Re: Finding Lost Treasures – Over and Under Budget Edition

Some people collect coins, other stamps. I collect video games.

It’s amazing what you can do with money, especially when on a budget. After all, we really need to stretch out that dollar as much as we can these days.

Returning to my local flea market, I told myself that I would pick something up this time, but I would only limit my video game spending to around twenty dollars. After all, I needed to take into consideration funds for my mini donuts while I’m there. This also provided a challenge, I would have to think hard about what I was going to get before I purchased.

The Star Wars bug hit me again when I found someone with a still sealed copy of Star Wars: Apprentice of the Force for the Gameboy Advance. I asked how much, to which he replied eight dollars.  I found that a bit steep considering, while the game was still sealed in plastic, the box was fairly dented. I explained that I could get this game, with free shipping, online still sealed for five dollars. A bluff that I later found out was technically sort of true. We continued exchanging prices until we both agreed to settle on a price of six dollars. Happy, I came out with another Star Wars game, I walked away. Another reason I’m glad I have that GameCube Gameboy Player attachment on my system.

I walked down the rest of the lane and into the next one when I spotted a copy of The Legend of Zelda: Oracles of Seasons for the Gameboy in someone’s game case. I always wanted to play this game along with Oracles of Ages because of what I heard to be a linked (get it) storyline.  To see the complete ending, you had to have played both games. Interesting also was the fact that in Oracles of Seasons certain paths and gameplay are affected depending on the weather. I asked to try it out to make sure it worked and sure enough, it did. I asked how much for the game to which he said he was asking eighteen dollars. I asked if he would be willing to go down but he refused since it was, “a Zelda game.” I pretended to be ignorant to what that meant and asked what that had to do with the price. He said he charges more on his Mario and Zelda games than others, simply for the fact that they’re Mario and Zelda games.

The game seemed a bit beat up. The label artwork was a bit peeled off and there was no Gameboy case for the game. It would have to be cleaned up a bit. Plus no matter how much I would have wanted the game, if I did, the eighteen-dollar price was too steep to pay and would have thrown me over budget on almost a single game. So I handed him back the cartridge, thanked him, and walked away.

Walking down a bit more I found someone with a copy of Metroid Fusion for the Gameboy Advance. I bought it. For no reason other than I’ve never played the game. I heard the story was about Samus becoming infected with some sort of parasite and it becoming part of her.  Really an impulse purchase because the woman across the counter told me that she would let me have it for three dollars. No box or instruction booklet, just the game in a plastic game case.  Still a great deal for a Metroid game. I also managed to get her to sell me an extra plastic regular Gameboy case to store any other games I happen to find loose there. And it would come in handy for what came next.

I mentioned in my first original post about what seemed to be three brothers or men that ran a make-shift video game store at this location. I finally decided to see what selection they had.

I walked in to see mainly more recent games from the PlayStation 2, PS3, PSP, Nintendo DS game cases out on the floor to show what they mainly had in stock. Not overly hard to get stuff, but a few things that people looking for games might have missed for their collection like a Part 2 of something. Continuing with the theme, what I noticed they had were old Nintendo Gameboy games behind a glass case. I browsed what they had, even going to look back at the cases on the floor, but I finally choose to get a copy of Metroid: Zero Mission. I asked the price and one of the people behind the counter said $13.99. I wasn’t exactly happy with the price, especially since I just passed up a copy of The Legend of Zelda at eighteen dollars. I asked if that was the set price to which one of the vendors said the cost was non-negotiable. I thought about it for a second, but I told him I’d take it, just to tell myself I bought something here. I took the game to the cash register and was rung up for about fourteen dollars and change. The exact amount escapes me at the moment.

What surprised me the most about this place was they charged me tax on the game. No other location at this market charges taxes on their goods, products, and services. It is like going to someone’s garage sale and the people living at the home charging you tax on what you buy from them. Overall I was not very impressed with their selection or getting charged extra. So, I might not be returning there unless I have no choice.

I managed to get three games for a total of $23. Slightly over budget, but still not as bad as it could’ve been. Plus I finally had my mini-donuts.

I lost the eBay auction on the collection of Like New Silent Hill games (SH2, SH3, SH4: The Room) I mentioned in my last entry. The reason being for this is… I simply forgot to bid again. I was outbid on my original price, so I figured I’d wait until close to the end of the auction to see how much the price would be to see if I would rebid. Usually, I will turn on the alarm on my phone to notify me about the bids. Well, when I was out and about my phone alarm went off but I couldn’t remember exactly why. When I finally got home and onto the internet, I discovered that the auction was over. Oh well. Looking at the ending bid amount, it was a bit more than I was willing to spend on the games. So it didn’t bother me all too much to let that one go.

I officially began an online hunt for Silent Hill 3 and Silent Hill 4: The Room. What I didn’t know about it was that finding someone willing to answer my questions on the games would be almost as hard as finding one incomplete, fairly good condition. One of the things that mainly turns people off about eBay purchases, is the use of generic “stock” photos. You’re not really showing people your item per se and not able to view exactly what condition the game is in. One person’s opinion of a “Very Good” condition can differ from others.

So messages were sent out with hardly any responses coming back. I emailed people with the simple question of if there were any major marks or scratches on the disc and game cases? Hardly any replies came back, but I was able to find one person with a fairly good copy of Silent Hill 4: The Room. I waited until about an hour before bidding ended to see how far the pricing had gone, which was surprisingly not that high. I placed my bid and luckily fought off eBay snipers that waited until almost the last second to enter their dollar amount.

Have you ever heard the song “The Waiting” by Tom Petty? It has that one line “The Waiting Is the Hardest Part…” That implies what happened with Silent Hill 3. I was able to find SH3 fairly easily. So I decided to take a chance with the auction part this time. I found a fairly new copy, near mint, with actual product pictures. The case seemed in good condition along with the discs. So we’re good to go right? Well, the only problem was that the auction was still more than six days away – six days and several hours to go actually. So, I placed it in my list of reminders, placed my bid, and waited. Did I mention I waited?  And waited. And waited some more while I watched other people raise the amount of the game. I wished they would stop. Finally, the day came. I placed my bid and I won.

Well, the game is coming from Canada and I happen to live in Texas. The game is essentially two-thirds of a continent away. So I think I’ll go listen to that song now.

Come back next time when I explain why it’s better for you NOT to put a bid in eBay “just for the heck of it.”


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