Best, worst auction deals. (was Re: eBay vrs42?)

From: Tom Ponsford <>
Date: Fri Feb 11 07:42:33 2005

> Roger wrote:
>>To put things back on track -- what's the best classiccmp related thing
>>you ever got *at a live action* (as in: not ePay)?
Well I'm an auction hound. I do buy things from ebay from time-to-time, but
mainly to get needed items to fix up or get running an item I purchased at a
regular auction.

I go to about 2-4 auctions a month here in the southwest, sometimes less,
sometimes more, work permitting.

My all time favorite auction is the U os A auction held every two weeks. Not
only is it the best, but the prices/auction bids are among the lowest.
Everything starts at $2.50. Some items have reserves, but most don't.

This place has everything and is a collectors dream. Rare computers dug up on
an almost regular basis from within the deep dark halls and basements of
acadamia. According to a lab assistant who regularly come to the auction,
there are still countless 8 and 16 bit compters running lab equipment all over
the university still to this very day.

auction items won just in the last 2-3 months, include:
A vax 3800 with a qbus scsi => $10
A tektronix 4051 graphic workstation plus all the manuals=> $10.00
An OSI single board computer w/manuals and software=> $2.50
an IBM "convertible" IBM's first laptop=>$2.50
A pallet of 8 alphastaion 4/233's for $2.50...all working (built a nice vms
cluster)...OK not real vintage but a great deal nonetheless

all in all I snagged about 20 pre-1980 computers from this auction, and
countless pre-90's computers

This doesn't include the numerous alpha's,sgi's, other "newer" computers I
snagged for about the minimum price.

My best deal I guess would be a whole box (6) of emulex UC08 qbus scsi cards I
got about 2-3 years ago for $5.00 or if you want to include non-computer
stuff: a 2000 Ford Crown Vic Police Interceptor with 40,000 miles for $3,000.
Included the light rack and police radio (both which I had to take off, before
they let me drive the car away...rats) I have kept the push bumpers on the
front and have scared countless motorists as I cruise silently behind them.

At the Bentley auctions which are held maunly in Texas and New Mexico, I once
picked up a pallet of O2's , Octanes, and other misc in various states of
disrepair for about $20. There were enough parts to make at least several
functioning computers. The Bently auctions sometimes are too competitive
because of the electronic liquidaters who prowl them. They have the big bucks
and most of the time outbid the hobbyists.

Other auctions are hit and miss. Southwest liquidators in Tucson has some good
stuff at good prices sometimes. And Sierra Auctions in Phoenix will
ocassionally have collectible/antique computers for sale (just sold as
ordinary "electronic parts" lots. These auction houses hold auctions for other
schools and colleges in the area so sometimes have good stuff. I like to look
for failed electronic companies..good finds there too.

I sometimes do spend time for these auction, the majority is travel time, but
i manage to fit it in. More importantly" it is not a drain on the wallet. As I
purchase so low, I can sell of a lot of stuff for little money and still make
a 100 percent margin. As a result I have a good "war chest" from money I've
made. Not as a business. I could never live off it (or at least not
comfortably), but have enough money made off collecting to not touch my wallet.


Received on Fri Feb 11 2005 - 07:42:33 GMT

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