And $500 gets you...

news at news at
Wed Apr 6 11:20:42 CDT 2005

On the other hand, sometimes people post real bargains on eBay, either not
knowing what something's worth or just happy to get rid of it.  I found some
great deals this way. 

-----Original Message-----
From: cctalk-bounces at [mailto:cctalk-bounces at]
On Behalf Of Jules Richardson
Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2005 12:08 PM
To: cctalk at
Subject: Re: And $500 gets you...

On Wed, 2005-04-06 at 01:12 -0500, Patrick Finnegan wrote:
> Another example of where the Christie's auction helped to make people 
> think that things are worth *way* more than they really are.

A while ago I was discussing EBay-like prices with people (for old computer
stuff). Their argument was that EBay prices reflect the true state of the
market and the true worth of classic computer items.

I can see their side of it I suppose; I was just amazed that - coming from a
buying point of view - they just didn't believe that a world existed outside
of EBay. Which is fine by me if they want to keep on paying EBay prices for
things (whether they believe they're being ripped off or not) - I'll just
carry on using my brain and getting hold of things via other routes. 

The notion of over-inflated EBay (& co) prices doesn't bother me *that*
much, because in my view the things that turn up on EBay and the like
*aren't* the things that have much interest from a preservation / coolness /
hacker perspective.

*usually* things like service manuals, documentation sets or custom bits of
hardware never make it to EBay etc. because the current owner either is
clued-up and knows that their 'value' isn't in monetary terms, or they've
come by this stuff from elsewhere and deem it such junk that they can't be
bothered to list it in the first place. 

In the former case, it tends to pass from collector to collector for free /
trade / peanuts anyway. The latter case is a little more tricky and the only
way items that someone (wrongly) might consider to be junk get saved is
through museums or word of mouth / visibility of the 'target' collector.

So, much of what ends up on EBay are things that the resourceful amongst us
can find anyway - the really rare/useful stuff tends to have a habit of
looking after itself and ending up in good hands. 

There are exceptions of course and that's a shame... but providing someone's
stupid enough to keep on paying huge prices at least the things aren't
ending up as landfill.



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