How to Game Hunt at Thrift Stores

James Whitlock
5 min readOct 6, 2020

Ever see a friend or someone on the internet post a picture of Marvel vs Capcom 2 for the Playstation 2, claiming they got it for $5? Yeah, that was me. How is this possible you might ask? Well my answer to you is thrift stores! Thrift stores are places where people can donate or sell their unwanted used stuff to a store. This means that you get a lot of moms who bring their child’s old video game collection to these stores to get rid of it, and make space in their own homes, which in turn means; cheap games!

Before you head out to these stores there are a couple things you need to know. The first is that there are two types of thrift stores. The stores that are chains, such as Goodwill. The second are privately owned thrift stores. These stores will be very different, and have completely different pricing models and policies. Lets first get into the first category of thrift stores, chains.

At thrift store chains, such as Goodwill, the pricing model for most items is usually pretty favorable for the consumer. Goodwill tends to price all their video games at around $4–5, regardless of what system it is for, and what game it is. This means that you can pick up an extremely rare and expensive game for just $5, if you can find it. These stores tend to get a lot of games on a regular basis, and you can consistently find games that are deals at that price. Goodwill tends to also get a lot of system accessories, controllers, and consoles on a regular basis. The prices for these items can fluctuate based on the stores, and who happened to price them, but they are usually reasonable at worst.

Another great thing about Goodwill, is since they are a chain, they have a return policy. This policy means that you can return any item for any reason within seven days and get store credit. This means that you can take chances on games and consoles that look a little beat up, and just return them if they do not work. Overall Goodwill is a fantastic place to look for games, and with a little luck you should be expanding your game collection on a budget.

At our second category of thrift stores, privately owned stores, things can be a little…

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