Thrift Store/Hock Shop Purchases

After finding those GameCube Harvest Moon games while yard sale-ing this past weekend, it got me thinking about which other Harvest Moon games I wanted to pick up in the near future.  Magical Melody was crossed off my list, but I was gently reminded of Friends of Mineral Town by a commenter in a previous post.  I had watched plenty of videos on people’s top picks for Harvest Moon games, and Friends of Mineral Town often comes out close to the top in a number of categories.  Conveniently, I had seen a loose cartridge in recent months at a hock shop, but the price there never felt right to me before.  They have had it for sale for $25 for as long as I can remember.  When I first saw it there, I had looked up online prices to compare and they were about par.  I’m of the opinion that if a shop is selling a game for the same price as Ebay or Amazon, I might as well just order it and have it come directly to my house rather than having to spend money driving to the hock shop and consequently having to deal with unreasonable, obnoxiously greedy people.  I could go on all day about how frustrating this particular shop is, but I will refrain from ranting too much.  I’ll just say that sometimes the blatant cash grabbiness of the people doing the pricing is really obvious because they’ll include shipping in their price to fervently salt your wounds just because they can.  For example, right now they have a loose, beat up Chrono Trigger cartridge priced at $180.  That’s essentially the inflated Canadian price + shipping.  I’ve been told several times that they’ll “save me the shipping” when I’m trying to get a price down.  So yeah.  Total turds.  If I wanted to pay shipping to buy stuff in town, I’d sit on my couch and never leave it, ordering things from various corners of the world and eating all kinds of snacks to fuel my spending fury.  End rant.

Last night when I checked into the pricing of Friends of Mineral Town on various websites, it seemed to have gone up quite a bit from the $25 price tag, and thankfully not just because the Canadian dollar is horrible right now.  The dollar has been doing mildly better the last few weeks, thank goodness!  In true unknowledgable hock shop style, these folks didn’t adjust the price of this particular game when the market shifted. At a clear advantage here, I decided to go for it.  As much as I hate supporting this particular store, it’s the only place I’ve seen Friends of Mineral Town.  Harvest Moon games are timeless classics, and I don’t mind swallowing my principles once in a while when I’m coming out on top in a deal.

At the same shop, my boyfriend also picked up an aftermarket GameCube power cord for the console I got on the weekend that came without one.  Ridiculously, for the official Nintendo power cord, they wanted $20!!!  When you can get a whole console for that price with all its cords and a controller normally, it feels like a slap in the face when someone is stubbornly trying to convince you that a single cord is worth $20 because the High and Mighty Ebay says so.  Such good business tactics, right?  After getting nowhere with one salesperson after making him an offer of $5 for the official cord, his coworker stepped in and told him to see if there was an aftermarket cord we could have for that price instead.  The guy did find an aftermarket cord priced at $10.  Instead of coming down to our price of $5, he was now holding his ground on $10 until his coworker swooped in again and firmly put his foot down on our behalf to a final price of $5.  My boyfriend said it best to the both of them: if they negotiate with us on prices that are reasonable, it’ll keep us coming back to buy more games in the future.  Being inflexible is unacceptable in my books.  It’s a hock shop where prices can vary and should vary.  It’s not like I’m trying to get a deal on my grocery bill or something ludicrous like that.  They’re squabbling over prices of things that they probably bought cheap and are looking to sell high.

After that kerfuffle, we went to a much more reasonable hock shop and spent $40 on four more games.  Here’s a photo of everything we found today, minus the power cord:



This other hock shop is locally owned and run.  The owner has gotten to know my boyfriend and I over the past couple of years since we’re in his store every couple of weeks and normally buy something.  We had already bought Beauty and the Beast and Gangster Town today when the store owner rushed up to us and asked if we collect Nintendo stuff as well.  We said yes and he showed us a box full of games he had just picked up that he hadn’t even put out yet!  Most of the NES cartridges we already had, but there were a few things in his bag of handheld stuff that I wanted.  I managed to get a second copy of The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap for $10 after just recently spending $30 on my copy at the swap, and I also got a Game & Watch Gallery 3 cartridge for $10.  We definitely got some first-class citizen treatment.  It’s that kind of interaction that keeps me going back to that store.  There’s some sense of loyalty there, and it really means something to my boyfriend and I when someone recognizes that we’re just out to play some games and that we aren’t cutting to the lowest possible bottom line so that we can resell.

I’m sorry for all the complaining in this post.  I have to admit that my feelings are a little bruised after being given the run-around at some of these places.  I’m getting better at holding my ground and walking away when people refuse to budge, but I just wish that buying video games wasn’t some weird chest puffing contest, and that it didn’t require me to be on my toes to come back with witty repertoire at a moment’s notice when someone is throwing Ebay prices in my face like they’re the Written Rule.  Maybe I’ll try the thrift stores later today.  They tend to yield better luck and smilier faces.  I also have a discount card I need to use.

I also just wanted to add that I’ve heard many people say that the Beauty and the Beast game is on the verge of being horrible.  I’m a sucker for Disney and have Aladdin, The Lion King and the Little Mermaid for Sega Genesis.  It was only a matter of time before I picked this up.  I’m truly looking forward to banging that one out sometime soon.  Has anyone played it?  I’m curious to see if there are any opinions out there.

Thanks for reading!


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