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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:55 pm 
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Location: Chexbres, VD, Switzerland
I was today in a gaming shop in my region (well anyone from here would guess where anyway) and usually the used or retro stuff was a very small part of the store. I didn't go for like 1-2 years simply because I didn't have time and had other interest, and today by total randomly I passed again just for see.

It seems like now a good portion (at least 1/3) of the whole shop is dedicated to retrogaming. The price tag on retro stuff are just R-I-D-I-C-U-L-O-U-S.

Plain NES cartridges were either 25 or 35 swiss francs. Boxed NES games were between 50 and 120 swiss francs depending on the popalrity of the game.

And there was plenty of NES consoles for sales, all were 150 swiss francs, but one of them (in better condition ? or maybe it was NTSC or something ?) was 240 swiss francs. (**)

I'll let you guys use a calculator to convert the price to your own local currency and have a surprise. Yes my country is overall expensive in international comparison, BUT STILL they are overdoing it.

In my opinion, there has been recently something seriously wrong with retro games and consoles. Probably people realized new games suck, but yet...

(***) I got one of my PAL NES for free and the other one for 5 swiss francs less than 10 years ago


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:27 pm 
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Location: Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
Yup, those are ridiculous prices indeed!

I've noticed that retro gaming stuff has been getting significantly more expensive the last few years. Like most products, gaming goods have an optimal window to be purchased... When they're new they're expensive because they're cutting edge, but a few years later (10 or so?) people lose interest and they become dirty cheap. The problem is that eventually the availability decreases, nostalgia kicks in and prices start to go up again. What was once cheap becomes rare.

I'm pretty sure we're experiencing this exploitation of retro gaming goods right now, everywhere in the world. Surely things aren't as bad In the US, some parts of Europe and Japan, which are the biggest gaming markets and have larger stocks of these old consoles.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:54 pm 
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Location: Mountain View, CA, USA
Regarding NES/FC carts, I've heard stories of the following:

- People going to flea markets (those unfamiliar with the term, if colloquial: open markets where random people are selling items of random sorts), finding NES carts with no prices on them (intentional), and when asking the seller how much they want, the seller goes onto eBay or Amazon and quotes them a price slightly higher than whatever the highest price there is -- and anything they don't end up selling they put on eBay anyway

- People going to flea markets, waiting outside until they open (e.g. 0600 in the morning), buying up as much of other people's stuff as they can, then proceeding to open up their own table/booth and selling the same items with a 300-500% mark-up

- People trying to sell super common/generic carts like Super Mario Bros/Duck Hunt for US$40

And don't forget (I'm mainly pointing this out for non-North Americans): "haggling" is uncommon/considered rude in the US/Canada, including at flea markets, so what you're quoted or what you see on a sticker is what you should expect to pay.

One of the guys who goes to flea markets and has experienced all this shit is Pat the NES Punk. Check out his Youtube channel, particularly these videos:


I'm sure Martin Nielsen of NESWorld would have quite a number of stories/commentaries too, since he actually goes to flea markets in Turkey every year (or he used to, not sure if he still does) to find weird pirate carts and "oddities". Although in Turkey, if I remember right, you're expected to haggle at such markets (I'm not a good haggler, I find it a bit uncomfortable, like trying to talk someone into buying something -- I'm no good at it).

The same is happening in the arcade PCB community, with this added gem: people literally hoarding PCBs (i.e. trying to get as many of one kind (particular game, particular company, particular series)) with no intention of playing them / using them, the sole goal being to create a niche market where they're one of an elite few who has a particular PCB just so they can sell them for super high prices in the future. They won't send the boards to MAME folks to dump for emulation or anything, just flat out hoarding for future financial gain (or so they hope).

There are also people who purchase retro hardware (consoles, games, everything) with the view that what they're buying is "an investment" -- literally they buy whatever they buy and lock it away in a box somewhere with no intention of it ever getting used, being resold, or anything else. (Similar to above, re: hoarding, but they try to justify it by using the word "investment").

All of this shit pisses me off. For whatever reason the past 5-10 years (well it's been going on for longer than that, but it's been especially bad with retro stuff in the past 5-10) there has been a tremendous increase in the number of idiots who think up ridiculous ways to "get rich quick" off retro things and conclude that somehow they can make a living off of this. I'm not going to sit here and blame the shitty US economy because there are similar stories in other countries, but it seems to stem from laziness. I'm a guy who has all sorts of pre-requisites to work somewhere due to health-related complications (ex. I have to work from home / 100% remotely), but even I'm able to find work. It's a lot easier to just get a job, even part-time, and have steady income that way -- then spend some of what you make on enjoyable hobbies.

I wish there were more people who understood the whole "retro community" concept. For example, the fellow who showed up on the forum here recently with FDS/Famicom problems, where I opted to send him my hardware (including a free FDS RAM adapter), paying for shipping + return shipping out of my own pocket, just because I wanted to help someone. No monitary exchange involved -- the goal was to solve a problem/help someone, not make money. I guess I'm a dying breed of person, one who just wants to help people and really doesn't like bringing money into the picture.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 6:26 pm 
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Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
That and the US economy has lately been climbing out of the shâ–ˆtter. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that the unemployment level is down to 6.1%, the lowest since the third quarter of 2008, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has closed at an all-time high over 17,000.

