301: The Mysteries of the Bin

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"I took it to the guy at the counter, and he nodded, and said, 'Yeah, I had a look at that one. It's about a blue man with his penis out.'"

No one's commented yet to note that this story is hilarious? Come on.

As we're all trading bargain-bin tales, I think my best find was Minish Cap in KMart's bin around the holiday season for $8. The Dark Spire for DS for $6, though it's far from a rare find, wasn't a bad value for me for the money, either (though it's not a game for everyone).

Borderlands and Rock Band 2 for 20NZD? Heck yes. Huge discounts give me the opportunity to get games that I always meant to buy, but didn't think I could afford.


But I'll never forget the joy of games such as Startopia, and Majesty, and Arcana. I may be an online shopper now, but... PC game bargain bin, I miss you. Thanks for the memories.

QFT. I've never played any of the games you just listed, but I do miss the days when bargain bins filled with old PC games were common. Granted, any time I find a place that carries used PC games, they're at bargain bin prices, but the selection is always much, much smaller than what you used to find in the bargain bin. What do people who don't keep every game they buy, but also aren't set up for e-commerce do with their old games these days, anyway?

OT: The bargain bin and I have always been on a first name basis. What is not to love about, to give some recent examples, $5 Battlefield 2, $2 Oblivion, or $3 Unreal Gold?

bravo good sir, bravo

bravo good sir, bravo

A wonderfully written article, indeed. I'm a big fan of "the bin", my personal two favourite purchases thus far have been Beautiful Katamari for £5 and Bioshock for £7. Both excellent buys.

I love the bargin bin. I must check it. My latest find was Darksiders at 75% off. Oh yeah!

Hunh - we don't have bargain bins really around here. Well we kind of do but they really are nothing but the DS franchise games no one wants. Around here, the best place to go treasure hunting is second hand stores.

I've gotten more epic games from Half Price Books for the few bucks in my pocket than I can count. I still think my happiest finds were the Thief games, 2 dollars for the Metal Age and 4 dollars for Deadly Shadows. The first game I got for my first computer was from there. It was a copy of Baldur's Gate 2 with all the maps and manuals and such. It was like seven dollars and was packed in a big zip lock bag with a price tag taped to it.

Ah good memories.

I remember a year ago I was looking through the bargain bin and found a $5 psp game with the generic Gamestop replacement case. The title of the game was "Gitaroo Man Lives!". Puzzled at the strange name, I asked a Gamestop employee about it. He said that he had never heard of it before in his life. So, I decided to buy it and when I got home I popped it into my psp and got a face full of this:

I was shocked and expected to return the game within the week. So, I started playing. And playing. And playing until the game was over, after which I restarted the game on the hardest difficulty.

It is now my favorite rhythm game and only cost me $5.

I am incapable of walking past a clearance table or bin - it's usually the first place I'll check in a store if I know where it is. I'm pretty sure I get this from my dad, who I have many, many memories of going to music stores during sidewalk sales so we could pick through the bargain bins and looking for obscure prog rock artists we liked. Heck, for the prices on those tables we could (and often did) grab anything with a cover we liked or that looked interesting.

I also love thrift stores, goodwill and the like. I picked up Soul Calibur IV and The Last Remnant for 360 for $9 each when they were still retailing for $40 and loved them both. I sincerely doubt I would have tried out The Last Remnant otherwise, and it's a game I've put many hours into. I also still have my copy of the Monty Python game on 5.25 floppies I picked up at an EB well after the format was dead and gone. It couldn't have been more than $3, but it's an awesome title I'd been seeking for ages.

Long live the bin, indeed!

thrill of discovery was what I felt on youtube searching for outstanding music 3 hours after midnight. Or the time I discovered Cobra 11 games on my favorite warez site.

The video game stores around here don't have the greatest bargain bins, but I love my local Cash Converters. The whole game section is just one big bargain bin (metaphorically, I mean - it does have shelves!), and I can almost always find something I want at a ridiculously low price. My favourite discoveries: an only-slightly-battered copy of Shadow of the Colossus for $5 and The Curse of Monkey Island for $3.

My greatest success so far with a bin has to be Mirror's Edge for £2.99. Worth so much more!

Games I've found in the bargain bin and would not trade back for the world:

- Ico
- Hitman: Blood Money
- Invasion from Beyond
- Beyond Good & Evil (there is no justice)

Honestly the bargain bin is just great because, as someone above me said, it's one of the few places a gamer can actually just let loose and buy something because it looks interesting, without vetting it through reviews, friends, word of mouth, etc.

If you're an aspiring designer, particularly, the bargain bin is really a pretty amazing tool. "Here's an assortment of mechanics, some of them pretty novel. You know that these games failed commercially. Now tell me why."

First off I just want to say that i'm incredibly jealous of people who raided Best Buy back in the day when they tossed all their copies of Earthbound in there for 5$ each, now fetching a price of 1400+.

As for me, I always rummage through piles of games whenever I see them, especially if I'm headed to a flea market and such.

Recently I had picked up these games at Futureshop in a bin new:

Dark Void - 8$
Darkstalkers - 15$
Sonic Unleashed - 16$ (Ebgames sells used 360 copies for 35.99$)
Beetles Rock Band - 15$

My first find was Silent Bomber for the PSone.

I don't remenber how expensive it was but it was from square soft so i took it home.

I had a lot of fun with that game, never finished it, the game is lost somewhere, but hopefully some day i'll find it again in some bargain bin somewhere.

I bought my copy of Assasin's Creed for $5 in one of those bins. I'd always wanted to get into that series, so I was grinning the whole way home.

I've found a lot of stuff a few years back, because it was old. A lot of horrid stuff, but inbetween, some real gems. (I didn't buy it, because I had a copy already, but a shop had a boxed copy, in good condition, of Perfect Dark... In a bin labelled £1. Yeah.)

