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What's your vintage computer play budget?

barythrin

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See a few folks here pondering potential sales and while I know everyone has a different scenario thought it might be an interesting conversation topic.

What's your decision for your play budget based on? What kinda price is your throw away for playing with something new?

For me it goes up and down along with other issues like income. When I was young it was pretty much <$20 I would buy it for the hell of it and entertain myself. Now a day if I see a system under $50 that's pretty reasonable for me to justify cost wise, just now my problem is space from all the previous reasonings :-D So although there are some sweet deals out there (unless it's on my must have list which I still would have to justify) sometimes I can't save or collect them like I might have in previous years. It also seems uncommon to find systems in that play budget range in the last decade. Then there are some systems which should be but you have to add gas or shipping to the equation and it comes out to more of a commitment than I can do.

For you other collectors out there, what are your thoughts?
 

commodorejohn

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Largely depends on what it is and how much I want it. I try to get systems for $30-50 if I can, but I'm not opposed to dropping < $100 on something (not very often, though!) And if it's something I really want, I might go up to $300 on it (as with my Amiga 3000.) That's a rare, once-a-year or tax-refund type thing, though.
 

Unknown_K

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Depends, lately it is probably $50 a month (includes stuff for the collection and parts purchased to clean and fix as needed). If something rare and cheap shows up I will go over budget, but I rarely spend less then $50 a month anymore since too many cool things can be found in the last couple years. Ofcourse you can sometimes find a ton of things locally for free that doesn't impact the budget at all. Of my budget I would suspect it mostly goes for shipping.
 

Securix

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Largely depends on how much I want it, what condition it's in, and how rare it is....and yes how much cash I can spare at the moment.

I've dropped some serious cash, upwards of $700-$800 on complete, mint, boxed machines that turned out to be rare finds.

By the same token, I've also dropped $120 + truck rental for a huge haul of so-so condition stuff, but was well worth it because of the quantity of items I got for the money.

Even if the asking price is beyond what I can afford at the moment, I've also managed to work out deals with some very fair, honest people, basically to send them a deposit to hold the machines for me, and then sent the rest when I had it.

See a few folks here pondering potential sales and while I know everyone has a different scenario thought it might be an interesting conversation topic.

What's your decision for your play budget based on? What kinda price is your throw away for playing with something new?

For you other collectors out there, what are your thoughts?
 

Tetrium2

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Apr 12, 2011
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The Netherlands
I'd say my budget is around €50 max a month, but it tends to come in waves. For a couple months I buy hardly anything (maybe doing a local pickup or some item for shipping costs), then suddenly I'll buy items in a buying spree. It depends on what's for sale also, and how badly I want/need it.
 

tezza

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Good topic,

I guess I don't have a monthly play budget. I've got a list of machines (and hard-copy manuals) I want and that's where the money is going to go. Some months I'll spend very little then suddenly one of the machines I want will become available and I might spend a lot.

Depending on how common and how notable the machines are, some I would only pay $50 for, while others I might pay $300. I've only got a handful of machines left on the list. As you would expect, these are rare (Jupiter Ace, Compucolor, Mac 128, Epson QX-10) and some of them (e.g. the Jupiter Ace) are pretty expensive.

Tez
 

PeterNY

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My budget is really limited since I had a lot of medical bills recently. But I also realized that I need a hobby. Late 1980s / early 1990s DOS games and sound cards are really a lot of fun. So I do spend maybe USD 100 per month. But I also buy, trade and sell stuff all the time so it gets a little blurred. :D

My car is really unreliable (2003 Lincoln LS) so unfortunately I cannot drive far anymore to pick up sweet deals. The other challenge is living on an island (Long Island) so getting places is really hard: driving through NYC is a nightmare and the ferry to CT is too expensive. Here on the island classifieds with vintage computer equipment are few and far between. And freecycle does not yield anything either. Another challenge are the old metal people as well as recycling yards and companies that do not allow picking nor do they reply to requests for vintage equipment.
 

carlsson

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I am with Tezza. I also don't budget my purchases. It can go months when I find nothing to buy or trade for, and then I can shell out with rather large amounts if I think it is worth the asked price. My single most expensive item ever might've been in the ~$300-350 range which is also around the price range where I think items can be worthwhile to obtain. I suppose I could go up to ~$500 for something very spectacular but beyond that would be a lot of risk taking.

