For my second £15 Geek Treasure Hunt I wanted to set myself a secondary challenge along with the overall budget restriction that was in place. While I decided this time that I wasn’t going to have a set theme for what I was going to buy and just go on impulse I did set out from the beginning to make this one a little more interesting and limit my spending so that every item had to cost £1 or less.
That basically meant that I was going to be limited to charity shops and very common console/PC games from places like CEX, Cash Generator and similar stores offering second hand goods unless I found some incredible online deals. Certainly going to make this one fun…
With such a tight budget I knew that this was going to take a little effort. Undeterred I set off to the town nearest to my home village, Maesteg, to see what bargains were to be had. Most of the charity shops came up empty until I went into the store for the cancer support charity Tenovus. They had a shelf full of Star Trek novels and we’re running an offer selling them at the insane price of three for £1. Sitting on the shelf were all six chapters in the Double Helix crossover saga so they promptly left the store with me for the grand sum of £2!
That was it for my shopping run so I headed online, more specifically eBay. With the rules of the challenge allowing me to disregard postage costs I moved from Star Trek to Doctor Who, and began a hunt for DVDs from the classic era. Immediately I found a copy The Visitation up for auction and managed to snag it for the measly sum of 99p. At the same time, I noticed that the seller had also listed a loose cartridge of Sonic The Hedgehog 2 for the Sega Master System with a starting price of £1. I thought I’d give it a go and an hour later and that was mine as well!
Feeling quite positive at this point, I continued my eBay focus and 24 hours later my attention turned to my youth and comics. More accurately the sci-fi anthology comic Starblazer. It was a pocket-sized British comic with each black and white issue telling a single story. I used to collect it regularly but sadly parted with my entire collection years ago. eBay has been a godsend finding them again and I chanced upon a small bundle up for auction. The seller was open to offers so I took a chance and offered £2 for the five issues they were selling. They accepted and while they weren’t in mint condition it was a great boost to my slowly recovering collection.
eBay once more with another bargain find and back to Doctor Who for the Dreamland animated movie on DVD for the cracking price of 99p. While I had seen it on TV before it had been a while since I’d seen it on sale anywhere so it was great to add it to my collection at such a bargain price.
Another Doctor Who DVD followed, this time from the Colin Baker era, namely Mindwarp from the season-long Trial Of A Timelord story. Another steal at 99p with no-one bidding against me!
The next eBay wins were probably the most spectacular. I did a random hunt for a comic I used to buy – Groo (a light hearted comic about a dim-witted wandering barbarian). I found a seller with numerous issues listed with astonishingly low starting prices so I jumped in with a bid of just 19p on one. At the same time amongst all the other comics he had listed were the first five issues of Marvel’s 2015 S.H.I.E.L.D comic, all at a 20p start. Again I opened with a minimum bid… and won all six comics for the grand total of £1.19! Speechless wasn’t the word…
I was in the mood to buy another game at this stage so I opted to try to expand my PSP collection. Again I worked on my standard search patterns on eBay with auctions ending soon with no bids starting at £1 or less or sellers offering clearance items with low buy it now prices. Alternatively looking for cheap bundles with average prices coming in within the rules of the challenge. Puzzle Chronicles came along quite soon and I managed to get this one for what seems to be the standard price for most of my eBay finds of 99p.
Next was an interesting one. I’d spotted this Doctor Who book – Wit, Wisdom And Timey-Wimey Stuff – in a local charity shop for £1 and had considered it but I didn’t get the chance to go back for it. Then I found this copy online. Weighing up the cost of making a trip to buy it in-store or online, even with postage the eBay price of 50p made it an absolute bargain!
After all of this I felt like I needed a break from eBay so I went back to Maesteg to try my luck with the charity shops again. This time I visited the nearby Emmaus store and outside was a clearance bin of children’s books. After a quick rummage I discovered not one but FOUR of the small storybooks based on the 1980s animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series that I loved as a kid. Each book was adapted from one of the episodes and featured the watered-down UK title for the series. That aside, I couldn’t resist at 10p each!
I knew I was close to spending all my budget at this point and with just £3.95 left I decided on another charity shop hunt. This time I returned to my former home of Lichfield after making a short trip there. After a few failed attempts I struck lucky in the St Giles Bookshop when I was able to find a superb condition Garfield book – I Don’t Do Windows – that I was missing from the collection for, you guessed it, 99p.
Most other shops didn’t result in anything until I made my way into Oxfam’s dedicated bookstore (where I used to run a sci-fi and gaming section) and managed to find a Doctor Who novel for 99p and two PC games to add to my Mastertronic collection following on from my last challenge for 50p each! Now what could I do with the remaining 97p…?
Well, I made one last trip to eBay and returned to a seller I’d used before and looked for a few more comic bargains. As before they had a large number of comics with a 20p starting price so I was able to grab four more titles continuing the S.H.I.E.L.D set and getting a few Spiderman books too. Four more for the total price of 80p.
Well that left me pretty much spent out having run up a total spend of £14.83. I doubted that I could find anything else for the remaining 17p but to be honest I wasn’t complaining after amassing an incredible 35 items covering most of my main hobbies and interests. This has definitely been my biggest challenge so far but one of the most fun as well to see just what genuinely good quality stuff is out there on a budget.
Now I challenge YOU to do better and maybe one of you could be our first prize winner…
Husband, father and lifelong geek. Originally from the West Midlands, now spending my days in South Wales with my family and a house full of animals. Passionate about video games, especially retro gaming, the Commodore 64 and PlayStation Vita. Love pro wrestling, sci-fi and I’m an animal lover and vegetarian.
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