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Legacy computer parts hoarders.....

Druid6900

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OK, now that the holidays are past, I'm bumping this because I'd like the people that expressed interest in this venture to firm up their commitment by the 15th of January.

Otherwise, I'm going to have to recruit for regions from other sources and I'd like to give anyone on the forum that's interested first shot at it.

Getting rid of your Legacy era equipment will give you more space and more money for new Vintage era stuff.

So, if you think you could handle a franchise, let me know before the 15th of the month.

Thanks.
 

EverythingIBM

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OK, now that the holidays are past, I'm bumping this because I'd like the people that expressed interest in this venture to firm up their commitment by the 15th of January.

Otherwise, I'm going to have to recruit for regions from other sources and I'd like to give anyone on the forum that's interested first shot at it.

Getting rid of your Legacy era equipment will give you more space and more money for new Vintage era stuff.

So, if you think you could handle a franchise, let me know before the 15th of the month.

Thanks.

I probably wouldn't be that much of a help considering I'm in canada too!
After college I plan on getting some soldering tools so I can start repairing my old equipment (primarily replacing the annoying eletrolytic capacitors). I'm absolutely in love with Rubycons. Never seen a puffy rubycon before.
--> I should invest in some time on seeing about ceramic alternatives.

It's really cool that companies still use legacy equipment, and that there's still a market for it. A lot of people I know wouldn't actually acknowledge that there's such a market... but sometimes it's best to leave what works well and not "upgrade" it. Some accountants still use DOS software and nothing else.
 

Druid6900

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I probably wouldn't be that much of a help considering I'm in Canada too!

Quite the contrary. I'm looking for 3 more locations in Canada as well.

One in the east, one in the central west (your area) and one out on the west coast (in Next's area).

If you have the inventory and the interest, PM me for details.
 

Druid6900

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Well, although I didn't get the response I was hoping for, I'd like to announce that IBMmuseum is taking the Legacy Computers and Parts SW US franchise where he will be selling Legacy and Vintage computers and parts and providing repair services.

I'm sure you all wish him success in this venture.

Until I find people for the other areas from other sources, forum members are still preferred for the franchises, so, if you're thinking about it, think quickly.
 

IBMMuseum

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Well, although I didn't get the response I was hoping for, I'd like to announce that IBMMuseum is taking the Legacy Computers and Parts SW US franchise where he will be selling Legacy and Vintage computers and parts and providing repair services.

I'm sure you all wish him success in this venture.

Until I find people for the other areas from other sources, forum members are still preferred for the franchises, so, if you're thinking about it, think quickly.

Thank You, I'm happy to be involved. Everything was answered to my satisfaction, and I saw the business opportunity in a hobby I love. I'm looking forward to joining the team.
 

Druid6900

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OK, I've been telling you people, especially the ones that have expressed interest, that there is money to be made in the Legacy equipment market. That's easy to say, but, now, I'm going to give you a case study.

I had a gentleman from Wisconsin call me this passed Wednesday who got the URL from another client of ours that we did some repair work on their Tandy Model 4 computer that runs their sign-making operation.

Seems that this telecom company this gentleman works for has some Legacy gear that runs some process that is essential to their operation and the computer driving it was getting a little flaky and he was looking for a replacement Pentium 1 unit.

I had him create an account and send me a picture of the board he was concerned with and it was immediately apparent, to me, that one of the DIMM sockets had several badly bent pins.

He also mentioned that the motherboards fit into an open frame "card cage" that had been designed as part of the machine, so, a specific size board was required and that he had bought a couple of boards on FeeBay. One of the boards didn't work and the other didn't fit. I had him measure the orginal board including the distance between mounting holes.

The board turned out to be a standard Baby AT form factorwith AT connectors, so the one that didn't fit, as I mentioned to him, was probably a Dell, HP or Compaq board that had non-standard dimensions and spacings. It turned out to be a Dell.

He needed a board that would take a 128MB DIMM and had a blank one for expansion, had, at least, a 233 MHz MMX processor, had, at least, 3 PCI and 2 ISA slots for the cards they used and had to have a BIOS that was current enough to let them use 32 GB of the 40 GB HDs they were using.. He also needed a PCI VGA card as the AGP one they were using didn't sit in the slot right when it was screwed down.

