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When did you start going to flea markets for video games?


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#1 8th lutz OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 15, 2008 10:57 PM

I started back in the late 1980's. My younger brother and I went to flea markets to buy Atari 2600 games.

Atari 2600 games were almost as easy to find as Nes games were at a flea market back in the 1980's and early 90's.

I was different than most people from my age group at the time. People born in the late 1970's didn't go to flea markets to buy 2600 games back in the late 80's or early 90's.

Flea Markets was the reason why my younger brother and I got over 120 Atari 2600 games by December of 1991. My younger borther and I got at least 70 of them by buying them at a flea market cheap at the time.

Edited by 8th lutz, Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:06 PM.


#2 Noelio OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:10 AM

I got hooked after my father figured flea marketing would be cool for an afternoon 14 years ago.

Atari computer stuff, here, was always very scarce but up on a shelf was an 800xl for $3 & a 7800 for $2. All I had was 5 bucks. Guess what I did! LOL!

The rest is history and I would say I've blown 1000 hours and 5000 dollars since that day 14 years ago. This place is completely dry of Atari stuff now.
The last 2600 I laid my eyes on anywhere was a year ago and I bought the bastard. :)

Edited by Noelio, Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:24 AM.


#3 shadow460 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 16, 2008 2:26 AM

I started hitting up the flea market regularly in 2000. I had my wires crossed thinking Fireworld was the rare Swordquest game, so I purchased it. I purchased a few more games from the same vendor over time. Mainly I went for computer stuff, baby stuff, and food from the roach coach.

Good times!

#4 cvga ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:50 AM

I started going to flea markets around 1990. I first went with a roommate of mine in college. He bought a radar detector and I found a pile of atari and intellivision games. I was hooked. I started going to fleas on a regular basis with another good friend of mine just to hunt for atari games. We picked up a bunch of great stuff (Coke Wins, Music Machine, etc).

Fast forwarding, I've only been to a flea market a couple of times in the last few years. I'm always busy at work, have 3 kids, and my good friend moved to another state. The two times I have gone, there hasn't been as much to find (I'm not big into NES, genesis, etc) and what is there tends to be overpriced or saved to be sold on eBay.

#5 Mirage OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:29 AM

Probably around 1992-4. I had done thrifts for a couple years before that, and continued that off and on since then. Have only been to the sporadic flea market since then, usually when I move to a new area, I'll hit them up, find that they're usually just one or two dealers with overpriced junk, and don't go back.

Interestingly, when I lived in Virginia Beach last year, I found an indoor all-year flea market that had a video games dealer, who actually had a lot of stuff and usually decent prices. He had a bunch of boxed Intellivision games for like $3 each. I made a list, went home, found I didn't have a few, and decided to go back for them, and some loose NES/N64 games. On my way there, some firetrucks and other rescue vehicles passed me... I became distracted for some forgotten reason and decided to delay going back to the flea until the next day. Well, that night on the news, I saw that that flea market had burned down!!!!

Moral of the story: have your lists with you, and buy the games you need when you see them. They may be gone when you return, and it won't necessarily just be to another collector!!! [ note, they didn't have anything super rare that I saw, but still 1000's of games were surely lost or damaged :( ]

#6 cvga ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:40 AM

Interestingly, when I lived in Virginia Beach last year, I found an indoor all-year flea market that had a video games dealer, who actually had a lot of stuff and usually decent prices. He had a bunch of boxed Intellivision games for like $3 each. I made a list, went home, found I didn't have a few, and decided to go back for them, and some loose NES/N64 games. On my way there, some firetrucks and other rescue vehicles passed me... I became distracted for some forgotten reason and decided to delay going back to the flea until the next day. Well, that night on the news, I saw that that flea market had burned down!!!!


Wow, I had a similar experience. Years ago we had a flea market (I think it was called the Red Barn Flea Market) that had a vendor with a bunch of classic games and records. I found some games there that I didn't even know were made for the 2600 at the time (I'm pretty sure two of them were Double Dragon and Commando). I didn't have much cash with me so I only picked up a few carts. I was going to go back for more the next weekend but there was a big fire. The flea market opened back up later but it had changed and that vendor was gone. All of that melting vinyl probably made a huge mess. I don't know if the flea market is around anymore.

