View Full Version : How much money have you spent?

September 8th, 2009, 07:39 AM
I spend around $50 or so a month on my collection over atleast the last 7 years (give or take). So I figure I have spent maybe $4500 total (not including gas). Anybody ever bother keeping a running count of what they spent?

I am sure some people here spent more then that on one item. Do you think of it as just a fun hobby or an investment? How many use the hobby as a side business? I just collect what I like and tend not to resell anything.

September 8th, 2009, 08:07 AM
I'd hazard to guess what I have into my collection. Between the computers and video game systems and accessories I'm probably spending two to three hundred a month on 'stuff'. When I first got back into it I had a couple good months where I found a lot laying around, probably spent close to a 1000$

I do consider it an investment, one of the things that has me on a buying streak right now is how low the prices are compared to last summer on feebay. The Nintendos, Commodore 64's, Sega, and Apple class stuff are all bargaining chips. With boxes and stacks of duplicates of the common stuff like that I will eventually thin the herd and keep only the 1 or 2 nicest/boxed systems. Or if I run into financial troubles I know I have a few house payments stored away wihtout having to get into my core collection. The more obscure stuff like my DEC would definitely be the last to go.

It has definitely turned into a side business. I need to keep the money turning so I can continue to pick up new and more interesting stuff. I mainly build/part out newer stuff (p3,p4,later xbox,later playstation) to help support my classic computer and gaming habit


September 8th, 2009, 09:02 AM
I shudder to think how much money I have spent on this hobby over all the years I've been collecting. Cost of things, shipping costs, gas, truck rental, tolls, storage... It all adds up, big time.

But - to me, it's a hobby. It's fun, and that's what counts - I have a regular 40hr/week job where I earn my money. But my hobby is all about what I enjoy, and trying to turn it into any sort of money-making venture just wouldn't be fun.


September 8th, 2009, 09:23 AM
This is a painful question. It's painful because I looked in Quicken to get a real number and did a little cleanup to get a more accurate accounting.

My records go back to mid 1996. I'm not going to expose how much of a problem that I have, but here are some interesting tidbits

I've spent round $1219 for supplies, which includes printer ink, blank CDs, blank tapes, etc. in this timeframe.
New computer equipment and software ran about 50% higher than vintage equipment, books, etc.
Spending on vintage equipment and books has tailed off tremendously compared to the newer stuff .. I must have everything I need, be out of room, or be out of money. ;-0
My most expensive single vintage related purchase was $400 for a fairly well modified PCjr and a pile of parts and Model M keyboards, some of which I'm still trying to get rid of.

I spent way too much money when I was on the bleeding edge:

HP Scanjet 4C SCSI scanner: $734 in July 1997
17" Mitsubishi monitor: $611 in April 1998
Seagate TR4 tape drive with software: $511 in March 1997
Yamaha 4x CD-RW: $370 in April 1999
Iomega Zip 100 and 10 Zip disks: $305 in Sept 1996

On the other hand, I've gotten really good use out of everything that I have bought. I'm a computing professional, so it's kind of hard to avoid spending something.


September 8th, 2009, 10:48 AM
I don't consider what I purchased in the 1990's for my main machines as money spent on a hobby. Back then I paid $1000+ for a 2x cdr, $800 for a monitor, $800 for a data aquisition card, etc (more then $20K easy).

I was reffering to old stuff you purchased as hobby material, and not for main use.

September 8th, 2009, 11:05 AM
This may not have been crystal clear, but I have it broken out into two categories - 'current' purchases and 'vintage' purchases. As I said, the total on the 'current' purchases run about 50% more than the vintage purchases over that timeframe. (And some of my 'current' stuff does eventually wind up becoming vintage, but that's not reflected in the expenses.)

September 8th, 2009, 12:12 PM
I would probably smack myself if I knew the actual numbers of my toying around and what I've spent. It's a mixed bag, I don't get this stuff for money although I do know it has value so if I really have it for 40 more years and keep it running it may be worth something to a kid I have or grand kids or something. Mostly I have it as a show and tell and would LIKE it to be all nice and set up for everyone to be able to turn on any system and play with it and enjoy. Some of it's also archiving the data that's being lost without being realized.

er.. sorry this isn't the why you collect thread lol. So in general and certainly in the past it's been most of my money goes to vintage stuff. The trick to how much is spent comes down to accessories and software that end up costing a bit and probably aren't thought about. I've easily doubled the cost of the hardware acquiring software and peripherals for the systems. I used to be better about only buying one thing every 3 weeks, then without realizing I was buying stuff about every weekend and certainly spending a few hundred a month (bachelor at the time) unless it was a specific system and then it could be $200 for a system sometimes before shipping. I honestly imagine I've probably spent $60K (including the gas or travel factor, and then accessories and stuff) or so collecting various things over many many years.

