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Thread: What is the vintage 286/386/486 market like these days?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unknown_K View Post
    I was wondering how the market for old AT class machines is doing.

    Spring is here and I should do some downsizing and was wondering if people pay a premium for complete systems these days or if parts are the best way to go. I have complete systems and also motherboards, cards, HDs, cases etc. No need for all the extras since the ones I use seem reliable enough (and I am out of space).

    The stuff I have been collecting lately is 2000 era so I don't know whats going on with the older stuff.
    I think there are multiple "markets" here. For 286 class machine I think most everyone wants an IBM AT? Why not? They are still affordable!

    I am not sure about 386 machines. For me it was really only servers that could use such machines...

    ... and 486 well too young for me.....
    Dave
    G4UGM

    Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unknown_K View Post
    Teac or Epson seem to be $100+ unless you get lucky and get one out of Ukraine for half that. Not an earth shattering sum but rising.

    I am kind of glad to see people still buying them since I figured everybody is going for Gotek emulator drives (unless they are just for period looks and not for use).
    A gotek won't help to read the real things. I'm still sitting a carton of new ones.

  3. #13
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    Yes a gotek won't read real disks, but what percentage of people who buy vintage hardware bother with legit vintage software?

    Quite a bit of real vintage software has disappeared from ebay over the years so either it didn't sell well or no longer exists.

    I have tons of boxed old PC, Amiga, Atari ST, and Mac software in my collection and that is not going to be sold.
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unknown_K View Post
    Quite a bit of real vintage software has disappeared from ebay over the years so either it didn't sell well or no longer exists.
    Again, I blame shipping costs. When it easily costs $10-$15 to ship a boxed software item that is perhaps worth $20, who is going to bother?

  5. #15
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    Media mail is super cheap. Any why would vintage software not be worth more then shipping anyway?
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

  6. #16

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    You can have a look at the threads I maintained for a while to see what was listed and what sold for what prices. Insofar eBay has not erased that history obviously.

    Based on location there is demand for PCs when you price them reasonably.

    I have not looked at this stuff in a few months (otherwise preoccupied) so no idea how the hobby is trending.

    You could check traffic (# of posts, active users, ads) here on VCFED / AmiBay / Facebook (vintage computer for sale groups) / Vogons / CPU-World / DOS Reloaded / DOS Forum / Classic Computing Org / Reddit (various groups) / IBM PS/2 newsgroup and such to gauge activity.

    Regarding shipping: the huge retailers have huge bulk discounts with UPS / FedEx / USPS and/or are starting their own delivery networks so they do not pay retail shipping rates. That is how the economy is not grinding to a halt.

  7. #17
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    Media mail is also super confusing. Every time the subject comes up the consensus seems to be you are not allowed to use it to ship software. As I recall, the exact rules have even changed a few times.

    I've only had a couple of times when sellers have tried to ship software to me via media mail. And each time it seemed like the post office tried to throw some loop at it, making it take even longer than it should have.

    The amount software is worth varies quite a bit. Programming tools, well known software titles, and uncommon games can sell for hundreds of dollars. More mundane software titles, like a no-name budget boxed word processor, are collectible but since there are many such programs to collect, one won't usually pay a premium for them. So typically those sell more at the impulse-buy level, $20-$25 including shipping.

  8. #18
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    The PO changed the wording a few years ago that made it very clear Media Mail was only for educational materials. So you can make a very strong argument to use Media Mail to ship educational games, but not much else.
    Offering a bounty for:
    - The software "Overhead Express" (doesn't have to be original, can be a copy)
    - A working Sanyo MBC-775, Olivetti M24, or Logabax 1600
    - Documentation and original disks for: Panasonic Sr. Partner, Zenith Z-160 series
    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)

  9. #19
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    You cannot use media mail for advertising and some postal workers look at a 20 year old game catalog in a game box from a defunct company and say that is advertising. You can argue that the company no longer exists or even if it did the stuff in the advertisement is no longer sold. You generally don't have that issue with apps and those old manuals tend to make old apps heavy and expensive to ship.

    Some people do abuse the system as an example I got a mac IIfx in many years ago and the seller shipped it media mail and pocketed the difference in shipping. The unit still got to my location and was fine but took a while (media mail isn't a priority).
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

  10. #20
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    MEDIA MAIL SERVICE

    Media Mail shipping is a cost-effective way to send educational materials. This service has restrictions on the type of media that can be shipped. Media Mail rates are limited to the items listed below:

    Books (at least 8 pages).
    Sound recordings and video recordings, such as CDs and DVDs.
    Play scripts and manuscripts for books, periodicals, and music.
    Printed music.
    Computer-readable media containing prerecorded information and guides or scripts prepared solely for use with such media.
    Sixteen millimeter or narrower width films.
    Printed objective test materials and their accessories.
    Printed educational reference charts.
    Loose-leaf pages and their binders consisting of medical information for distribution to doctors, hospitals, medical schools, and medical students.

    Media - printed music, sound recordings, periodicals, CDs, DVDs, and books.

    Media Mail packages may not contain advertising. Comic books do not meet this standard. Books may contain incidental announcements of other books and sound recordings may contain incidental announcements of other sound recordings. In accordance with standards in the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM), Section 170, Media Mail packages must have a delivery address and the sender’s return address and are subject to inspection by the Postal Service™. Upon such inspection, matter not eligible for the Media Mail rate may be assessed at the proper price and sent to the recipient postage due, or the sender may be contacted for additional postage.

    For more information about Media Mail service, please visit www.usps.com or call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777). Complete explanations of qualified items can be found in the DMM.

    PSN 7610-07-000-4037

    Notice 121, October 2012


    Sounds to me like vintage apps would be fine.
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

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