Author Topic: Fantastic time at a Gamer's Flea Market today  (Read 2135 times)

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Offline BanzaiCat

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Fantastic time at a Gamer's Flea Market today
« on: June 25, 2016, 07:04:52 PM »
Today, a local game store by the name of Ettin Games & Hobbies had what they call a "Gamer's Flea Market" where people from all over the community come in and sell their old treasures to others looking for deals or things that you just can't find any longer.

Here's a link to the pics they posted to Facebook today. You can get a feel of the vibe of the place...it was pretty much like this most of the time there.

I've "liked" the Ettin Games Facebook page for some time, but had never been there before. Usually, it's hard for me to get out on weekends; either I'm working extra hours or there's too many things to do around the house. But this time, actually about a week ago, I decided to go ahead and participate. At the time, I had literally decades' worth of board games that I've not played in...just as many decades.

So I pulled a bunch of games out of storage in my house, where they'd been since 2003 or so.



*(Don't worry, BB - I pulled RISK/CASTLE RISK. :) )

I then had to begin a week-long process of checking EACH and EVERY box for completeness and general good quality.



This took quite a bit of time. During the week, I had a lot of work to do and very little time, but I had to squeeze it all in late at night in order to make sure I wasn't taking crap to this flea market.

Sure, everyone could check it before they bought it, but an organized game box is better than one with all the pieces just dumped in. My biggest time sink was BATTLE MASTERS, by far, but a lot of them had a lot of parts and I used up two sandwich baggie boxes to ensure everything looked good.

Then I realized I missed a bunch of games in our game room. I had forgotten I stored more than a few that I might someday play there, but that was more than a few years ago. So I had yet more to go through.

And then I realized I forgot about all the games on top of my hutch in my home office. A LOT more. So I pulled most of those down and had even more to go through.



To keep track of everything, I used my iPad. Specifically, an app called Table Memo, which created a basic Excel-like set of cells. I believe I ended up listing over 90 games in that damned thing.

On top of that, I had researched prices online to be sure I asked for a fair price. I mean, most of these games have languished unplayed for years, and I really would like to get some of these to people that had time and WOULD play them.

Now, the thing is, Ettin Games lets buyers buy store credit in your name; you don't actually get cash, unfortunately. But, considering how much of a social event this really is, and how much fun it is to meet a lot of new people...and since I'm a game whore (thanks, mirth), the potential of being able to buy a few new games and make room by getting rid of a few older ones, well...win/win I think.

But the prices I looked at, they were pretty ridiculous at times!

For example, let's take a look at MAG BLAST, 2nd EDITION. A Fantasy Flight game that's no longer made (though I think it's made in newer editions), it didn't really seem to go for that much. I found it for about $15 on one site:



Reasonable, right? Fifteen bucks wouldn't be a bad price to ask.

I mean, hey, the copy I have is pretty much new and hasn't been played much. Plus, the buyer wouldn't have to deal with shipping.

What else might be out there? Oh yeah, there's this:



 :buck2:

Seriously? $300-plus for this game?

Ooookay, someone's got a very...unique view of how supply and demand works. I didn't think there was much of a demand for this game.

And oh yeah, there's THIS:



FFG is selling it for SIX HUNDRED PLUS DOLLARS...and still charging five dollars shipping?

I'd laugh but the ridiculousness of it is totally overwhelming. If it is possible to have a reality further from the truth, then this screenshot pretty much sums it up.

Yeah. No, I'm not going to the Gamer's Flea Market asking over six hundred dollars for this game. Not happening. If someone buys this for this ridiculous price, more power to...well, it looks like Fantasy Flight Games itself is selling it for this price.

Really. Really?

Anyway. This is the kind of nonsense I had to sort through in order to come up with my "master list" of pricing...what range this goes for online, what my asking price would be, and what my absolute bottom dollar would be on it. This would be the break point where I decide that it's not worth it, where I'll just take it back home with me instead of get ripped.

But hey: key words, flea market. I think if you're a buyer going into something like this, even if it is a bunch of games, you expect reasonableness. So that's what I was aiming to do...provide that reasonableness.

And yeah, getting all of that crap packed up was something of a chore.

For one, I had to go grab a bunch of plastic bins from the garage and clean them. Not a big deal - most of my games are very clean with no wear, so I wasn't about to put them into a dirty plastic bin. But, it was yet more work to do to prepare.