My last big cost was finally buying an IMSAI with drives, documentation, terminal, etc and having that shipped (freight). I was sort of looking at buying the last few systems I really wanted and finalizing the collection at the time (ok to be honest a break up had something to do with that big buy also) but alas.. my problem is inflation! I couldn't afford an Altair with my first job, made a bit more but Altair went up in price, and now they're just ridiculous and I'm pretty low on cash so not likely going to happen for me any time soon :-(

I dreamt of having a museum for everyone. Just not sure I'll ever be able to achieve that goal.

September 8th, 2009, 01:18 PM
I've been collecting on a regular basis since Sept. of 2006. I've kept track in a spreadsheet of everything. Almost everything I've bought has come from eBay, so the sad part is that 45% of my total expenditures have gone just for shipping. Mainly because vintage machines are heavy. Also I've bought a lot of heavy magazines and books. I've spent almost $1,900. for my vintage goods. It's just a hobby for me. To my good fortune, almost all my machines are like new and everything works great.

I think it's also important 'why' we collect. My reason, simply put, is to bring back the old times :)

September 8th, 2009, 02:19 PM
I haven't kept a record of it and it would probably shock me if I calculated the total figures. Mind you, it's entertainment money, so I'm not expecting a return in investment.

However, I CAN say that over 50% (or maybe well over 50%) of the cost has been shipping.


September 8th, 2009, 02:19 PM
Quite a bit of my expense is shipping also (most from ebay), but I get a decent amount of local stuff cheap or, free as well.

Its funny how some items I got for next to nothing people seem to want to charge a decent amount for now, while other items like vintage video editing gear few people collect and I can still get on the cheap.

September 8th, 2009, 02:29 PM
I've tried to assemble a list of what I have got so far:

Item Aquired Price Shipping
2x 5.25 HD FDD (Unused) Fall 2006 ~$35 ~$15
Intel 8086-8089 referance Spring 2007 ~$10 ~$10
IBM XT (078 submodel) Fall 2007 Free Free
RAM expansion & 8087 November 2008 $10 $12
RAM ICs & SIMMs December 2008 $3 $12
Ethernet, Async Parralel card January 2009 ~$30 $36
CGA & ATI GS January 2009 ~€20 ~€20
Aurora vidi, HGA+, IBM 5151 February 2009 250SEK Unknown
Soundblaster pro 2, etc February 2009 $20 $12
IBM XT (087 submodel) March 2009 Free ~$500
XT/AT-class PSU April 2009 ~$10 ~$30
More BASIC computer games book May 2009 ~$10 ~$15
Compaq Portable I Septembre 2009 Free Free
Total Now $188 + $667 = $855

September 9th, 2009, 01:32 AM
I don't keep "score" so to speak. I've only collected actively for about three years and, as it seems for most of you, the money goes into shipping. On my last trip I brought home a PDP-11/34 and a VAX 11/750 in a rental truck which cost more than 200$, the hardware was free though :D

I would guess that I'm approaching 1500$ in total, and most of it is shipping. Sound like a lot of money, but each expense has felt motivated at the time, so I'm happy :)

September 9th, 2009, 04:27 AM
Wow, some of ya'll have spent unheard of amounts of money here. I've been collecting since November of 2005 or so. I've had alot of systems pass through(where I got it cheap, then decided I didn't like it), and some that decided to stick. The most I ever put into vintage computer gear was back earlier this year when myself and two other gents bought $900 of computer gear. I had about $300 into that lot when all was said and done. Still haven't used all that stuff, and I got it back in...February? But otherwise, its been a little here, a little there, alot of free stuff. For example, my 100% complete(with reciepts, too!) AT&T PC 6300, which I've declared as the unchallenged most complete AT&T PC 6300 in the world. Fr-eeeee.

All in all, I'm sure I've got about $1,000 into all these machines that I've had and have. Maybe a little bit more. Well worth it. Afterall, I've been well entertained the last few years, and $1,000 seems like a small price to pay.


September 9th, 2009, 08:15 AM
Yeah, shipping is a huge cost that doesn't get realized too often. Plus my costs are also from 15 years of after the fact collecting and some I suppose weren't too old when I got them. Like my very first time to actually buy something off of ebay (watched a coworker who was on there all the time selling and repainting hot wheels lol) in 98 and I was still volunteering with the city teaching computer animation on Amiga's (mostly 1000 and 500's until our community college donated a bunch of 2000's which were sweet). I found an auction for a Amiga 2000 and A3000 with "several thousand" disks, bunch of manuals, books, mags, etc (it was 2 or 3 BBSes equipment and collection). So that was a one time purchase for something like $800 after shipping.. but I swear back then shipping wasn't bad price and that was 13 boxes of stuff arriving. I never received the last 3 boxes that were supposed to be big but I really think he ran out of most of that money shipping stuff.

There are always those one off's .. I guess also my now pseudo-collectible wearable computers (Xybernaut and Via) which were new at the time so that was another um.. 4 digit purchase. Was still *WAY* cheaper than the units were selling for but quite a bit of cash. My thoughts are the years that I haven't saved much money and then subtracting bills and figuring I probably blew the rest on mostly vintage toys. Could be high though but over the years I know I've spent my share on the fun factor.