View Full Version : Need advice on selling computer systems/components older than myself!

July 17th, 2010, 08:18 AM
I'm 25, and I'm planning on selling a bunch of old systems and components when I'm home next week. What I need advice on, is how do I sort through all this stuff and pick out the more valuable pieces, and set aside the ones that maybe aren't worth trying to sell.

Next Thursday, I'm taking a trip back to my hometown in North Dakota to help my dad with a big project: cleaning out and selling everything I can from his old computer store. He started his "store" in 1982, and although we call it a store that's not really what it was. He provided computing services and consulting and by the early 90s he was no longer using the store with employees and catering to individuals, he ended up just doing networking and electrical stuff for institutions such as school, universities, and clinics in the area.

He's kind of a pack rat, and never threw away anything. He kept most boxes, he has collections of computer magazines from the 70s and on, in addition to the systems and components. He also has some office equipment, like an old copier, telephones, and probably some old server/networking equipment he used in the store.

Although the store opened in 1982, he does have some older systems, and he said most of the stuff is for systems 286 and older. I'm planning on listing everything on eBay, and organizing it so it's easy for my parents to ship out on their own (since I'll only be there for 6 days, and we'll probably do 5 or 7-day auctions).

So, that's why I need help sorting through all of this computer stuff. I'll be going through mainly IBM compatible things dating back to the late 70s through basically the present.

He does have the following:
Sinclair ZX-?
Altari 2600 (NIB i think)
I know he has some dumb terminals in the attic of his house, and he told me the has a Tele brand terminal?

But I think I might have better luck with focusing on selling individual components. I can't even begin to guess how much stuff he has. He's also likely to have many things still in the packaging.

I've done some research on how much different computers are worth, but I think that a lot of the stuff he has is individual components he put together or added to other systems.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, and if there's something in particular that you might be looking for, I'd be happy to see if we have it.


July 17th, 2010, 08:53 AM
Be very careful, sounds like you have a goldmine of old and very rare inventory.

Agent Orange
July 17th, 2010, 09:20 AM

If your time permits you really need a good inventory. I would post it on this site first.

July 17th, 2010, 09:42 AM
Need photos.

July 17th, 2010, 09:51 AM
Take a digital camera to the shop and take close up pictures of what is there. All other things being equal cards and machines in the original box and packing materials (manuals, warrenty card, etc) are worth more then those without. Showing the item actually works (for systems) is worth more then a static picture of an unpowered item. If most items are pre 286 you probably want to list them individually to make the most money. I would expect most of the inventory to be common stuff (many duplicates) that most people used at the time and not the rare obscure stuff most collectors would be looking for now, but you never know. Packrats tend to keep everything even if it doesn't work.

I suspect that if you only have a few days to catalog and list items on ebay you will not be able to get rid of it all because the stuff will be in large lots and might cost more then its worth because of shipping. Your best bet is to concentrate on any valuable items and give away/recycle the rest.

July 17th, 2010, 11:49 AM
If you come across ANY side cars for a pc-jr or an ibm 5161 *Expansion Chassis* with cards and cable. I've got dibs on those...

July 17th, 2010, 01:59 PM
Take the time to itemize everything and use a spreadsheet to number each photograph and describe each item. Subsequently you can post on this forum and if you want on eBay as well.

Good luck!

September 5th, 2010, 10:58 AM
I didn't get anything done when I went in July, but now I'm back and I've started going through things. Right next to me I have an Ohio Scientific Challenger 1P (on the back it says the model is C1P) and a Synertek Systems Corporation SYM Model 1 in the box with a Programming Reference booklet (VIA SY6522 / SY6522A). Those were actually in our attic...not from the store.

My dad says he has collections of every issue of PC Magazine and Byte Magazine (and probably some others) since they were first published, through I don't know whenever he stopped storing them in an organized way (so I'd say through the mid 80s at least?).

We have TONS of software (lots unopened), manuals, videos, etc. My dad is wondering if people are interested in BASIC programming stuff. I'll start taking some pictures today.

September 5th, 2010, 11:19 AM
I didn't get anything done when I went in July, but now I'm back and I've started going through things. Right next to me I have an Ohio Scientific Challenger 1P (on the back it says the model is C1P) and a Synertek Systems Corporation SYM Model 1 in the box with a Programming Reference booklet (VIA SY6522 / SY6522A). Those were actually in our attic...not from the store.

