Getting to Know your Local Game Stores

James Whitlock
5 min readOct 5, 2020

Game collecting on a budget can be a difficult goal to achieve through normal means such as using eBay, Amazon, and other online marketplaces. However, if you are fortunate enough to have some local game stores you may have more options for finding the games you want without breaking the bank. This may sound unusual, but one technique I have found useful is getting to know your local game store. By doing this you may get some help in ways that you did not expect.

When I first started game collecting I was very lucky to learn that I had not only two dedicated retro game stores within a reasonable driving distance from me, but also three second hand stores in that range as well. You could imagine my joy when I learned these facts and I could finally step away from websites like eBay and go in person to browse these store’s large selections of games. These trips would be something that I looked forward to, and my collection quickly grew from about a hundred games, to a few hundred in a matter of months. These trips quickly became a monthly, then weekly, then an almost daily pilgrimage. Every time I would visit these stores I would learn new things about where they kept their items, how they priced items, and what specials or deals they offered from time to time. The point of this article is to share with you some of these tips and tricks I learned from my nearly daily trips that took me months to pick up on, with the hope that you will instead be ready to maximize their potential in merely a trip or two.

Show me the deals:

Dedicated retro game stores tend to have specials for games from certain systems. This usually applies to a certain generation of games. For example, when the PS4, Xbox One, and the WiiU were the current generation of systems, games from the generation that included the Playstation 2, original Xbox, and the Nintendo Wii would tend to have special deals. Some of these deals would be buy 2 get 1 free deals that would be active all the time. Sometimes these deals have restrictions such as only applying to games that were under a certain price, but regardless these were great deals that I could not help but take advantage of. While these three systems were not my favorite at the time, getting so many games for free was a perfect chance to beef up these collections. Before I knew it I had…

James Whitlock Retro and modern game collector and enthusiast. Check out my linktree for my Instagram profile, ebay account, and game list.