eBay sniping

From: Doc Shipley <doc_at_mdrconsult.com>
Date: Fri Apr 25 02:58:00 2003

On Friday, April 25, 2003, at 02:05 AM, Vintage Computer Festival wrote:
> This is a really good point. There has to be an objective value based
> on
> true scarcity (i.e. how many total units produced), not regional
> scarcity, and generally acknowledged historical and/or technical
> significance. eBay prices do not generally reflect objective value.

   There will never be any true or even consistent determination of a
thing's "objective value". It's a null phrase, an impossibility.
   "Value", by its very definition, is purely subjective. Any attempt to
assign an immutable quantity will fail. Even the criteria you've used
as constants are variable, and subject to personal interpretation.
   "True" scarcity? You intend to verify each unit produced, and verify
the destruction of each unit not known to still exist? It's not
   Regional and *perceived* scarcity are much more relevant factors to
real current value than some assigned global scarcity. A good example
is the plight of the DEC collectors in Australia and New Zealand, who
would commit unnnatural acts for a working VAX. Meanwhile, I have a
stack of them in storage, besides the several I use at home. I would
drive across town to rescue another VS3100, but I doubt that I'd pay
cash for one.

   Understand that I'm not nit-picking. I'm trying to demonstrate that
the "artificial" influences on eBay, realtime auctions, the feeding
frenzies I've seen at swap meets -- they are _valid_ factors in the
value of any product, and doubly so with collectibles.

   My PDP-11/53's "true" "objective" value would have to be nil. There's
nothing it can do that can't be done more efficiently by a later
PDP-11, and nothing *I* do with it that I couldn't do in SIMH, much
faster and at a much lower real expense. Its value is *entirely*
emotional, and entirely subjective.

   That's the whole point, isn't it?

Received on Fri Apr 25 2003 - 02:58:00 BST

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