The Sym 1 is probably worth $100 or so, maybe a bit more. I don't know why, but most of those survived with boxes. :)

The C1P is worth at least twice that and probably more if you have the box, manuals, etc.

My dad says he has collections of every issue of PC Magazine and Byte Magazine (and probably some others) since they were first published, through I don't know whenever he stopped storing them in an organized way (so I'd say through the mid 80s at least?).

The early Bytes are worth quite a bit. I've seen Volume 1 (the first 15 issues) sell for $200 or more - the first issue regularly goes over $100 - and later volumes, while worth less, still sell well until the early 1980s.

PC Magazine is worth less with the first volume being worth probably half what Byte is.

The later volumes of both get to the point where the shipping outstrips the value of the magazines so it'll be up to a buyer to figure out what they want.

BTW, I usually use the USPS Priority Mail flat rate boxes when shipping magazines.

We have TONS of software (lots unopened), manuals, videos, etc. My dad is wondering if people are interested in BASIC programming stuff. I'll start taking some pictures today.

The software is hit or miss. Early games sell well and specific early applications often have value - things like Visicalc, early versions of Lotus 123, dBase II, Wordstar, etc. Most other applications don't seem to generate much interest.

When you post pictures I'm sure folks here will be able to identify (and drool over) gems.

Please consider The Vintage Computer and Gaming Marketplace as a fee-free sales/auction site for moving these items.

Best of luck!

Mike Chambers
September 5th, 2010, 01:41 PM
mmm.. better ship 'em all to me so that i can "organize" them before anything else.

September 5th, 2010, 01:50 PM
Here are some pictures I took today. I didn't go through everything, and none of the pictures are from our attic (where most of the older stuff is, and the old magazines). I was hoping the resolution would be good enough to see the titles of most of the books, but it probably isn't. Let me know if something looks interesting and I can take closer pictures.


September 5th, 2010, 09:14 PM
Holy cow that's a lot of stuff.

There are some gems there. If there is IBM stuff in any of the gray IBM boxes then that's worth money. The PET 2001 is worth a few hundred, especially if it works.

Check the leftmost DOS manual in 068.jpg (the one without the version sticker) to see if the disks read DOS 1.0. If so it's worth a small fortune. A sealed copy of OS/2 Warp is interesting, if not valuable. Same with the MS "Original" mouse. The IBM Technical library has value. Some of the other books. magazines and software have to, but it's hard to read titles.

There are a few boxed systems in there which are probably worth something if the original stuff is in the boxes.

The IBM chassis, parts and systems are always in at least a bit of demand.

Most of the gear looks pretty mundane, but that doesn't mean that someone won't want it! :)

September 5th, 2010, 10:36 PM
Sooo much stuff! And almost every piece of software and hardware will individually sell for something, from $5 bucks to $500, especially first versions of software in the original seal. I have no idea how you intend on selling all of it, but I would take your time with it. Some of it makes sense to sell as a package deal, but some should really be sold as an individual item (like the PET, and the Lotus 123 software, etc).

Please continue to share your photos. Most of us have questionable relationships with our computers and salivate over huge collections like yours:)

September 6th, 2010, 08:42 AM
Thanks for all the replies and messages! I'll take more pictures of the items of interest today. Also, you can probably see that a couple of the rooms have water damage, so we'll have to see if the items left on the floors of those rooms are salvageable--including that poor IBM PC Jr. whose box was never even opened! the box is in terrible shape, but the machine and monitor might be okay. i know that one's not worth a ton, but it's sad to see all the things my dad spent money on and then just sat in a room for decades.

September 6th, 2010, 12:56 PM

is there any heathkit related stuff?

September 6th, 2010, 03:05 PM
yeah, Heathkit sounds familiar. i'll take a look

September 6th, 2010, 04:08 PM
Nice collection. In picture 112, that PET and IBM monitor together might fetch 700 bucks. All the Atari stuff in picture 126 is valuable, IBM too, especially if boxed and also that kimtron data terminal. The portable computer boxed in 030, very valuable and it has the original box!!! Did I see some IBM 8" disks boxed in that pile? Worth money. I can't wait to see the stuff in the attic.

