I have gotten several of the old GAS "Sleeping Beauty" MC cartridges for $50 a pop. I love'em, they sound great, and I have had no problems whatsoever. When new, they were around $150.
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Most cartridges do suffer a "shelf-life" effect. This is due to the suspension loosing compliance because the elastic material ages when exposed to the atmosphere. I suspect that storage in the correct inert gas environment could extend this, however, I doubt that anyone has gone to these efforts. I would consider a cartridge that has zero running hours and a moderate age (perhaps up to 5 years) a purchase option, but would avoid ones that are considerably older.