Help with pricing on vintage computers?

From: Marvin Johnston <>
Date: Mon Jan 13 10:15:01 2003

I've found the best way to get a realistic price on an ebay item is to
go to the bid history and look at the the pricing on the third bidder
down. And Ebay IS a *most* useful tool for finding what the value is to
most people; you just can't use the final bid price all the time.

Sellam Ismail wrote:
> On Sat, 11 Jan 2003, Nick Miller wrote:
> > Just curious. In what other marketplace can you ignore the 10 highest and
> > the 10 lowest prices on an interesting vintage computer and have anything
> > left to average? I would be thrilled if there were 30 Commodore 65, Atari
> > 1450XLD or SOL-20 sales in a year to determine their value, but I don't
> > think that's going to ever happen. If you significantly stretch out the
> That is correct. And therefore, eBay will never be a useful tool for
> determining average value of a specific collectible computer due to the
> way the eBay auction mechanism encourages overbidding.
> > time frame you are averaging over you are going to smooth over important
> > events affecting the value of vintage computer equipment. As an interested
> This is not guaranteed, especially with some of the outrageous prices that
> have been paid for some machines there. Like, for instance, a $1000
> TRS-80 Model 1.
> > party I plan on buying Mike and Sellam's book but we have to realize that
> It's Mike's book ;)
> > eBay has an impact on the value of our collections and while like most rabid
> > collectors the dollar value of my collection is not what is important to me
> > it certainly will be important if I ever have to deal with my insurance
> > agent.
> It's fine for insurance purposes perhaps, but not for trading computers.
> Look, if one wants to live in an eBay world where you buy and sell
> exclusively there then one is welcome to live in that other-dimensional
> economy. But in the real world, I don't want eBay prices to be affecting
> the value of a computer, especially when it threatens to drive the price
> up to ridiculous levels on common machines.
> > As for eBay, the last time I checked the eBay dollars I was spending and
> > being paid in were worth the same as the dollars my employer is paying me
> On the average, you are paying a premium by way of the inflated sale price
> that each auction ends at.
> > every week. I would not have been able to acquire the 300+ computers I have
> > if it were not for eBay. Newsgroups and mailing lists are great for sharing
> > ideas, offering assistance and making contacts but they are really a pretty
> > poor way to buy, sell and trade interesting vintage computers. I for one am
> > damn thankful eBay is as successful as it is.
> That's funny, I acquired most of the 1,700+ computers I have through
> newsgroups and mailing lists, plus flea markets, thrift stores, electronic
> surplus stores, etc. Probably less than 20 were acquired through eBay.
> Computer collecting on eBay is like going big game trophy hunting in a
> wild animal reserve. It's fun, and you bag the big ones, but you are
> certainly paying for the privelege of the easy score.
> I prefer to hunt out in the wild.
> Sellam Ismail Vintage Computer Festival
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> International Man of Intrigue and Danger
> * Old computing resources for business and academia at *
Received on Mon Jan 13 2003 - 10:15:01 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:35:59 BST