, and opened the Nintendo that was sitting there to find that there was a game inside. I took that too. I walked over to the very nice lady standing near a ledger and confirmed that the games were $40. She confirmed that the games were $40. Here is what I got:
- After Burner (Unlicensed Tengen)
- Wrath of the Black Manta
- The Legend of Zelda (Gold)
- Super Mario Bros/Duck Hunt/World Class Track Meet
- Pac-Man (Unlicensed Tengen)
- Ikari Warriors
- Deadly Towers
- Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers
- Cobra Triangle
Normally, when I buy a lot of NES games, I end up with some games that I already own, but in this case, I didn’t own ANY of these games. Then, the seller hit me with the best part. “Oh the $40 includes the system, controller, and the zapper.”
I was very excited that I got such a good deal and I figured I would see if there were any other deal that I could get in on. I couldn’t really find anything nearby so i ended up driving North so that I could hit the highway and head home. Once I got closer to the highway, I figured I would check the GPS to see if there were any gaming stores nearby like a Play N Trade or something like that. I passed a Goodwill store. Goodwill stores are the definition of hit or miss. I actually drove by it and stopped at a pawn shop that ended up having VERY good prices on guitars and amps, but no classic games. I decided that I would go back to the Goodwill store. It wouldn’t take long and you never know what they might have. Boy, am I glad that I went back.
I walked into the store and went straight for the glass cases. Most stores keep video games behind glass. What I saw almost knocked me off my feet. There were two large stacks of Nintendo games. All of them in the original boxes and (as I would find out in a few minutes) included the original instruction manuals. I asked the nearby woman if I could see the games. She took them all out for me and I started going through them. Each game was $5. A few caught my eye immediately as good deals and I put those in my pile of games to purchase. The woman was very nice and asked me if I collected games. At this point, I had my price/checklist out so I don’t think it was hard to tell that I was a collector. One of the games that I picked up was Jackal. I said to myself (outloud): “I already have this game, it would be great to have the box, though”. Then, this amazingly kind woman said “Take it!”.
I almost couldn’t believe it. I told her that I didn’t want to take advantage of her kind gesture, but I asked if she would let me take all of the boxes and manuals. Most of the games could probably be found for less than $5 at future picks and I would just hold the boxes til I got the games. She was totally fine with that, so I got these boxes/manuals for free also!
I already own Double Dribble, Friday the 13th, Super Mario Bros, and Pro Wresting, so all of those games are now boxed completes. So, that is everything that I got a Goodwill for free, here is the stuff that I paid for.
That’s right, I now own the Ninja Gaiden Trilogy, all complete in the box. By the way, Ninja Gaiden III has one of the silliest titles I’ve ever seen, “The Ancient Ship of Doom”. Also, Super Dodge Ball, Shooting Ranger, Super C, and Little League Baseball.
The adrenaline was pumping, and I hadn’t spent a whole lot of money. I decided to make one last stop at another pawn shop I had passed by. I’ve read that some collectors avoid pawn shops because the prices aren’t great. Apparently, these people have never visited the pawn shop that I went to yesterday. The place was very small, maybe 15 by 20 feet. I did one quick lap and the only video game related items that I saw were hundreds of old controllers hanging on a wall. I walked around the place again, slowly, and I noticed four boxes on a shelf. One box said Nintendo, another Sega, the next Super NES, and the last, N64. Each box had the magic words: $3 each/2 for $5. Depending on the quality of the games, there could be some great deals in these boxes. First, the Nintendo box:
All of these games are worth over $2.50 each, but that’s what I got them for. It’s not like I’m going to re sell them, but it is nice to get super good deals on good/rare games. Mickey Manid, Super Street Fighter II, Revenge of Shinobi, Sonic and Knuckles, and Ghostbusters. Awesome. Next up, Super Nintendo.
Shadowrun, Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, Young Merlin, UN Squadron, Doom Troopers, Super R-Type, and Super Mario World. The guy saw that I was buying a god little bundle of games, so he threw in a free 64 game:
All in all, it was a fantastic day. I really can’t believe how many games that I was able to get for such a small amount of money. A lot of the joy of collecting comes from the act of collecting itself, but for me, There is nothing better than standing back and looking at the awesome group of games that are now assembled on the bookcase in my game room. I’m going to need another bookcase very soon.
UPDATE-I need another bookcase NOW.