I did not grow up rich. My mother did the best she could (and she certainly did an amazing job), but despite that, we were never rich enough to just buy anything we wanted. Even as a child, I knew and understood that, so I always tried my best to avoid asking my mother for anything so that she wouldn’t feel bad if she couldn’t afford to get it for me. Moreover, I never really fretted too much because I was too busy with school and always just filed anything I wanted but couldn’t get at the time in the back of my mind to get in the future when things get better and we can afford it.
Unfortunately, I didn’t anticipate a few things that would throw a monkey-wrench in my plans.
For one thing, I didn’t account for the fact that many of those things I wanted, be they books or video-games, would get discontinued and would no longer be available. I would have to find used copies of them in the future. This isn’t too bad however, because the kinds of things I wanted didn’t really matter if they were new or used, and even better, used copies should be cheap.
Later on, when I started making some disposable income, I started trying to build my collection of books and games. I scoured used-bookstores, flea-markets, and bargain-bins for them. I collected a bunch of the books I wanted, and a lot of the video-games.
Then I discovered eBay, and my options for getting the old video-games increased drastically. I now had the chance to get a lot of those games I never had the opportunity to play in my youth, and for good prices.
Sadly, this only last a few years. While the prices of old, used games were low and reasonable and properly decent, once YouTube took off and everyone and their neighbor’s mother’s dog started making let’s-play videos of everything, the demand for games skyrocketed which in turn, caused sellers to get “clever” (read opportunistic) which pushed the prices through the roof.
Add to that eBay instituting the idiotic GSP which applies absurd “shipping” costs to everything coming out of the US (you can easily expect $20-$40 fees for even a <$2 item), and now it is completely impractical and not at all feasible to buy used video-games (especially from the US). Stupid YouTube and stupid let's-players have destroyed the used video-game market. For several years, I held out hope that young people (who did not actually grow up with the old games and only know them as "retro") would eschew buying actual physical old games and consoles and instead opt for digital copies or emulation, but that doesn't seem to have affected the prices. Like with most things, once the price goes up, it stays up forever and only goes higher, it never comes back down. 😒