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Thrift Stores

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#1 pacman000 OFFLINE  



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Posted Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:18 PM

In another topic someone mentioned all the Goodwills and Salvation Army stores near him scrap old electronics.

Has anyone found anything in a thrift store lately, or are all of them just throwing this stuff (games, systems, computers) out?

#2 simbalion OFFLINE  



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Posted Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:58 PM

I keep checking thrift stores and keep coming up with a big fat zero on vintage games and computers. Of course, Ohioans are constantly on the move, so it's possible the supply is just dried up from constant moving sales and such. Of course, Goodwill and even our local thrift shops have become snobs towards old and vintage electronics of any type anymore.

#3 KaeruYojimbo ONLINE  



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Posted Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:03 PM

In my experience it varies a lot from store to store. Some places will test consoles and toss them if they can't get them to work. With older consoles though, unless you have a working game and a TV with the right connections, there's no way to know if it's actually broken or not.


I see a lot of Wiis, Xbox 360s and Flashbacks these days, maybe the occasional N64 or Genesis, but nothing older than that. That could be because older consoles are getting tossed, or it could be because there aren't as many left out there getting donated to thrift stores.

Edited by KaeruYojimbo, Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:28 PM.

#4 digdugnate ONLINE  



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Posted Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:56 PM

in my neck of the woods (SW MO), I don't see squat at the thrift stores and it's not from any lack of trying!  I suspect it's very much regional and population-related :)

#5 jhd ONLINE  



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Posted Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:57 PM

I see a lot of Wiis, Xbox 360s and Flashbacks these days, maybe the occasional N64 or Genesis, but nothing older than that. That could be because older consoles are getting tossed, or it could be because there aren't as many left out there getting donated to thrift stores.


This has been my experience as well, though I would not say that I see a large volume of anything gaming-related anymore. There is the occasional original Xbox and PS 2, but even Genesis consoles are becoming scarce, especially as compared to a decade ago when there were literal piles of them on thrift store shelves.  


Given the passage of time, there are just fewer classic game systems in circulation. After more than 30 years, most of this stuff is either in the hands of collectors and/or re-sellers, or it has long ago been consigned to landfill. Systems to occasionally turn-up, but not very often.


Personally, I did donate a (non-working) Colecovision to a thrift shop just a few years ago, so I did my part to help the situation. I'm sure some local collector (or re-seller) was excited to find it. 

#6 Zookeeper OFFLINE  


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Posted Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:11 PM

I don't even bother trying anymore.

#7 godslabrat ONLINE  



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Posted Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:43 PM

I don't even bother trying anymore.

Same. If its of any interest at all, someone put it on eBay before I ever had a shot at it.

#8 spacecadet OFFLINE  


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Posted Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:48 PM

Nah, I think the days of good thrift finds are mostly over, if they ever really existed in most of this country. I'm sure some of it was regional, because I never found anything good ever in my neck of the woods (the NY area) even back when other people said they were.


But these days, everybody knows this stuff isn't as worthless as they may have once thought. The thrift stores near me, if they do ever get vintage game stuff, they price it *higher* than you can typically find the same items on Ebay for.


I think if you get lucky these days, it's going to be at a garage sale or something. Apparently, near where I live there's a flea market every Sunday in a train station parking lot, and I always see people post finds from there on Facebook; like a GameCube and 20 games for like $10 or whatever. I'm always in disbelief when I see stuff like that, I feel like people are making it up. But maybe they're not, who knows. But thrift stores have gotta be over.

Edited by spacecadet, Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:49 PM.



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Posted Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:55 PM

I picked up an Odyssey2 with about 10-12 cartridges at Goodwill about a year ago. Other than that, I don't see much classic gaming stuff at thrift stores.

I guess the best find I had was a Game Boy Micro. That was probably 10 years ago. Now I'm ready to let that go. The screen gets microer and microer every day.

#10 Flojomojo ONLINE  



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Posted Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:26 AM

I don't even bother trying anymore.

Same here. The good stuff gets auctioned off or grabbed quickly.

