Wednesday, July 16, 2008

thoughts while browsing in a thrift store

Is there any etiquette for bargain hunting?

When you are looking at several boardgames, is it OK for someone pickup something that you have just put down, but intend to look at again while you think about it? Is it consider greedy to hang on to several items, knowing that you'll buy only one or none, just to keep other greedy hands away? The term bargain hunting says it all -- it is a hunt and the survival of the fittest. Do what you have to do before your competitors do it to you. For example, I was look at the game Tri-Bond, where you are given three things and have to find out what they have in common. I was undecided because some of the questions are generation specific. Not wanting to be a hog, I put the game back on the shelf while I pondered and browsed, then someone else came and picked it up. Evidently careful consideration of budgetary spending and showing consideration for your fellow human beings means getting trampled. Next time I'm hiding the box behind other stuff...

What's with the sealed boxes of games?

If I'm going to part with my hard earned dollar (or four in the case of big corporate thrift stores such as "VV") then by gosh I'll want to make sure I'm getting all the parts in some reasonable condition. I understand the stores want to keep the parts from spilling all over the shelf from uncaring browsers, but taped up boxes just mean I'll either ignore it, or more likely covertly take the tape apart so I can check the contents. I've seen a box of pentominoes that had one of the twelve pieces missing, and the store VV was still selling it for $2 like it was an untarnished item. If they have a reasonably knowledgable staff that can price boardgames from $2 to $10, then surely they can quality check better or price incomplete stuff appropriately.

Where's the really good games?

I have yet to see top-rated games such as Carcassonne in a thrift store. Is is because those games are so good and replayable that no one gives them away? Or so popular that they are instantly snatched up by boardgame-savvy public? Or is the distribution for those games so limited that not many people even have it? I suspect it is a combination of the first and last reasons. I've never seen Carcassonne in my local ToysRUs (though they did have Settlers of Catan), and a collectible store only had it for a little while. I consider myself lucky for finding Amazeing Labyrinth and Numaro (2007) for a bargain.