imi wrote on 2020-09-20, 09:31:
it has already been discussed in this thread many times...
increased popularity of retro hardware due to youtubers and other int […]
Miphee wrote on 2020-09-20, 09:19:
imi wrote on 2020-09-20, 09:12:
because I can't really see any evidence supporting this claim, and even if there might be a few cases here and there it still wouldn't make it "most of us".
What do you think is the reason for the constant price increase?
it has already been discussed in this thread many times...
increased popularity of retro hardware due to youtubers and other internet publications keeping up the hype, not saying at all they're at "fault" here, I do thouroughly enjoy that content as well, but I can't deny this obviously has an effect on prices.
also the ever decreasing supply of certain things, things that just pop up for sale way less often than they used to, in contrast to the previous point with a lot more people wanting it... supply and demand, while I absolutely hate this principle I also can't deny the economic reality of it existing.
and yes, of course scalpers, that just out of the gate ask for ridiculous prices anyways, and buy up what little supply is left of certain things for cheap (or even not so cheap) and try to make a profit off it.
if you look around ebay there's certain sellers who do nothing but buy up any amiga they can find for example only to resell it for more again, or worse - gut it and sell the parts, this obviously keeps most people looking for a bargain out of the loop.
on the other hand I don't really fault anyone for paying a little more than what something used to cost to get the chance to get their hands on something they really want (it's not about "I want it now" it's when the opportunity arises).
I tend to agree with you here.
The scalpers who are buying stuff up front for cheaper and make a living out of that and exclusively that (that example of the amiga is kinda heartbreaking btw), I doubt any normal hobbyist will agree that destroying parts to resell purely because of $$$$ in his eyes is not a good influence on any market. They are parasiting from it.
But regardless of how much influence scalpers have on any given hobby, there are indeed many more reasons why prices increase at some point, most of which have already been mentioned by now.
Personally I see these scalpers as having a worse impact on any hobby then, for instance, people who post entertaining and often also good videos about the hobby on youtube. I think it's kinda hard to argue that someone who purposefully destroys his own product is to the detriment of his own consumers, but not necessarily to himself.
I think I want to create a list of the reasons why prices increase now 🤣
- Supply and Demand will probably be the axis how how this works.
- Availability of parts becoming older will decrease as parts become more scarce due to parts physically becoming inoperable (which probably doesn't have as much of a profound effect on people who collect purely for their display cabinet). So the total number of working parts will probably see a steady decrease overall.
- Scalpers who artificially increase prices (and whoes goal may actually be to inflate prices by as much as possible regardless of how this affects their own consumers).
- Demand of certain parts which largely is a matter of how popular an item is. 3DFX is such an example, with it not being a rare item per se but people going crazy about it.
- Sites like Ebay and postage cost will probably also help increase prices, even if only locally.
- The number of hobbyists is also a factor, obviously. Especially the ones who are actively making the purchases and sales. Older hobbyists will probably either not spend as much or be more picky since they already got most of what they wanted and are usually much better informed.
So what generally happens will kinda look like this (and this is very generally speaking btw, without the other influences which I will describe later) :
New PC part is being produced and used. Few years later it has gotten to the territory of being surpassed by newer parts and prices will drop until there's very few NOS offers remaining, after which those prices will often settle for a long while while the second hand market starts picking up the pace and offer for beneath those prices.
As the part is becoming more and more obsolete and more people are upgrading or trying to get rid of excess stock, prices will get to their lowest point. This point may (and often does) remain stable for multiple years actually.
At some point offers will decrease as people have gotten rid of their obsolete parts and fewer people find their old rigs in their attics when doing some major cleaning etc. Demand will probably still remain fairly low at this point, so prices will often remain very low.
This will only change once there's hardly any offer of said item left with also only a very small number of takers and this is what I feel like was kinda happening when I was very active 10 to 15 years ago. Hardware ages much faster back then, so prices would fall more quickly too and sellers were keen to sell ASAP before prices would drop even lower by tomorrow, so to say.
There were arguably fewer PC hobbyists back then and this wasn't a single group, but spread out across multiple interests like amiga, IBM, MAC and all the other PC-noncompatibles.
Now even though the total amount of items was dropping a lot back then, there were so many parts compared to the number of potential buyers that prices would remain low for years on end. There were of course always people trying to sell for more (not exclusively scalpers, but also people who were just plain ignorant or perhaps also simply fraudulent by purposefully selling defective lots).
Back then some parts would obviously be more wanted, and this would typically be the high end stuff like the fastest PCI graphics card or the best CPU for any given socket or the largest (or fastest) memory module of any give type. This is the stuff that was generally more sought after. The more lowend stuff was generally speaking up for grabs (for instance AGP 2x cards would usually be cheap regardless of highend or not, because AGP 4x cards had more onboard memory and were not as ancient, thus seemed more interesting to buy for consumers on a budget).
Some items were already kinda rare though, but those were the exception. Often these items were the actual exception, like certain sound cards or things like Voodoo 5 6000).
I kinda lost track at this point of writing 🤣, but there were several causes as to why prices have gone up from this point onward. It mostly has to do with availability drying up (old stocks get sold out, people stop finding old dusty rigs in their attics and scrapyards start refusing people to browse, recycling laws which stops people tossing their old computers onto the streets which make access less accessible, the start of large companies starting to take more and more of the profits, this hobby becoming more high profile in which retro has become more cool instead of it being mostly a toy for the exception who found the hobby because computers interested him and it was very easy to acquire the parts that he wanted.
The hypes have mostly influenced prices with certain specific things, like 3DFX, ss7 and certain sound cards or certain brands even though these items are probably not as rare as the prices may seem to indicate at first.
486 stuff has not gone up as much as I'd first expect, perhaps due to ss7 time machines having become a thing but also because it circumvents certain issues like finding AT stuff. Same thing with old harddrives, as we now have things like flash cards, SSDs and adapters, so the old harddrives (even though they may have decreased a lot in numbers offered partially due to them breaking down and being relatively fragile) have probably not gone up as much in price as one might have expected them to go up in price otherwise.
I'm pretty sure I have left out some significant bits 😜