It's a ritual I always observe when I go to Value Village, which is basically a thrift store chain that resells used household goods, including electronics. It was a main supply of retro consoles for my collection in the 90s, but it's exceedingly rare to encounter good video game items of any kind over the last couple of years. There's never a hint of PS3, usually a couple of crapped out XBoxes, and a never ending supply of Wii Fit boards it seems. I suppose people are selling on eBay, or the Value Village sorters are scooping the better items.
Anyway, I was in for a shock yesterday when I spotted a Sega Master System, a system I still don't own, behind the counter - it seems some items are randomly placed behind this area, where you need to get someone's attention to retrieve the item off the shelf for a closer sale. You'd think it would apply to exceedingly rare items, but I've seen generic Xbox games there, so there seems to be no rhyme or reason. Seeing the SMS, I ask to have a closer look. It was in pretty dismal condition, some wear, a single cart, came with power supply and TV hook-up, but no controllers to be found. The affixed price was 61 pounds ($100 Cdn), which qualifies it as one of the most expensive items in the store. Needless to say, my initial excitement was quickly deflated. Looks like someone saw "retro", checked eBay and slapped on a collector's price without batting an eyelash. Sigh. I haven't collected seriously in a while, maybe that's the going rate, which is still depressing to a cheapskate like myself.