#7 fiddlepaddle OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:55 AM

Atari 2600 games were almost as easy to find as Nes games were at a flea market back in the 1980's...and I got over 120 Atari 2600 games by December of 1991.

Yeah, I started in 1982 at the huge outside flea market in San Jose...so big it takes all day to walk around; can't even make it if you try to look at everything. About 1986, once Nintendo became the latest craze, Atari games were lined up on tarps everywhere like VHS tapes are today. Nobody wanted them and there weren't many collectors either. "How about a dollar for these four?"; "OK."

By 1990 or so, I had a couple hundred different VCS games, plus lots for other systems as well. Beginning of the End, as they say.

I've only seen a few other places that have similar huge flea markets like that, such as Oakland, Santa Cruz, a couple in LA area, Phoenix, Albuquerque.

Once you get to the colder places, they have indoor flea markets that are more like antique malls where the stuff doesn't turn over very much and prices are higher. For some reason, prices at these places are sometimes higher than retail, even when you can still buy the item at Toys R Us. I guess some fools pay it. I've also seen the same dusty stack of games sitting on a back shelf for several years. The indoor sellers just don't have the same incentive to sell; they don't have to pack it up at the end of the day and put it somewhere else.

Some of them, at least, offer space outside in the parking lot in summer months that can approximate a REAL flea market if enough people come to sell their junk. Also, some communities promote a city-wide garage sale weekend once or twice a year that is pretty close, except you have to drive a lot more.

#8 Rik OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 16, 2008 6:44 PM

In about 94 when i went to a flea market looking for other things and came upon a boxed blue label Decathlon and Demon attack.This rekindled my interest in classic gaming.Ive been going to flea markets regularly since.

Edited by Rik, Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:19 PM.


#9 godslabrat OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:16 AM

I don't remember the exact year, but it was in the late 90s... sometime after 1996 and before mid-1998. That's when I first discovered the internet and found groups like this one where people were talking about how they were buying old games at flea markets and thrift stores. I was still giving my NES plenty of use, so any chance to get new games was something I was going to jump on!

The town I grew up in didn't have a lot in the way of thrifts/fleas. There was a Salvation Army that I would hit frequently... usually only finding one game, but it was usually one I wanted. There was an open-air flea market, but only once in a blue moon would I find something there. Around 2002, a consignment shop opened up in town, and they would always have a couple games, though not always at the best prices. For $25, I could walk out with 4 or 5 better-than-common games-- I think that was fair.

Nowadays, I don't do the flea thing as much... time is too much of a factor in my life. I've started hitting places like Game X Change more, and I totally open my wallet whenever I hit a gaming con.

Edit: Sorry if I rambled, I'm really tired.

Edited by godslabrat, Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:17 AM.


#10 VideoFever1982 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:01 AM

I started back in 89. That and mostly second hand or thrift stores that i knew carried atari games. One place i remember in particular called "The Second Time Around". The guy there had alot of atari stuff and even some commodore vic 20 stuff at the time. He's long since gone. I miss those days tho. :( That was also the same year i found a complete 5200 system, 4 controllers and 5 games. I still remember the names of all of them too:Pac-Man, Defender, Missile Command, Kangaroo, and Joust all in great shape. It was in the trash bin at an apartment complex i used to always go to because once in awhile, they'd throw something interesting out. Good tv's, stereos, etc.

Edited by VideoFever1982, Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:04 AM.


#11 Corby OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:42 PM

As long as I can remember. And still do today! :thumbsup:

#12 cougar302b OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:18 PM

Late bloomer here, I started around 2005 and have been very unlucky. Sure I get a game or two sometimes, but it seems very near impossible to find a rarity 3 or above. Oh well, there is always E-bay or Chase the Chuckwagon.

#13 Wickeycolumbus OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:00 AM

About 5 or 6 years ago.




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