Computer software and games are most often worthless. Software usually has a very short shelf life as the newest game or program is quickly outdated the minute something better comes along. On the way home one Saturday afternoon though, I stopped at a church garage sale and found two computer games that had been sitting there all day and no one knew they were treasure.
The Ultima series is a series of role playing games put out by Origin Systems in the 80’s and 90’s that has a cult following. Origin was founded by Richard Garriott (son of astronaut Owen Garriott) and the Ultima games were Richard’s biggest achievement and made him famous in computer game developer circles. Origin Systems has since been sold to Electronic Arts Inc. and no longer exists.
The game I saw on that garage sale $1.00 table was Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar. My hand immediately darted out to grab it and I was happy to see that everthing was in great shape. I knew this game, even though it was old and on floppy discs, was worth between $35.00 and $50.00 on Ebay.
I made almost $50.00 on this game
Happy at my find, I looked around some more sifting through the other games on the table until I found one that was still in shrinkwrap. It was a copy of the game Wing Commander Kilrathi Saga also put out by Origin Systems. Now I didn’t know anything about that game and I almost didn’t get it. As I said before, most old games aren’t even worth a dollar and I hate getting home with something that I find is worthless after punching it up on Ebay. I thought and thought about this one (I know, I’m cheap) and I finally decided to get it but only because it was new, only a dollar, and still shrinkwrapped.
I made about $200.00 on this game
It turned out that this game was the truly valuable one and even more so because it was new. I saw there were several of them that had been auctioned off under the completed auctions section and both of them went for around $200.00. My heart skipped a beat as this is EXACTLY what you always dream about when you go to a garage sale!
I immediately put the game up on Ebay with a “buy it now” of $200.00 and sure enough one day later someone got it and sent me the money via PayPal.
Back to the Ultima games, there are 9 of them and the beginning ones are more rare and thus more valuable. If you ever see the games 1 through 6 and they are cheap I would definitely pick them up as they are all worth more than $35.00 and probably closer to $50.00. Games 7 – 9 are not worth quite as much but still worth getting. Each of these games comes with a map (the beginning ones have a map made of paper and the later games have cloth maps) and the maps can also be sold individually for sometimes as much as $20.00.
Another thing of value are the clue books that could be bought seperately for each game. In some cases with the early games, the clue books are very rare and worth more than the game itself! In summary, if I ever see any of the Ultima games 1-9 or their clue books on any garage sale table, I will be making some quick moves to get there first and nab them. Please don’t get in my way!
Now, if I see a copy of the Wing Commander Kilrathi Saga, that is a different story. I might even go airborne to get to that table and snatch it up!
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