It’s garage sale season and I’ve been hitting them more than ever lately. Craigslist has been drying up lately here in the Denver market, so garage sales are becoming the last bastion of retro game collecting. Specifically…community sales. Since I’ve got limited time and a wheelbarrow-full of kids, I can’t be spending 30 minutes driving to and fro and striking out at a garage sale. However, checking many in one place is the way to go!
This past Friday, my family and I checked out just such a sale in the neighborhood my wife grew up in, Governor’s Ranch. We started at the elementary school where many sellers came together to form a miniature flea market of sorts. We were there just as it began and I checked out the particular set of tables I’d seen advertised on Craigslist. The seller said they had Nintendo games, Xbox games, baseball cards, and even Garbage Pail Kids so I had to go!
Well, it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped. In terms of NES games, he had Shingen the Ruler and RC Pro Am. Nothing was priced particular great either. I did buy a few games including a sealed My Weight Loss Coach and an Alice In Wonderland (Wii) which I later realized I already had. Crud. I did also grab some Nintendo toys, but it was a bit of a whiff.
We walked around to check some of the rest of this mini flea market and I was near one spot that didn’t seem to have any games. A guy called out to me, “Everything in that box is 25 cents.” Let me look. Initially, I saw nothing but those gummy hands that you throw at windows, but then out of nowhere I see a flame red GBA SP. What?! I dug in and didn’t see any games or a charger, but…was this thing really 25 cents? It was scratched to heck (kid owned), but did turn on and worked. 25 cents. Done deal.
Just like that I was having a pretty good day!
Later, we decided to crawl the neighborhood. There weren’t a lot of sellers as it was a Friday, but enough to walk around and get some exercise. For a while, my kids were having tons of luck finding cool toys for cheap and I scored a John Elway bobblehead for $1, but no games.
As we were hitting the last couple spots on the map we came upon a younger guy selling DVD’s and VHS tapes in his driveway. Each DVD was $1 and VHS tape was 25 cents. I love these tables because there’s always a favorite movie of mine to find and you can’t beat a buck. We found some Dreamworks movies for the kids and I started searching through a tub full of VHS tapes. I’m always in the market for Disney movies or anything my kids can pop in on our basement TV/VCR combo. Plus I’m still trying to find those old Nintendo videos everyone else seems to find but me!
I was having fun searching through them but not having any luck when I got near the bottom and…what was this? A Sega CD game! Actually, in the moment, I didn’t know what it was, I just saw the familiar blue long-case and I was actually thinking it was a Saturn game. I was mesmerized seeing one with an intact case. And another one! AND ANOTHER!
At that point I started grabbing armfuls of VHS tapes and stacking them nearby to get to the bottom. More and more appeared! In the end, I dug out seven Sega CD games (still thinking Saturn), all marked at $2 each. I didn’t know what they were actually worth, but I knew it was more than 2 bucks. I mouthed to my wife, “We need to go…” Yeah, I get a little itchy when I see valuable things as I want to get out of there just in case some yokel sees them and spoils my find.
After pulling out all the Sega CD games (and there was a Sonic CD!), I gathered what we had and went to check out. (I also found a Slipknot video along the way which was a sign from above this lot was meant for me!) I paid $20, which was $1.50 too much, and grabbed another couple movies on the way out. I was stoked! In the end, all the games were in mint condition with no cracks on the plastic (except for one) and I was pleased! My only regret was there was a Sonic & Knuckles cart and I didn’t realize $2 was a good price for it and just left it there. Oops.
At the end of the day, I’d spent about $28 and found quite a lot! To top it off, I resold the GBA (I already have 3) and it ended up paying for everything I’d bought! ZERO. SUM.
I’m not sure what I’ll do with the Sega CD games as I don’t have a Sega CD (nor have any urge to play it at the moment), but I love how they look on my shelf. I’m an excited owner!
I’m already looking forward to my sister-in-law’s community sale next week!