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Do you think prices will stay high?

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First post, by King_Corduroy

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Do you think prices will stay high? They are absolutely insane right now, I've been out of the game for a while but when I came back post Covid prices were just absurd. Luckily I've managed to get nearly everything I've wanted (at double or triple the price I paid the first time around) but it seems even the most mundane things now are absurdly expensive unless you feel like settling for the most beaten damaged boxed games etc. 🤣

I've been waiting for all the Covid newbies to lose interest but it doesn't seem like it's happening prices just keep climbing. Beginning to wonder if we'll ever see prices like they were again.

Check me out at Transcendental Airwaves on Youtube! Fast-food sucks!

Reply 1 of 38, by keenmaster486

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Supply will continue to drop, since the theoretical number of retro items still not crunched up by recyclers is continually decreasing, while demand continues to rise, as most hobbyists are middle aged and not dying off yet, while younger people are continually being introduced to it.

Eventually prices will rise high enough to support a more comprehensive nu-retro hardware market.

I'm looking forward to this happening for items such as floppy disks. Might be a while but I think it will eventually happen.

World's foremost 486 enjoyer.

Reply 2 of 38, by mkarcher

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keenmaster486 wrote on 2023-10-18, 05:37:

most hobbyists are middle aged and not dying off yet

I'm afraid that's likely how it will be: The prices will drop when this generation of retro enthusiasts die or get so ill that they aren't able to care about their hobby anymore. So that seems to be the sad truth: The prices are high until most of us don't care anymore. The replica-retro things are great for technic preservation: A reasearcher that wants to research computing history in 2110 can demonstrate a Snark Barker as well the original Sound Blaster. A musuem that wants to present how XT programs behave can use a NuXT instead of an IBM 5160. This is a legitimate use of those items. Also, for someone who isn't emotionally attached to "the real thing", they work as well. On the other hand, SB 2.0 prices obviously didn't go down significantly when the Snark Barker appeared (given that it is not mass-produced, it might be just a matter of scale), so there are enough oldbies who insist on "getting the original". As long as they exist, the prices stay high.

keenmaster486 wrote on 2023-10-18, 05:37:

since the theoretical number of retro items still not crunched up by recyclers is continually decreasing

I don't know whether you wanted to imply it (at least slightly): It's not just (in collectors oppinion) careless people that bring their old system to the recycler instead of giving / selling it to collectors. It's also that some hardware just breaks due to old age. Think of MFM hard drives (generally known) or Radeon 9600 family graphics cards (bad personal experience, maybe just bad luck?).

Reply 3 of 38, by RandomStranger

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I don't see it that way, not entirely anyways. A couple of months after COVID prices did drop. When the crypto market went bust (again), even the more modern stuff (G80/92 graphics cards) had a huge price drop. Now mostly just the more desirable stuff is more expensive than pre-COVID. It appears to me that aside of the most collectible items, even scalpers and speculators gave up on retro hardware.

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Reply 4 of 38, by King_Corduroy

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RandomStranger wrote on 2023-10-18, 11:17:

I don't see it that way, not entirely anyways. A couple of months after COVID prices did drop. When the crypto market went bust (again), even the more modern stuff (G80/92 graphics cards) had a huge price drop. Now mostly just the more desirable stuff is more expensive than pre-COVID. It appears to me that aside of the most collectible items, even scalpers and speculators gave up on retro hardware.

Oh I don't think so at all. Overall I'd say boxed games for example are typically double what I would have paid in 2015. Other games like Quake etc that were 80 to 100 are now many times that.

But the thought of this generation having to die for prices to drop occurred to me also. It's much akin to the value of things like tube radios and train sets. Those have dropped MASSIVELY from what they were when I was a kid.

Check me out at Transcendental Airwaves on Youtube! Fast-food sucks!

Reply 5 of 38, by Hoping

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Easy, if you think that something is too expensive, don't buy it, if the demand lowers the price lowers. I didn't buy anything for some time, it's old hardware after all. If the sellers think that they have gold in their hands, great. I have thrown away so many hardware components over the years that it is impossible for me to conceive that something I've thrown away, and sometimes more than one piece of the same type, has a monetary value like what is sometimes seen. I find it very fun to think about that.

Reply 6 of 38, by Mandrew

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King_Corduroy wrote on 2023-10-18, 04:21:

Beginning to wonder if we'll ever see prices like they were again.

