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vintagecomputermuseum

billdeg

Technician
Joined
Nov 18, 2003
Messages
3,872
Location
Landenberg, PA USA
Is Ebay user vintagecomputemuseum on this message board? I am curious as to whether selling vintage computers for "retail" prices is a viable business. A lot of the items I see for sale by vintagecomputemuseum stay listed for a while, but eventually they get pulled or sold.

Are there a lot of international sales?

Is there a formula for pricing items?

Where do you get these systems? A lot of early 80's stuff for sale.

I want to make the point that yes these are retail prices, but vintagecomputemuseum has a right to sell things at whatever price he sees fit. We're still a capitalistic society, right? That said, the prices are usually too high for me to seriously consider making a purchase. We "insiders" typically charge each other less than wholesale prices.

Bill
 

Chuckster_in_Jax

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billdeg;144208 Where do you get these systems? Bill[/QUOTE said:
I know where one came from. There was a Lanier word processor on eBay I bid on several years ago. I lost the bid to VintageComputerMuseum with the winning bid around $125. It was listed on eBay by VintageComputerMuseum a couple of months later for around $450. Same condition as it was in when he bought it. No software or manuals. It stayed listed for at least 3 years without any buyers. The price was never dropped.
 

mbbrutman

Associate Cat Herder
Staff member
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Guys,

I just want to caution you to keep the conversation civil and non-confrontational. There is no problem yet, but past experience tells me this can spin out of control very quickly.


Mike
 

curtis

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Amarillo, TX
mbbrutman, you speak the honest truth there!

I've been in conversation with a couple of sellers on ebay (not going to mention names or products) who had listed, relisted, and relisted, and relisted...over and over again.

I sent them an email asking them why not lower prices to something more reasonable. Essentially, I was told to go away! Their items were WAY to valuable to lower the prices a bit!

The irony of this is the items they were selling they had gotten free!

Worse yet, they were promotional items. Promos are probably the WORST thing to gauge for price. Is it worth something? Sure! Is it worth a ton of money, probably not.

Anyway, I've seen VintageComputerMuseum's listings and have wondered how he can survive when I for one feel he's probably not selling all that much. Also, he does offer Best Offer on many items.

But you know what? In the end it's all up to him and his buyers. If he hasn't sold a single item at what we consider to be outrageous prices, I'm sure he would've revised his thinking on his pricing. If he hasn't sold anything and still continues to list the same prices, well, it's his money.

Just my 2 cents.
 

Unknown_K

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Ohio/USA
I guess if you have enough auctions online a few will get sold over time, enough to pay for the ebay fees and possible profit. I don't think the people who do post all those premium items expect many to sell at a time, they probably could not handle the shipping volume if they did.

The age old debate on auctions has been sell in massive quantity at low prices or sell just a few at inflated prices.
 

Raven

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DE, USA..
I quit ebay due to the relisting charges when an item doesn't sell - I barely made any profit in my foray onto the bay, just enough to cover the costs and buy a tank of gas or so.. Ended up just privately selling on here, and have been doing much better - I love this forum.
 

mbbrutman

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mbbrutman, you speak the honest truth there!


Sorry Curtis - I haven't even really weighed in yet. Biting my lip. :) My only contribution here is a warning to keep it somewhat civil.
 

curtis

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Sorry Curtis - I haven't even really weighed in yet. Biting my lip. :) My only contribution here is a warning to keep it somewhat civil.

I was just agreeing with your statement to keep things civil and how they can spin out of control. An understatement IF I EVER heard one! :biggrin:
 

modem7

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May 29, 2006
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Melbourne, Australia
If someone donated me a car worth $20K, I'm free to offer it for sale at whatever price I see fit. The fact that I got it for free doesn't somehow mean that I have to drop the price. If I need to sell it fast, I'm probably going to have to advertise it at below market price. If I have the luxury of holding onto the car, I might advertise it at above market price (even well above) in the hope that someone might eventually pay that price. It's my call, and is simply representative of the 'supply and demand' model.

By the way. I'm not a seller. I'm a buyer.

From a buyer's perspective, I've certainly paid 'big' money for certain eBay items. For one item, I'm glad I did, because it's only ever appeared once on eBay in about 5 years.
And of course, the genuine alien skull was worth every single cent of the $400 - a clear example of a seller not knowing the true worth of something.
 

mbbrutman

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Modem7,

Agree, it is just business.

However, the vast majority of us don't do this as a business. So when you see somebody taking something and trying to sell it far above normal going rates, it rubs the wrong way.

Another practice that bothers me personally is "parting out" a machine where the parts are a matched set and are non-functional without the other parts. On rare items like PCjr enhanced drive controllers this is a crime because there are so few floating around and they are not well documented or understood. There are a few weird PCjr parts on eBay right now for vastly inflated prices that are just useless because they belong to a set that has been broken up. They've been there for years, and will probably not sell in my lifetime.

And yes, I'm a buyer too. And I'm willing to spend when something worth it comes up. But ahead of being a buyer, I'm a preservationist, so parting out and selling the pieces at prices that will never sell bothers me quite a bit.