#11 save2600 OFFLINE  



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Posted Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:17 AM

Rarely ever see anything good while thrifting and hardly go anymore as a result. Been so long, that I can actually remember a few of my last purchases that were worth a darn:

Atari 2600 Pengo, hidden in a drawer at a Salvation Army (late 90's)
Atari 2600 Time Pilot and Frontline at a GoodWill (late 90's)
Commodore 2002 monitor at a GoodWill for $5, but a friend I was with snagged it before I even had a chance. lol (early 2000's)

...these days if you're "lucky", you might see the random overpriced Combat cart or Genesis sports game. Waaaay too many of those still floating around. lol

#12 Silverfleet OFFLINE  



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Posted Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:11 AM

Check the "Thrift Finds" thread.  ;)


That said, it depends on what you are looking for. I tend to find cheap PS2/Xbox/Wii/360 games there these days, with decent scores happening every once in a while. I have recently snagged Genesis, Colecovision, and 2600 games for well under $5 a piece. My wife found a horde of 5200 games with instructions, including two working Wico Command Control sticks with the Y-cables, for a grand total of $5 a couple years ago at a Salvation Army. She also found a GBA SP AGS-101 in Ice Blue for $5 at Savers with the bagged kitchen gadgets. Yes, I usually bring her along; she's good luck!


Electronics-wise, I still see decent audio/AV equipment turn up. Some Guy usually gets it first. I saw Some Guy grab a really pricey Denon receiver IN THE BOX for like $20 a couple months ago, and saw Some Guy grab a pricey, high-end tabletop radio for like $40 with the manual, and this particular one was easily a $200 model on the used market. 


That said, you aren't finding NES games for $0.50 each anymore. Those days are over.

Edited by Silverfleet, Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:15 AM.

#13 teh_lurv OFFLINE  


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Posted Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:00 PM

My local Savers stopped selling CRT TVs & monitors about a year or two ago. I occasionally see them piled out at their loading dock out back when I take the road out, so they're most likely trashing any that come in now. They also are slapping absurd prices on video games. They had a cart of Super Mario World behind the counter two weeks ago priced at $50 (!!!) and it was sold within the day. Any generic 8/16-bit game gets a $7.99 price slapped on it. My local Sal Val still sells CRT TVs, but they're getting pricey with video games too.


But hope springs eternal: There was a recent thread over on Nintendoage where a Sal Val in MA got in several hundred NES/SNES games and slapped $4 on everything. One lucky guy managed to swoop in and buy the whole lot which had some heavy hitters (Panic Restaurant & Bubble Bobble 2).


Edit: That man wasn't me in case people suspect I'm humble bragging (wish it was though.)

Edited by teh_lurv, Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:01 PM.

#14 Tempest OFFLINE  


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Posted Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:28 PM

I havent seen any classic gaming stuff in a thrift store in almost 10 years. Closest Ive come is the odd 486 era computer part now and then.

#15 Osgeld ONLINE  



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Posted Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:31 PM

its extremely rare for me to find anything but "insert generic sports game here" but once in a while I catch something, I got a sega saturn steering wheel a couple weeks ago .... I dont even have a saturn to test it on but it was almost like "darnit, its something and its cheap" so I grabbed it 

#16 ls650 ONLINE  



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Posted Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:32 PM

I gave up on thrift stores at least 15 years ago.

#17 Tanooki OFFLINE  



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Posted Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:18 PM

I've rarely found anything game related after winter closed out of this year.  Days before and in the weeks/months after at a few thrifts I bagged 2 N64s with games, some controllers (cube and n64) and a total sega dreamcast setup with a pile of extra controllers, jump packs, and memory cards.  Cheapest package was the biggest oddly the Sega for $6, the other stuff fell into that $20-25 range but they were so worth it.  After that I've not seen but what people say, filler bs garbage for PS2/XB and GC(sports only) and later stuff and in limited amounts, a few loose PS2s and stuff with nothing with them.  It's been crap basically.  I had found a few PC based joystick/throttle setups and a driving wheel/pedals too but that's about it.  I gave up doing thrifts for games and look for other useful stuff outside of a nice game that may hide within the CD shelf.  I still go a lot but I find other nice things, vintage electronics, old furniture, antiques and other oddball nice stuff.  The locals around here don't bother with shopgoodwill so it's just a matter of drying out.

#18 Keatah OFFLINE  


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Posted Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:20 PM

15 years ago sounds about right. All I see is now are dotcom era printers and power adapters and cheap plastic film cameras. Do those printers work. Waste of time really.