Prices are not that high unless you want specific hardware and things are easy to get if you are not a hardcore collector looking for obscure stuff.

Reply 7 of 38, by ratfink

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keenmaster486 wrote on 2023-10-18, 05:37:

younger people are continually being introduced to it.

Yes, and it's also surprising how many youngsters are into older stuff from the get go, I guess remembering what their parents used when they were children. My 25-ish daughter's bf runs a 1980/90s car. She uses a Fed 4 camera (as well as digital). My sons have their old GBs, GBAs, N64s from when they were children, and buy like things themselves now as well newer stuff.

What I haven't found though is any interest from them in old computer hardware, PC or Mac (despite having been faffing about with this stuff since they were tiny... but maybe that put them off). It's the games they are interested in.

It seems as though there's a glut at first when people are moving on (or are already a few generations on) - looking back I once bought a GUS ACE and a Voodoo 5 for £1 each... unbelievable.... - but that time is long past for pre-2000 stuff which I guess is mostly the interest here. Once that period is over, things get silly.

Personally I gave up buying PC stuff a long time back, I have some spares and some stuff i don't need but can't bring myself to sell (or in some cases chuck). With inflation, might as well hang onto it a while longer. If others are doing the same that will constrain supply. And the sillier buying prices are the more likely some of us will hang on to what we have.

It's weird how some fairly common things - and indeed quite old but fairly common things too - hold their price (ie regularly are exchanged at relatively high prices) whereas other functionally similar things exchange at much lower prices. And how some ancient devices that are rare have high asking prices but don't seem to sell sometimes for years; I guess some of that is the museum piece effect though. Can be quite frustrating when you just want to play with some old tat for cheap.

Reply 8 of 38, by ratfink

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King_Corduroy wrote on 2023-10-18, 18:29:

But the thought of this generation having to die for prices to drop occurred to me also. It's much akin to the value of things like tube radios and train sets. Those have dropped MASSIVELY from what they were when I was a kid.

I've been noticing some old toys seem to be a lot cheaper than I was expecting - does feel like it's the ageing of the interested population as you say. Unfortunately not Horikawa robots yet...

Reply 9 of 38, by BitWrangler

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Victorian stuff really took off again in the 1980s after being "old junk" for many years. So it goes with all collectible things, phases, dips, reignited interest. However, we are a bit short of that timescale yet, think there's still more of a retraction to happen for the post covid dump, then I think it's steady upward for another 20 years, then maybe a big crash and loss of interest, before maybe a resurgence a decade or two later. So if you are young, set your calendar reminders to pick up Apple 1s in 20 years time in the dip, and other higher interest pieces that will be most popular.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 10 of 38, by RandomStranger

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King_Corduroy wrote on 2023-10-18, 18:29:
RandomStranger wrote on 2023-10-18, 11:17:

I don't see it that way, not entirely anyways. A couple of months after COVID prices did drop. When the crypto market went bust (again), even the more modern stuff (G80/92 graphics cards) had a huge price drop. Now mostly just the more desirable stuff is more expensive than pre-COVID. It appears to me that aside of the most collectible items, even scalpers and speculators gave up on retro hardware.

Oh I don't think so at all. Overall I'd say boxed games for example are typically double what I would have paid in 2015. Other games like Quake etc that were 80 to 100 are now many times that.

But the thought of this generation having to die for prices to drop occurred to me also. It's much akin to the value of things like tube radios and train sets. Those have dropped MASSIVELY from what they were when I was a kid.

I strictly meant what I said about hardware. For games, speculative investors went in really hard on them and messed up the market. Especially for big box versions of well known classics with all that graded game nonsense. For the rest, the price increase roughly follows inflation.

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Reply 11 of 38, by chinny22

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Wehn I got into this hobby back in 2012 SS7 was the most popular platform and stock wasn't that hard to find at a good price.
Slot 1 which is where my interest is wasn't very popular at all.

Roughly 10 years down the track I'd say S478 with AGP is where Slot 1 was back then. not that desirable but good option for budget builds.
However more web pages, YouTube channels, etc exist as well, I guess as more of us become nostalgic demand is higher than supply and prices go up.

