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ddaniels

What's everyone's thoughs on flea markets?

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Are flea markets the best place to go and find older systems for a good deal?

 

From my time spent reading different posts it seems like deals can happen in the following ways:

 

You scope out your neighborhoods garbage.

You scope out Ebay.

You scope out pawn shops.

You scope out Goodwill.

You scope out flea markets.

 

I'm amazed that I'll read how someone picked up a Turbo Duo for around $10 from a flea market when someone else is paying around $250 for one on Ebay. Are flea markets the best way to go? For me, I find my local pawn shops to be a ridiculous rip-off, Goodwill never has anything gaming related, Ebay is hit and miss and scoping out the garbage in my area would be awkward (the garbage pickup is placed in front of the house).

 

Does anyone know of decent flea markets in the Chicago area? I will be visitng that area in a few weeks.

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Are flea markets the best place to go and find older systems for a good deal?

 

From my time spent reading different posts it seems like deals can happen in the following ways:

 

You scope out your neighborhoods garbage.

You scope out Ebay.

You scope out pawn shops.

You scope out Goodwill.

You scope out flea markets.

 

I'm amazed that I'll read how someone picked up a Turbo Duo for around $10 from a flea market when someone else is paying around $250 for one on Ebay. Are flea markets the best way to go? For me, I find my local pawn shops to be a ridiculous rip-off, Goodwill never has anything gaming related, Ebay is hit and miss and scoping out the garbage in my area would be awkward (the garbage pickup is placed in front of the house).

 

Does anyone know of decent flea markets in the Chicago area? I will be visitng that area in a few weeks.

 

 

I still wish Mid Westerners would discover Car Boot sales and do that on a Sunday morning instead.

 

Let me know if you find any good flea markets in the Chicago area.

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Flea Markets is great! Last summer I picked up a complete Intellivision system,12 games,these neat joystick add-ons that clip onto the horrible control disc and a woodgrain storage case with the skoke pastic lid all for $15. A little high mind you but I don't think it was a bad deal.

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My local flea market has a vectrex system (with box) and no games for $200. i'd say flea markets are past their prime when it comes to deals (here anyways).

Ebay is still ok if the timing is right or if there is some other circumstance (i.e. spelling error on listing) where the auction falls under the radar.

Pawn shops, hmm . The ones ive been to still charge 15 to 20 bucks for average n64 titles.

Goodwill is still good if you luck out and find something that is not broken to begin with. And the people who get the most out of thrift shops seem to frequent them way more than i have the time for.

Digging through garbage, ya, more power to those that do it but i just wont go there`.

 

 

cheers

Lee

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Try and find local classic gaming shops. You can find some amazing deals sometimes. While at a Play-N-Trade near me I got a Master System 10 games and 2 controllers for $30. Not bad considering there were less than 10,000 sold here on Long Island. It's rarity shows now that I can't find any damn games.

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Flea markets are definitely hit or miss, but I think they're fun even if you don't find anything. There are usually some hilarious items to laugh at (such as a wide selection of mexican wrestling masks at my local flea market).

 

The best deal I got was Metal Warriors for SNES, which is a $50 cart or so, for $15. It was funny because it was tagged for $20 but I haggled him down to $15, knowing fully well that $20 was already a steal. Very fun game too. Though I would've found it hard to pay $50 for it.

 

The majority of the video games sold at our flea market are sold by dealers who have their own booth/tent. Two of them overcharge, one of them has nearly no space to walk in plus he has teenage employees who are paid to stand in your way and watch you (well I think they're probably supposed to get the hell out of the way but they just stand there right in front of the games I'm looking at), so it kinda sucks trying to buy from them. Also, since it's $3 for parking at my flea market that means that I need to buy something and save more than $3 in order to make it worth my while, which, believe it or not, can be difficult to do when it comes to games.

 

Overall though I think that flea markets are a fun thing to do on a sunny day (my girlfriend disagrees).

 

-Adam

 

Edit:

Out of all the places you listed in your initial post, I think that flea markets are your best bet. You'll always have a chance that someone randomly decided to get a booth and then brought along their rare games that they know nothing about. Goodwill and pawn shops are always cleaned out of classic games that don't suck...which has been true my entire life actually, especially for Goodwill.

 

Ebay is pricey unless you get lucky and A) find something nobody cares about or B) there's a misspelling in the listing or something along those lines.