September 7th, 2010, 10:10 AM
Hmm...I didn't see any IBM 8" disks. There were some Janus brand 8" disks. I don't know if there's a lot in the attic. That's where we found the SYM-1 and the Ohio Scientific Challenger C1P? That's also where he has some dumb terminals.

We did find a beautiful Epson HX-20 (with the micro cassette drive in the upper right corner) with box and registration card (all cables, and ac adapter too), as well as Personal Productivity Software cassette (a big one, though) for it.

And, as far as Heathkit there's a digital design experimenter.

And a Toshiba T-1000 with box.

But I'm going to have to have my parents take over. They know how to ship stuff and use paypal. My dad did run this computer store, so I think they can handle it :)

September 7th, 2010, 01:12 PM
witch model of the digital design experimenter?

September 7th, 2010, 09:36 PM
Stuff I'm interested in (dibs on this stuff unless I change mind upon closer inspection):

Top one is a 5150, the bottom one - I actually don't know - please get some pictures of that, I may be interested.
It could be an "AT/370" (dunno quite what that is), a 3270, or something else entirely..

Can we get some closer pictures of http://s813.photobucket.com/albums/zz54/kathrynjeanne85/Systematics/?action=view&current=138.jpg - the tower underneath, not the drive.

There's a binder in the middle of this pic labeled "IBM" - what's the brown label say?
Lots of cool books, but that caught my eye.

http://s813.photobucket.com/albums/zz54/kathrynjeanne85/Systematics/?action=view&current=064.jpg#!oZZ95QQcurrentZZhttp%3A%2F%2Fs813 .photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fzz54%2Fkathrynjeanne85 %2FSystematics%2F%3Faction%3Dview%26current%3D048. jpg%26
MS-DOS Encyclopedia - only interested in this if it's cheap and I am getting something else from ya to offset the shipping.

http://s813.photobucket.com/albums/zz54/kathrynjeanne85/Systematics/?action=view&current=064.jpg#!oZZ98QQcurrentZZhttp%3A%2F%2Fs813 .photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fzz54%2Fkathrynjeanne85 %2FSystematics%2F%3Faction%3Dview%26current%3D043. jpg%26
This case interests me - looks like my first computer when I was very young.. dunno if I could afford to have a case shipped, or if you'd feel like stripping it, etc..

http://s813.photobucket.com/albums/zz54/kathrynjeanne85/Systematics/?action=view&current=064.jpg#!oZZ105QQcurrentZZhttp%3A%2F%2Fs81 3.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fzz54%2Fkathrynjeanne8 5%2FSystematics%2F%3Faction%3Dview%26current%3D030 .jpg%26
The keyboard on top of this box - it appears to be a model M4 IBM keyboard... is it?

http://s813.photobucket.com/albums/zz54/kathrynjeanne85/Systematics/?action=view&current=064.jpg#!oZZ112QQcurrentZZhttp%3A%2F%2Fs81 3.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fzz54%2Fkathrynjeanne8 5%2FSystematics%2F%3Faction%3Dview%26current%3D022 .jpg%26
Always wanted one of those beige computer rolling stands..

http://s813.photobucket.com/albums/zz54/kathrynjeanne85/Systematics/?action=view&current=064.jpg#!oZZ120QQcurrentZZhttp%3A%2F%2Fs81 3.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fzz54%2Fkathrynjeanne8 5%2FSystematics%2F%3Faction%3Dview%26current%3D013 .jpg%26
If it works and I'm not already broke buying other things from you. I'd also be interested in a 5154 or a PGD if you have any of those.

Stuff I don't know if I'm interested in or not because I don't know what it is at all:

http://s813.photobucket.com/albums/zz54/kathrynjeanne85/Systematics/?action=view&current=064.jpg#!oZZ97QQcurrentZZhttp%3A%2F%2Fs813 .photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fzz54%2Fkathrynjeanne85 %2FSystematics%2F%3Faction%3Dview%26current%3D046. jpg%26
Some kind of luggable computer? What is it?

http://s813.photobucket.com/albums/zz54/kathrynjeanne85/Systematics/?action=view&current=064.jpg#!oZZ123QQcurrentZZhttp%3A%2F%2Fs81 3.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fzz54%2Fkathrynjeanne8 5%2FSystematics%2F%3Faction%3Dview%26current%3D010 .jpg%26
That top box appears to JUST be an external CD-ROM drive - looks kinda like a Tandy 1000 case, heh.
Shares a logo with that interesting comp under it - dunno what it is.. does that say Sun.. Media... box?

http://s813.photobucket.com/albums/zz54/kathrynjeanne85/Systematics/?action=view&current=064.jpg#!oZZ124QQcurrentZZhttp%3A%2F%2Fs81 3.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fzz54%2Fkathrynjeanne8 5%2FSystematics%2F%3Faction%3Dview%26current%3D007 .jpg%26
"A 386 is a Terrible Thing to Waste" boxes.. what are they?

