Last year I picked up Mayfair Cosmic Encounter and More Cosmic Encounter from an ad on Janglo, a local mailing list for the Jerusalem Anglo community. Condition: mint (missing the Disease power; some of it was still unpunched). Price: 100 NIS (around $23 at the time). The guy threw in four old AH war games to sweeten the deal. The story: someone gave it to him as a gift ten years before and they had never played it.
Sunday I noticed that some guy was selling two games on Janglo: Scrabble and Merchants of Amsterdam. I actually need a new copy of Scrabble, and I wasn't going to pass up on MoA. Unfortunately, Scrabble was taken, but I got MoA for 140 NIS ($36). Not as much of a bargain, but considering shipping and relative pricing in Israel, quite good. Of course, no one else was going to take Merchants of Amsterdam off of his hands; I was the only one who would know what it is (and I haven't even played it).
A few weeks ago my parents called from a pre-Hanukkah sale asking me if I was interested in some strange games on display amidst the vast collection of usual fare. Turns out to have been a stand by Hakubiah, a relatively new imported of good games into Israel. This is a slightly less than unusual find, as Hakubiah is taking pains to make a presence at fairs like these.
But I'm sure many of you have stories of finding really good modern games in unusual contexts: garage sales, someone's closet, a library, a corner candy shop. And sometimes at bargain prices. It's a great way to brighten the day.