The Unabridged Adventures in Flea Marketing: Volume III
So, where were we?
The deal. Part 1.
Shall we move onto…
The Deal – Part 2
When we were last with our hero, he was faced with a very difficult decision.
Here it is, the game you’ve been looking for. Lost Vikings 2. With box and instructions. I mean, where else are you going to find this? And at $60??
You don’t care about the other games…even Super Bomberman. But the one game. The one with the power to bring Lost Vikings 2 from $70 to $60…
I had never played it before because it never worked.
But by some means of wizardry, the vendor brought it back from the dead. Seeing it before my eyes, I was intrigued.
And $60. That’s a lot of dough to lay down, a lot of bread to slice, a lot of pizza to chew. Can I really be so reckless with the precious coin I have saved up?
These questions rattled around in my head for quite some time. Just as I was on the cusp of yes, my brain screamed at me:
“Really?? You’re going to blow $60 on one game??”
“Sorry,” I told the man. “I’ll have to think it over this week. I may be back next week though.”
And that was that.
Sooo, I went home and thus ended my day.
But this entry isn’t over. A new day in flea marketing is afoot, and while some dreams must be put to bed, others won’t fall asleep. Now, without further ado, let us begin our continued adventures with The Unabridged Adventures in Flea Marketing: Volume III!
Chapter 1: Wait…I Had a Gift Card??
Yup. I was packing heat in the form of a VISA gift card. And you know what? Had I remembered while I was there, you bet your ass that game would have been sold faster than a tardy Superman on his way to a hot date with Lois Lane.
But oh well, life goes on. I meant it when I said I’d be back. And since I recalled this ace up my sleeve, I had everything I needed to make the deadly purchase.
In the meantime, I’d spend the week gathering as much trade fodder as I possibly could to finesse the price a little more in my favor.
Chapter 2: The Stack
“Wait, wait, hold on a second…you mean to tell me you have a stack of PlayStation and PS2 games you’re willing to give me..? For free?” said I.
“They’re all yours,” said he.
A co-worker had some games he wanted off his hands, and I just so happened to need more trade bait.
You can only imagine the grand fantasies that played out in my head:
INT. GAME BOOTH – DAY
Wow! You have 37 games here. What may I offer you, good sir, for this ample bounty?
Hmm, well…Lost Vikings 2 is a good start. You got Little Sampson?
Of course! But surely there’s more I can give you for this fine stack of games…
-Hey, a guy can dream, can’t he?
Well, my co-worker later told me there were only seven games or so. But I still saw myself walking out of there with a clean trade for Lost Vikings 2.
Chapter 3: Devastation Begins
I anxiously awaited the day I would again work with this gentleman. Saturday. The day before my return to the vendor for round two of negotiations.
Saturday morning came. But when I got there…
“So, where’s the games?” I asked.
“I forgot them.”
“Seriously, where are they?” I asked again.
“Seriously, I forgot.”
How could this be?
There was very little room for error in my plan. I was closing that night, and at 9 AM the next morning I was to meet a friend at the flea market. My coworker lived not only too far from work, but also too far from me. How do I pull this off? Is my plan unraveling?
The rest of the night my mind was a boiler pot of thoughts ranging from schemes to rectify the situation to attempts at letting this whole fiasco rest. At the height of my mania I figured I’d drive to his place after work…but then I’d get home at 2 AM. I’d be wasting so much gas, and I had no clue as to how much this lot of games would be worth. I could be driving all that way for pennies!
Finally, I gave up. I accepted the inevitable and settled on scraping the very bottom vestiges of my trade potential in order to put something of a dent in the final price – or at the very least take the place of Bomberman Heroes in this exchange (not to be mistaken for the main attraction, Super Bomberman), because there was no way in hell I was willing to part with it anymore.
But then something bad, yet beneficial happened. The next day I woke up to a text from my friend informing me she was unable to make it.
I was very disappointed, but at the same time, I could flip this around and make it work.
Since I did not have to arrive early anymore, I texted my co-worker. He brought the games to work, which wasn’t too far out of the way from the flea market. I grabbed my bounty (Less impressive than I thought) and went on my merry way. I called up my friend (none other than our regular guest on this show, Frank) who had a faulty game to return to the very same vendor. Everything was back on track. Or so I thought…
Chapter 4: Just Not My Day…
We arrived at the indoor flea market – home of the man with the Holy Grail. Another friend joined us.
