VOGONS


Collecting rants

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First post, by devius

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Recently in the "Bought these retro hardware today" thread there was a discussion about the good and bad parts of collecting retro hardware.

So, what are your thoughts about it? How do you feel about some of the more outlandish prices on "some" auction sites? Do you usually have good luck finding rare stuff for cheap?

Reply 1 of 548, by Bancho

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Is there really any point to this thread? My train of thought is.. if you don't like the price don't buy it. It's not like i'm "entitled to any of this hardware" just because i like to mess about with it.

Reply 2 of 548, by darry

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I hate having to decide whether to repair or return stuff that is hard to find (at all or at least at a reasonable price), advertised as working, and is probably, but not certainly, fixable . If I return it, I pass on a potentially rare occasion and if I keep it, even after a rebate, it may not be fixable in the end and could end up as a price-reduced door-stop .

Reply 4 of 548, by darry

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Descriptions that are ambiguous or badly written to the extreme and/or typos (possibly intentional) in important info like model or part numbers are things that tick me off .

This especially annoying if there are a gazillion sellers peddling the supposedly same item with cut and pasted crappy description. You are left to wonder if they are pushing the same knock-off or if it is just a typo . Example: PCI to PCI Express adapter with PLX brand bridge chip .

Reply 5 of 548, by Joseph_Joestar

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I'm mostly annoyed by blurry pictures which often don't show the true state of the hardware (bulged capacitors and such).

Also, people selling untested hardware and still demanding ridiculous prices for it.

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Reply 6 of 548, by boxpressed

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Bancho wrote on 2020-06-09, 16:39:

Is there really any point to this thread? My train of thought is.. if you don't like the price don't buy it. It's not like i'm "entitled to any of this hardware" just because i like to mess about with it.

I agree with Bancho that a sense of entitlement begets too many of these rants. "But I really, really want it, and that person doesn't know as much about XYZ as I do" is not a sound underlying premise for an argument. Who's to say that the person who agrees to pay more for an item also doesn't really, really want it? We're not talking about the basic necessities of life here. No one is entitled to a Kyro 2 card because it was inexpensive ten years ago.

Other rants can be legit, but they tend to be the same ones. Someone shipped a card in a bubble mailer. Crumpled newspaper for packing material. Seller advertises as untested when they sell other items as tested. Items listed as "rare" in the auction title.

Reply 7 of 548, by babtras

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Machines in good working order are definitely overpriced on the auction sites. I haven't built up the trust to purchase "Untested - no power adapter - AS IS" listings because it is too easy to 'lose' the power cord for an unrepairable machine so you don't have to admit it isn't repairable. If the seller is up front about it not working and prices it accordingly, those are usually what I buy. And so far 80% of them have been repairable with electronics repair experience still in infancy.

Most recent, a Datavue 25 (8088 lunchbox) was sold as a derelict and turned out the only thing wrong with it was someone messed around with the DIP switches inside one of the expansion bays and disabled the floppy and the LCD so it appeared to do absolutely nothing when powered on.
3 others were trivial (blown fuse, bad battery pack, bad hard drive that caused it to incorrectly report a controller failure).
1 has been my PC repair 101 course and I have learned something new and developed my soldering skills each time I feel brave enough to try again. And it paid back the $20 it cost when I was able to remove the 80287 and put it in my Compaq SLT 286.

So I have no complaints. The entertainment value / cost ratio has been better than my Netflix subscription.

Reply 8 of 548, by 386SX

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I understand that none should need to buy every components when their prices become absurd, like something essential.
So the obvious solution is just to not buy them and go on. But something on the modern hobbies make me thinking not necessary on the legit side of someone selling what he owns at the price he want (even beside all the things like "rare" in the titles or "as is" or whatever such things) but then it's sad to feel there're probably (?) people buying components just to immediately selling them at their own prices and maybe others will buy them for the same reason at higher ones in a vortex of prices raising that will become a standard for any object sold in future in any hobbies.
Let's see lately AT cases prices that are so high I am using ATX ones for AT mainboards. I think in any hobbies there is who collect not to sell in the short time but to enjoy the hobby and maybe maybe sell it in the future. And at that point decide which is the "right" price for it not just to expect "winning a lottery" beside I suppose it may be legit.
I mean where there's a passion for an hobby I hope/think there's a sort of "ethic" side in people sharing that hobby where a component may have a sort of known price anyway but not over a good sense limit at least for the common ones. Obviously none should need the rarest of the rarest card and expecting it to be bought for free but people who really have the passion for the hobby knows how much absurd would be selling ANY ISA card built at the same price and nowdays even PCI cards...

Reply 9 of 548, by wiretap

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Only 2 things bother me. One is receiving something not as described (or concealed issues), and the other is inadequate packing of the shipment.

I'll pay whatever price is deemed appropriate for my budget and wants/needs. Otherwise I just laugh at stupidly high prices and don't buy it. I've found that some of the more rare stuff comes up every so often at a good price, or where you least expect it like in a scrap lot or computer found sitting along side the road on trash day.

There's no need to get bent out of shape on just collecting things so you can outperform some other collector.. that's when you know you have mental problems.

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Reply 10 of 548, by TheMobRules

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A rant is just that: a rant. It doesn't need to be fair or "legit", it is an expression of frustration about a particular subject (in this case, old hardware).

Why shouldn't consumers be able to think and state that they feel the price of a certain item is too high? It's not that they are somehow forcing the seller to lower the price! It's all part of the game, sellers push in order to sell for max profit, while consumers do the same for getting things as cheap as possible.

