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Everything retro - big and small! Live from Perth, Australia!

Monday, June 30, 2014

My Thoughts on Resellers...

I had never encountered a reseller until the other week. I of course knew they existed, but was never worried about them in my little corner of Australia. I had walked into a pawn show I frequent regularly and he was in the games section, mulling over a pile of PSone games. PSone games aren't that hard to come by, but this was a solid lot, for a very good price considering it was a pawn store.
Now, I will admit I was a little jealous about missing out on such a purchase by mear minutes, but that's life. First in best dressed. All the best to him I thought at the time. I'd been picking that place clean for years, so I guess it was time for someone else to win. These thoughts were washed down the sink immediately when I heard him talking to the staff at the counter though. He was checking every nook and cranny of the games, checking over everything to an extreme level of detail. At first I thought he was just hardcore, but then he started asking questions. These questions were about the history of those copies, asking questions like where they had come from and if they'd been sold before etc. I didn't catch it all, but it was quite obvious he was in the business of reselling video games.

Resellers buy games at bargain bin prices (the price old things really should be) and then resell them online at a (usually) incredibly inflated price. I've seen the practice on eBay as well as Gumtree, but no doubt it happens on Craigslist where its available. Basically, they are preying on the nostalgia of ignorant gamers who just presume that because its old, it's worth a lot. That of course is bullshit; there have been plenty of times I've seen games that were released in the hundreds of thousands with an asking price well over what they're actually worth considering how many of them exist.

I must stress that if you're lucky enough to have a local retro gaming oriented store, they're not what I'm talking about here. The awesome guys and gals who run those are not lumped into the same category, they're hard working folk doing a service to the community for running such a shop. The resellers I'm talking about are basically the shady, alleyway dealers of the hobby.
Retro game shops will be generally competitively priced with online, plus the staff will be quite knowledgeable and the games most likely tested as they will have the consoles on-hand. I'd highly recommend going and spending your money at those instead of eBay if you have the choice.

This is what I've picked up over the last week. While there is nothing outrageously special here, it should be noted that I didn't pay more than five dollars for any of these games... except for Saltwater Sport Fishing for whatever reason (lol). I find a bunch of games like these just about every week for those prices. 
It seems if it has a well known name in it too (ie Sonic, Mario or Zelda) the price from resellers then skyrockets again. I'd like to think I'm living proof that games shouldn't be that much, if you've followed my blog for long enough you'll see I very rarely pay more than ten dollars per game. Hell, I don't like paying more than five. It's not that I'm cheap, (well, I sorta am) but the fact is the games just aren't worth that much.

This pisses me off to high heaven for two reasons. The biggest reason is that these scumbags are ripping innocent gamers off. There is no reason for someone to pay that much for an old game, their ignorance and their nostalgia are being milked, and that is sick.
I wish I could properly educate the world to not pay that much, and instead hunt around op-shops, garage sales, swap meets, dedicated stores and (sometimes) pawn shops for what they're really worth but I'm only one mortal man. I do tell everyone that will listen though.
Secondly, collectors like myself are missing out. I don't want to get on a moral high horse or anything, but I feel us actual collectors deserve them more. We care about those games and actually play them, as well as actively preserve gaming history. Resellers are just wanting to make a buck, and are ruining the hobby for everyone.

An important thing to note though, as much as I piss and moan, is that they can't be stopped. They are doing nothing illegal because capitalism is a very real thing. Essentially they are running a business, a business that is a big disservice to this hobby for sure, but a business none the less. If for example you started picking up rocks on the sidewalk and started selling them as vintage because they're millions of years old, who would have the right to tell you to stop? Sure anyone could go and pick up the rocks themselves and get them for free, but you're right there offering. There will always be the actual rock collectors complaining that you're defacing their fine hobby, but stuff them, money is to be made.

