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Retro Hardware Collecting rants

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Reply 160 of 934, by imi

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I mean it makes sense if someone is looking for that one particular replacement part, but chances are high the seller will not ever find a buyer for all the parts and so they eventually just land in the bin.
and here the same rule from above applies... looking for a laptop replacement part? better off just buying a whole other laptop instead of looking for single parts ^^

I once bought a whole load of Toughbook replacement parts, but those were all new original factory replacement parts, so not even parted out, and they were a lot cheaper than what most sellers were asking for old used parted out parts... I also bought a bunch of Toughbooks in varying states of disrepair just to have replacement parts on hand, it makes a lot of sense just to sell them as a whole, like I said chances are only one or two parts are going to sell anyways, so might as well have sold it all together and it's way less effort too ^^

but yeah, parting out desktops makes a lot more sense, as all the parts can be used individually in different machines if it's not OEM specific.

Reply 161 of 934, by Unknown_K

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boxpressed wrote on 2020-06-17, 15:22:

This hobby becomes a lot more affordable if you decide to become a seller yourself. This becomes a necessity if you're limited by space. Although the days of buying Voodoo 3 cards for $20 are gone (but not truly long gone), you can still buy up lots of cards on eBay for reasonable amounts. Keep the one you want and sell the rest. A lot of the time, you can recoup your investment or even profit.

But being a good seller is work too. Not hard work, but it can be time-consuming if you want to be as honest as you can about the condition of your items. I like testing stuff more than playing games anyway, so it works out for me. All I can say is that I'm in the black over years of collecting and selling, making the hobby affordable. I think it can still be so.

Your collecting habits change once you go from everything I spend is wasted to buying up lots hoping to make a profit and only keep a few items.

Collecting and investing are two different things.

To be honest the hobby is still cheap if you just want to play games over a small period needing maybe 3 machines in total. The problem if when you want have gear from the original PC to what was popular a few years ago and everything in between. If you gathered up all that gear as it hit the bottom of the value curve the hobby was cheap but the space needed for storage would be large.

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Reply 162 of 934, by Deksor

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Miphee wrote on 2020-06-17, 17:06:
Marentis wrote on 2020-06-17, 16:46:

Because if I'm honest to myself, I don't even have a look at most of the hardware anymore because you can only use so many systems at the same time.

I think of it as an investment for my children. I gave my wife specific instructions on what to do with my collection after I'm gone. "So no honey, don't throw everything in the dumpster or I'll come back and haunt you for the rest of your life!"

I don't see it as an investment in my case (to be honest I don't really like this mindset, but I'm not here to judge), I simply get what I want to have and hope it'll last as long as possible for myself. Sure my collection must be worth quite a lot of money by now. But money was definitely not my appeal when I started, why would it be my appeal now ?

I haven't sold many things yet. I might start to sell more things now, but only to buy other things I want (like @boxpressed said), because exchangind doesn't always work, and that's what money have been created for in the first place anyways.

But yeah, as the investment part, the future is too imprecise with things like this and is full of "what if" (like what if intel chips start dying once they reach a certain age ? What if people end up getting uninterested in a far future for some reasons ? etc)

Trying to identify old hardware ? Visit The retro web - Project's thread The Retro Web project - a stason.org/TH99 alternative

Reply 163 of 934, by Horun

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Unknown_K wrote on 2020-06-17, 20:34:
Your collecting habits change once you go from everything I spend is wasted to buying up lots hoping to make a profit and only k […]
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boxpressed wrote on 2020-06-17, 15:22:

This hobby becomes a lot more affordable if you decide to become a seller yourself. This becomes a necessity if you're limited by space. Although the days of buying Voodoo 3 cards for $20 are gone (but not truly long gone), you can still buy up lots of cards on eBay for reasonable amounts. Keep the one you want and sell the rest. A lot of the time, you can recoup your investment or even profit.

But being a good seller is work too. Not hard work, but it can be time-consuming if you want to be as honest as you can about the condition of your items. I like testing stuff more than playing games anyway, so it works out for me. All I can say is that I'm in the black over years of collecting and selling, making the hobby affordable. I think it can still be so.

Your collecting habits change once you go from everything I spend is wasted to buying up lots hoping to make a profit and only keep a few items.

Collecting and investing are two different things.

To be honest the hobby is still cheap if you just want to play games over a small period needing maybe 3 machines in total. The problem if when you want have gear from the original PC to what was popular a few years ago and everything in between. If you gathered up all that gear as it hit the bottom of the value curve the hobby was cheap but the space needed for storage would be large.

🤣 I like the way you word everything with accuracy...