Since the 'good' stuff in bargain bins in my experience is always quite old, It's come to my attention that the age of such bargains follows a distinct pattern:

3-4 years ago, any N64 & PS1 stuff was bargain bin material. Just a year earlier, it had dedicated shelf space, but it was definitely cheap.

Meanwhile, at the same time, SNES titles were in display cabinets being sold for a small fortune. (I spotted a boxed copy of Secret of Mana selling for more than any new game.)

So... There's a definite cycle of 'new'->'bargain'->'vintage'.
Where stuff starts out expensive, gets really cheap, then becomes expensive again.

(Well, some things defy this trend, but it seems to hold quite well physical copies of games.)

Off the top of my head: Half-Life 2: GOTY $1, Fallout 3 (PC) $6, Oblivion (PC) $4, Fallout: New Vegas (PC) $13, Final Fantasy XIII (360) $20, Soulcalibur IV: Collector's Edition (360) $20, The World Ends With You $10, Retro Game Challenge $10, Pokemon Ranger $10, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky $10, Scribblenauts $15 (A week after it came out), Muramasa: The Demon Blade $15, Every PSP game besides Persona $15 or less.

And that's just this gen and off the top of my head.

I found an original xbox copy of Serious Sam in a bin. Awesome fun ensued for months. I got it for $2. Even more awesome. And it contained the First and Second Encounter. Wow! And some awesome splitscreen multiplayer! HOLY SAFJIEASDFASDFA. Yeah, that good.

hurrrghh I always look too haha
I thought about getting Turning Point for $5 but ended up not
but there are actually legitimately good games/good deals to be found!

I always check the pre-owned and bargain bin every time I go to GAME. Sometimes I laugh at the sheer idiocy of the titles there, and other times, I find brilliant and ridiciously cheap games and buy them on the spot.

Best deal I've ever found: Managed to find a copy of Viewtiful Joe on the DS for £, and another game for £15 I forget for my brother for christmas, and found, while in the queue, a near brand new copy of Trauma Center Second Opinion for £2.99. Bought it on the spot with my brother's games, cashed in my reward points and only has to spend 99p total on all three games.

I went home a very happy bunny that day :)

I love the bin. Or the "Shit-Bin" as me and my friends call it. That's where I built most of my DVD collection from. It's amazing what kind of movies and games you can find in these bins that were awesome when they were first out, and now they're a good 5-10 bucks. I'm just like you, I'll never not give the bin a once over when I get to stores.

But Wal- Marts screwing with me. They don't have bins in the ones near me. They have added more shelves with prices at the tops, which is actually kind of better cuz you can see without rummaging.

Though I like me some rummaging

They'll probably be going back to the bins for the $5 movies. They did research and showed that sales have dropped a lot by not having the movies thrown into bins for people to root through. It's a psychological thing, people tend to think that when they have them in a bin it's a special deal, whereas on shelves they just see it as regular price-even though it's the same thing for both. (Source: My cousin by marriage who is an executive at Wal-Mart.)

I remember about 15 years ago wasting time on saturday waiting for a date (he never showed up, the bastard!) I ventured into a unknown game shop and picking up about 25-30 games for my Commodore 64 for £3! £3! I was beside myself with joy, and when the date didin't show I was still happy cause it ment I got to go home and play my new treasures!

Ever since I've always checked the bargain bin

I guess the stores I buy games in go for that "tuck bargain bin in corner, out of sight, out of mind" thing that the writer was talking about. Unlike Best Buy, for example, that has a big sign over their bin that says "Movies For Five Bucks Here!" (a bin in which I found Memento:: GREAT movie). But, I've definitely been turned on to the idea of bin-thrift: I'll just carry a few sanitary wipes with me (lol).

Nice article, Watchmen is a heck of a trip. I used to frequent the bargain bin way back when, picked up such gems as Suikoden, Tales of Destine 1,2, Valkyrie Chronicles heck I even picked up a Shin Megami Tensi Nocturne out of a TRU clearance bin a couple years back. Sadly I haven't found much of worth in them anymore, most of the games are Wii shovelware and what is left of stores PS2 inventory. It seems like as more people scout for gems and the internet spreads deals before they become super discounted the good stuff just disappears too quickly.

I found the original Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney in a gamestop bargain bin and snapped it up on an impulse. I haven't looked back since.

My best(and thus far only) great find was discovering Half Life 2 for the Xbox in a bargain bin some time ago.(somewhere between getting my Xbox360 and before the announcement of the Orange box if Im not mistaken) And for some reason I bought it for about $10 or $15 while having to that point never having heard of Valve or the Half Life series so far as I can remember. And low in behold I found a nugget of GOLD in a bin full of what was likely shit.

EDIT: Quick question for everyone: would any US escapists consider Gamestops plethora of used games that line the shelves to qualify as bargain bin even if some of them are not as low in price as 10 or 15 $?

Whats that? League of Legends Collectors edition, 3 for £10? Why yes, I will take 6 copies. Whats that? I now have £60 worth of Riot points to spend?

Excellent >:)

After searching for more than a year, I finally found a copy of No More Heroes in a bargain bin.

Suffice to say, I was happy.

Hogs of War - for that one glorious find, the bin is forever forgiven.

My greatest find in a bargain bin had to be Anachronox. What a glorious day that was!

In australia half the bin is filled with point-and-click detective games in the vein of those earliest of Hugo games.

They are about as close to cardboard slabs something can get without being one.

I kept checking the EB bin until I came across an xbox copy of Fallout Brotherhood of Steel. Terrible game, good find =)

I recently found a copy of Odin Sphere in a bargain bin...

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