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Pre-1984 video game era finds in the wild are a thing of the past

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All i have to say: look at my location, and the fact that i have: A)No car, and B) No job.

All i find? zip, zero, nadda, zilch, NOTHING! Almost always the same junk.

 

Your just looking in the wrong places. :) Yea, a car and money would help though.

 

Allan

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As a matter of fact I picked up a 5200 game the other day at Salvation Army for $.50. I told a guy at work about it and he had gotten the 5200 system a couple of days before me.

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I dunno about you guys but I keep finding a ton of old Atari, Vectrex and Inty stuff here. I just don't buy it because I don't know what they're worth, or if they'll even WORK.

 

That and people ask like ten bucks per cart. "IT'S VINTAGE!" Maybe, but I'd pay ten bucks if it was in good condition, not strewn about. :P

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I was very surprised when I found atari 2600 games at a Salvation army in the mid 90's. Buck a book that was nearby had some atari 5200/7800 games but they had tons of older computer games.

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For a long timespan of 5 years around the turn of the century I was able to find all sorts of 8-bit computer stuff. Atari and Commodore, but rarely any Apple II material. Of course, now, that is a thing of the past. With everyone needing to make a buck more than ever, it's all on ebay.

 

 

Of course your geographic location can make a big difference too.

 

Has anyone sorted through what is likely to be available in what areas? Or just which areas are good and bad?

 

I read in a thread here somewhere, might of been one of the "dumpster diving" ones....can't remember, anyways they were saying that Goodwill just throws Atari and other pre NES stuff in the trash due to lack of interest.

 

One of our local thrift stores has one of those shredders where non-testable electronic goods (and ALL computers) go into. I asked why they do that. They said liability and profit. They get more money selling the shredded scrap than they would if they put the stuff on the shelf. And they want no liability for information leakage or if a product goes bad and catches fire or mis-handles information, i.e. generates errors.

 

They also told me they have a hard time getting anyone knowledgeable enough to test anything more complex than a lamp. Can you believe that?!?! In this day and age I certainly can.

 

 

By the way - trailer park community yard sales are gold mines for video games.

 

Yes. That and apartment evictions and other areas of society prone to addictive behaviors. Great picking grounds.

 

The upscale version of those venues would be estate sales, especially of engineers. There you can find all manners of prototypes and NIB MIB CIB stuff (engineers tend to keep these things nice). I've scored all sorts of nice Apple II material like that. Most of it was like going into a store and buying it new.

 

The engineers that designed or worked with this stuff back in the day have been dying off more and more. And being the social misfits most engineers are, they procreated less and thus have no family members to claim any of it. And if they did, those members probably wouldn't know what to with it anyways.

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I dunno about you guys but I keep finding a ton of old Atari, Vectrex and Inty stuff here. I just don't buy it because I don't know what they're worth, or if they'll even WORK.

 

That and people ask like ten bucks per cart. "IT'S VINTAGE!" Maybe, but I'd pay ten bucks if it was in good condition, not strewn about. icon_razz.gif

 

It's vintage my ass! $10 never! It would have to be pristine, unopened, no worn box edges, and bought from the (now defunct no doubt) department store that was local to where you lived at the time. And it would need to come with the original sales receipt, for that item only, without faded ink.

 

 

Atari VCS carts. Beginning at $0.50 - $1 for the commons and go all the way up to maybe $5 for the rare ones. A decent console might sell for $10 - $15.

 

For the Inty stuff. About the same, maybe a dollar more for the carts and consoles. Something like that.

 

Vectrex, yet a little more. Begin at $5 for the carts and some could top out as high as $8 or even $10! A cabinet in working order and nice cosmetic condition? $40 - $50.

 

Keep in mind this is essentially unkempt stuff that's been collecting dust and cat hair. Price it accordingly.

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I find it amusing that I've acquired my entire collection (with the exception of a few holdovers from childhood) in the period since this thread was first active, i.e. after all the predictions of doom and gloom. And no, I didn't spend big bucks on any of it; outside of homebrews, I've only spent more than $20-25 on a single game a couple times, and never in the wild.