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Reply 164 of 934, by babtras

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Deksor wrote on 2020-06-18, 00:37:

I don't see it as an investment in my case (to be honest I don't really like this mindset, but I'm not here to judge), I simply get what I want to have and hope it'll last as long as possible for myself. Sure my collection must be worth quite a lot of money by now. But money was definitely not my appeal when I started, why would it be my appeal now ?

I haven't sold many things yet. I might start to sell more things now, but only to buy other things I want (like @boxpressed said), because exchangind doesn't always work, and that's what money have been created for in the first place anyways.

But yeah, as the investment part, the future is too imprecise with things like this and is full of "what if" (like what if intel chips start dying once they reach a certain age ? What if people end up getting uninterested in a far future for some reasons ? etc)

It is not a new hobby so I think there is enough history to draw on to likely conclude that it is never really going to be a sound investment. The future wave of retro enthusiasts will be looking back to what they had when they were runts. They'll go hog-wild over first generation Core i7 and PCIe cards. The older stuff that I have, I have because an old collector liqudated them and that's the likely future of most of us too. The 8088 I just got is a good example. I found a page describing the very same unit, not the same model, but the same unit. Verified because they posted the serial number in addition to the little dog sticker on the front still being present. http://pcmuseum.tripod.com/datavue.html The previous owner was obviously a serious collector, and if he thought of this as an investment back when he was exploring it, then he was terribly disappointed when it sold to me for $100 CAD ($67 USD). Not any kind of life changing amount of money for anyone. That's not even a week's worth of groceries in Canada.

So I agree. If you think of it as an investment then you're kidding yourself. The only exception might be for some truly iconic pieces. But even then, a Voodoo3 isn't going to mean much to collectors in 20 years, they'll be all excited over the first generation of hardware accellerated ray tracing and might not even know what a voodoo3 is.

But it is most certainly a great hobby and it if selling some things allows you to buy something else to switch it up and keep it interesting, then do it.

Reply 165 of 934, by darry

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Horun wrote on 2020-06-18, 02:53:
Unknown_K wrote on 2020-06-17, 20:34:
Your collecting habits change once you go from everything I spend is wasted to buying up lots hoping to make a profit and only k […]
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boxpressed wrote on 2020-06-17, 15:22:

This hobby becomes a lot more affordable if you decide to become a seller yourself. This becomes a necessity if you're limited by space. Although the days of buying Voodoo 3 cards for $20 are gone (but not truly long gone), you can still buy up lots of cards on eBay for reasonable amounts. Keep the one you want and sell the rest. A lot of the time, you can recoup your investment or even profit.

But being a good seller is work too. Not hard work, but it can be time-consuming if you want to be as honest as you can about the condition of your items. I like testing stuff more than playing games anyway, so it works out for me. All I can say is that I'm in the black over years of collecting and selling, making the hobby affordable. I think it can still be so.

Your collecting habits change once you go from everything I spend is wasted to buying up lots hoping to make a profit and only keep a few items.

Collecting and investing are two different things.

To be honest the hobby is still cheap if you just want to play games over a small period needing maybe 3 machines in total. The problem if when you want have gear from the original PC to what was popular a few years ago and everything in between. If you gathered up all that gear as it hit the bottom of the value curve the hobby was cheap but the space needed for storage would be large.

🤣 I like the way you word everything with accuracy...

There is also the risk of getting obsessed with some type/class/brand of hardware and having trouble letting go while, at the same time, convincing yourself that you are investing .

Reply 166 of 934, by Marentis

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Yeah I don't see it as investment either. I mean even if one where to make some extra bugs there are far better investments (IMO!) one can make (stocks, (tracker) funds, etc...).
Now, you can lose money there, too but that can happen with retro hardware, too. There's often the argument that this hardware is getting more and more rare (which is correct) but there's also a risk that the hardware you have in stock will simply cease to operate. Sure you might be able to fix it but that will cost money and time, etc...
Don't get me wrong, if you're having fun and/or making some nice profits then definitely be my guest. It's just that depending on the situation you're in there are far, far better investments. I couldn't invest nearly as much into old hardware as I'm currently investing monthly into funds due to space (living in a city) and time needed to invest the same amount of money while at the same time hoping for the same returns.
This also is a question of how much you have to pay for retro hardware in your locality and for how much you could sell it somewhere else.

Reply 167 of 934, by Miphee

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Deksor wrote on 2020-06-18, 00:37:

But yeah, as the investment part, the future is too imprecise with things like this and is full of "what if" (like what if intel chips start dying once they reach a certain age ? What if people end up getting uninterested in a far future for some reasons ? etc)

People say the same thing about software on floppies and people still collect them like crazy. To be honest consumer-grade floppy disks will probably all degrade in a few decades. Many of my childhood floppies are already useless and those are only 20-25 years old. I always hated floppies because they were unreliable out of the box when I used their full capacity (remember .arj?).
So collecting software on floppy disks is a very risky business if you want to use them. What do you see on every Ebay auction involving floppies? "The game/software is untested/collector's item" - usually means that some of the disks are unreadable. And people still buy them!
Hardware and software might change over time, human habits and instincts won't.

