Yesterday on /R/Gamecollecting, the subreddit that I frequent to see everyone’s sweet video game collections, user /u/gritzma posted what seemed to be the best score in ages. $320 for 5 NES games; Final Fantasy, Friday the 13th, Super Mario/Duck Hunt, Dr Chaos, and Little Samson. Sound like too much? Well it’s actually a pretty good deal considering that Little Samson goes for over $700 by itself. He responded to the Craigslist deal and met up with the seller at the local Walmart. A woman steps out from a Dodge Neon and shows him the games. He inspects the titles, and drives home as fast as he can to test out the games. After he verifies that the games work, the elated Gritzma posts his sweet haul on Gamecollecting.
This is where things start going south. As soon as the submission was posted, reddit’s bullshit alarms went off. The top comment of the thread upon hearing that Gritzma got the deal from Toledo was hoping that he had the sense to open up the cartridge to verify its contents before paying $300. Gritzma said not to worry because the game played. But as I’ve pointed out before the only way to know for sure is to open the cart.
So just recently Gritzma confirms the rest of our suspicions stating the game is indeed a fake. He emailed the seller and received a canned response that said:
I sold the games as is, without opening anything or knowing value. I sold to the highest value. You never mentioned anything about it upon purchase and I sold as is. I’m not sure what a reproduction is, and ok sorry you’re unsatisfied with your purchase, however you agreed to the purchase and no wrong was done on my part. I watched you inspect each game, told you about the physical damage on each cartridge, etc. that’s about all there is to say on the transaction. If you did not wish to buy them, you were not forced, you chose to and while I understand you’re now changing your mind on it, I can’t say I’m willing to do a refund if you’ve opened up and potentially damaged what was sold.
Queue sad slide trombone. Gritzma did exactly what any other new collector would have done; he took a seemingly legit deal and got hosed. The label even had damage to it to add to more authenticity. Lesson be learned to all you new collectors out there – Deals do exist, but do your homework first. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Will you find a super cheap Little Samson out there? In hindsight this deal smelled to high noon all the way to Chicago.
The Craigslist ad is still up and is very ambiguous. They’re not selling for a set amount and only asking for offers. There’s not even pictures of the games.
So if you’re going game hunting, do yourself a favor – Buy a 6 dollar security bit that opens SNES and NES games. There’s one that opens Gameboy and N64 games as well. Spending a little now will save you a boatload of heartache and money down the road. If the person refuses to let you open the cart, walk away from the deal. Video game reproductions are shady business – be careful.