When children enter a supermarket, do you think they calmly peruse the canned foods section, followed by the cereal aisle, then the produce?
No, of course not.
They run straight to the candy aisle.
The three of us went on a mad dash through the row with the game booths. We passed the first guy – dubbed “The Scalper” by Frank (I mean, Donkey Kong Country for $50 is a tad unreasonable, don’t you think?). Sure the selection is nice to look at, but you don’t want to touch those prices.
I saw the sign up ahead. We were almost there. But I had a strange feeling. Something wasn’t right. As we drew nearer, a daunting truth became evident.
The lights aren’t on.
The case is empty.
The back room is locked.
He’s not there.
Not there?!?!? It’s nearly noon and this is a flea market. How could he not be there?
This was not a good sign. Could he have packed up for good? Is my gem halfway across the country by now?
It seemed so.
Welp, no use crying over spilt milk. (On the inside I was weeping, of course)
Let’s walk a little ways further and see- Nope! Dammit, dammit, dammit! That swine!
The other booth that sold me the bad AC adapter was closed up too. Second week in a row. They’re probably long gone by now. With the sole purpose of selling a broken accessory, they packed up for good and made a clean break for the border of Mexico.
What a waste. It was all for naught. We decided to roam around a bit, desperately clinging to the notion that perhaps the Lost Vikings 2 vendor was late. We didn’t make it far before we circled back.
Nope, still not here.
We must have gone through this routine about seven or eight times before the hour hand was drawing upon one o’clock. We couldn’t keep up with this charade anymore. He wasn’t coming. We began walking back to our cars, our footsteps heavy with disappointment.
Chapter 5: The Scalper’s Reprise
Our last loop around brought us to The Scalper. “Well,” says Frank, “might as well take a look at his stuff. Maybe he can fix my game.” To the Scalper we went.
We spoke to the man. He told us the guy we were waiting for is usually there late, but should have arrived by then.
Somehow, someway, somewhere along the line I mentioned I had stuff I was looking to trade. He lit up. I said I was holding it for the other guy, but he was eager to take a gander.
“Hey, I’m a collector too, I just like to look,” he said enthusiastically.
But my friends didn’t want to stay. Although disappointed by their early departure, I decided, what the heck. I’ll grab my loot and oblige the man.
I returned with my bag of goods. He looked through and scoffed. Gave me a real lowball offer, then told me the other guy didn’t do much in trades.
This was not true.
I told him I had a deal working with him, to which he retorted “Oh yeah, he told me about your stuff. Said you had nothing good, he really wasn’t all that interested…”
What an asshole.
I said something along the lines of “yeah, working a deal, etc. etc.” My Lost Vikings 2 vendor had knocked off $60 with all I had shown him the week before. Nobody was holding a gun to his head.
I finally mentioned the whole thing with the gift card. In a last-ditch effort to win me over, he swiftly remarked: “He doesn’t do gift cards.”
“Oh really? But my friend used one last week.”
He blew his hand. And I wasn’t interested. This guy was a real slick operator. So I gathered my things and made my way to the exit. Just before I left he had the nerve to toss in “Don’t be cheap, Lost Vikings 2 is a good game.”
Yeah. Okay buddy.
But what he did do was buy me a little extra time.
Chapter 6: The Light at the End of the Tunnel
Now that that’s over, might as well swing by the Lost Vikings 2 booth one last time before I leave.
I had a feeling, yet again.
Wait a second – is the light on?
It is! It is!
There he was, scurrying about in a hurry to set up. As he wheeled his display cases out, I peeked my head around the corner.
Oh no! I don’t see it! He sold it, he- oh, there it is.
Glimmering in the radiant light that beamed down from my lavish imagination, Lost Vikings 2 was waiting for me.
“Just the man I was looking for,” I said with a mile-wide smile.
He returned a friendly expression. I let him know I was looking to make a deal, and he was ready to review my goods – after setting up, of course.
So I waited anxiously. In the meantime, I called Frank to alert him of our vendor’s arrival. With a grunt of futility, he decided to turn around.
Chapter 7: To be Continued?? Again??
Here’s the deal folks…
This is a long post. And to spare you from even more text, I will finish this in one more part. Rest assured, this is not “To be continued,” it’s “To be concluded.”
Stay tuned to find out what happens next!
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