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gerrydoire
June 19th, 2009, 02:53 PM
In the past week I bought two Atari Computers.

Both called Mint, both not mint.

1 Atari 520ST and Atari 800XL

Are people just plain stupid or what, mint and used are two different things.

The Atari 800XL was in a resealed box, the 520ST wasn't.

Both were U S E D, wear marks on a keyboards, the XL has scratches all over the silver top loaded, UGHHHHHHHHHHHHH

barythrin
June 19th, 2009, 03:19 PM
Mint condition vintage computers are definitely a hard thing to truly come by. The chance of nobody opening a toy for $30 years is low. But yeah, those descriptions vs even an "excellent condition" post are unfortunate.

Out of curiosity what recommendations do you have from this experience? Ask for more/close up pictures from the seller in the future?

- John

gerrydoire
June 19th, 2009, 06:56 PM
Mint condition vintage computers are definitely a hard thing to truly come by. The chance of nobody opening a toy for $30 years is low. But yeah, those descriptions vs even an "excellent condition" post are unfortunate.

Out of curiosity what recommendations do you have from this experience? Ask for more/close up pictures from the seller in the future?

- John

My main recommendation: unless the seller is well known who knows what he is talking about "FEW" believe nothing and ask alot questions.

When it comes to EBAY many sellers do not respond to my email requests, so I bypass them.

Mint means never used, never removed from the original packaging and plastic seal, human finger prints do not exist on the thing, end of story.

NM is not used, but removed from box, removed from original plastic seal, finger prints exist on the thing.

Once you go below NM the variations can go all over the place.

Excellent to pure crap :P

I don't collect computer to use them, I collect them based on their quality for visual stimulation :>

billdeg
June 19th, 2009, 08:15 PM
Mint means never opened, shrink wrap or original seal still on box, AND The box is in great shape.

rebeltaz
June 19th, 2009, 10:19 PM
I don't collect computer to use them, I collect them based on their quality for visual stimulation :>

How on Earth can you have a computer sitting there looking at you and NOT use it? Isn't that like blasphemy or something? :wink:

barythrin
June 20th, 2009, 09:19 AM
Eh, I dunno about blasphemy. Blasphemy is doing a case mod with it lol. Keeping it in pristine and perfect condition or holding it as new and unopened to admire or keep for historical value is acceptable in my book. But yeah, when tempted it's good to get another one to play on and one for the mint collection.

Micom 2000
June 20th, 2009, 01:44 PM
I would differ with your definition of "mint". To me it means in pristine condition, like hardly used. Your definition would refer to "NIB"(new in box), a different thing. From your description of what you received however, the items were hardly in "mint" (my definition) condition. Even NIB has variances. I have an Atari XEGS, which I would describe NIB, which doesn't mean I never opened the box or tried it. I did close it up and put it away afterwards with all the packaging and paraphenelia intact. "Sealed NIB" generally means "it might not work now", generally from mass resellers of old stock.

I have 2 other items which I would describe as "mint". A Commodore 64 in the original box without all the paraphenelia and only some of the packaging, which of course I tested to ensure it worked, as I imagine most others do, with all items I buy. The other is a Commodore 128, not in the original box and with no paraphenelia, which of course I tested and put away in another box. It appears like it was never, or hardly ever used. I will continue to use "MY" definitions, which I believe accord with long-used traditions in most transactions of second-hand goods, with no sense of describing an item falsely.

The sellers of the items you received likely did stretch the description however. Some of the horror stories of received items on E-bay are in another dimension.

Lawrence

Olds-kool gamer
June 20th, 2009, 01:59 PM
My personal experiences with EBay purchases have been quite poor.

Look very carefully at the photograph.

Ask a few questions and gauge the response very carefully. I.e. time taken to reply how thorough their response is etc, etc...

Iíve personally found the more transactions the seller has the worse the items are i.e. over 1000+ transactions. These typeís of sellers/dealers have so many transactions at any one time and as such Iíve found the descriptions to be quite vague/generic!

Obviously this is not always the case but it happens more often than not.

All I can say is take your time, if something does not seem quite right it usually isnít.

If you miss an item it will usually show up again just be patient.

gerrydoire
June 20th, 2009, 07:08 PM
My personal experiences with EBay purchases have been quite poor.

If you miss an item it will usually show up again just be patient.