Reply 168 of 934, by SodaSuccubus

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Floppies, cartridges, CDs. Everything is gonna be a paperweight one-day. Personally I view collecting vintage PC games something done for the big boxs and trinkets anyway. Might as well back up the floppies and enjoy the OGs while they last.

Reply 169 of 934, by Oetker

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The other day I saw an IBM PS/2 model 85 on Ebay with an asking price of $5000, which is a steal as the MCA Sound Blaster in there is "already worth $3000". Really? Are there really rich hardware collectors that look at an MCA Sound Blaster, its heritage and the prestige of owning one the same as car collectors do at a Ferrari 250?

Reply 170 of 934, by Anonymous Coward

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So the Model 85 itself is "worth" $2000? [sarcasm] Why wouldn't the seller separate the two items? He could probably get more parting it out. [/sarcasm]

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Reply 171 of 934, by Mister Xiado

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Darker notice, often times computer parts have absurdly high prices to ward off curious buyers. There was (and may still be) an issue with groups selling smallish hard drives for kings' ransoms. Not because of the hardware, but because of the heinous material that is on them. If you sell back and fort between the same people, you technically only lose on the tax and ebay fees, not the listed cost of the drives. No curious onlooker would drop $4000 for a single 80GB PATA drive.

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Reply 172 of 934, by Daniël Oosterhuis

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Oetker wrote on 2020-06-15, 08:52:
Daniël Oosterhuis wrote on 2020-06-15, 08:27:

People that don't ship.

I can understand not shipping. Shipping is not just bringing it to the post office, it's also finding a proper box, packing material, etc. Sometimes I'm selling stuff that isn't worth much, but it's in the way and I just want someone else to enjoy it (i.e. I'm selling it as an alternative to throwing it away). However for something that sells for €10, spending the time packing it makes shipping unattractive, and for such an amount I'm certainly not going to buy shipping materials, so I'd need to have them lying around. A while back I sold a keyboard for not much and first I had to go to the supermarket to find a box that'd fit it, then spend time crumpling up newspapers as wrapping, etc. Including printing a shipping label and bringing it to the post office, probably an hour of work.

That's fair, but for smaller, relatively easy to ship things (ISA/PCI/AGP/etc. cards, RAM, motherboards), it shouldn't be too much extra work, and seeing a seller insist on no shipping can be sad when it's something you've been looking for for quite a while. I have stepped up in the case of getting bigger stuff shipped to me, though, by offering the seller a shipping box with the material ready to go, so they can just receive it, stick the product in, and ship it straight to me. That's how I just recently got my €100 Quadra 700 with a rare Apple Power Macintosh Upgrade Card (PPC 601 CPU), it was too good of a deal to let pass because it was in the other side of the country from me.

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Reply 173 of 934, by imi

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babtras wrote on 2020-06-18, 02:58:

It is not a new hobby so I think there is enough history to draw on to likely conclude that it is never really going to be a sound investment. The future wave of retro enthusiasts will be looking back to what they had when they were runts. They'll go hog-wild over first generation Core i7 and PCIe cards. The older stuff that I have, I have because an old collector liqudated them and that's the likely future of most of us too. [...]

So I agree. If you think of it as an investment then you're kidding yourself. The only exception might be for some truly iconic pieces. But even then, a Voodoo3 isn't going to mean much to collectors in 20 years, they'll be all excited over the first generation of hardware accellerated ray tracing and might not even know what a voodoo3 is.

yep, I totally believe that to be true, a lot of generic hardware will probably lose it's value in the next few decades, but I also see everything I buy as sunken cost, and not as a financial investment, but only an investment in my personal future of being able to play around with old hardware.

Daniël Oosterhuis wrote on 2020-06-18, 09:10:

I have stepped up in the case of getting bigger stuff shipped to me, though, by offering the seller a shipping box with the material ready to go, so they can just receive it, stick the product in, and ship it straight to me.

I am totally going to steal that idea next time I find something I want from a seller that doesn't ship if you don't mind ^^, I'm just going to offer sending them a box with packing materials ready to go, why didn't I think of that before?

Reply 174 of 934, by Miphee

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babtras wrote on 2020-06-18, 02:58:

So I agree. If you think of it as an investment then you're kidding yourself.

