I have something more than a hobby, but slightly (only slightly) less than an obsession when it comes to buying RPGs. I check out Amazon and eBay occasionally, but the days when the really good deals were there to be had seem to mostly be gone. I am fortunate enough to live in an area with numerous Half Price Books, which I rotate through regularly looking through their used merchandise. As their name implies, most of their books are half off their cover price, but if it's out of print, they go by the Amazon list price. Every once in awhile, they will mark something half off that could go for much more, but their staff is reasonably knowledgeable regarding RPGs so that doesn't happen very often.
That leaves Craigslist as the final frontier when it comes to getting any real bargains on this stuff, and even then it's hit or miss. But earlier this week, I hit the proverbial jackpot.
A guy put an add up, saying that he had a bunch of Dungeons and Dragons stuff, but didn't know much about it, and was looking to get rid of it all. I gave him a call, and it he pulled up with, literally, a truck bed full of stuff. One box was entirely full of boxes of Magic Cards, another full of Dragon Magazines going back to #100 or so, a third box was full of boxed sets for various RPGs, and he pulled out a plastic bag, which he thought contained the only thing worth anything in the whole bunch. Five boxes of the old lead miniatures - 2 TSR boxes and three Grenadier boxes.
"So how much are you looking for?", I asked.
He rambled on a bit, talking about how the miniatures seemed like they were worth something, but he wasn't really into D&D or anything, and it seemed as though it would take too much time and effort to look through everything and price it, and this one box, in perfect condition, was going for $99 on Amazon, but it wasn't in perfect condition so he wasn't sure what to price it, yadda yadda yadda.
Not getting any help from me on what to offer, he finally threw out a number, "40 bucks."
"For the miniatures?" I asked, skeptically.
"Nah, just take it all. Forty bucks."
Well alrighty then.
Forty bucks later, and half a day of sorting through the stuff, and I've got a better idea of what I got, and yeah, I got my moneys worth.
The actual D&D stuff was pretty limited - a Ravenloft Boxed Set, OD&D Master Set, Forgotten Realms City System Boxed Set, Campaign Set and Menzoberranzan Sets, Against the Cult of the Reptile God, the Secret of Bone Hill, and 2 TSR UK adventures - the Gauntlet and the Sentinel. Besides that, there was Star Frontiers - the original boxed set, the Knight Hawks boxed set, the Referee's Screen, Starspawn of Volturnus, and Sundown on Starmist. There were Battletech and Twilight 2000 boxed sets (along with the T2000 module Pirates of the Vistula), the Dragonriders of Pern boardgame, Gamma World 2nd edition boxed set along with Famine in Far-Go and the Cleansing War of Garik Blackhand.
And then there were the Car Wars stuff. My god, so much Car Wars. The Deluxe Edition and Dueltrack boxed sets, Arena Book, Expansion Sets 1, 6, 7 and 8, Uncle Albert's 2035, 2036, 2038 and 2039 Catalogs, a BUNCH of Audoduel Quarterlies, and Street Fighter: An Auto-Combat Solo Module.
I'm probably going to get rid of a few of these that I just don't see myself ever playing - Dragonriders of Pern and Car Wars, almost certainly, and I don't think the Dragon Magazines are worth the space they take up, so they'll probably go, all to Half Price Books, most likely. Selling on eBay is such a hassle, I think unless you are willing to seriously commit, it's tough to get anything done there, and Amazon's fee schedule seems like it's designed to be confusing AND take all your money.
I still haven't had a chance to look through the Magic Cards, mainly because I have no idea what to look for (I haven't played since, I dunno, 95? 96?), but that'll be next weekend's project. HPB doesn't buy them, so if anyone has any ideas on how to unload 250 million pounds of magic cards, let me know.