Monday, 5 August 2013

Car-booty Episode 1: Don't be a dick

If you follow our Facebook you'll know I love me some car-bootin', every weekend me and the family head out to trawl through other peoples junk in search of treasure. Most weekends will yield a fair harvest but sometime you strike out... its just the way things go...

In fact this article was originally going to be called 'Not another f***ing Playstation' as its the only console I consistently see at car-boots, however yesterday went along way to easing that frustration.

A little business 101...


As a culture we are obsessed with the latest and greatest goods and entertainment media, I too used to have my shopto account full of preorders so I could receive games days before release. However as I have aged I have learnt something you cannot teach, its a little thing called patience.

Patience is a tricky thing to get to grips with at first, due to the fact you always feel like your missing out on something... gaming blogs raving about the latest, greatest new and upcoming games. Its only as an adult have I come to understand new doesn't stay new for long.

On average it takes a about a month for a newly released game to drop in price, the first drop may be small but this is due to a business equation based on the fact that your most sales occur in the first few days of a products life, and then gradually drop down in a decline. The reason big games are so heavily promoted is that that initial push is what makes the real money.

So what the f*** has this got to do with car-booting? 

People get tired of media, not just games, incredibly quick. Most hardcore gamers will finish a title in a couple of days then sell to their local CEX or GAME once they want the next big title. Then that used copy ends up in the hands of a more patient gamer for a lower price, and the cycle continues until there is nearly no 'value' in the product.

No one wants 'Call of Murder: The revenging - part 12' when number 13 has just been released. 

So on a long enough timeline the value will eventually bottom out almost entirely, the people left with these obsolete games and consoles no longer associate a cost with the goods - so they get sold on for whatever they can get.

This is where car-booting comes in. eBay is cesspool of traders trying to sell you an old game at a heavily marked up price, your average normal person at a car-boot is normally just looking to get shot of it. The desire to unload these items is one of your most useful tools when dealing with people.

So now we understand our environment, how can we use this information to our advantage?

If your average family is looking to shift these things to clear space, they don't want to go home with them. In these occasions, more is better for both parties. If you see a handful of games you want among a box of lesser titles ask for the price of a game, this is a great way of learning what the seller expects a game to be worth.

Pictured: £6 total spend.

The situation will go one of two ways, a couple of quid or the current HIGHEST eBay price, this gives you insight into how the seller is approaching the sale. Some sellers consult eBay to get prices so they don't let something go for less than they can milk for it - these sellers are normally poorly informed as they seem to think EVERY old game is worth serious money. If you encounter 'I can get £20 on eBay for it mate', just move along, these people are small minded and don't understand that the high priced buy it now items on eBay NEVER sell at that price, they are snapped up the moment the price is lowered to reflect a current market value dependent on rarity or popularity.

On the other side of the equation, if someone thinks a Wii game of PS2 game is worth a couple of pounds your probably on to a good deal.

As I mentioned earlier these sellers simply want to empty their homes of shit they don't use. It has little or no value to them, they are one step away from binning it. This is good for us because the more we take off their hands, the better they feel about the transaction because with every item you buy you are helping them meet their objective.

Pictured: £3.50 total spend

If you find yourself in this situation grab a bunch of games and make a reasonable offer based on the price for one game, I normally go with between 60% to 75% of the original price of a single title [per title] for instance; the seller wants £1 for a single game, they are probably willing to drop to 75p per title to shift them. Don't be afraid of bartering on these occasions because both parties will end up satisfied - you get a few games for free and they get rid of some old crap - its win/win.

Don't be dick though...

If someone is offering you games at a seriously low price don't be an arsehole and beat them down even more. I found Konami Crazy Kart the other day for £2.50 in the box complete as new...

£2.50 is more than reasonable so I paid the man. 

I also came across a re-seller who does house clearances and he was a lovely chap, every week I would pick up a title here and there for about 50p, Michelle [wife] also has bought a number of items over the past few months. He is a reasonable guy. On the same weekend I grabbed the aforementioned 'Krazy Kart', he had his big box of Playstation games [I had already picked through ] out again looking a bit pathetic. We struck up a conversation, and he jokingly asks me to buy the lot, I played along and asked how much. With a hand gesture he signaled to me he would take £5.

Pictured: £13 total spend

Now as I said before I already had picked out the good titles from previous encounters, but the deal was too good to pass up, and the guy was just sick of bringing it every week. So I paid the man and when I got home I emptied the crate to find not only a NEW Playstation with 2 sealed controllers complete with the infamous 'demo one' but also 13 other games, the majority boxed with manual, a brand new official memory card, boxed RF adapter and a few other bits. I was very happy indeed.

The very important mantra 'don't be a dick' comes in to play on occasions such as these, being polite and getting to know individuals is key to coming to a mutual agreement.

Well that's probably enough for this episode, I can see myself writing a few of these articles as there is no way I have covered all the tricks and accompanying stories.

So for now, do someone a solid, and don't be a dick.



  1. Love it, Iim definately gonna have to come Carbooting with ya dude

    1. Always welcome bud! Rich from Maidenhead came down for a hunt with me the other day.Was real good fun!