 

That said, my finds have gotten dramatically sparser between 2008/2009 and now. But as Keatah said, everyone's hard up for cash, and video game collecting has become pretty mainstream. It was inevitable that things would tighten up. Even so, I still see Atari stuff quite regularly at flea markets, and the prices haven't gone completely insane just yet.

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A year or so ago I found a box of Colecovision games and controllers at a garage sale in my neighborhood, I picked up the lot for $10. It was an older gyy (60s, 70s?) and he also had a box full of PS1 stuff. Rare for all the reasons mentioned, but it does happen!

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The only time you truly stop finding stuff is when you stop looking.

 

I scored a lot of great stuff the last few years at garage sales and flea markets. Such as the following:

 

- Complete-In-Box Atari 2600 (Light Sixer)

- Complete Intellivision II system with 6 boxed games

- Complete Nintendo Virtual Boy

- Atari 2600 (Heavy Sixer) w/ 2 joysticks, paddle, and a couple of games

- Complete-In-Box Magnavox Odyssey 2 w/ 5 boxed games

- Giant lot of Atari ST computers, hardware, and software (Atari MEGA STe system, modified Atari 520ST system, 20-30 boxed games, etc.).

 

No, your finds won't be as frequent, and yes, it will be more difficult as time goes on to find the "good" stuff. But it is always out there. You just have to find it!

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I still occasionally see Atari 2600 cartridges at thrift shops -- though usually priced at $5 or $6 each -- but I have not seen any vintage hardware in a very long time.

 

Local flea markets have a decent selection of stuff, but nothing is as cheap as it was in the 1990s.

 

I have long-abandoned active collecting, but I still check the electronics section whenever I am in a thrift shop, just in case...

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In the mid 1990's I had the notion of beginning a collection again. When I made a list of everything it was too much and quickly became hopeless. At that point I took other steps.

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It's vintage my ass! $10 never! It would have to be pristine, unopened, no worn box edges, and bought from the (now defunct no doubt) department store that was local to where you lived at the time. And it would need to come with the original sales receipt, for that item only, without faded ink.

 

 

Atari VCS carts. Beginning at $0.50 - $1 for the commons and go all the way up to maybe $5 for the rare ones. A decent console might sell for $10 - $15.

 

For the Inty stuff. About the same, maybe a dollar more for the carts and consoles. Something like that.

 

Vectrex, yet a little more. Begin at $5 for the carts and some could top out as high as $8 or even $10! A cabinet in working order and nice cosmetic condition? $40 - $50.

 

Keep in mind this is essentially unkempt stuff that's been collecting dust and cat hair. Price it accordingly.

 

You are speaking truth except for the Vectrex. I will buy any working Vectrex cabinet you find for $50 sight unseen.

 

I find it amusing that I've acquired my entire collection (with the exception of a few holdovers from childhood) in the period since this thread was first active, i.e. after all the predictions of doom and gloom. And no, I didn't spend big bucks on any of it; outside of homebrews, I've only spent more than $20-25 on a single game a couple times, and never in the wild.

 

I'm pretty much in exactly the same situation. I didn't really get serious at all about collecting anything until like 2009 though. Most of the things I've gotten that I would consider a good deal have either been here on AtariAge or on Craigslist. I've gotten a few things on Ebay for more recent systems like the GBA, and maybe a big lot of Intv games, but it seems that Craigslist is the place to go in my area to find people who actually want to sell something but are too lazy to do anything organized with it. They either give you a really good deal or price it at 5000x what it is worth (literally is some cases).

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The days of finding a golden egg are definitely gone around my area. The places selling old games certainly wised up and began doing the tiniest of research before pricing games. I ain't finding another $1 Chase The Chuckwagon again, but if there is something I want and I can't really get it much cheaper on eBay after shipping, I'll support the locals.

 

I've been doing this going on 29 years now (I'm 39) and have had my share of good finds. I miss the earlier days though when I didn't have much, and a couple of common 2600 games in a basket at the back of a resale shop was absolute treasure for a 10 year old with a couple of bucks.

Edited by Nuclear Pacman

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