Back in June, I made my first trip out to New York City to absorb some of the abundance of culture the city had to offer. While I was there. I made sure to take a cab over to VideoGamesNewYork to see what a big-city indie game shop had to offer.
The owner, Giulio, was nice enough to give me a tour of the shop and spend some time talking about the business and culture of running a game store with a strong retro focus. (Additional conversation about how to successfully run an independant video game store has recently been posted as well)
I’m aware that some locals think that VideoGamesNewYork is rather overpriced for many of its classic games, however, I had a good discussion with Giulio about that topic. It’s a bit of a dilemma for a brick-and-mortar game store. Retro games aren’t like new games where you can just order more at a wholesale price to meet your demand. You are limited to what people trade in. So if you price games too low, they sell quickly (Giulio mentioned games like Earthbound sell easily in just a few days at prices above $100).
I think it’s a challenge to find that sweet spot of pricing in order to balance the supply and demand curve. He realizes that he isn’t offering as good of deals as what you can find on eBay, but he feels that he is offering enough value in being able to see and touch the items beforehand to make it worth the extra price to the locals.
Personally, I did some decent prices on some items I was interested in – I ended up buying a Sega Saturn Hori fighter stick that was in very good condition. VGNY does a good job of cleaning up games and equipment that they get in and have a good policy about items that end up not working. You can’t say the same about eBay sellers.
So while you won’t be able to go on a bargain-filled shopping spree, it is a lot of fun to dig around for items of interest – many of which are priced fairly. Of course, it’s also cool to browse around in the showcases that house many of the more collectors items that aren’t so much for sale as they are for show. There’s a number of items in there that I had never seen in person.
It’s also worth mentioning that VGNY also offers repair services for all sorts of hardware (old and new) as its getting harder to find clean and functioning classic hardware as they years go by. Guilo also is looking forward to moving into a larger building once the current lease runs out so they can offer more retails floorspace and have more area to work on mods/repairs.
More Game Store Stuff & Community Involvement
I hope to do more of these type of videos documenting some of the few great gaming stores we have left in the US (and who knows maybe other parts of the worlds as well)
Do you know of some good game stores that I should check out? Please post them in this forum thread and I’ll try to visit them during whatever travels I may take.
Also, if you happen to have an HD camcorder and want to help out by interviewing your local store owners, let me know and we can collaborate on this project 🙂
Oh and feel free to subscribe to the Racketboy Youtube Channel — I hope to start doing more original video content from time to time.