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Digging For Gold At The Farmer's Market

Buy somethin' will ya!Most gamers know the lure of the used game store or farmer's market.  You never know when you'll come across a piece of buried treasure in such places, such as a rare game on sale for cheap because the seller doesn't know what a prize he or she is offering for sale.  $5 for an Earthbound prototype?  Sold!

Unfortunately, as word of the existence of rare and valuable games spreads outside of the game community to the general population, more and more used games are marked up far beyond reasonable prices because game-ignorant sellers believe rabid gamers will pay $75+ for any cartridge.  What's the real difference between Final Fantasy III and Superman 64 in the eyes of a non-gamer with a stack of seemingly identical cartridges to sell?  PTB reader Paul Palmer ("Toad64" to you and me) recently scoured a farmer's market in search of gold in a pile of plastic.

I inquired if the price of $45 for Super Mario RPG was indeed correct. He assured me it was. Then I turned over Final Fantasy III...$166. Folks, let me tell you, a great game this may be, but that is more than twice what it should be worth to ANYBODY. And let me reiterate that this is cartridge only. He may have a great selection, but you know what? The prices on all of his games are a bit higher than I'd care to pay. I think last time when I came here I was a bit more enthralled with how many titles I was seeing, but this time I was scrutinizing price a bit more, and his stand just isn't as good a find as I'd like. A small aside, while I was browsing, a little boy inquired as to how much the used Nintendo DS was. His answer? $129.99. For the old model DS, not the Lite, and not in a box! Sorry sir, I'm afraid I'll have to look elsewhere.

For some reason I imagine the seller as someone who doesn't know much about video games beyond the fact that some games are more popular (read: expensive) than others.  I'd think that the kind of person looking to throw down $166 on Final Fantasy III probably isn't shopping at a farmer's market.  For $166 that game should be brand new, still sealed in the original package, and autographed by the leader of the development team, not sitting naked in a pile exposed to the elements.