Pete Belli
United States
Florida
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"If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."
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Florida Meeple

Country living in Florida is wonderful. Orange groves... sparkling lakes... moss-draped oaks... fresh air... no traffic jams... low crime rates... and a chronic shortage of places to find sweet deals on board games! After nine years of scouring the wilderness for vintage or collectible games I thought it might be fun to share some of my experiences with the BGG community.

Even rustic hillbilly folk like us have yard sales on Saturday. There are also a few thrift stores in the area. The yard sales are spread much farther apart than they would be in the city or the suburbs. Our smaller thrift stores do not receive the flow of donated games that might appear in an urban location. In spite of these obstacles placed in the path of my compulsion to buy games I manage to purchase between 5 and 10 interesting titles every week.

I have learned to avoid dirt roads. As the title of this article suggests, driving down rural lanes can get the tires on my recently washed vehicle dirty. In my part of the state there are two kinds of people living on dirt roads: the filthy rich living on country estates because they desire privacy and backwoods hicks living in mobile homes. Unless the sign out on the highway says Estate Sale I keep driving. Country folks don’t have estate sales... the entire collection of Elvis plates is usually bequeathed to a cousin/spouse.

Out here in the provinces haggling is often considered to be rude. On the other hand, a gentle conversation regarding the cost of an item is usually acceptable. Some otherwise pleasant rural residents don’t take kindly to fast-talking hustlers or professional dealers. I usually walk right by the board games and look at tools or something... then I casually ask how much they want for that shrinkwrapped copy of valuable game X which is probably left over from their visit to Aunt Edna in the big city last Christmas.

When I visit the "city" (actually a small suburban area about 30 miles away) on business I hit every thrift store I can find. After earning a little GeekGold here on BGG for creating images many of the games are donated to the nearby Salvation Army. Few of our local residents are knocking down six figure incomes. To some of these hard working people the thrift store is like Wal-Mart and the Wal-Mart is like Bloomingdale’s or Nordstrom. Anything I can do to get more board games into the hands of local families makes me feel better about my obsessive game buying habit.
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Robert Wesley
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Aberdeen
Washington
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oh, I KNOW! and even oft-times within the "Bigger City", then I run across some manner of disproportionate disparity in pricings that certainly weren't warranted, with that usually being TOO pricey as a result! Such as this ONE 'time', NOT at "Band Camp" either, where some fellow had several OLD Avalon Hill "Games" priced for $20 apiece (where these were well-worn from previous uses), and also a copy of an UNPUNCHED Strategy I for just $10! No need to GUESS just which for any, that I then bought eh? In fact, once I returned to my OWN 'environs' here, then I proceeded to SELL the 'punched' copy of that for which I also had, to a good friend for the same amount of $10, as he had coveted this from when I initially obtained it. We BOTH knew that it was well worth MORE for this measly price, yet I just felt that we'd also appreciate having ANY with them and besides, HE also realized that we'd be playing with HIS copy anytime from then on. It would be in conjunction for uses with them PRESTAGS units upon this mapsheet, and of which he had the entire 'series' for those.
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Ray Brown
United States
Palm Bay
Florida
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Hey Pete, where in Florida do you live? Sounds like S. Central, near Sebring.
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G L
United States
Georgia
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Agreed, traveling the rural yard sale circuit can be discouraging. We'd be in great shape if we collected Chris Gaines CDs, but finding quality board games is quite a bit harder.

The only consolation is, it does make it much more special when you DO find something, like the time that I found Keep Cool, a German game about international climate negotiations at a flea market in northwest Georgia.

It also makes me extraordinarily jealous of some of the thrifters that live in more "board-game-friendly" areas or in major cities.
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Travis Easton
United States
Casey
Illinois
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glundee1 wrote:
Agreed, traveling the rural yard sale circuit can be discouraging. We'd be in great shape if we collected Chris Gaines CDs, but finding quality board games is quite a bit harder.

The only consolation is, it does make it much more special when you DO find something, like the time that I found Keep Cool, a German game about international climate negotiations at a flea market in northwest Georgia.

It also makes me extraordinarily jealous of some of the thrifters that live in more "board-game-friendly" areas or in major cities.


Especially Portland.

I'm with you rural folks. It's slim pickings around here.
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Robert Stetler
United States
Unspecified
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philomars wrote:
Indiana seems devoid of games in thrift stores also.
(snip)
Is it too hard for the salvation army or goodwill to count pieces or something?


Having had the "experience" of 10 years of rural Indiana living, with a fair degree of certainty I can answer that second question with a 'yes'.
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Bill Paradise
United States
Glassboro
New Jersey
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You think you have it bad? New Jersey is the worst. Most of the Goodwill stores and thrift shops throw the games out, as they claim they don't have the time to sort thru them for completeness. Then there are the few that do have games, but never anything good. I to am jealous of Oregon. You guys have it made out there. Although I do travel far and wide at times in hopes of finding something decent which is very rare.
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Bill Gates
United States
Essex
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That sounds like too much work. When I'm visiting my family in Florida, I just make the 90-minute drive to Orlando and pick up stuff from CoolStuffInc.
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Vincent Appel
United States
Fairchild AFB
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But then you miss out on those once-in-a-lifetime deals. For instance, I found an opened but perfect copy of HeroQuest for $1 at a garage sale in Beaverton, Oregon once. When I was stationed in California I found somebody selling Arkham Horror and Runebound (Second Edition). They gave both to me, plus the Cthulhu CCG, all for $10. Sure, sometimes all you find is old bowling balls and VHS tapes, but every once in a while you score BIG
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Scott Johnson
United States
Cloquet
Minnesota
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My general feeling is if i live over 130 miles from any board game store, then the thrift stores around here will never have any board games besides those found in walmart. I check anyways, but there never has been any.
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Travis Easton
United States
Casey
Illinois
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scottsnew1 wrote:
My general feeling is if i live over 130 miles from any board game store, then the thrift stores around here will never have any board games besides those found in walmart. I check anyways, but there never has been any.


Yes, but if you're like me, you go there to get some of the games that were once at Wal-Mart but now can fetch some money on Ebay. You get those, sell them on Ebay, get to over 100 dollars, then go to Coolstuffinc.

That's my plan anyway.
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