Time was running out.

Eventually I managed to get everything downstairs, by the front door.



Hmm.

Here's something I haven't really thought of.

This is what I'm driving.



(I mean, without the silver hubcaps - mine are heritage, solid black, but whatever.)

How the hell am I supposed to fit ALL THAT in this tiny little sportscar?

I woke up this morning and probably should have taken a shower AFTER I loaded the car. Not to be gross, but (heh-heh), it was BEFORE 0800 here when I loaded my car up, and it felt like it was easily over 90 degrees. I sweat like R. Kelly in an elementary school car rider line.

And I left early, as I hadn't been out to Ettin Games before. It's near Kingwood, on the northeast side of town, in case you're in the neighborhood or ever care to check it out. Click here to see its location on Google Maps.

I managed to get there about 30 minutes early; a friend of mine told me to show up at about 10:00. It was about 9:40, I think when someone walked in with a small box, followed by another person getting out of their car and walking in with a wheeled container. The other drivers around me watched closely, then looked around, and we all got out to stake our claim on table space.

You see, table space is pretty ample inside, but there were probably going to be a LOT of people selling...so getting there early is important. However, Ettin wasn't going to turn away sellers...they had tables that they said they'd set up on the sidewalk and even in the parking lot if they had to.

I didn't want to be an outside vendor. Not in Houston. In June.

I found a table and started taking my stuff in.

And kept taking my stuff in.

And...again. And again. And...again.

To quote a recently famous yet very strange individual..."and another one. And another one. And another one."



Eventually I had so much stuff on this table that it was nearly as high as I stand (I'm 6'4"), so it was nearly impossible to organize everything.

And honestly, I was sweating a LOT. Like...well, you know.

One thing i hate is that I sweat so easily. Even though I've lost a lot of weight to date, and even though one day in my distant past I was a lot thinner, I've never been without the prolific production of pore vomit. My t-shirt was soaked. I felt gross. I even mentioned it to the other sellers, politely, to be sure I wasn't stinking like a west Texas gas station bathroom.

Fortunately I was good.

And yeah, why would I talk about bodily odor to people I'd never met before?

Good question. I felt comfortable around these folks. One thing that really struck me about these people is, they've all been doing this a good while; they all knew each other, they all fraternized and talked crap to each other, like they'd known each other for years.

And I was able to seamlessly do the same with many of them. You can tell pretty well how you're going to get along with someone by the ability to joke around and discuss a lot of things. Since this was my first time ever to Ettin, it was VERY nice to be put at ease like this, because I really am a person that totally gets nervous around new people. I clam up, don't talk, and become as anti-social as I can.

But that didn't last long here. I appreciated this environment a LOT, and the people that were there. It was a good time, and it makes me want to go back again to do some gaming with them.



It was pretty well-controlled chaos in there for a while, after the event started at 1000. But everyone was VERY polite.

I mean, have you ever been in a game store where people are rude?

Well...yeah, I have. Not just the staff members, but the customers, too. Some are anointed with a great deal of self-worth and make you feel as if you're bothering them. I guess this didn't help my nervousness with going to this event in the first place.

This was definitely not the case at this event.

Since the game tables were pretty close together, there wasn't a lot of wiggle room between them. As people came in and checked stuff out, it was best (for me, anyway) to stand out of the way, maybe talk a little with the other sellers, while keeping an eye on stuff.

Another cool thing about this event: the sellers around me looked out for my stuff. If someone asked about a game on my table, they'd look around for me and let me know. I was pretty busy for the first few hours, to be honest; I think I had the largest collection there, but certainly not the best. There was a LOT of great stuff on sale there, but my head was swimming with people asking me questions and me answering as best I could, encouraging them to check out what's in the box, assuring them a deal could be made if they were interested. I had a lot of fun with that, to be honest. I've worked retail before, but oh GOD do I hate retail! But this felt nothing like it, thank goodness.

It felt like everyone was looking out for everyone else's stuff. Don't get me wrong - there weren't any shoplifters present. But just from my observations of the other sellers with each other, and with me, it was great to know people were very cool and willing to be that nice.

It's a little thing, but little things make a big, big deal sometimes, you know?



