Thrifts out of controll

From: Sam Ismail <>
Date: Sat Jun 14 01:49:19 1997

On Fri, 13 Jun 1997 wrote:

> I frequent two thrift stores in the same town on a regular basis and the
> prices, while higher than what you folks on the west cost are used to, were
> reasonable. However three weeks ago they started getting in a lot of PC
> equipment and the prices on it were ridiculous i.e $70 for a Packard Bell XT
> clone with a monochrome monitor and $50 for an IBM 5150 PC with monitor.
> While I was amused I wasn't really concerned since I have little interest in
> this type of gear.
> Now however the madness has infected the old 8 bit equipment. Some examples.
> Apple IIc with monitor, 5 1/4" and 3 1/2" external drives $75. Not too bad
> you say. Well then how about a C-64 with a 1571 disk drive and power supplies
> for $80? The killer was a Coco 1 with manuals for $99 dollars.

I hear you. But what you have to realize is, as lame as these prices are
to us, these computers still really are usable, and probably are worth
that price to some people, since the way they see it, a new computer
costs in the thousands, while these only cost less than $100. To them,
the distinction between computers from the 80's versus computers from the
90s is old vs. new. Not obsolete vs. new as it should be. However, as
far as going market value is concerned based on flea market prices, yes
these are inflated.

> Three weeks ago the C-64 and the Coco would have been $12 each and the 1571
> about $15. I assume that they have someone new pricing this equipment but I
> can't for the life of me figure out the rationale behind these prices.
> Needless to say they're not moving much equipment.
> Sorry for the rant but I just had to let it out. I did complain to the
> cashier who said (sincerely I believe) that she would inform the manager .

Sometimes the people who are in charge of the pricing at the thrifts are
clueless, and just need to be informed. I went into a thrift one day and
saw a bunch of nice computers that I wanted, but they were all way
over-priced...$45 for a TI-99/4a, $25 for a C64, etc. I found the guy in
charge of the pricing and told him diplomatically that they were way out
of line. He was really cool about it and was willing to entertain an
offer, so I offered $5 per unit. He agreed and ended up taking all 12 of
the various systems that were sitting out. On top of that I got a 50%
electronics discount (they have discounts on certain days for certain
items) and then %30 on top of that for some other discount!!! I ended up
paying only $25 or so.

So the moral of the story is, talk to the manager and work out a deal.
Tell them the prices are out of line, or else you would be interested in
buying. If they still hedge, offer to come back in a week and if the
systems are still there (which they most likely will be) ask to buy them
at the price you want, or at least at a substantial discount.

Another thrift store I go to has phenomenal pricing on old 8-bit stuff.
I can usually go in there and pick-up a TI-99/4a, a VIC-20, a C64, an
Atari x00, each for anywhere from $.99 to $2.98. Just last week I got a
VIC-20 for $1.98. I got a TI-99/4a before that for $.99, and one day I
got an Atari 800XL for $.99 and a 1050 drive for $1.98. It amazes me
that they get this stuff in all the time, because this store is in a
pretty low income area.

Computer Historian, Programmer, Musician, Philosopher, Athlete, Writer, Jackass
Received on Sat Jun 14 1997 - 01:49:19 BST

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