Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
15 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Everything Else » OLD BGGBlogs (do not use)

Subject: First Thrift Store Foray rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Stephen Z
United States
Palm Beach Gardens
Florida
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Well, I finally took the plunge to see what goodies I might be able to dig up at the only thrift shop I know of relatively nearby. My hesitancy I admit was based a lot on pride, but also because this shop is located in a ghetto area. These fears were allayed when the lady who pulled into the parking lot before me was in a BMW convertible.

Anyway, I quickly zoomed in on the small section of board games. After looking very carefully, I made no purchases. The only thing I considered was a Rummikub game in a leather case which looked new (the racks were still bound by plastic). Problem was, the tiles were loose, and I didn't have time to count them to ensure everything was complete-- I had thrown out an incomplete Rummikub set a few years ago.

I went back 3 days later, and was surprised the selection was very picked over! The Rummikub game was gone as well as a few others I had seen a few days prior. I remember seeing the following games:

Candyland - gone 2nd time
Rummikub - gone 2nd time
Where in the USA is Carmen Sandiego - gone 2nd time
Mystery at Hogwarts - gone 2nd time
Outburst Junior
Tons of Trivial Pursuit
Murder She Wrote
Life
Cranium Cadoo

My question to the thrift store veterans is: How often do you have to go to these places before you find a gem? We often hear about the gems found, but rarely about the percentage of times gone that something useful turns up.

Overall though, I wasn't cowed, as the store was clean, roomy well air-conditioned and odor-free. I'd go back.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nasty McHaggis
United States
Columbia
South Carolina
flag msg tools
I'm pouring all of my points in sarcasm.
badge
Box next to hand.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Definitely keep going back! If the shelves actually had games on them in addition to the 46 boxes of jigsaw puzzles, chances are you'll hit on something eventually.

I've bought several games at thrift stores over the past few months that the kids have enjoyed playing few times. Sequence Dice, a couple of complete Lego games, the Power Puff Girls game, and others, in great condition for 50 cents each. Not a bad deal, even if the games only get played a few times. Keep going back. There's nothing like the thrill of the hunt!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Vince Bamford
United Kingdom
Brighton
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mb
I visit four or five thrift stores (charity shops here in the UK) about twice a week and actually buy a boardgame about once a month.

So, you need a degree of committment, but it is worth the effort. Among my finds over the last two years are Scotland Yard, Stimmt So!, Battle of Britain (TSR), The Mob, Diplomacy, Pounce (Toilet plunger edition!) and Flying Carpet. I didn't pay more than £2 ($4) for any of them.

Just don't be too put off by all those copies of Trivial Pursuit (and actually, I did buy the Disney edition of Triv for my daughter).

Also, even if I only buy a game once a month I probably find a half-decent book every week.

Happy hunting
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott A. Reed
United States
Lawrence
Kansas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
Good thrift stores can yield some interesting results, while bad thrift stores just stagnate. The key is that you actually see game turnover. Case in point, I frequently make the hour-trip to hit a large-ish thrift store in Kansas City, and I have only come away empty-handed one time. Even if I don't come away with a gem every time, I still come away with something new, or something to punt on eBay for a minor profit. In this last year, that single store has yielded 13 Dead End Drive, Backgammon, Balderdash, Beyond Balderdash, Carrom/Crokinole, Cribbage, Executive Decision, Foil, Go, Heimlich & Co, Hispania (unpunched), Huggermugger, NFL Strategy, Othello, Pig Mania, Perquackey, Pounce (shrinkwrapped), Risk (x2), Rumors, Stop Thief!, Stratego (x3), Take it Easy, Trump - The Game (Unpunched), Word Mastermind (unpunched). I have also found some nice books and a nice cast-iron pan.

On the same token, a shop just down the street (which probably gets fewer donations due to the proximity to the larger store) has yielded only Loopin' Louie and Leisure-time Bowling in the same period, and frequently has the same tired copies of Outburst! Junior, Outdoor Survival, and Wheel of Fortune. But that's not to say you should never go to the shop that never seems to have anything... I hit one shop recently that has never yielded much for me an found a brand-new copy of Cityscape in the shrinkwrap for $3.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bryan Rankin
United States
Roswell
Georgia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
I have never hit on a big score like those described by koldfoot, but I find a steady trickle of worthy games, including Daytona 500, Liar's Dice, Twixt, Sleuth, Enchanted Forest, Which Witch, 25 Words or Less, Regatta, Frechdachs, Scotland Yard.

Those ten games, and another 10 or 20 lesser finds, has taken 6 months of visiting the thrift stores about twice a week. For me, it would be quite a bit more labor than it's worth, if it weren't for the fact that both stores are on the righthand side of the road along my evening commute, and visiting both takes a total of about 5 minutes.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sheridan Hortness
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
I think that Thrift stores were much more lucrative for collectors of all kinds for EBay came along. Most people have clued in that you can actually get some money for your old junk rather than just giving it away.

I don't go to Thrift stores because they are too far out of the way, but in the spring I always make the round of garage sales in my area hoping to score some good stuff. I haven't found any good board games yet, but I have found CDs, movies and video games as well some great toys for my daughter (A mint set of Tinker toys for $2). Someday I am hoping to stumble onto a copy of Axis and Allies. Even if its incomplete thats OK because I just want to suplmenet my current copy.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ed Sherman
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmb
Mmmmm...thrift stores...
Ditto on what others have said. Some stores get better stuff than others -- you just get a feel for it over time.

