RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.

Posted on Mar 2nd 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (Crabmaster2000)
Posted under Game Quest, Game Store, Video Game, Collecting, Arcade, Pinball, Full Sets

I've been collecting video games in some fashion for a little over a decade now. Lots of those early years were spent waking up early to hit garage sales, leaving for work early each day so I could stop at pawn shops on the way, checking every paper buy/sell/trade in town, or refreshing kijiji/craigslist ads every free moment I had in order to scoop up awesome game deals before anyone else. However, since opening the store about two and a half years ago, those collecting habits have changed greatly.

When I first opened the store, quite a large chunk of our initial stock was from my personal collection. I did my best to locate several big lots, and got help from many friends selling me doubles and unwanteds for good deals, but a lot of it was games from my own shelf that I was hopeful I'd be able to find again down the road. I severely gutted my N64 and SNES collections in particular in order to get off to a strong start. At that point in time, I expected the store to be fairly niche and would have been content to just keep plugging away at completing my licensed NES collection leaving most other sections in a lesser state.

After opening the store, two things happened much quicker than I expected:
1) I finished my licensed NES set; and
2) The store took off far quicker than anticipated.

Both of these events got me re-evaluating my collecting goals. I no longer had time to hit garage sales or pawn shops. I was only able to make trips to pick up larger lots after an employee was hired and I just couldn't be bothered to keep up to date with buy/sell/trades of any type. Afterwards, all the games were now coming to me. It's a collector's dream, right?

Gotta make the pickups bigger and badder than ever!!

It may be a collector's dream, but it's certainly not a hunter's dream (Bloodborne reference, yeah!). I noticed pretty early that it didn't quite have the same appeal when I got a cool game like .Hack Quarantine or Spike McFang handed to me across a counter than when I found stuff, even more common items, like Earthworm Jim or a boxed console under a table at a community garage sale. The collection was growing, but the thrill of the hunt wasn't there. What's a guy to do?

I decided to focus more on the collecting side than the hunting side. Instead of one grand goal and a few lesser ones, I made myself many bigger goals. Instead of just going for an NES set, why not see how much of a PS2 set I can get? or maybe a Dreamcast set? TG16? SNES? N64? All the ATLUS games? I never see Game & Watches, I'd better track a few of those down! I've neglected foreign games, why not allow them into the game room? Is loose SNES really good enough? Nah..........let's do CIB SNES games!!!

After returning home today, with two new pinball machines that I had to drive nearly two hours each way to pick up, I realized I still really enjoy adding new items to my collection, just as much as I loved hunting before. I just had to shift my focus a bit and it's helped keep my collecting fun and fresh so that when I get those cool games passed across the counter, I still get to hold onto that joyful feeling I used to have while scooping up a box of games from the back room of a pawnshop that hadn't hit the sales floor yet.

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Man, I hear you.  There is nothing like finding that ultra rare, hard to find item at a garage sale or at a thrift store instead of online or having it being handed to you.  Ah, the thrill of the hunt.
To be honest, giving up hunting would suck, but with the way deals have dried up in my area, I would love to be in your position.  For me, hunting use to be lots of fun, but with so many people collecting now and sellers/re-seller checking eBay for pricing, the deals just aren't really out there much for me anymore. I can say that I am glad to see the community of collectors grow, since it means more people here and more people to discuss gaming with.
I find my situation very similar to Rich's.  I used to LOVE checking craigslist every day and actually finding listings for decent lots of games.  Driving to remote parts of the state to pick them up and watching movies with my wife while I cleaned all my new games.  I loved going to yard and garage sales every Saturday and actually finding things.  I loved meeting people while hunting and finding out that we had trade bait that the other wanted.  There are no deals now, there are no craigslist ads that aren't gobbled up within 10 minutes anymore.  you're lucky if you can even find a post for video games for sale instead of "$$$I BUY GAMES$$$".  Any excuse my language but the people at Goodwill have lost their ******* minds with their pricing.  Once the local deals dried up around me, I turned to the internet.  Dont get me wrong, Im glad to have met all of you but online deals just dont compare to the excitement of hunting locally.  Its a big part of the reason im considering downsizing.  The NES CIB collection hasnt grown in forever because i dont want to sift through endless forum posts to pay close to ebay prices.  T-Rex doesn't want to be fed, T-Rex wants to hunt.
I'm with you guys. Hunting is mostly a thing of the past, but I'm lucky enough to stumble across a few morsels here and there. Thankfully I'm close enough to my goal to be patient, but it used to be more exciting to be out and about. The tradeoff for me has been the hobby is giving me many more friends than games these days. It's a trade I'm pretty happy with.
@wildbil52:  Amen to everything you said.  Especially the Goodwill bullshit.
While I didnt check Craigslist that much I use to go to stores and garage sales a lot. But as gas got more and more expensive that slowed down a lot. Now that I have a family it slowed down even more. I had to revamp my collecting style long ago because of it. Granted CIB is still the only way to collect but the focus is a lot tighter now.
I'm just glad I still have some ability to hunt in my area, because real collectors are few where I live.  Still, it's not easy going, and I'm relishing it while it's still a viable option.  Once the stuff stops flowing into Goodwill, pawn shops, etc. I'll be relegated to paying game store and/or online prices for most everything, save for the occasional garage sale, because we have no flea markets in this area at all.  Still, the last year and a half or so has allowed me to basically double my collection, so I can't complain.  I will miss the hunt, however, when it's no longer feasible to do so.

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