IanK at vulcan.com
Thu Mar 12 10:34:44 CDT 2009
While I agree that $750 is too much for a partial machine, I also agree with two other threads of thought expressed here.
1) eBay has distorted the market. IMHO sometimes the drive to "win" overrides common sense, and we end up with inflated prices. Moreover, eBay's many strategies to obfuscate this marketplace serve only to increase eBay's revenues - which isn't unexpected, even if it is frustrating to folks like us. I speak of the lack of price history - imagine if we had a complete history of pricing for an 11/44 - and now the concealment of bidders. I remember a time when if, for instance, Al Kossow was bidding on a document, I would walk away and let him have it rather than bid up the price. I remember another time when I was bidding on a machine and saw someone else "in the community" bid on it, too. I sent him an email saying that I was really interested in this machine because I didn't have one; he responded that he was only looking for a spare, and he stopped bidding to give me a chance (I did win it). There was a sort of "gentlemen's agreement" that is nearly impossible to respect now that we don't know who's bidding! Of course, the higher the sale price, the higher the fees eBay collects.
2) Markets change. My first two -11s were "free" in the sense that I didn't pay the former owner; I did have to rent a truck! One of those is an 11/40, which today is considered a reasonably uncommon and desirable model. By the time I realized I wasn't going to find a similar deal on a PDP-8/e/f/m, prices had risen to the point where I found myself paying around $1k for a machine. <sigh> But again, there are still deals to be had, especially amongst ourselves. If Livermore wasn't so far away, "free to loving home" would have landed a NextStation in my basement....
I've occasionally sent messages to eBay sellers saying in essence, "Are you kidding?" regarding their pricing. Some reply with, "What do you think it's really worth?" Most reply with, "Too bad, that's what I want for it." Some sincerely believe their item is worth the asking price; some are hoping it is, or that someone is desperate enough to pay their ransom.
That's the world we live in. Getting into a food fight between ourselves won't change that. There are alternative venues (such as Vintage Computer Marketplace), and if we patronize them they may attract the market away from eBay. Many are becoming aggravated with eBay and while it's not extremely likely that another venue will replace them anytime soon, in niche markets such as ours perhaps there is a chance for alternative markets.
IMHO -- Ian
From: cctalk-bounces at classiccmp.org [cctalk-bounces at classiccmp.org] On Behalf Of Sridhar Ayengar [ploopster at gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, March 12, 2009 3:25 AM
To: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
Cc: On-Topic Posts Only
Subject: Re: PDP 11/44
Gavin Thomas Nicol wrote:
> Someone I know has a PDP 11/44 available.. might end up on EBay.
> Apparently 2 racks pulled out in working condition, including the
> following cards.
> m-7090 m 7094 m-7093 m 8743 m 8743 m 7098 m 7097
> m 7096 m 902 m 7800 m 7900 m 7902 m 7903 m 7258
> He's looking for $750 but I'm not sure I'll have the space. What do you
He's looking for too much.
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