Quoted from dondon4720:
I am utterly gutted at the price increases, as a 26 year old trying to get into the hobby it is super frustrating, granted most people don't buy new right off the bat but it is causing used to go up as well. Still trying to save up but I feel some days its hopeless
Mid/late 40s here for my only NIB purchase to date, Met LE MoP (have a deposit on Godzilla though for #2, at 57 years old).
Got my first game (KISS) at around 30 for $800, top dollar at the time. Never paid attention to new releases until joining Pinside around 2008. I don't remember them being trumpeted and anticipated on rgp like they are here. I just played games at shows or whatever, liked them and bought them.
My wife and I used to make mods before it became the full-blown industry it is today. I bought a TSPP with money just from that. Like many of us on here, I've also been able to get bargains on Craigslist or wherever, fix them up and sell them for a profit to build up a war chest for better, more expensive games. I understand this may not be as easy for a newbie without much repair experience, but given the right deal, even if you had to pay a repair guy it could be a viable option for you. Keep cash on hand so you can swoop on a deal regardless of when it pops up, and don't delay - there are more people than ever scouring Facebook and Craigslist and everything else than there used to be.
If you're hell bent on a NIB game for your first purchase, i guess just keep saving. But you can use other games as stepping stones to get you there too.
Final piece of advice - word of mouth is your best friend. Let everyone know you want to buy games. I've gotten my best deals from people calling ME - "hey, there's a guy with a pinball machine he wants to get rid of, here's his number".......
Good luck, and don't lose hope. Regardless of whether you get your NIB, or an older game, they're ALL fun! (except Bally El Toro - don't get THAT turd lol)