Our readers aren’t just ordinary blog tipsters: you’re retail archaeologists. Consumerists across the nation explore discount stores and sale racks, searching for gems of outdated technology. You are the finders of ancient digital junk. You are the Raiders of the Lost Walmart.
Greg was shopping for blank DVDs at Walmart when he saw a blast from 1986 on the shelf. It was a five-pack of blank VHS tapes. How handy! And only for the same price as five times as many blank DVDs!
My first thought was: “Who the hell STILL makes and/or sells VHS tapes (other than WalMart, obviously)???
Then I saw the price… TEN DOLLARS??? For 5 blank VHS tapes??? When a 25-pack of blank DVDs costs roughly the same, I couldn’t NOT send this in. Wow…
Update: A Walmart employee wrote in to say that this isn’t a very exciting find, and that Greg shouldn’t be so shocked. ‘Just because he doesn’t buy them doesn’t mean they are a “lost treasure’,” the employee writes. “They are a regular stock item and sell very well. They are more expensive now because there are fewer manufacturers making them.”
John was delighted to find a 320 GB hard drive on sale. Or, for less money and at regular price, you could just go ahead and buy a 1 TB drive.
If you’re like me, you’re woefully behind on music released in the last decade. Jay’s local Walmart offered an opportunity to get caught up, with this fabulous 512 megabyte MP3 player pre-loaded with hot tunes from 2007. “The package, understandably, was covered in dust when I found it (amidst a bunch of VHS head cleaners, not even joking)” Jay notes.
This full-price copy of NBA LIVE 2002 would be a lot less stupid without that big ironic “Value Games” tag next to it.
Steve was amused to find some relatively ancient software on the clearance rack at his local Walmart. Not only was it pretty old, the clearance prices weren’t all that great.
Amusing thing popped up at me while walking through a local Wal-Mart in [redacted]. While looking at the clearance rack to see if they had a good discount on a computer mouse, I found copies of VERY old software on the shelf, still marked at the original price. Norton System Works (discontinued in 2009), selling for $60, and a few copies of Adobe Photoshop Elements 4, new in Fall 2005, selling for $80. I was absolutely shocked that they were even trying to sell it for that price, and that someone that wasn’t a smart consumer would even have a chance to spend that money on software that doesn’t even work properly anymore.
Also saw several copies of “The Sims 2” and a lot of very old games.
If you want to join the Raiders, take pictures of your retail archaeology finds with your Sony Mavica, get them off the floppy disk, and send to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Raiders of the Lost Walmart” in the subject line if you remember.