So, out of 38 Socket 7 boards we had on hand, only 2 match all the requirements.

He wanted to know if we had any 40 GB hard drives as well, so, I had hom check to see just how much hard drive space he was using. It turns out that they were using about 1 GB.

I told him that I had some 8.4 hard drives that would do just fine and he could recover the 40 and 80 GB drives they were using 1 GB of to use in other equipment.

Now for the numbers;

The machines that these compoments came out of were, probably a couple of clones that cost me about 15 buck each. Testing (as a unit, 16 at a time on one workbench) and tear down cost me, probably, about 10 bucks, picking, research, assembling and pre-ship retest cost me about another 25 bucks each, so, my total cost, was 50 bucks.

My sale price to the client for a Socket 7 board, an AMD K6-2/333, HS&F, 128MB PC-133 DIMM, an 8.4 GB HD, a low-end PCI video card and a DFE-530TX NIC was $150.

He elected to get 2 complete sets, so, since both with assembled and retested together, brought my total cost to $65 and my total selling price to $300 (plus shipping).

He said he was glad that there was a company like mine that would find, thoroughly test and configure the equipment he needed as it saved im, time, money and aggravation and that he knew of several other departments that would be ordering spare systems of various "classes" over the next couple of weeks.

So, a $235 profit on a $300 sale. I also gave him a discount because he bought two systems.

That percentage of profit is about average for us and the people that buy off the site or request custom systems are MORE than happy to pay it because they get exactly what they want (we ask a lot of questions and a lot more needs emerge) and they know, from word of mouth and our attention to details, that what they get will work perfectly.

So, as I said, there is money to be made in the equipment that is actually peripheral to your hobby.
 

1ajs

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have looked into talking to any of the hacker spaces?

is a member of the on in winnipeg mb and i've got small colection of stuff and located near a computer recycler thats a short walk from my house
 

Pepinno

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He said he was glad that there was a company like mine that would find, thoroughly test and configure the equipment he needed as it saved im, time, money and aggravation and that he knew of several other departments that would be ordering spare systems of various "classes" over the next couple of weeks.

So, a $235 profit on a $300 sale. I also gave him a discount because he bought two systems.

That percentage of profit is about average for us and the people that buy off the site or request custom systems are MORE than happy to pay it because they get exactly what they want (we ask a lot of questions and a lot more needs emerge) and they know, from word of mouth and our attention to details, that what they get will work perfectly.

So, as I said, there is money to be made in the equipment that is actually peripheral to your hobby.

I don't agree at all. Basically, you provided a ultra-specialized professional service for only $235, and you have to count in there all the time it took you to harvest 38 motherboards, and then check them all for compatibility with the requirements at hand, plus all the time you spent translating the needs of your client down into technical terms so you could find a solution for him.

I would not do all that in a professional manner for less than US$1,000, plus the cost of the legacy kit itself.

It is one thing to help a hobbist with a problem, that I would do for free for someone in my city or somehow close to me. But, if it's going to be a professional service with its implied warranties et al., then it should cost accordingly, in my opinion.
 

NathanAllan

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Pepinno, as professional services go I agree. But as a hobbyist he made out like a bandit, with all parties very happy. If it were me I'd have been extremely happy for someone to buy a part from me that had been sitting. No, it doesn't fit the typical business model, not at all, but it does work out well if you look beyond that.

I say again, if you need parts, let me know a wants list and I can see what I have here.

/edit I'll even see if I an get things for you; the pickings are slim around here but there are still some to be had out there.
 

Druid6900

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@1ajs;

I have no idea what you mean by "hacker spaces"

The fact that you live near a recycler is good and would make you a valuable resource on the team of franchisees

@Caluser2000;

Yes, I can understand that, but, do you see the sense of selling off stuff outside of your hobby era to acquire cash to buy more Vintage gear?

@tomasont;

My definition of Legacy is what my clients buy, which is, usually, between 386s and P IIIs. Franchisees can sell Vintage equipment as well, as long as it doesn't exceed around 20% of the total inventory.

@lutiana

Actual physical location is irrelevant; I sell to the world. If you mean is there a lot of places selling Legacy gear, well, it would look like it, but, in actual fact, they are mostly those "request a quote" type places who don't have much of anything and just hope they can find the item for the requester. On our sites, if it's listed, we have it (and usually more than is listed). I've actually sold to those types of places in the past.

