Ah, the Pawn Shop...from the shady, darkly lit shops that scare even the toughest of shoppers to these newer, almost regal shops there is always some deal to be had, if you’ve got the time and effort to spend.
Though I don’t really have any specific Pawn Shop in mind, almost any will do for the purposes of this review. You see, gone are the days of the back-alley deals and “cash-only” transactions as the state has stepped in to actually regulate these secondhand sellers. Cash is still king, but for those of you haven’t seen a twenty dollar bill in years(myself included) you needn’t feel as though you’ve been left out of the loop as now credit and debit cards are readily accepted(and it’s actually safe to use one).
What is the main draw of the Pawn Shop for the bargain hunting gamer? There are actually more than just a few…let’s have a look:
1. Pawn Shops aren’t exactly savvy when it comes to game pricing. Not really using any sort of pricing guide, older games and hardware are almost at a point where you actually feel sorry for buying them at. Legend of Zelda: Collector’s Edition, complete, for $5? I’ll take that deal(and have)...
2. Haggling: Don’t like the price they have set, name a new one and, most times, they’ll go for it just to get the aging stock out of the store. That $80 they want for the Sega Master System is a bit much, but at $40 you’ve got a real deal on your hands.
3. Selection, selection, selection. My God, some of the rarest gems I have ever come across in my retro-gaming lifetime have been found at Pawn Shops. The thing is, in these hard economic times(both present and past) people will sell off anything they can to keep up with the bills...*anything*. Video games are usually the first thing to go too. This gives you a wide variety of consoles and games to pick from...suddenly, beefing up your Virtual Boy library isn’t so tough anymore.
4. Locations: GameStop may be the current monopoly for this generation of consoles, but Pawn Shops still have them outnumbered, and not just by a little. Even in the most upscale towns you’ll find, at least, 10 to 20 that you probably never even knew were there.
5. Trades! Most gaming establishments will generally only accept games and movies in return for store credit. Not the Pawn Shops. These guys will take *anything* and give you some credit towards that cheap Jaguar CD they’ve got sitting there on the shelf.
Though it’s debatable whether it’s right to go about buying people’s dreams for mere pennies on the dollar, it is certain that it makes for good shopping...