Mike
 

pontus

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2008
Messages
698
Location
Uppsala, Sweden
How about this:

He likes his computers and uses them, looks at them and appreciate them but will sell if the price is right.

Perhaps hard to motivate the ebay fees, but why not?
 

Maverick1978

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Messages
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Florida, USA
And yes, I'm a buyer too. And I'm willing to spend when something worth it comes up. But ahead of being a buyer, I'm a preservationist, so parting out and selling the pieces at prices that will never sell bothers me quite a bit.

Just summed up my only complaint against sellers that do this (NOT insinuating that vintagecomputermuseum does this, mind you).

When I was looking for a somewhat-affordable Commodore SX-64 that didn't have the dreaded broken hinges, or was completely scratched up, I saw several working units that had just been taken apart and the pieces sold off. How did I know that they were from functional units? Because the seller told you so in the auction! Disgusted me... Though I guess it IS a step above those that scrap every vintage PC that they come across without ever offering it up to preservationists and collectors.
 

Dwight Elvey

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Santa Cruz
Modem7,


Another practice that bothers me personally is "parting out" a machine where the parts are a matched set and are non-functional without the other parts. On rare items like PCjr enhanced drive controllers this is a crime because there are so few floating around and they are not well documented or understood. There are a few weird PCjr parts on eBay right now for vastly inflated prices that are just useless because they belong to a set that has been broken up. They've been there for years, and will probably not sell in my lifetime.


Mike

What I don't like about those that part out is they don't seem to know
what should go together to get the best value.
A disk drive box for a H8 is worth a lot more if it comes
with the controller than a separate controller and drive.
Dwight
 

barythrin

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Messages
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Texas
Although the prices are pretty high I can understand if it's just his collection that he doesn't really want to sell other than a high price but it does lead to a lot of unfortunate other auctions. I did actually buy a system from him once before which was something like $150 for a working Columbia Data Products system (first IBM compatible clone) or the portable.. I can't remember which one to be honest. I think it was the portable and the regular system the dude (not him) mailed them in the original box which I didn't realize until afterwards and smacked myself since they were kinda trashed at that point.

But I'll admit I'm certainly jealous at some of the systems he has :) It's about the only IBM 5100 or 5110 I ever see when searching. Alternatively he's a great auction to pull up when the lady needs to see a price comparison ;-) "See? I got it for only $400.. here's one for $800".
 

Maniak

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
45
I've bought from vintagecomputermuseum through ebay once. Wasn't a screaming deal, but I got what I was after at a fair price and got almost all the software I wanted too in the same deal. If you have the contacts I'm sure you could get better prices.. Heck, I got my Kaypro from them even before I joined here.. Now I have two Kaypros.... :)

~Mark
 

modem7

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Melbourne, Australia
Damn! I paid $750 for mine...
Hey, $750 is still a damn good bargain for a genuine alien skull, even if the particular alien species comes from the slum side of the universe.

I got a Certificate of Authenticity with mine, certifying that my skull is from one of the downed aliens at Roswell, so my skull has to be worth like mega-bucks.

With your skull, if you're kinda worried about the slightly plastic feel to it, don't worry. Apparently, aliens are much more evolved than us, and their skeletons have evolved from bone to a kind of structure that feels a little bit like plastic.
 

Chuckster_in_Jax

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Joined
Feb 28, 2006
Messages
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Location
Jacksonville, Florida
I ran across this thread while looking for some info for a DEC machine I acquired a while ago. The article is targeted to DEC VAX collectors but can be applied to vintage machines in general. The author talks about who it is that buys and sells these machines and what sets the asking price. I thought it was interesting and follows the discussion we are having here so I provided the link below:

http://www.mcmanis.com/chuck/computers/vaxen/worth.htm
 

MikeS

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Joined
Dec 23, 2005
Messages
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Location
Toronto ON Canada
Hey, $750 is still a damn good bargain for a genuine alien skull, even if the particular alien species comes from the slum side of the universe.

I got a Certificate of Authenticity with mine, certifying that my skull is from one of the downed aliens at Roswell, so my skull has to be worth like mega-bucks.

With your skull, if you're kinda worried about the slightly plastic feel to it, don't worry. Apparently, aliens are much more evolved than us, and their skeletons have evolved from bone to a kind of structure that feels a little bit like plastic.
No certificate with mine but it came from a sweet old grandmother in Iowa, a souvenir the aliens had given her after they'd abducted her (and yes, probed - I did get the whole gruesome story) some 60 years ago; at least that's what she said in her emails, but if you can't trust a grandmother from Iowa then the world is a sad place indeed.

I'd be suspicious about that plastic feel of yours; apparently some unscrupulous persons have been getting fake skulls manufactured in China. Mine's the real thing, it's more like plaster because aliens have evolved beyond osteoporosis and their skeletons are pure calcium.

And now back to our regular program of kvetching about people who think their stuph is worth more than you do, or think they can do whatever they want with their stuph...
 
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