The Unabridged Adventures in Flea Marketing: Volume IV
I owe all of you something of an apology.
Or perhaps not, depending on how well this fleshes out as it’s written.
Turns out I took so much time working on Volume 3, I forgot to write the exciting conclusion that is Volume 4. And here’s the rub: this story took place a good nine months before it was documented. I’m sure you can infer from the information I am laying down that the thrilling resolution of this fine tale I have woven…may be a little fuzzier in my head than previous entries. As such, I will do the best I can to recreate events as they happened; however, a sprinkle of artistic liberty has always been taken before, and this will be no exception. We might have a shorter entry this time around, but hey! We’ll see where the journey takes us.
Alright, enough padding! On with the show!
The Unabridged Adventures in Flea Marketing: Volume IV begins with…
The Deal – Part 3
Chapter 1: Anticipation
So I stood there waiting impatiently while the man scurried about with a perpetual look of “I’m forgetting something” etched into his brow.
As he was knee-deep in a mess, trying to pull his store together – a result of his flippant tardiness – his attention was constantly lassoed by hungry customers, a distraction beyond my own means of persuasion. So I simply waited.
He had his faulty cart on hand, counting on the man’s ability to work some of his voodoo magic and bring it back to life.
Together, we waited.
Chapter 2: The Time is Now
His awareness shifted in my favor. I was so ready to lay my offerings upon the display case.
As I unloaded my wares, I was shrewd enough to remind him of the $50 credit we had established the previous week. He agreed (Hah! Take that, Scalper!), and from there it was time to introduce the new players: The PlayStation and PlayStation 2 games.
Now as you may or may not recall, I had some pretty lofty expectations of what value the new trade bait might add. Since those games were not as glorious as I had imagined, I took it upon myself to prepare a handful of auxiliary items (stuff I was willing to part with in case the situation became dire). I was in it to win, and the way I saw it, there was no way I was going home without Lost Vikings 2 in my hands.
Chapter 3: The Showdown
With the previous stack of games at $50 credit, Lost Vikings 2 was down to $70. My goal was to at least bring it back to the $60 mark it was at when Bomberman Heroes (which I had decided to keep) was still in play. But even so, the magic number in my head was $50. If I pulled this off, I could use the entirety of my gift card and not spend a single penny out of pocket. This is the reasoning of a real miser. But no matter. I had my eye on the prize.
The time came to demonstrate my PlayStation goods. He reviewed them with a careful eye and took his usual sweet time in processing information. After several tense moments, he rejected a few games.
“I don’t want these,” referencing the rejects.
Waving his hand over the rest from the PS1/PS2 group, he said, “I’ll give you $10 in credit for these.”
Alright, back to square one. That’s okay, this is exactly where I needed to be. But I can push it further. I called in for backup and produced a few games I was iffy about handing in:
Contra: The Alien Wars for Game Boy
A recent flea market grab for a cool $3. I kind of enjoyed it and wasn’t too anxious to let it go.
Pokémon Stadium for N64
Yeah, you remember this, right? All the way back in Adventures in Flea Marketing Vol. 1? A random inclusion in my Super Famicom lot. Technically it was a freebie, but I had plans for this one and was not wanting to get rid of it.
And last but not least…I don’t remember
Okay, this is where my recollection of distant events falters. What I think I had was a Game Boy Color, which I wanted to keep through a desire to branch out into handheld collecting. If I remember correctly, I bought it for $1, but I really can’t say for sure. This was a while ago, and I truly don’t remember. But for the purpose of concluding this tale, let’s just say it was, in fact, a Game Boy Color I bought for a dollar. There.
I laid down Contra: The Alien Wars, and he told me he’d give me $10.
And there it was. I was now down to the magic number. $50. But…
Chapter 4: The Push
I still had a few items left in my grab bag, and I wanted to see just how low I could get the price.
I pushed the Pokémon Stadium cart in front of him.
“Just out of curiosity, what would you do on this?”
Another $10? Well shucks, it’s gotta go.
And then came the Game Boy Color. Or…actually…
Ladies and Gentlemen, as I’m revising this and doing the numbers in my head, I don’t think there was a third item. The Game Boy Color was simply a figment of my faded imaginings. But $40 for Lost Vikings 2 (complete in box, in case you forgot), with a gift card?
Did I go for it? Is this really a question?
Chapter 5: The Big Spender
I’m certain you can imagine my excitement, but before I pulled the trigger, I asked to look through his assortment of manuals. I pulled three I needed and asked if he’d throw in one of those manuals. He said yes. I shook his hand and thus the transaction had been cast in stone. He then told me he’d sell the other manuals at two for $5. I picked those up as well, and in a show of good spirit I decided to bite the bullet and grab an Earthworm Jim poster I had been eyeing for a while. It was $10, which had discouraged me in the past, but this man had been a good sport throughout negotiations and I was fairly drunk with excitement. Plus it’s an amazing poster. Just see for yourself!
So, that was that. I went home with my prized Lost Vikings 2, a handful of manuals, and a fantastic Earthworm Jim poster, all for an incredibly low price. Sure, I went a little over the gift card amount, but it was worth it.
As for Frank?
Well, Frank never did get his game to work. He returned it to the man and moved to Vermont to pursue his dream of working for Ben and Jerry’s. Along the way, he went back to school and became a lawyer. Although Frank had to give up on the faulty cart, he would continue his search to find a working copy for the rest of his days.
Share This Post