I like how one guy said it on another form:

I've been bent over so many times on ebay,
my wife is starting to question my sexuality.

lol!!

Starshadow
June 20th, 2009, 09:21 PM
Sealed NIB" generally means "it might not work now", generally from mass resellers of old stock.

If it has a battery in it that is very possible. A battery can corrode and damage the circuit boards, which would automatically make it move from mint to a parts hulk in my book.

Unknown_K
June 20th, 2009, 09:59 PM
NIB vintage machines are like old never opened rare wine. If you open the lid/pop the cork you might find a computer with battery leakage or wine that has turned to vinager. The whole value is in having the shrinkwrap/cork still in and not being touched since it was made.

MINT to me is complete with all original documentation plus not used for anything outside of testing so that it isn't scuffed up and dirty. You can have a system that is very complete but used and worn that would not fall under MINT.

I find volume sellers make statesments that make the product seem worse then it realy is just to cover themselves. Perfectly good and working laptops that just need cleaned and some screws tightened are sold as parts machines (talking older stuff Pentium1 or earlier).

Descriptions can mean very little depending how bad the seller wants something gone, and how much they know about what they are selling. It all makes ebay interesting for me anyway.

bbishoppcm
June 23rd, 2009, 09:02 AM
I suppose opening that new, sealed IBM PS/2 80 makes me a criminal then :sarcasm: I bought it specifically to open it, so cuff me :p

billdeg
June 23rd, 2009, 09:30 AM
Once it has been opened, as a whole (box and system) it's Near Mint. Mint only applies to the unopened system (box plus item). You can have a presumably mint condition computer in a fair condition box that has never been opened, where the box is ripped or stained.

Unknown_K
June 23rd, 2009, 12:18 PM
I suppose opening that new, sealed IBM PS/2 80 makes me a criminal then :sarcasm: I bought it specifically to open it, so cuff me :p

I open up just about everything I get that is sealed (unless I have another copy). Yes the value drops when you do that but I don't care.

barythrin
June 23rd, 2009, 01:01 PM
I'll admit, some things aren't admirable when unopened and it's worth the decrease. I guess in this case we're already buying old and previously unwanted systems. The Mint vs near mint doesn't matter much on something that's already increasing in value.

It'd be interesting to see the value of an unopened computer kit. I'd think that an original unbuilt Altair kit that's "mint"/never opened may actually drive less price than one that the poster opened and can confirm the parts list. But who knows. I barely recall one being on feebay a few years back but all the prices are so outrageous now adays it's hard to remember.

gerrydoire
June 23rd, 2009, 03:34 PM
I suppose opening that new, sealed IBM PS/2 80 makes me a criminal then :sarcasm: I bought it specifically to open it, so cuff me :p


YOU WILL BE PUT TO DEATH FOR THIS BLASPHEMY!!!

:stupid:

Olds-kool gamer
June 24th, 2009, 01:45 AM
I suppose opening that new, sealed IBM PS/2 80 makes me a criminal then :sarcasm: I bought it specifically to open it, so cuff me :p



YOU WILL BE PUT TO DEATH FOR THIS BLASPHEMY!!!

Iíve bought quite a few sealed items but could not bring myself to open them when they arrived so I've purchased another opened one to use :shock:

Mainly classic games and the odd piece of hardwareÖ:)

gerrydoire
June 24th, 2009, 11:34 AM
I’ve bought quite a few sealed items but could not bring myself to open them when they arrived so I've purchased another opened one to use :shock:

Mainly classic games and the odd piece of hardware…:)

I see nothing wrong with opening something new, old stock, long as there are plenty more of them available.

I bought a 20 year old mouse "brand new in box", that I opened.

The guy who sold it to me said he had 200 more of them, if he said
he had 2 more, that would be a different story...

:)

leaknoil
June 24th, 2009, 12:57 PM
I would differ with your definition of "mint". To me it means in pristine condition, like hardly used. Your definition would refer to "NIB"(new in box), a different thing. From your description of what you received however, the items were hardly in "mint" (my definition) condition. Even NIB has variances.

