I decided I wanted a little telly to play around with. Its really hard to get old fat tube TVs anymore. It’s a shame because they have a nicer quality than newer, flatter ones but I wasn’t super fussed about it. I just wanted something with SCART and HDMI input to cover all my bases. I thought Cash Converters would be a good, cheap, low effort place to get one, and there is usually lots of neat fun stuff there.
Turns out that there are about as many ‘Cash Generator’s as ‘Cash Converters’s, and that actually, the Cash Generators in Salford and Manchester are more convenient for me, being near my home and also my work. Could have gone to Eccles for a more authentic “Converters” experience, but I had a feeling that these Generator’s would suffice. Although it is a shame to miss out on the affable alliteration as well as the informality and warmth of the grammatically nonsensical plural ‘Converters’.
I decided on the one in Salford Shopping Centre. I actually forgot to take a picture of the store when I was there so this is it on Google Street View.
The first thing that caught my eye was this Xbox remote. Why was it upside down?
They had some Lego sets too. I don’t remember ever having seen Lego in a Cash Converters before, or a Cash Generator for that matter. I used to play with Lego a lot so this was exciting. I thought about how this is around the price that you would get sets of this size for brand new back in the early 2000s, and how expensive sets have gotten since then. I also thought about how the staff at Cash Generator would make sure that all the pieces were included before they accepted it to sell. From when I played with Lego, I knew that some sets would have an inventory of all the pieces in the back of the instructions, but even if these small sets did have that, that would take a long time to audit. They may as well build the sets to check instead. That would be a really great shift I bet. But I figure they probably didn’t check or build it.
Some weird kinda yoga type cat ornaments. When I first saw them, I thought they were of that proverb ‘ See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil’ that you see of monkeys sold as tat – but these were not doing the corresponding poses, and they are cats. I don’t know enough about yoga to know what the proverb for this would be, or if it makes sense that they are black cats, or if this is even yoga. Also interesting that the meme that black cats always photograph as a void works even when they aren’t real black cats.
More upside-down controllers – so I was forced to engage with the phenomenon. As I thought about it, I realised that this way they would rest on the triggers, so would stand up by themselves. Your other options would be laying them so the D-pads faced upwards, which wouldn’t look as good customer-facing; or to lean them against something, which would involve tying to balance them – time consuming! ; or to get stands, which would be a bit of a waste of money. So really this strange upside-down-ness is a fairly optimised way of displaying them. I wondered if this was standard across the buy-and-sell store sector, or if it was one of those neat hacks that a worker comes up with because of the sheer amount of time spent around the products they sell, which then becomes an ubiquitous bit of best practice.
A karaoke set. Curious mic stand which seems to be attached to the amp thing. I imagined having to sing into it like that and how much it would affect your karaoke performance. Not to mention you’d be stood basically on top of the little amp thing. Of course you could take it off the stand, but then it seems insane to have such an audacious stand when it’s got such a limited use. Anyway they had two of these.
The other one. Did the same person bring them in? If so, why did they have two in the first place? If not, how are they so common?
Twin silver Santas. I don’t think they are for sale, just for Christmas. Is there two of everything in this Cash Generator? Like a high-street Noah’s Ark?
A skeleton hand-heart thing that says Love Never Dies. There was lots of what I would term Weird Goth Shit on this bottom shelf next to the yoga cats. Kinda Jack-Skellington-core type stuff.
Dragon ornament. These are so nostalgic to me because I had a friend as a kid whose whole family were super into dragons and fantasy and shit, and had all posters and ornaments in this kind of magicky, hyper-detailed, illustrated style. There’s something about this kind of heavy-metal-album-cover/fantasy style which has always given me the ick and I can’t put my finger on why.
Kinda steampunk helmet ornament thing. Presumably also from this archetypal fantasy-goth type figure who’s selling all their tat to Cash Generator Salford Shopping Centre. Really building a picture of this person in my head, and they might not even exist.
One more from their shelf. I like the novelty of this ornament, and I like that our seller has (had) a sense of humour in their ornament collection even if it’s still a bit cringe.
More upside down controller, but what’s this – there’s a right-way-up one stood in the shadows. I can’t tell if its on a transparent stand or leaning against the box behind it but in any case, it starts to break the narratives I’d started constructing about the presentation of console controllers in this branch of Cash Generators. One final twist in the tale – this solitary right-way-up controller is also, bewilderingly, back-to-front.
My heart leapt when I was at the till and I saw there was a dog in the backroom. I thought at first that it was strange he was here. I’d love to work somewhere that had a pet. Like a strange parallel universe version of the sought after Pub-Cat; the Cash-Generator-Dog. I also felt a bit sorry for him, but I saw he did have some chew toys on the floor in there, and he was wagging his tail every time one of the guys went into the backroom. What a life.
Me with the telly I got. I didn’t take pics of the telly I was looking at because as you can see, there was a lot more interesting stuff in the shop. The guy said there wouldn’t be a bag big enough for the telly, so he just wrapped it in this black wrap stuff.