Stuff of value that I'm not interested in but feel like pointing out:

http://s813.photobucket.com/albums/zz54/kathrynjeanne85/Systematics/?action=view&current=064.jpg#!oZZ109QQcurrentZZhttp%3A%2F%2Fs81 3.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fzz54%2Fkathrynjeanne8 5%2FSystematics%2F%3Faction%3Dview%26current%3D026 .jpg%26
In the center - copy of Windows 3.1 shrinkwrapped..

http://s813.photobucket.com/albums/zz54/kathrynjeanne85/Systematics/?action=view&current=064.jpg#!oZZ105QQcurrentZZhttp%3A%2F%2Fs81 3.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fzz54%2Fkathrynjeanne8 5%2FSystematics%2F%3Faction%3Dview%26current%3D030 .jpg%26
Somehow I don't think it's "NEW" anymore, but it's probably worth something.

Also, I see IBM boxes..
Likely these contain items of value (possibly something I might want, but who knows).

Three IBM ATs, at least two genuine...
These are worth something.

The horizontal computer on the left with the black drives is likely an IBM XT 5160. The item above and behind it with the two slots is a PCjr, these are both worth some cash.
In the far rear of this picture, on the right, there's a monitor - this is an IBM monitor, worth something, especially if it's a 5153 or 5154, or PGD. The machine under the.. something.. under that monitor is also likely an IBM 5160 or 5150.

Top monitor worth something, I think it's a 5151, not the rarest, but still good. Other two, who knows.

IBM PS/2 - the model is on the gray badge on the left - from the looks it's likely a 486 model of some sort. Not worth a fortune, but to the right person it could sell for something.

If this is sealed it's worth a pretty penny. As a sidenote if you find anything sealed be sure not to open it.

The case on the top right of this pic is from an original IBM 5150 and is in pretty good condition. This could sell to someone with the parts to rebuild it or to someone with a damaged case.

Another IBM 5151 I believe..

Clone PC or XT, deceiving, but not likely of much value - the keyboard next to it, however, may be - it's an early Model M.

http://s813.photobucket.com/albums/zz54/kathrynjeanne85/Systematics/?action=view&current=064.jpg#!oZZ126QQcurrentZZhttp%3A%2F%2Fs81 3.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fzz54%2Fkathrynjeanne8 5%2FSystematics%2F%3Faction%3Dview%26current%3D005 .jpg%26
Might be worth cash, not sure - shrinkwrapping is definitely a plus.

There may well be other things in the pics of stuff I'm not interested in that are worth money or rare, but I just pointed out the stuff I know is worth something.

This one doesn't fit into the categories I made...
http://s813.photobucket.com/albums/zz54/kathrynjeanne85/Systematics/?action=view&current=064.jpg#!oZZ114QQcurrentZZhttp%3A%2F%2Fs81 3.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fzz54%2Fkathrynjeanne8 5%2FSystematics%2F%3Faction%3Dview%26current%3D019 .jpg%26
In the center, that HP ink cartridge - let me know if someone ends up interested in that, I have one NIB I'm not using.

There, I looked at every single picture - hah.

Another sidenote - if you happen across an IBM AT (5170/5171) case with no board(s) in it, might I buy the front plate? Mine has some damage and I'd like to replace it if possible.

BTW I found a nice site with a table of IBM model numbers and type numbers - might help if you do an inventory:

October 22nd, 2010, 11:01 AM
Anyone happen to buy any hardware from this person?

October 22nd, 2010, 11:55 AM
I never got a reply positive or negative on any of the offers I made.

October 22nd, 2010, 11:58 AM
Were you doing only PMs or email? Certainly looks like she handed it over to her folks though who knows. I'm sure ya tried it but she does seem to have an email address registered here.