Except for everything that is branded, proprietary, rare or collector's items, the important stuff.
A simple chinese 286 clone PC may not worth much more 20 years later but an IBM 5162 will cost a fortune, guaranteed.
A standard PS/2 keyboard can't be compared to a model M.
Anything from the 70's are already super expensive and hard to find and the same thing is happening to 80's hardware.
Televideo terminals are pretty much useless and people still pay hundreds to get one. They were worthless 20 years ago and look at the sold prices now. Now tell me it wasn't a good investment when some guys took them from the dump and stored them at home. Leftover computers from comecon countries are even more valuable than IBMs from the same era.
Younger people are also gaining an interest in "ancient" hardware so the demand will always be there. I wasn't around in the 70's but still love 70's hardware.
So yes, it's a very lucrative investment when the right items are selected and I'm pretty sure that even cheap clones will worth much more after 30 years.
Only time will tell.

Reply 175 of 934, by wiretap

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There's always a buyer out there looking for something specific, and they'll pay a high price to get it if one only seldom comes up for sale. It happens in all markets, regardless of the item category. Stamps, Pokemon, cars, furniture, glass bottles, rocks, light fixtures, jewelry, purses, etc. Computers and computer parts are obviously an investment of some form, since they follow the same vintage/retro/rare market segment. I don't see people's quest for collecting these items ever ending.. that would be outside of normal human behavior. The only thing that may change are average selling prices for marginally functional or non-functional examples -- to get top dollar (or any meaningful dollar amount), you'll need to have a fully functional piece with good asthetic. Obviously an original box with complete contents is ideal, and new in-box unopened would go beyond that. The key driver for boosting prices further is how we view the history of computers in the future, and how important retro gaming/computing is viewed. As long as people continue making videos and documentaries about it, we'll see it thrive and be worthwhile.

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Reply 176 of 934, by Deksor

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Miphee wrote on 2020-06-18, 06:06:
People say the same thing about software on floppies and people still collect them like crazy. To be honest consumer-grade flopp […]
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Deksor wrote on 2020-06-18, 00:37:

But yeah, as the investment part, the future is too imprecise with things like this and is full of "what if" (like what if intel chips start dying once they reach a certain age ? What if people end up getting uninterested in a far future for some reasons ? etc)

People say the same thing about software on floppies and people still collect them like crazy. To be honest consumer-grade floppy disks will probably all degrade in a few decades. Many of my childhood floppies are already useless and those are only 20-25 years old. I always hated floppies because they were unreliable out of the box when I used their full capacity (remember .arj?).
So collecting software on floppy disks is a very risky business if you want to use them. What do you see on every Ebay auction involving floppies? "The game/software is untested/collector's item" - usually means that some of the disks are unreadable. And people still buy them!
Hardware and software might change over time, human habits and instincts won't.

True, I hate them for that reason too. In my case I buy floppy disks to archive them so at least their content will be preserved for future generations. But that means I'm looking for working disks only ^^
Now it may be a different thing. Do people buy loose and dead floppy disks ? Maybe it's to say they legally own the software ?
You don't see people buying a totally unfixable computer to collect them, they're more likely to be used as part donnors/recycling so the price isn't very high on them, and I think the more units will die, the less expensive totally dead computers will be.

Trying to identify old hardware ? Visit The retro web - Project's thread The Retro Web project - a stason.org/TH99 alternative

Reply 177 of 934, by Miphee

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Deksor wrote on 2020-06-18, 12:58:

Do people buy loose and dead floppy disks ? Maybe it's to say they legally own the software ?

I do it to own legal/unopened copy of a certain software. I never open those sealed boxes because it's more practical to use a disposable copy. I imagine most of these disks are dead already but I don't care.

Deksor wrote on 2020-06-18, 12:58:

You don't see people buying a totally unfixable computer to collect them, they're more likely to be used as part donnors/recycling so the price isn't very high on them, and I think the more units will die, the less expensive totally dead computers will be.

I guess I'm the kind of idiot who buys faulty hardware intentionally because I just love repair work.
But I agree, faulty hardware will always worth less than working hardware... unless it's very rare. People would probably go crazy over an IBM System/360 mainframe from the 60's or a simple 3270 terminal even if it was beyond repair.

Reply 178 of 934, by Deksor

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Yeah super rare hardware is in another world x).
I like to fix old hardware too, plus it can let you make some bargains if you know where to look 😁
But I wouldn't pay high money for a computer motherboard that is totally ruined by a battery leak, especially the kind with multiple layers and I'm sure no one will. These I use only as part donors (when there's still connectors or chips to salvage which haven't been coroded yet)

Trying to identify old hardware ? Visit The retro web - Project's thread The Retro Web project - a stason.org/TH99 alternative

Reply 179 of 934, by devius

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I also enjoy fixing stuff. It's part of the charm, although at least once I'd like to get one of those pristine-brand-new-looking-and-perfectly-working old computers that everyone else around here seems to be able to find 😆