I’ve always loved thrift shopping and collecting. As a kid, I collected dinosaurs, coins, Micro Machines, and other random stuff. Once I was old enough to drive, my buddies and I would hit up area thrift stores for vintage clothing. I loved the fact that I could take the money my mom gave me to clothes shopping at the beginning of the school year, spend $30 of it at the thrift store to buy what clothing I wanted and had another $70 in surplus cash! Of course, I looked like a bum and either always had pants that didn’t fit or that had broken zippers.
While in college there were a couple thrift and music stores that carried vintage video games. My girlfriend and I loved hitting them up to see what we could find. Heck, at that time Funcoland carried NES games…alas, the golden age. I built up a semi-respectable collection of about 100 games, but in graduate school I had to tighten the belt as finances scraped super low, and I ended up selling all but the essentials on eBay.
In 2007, having finished school and now having a real job, I was at an area swap meet (flea market) and came across this box of games. At the time, I couldn’t believe that the guy would sell the entire box of 100+ games for $100. I snatched it up thinking I could keep some to restart my collection and resell the rest. Well as you can see, the games were in pretty rough shape and were mostly common titles. I was pretty new to pricing, so all I was thinking was “Holy crap that’s a lot of games for under $1 each!” I lost money selling them on eBay, but I learned a good lesson. I got a couple price guides, tried to exercise a little more restrain, and did some math the next time I saw a great deal.
The rest is history. Several years have passed, and I now have a solid collection and am enjoying selling on eBay what I don’t keep for my collection. I still love the thrill of finding unique video game stuff and am still learning as I go. Good luck in your own collecting and happy retro gaming!