Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bargain hunting competitors

In the fiercely competitive, dog-eat-dog world of bargain hunting high drama, I've portrayed myself and my alter ego Devon as the protagonists. But for each protagonist there must also be an antagonist. And now, I sense a disturbance in the force. There maybe another...

Devon: What gave you the suspicion that we have a competitor?

Dave: In the past several weeks, we've made multiple trips to the thrift stores. I've noticed what was still on the shelf, and what was disappearing within days. And it is the uncommon question-based boardgames that are moving fast. Take for example the geography game that we looked at but didn't get.

Devon: That was an interesting one. It had four types of questions: geography trivia, capitals, flags, and map locations. I had wanted to get that because of its uniqueness and educational value, but you thought our geography knowledge was too weak to fully appreciate it.

Dave: In hindsight, you were right. That game was gone in a few days. The Da Vinci boardgame was another example, with categories in covering both science, religion and mysticism, and the renaissance.

Devon: The reason we didn't get it was because of the price, $6 for around 800 questions. The question/dollar ratio from TP really have spoiled us.

Dave: That game too was gone in a few days. So someone with a bigger budget is snatching these up.

Devon: Maybe it was just general moving of the merchandise.

Dave: But there are two telltale signs from what didn't move. The standard items such as Scrabble and Clue Jr are still there. Common question based games such as TP1, Balderdash, Pictionary, Outburst are still there.

Devon: So it is the uncommon question based games that go fast. Just like what happens when we visit.

Dave: Someone has the same interest as us. And remember the stack of TP's and the People Magazine boardgame in the other store. They were also gone relatively fast.

Devon: Must it be the work of a single person? Perhaps there is no conspiracy and it is just a bunch of regular shoppers picking up the good stuff.

Dave: If it was just regular people, I would be surprised if they all focus on the same genre of games. This would mean I underestimated how popular trivia games are. But the decline of trivia games seem to contradict that view. And the worst case scenario is that there are several trivia hunters out there.

Devon: Wow, I never thought a $1 purchase could lead into such intrigue and tension.