So you’ve decided to follow that nostalgic feeling…so what now? Just grab your favorite classic console and some classic games…their 30 years old how much could they be… $2 maybe $3 a piece? Well if it was the 90s they would be…but things have changed.
Maybe like me you were lucky enough to still have a system and a few games or grabbed one a while ago when prices were cheaper or have some luck at a flea market or yard sale. Unfortunately for everyone else the market has exploded and there’s a few things you’ll quickly discover as you start hunting in the wild. Here are just a few insights I thought i’d share:
1. Dont worry theres millions of retro games floating around so their not hard to come by…BUT…yeah there’s always a but in there…
2. A lot of those games are now in the hands of resellers, “shelf collectors”, dealers and worst of all the run of the mill opportunists who dont know much more about the games they sell but the highest “buy it now” price on eBay…that leads me to my next point..
3. Be prepared to pay eBay prices. Sad but true reality and you see it in varying degrees. You’ll get used to seeing “individually priced” which generally means “I looked them all up on eBay thus the odd prices”. You can tell a lot by checking what Mario Bros 3 goes for, is it over $15? If so you’ll know you’re going to be looking at dropping a few dollars for anything you’re looking at.
4. Unfortunately regular people at flea markets/yard sales can be harder to deal with than resellers…unlike resellers some people just assume what they have is worth a lot of money just because its “retro”. You see this normally in the form of marking the items as “vintage”…apparently if you toss vintage on it then it must be worth more. This can be frustrating but can often be eventually haggled.
5. If you see something you want, grab it. You’re not the only one hunting around and I know from harsh lessons learned that the guy asking $10 for paperboy is still cheaper than the reseller at $20+.
6. Don’t get discouraged…there are deals out there to be had and a lot of collectors who are happy to trade or sell at better prices from one collector to another. Some people are happy just to know its going to someone who will enjoy it and the price reflects that.
7. Be realistic. Because the market has changed some of those fond memories are pricey…if you’re not really concerned with rare titles then you can build a very decent collection without spending an arm and a leg, but if you want to have say a R.O.B, Power glove or little samson then be aware the prices are high, go up frequently and due to rarity wont often be found beyond eBay or resellers.
There’s a lot more I can say going further in depth on some of these points…which i’ll do in future posts..but the most important point I can say about this is to have fun…it’s not always the deals or the finds…sometimes the thrill of the hunt is the ultimate reward.