Boss battle: “The Ad” 

Everyone has seen these ads, maybe you have one yourself, it’s worded differently but the message remains the same, the age old battle of collectors vs resellers, entitlement vs capitalism and greed vs fair business. 

Any collector who has been on any forum, Facebook group, kijiji, Craigs list, etc is more than familiar with the variants of these ads promising HARD COLD CASH for your unwanted games and systems. All collectors have/do sell items as I’ve talked about it before and you can usually quickly identify whether it’s a collector or a reseller you’re dealing with on the other side of the computer. 

When I’ve gone looking for items, I don’t make lowball offers, I tend to like to see what the seller was hoping to get before either taking it if their price is fair or making  a counteroffer that works for both parties. There’s usually an item or two in that lot I’m interested in and as long as the remainder covers the initial cost and both parties are happy then it’s a good transaction. 

Now we’ve all responded to one of these ads, maybe for a laugh to see what kind of offer you’ll recieve for your complete in box R.O.B or limited edition “fill in the blank”, as a collector we know the value of the item but I know I’m never not surprised by the responses I get sometimes. They can range from lowball to insulting and it often leads me to wonder how much thought they put into their response. 

I had a situation where for fun I offered up a working power glove just to see what kind of top dollar I’d be receiving, I sent my inquiry and a pic of it clearly working, the response came back quickly: “I can go as high as $20”. Now where I live a working power glove seems to sit around the $100 mark, even offering 40-50 still brings a profit but I’m guessing this guy is thinking I either: 

1. Don’t know what I have.

2. I just need the cash and will take anything.

3. Is just greasy and looking to maximize profit. 

I find a lot of the times unfortunately it’s the 3rd option, on the sites where you can look at the sellers profiles many have zero to do with gaming outside of knowing how to look on ebay for prices on them. These are often the guys you quickly recognize by the following catchphrases: 

1. “I’ll do you a favor and take ____ off your hands for (incredibly low offer)” 

2. “I’ll give you (greasy offer) if this doesn’t sell”.

3. “You know you can get this from (insert store) for (fake price) but I’ll take it for (minimally higher than fake price)”.

4. “I’ll give you ($5-10 range) for (insert item you’ve listed for a fair value)”. 

I frequently wonder if any of these tactics ever really work? Does anyone just stop and say to themselves “maybe I should just take $10 for my Nintendo and 20 games because they said they’d do me a favor and pay cash today”. Even if you do want to take their offer there’s always that one last thing and we all know it’s coming……”can you bring it to (town that’s at least a half hour from you)?”…so on top of the lowball price their paying you they want you to drop a few bucks in gas to bring it to them? 

In my city there’s a few of these ads that seem to circulate frequently, if people want to go for it that’s all fine and good but there’s nothing that drives you nuts more than when these guys decide because there isn’t any suckers giving away their stuff that they should start responding to ads by people who know what their selling.

This is where things really get confusing, these guys want your item for cheap and will come at you with not only the above methods but strangely sometimes come in with the attack inquiries: 

1. “I know you got this from (insert store) so where do you get off asking (fair market price) I’d give you (not even what you paid) for it”. 

2. “I can’t believe you’re charging (a good price) for (item they want to profit off) and you should feel bad for (doing exactly what they’re doing)”. 

Somehow the rules of the open market and capitalism only apply to these guys? If I see an ad offering an item for a price I don’t want to pay, I pass it by, I’m not going to get into an argument with someone because I feel their charging too much because only 1 of 2 things will happen: 

1. Seller doesn’t care, blows off my comment, carries on with life and sells item to someone else. 

2. Has stupid argument with me, nobody budges and item eventually gets sold to someone else and all you’ve accomplished was burning a future bridge. 

Both of these options end the same…no item for you. I find its better to just make a reasonable offer and if it’s rejected move on because I’ve learned another one will come along if you can wait and you may be able to get a deal off them at at different time on a different item. 

Same with buying lots, if the sellers amount they’re hoping to get is beyond reasonable and they don’t like my counter offer it’s easier to just walk away from the deal rather than try to bully a seller to take an offer, it’s amazing how often you get a message in a week after they’ve hit up the pawn shops, game stores and online resellers and have discovered your offer wasn’t so bad to begin with. 

So this has been a rant I’ve had on different aspects of the dual edge sword of collecting/selling but I’ve seen so many of these ads lately that I thought I’d just touch on it. I have no issue with collectors who do sell as well as I’ve had many great transactions with them but the people who work behind these ads are the guys who keep the prices high on the hobby and they do it by paying pennies. Although in their defense I guess coins are the hardest of the “hard cold cash”, the fistful of hundreds in their ad is just meant to represent how they make out on their end of the deal ha ha! 

So long story short, if you sell don’t be like the examples I’ve given today…it’s up to collectors to help keep the hobby legit and get it away from the hands of the Wario’s in the marketplace. 



1 Up! : The Gameboy Advance SP. 

With all the talk recently about the forthcoming NES mini, I’ve heard people wondering if there’s going to be a mini SNES. There’s been kind of one sitting under our noses this whole time: The Gameboy Advance SP. 

Released in 2003 as the “special” model of the Gameboy Advance, it was a big step up from it’s predecessor because of the vastly improved display, addition of the back light with the model 001 and extra bright function on the model 101, the graphical updates, better physical design and backwards compatability. 

Aside from it’s own advance cartridges the SP will play original Gameboy and Gameboy Color games, adding basic colours to the original non colour games. The shape was redesigned to feel more like the original Gameboys which I definitely preferred over the original Advance’s design and feel. 

In total there were 1074 games released for the Gameboy Advance across Japan, Europe and North America. This is where my comparison to the SNES starts, the SP is technically superior to the SNES and has just as good or better graphics, and some of the SNES game ports actually play better than their counterparts on the SNES. There’s always debate over which system had better games especially when it comes to the RPGs on each system but in my opinion the SP has the advantage on the whole as far as the variety and playability of the games. 

The Advance also saw a lot of great NES/SNES reissues of games like Super Mario World (Mario Advance 2), Mario Bros 3 (Mario Advance 4), Final Fight One, Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Kid Icarus, Mario Bros 2 (Mario Advance), the Donkey Kong Country trilogy as well as some 2 in 1 series like Gauntlet/Rampart, Paperboy/Rampage and Castlevania Harmony of dissonance and Aria of Sorrow. 

Now there’s always one series that blows up on every system……

Pokémon Red/Blue, Fire Red/Leaf Green, Ruby/Sapphire, Emerald, Pinball Ruby/Sapphire and Mystery Dungeon Red/Blue rescue team were all released for the Advance along with the various booleg versions that have popped up for other Pokémon titles.The Ruby/Sapphire and Emerald games were the top 2 selling titles on the system and these games continue to really hold their value despite a lot of the other games on the system being in the $3-10 range.

The Advance SP hung around until 2007 when it was replaced by the Micro and eventually the DS. With the introduction of the DS the system was done but the games lived on with the inclusion of an Advance game slot. 

One advantage to collecting for the Advance is there’s always an abundance of games that you can find at more than reasonable prices and even the pricier titles haven’t skyrocketed like they have in other markets such as NES collecting. All in all it’s probably one of the best interations of the Gameboy and will remain a favourite of mine for road trips, etc when I want some top notch gaming with great portability, and hey it even allows me to have some of my favourite NES titles on top of the great library it has on it’s own. 

I guess I’ll kick back for a bit and catch up on some Fire Emblem the sacred stones.