Because I had such a huge collection, it took a while for it to get whittled down - but whittled down, it did get. I did pretty well. I won't say exactly how well, but I know I did well just because I had such a huge number of games to get rid of. It's sort of like, as I was saying to some there during the event, like a shotgun shot...something's going to stick somewhere. (Probably not my best analogy, but the crazy, wonton insanity of colors, patterns, logos, and boxes on my table was about as random and varied as buckshot on a target. I figured something would hit. And hit, it did.)

Things started to quiet down around 1300, but I stuck around; the event ended at 3, but some of the other sellers began to pack up and leave, one by one. I regret not getting a chance (nor taking one, actually) to speak to a lot of the others while there. Maybe next time.

People were still coming in, in dribs and drabs here and there, and I was still making sales. Nothing huge; by this point I was more willing, as most other sellers were, to part with things for less than we'd hoped to get. For me, I had a core number of games that I really did not want to get rid of without a really good price...but I relented in a few cases.

What it really came down to, as I told a lot of the buyers, was that I really wanted them to get the games they bought to the table. As a gamer, you know just as well as any other gamer what a sad thing it is to have games on the shelf that don't get played. Quiet, Brant. But you all know what I mean, I think. Here, I was surrounded by dozens upon dozens of people that are just as passionate and excited about games as I am, and to see some of their eyes light up when they saw some of the things I had, it was a pretty good feeling. It really wasn't about the money - I was getting store credit, remember - it was also about knowing that these purchased games were going to a good home where they'd be played, appreciated, and would give someone some measure of enjoyment.

Eventually, things quieted down to the point where the staff started moving the empty seller tables around...and after a few minutes of that, even though it wasn't 1500 quite yet, I figured it was time to start packing. I had done pretty well, as I said, and had quite a bit of store credit. It wasn't going to be fun to take anything back to my car, but damn, I had a lot less than I brought in, thank goodness!

After I found my final, total amount, I went through ogling just about every juicy box game and accessory that I only could see fleetingly during the sale; I didn't want to go browsing for games and leave my table unattended, just in case someone wanted to ask about something. I got my chance to do that immediately after the fact.

My haul at Ettin Games, with my store credit, was pretty legendary...and I only spent about half of what I made, credit-wise!

I can't tell you what a good feeling it is to be able to browse and NOT have to worry about price...I mean, after a certain point, of course, but I wouldn't have to sweat about how I was going to afford it. I couldn't go bonkers, and I didn't want to; I wanted to buy a few things that I'd had my eye on for a long time, and boy was I able to do that.

Check out what I managed to get:

(1) A couple of Marvel Dice Masters mats. My daughter and I love to play this game, and we'd been using the mats provided in the basic sets, which aren't nearly as cool as these things are.



(2) A very...interesting game called Impact City Roller Derby!



This is a game about...well, roller derby! Talk about something out there; I'd never heard of a game about roller derby. It has cool bits to it, too. I thought my daughter might enjoy this one...maybe even my wife! One can hope for the impossible, no?



(3) A game I'd heard of before called Posthuman.



Yes, it's another survive-the-zombie-apocalypse board game. But, it's rated highly on BGG (7.0) and one of the helpful staffers at Ettin Games told me it's supposed to be a great game. Also, it's for 1-4 players, so there's solo play. Sold!



(4) The Star Wars Imperial Assault expansion, The Bespin Gambit. I'd hoped to score the Hoth one, or perhaps the Twin Suns one, but this one I hadn't heard of before, and The Empire Strikes Back is arguably the best of the original trilogy, so this one really appealed to me.



(5) Speaking of Imperial Assault...



That's Agent Blaise, ISB Infiltrators, Rebel Saboteurs, Han Solo, and Lando Calrissian. I mean, come on...you CAN'T have The Bespin Gambit without Lando, right? I'm just guessing you can't. What do I know?

They had SO many more to choose from but I landed on these. I also had wanted Chewbacca but he wasn't to be found here; they did have the Wookiee Warriors pack, which I might get next time.

(6) Oh yeah, and then there's Battle Cry! Yes! I'd been looking for this one for a long time, and it was great to find this one. While not the original version (of course, because that was produced years ago), this one has a ton of scenarios in it.





:smitten: :smitten: :smitten:

(7) Then there's the Esmeralda expansion pack for my Firefly board game, which I got a month or so ago.



