Valuing classic computers, was re: eBay sniping

From: Martin Scott Goldberg <>
Date: Wed Apr 30 14:27:01 2003

>Dan Wright <> says:
>Vintage Computer Festival said:
>> > All these factors play a role and that is why I think eBay prices DO
>> > reflect market value. eBay provides an almost perfect global marketplace
>> > and in such an environment prices will fluctuate around a "market value".
>> And again, I disagree, precisely because of the way that eBay auctions
>> work, and the factors that can influence a final selling price.
>No matter what anyone says, it remains a fact that eBay DOES determine a fair
>market value of an item -- the value of that item on the eBay market :) eBay
>prices really have no relevance outside that scope, since any (most?) other
>markets you'd be selling classiccmp items in (hamfest, local shop, etc) are
>inherently local and/or specialized can't really be judged by the same
>standards as eBay. There can be more then one fair market value for
>something, dependant on the market in question.

This is something that the video game community has been grappling with
for some time as well. More often than no however, the solution is to
form some sort of official price guide (which this list should consider)
based on a survey of Ebay prices. Ebay still presents a valuable
resource, because it makes it much easyer to research selling prices of an
item than calling all over and trying to keep track of sales without the
net would be. Generally though, you want to report three prices in such a
listing - a high, low, and average selling price for the item.

>This is why it's SO annoying to hear someone try to bargain at a hamfest by
>saying "but I could get 10 times that on ebay!"
>- Dan Wright

I'm reminded of a story on the r.g.v.c. newsgroup of someone who came
across someone like that at an indoor flea market. The seller was using
it to justify their rediculously high price. The newgroup member had
their laptop (equiped with cellular modem) with and proceeded to pull up
an ebay auction for the item in question. He then began to showing it to
people just outside the booth in question, in protest claiming the seller
was of course a scam artist. The seller became irate, but security
wouldn't do anything about it since the guy wasn't breaking any laws
showing it to people. He also was not in the guy's booth area. The
seller quickly closed down his booth and went home "for the day".
Received on Wed Apr 30 2003 - 14:27:01 BST

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