Monday, 3 June 2013

Car Booting 1 – Hounslow, Shepperton & Denham

To get a decent collection and not find yourself in too much debt, you will need to sacrifice a weekend lie in and get your butts to car boot sales across the land where you will find people selling their old rubbish. As is the famous expression, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure and that is certainly the case with old computer games. So, based on this assumption, I have started to take some time out of my weekends and head over to random fields to see if anyone is selling any old games on the cheap. My first point of interest was visiting three car boot sales, mainly because they were small and close to each other.

Hounslow: The beginning of my journey starts with Hounslow West Car Boot sale which is situated in the car park of Hounslow West tube station. For my interests in old games, it didn’t open anything to the imagination, only one games seller and he was only selling new games at a high price. This would have been acceptable if the games were brand new and weren’t sun damaged. A very short and disappointing start.

Shepperton: Opposite Queen Mary’s reservoir lies an acquaint gathering that on a Sunday could see a high number of sellers, but unfortunately I went on a Saturday and so only got a taste of what was on offer. As soon as I entered the sale, I saw a vendor who was obviously a re-seller. He had new games for high prices and the only retro games he had were a Sonic 1 and 2 for the Megadrive. I asked him if he had anything else but he said he sells the rarer stuff on eBay. Not going to get a bargain from him. Apart from the re-seller, there wasn’t that much going on there. I found one other Sega game of Terminator, an average game for three quid and surprisingly a pong console called a Radofin Tele-Sports IV that was going for 50p. I don’t know if it works and it didn’t come with any games but I snatched it up in any case. The last item I got here was a boxed DS Lite. A seller had a load of different items and two DS Lites. He wanted 35 pounds for it but I managed to save a fiver after haggling with him. It was in perfect condition and it included the box which is always a bonus. Considering places like Computer Exchange sell DS Lites without the box for £40+, I think this was a good deal.

Denham: The last car boot sale for the day was a few miles down the M25 at Denham. I got there a couple of hours after it opened so wasn’t expecting much and I was not wrong. Only a few game stalls and even less worth getting excited about. The first thing I noticed was a PS2 Slim and a bundle of games where the seller wanted 20 quid for. At the time I wanted to get a bit of a discount because there were a few scratches and the console didn’t come with a box so I wanted to pay 15. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a deal on that one and looking back on current prices, that wasn’t a bad deal. Next I spotted a few Gameboy, SNES and Game Gear games. Only a couple of Game Gear games took my interest with Streets Of Rage and Ax Raiser. The seller said that each game was 4 pounds and three for £10 but for those two particular games, he wanted £10 each. I talked him down and managed to get those two and another game Strider Returns for 10 pounds. Pretty happy with the deal apart from finding out I already had Strider Returns, whoops. Will make sure in future I have a list of games I have so I don’t get in a situation like that again. Nothing else to note at this car boot sale apart from one seller who was selling an Atari 2600 original boxed up with two games (Space Invaders and Burger Time) for 50 quid. I knew this was a good deal as I never see an original Atari 2600 boxed up. I have the late 80s Atari 2600 which is not as rare or valuable as this one so was a bit gutted I didn’t have the money on me. Luckily for me, he did have something else which I could afford. It was a boxed ZX Sinclair Spectrum 48 with two boxes full of games for only 20 quid. I snatched that up pretty quickly as the rain poured down in a split second. 

All in all I had a good day, found some cool stuff to add to my collection that I know would have cost me a bit more if I bought them on eBay. Out of the three, I might go back to Denham because it seems like a big car boot sale where a number of new sellers could arrive at any time, which may mean more games. I wouldn’t go to the other two again simply because I got the impression that the same people go there ever week and so the same items will be on show constantly. The Shepperton one could hold some surprises if I go on a Sunday but I don’t think I can take the risk of travelling that far to find out.

The day just proves that there is always something to be discovered at car boot sales and many more trips and different venues are certainly on the horizon.

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