#19 AMenard OFFLINE  



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Posted Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:28 PM

I blame LGR for all the publicity he gave to thrifting... ;-)

#20 x=usr(1536) OFFLINE  



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Posted Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:35 PM

I picked up an Odyssey2 with about 10-12 cartridges at Goodwill about a year ago. Other than that, I don't see much classic gaming stuff at thrift stores.

Funny you should mention the Odyssey2; I ran across one at the local Habitat for Humanity store a couple of months ago.


It had arrived in the box.  That had been broken down and tossed into a trash can, evidently fairly close to when I had arrived at the store.


Five boxed cartridges (nothing that could be classed as either rare or unusual) were included with it.  Their boxes were in great shape right up to the point where they were double-wrapped with packing tape to hold them together, then taped down to the keyboard so that they wouldn't get lost in the store.


The asking price?  $150.  I made some enquiries as to how they had arrived at that number, and was given the usual 'according to our research...' line, which, upon further investigation, meant 'we looked at eBay'.


They weren't very happy when I pointed out that they had effectively dropped the system's worth to around parts value by how they had handled it.  It sat on the shelves at $150 for a couple of weeks, and (I believe) was eventually sent to e-waste.


Thrift stores and the like are more or less a waste of time these days.

Edited by x=usr(1536), Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:38 PM.

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#21 Flojomojo ONLINE  



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Posted Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:58 PM

One look at http://www.shopgoodwill.com/and you can tell how Goodwill separates the stuff that can catch top dollar at online auction versus bulky furniture or clothing that is best sold in the shop.

It's like music, book, or toy shops, I think. Online shops have sucked up most of those, too.




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Posted Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:13 PM

I rarely go looking any more.  Thrift stores around here aren't very thrifty any more.  They changed their mission from hoarding stuff to share with the poor to either giving people who can't find work a job or raising money for some particular cause.


Nothing wrong with that.  The new stores tend to be cleaner and better organized.  If is just hard to find a bargain there.  

#23 Flojomojo ONLINE  



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Posted Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:47 PM

I think that's always been the goal of thrift shops -- to raise funds for those in need, by selling donations. Thanks to the internet, it's become much easier to connect goods with people who want them. That naturally raises prices.

Also thanks to the internet, I feel a lot less urgency about grabbing as many c-list games to try, especially now that everything imaginable has written reviews and walkthroughs, YouTube video reviews, twitch streaming of gameplay, and even the occasional rom download.

Isn't it great?

#24 Osgeld ONLINE  



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Posted Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:56 PM

so... often I get the power adapters and AV cables for the consoles I refurb from thrift stores. I need some now and I got out late so off to goodwill warehouse of clothes, apparently now you got to buy a dope baggie of power supplies for 4.99 each. That would not be bad if they were sorted, but I started looking though them and its like OH there's a 9 volt one with a current rating I need, and its bagged with a 32 volt 100ma plug, a 6 volt plug, and a HP printer brick. 


I had actually a good handful of bag's then I noticed the price on them, like guys I can buy BRAND NEW 9 volt supplies for 5.99 each from a dude in Alabama. and of course no AV cables except for that one that is in every goodwill, which is a 40 foot component cable. Brilliant thinking, I used to pay 1.99 each for them there, at that price I had 20$ worth of them, but instead I left buying nothing. 


I will hit the local church thrift store tomorrow at lunch, they usually have a million wall warts and av cables there for a couple bucks, or worst case go to habitat for humanity here in my town which is almost 100% of the time 99 cents a pop, but its hit or miss if they have them 

#25 Tanooki OFFLINE  



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Posted Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:30 PM

Problem is those stores are also there to help the poor who can't afford to walk into a store and not just get cheap clothes, shoes, and kitchenware but other second hand furniture, so called luxury items, 10 year old TVs and all that.  But so much of it now is being priced against online with shipping rolled into it, they're screwing the needy people the worst.  We get pissed because we can't get a stash of $5 price tag marked set of $100 in NES games anymore, but them being d-bags collectively on all their free donations will even knock non-collectors to the curb they have to go away from a place like goodwill and head for the church rummage sale or less to still find something useful for spare change.  I used to give to places like that now, but it's maybe once a year or two when i decide I'm fed up with garage sale left overs as they're predatory even on the needy at this point which is all kinds of wrong to me.  Mind you it's not on the whole but it's a hit and miss thing I'm seeing with more frequency.

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