So really, how can this be fixed? Short answer: it can't, but the visibility of the bruise can be faded.
If you come across other retro gamers in the field and they're not homicidal maniacs, trade with them. They're sure to hate resellers as much as yourself so I'm sure they would be willing to trade games they no longer want, which is a win for everyone (except the resellers) as the games stay between the collectors.
Networking can be a powerful thing, so I'd recommend the Racketboy Forums as there are plenty of buy, sell and trade threads active from collectors such as myself.
Also like mentioned above, throw your money at dedicated storefronts. Resellers are usually crippling the hobby as they're own hobby, but these stores are being run full time but like-minded enthusiasts such as yourself. You're guaranteed a good price, as well as likely a good chat.

The other fix, but to a lesser extent is education. If you know someone is about to buy a copy of Mario Kart 64 for $70 because they have fond memories of playing it in their college days, remind them that it sold 9.87 million copies worldwide and that there is probably a better deal to be had. Save that money for important things, like snacks and beer to consume as you're playing it with your buddies. If everyone knew this, the resellers would leave as they would have no target market and maybe the rock market will finally get its time to shine.


Ultimately though, the war continues and you just have to savour the wins. The example above is obviously a loss, but about a week later I was in the same store and lo and behold, that same reseller walks in. That time I got in before him, and I then travelled to another op shop (which he also walked into minutes later) where I also got in first. There were a whole heap of games on clearance, and I scooped them up. It may sound selfish when I write it like that, but the fact is I won't be ripping people off. If they ever do leave my collection, it will be staying in the retro gaming ecosystem.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Video: A Bug's Life for PSone Review

This is a game I've been after since I was a small, stupid child. Was the wait worth it?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Monday, June 9, 2014

11,000+ Game Collection for Sale, Nintendo 64 Goodies & Stephen King

You know, he sorta looks like Stephen King
Retro gamers on the internet went wild the other day as the Guinness World Record holder for The "World's Largest Video Game Collection" put up his entire collection for sale. How big is the biggest, you may ask? Eleven thousand. Probably more games than I'll ever care to own and play. On that note, 25% is supposedly still sealed, which isn't surprising since it would take a lifetime to play all those games. 
The record holder cites family needs as the reason for selling, which could mean anything from their need for money to just needing the space; who knows. What is known, however, is that the current bid as of writing is nearly $91,000, with over six days to go. Either way, lots of old games equals sweet, sweet moolah.
If you want to get in on the action you may need to re-mortgage your house (or get a second mortgage depending on how many game collections you've bought previously). There is something for everyone however, ranging from the 3DO to the N*Gage. Check out the bid here [via this Racket Boy Forum post]. 

In other news, I checked out some pawn and op shops today buying four whole items. I know right, I nearly had to think twice about buying my lunch. 


Fortunately for me, none of these items equalled $90,000.
First off I bought Cruis'n USA and Pilot Wings 64 for the N64 for $5 each. Cruis'n USA holds special significance to me as I use to play the arcade version quite a bit in a restaurant I went to regularly as a kid. It's weird that I'm so attached to an arcade version of a game, as arcades were about 10 years before my time. None the less, I use to have a ball playing it every time I went there, and damn, that place had the best Cherry Coke ever. It wasn't the stuff that came out of the can or bottle either but they actually mixed Coke and Cherry syrup there. This was before you could buy it over here in AussieLand you see, and to this day I still think the restaurants version was better. 
Pilotwings 64 is a game I've been looking out for a while. I would have preferred the SNES version to be honest, but for $5 I'm not going to complain.

I checked out a few op shops after that and came out with a N64 Rumble Pak for $6.25, and a Stephen King novel for something like $2.
I've been after a rumble pack for a long time so I gladly bought that, although I have to clean out some leaked batteries at some point.
As for the Stephen King novel, well, I've just really being digging Stephen King lately so I thought I would add it. I read the whole of The Dark Tower series last year, and have just started reading 'Salem's Lot. The thing is, I bought 'Salem's Lot for $20 brand new, and while I don't regret it, I think after today's purchase I'm going to be checking the book section in op shops more often.  

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Road Rash for Mega Drive/Genesis Review

I've been after this game for a long time, so as soon as I had it in my grubby hands, I had to review it (see related blog post here).