@Pepinno

Yes, I could sell my services for a lot more, but, why should I be unreasonable? I enjoy what we do, everyone has fun and we help people. I make a living at it and it's challenging.
As for my costs, I know, down to the penny, what everything we do costs me. When you test whole systems 16 at a time (start the batch diagnostics and then leave them for 24 hours, your actual costs are nothing as the people can move on to doing other things in the meantime) which doesn't require constant attendance.
I knew what the person needed 5 minutes into the conversation and what items I would have gathered.
I'd rather make it up on volume from repeat customers and word of mouth than gouge someone and never see them again.
As for tear-down time, after testing, it takes 8 minutes to strip a machine down to the bare case and bin all the parts.

@NathanAllen

I'm not a hobbyist in any sense of the word and, as I said, a happy customer that feels he got good service at a reasonable price is a repeat customer and you make more money, in the long run, that way. As I mentioned earlier, it would be cost prohibitive to get stuff from you, but, since IBMMuseum has the SE US franchise, and he is only over in NM, he might be able to use your kind offer.
 

NathanAllan

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Just fyi, a hackerspace is a kind of community center afaik that you sign in, make/program/build whatever and get to use the tools that are there and you have space, a network to work with and possibly tools. Sometimes there are fees but most of the time not (not sure on that, we don't have one here YET).

I'll let IBMmuseum know that I am available here. Thanks for the heads up on that.
 

Unknown_K

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While I can see making a killing once in a while you do realize that most of what you are doing is sinking time into gathering, testing, storing, etc a bunch of inventory that will be worthless to anybody outside the hobby in a few years. People who need parts for business will eventually upgrade so the 386 to P3's that sell now will end up being embedded boards or what have you in a few years making your inventory worthless.

The people who make money are allways the ones who get a customer to a product to make the sale (without having to get their hands dirty or keep inventory). Every factory you visit the sales guys drive the best cars (excluding the owner who has the exotic parked in his private spot) while the people who make things happen drive the junkers or normal boring cars.

When you specify to fellow collectors not to have more then 20% of their inventory being vintage, you are pretty much telling them to put all their hobby time into collecting boring materials to hopefully sell someday. Most collectors would be better off selling duplicates or items they no longer want to support their hobby then to turning the hobby into a poor paying job consuming their time and limited space (you are looking for hoarders after all).
 

IBMMuseum

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...As I mentioned earlier, it would be cost prohibitive to get stuff from you, but, since IBMMuseum has the SE US franchise, and he is only over in NM, he might be able to use your kind offer.

Just an edit to say you meant the SW US...
 

IBMMuseum

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While I can see making a killing once in a while you do realize that most of what you are doing is sinking time into gathering, testing, storing, etc a bunch of inventory that will be worthless to anybody outside the hobby in a few years. People who need parts for business will eventually upgrade so the 386 to P3's that sell now will end up being embedded boards or what have you in a few years making your inventory worthless...

Having the "inventory", as well as organizing and storing it, really isn't that complex. I've picked up items as I've gone along that aren't core to my collection, but are worth their "trade-up" value so I can get more that is. Knowledge of those systems is the biggest asset to help the customer.
 

NathanAllan

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Having the "inventory", as well as organizing and storing it, really isn't that complex. I've picked up items as I've gone along that aren't core to my collection, but are worth their "trade-up" value so I can get more that is. Knowledge of those systems is the biggest asset to help the customer.
This is something I do, too, and agree. Trade-up value definitely works.
 

tomasont

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While I can see making a killing once in a while you do realize that most of what you are doing is sinking time into gathering, testing, storing, etc a bunch of inventory that will be worthless to anybody outside the hobby in a few years. People who need parts for business will eventually upgrade so the 386 to P3's that sell now will end up being embedded boards or what have you in a few years making your inventory worthless.

I don't agree. This business model is very similar to an old-school auto salvage yard. In one sense, you make money by waiting. You might have a part for ten years before a buyer comes along. You make money on it because he's willing to pay a premium for a part he can't find anywhere else. People upgrade a lot slower than you might think, especially in industrial automation. I think it was Chuck who said he came across PDP11's still in use running CNC machines.
 
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