Lawrence

I have to agree. Mint doesn't mean unopened. We would be making up whole new rules then every other collecting hobby or antique deals. Mint just means in very very good shape with nothing wrong. In coin, comic, or card collecting mint doesn't mean unused/unsold. A mint car doesn't mean nobody has ever driven it. They have separate terminology they use for that. Un-circulated, never opened, NIB, etc etc

rebeltaz
June 24th, 2009, 06:36 PM
There was a Heathkit Hero 1 on eBay the other day - complete and unassembled. The box was open and the contents verified, but otherwise untouched. They were asking $4000 ... Four Thousand Dollars.

In your opinions, does the fact that that is still in original kit form make it worth that much more? Assembled Hero's routinely go for between $300 and $600. If someone like me were to rob a bank and purchase that kit, would I be committing a cardinal sin by assembling it? I couldn't picture buying something like that and then leaving it in the box for all eternity. I would HAVE to build it and use it.

I know that the Hero robot is not actually vintage computer related, but it is along the same lines as the Altair that someone else mentioned earlier...

Just curious...

Olds-kool gamer
June 25th, 2009, 01:40 AM
There was a Heathkit Hero 1 on eBay the other day - complete and unassembled. The box was open and the contents verified, but otherwise untouched. They were asking $4000 ... Four Thousand Dollars.

In your opinions, does the fact that that is still in original kit form make it worth that much more? Assembled Hero's routinely go for between $300 and $600. If someone like me were to rob a bank and purchase that kit, would I be committing a cardinal sin by assembling it? I couldn't picture buying something like that and then leaving it in the box for all eternity. I would HAVE to build it and use it.

I know that the Hero robot is not actually vintage computer related, but it is along the same lines as the Altair that someone else mentioned earlier...

Just curious...

Well I guess it’s up to the person who purchased it.
We all have our views on how we want our collections to be presented / stored.

Some of us are purists and want to keep what we have in as original form as possible and some want to just use them for the purpose they were intended for.

Either way is ok with me.:D

Sometimes we can get too obsessive (me included) and at the end of the day for me at least it’s supposed to be just a bit of fun.

I’ve mellowed out in the last few years and realized there are more important things to worry about.

Enjoy your purchases whatever you do with them…:)

Raven
June 27th, 2009, 10:45 PM
I got a Commodore 64 on Ebay for $136 with disk drive, printer, and some software, used in box, it was described as "sitting in closet since I got it, booted a few times, booted once before it was put on Ebay, still works fine", and it works flawlessly, even the (according to my friend) notorious C64 power supply. No scratches, dents, etc... only the C64 box is in bad condition, dented in, scraped, whatnot, but the unit is pristine. :)

I'd like my stuff to be in pristine condition, but assembled/working/hooked up. I like it to stay in use, or else my machines might think I don't love them anymore... we wouldn't want that.. *degenerates into crazy tired ramblings about his comps*

Lallander
September 16th, 2009, 05:27 PM
What is this sites stance on retro robotics? Some of them were wonderfully complex and could be programmed. And I would love to get my hands on one of the HERO line of Heathkit bots.

kishy
September 16th, 2009, 05:57 PM
Not meaning to take the thread 'back in time' but, well, I figured I'd throw my thoughts on "mint" out there.

"Mint", as used to describe something in excellent condition, is highly subjective, and also highly relative on what exactly is being described.

"Mint" is not and should not be confused with "NIB" (new in box) or "NOS" (new old stock) or any mix of those two...mint describes condition of something that isn't good enough to BE never opened, otherwise it woulda been labeled as NIB or NOS. (the following is my expectation of the word 'mint', and I don't mean to say this is exactly what it should mean for everyone) If I see "mint" I expect the item received to be used, possibly quite heavily, but still work 100% or very close...

(again it depends on the item in question, something with a known high failure rate that is mostly working can still be mint)

...and from a visual standpoint, looking almost original (with the possibility for some light plastic fading but nothing significant and no real physical damage).

I'd also say that, in the very non-subjective way, anything identified as mint should be CLEAN. Not necessarily "never made dirty", just thoroughly cleaned prior to the transaction.

I for one would never use "mint" (exclusively) to describe something never unboxed, 100% complete or in some way completely outstanding. I might combine it with terms like NIB, NOS or "absolutely unscathed completely original". Those terms cannot be subjective; they are clear definitions. "Mint" is almost entirely subjective so if we want to be technical, you were not outright lied to. Though, from your descriptions, I'd say there was definitely a bit of deception going on.