Reply 12 of 38, by gerry

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there is a lot of free stuff around still, and plenty of cheap stuff too. it is only expensive if you want very particular hardware - rare or high end P1 - P3 based systems or interesting 486 or ultra rare 8086 era stuff

if you want a vintage computer that will play a wide variety of 32 and 16 bit games from the time then some mid range Athlon or Athlon XP will do just fine paired with a modest agp card (even an fx5200). You have to accept a few compatibility problems with some early software but otherwise its fine

Reply 15 of 38, by ElectroSoldier

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As the inflation levels continue to stay where they are people will get shorter and shorter of money, the prices will climb as people want to liquidate assets then as desperation sets in the prices will drop.

Reply 16 of 38, by midicollector

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Prices go up and down as certain things become more or less desirable over time. It's difficult to predict what will be most desirable in the future. However, on the whole, prices will continue to rise indefinitely because fewer and fewer working parts will be available over time. As we all know, one day there will be no more working CRTs left, but the same is also true of graphics cards, motherboards, sound cards, you name it. Even parts that are very common now will one day be very rare, but on the other hand, will any of us live long enough to see it?

So I wouldn't worry about parts decreasing in value, but I also don't think you should expect to get rich in your lifetime from it. Definitely things are going to get more expensive though, so you'd better get what you want while you can. That's what I've been doing. I saw the direction the games market went and decided to get what I wanted now before it was too late to get what I wanted.

Reply 17 of 38, by gerry

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midicollector wrote on 2023-10-25, 05:16:

Prices go up and down as certain things become more or less desirable over time. It's difficult to predict what will be most desirable in the future. However, on the whole, prices will continue to rise indefinitely because fewer and fewer working parts will be available over time. As we all know, one day there will be no more working CRTs left, but the same is also true of graphics cards, motherboards, sound cards, you name it. Even parts that are very common now will one day be very rare, but on the other hand, will any of us live long enough to see it?

So I wouldn't worry about parts decreasing in value, but I also don't think you should expect to get rich in your lifetime from it. Definitely things are going to get more expensive though, so you'd better get what you want while you can. That's what I've been doing. I saw the direction the games market went and decided to get what I wanted now before it was too late to get what I wanted.

i had read once that collectibles go through two dips in value and are otherwise slowly rising (if we dont factor in economic depressions etc), i think its been discussed on this forum too

the first dip is the initial dip that follows a product being current - i.e. a new graphics card hits the market at high price, then becomes cheaper and then stops being produced and for a few years it is almost difficult to give it away before slowly it starts gaining "vintage" pricing

the second dip comes long after, when the last collectors who remember the product from new cease collecting (through age, even death) and the remaining people simply don't have the same interest so the value drops

by then there are so few items left that the price gently rises again through sheer rarity and the much smaller but remaining level of interest

i'm not sure if that applied to all areas of interest but i think i've seen in the context of record collecting (70's and 80's vinyls are collected often by people who remember them but those people dont care for the 40's and 50's records much and hardly anyone bothers with pre 40's records, something like that (sure there are much smaller but remaining levels of interest in those 😀 ))

Reply 18 of 38, by keenmaster486

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There's this guy on eBay who wants $888 (starting bid!) for an IBM XT 286 and 5151 monitor together. He wants to charge $240 for shipping.

Every time he lists it, it gets 0 bids. Zero. There is an "offer" button, but presumably he is rejecting them all.

Every time it runs out with 0 bids, he relists it. He's done this like 10 times now.

Very amusing. I'd offer him $300-$400 or something like that but I'm not paying $240 for shipping. Maybe he should list the two items separately.

World's foremost 486 enjoyer.

Reply 19 of 38, by ThinkpadIL

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keenmaster486 wrote on 2024-01-20, 18:58:
There's this guy on eBay who wants $888 (starting bid!) for an IBM XT 286 and 5151 monitor together. He wants to charge $240 for […]
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There's this guy on eBay who wants $888 (starting bid!) for an IBM XT 286 and 5151 monitor together. He wants to charge $240 for shipping.

Every time he lists it, it gets 0 bids. Zero. There is an "offer" button, but presumably he is rejecting them all.

Every time it runs out with 0 bids, he relists it. He's done this like 10 times now.

Very amusing. I'd offer him $300-$400 or something like that but I'm not paying $240 for shipping. Maybe he should list the two items separately.

Even if your offer will be rejected it is always worth to try. First, you never know, sometimes it will work. An even if it will not, it is always good to let a seller know that his price is too high.