Robert Raymond Alpizar

Finds #1

Friday December 9th, 2016 11:22pm EST

My first of the new series of Finds posts will be a doozy. This Friday, Dez (my wife), and I had the day off so we decided to head into Ft. Lauderdale and hit up some thrifts we’d never been to before. Let me tell you…it was the best idea I’d had in awhile.

The first store we hit up was Tony’s Downtown Thrift Store. I’d never known this store existed, so it was a nice little discovery. The place is the typical “junk shop” type of store; stacks of things everywhere, but an organized mess. It’s half thrift / half consignment, so prices can be all over the place.

I wasn’t expecting to find anything, but I was very pleasantly surprised.

In the stacks, Dez found a Thinkpad T60. We had been looking for this EXACT model for her to use as a bedside writing terminal kind of machine. We couldn’t find the charger, but the lady at the counter called the owner and he took the time to drive down just to dig through a pile of power bricks for us. He plugged it in, and it fired right up.

There were also a few stacks of PS3 and 360s, and a bunch of random games. They wanted $10 each or 2/$15 for the pre-ps3/360 era games, $15 for the newer ones. The video game items were a mix of his own inventory and consignment items so the pricing was a generality more than anything else. I picked up the two Vita games since they were still sealed and not on my list.

Tony’s Downtown Thrift Store:

The next stop was the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store. This was a small charity store and didn’t have much, but I did find a small stack of games on a rack near the register. Most of what I found were cases with a game, but missing a manual (which I will usually always leave behind), or case and manual but the wrong game, or just empty cases. I took the only two games that were “complete” enough for me to the register. As the lady was checking me out, I mentioned that there were empty cases, etc on the rack and she asked me to pull them so she can toss them. No use in leaving empty cases behind. I offered to pay for them, and she said to just go ahead and take them…so I did.

St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store:

(The other three cases were just case/manual and were free

Just up the street was another thrift I never even knew existed; Oddballs Nifty Thrift. This is a shared retail space where people can rent out a room or chunk of floor space and set up their own items for sale. This place was a maze and a mess and I fucking loved it. I love having to dig through piles and piles of random shit to find that diamond hiding somewhere. It’s the biggest chunk of what makes this stupid hobby fun.

There really wasn’t much in the way of gaming or old electronics aside from the kitschy hipster bullshit like Pepsi clock radios from the 50s. Managed to find a few games, and Dez even found a chinese take out purse thingy.

Oddballs Nifty Thrift:

Next up was the Out of the Closet thrift store in Wilton Manors. This was my first visit to this particular location. Didn’t see much at first, but Dez was a big help in spotting things here. I needed a disk holder for my 5 1/4″ floppies so that was a no brainer when I found one for a buck. A few shelves down I found this Apple bluetooth “ice cube tray” keyboard. There’s a note on the bottom saying “No receiver included, sold as-is”. Hey, I’ll take a “no receiver included” bluetooth keyboard for $3…

Didn’t really see much in the way of games until Dez spotted them stacked behind the register. I asked the guy behind the counter to pull them down for me and he admitted that he had zero clue what any of them are, as he hasn’t been a video game guy since his original NES 30 years ago.

Now…I could have made up any bullshit and tried to talk the price down since he happened to be the pricing guy for the store, but I didn’t, and I took the time to show him the differences between PSX and PS2, and the different systems that were represented in the stacks. In the end, I pulled out the games in the picture. He even included (not in the picture) Pilotwings Resort for 3DS for $1.

As he was ringing me out, I noticed the Radeon card on the shelf opposite the games stack I had looked through. The guy had no knowledge of it but mentioned that the thing had been reduced in price several times and no one wanted it. When I looked through it, I could see why…all the heatsinks that sat on the ram chips etc had completely fallen off. He said it was down to $1…so for a buck I figured I could fix the damn thing. It’s otherwise complete. The card and the heatsinks and everything are in the original antistatic bag in the box.

Out of the Closet – Wilton Manors:

After this I felt pretty emboldened and we hit up a retro video store named…Retro Video. This place rents and sells movies in ALL FORMATS. Dude has VHS, Beta, Laserdisc, Blu-Ray…everything. Vinyl, cassettes, 8-track rounds out the music. He also had a small stack of games, and several shelves of random collectibles (action figures, comics, toys).

Retro Video:

We hit up a few more places but they were either closed, dry, or furniture consignment stores that are completely useless to me. We decided to make our way home, but stopped at another Out of the Closet location we had hit up just a few days ago. There were some games I left behind but I figured I may as well go broke all in one day so we stopped back in. Glad we did.

I noticed this keyboard on the bottom of a shelf in the electronics section. We pulled it out, it worked perfectly…$30. Done.

Out of the Closet – Fort Lauderdale

Altogether I picked up 34 games to add to my pile, some accessories, and Dez got a “new” laptop and keyboard for her own use. Pretty damn good day of hunting eh?