Just my 2 cents.

facattack
September 22nd, 2009, 02:35 PM
I bought something one time that said it was in mint condition. When I opened the box, sure enough it smelled like mints and had a mint stuck in the disk drive!

barythrin
September 22nd, 2009, 03:44 PM
Well now that's just semantics. j/k

Robots? Yeah they're collectible in their own right. Actually someone had one on chasethechuckwagon not that long ago that I don't remember the fate of. I think it was priced high but was worth the price but noone bid or it was under their reserve or something.

It's interesting that I don't know too many computer collectors that also have robot collections (not that I know a huge amount of collectors in person or their collections by heart). It seems (IMHO) that robot collectors tend to coincide with toy collectors.

If they weren't so expensive I'd get some more. I thought about trying to grab some of our first commercial autonomous robots just for personal interest (Aibo, Roomba).

Wonder if it's similar for who here collects software and if so what software do you find desirable? I collect AI stuff in my collection so I was stoked when I purchased my TRS-80 Model 1 (from sharkonwheels here) with a full copy/manual of Eliza :-)

- John

channelmaniac
September 22nd, 2009, 09:23 PM
What is this sites stance on retro robotics? Some of them were wonderfully complex and could be programmed. And I would love to get my hands on one of the HERO line of Heathkit bots.

You and me both! I was privileged enough to get to help troubleshoot and fix a Hero 1 back when I was in High School. That ones one cool robot!

I wish I could find one that was affordable.

Lallander
September 22nd, 2009, 09:44 PM
I'm just glad I'm (eventually) getting two of his voice chips. The SC-01-A was an amazing little piece of hardware.

I wonder if there is any chance for a retro robotics subforum. Maybe we should just take the Hero Appreciation Station into the 'other' subforum.

kickback999
November 16th, 2009, 12:51 PM
To be honest I think if your gonna buy an old vintage computer your obliged to use it.
Otherwise your killing off whats left of the community :(
The thought of unmade UK101's, ST's, Falcon's, Dragon's sat unused in some "collection" or "hoard" is terrible. Keep the community alive, program, play games, build add on hardware etc.
Yea I have a falcon and Uk101 because my dad wouldnt let them get thrown away or sold over the years, and I bought an ST to play games because the old one was thrown away years ago and I have fond memories of it. Yes I want to get hold of a Dragon now but since starting a programming uni course I intend in my spare time to get to grips with programming them all. Such a piece of computing history should not be sat unused when you could have so much fun and learn so much with them. Its a pure waste.

ralphw
October 23rd, 2010, 09:09 AM
I no longer buy vintage computer systems and most parts on ebay, the last experience I had was getting an Apple // where every socketed chip had been removed from the
motherboard. Even the 6502. The seller credited the price of the item back, but I really didn't expect to build up my "spare motherboard" collection this way.

What's truly infuriating are the folks who "part out" the system, thinking that it's like a PC - and then throw out the Apple // case and keyboard, selling only the motherboard and expansion cards.

ppo
October 25th, 2010, 03:51 PM
The best thing to do is to buy a computer for use and another that will be left unopened for historic value.

I think that this community can only stay alive if people keep using the computers.

BTW do you check if your computers are working, when they are sold as MIB?

It's hard for me to buy something and don't open it to see if it's working, specially on Ebay.

Unknown_K
October 25th, 2010, 03:57 PM
I have yet to see a NIB computer sell for what it cost new (adjusted for inflation), so putting one aside is probably just going to cost you money in the long run.

tomasont
October 26th, 2010, 09:26 AM
NOS is commonly used in reference to auto parts. It stands for new old stock, and really has nothing to do with condition. It just means that the part has never been installed. I have seen NOS parts that are quite rusty, bent, damaged, or just downright defective. They're still NOS.

arfink
October 28th, 2010, 08:18 AM
The best thing to do is to buy a computer for use and another that will be left unopened for historic value.

I think that this community can only stay alive if people keep using the computers.

BTW do you check if your computers are working, when they are sold as MIB?

It's hard for me to buy something and don't open it to see if it's working, specially on Ebay.


If I was selling a computer MIB I'd offer the buyer the option to either leave it sealed and intact or open and test it with the possibility of a full refund if it doesn't power up. But then again I also wouldn't list a MIB computer on eBay, of all places. XD I try to steer clear of there as much as possible when dealing with vintage computer gear.