Of all the Firefly expansions, this one was the one I wanted most as it added another ship and several other cool things. A great find, especially because they only had one Firefly expansion, and this was it - the one I wanted.

(8) Finally, what's the point of buying a couple of Marvel Dice Masters mats without buying a metric crap-ton of Marvel Dice Masters dice?



It looks like a bunch of Doritos bags, but look closely - they're dice. :)


Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Fantastic time at a Gamer's Flea Market today
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2016, 07:05:04 PM »
And oh yes, there's this rather awesome/unique thing that I got from the sellers at the table next to me...



Yes, that's a Pac-Man dice bag. DICE BAG. This thing is AWESOME.

I am a huge nerd. I get that. I understand that. Hell, I embrace it (most of the time). I really appreciated this thing. What I don't appreciate is, I'm terrible with names. I mean, BAD. I don't remember the names of the folks at the table next to me...it was a really nice guy and his equally nice wife...and they had a plethora of good games for sale themselves.

But she had these HUGE bags full of ALL kinds of different dice bags. I wish I had taken a picture of it to share; these are truly unique and are of a great quality.

Near the end of the sale, she had asked me how much for one of my games; as usual I said make me an offer, but looked it up and said I had the game she wanted down for $10. I had mentioned how cool I thought this Pac-Man dice bag was, so she offered to trade it, even though she was selling her bags for $15 each, which was pretty awesome that she'd do that.

I'd have to say that there were easily hundreds of dice bags at their disposal. If you'd care to take a look, Google a company called Blue Cherry Faerie. I think this is the link to their page. I mean, the title at the top of the web page says, "Blue Cherry Faerie Geek Craftery." I don't think there's too many Blue Cherry Faerie companies out there otherwise. There's an email there if you're interested in contacting them; I could not find a product store or page with these awesome dice bags, but at the very least, perhaps contacting them could bring some more info to you, if you're looking for something cool to store your dice in.

I mean, she had a freakin' DR. WHO TARDIS dice bag. THAT was cool.

Overall, this was a great visit to a great store. The staff there are super-friendly and willing to help (and I've worked in comic/hobby stores before, so I know what it can be like sometimes). They were very inviting, too; as I bought the Marvel Dice stuff the guy at the counter (I believe his name was Mike, which I only remember because it's my first name too) told me they do Marvel Dice games on Sundays. As inviting and friendly as the place was, I'm going to have to try to carve time out of my schedule to actually go and play the games I own with my fellow aficionados.

You can't exactly just buy games so they look cool on your shelf, you know?

Online Con

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Re: Fantastic time at a Gamer's Flea Market today
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2016, 07:17:03 PM »
That was an epic post....well done

Con

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Fantastic time at a Gamer's Flea Market today
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2016, 07:23:16 PM »
Thanks, Con! It was an epic day.

And Barth, don't sweat it - I still have your D-Day game.  O:-)

Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Fantastic time at a Gamer's Flea Market today
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2016, 07:23:51 PM »
And oh yeah, there's THIS:



FFG is selling it for SIX HUNDRED PLUS DOLLARS...and still charging five dollars shipping

FFG isn't selling it.  Look right above "add to cart" button and it says "Sold by Any Book"
That's not FFG
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Online Barthheart

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Re: Fantastic time at a Gamer's Flea Market today
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2016, 07:32:29 PM »
Thanks, Con! It was an epic day.

And Barth, don't sweat it - I still have your D-Day game.  O:-)

 :D

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Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Fantastic time at a Gamer's Flea Market today
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2016, 07:37:22 PM »
And oh yeah, there's THIS:



FFG is selling it for SIX HUNDRED PLUS DOLLARS...and still charging five dollars shipping

FFG isn't selling it.  Look right above "add to cart" button and it says "Sold by Any Book"
That's not FFG

Well, my bad then, smartass. But I appreciate you called that out. Not that FFG reads our forums, but you never know. I hadn't noticed that, obviously.

Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Fantastic time at a Gamer's Flea Market today
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2016, 08:13:36 PM »
it's something that Amazon could do a better job of noting when it's a reseller

My uncle ordered a soccer jersey for Bayonet Jr for his birthday, and it was a bad knockoff b/c my uncle thought he was ordering from "Amazon" but was really ordering from some idiot ripoff artist.
The key to surviving this site is to not say something which ends up as someone's tag line - Steelgrave

"their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of 'rights'...and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure." Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Fantastic time at a Gamer's Flea Market today
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2016, 08:19:38 PM »
Yeah, its funny I missed that. If I order from Amazon these days, I make sure it says it's from Amazon and not some seller. If I want to deal with another store online, I'll use eBay, not Amazon.

Offline Arctic Blast

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Re: Fantastic time at a Gamer's Flea Market today
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2016, 03:24:28 PM »
Holy crap, B_C. You unloaded A LOT of stuff. Good for you.

And that sounds like a pretty good store, so that's a bonus as well.

Online mirth

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Re: Fantastic time at a Gamer's Flea Market today
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2016, 04:41:47 PM »
My brain meltrd from looking at all that
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Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Fantastic time at a Gamer's Flea Market today
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2016, 05:00:38 PM »
you don't still have Tank Leader around, do you?
The key to surviving this site is to not say something which ends up as someone's tag line - Steelgrave

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Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Fantastic time at a Gamer's Flea Market today
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2016, 05:11:45 PM »
My brain meltrd from looking at all that

so did your spellcheck
The key to surviving this site is to not say something which ends up as someone's tag line - Steelgrave

"their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of 'rights'...and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure." Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Fantastic time at a Gamer's Flea Market today
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2016, 05:13:50 PM »
Holy crap, B_C. You unloaded A LOT of stuff. Good for you.

Oh yeah, I did. And I unloaded some things I NEVER thought I'd get rid of.

Case in point: CNN: The Game.



I bought this back in 1994 when my wife and I had a board game buying phase. Nothing major...I mean, this was 1994. Trivial Pursuit and a few other games were pretty much the only mainstream things going on. This looked promising. "Looked." It's a terrible game.

Players are playing the part of "CNN news correspondents covering newsworthy people, places and events."

A guy over at BGG named Pete Belli said it best in a review of this game, over on that website:

Quote
CNN uses a simple roll & move mechanic that allows the correspondents to visit locations where important events (like a Barbra Streisand concert... Yes, that is one of the events included in the game!) are happening around the world.

It's rated a 3.5 and doesn't even deserve that high a score. So you can see, I doubted I'd sell it.

Near the end of the selling day, a guy came in and saw it and started laughing. We started talking and he said that he was friends with someone who worked for CNN.

"Wow, that's interesting," I said. I meant it. I mean, CNN sucks donkey balls as much as any other news organization, but a small part of me, left over from decades ago when I wanted nothing more in the world than to work for a news organization/channel, still kind of finds the process behind the scenes fascinating.

"Yeah," he said. "He's an embedded reporter with the Hillary Clinton campaign."

Arg.

Well, it is what it is. I could just hear mirth right at that moment. :)

He thought it would be funny to get the game for them, and asked me how much. I had it for $10. He said yes. Dusting off of hands, done deal, and it's gone.

Still, I thought this game might have some hilarity associated with it, given that the subject matter is 22 years old now. I didn't even break out the pieces; my wife and I never played it and I'm weird about opening games that I won't actually immediately play.

Just goes to show you, you never know who might walk in at one of these flea markets, I think.

And that sounds like a pretty good store, so that's a bonus as well.
Ettin Games is great. It's a bit of a haul for me to get over there, but it's well worth the drive. One of the guys that works there actually lives pretty close to me, perhaps 2-3 miles away.

There's a store closer to my house, called Fat Ogre. It's actually a great store; it's larger than Ettin Games, and the staff is friendly, but there was something about Ettin that just appeals to me more. I think it has something to do with the fact that it reminds me a LOT of The Dungeon. The Dungeon was THE game store in San Antonio when I was growing up, and it just felt more...connected, if that makes any sense. Not that Fat Ogre isn't; I just felt better being at Ettin Games. As I mentioned, the staff were all great people, more than willing to give advice, very friendly, interactive, and they obviously got along very well with their regulars.

My brain meltrd from reading all that

FTFY  :D

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Fantastic time at a Gamer's Flea Market today
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2016, 05:17:30 PM »
you don't still have Tank Leader around, do you?

Yeah I still have it. I'm really surprised it didn't sell.