 

My favorite is craigslist, personally. I go on there several times per day and click on the Games/Toys section. I once got a PSX bundle for $30 that was essentially unused, came with a mint Intelligent Qube ($50 game and extremely fun), Bubble Bobble/Rainbow Islands ($30 game, Time Crisis with gun, Area 51 with different gun, and about 15 other games. I got really lucky because I saw his ad 4 minutes after he posted it. Man was that hilarious. He said, "I JUST posted that! I didn't even get a chance to put up the pictures of the memory cards!", and I said to him, "Well, now you don't need to".

Edited by KIWASABI

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flea markets fall into a few different categories. Temporary or permanant location--and then there are the different focuses--used crap, chinese new stuff, or crafts. I like the temporary location, used crap type myself. Since things have to be hauled, there's fewer 'time wasting' booths, and items are priced to move since nobody wants to carry that stuff back...

 

what's considered 'in the area' of chicago? seems like columbus, wi had a helluva 'permanant building' old crap flea market... Useless aside from coinop stuff though.

but my favorite flea market happens once a year at the rock river Thresheree in Helenville.

neither are 'walking distance' from chicago, and I haven't seen them in like 7 years so your mileage may vary...

Edited by Reaperman

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The closest one to me is an indoor one where the sellers basically set up shop and aren't in a rush to sell anything, so the prices there for games are a bit high for common games. Really nothing special there.

 

The other Flea Market is worse. Its outdoors and I haven't seen any Atari or NES there in YEARS! I guess there might be a day I find something at the outdoors one but I'm not counting on it :/

Edited by Ryanw

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The flea market here is only okay, they rarely have anything that's not beater. I got a Double Dragon for NES for a dollar once, but the thing was all scratched up and the label was just white torn paper.

 

I managed to get a Master System with three games for $20, everything worked and after I got the dirt off of it it looked pretty good. That was my major score.

 

A notable computer score was an Epson HX-20 for $10, and it was near new in the carry case. But that's vintage computer.

 

Most of the time El Paso flea markets are totally dry, and the stores all sell very high.

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There aren't enough just-people-with-their-junk outdoor flea markets anymore, at least around here. There are several indoor ones that have permanent booths... each has somebody that sells games, but usually there aren't any really great deals. There's one that has a ridiculous amount of stuff, but mostly at eBayish prices. At least you can haggle with him, though, and his giant bin of 2600 commons is a good place to look for label oddities.

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There aren't enough just-people-with-their-junk outdoor flea markets anymore, at least around here. There are several indoor ones that have permanent booths... each has somebody that sells games, but usually there aren't any really great deals. There's one that has a ridiculous amount of stuff, but mostly at eBayish prices. At least you can haggle with him, though, and his giant bin of 2600 commons is a good place to look for label oddities.

Yeah same here. There are flea markets, but most are indoor and have permanent booths with outrageous prices (wow a $10 pac-man...). In the summer you get SOME outdoor people, but then it's mostly Genesis and up type stuff. The last classic gaming item I saw at a flea market was a boxed Intellivision ECS unit that I picked up. It was stuck in the middle of a tarp filled without auto parts for some reason. Thankfully there's no mistaking that bright pink box.

 

Tempest

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You got to be consistent, with Flea Markets. A lot of people go, at 9 am once, not find anything, and say it sucks. I go about 3 to 4 times a month, and get up at 4 am, with a flash light. I have found a lot of games. Mint NES System, Cherry Box $15 Super NES Cherry Box $20, Odyssey Shot Gun W Box, 100 of Loose Colecovision and Atari Games, Just to name a few. No Giant hauls, on games Yet. It is a little easier for me. I buy a lot of different Items for Resale. Now Comics and Toys, That's different Story. I have paid a $1 for items I have Sold in the Hundreds. :-D

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Most of my genesis, snes and nes games came from flea markets. Lately though prices seem to be going up. Its better than play n trade that is for sure.

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I lived in the Chicagoland area for the first 27 years of my life. My father started dragging me around flea markets since I was five years old. I'm 37 now and I still get up every Sat / Sun or combo of both at 6am to go to the flea. Believe me, it's worth it! The midwest is slammed with flea markets / swap meets. But you have to find a good one to go to and hit it religously and EARLY... People get up early to buy games and system and throw them up on ebay, you have to BEAT THEM TO IT! Or there is the alternative of paying tons of money on ebay for it, when you could have had it for alot less. It's a sacrifice, sleep vs games. But how important is it...