Of course I could go even higher if I knew I was making a bargain, someone selling a highly valuable computer, peripheral or piece of software (mostly games) for a fraction of the normal market value. I suppose many of you on tighter budgets may not have that option to pick up your neighbour's Apple 1 for $1000, payment due tomorrow.
 

Unknown_K

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Well if you have a credit card (Paypal) then making large purchases on the spur of the moment (big bargains) isn't a problem. Most of us have enough spare valuable equitment to sell to make the money back if needed anyway. Some expensive machines seem to sell via trades too sometimes. What I don't do is buy items on speculation for resale, if I don't need it somebody else can add it to their collection cheap.
 

PeterNY

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What I don't do is buy items on speculation for resale, if I don't need it somebody else can add it to their collection cheap.

I will not do that through eBay but I will when I see stuff on Craigslist that I know other people would like: I just charge gasoline money and packaging costs (tape, Staples boxes). :D I have a strange excitement when I show up at USPS with lots of stuff to mail. I have always loved sending and receiving mail. Email sucks in comparison! Nothing like a Christmas feeling every time something arrives. ;)
 

linuxlove

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Well, like others have said, it depends on the item. Since I'm really wanting an IBM AT, I think my budget sits around $100 or more to cover shipping one of those things.
 

Maverick1978

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I will not do that through eBay but I will when I see stuff on Craigslist that I know other people would like: I just charge gasoline money and packaging costs (tape, Staples boxes). :D I have a strange excitement when I show up at USPS with lots of stuff to mail. I have always loved sending and receiving mail. Email sucks in comparison! Nothing like a Christmas feeling every time something arrives. ;)

That "Christmas" feeling is what kills me. At 33, I still love the feeling of opening the mailbox and finding something in there for me! laugh...

So far as my "budget," I've been bad in the past... spent more on the hobby than I have time available to dedicate to it... but it's still fun to do, fun to pull out the machine and use it for awhile, etc. That said, I've pretty much all the machines that I want. Right now, it's components that I want to put in the machines, and (some) original software for archiving and then the shelf. Budget varies in relation to what else is going on in my life. This month, budget is rather thin. A few unexpected big bills come in at once and it thins out the spare cash pretty quickly :) I do tend to hold out for the bargain, however... for me, there's as much enjoyment in the hunt as there is in the possession. I don't mind stretching out the hunt sometimes :)
 

PeterNY

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A few unexpected big bills come in at once and it thins out the spare cash pretty quickly :)
Tell me about it. Between my car and medical bills I get hit all the time. :D Then there is the house. Turns out my upstairs shower leaks a lot so I need to have someone rip up the floor and redo the entire drainage. :tellme:

I do tend to hold out for the bargain, however... for me, there's as much enjoyment in the hunt as there is in the possession. I don't mind stretching out the hunt sometimes :)
A lot of fun indeed. Unfortunately there are very few thrift stores around where I live (and the most exciting so far have been brand new 3.5" diskettes in various colors) and Craigslist does not yield much either. :)
 

docred

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Up and down for me - as Carlsson said, sometimes I go for a while and spend nothing, then along comes a more significant purchase that I splurge on because it is something I don't have, or in very good condition. I think the most I have spent on one item would be for my Amiga 4000 several years ago - can't remember exactly what I paid for it, I think it was around $250. As someone else mentioned, space has become more of the issue with me, and time to play with everything as well.

This year I am spending less on my collection because I am insulating my garage and turning half of it into a proper shop, and I'm also going to Defcon. Both of those have significant price tags attached to them, so I need to be more 'responsible' in other areas :) Next year I'm hoping to do one of the VCFs.
 

DOS lives on!!

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I try to sell some of my newer computers tomake money to buy older ones. Once I run out of newer computers, what am I going to do??? From doing that, I got a working IBM PC XT 5160 with monitor, manuals, software, and accessories all for 70 dollars, what a deal!!:)
 
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