I am not really a "collector", being usually more interested in the hardware to tinker with it rather than display it. That said, I am only willing to pay a "premium" if the item in question is the result of personal or community effort, like the MIDI cards, GUS clones and other stuff like that. In those cases I feel there is actual hard work and effort from the creator(s) behind those projects that I'm paying for. It's not like "I pulled this dusty old generic OAK ISA VGA from my grandma's PC, but ISA == VinTaGE!!1, must be worth like $200!".

So that would be my rant, it annoys me to see overpriced generic, abundant stuff that could be useful if priced reasonably. But instead it will probably end up rotting for years on an eBay listing or recycled due to people thinking they are financially saved because they found an old beige computer in the attic.

Reply 11 of 548, by austinham

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I have 3 rants/complaints.
1: Seller that ether sell you junk or don't know how to ship things.
2: entitled people complaining about not being able to buy something.
3: limited supply of top end hardware.

Buy I don't by parts to collect as I don't see the point in that, I buy parts to use.

Reply 12 of 548, by PTherapist

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1 thing I often find funny is you'll have somebody selling some common retro hardware that is in a pretty poor condition, discoloured, missing pieces etc etc and they're asking hundreds for it. Yet scroll down through the listings and you find the same thing from another seller in much better condition and for a fraction of the price.

I don't know about anybody else, but if I'm selling something I want rid of I'd make sure it is at least priced as per or just below any other offerings available. It's as if they don't actually want to sell the item, or more likely generally clueless about how to sell. 🤣

Reply 13 of 548, by darry

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PTherapist wrote on 2020-06-09, 19:07:

1 thing I often find funny is you'll have somebody selling some common retro hardware that is in a pretty poor condition, discoloured, missing pieces etc etc and they're asking hundreds for it. Yet scroll down through the listings and you find the same thing from another seller in much better condition and for a fraction of the price.

I don't know about anybody else, but if I'm selling something I want rid of I'd make sure it is at least priced as per or just below any other offerings available. It's as if they don't actually want to sell the item, or more likely generally clueless about how to sell. 🤣

Like I wrote, If the seller actually wants to move product, he will eventually learn to price things, otherwise his "for sale" items become noise to be eliminated by a price range filter and will stay that way forever.

EDIT: Everyone is clueless one day, but staying clueless forever usually requires a degree of self-righteousness that can be only be attained through liberal applications of highly concentrated stupidity . Worldwide supplies of stupidity show no sign of running out anytime soon and the numbers of its consumers look to be on the rise .

Reply 14 of 548, by imi

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austinham wrote on 2020-06-09, 18:57:

Buy I don't by parts to collect as I don't see the point in that, I buy parts to use.

I do buy parts to collect and preserve, so I'll have a lot of different stuff to play around with in the future (and hey, maybe preserve it for future generations ^^), when none of this might be available or attainable anymore.

I went through a few scrap lots today and just got incredibly sad when I saw a completely smashed ELSA Gloria XXL 🙁

Reply 15 of 548, by will1384

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I have had "somewhat OK" luck with eBay, I often have to take a gamble, and unfortunately I have very little to spend on stuff like this, I "might" have a $100 extra a month to spend on what what ever I want, and when I find a good deal, and I have the money, I tend to buy more than one if I can, but limit my self to 5 or 10 things that I need, or might need in the future, I try not to buy all of what someone has.

I have run into a few problems with sellers:

They send tracking numbers right after you buy it - but nothing is ever sent.
They send tracking numbers right after you buy it - but they wait a month to send it.
They send tracking numbers right after you buy it - and they wait a week or two before they say that they are out of stock and then refund your money, and by waiting on them you lose a chance to get the item somewhere else.

Last year I ordered 5 p/2 keyboards - but 3 were USB

I once ordered a new hard drive and it was sent in an envelope, and was dead, I sent the hard drive to to the manufacturer for repairs, and they did that for free, and the person that sold it to me went on a rant and left negative feedback, the seller wanted the money the hard drive was insured for, and it was more then the refund they were going to give me.

I was sold a laptop and the description said it came with a list of software and included the CDs, and a newer version of Windows, the description said/showed factory made CDs, but what I received was a lot of pirated software burned on CD.

I have got computers shipped with no padding at all, sound and video cards sent lose in a box with each other, a computer shipped with garbage and pet hair has padding.

But yea I hate the low quality item photos, vague descriptions, misleading descriptions, people charging way too much for shipping, it's starting to wear on me

Reply 16 of 548, by EvieSigma

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This isn't collecting specific but it comes up a lot when I'm looking at retro computer stuff anyway. I really cannot stand how eBay lets people list the same extremely overpriced listings 0ver and over forever. Stuff like $500 XTs and a certain infamous Mac seller who typically asks at least 3x over the average selling price for their items. All these listings do is convince people who don't know better to also ask way too much money.

Reply 17 of 548, by imi

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don't get me started on ebay sellers using other accounts pushing their own auctions, I probably have reported like a hundred of these over the last months and of course nothing ever happens, they just keep relisting the same item and pushing it until they find somone who bid more.

Reply 18 of 548, by EvieSigma

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I forgot a big one actually: sellers who show pictures of a vintage laptop running but refuse to sell you the power adapter. It's not necessarily against the rules but it rubs me the wrong way.

Reply 19 of 548, by will1384

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EvieSigma wrote on 2020-06-09, 20:57:

I forgot a big one actually: sellers who show pictures of a vintage laptop running but refuse to sell you the power adapter. It's not necessarily against the rules but it rubs me the wrong way.

The odd thing is that I see that a lot, and I always think they are going to sell the power adapters separately, but when I look at the other items being sold by that person I don't see the power adapters, and I think a lot of that is because they got the laptop at a government auction, or some kind of auction, and they basically just got a random laptop with nothing else, I used to get laptops like that my self at auctions, but if it was a personal laptop it seems silly to hold onto a power adapter that you will likely never use on anything else.