The key is to go regularly -- the best is if there's a store you can hit on your lunch hour or on the way home from work. As you've already seen, stuff -- even lousy stuff -- generally doesn't sit around long. (My philosophy is to grab anything that looks interesting and if I don't want it or can't trade or sell it, it goes back in the donation bin. I've passed on too many cool things to not do this.)

Also, if you go regularly, you may get a feeling for when they put new stuff out. Nothing's cooler than getting first crack at stuff.

It's kind of a rush -- you'll go for two weeks and see nothing, and then one day you'll find something really cool.

Lately (last week or two) I've found 80's Trivial Pursuit, King Oil, Master Labyrinth, Avalon Hill's History of the World...I wish I had kept track of everything I've found over time.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Foodgeek
United States
Arlington
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
Well, I was lucky with my first thrift store visit. I visited an upscale thriftstore (as far as thrift stores go) as got sealed copies of Candidate and Acquire for $8 each. They sold on ebay for $25 and $27. That shop still has a sealed game called Morse Code 2 for more money (it goes by another game, and i think its a wargame) but it isn't even rated (although it is listed.) I've hit many shops since that and other than that...I haven't found much of use. I have found a lot of games, most of which turn out to be really poorly rated or unkown. 25 words are less would have been an exception if i took it...but it wasnt my thing.

I was also given a bunch of old games, including a couple of wargames, at leats one of which was from a thriftshop. I don't actually play wargames, so i wouldn't have picked them up in a thriftshop.

One store had odd things like a Birdwatching boardgame.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Thorp
United States
Granite Falls
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
"Come on! Come on! Come and get it, baby! Come on! I don't got all day! Come on! Come on! Come on you bastard! Come on, you too! Oh, you want some of this? "
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Where not to go
Don't bother with the Thrift Stores in WA state. I NEVER find anything there. That's right. Never.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stephen Z
United States
Palm Beach Gardens
Florida
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Frequency of visit
Yeah, I wish I could go more often...unfortunately the one I did find is a bit out of my way, but not ridiculously so. I'll keep at it in hopes of finding a gem.

Twice a week is quite a time commitment though unless the shop is nearby or on a commute, which it isn't for me. Of course, I guess the hardcore thrift-shopper would chalk the time commitment up to "thrill of the hunt". meeple

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark McEvoy
Canada
Mountain
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
How often do you have to go to these places before you find a gem? We often hear about the gems found, but rarely about the percentage of times gone that something useful turns up.

Hard to define where "Worthwhile Find" stops and "Gem" begins. Would I consider Samurai Swords, Set, Code 777, Can't Stop, Conspiracy, Word Thief, Inside Moves, and Enchanted Forest to be "Gems"? Maybe not when I've seen others mention finding rarities (like Broadsides...), new-in-shrink German games, etc. But I'm happy I found them. I'm also one who's generally happy to find any game that has nice bits or what looks like an interesting mechanism (or, at least, one that makes me wonder 'How did they handle that?') - games like Trippples, High Hand, Sharp Shooters, Last Chance, 15 Love, Skirrid, Input. I also like getting some 'vintage editions' of familiar games - I've got two nice old Diplomacy sets and a Risk set, all of which are older than I am.

I also tend to get some games simply to cannibalize their parts for my own experiemental game designs. Buy a set of Probe (the one with cards) for a bunch of letter-cards usable in all sorts of word games, Othello for nice dense two-tone flippable discs, Sharp Shooters for oodles of dice and some mediumweight poker chips with molded denominations...

I try to hit my one closest-to-my-workplace thrift store once a week or so (it's also the store that seems to have the greatest number of games and the highest turnover). I try to hit the larger but less local thrift stores once a month if I can, every two months at worst. The stores I've flagged as low-boardgame-content, I may check into every six months to see if their tendencies have changed - none ever have, bad boardgame thrift stores stay bad boardgame thrift stores.


One thing to note: suburban thrift stores are waaaay better than urban thrift stores. Thrift stores near commercial districts and highrise apartments are usually devoid of board games, while those near suburban housing tend to be a better bet.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brad Miller
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Depends on what a gem is
I'd say I find a real "gem" once in about 50 visits or so, maybe 75. Now something that I can resell, probably more like once every 10 visits or so. Really seems to come in waves. And of course, I often think something has resale value, only to have it sit on my shelves for a couple of years before it actually draws any interest.angry

But when you do show up, right after someone's mother donated their old AH collection, man now that is sweet. But if there aren't a lot of thrift stores in your vicinity, and they're not right on your way home or something, you'll be spending a lot of time finding nothing but Clue Jr.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nate Sandall
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
And once you find a good thrift store, don't tell! Keep it a secret and keep hitting it frequently. If you keep cleaning it out the other people who shop for boardgames there wont get as lucky and may not shop there as often so you get lucky more!

Also, take chances on titles you haven't heard of. If you're only out a couple bucks it's worth the chance. And you really can't go wrong getting anything with lots of cardboard pieces or plastic pieces if it's cheap - especially wargames!

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jennifer Stone
United States
Sedro-Woolley
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
To all my geekfriends, I know I haven't been around much lately, but BGG is still my homepage and everyone is still in my heart everyday. Just so damn busy!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
Don't bother with the Thrift Stores in WA state. I NEVER find anything there. That's right. Never.


And you can say never, again, 'cause he's correct!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.