 

As for pawn shops / ebay (as you know sometime complete ripoffs). Yard sales are just as good as flea markets. Very cheap prices, but you have to scope out ads earlier in the week, map out the yard sales and hit them really early. I've even found arcade games at yard sales that are a part of my collection.

 

Still, there is always craigslist which is like a virtual flea market / yard sale. Once again, it's persistance, you have to hit it each and every day several times a day for the specific items you are looking for and nailing them... Hope this helps...

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Flea Markets rock. I'm eagerly anticipating the flea season (around here it starts in late march) this year.

 

3 of my systems came from fleas. 5200, 7800 & Inty.

 

Prices are hit or miss. Sometimes you'll go by a booth with an NES for $100. But most times (as was the case with the 3 aformentioned systems) they float around the $35 range & usually come with some games, 2nd party controllers &, if your lucky, original box. In between finding gaming stuff, I flip through the dozens of boxes of LPs (you can find some really obscure stuff) & comic books scattered thoughout. Fleas are the "final frontier" for finding great deals on classic comics. Last year I found a stack of "Tomb of Dracula"s & one of them was the 1st appearance of Blade! VG/F condition for $3!! :D

 

Peace

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You got to be consistent, with Flea Markets. A lot of people go, at 9 am once, not find anything, and say it sucks. I go about 3 to 4 times a month, and get up at 4 am, with a flash light. I have found a lot of games. Mint NES System, Cherry Box $15 Super NES Cherry Box $20, Odyssey Shot Gun W Box, 100 of Loose Colecovision and Atari Games, Just to name a few. No Giant hauls, on games Yet. It is a little easier for me. I buy a lot of different Items for Resale. Now Comics and Toys, That's different Story. I have paid a $1 for items I have Sold in the Hundreds. :-D

 

 

where i come from, 9 is a great time, otherwise people are not set up.

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I've been getting my fleas wholesale for the last few years. There's no going back. :)

 

Seriously though, most of the flea markets around here are permanent installations filled with booths that are really mini-businesses and the classic video games and computers are grotesquely overpriced (worse that eBay, if you can believe it). The only surprises and deals to be found are at car boot (aka garage aka lawn) sales. It's brutal getting up at 6am on Saturday mornings in the spring but I almost always find something neat for a decent price. I've noticed that some people ask huge amounts for their stuff (can't blame them for being optimistic). Generally they're more than willing to drop their prices if you chat with them. Last year I came across an Intellivision with a huge amount of games. While the starting price was $100, the seller didn't seem unhappy with the $20 she finally agreed to. It worked too.

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Depends on where you are I suppose.

 

Near me there's hardly anything at all anymore. One fleamarket this guy sells video games, he told me he goes around early looking for the video games before most people get there.

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I've had some great deals at flea markets... I'd even go so far as to say they're currently the best "non-store" method of collecting. That said, I don't have the time or the gas to be hitting the fleas like I used to... so I stick to more mainstream game shops.

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Over here, we call them 'car boot sales' (or 'car booters' for short)...havent seem much in the way of anything pre nes/sms though, as the ones i go to seem to mostly do anything non atari

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The only one I've been to here is Flea World - which has several game dealers. They're more like stores, though, not impromptu booths people have set up with cheap stuff. That said, I have found good deals on some games. Nothing earth-shattering, but better than eBay. Plus, it's about the only place to find classic gaming stuff. I haven't found anything at garage sales here.

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What's everyone's thoughs on flea markets?

People who go to a market to buy fleas are stupid. Just catch a stray dog and you can have all of the fleas you want for free. Once you're done collecting the fleas, whack the dog over the head, skin him, gut him, and have dog steaks for dinner. Free food and fleas! It doesn't get any better than that!

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I must have spent about $300 on flea markets this year. Ironically I don't have any consoles from this generation. Whatever, I pretty much got 10 consoles for the price of less than 1.

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I used to love to go to the flea markets. I've found some great carts at varous fleas like a boxed Music Machine (how is that box Marco :), color bar generator, and others. I don't have the time to go now (work & kids) and when I do I generally don't find anything that I need or it's market priced. I don't think it's necessarily overpriced, it's just too bad the fleas have caught up with the market. Anyhow, I rarely go anymore but I still have a good time when I do.

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