There's one kind of "haggling" that is acceptable at least in my part of the US: asking the cashier to meet or beat other stores' offers for the same merchandise. I get away with it even in a Walmart.

Anyway, Nova and I were in a Disc Replay store today, the one that had acquired the inventory of a local retro game store that had gone out of business a year ago, and we noticed the high prices of some of the games on the NES, Genesis, and Super NES wall. To what extent does a Virtual Console rerelease affect the price of a loose NES Game Pak?

I'm just glad I was able to score an Arkanoid with paddle at a reasonable (below $50) price on eBay. Otherwise, I might have had to start selling my plasma to afford to buy some hardware that users have been asking me to support, like a Famicom and a keyboard.


* I admit that the widely reported unemployment number is an underestimate due to labor force non-participation and underemployment, but it's still falling overall.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:10 pm 
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Funny enough, I can think of one type of retro game that went down in price: The Famicom Final Fantasy games used to be hella expensive on ebay around the late 90's (especially III and the I + II cart) and now they're pretty reasonable. That's probably because if anything these games are ridiculously common in Japan and were being marked up to begin with.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:20 pm 
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strat wrote:
Funny enough, I can think of one type of retro game that went down in price: The Famicom Final Fantasy games used to be hella expensive on ebay around the late 90's (especially III and the I + II cart) and now they're pretty reasonable.

Maybe because buying stuff directly from Japan is much easier now, with eBay and all. Back then you needed someone to import stuff for you, and these middlemen could inflate the prices as much as they wanted.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:50 am 
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I've always noticed the Super Famicom stuff is always cheaper than the SNES stuff. For action games, I think it's great. I picked up Super Famicom Yoshi's Island loose cart for $8 (inc shipping). The SNES one goes for about $25. I doubt this will last, but I'm getting all my favorite action games for SNES in Famicom format.

I've noticed a lot of Super Famicom games come in boxes and aren't that expensive. Do Japanese people tend to keep their boxes and games in really good condition?

A good condition boxed Super Famicom Chrono Trigger goes for about $15, what gives?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:40 am 
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Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
Quote:
I'm getting all my favorite action games for SNES in Famicom format.

Famicom versions of Super NES games would usually be made by Chinese pirates. For example, JY Company published Hummer Team's demakes of Capcom's Aladdin, Midway's Mortal Kombat II, and more. I'll assume you meant Super Famicom versions...

Quote:
A good condition boxed Super Famicom Chrono Trigger goes for about $15, what gives?

More JRPGs were released in Japan than abroad. A larger selection creates a substitution effect that reduces demand for each particular product among people who just want to own copies of one or two decent JRPGs. For example, where one might buy two Square Enix games in the USA, someone in Japan might buy one Square Enix game and one game that ended up Japan-only, or perhaps just two games that never reached North America. Thus copies of the 16-bit JRPGs that did make it across the Pacific are rarer, and the one Square Enix title you mention is just part of the trend.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 1:27 am 
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koitsu, of course it's great there are generous people like you. This seems a really nice and helpful, cooperative community here.

tepples wrote:
I admit that the widely reported unemployment number is an underestimate due to labor force non-participation and underemployment, but it's still falling overall.

I've heard people many times opine that the unemployment number doesn't take into account people who have stopped looking for work, not knowing that there is one that measures that, and one that measures underemployment. I suspect that you already know that, tepples, but for anyone interested who doesn't I know a handy site. You can look at all the types of unemployment numbers going back decades. For June, the number counting discouraged people is 6.5% and when including all part-time or "marginally attached" workers the number is 12.1%. From October to December of 2009 that last number was a full 5% higher.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 5:11 am 
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I think this is a problem everywhere. Here in Sweden I've seen prices for PAL-B (i.e. Scandinavian) games and consoles increase _a lot_ over the years. Just some examples that I saw today on a Swedish auction site:

  • An unboxed copy of Megaman 2 for the NES: $80
  • A boxed copy of Wild Guns for the SNES: $250
  • An unboxed copy of Mr. Gimmick for the NES: $585

An NES console with one controller would probably run you between $55 and $100. Probably more if you expect extra controllers, games, etc.
I bought my current NES about 10 years ago. It was part of a bundle that included 2 NES:es (I've since sold one of them), a couple of controllers and a few unboxed games. The price for all that was something like $60.

Nearly all of my NES games are unboxed, since people are asking ridiculous prices for boxed US/European NES games. I do have bunch of boxed Famicom games; mainly games that I liked as a kid (Ninja Gaiden, Robowarrior, Journey to Silius, etc) and still play every once in a while. It doesn't hurt that the box art for Famicom games often is much better than for their NES counterparts.


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