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Thread: Holy crap!

  1. #1

    Default Holy crap!

    An eBay auction for this GENIAC, a toy computer from the 1950s, just sold for over $1,500.00.

    Granted the machine was in excellent, near new, condition with all of the parts and manuals (and even the box). . . but that much money for a toy that wasn't that rare seems rediculous to me.

    And I've paid some stupid prices for machines before. . .

    Erik

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Holy crap!

    "Erik" wrote in message:
    > An eBay auction for this GENIAC, a toy computer from the 1950s,
    > just sold for over $1,500.00.

    > Granted the machine was in excellent, near new, condition
    > with all of the parts and manuals (and even the box). . .
    > but that much money for a toy that wasn't "that" rare seems
    > rediculous to me.

    > And I've paid some stupid prices for machines before. . .

    That's why I don't go there! ;-) I've heard of people buying
    what they thought to be a computer for a couple of hundred
    bucks & all they end up getting is an empty box (for that
    machine). Seriously, I think eBay was setup for con artists
    who want to make a couple of hundred bucks.

    But still, some time back I used Amazon client & thought
    I was pretty safe. The end result was money taken out
    of my account & a letter of apology stating the book was
    unavailable. So I was supposed to be refunded, but wasn't.
    Pretty hopeless in my opinion. In future I won't buy anything
    until I see the product on offer (& my that I don't mean a
    JPG showing the cover)! :-(

    With Regreats.

  3. #3

    Default

    I've actually had quite a bit of good luck with eBay.

    In well over 250 transactions I've only had two deadbeats. One buyer who bid an item up and refused to pay (I ended up selling it to another buyer for about half the money) and another who took cash for an item and never delivered.

    Otherwise everything has been as expected. You do have to be careful about item descriptions, pictures and details, but those issues almost always resolve with questions to the seller.

    I've clarified a number of items that I've steered clear of after further description. I remember a Commodore Pet I wanted once and asked the seller how much RAM it had. He replied "I don't know, how do I tell?" - I told him that it should say at boot-up - i.e. 8192 bytes free. He told me it doesn't say anything when it boots. The screen just goes white. I explained that it wasn't, in fact, a working computer at all. In another auction I asked a seller to test a computer for me. He plugged it in and it smoked. I shied away (he updated his description, which is fair and honest.)

    Two other times on eBay I never got what I paid for but my money was promptly refunded, no harm, no foul.

    My conclusion: Most folks on eBay are fair, honest people just like you and me. The sharks usually get spotted and dumped fairly quickly.

    Erik

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Back of Burke (Guday!), Australia
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    Default

    "Erik" wrote in message:

    > I've actually had quite a bit of good luck with eBay.

    > In well over 250 transactions I've only had two deadbeats.
    > One buyer who bid an item up and refused to pay (I ended
    > up selling it to another buyer for about half the money) and
    > another who took cash for an item and never delivered.

    > Otherwise everything has been as expected. You do have
    > to be careful about item descriptions, pictures and details,
    > but those issues almost always resolve with questions to the seller.

    > I've clarified a number of items that I've steered clear of
    > after further description. I remember a Commodore Pet
    > I wanted once and asked the seller how much RAM it had.
    > He replied "I don't know, how do I tell?" - I told him that it
    > should say at boot-up - i.e. 8192 bytes free. He told me it
    > doesn't say anything when it boots. The screen just goes
    > white. I explained that it wasn't, in fact, a working
    > computer at all. In another auction I asked a seller to
    > test a computer for me. He plugged it in and it smoked.
    > I shied away (he updated his description, which is fair
    > and honest.)

    That's why I don't want to get rid of my computer. The
    minute I try & sell it, something happens to it.

    > Two other times on eBay I never got what I paid for
    > but my money was promptly refunded, no harm, no foul.

    > My conclusion: Most folks on eBay are fair, honest
    > people just like you and me. The sharks usually get
    > spotted and dumped fairly quickly.

    Well that's great to hear. I'd like to think that 95% of them
    are fair & honest, but it's the 5% which spoil the show
    which is why I turn away from it. Sad but true.

    In Australia we also have thinks like Computer Trader
    where people want to sell a computer to a good home.
    Occasionally there is a classic system on offer. And
    also the Melbourne Trading Post (which deals in
    anything in general) has a good section with computers.
    It's where I got my Amstrad CPC6128 from.

    Cheers.

  5. #5

    Default

    I don't think that eBay is all bad. I've had about 50 or 60 transactions, most of them satisfactory. I've tolerated a few cases of slow shipping and things not being exactly as advertised, but overall it has been far more good than bad.

    There is a lot of lunacy, and for a collector/user of vintage hardware the attitude that the person with the most cash wins is kind of grating. I truly care about PCjrs, and I share every bit of informationt that I come across on my website and in discussion grups where it is appreciated. Somebody who buys a rare piece of hardware and locks it up in a collection without documenting it for the rest of us is almost stealing in a way.

    Sometimes 'Buy-It-Now' auctions are a great deal for the buyer, but horrible for the seller. I've bought 3 or 4 items that had previously sold for pretty good sums of money, but with Buy-It-Now were almost a steal. For example - Central Point Option Boards usually go for $60 to $175 depending upon the completeness and version. I've scored two at ~ $50, both complete and one of them being the latest version.

    I don't sell on eBay. For me, if I want to get rid of something, I'll offer it to a fellow enthusiast at cost or free.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Back of Burke (Guday!), Australia
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    Default

    "mbbrutman" wrote in message:

    > I don't think that eBay is all bad. I've had about
    > 50 or 60 transactions, most of them satisfactory.
    > I've tolerated a few cases of slow shipping and
    > things not being exactly as advertised, but
    > overall it has been far more good than bad.

    I wasn't saying that eBay was all bad. I was just
    saying that 95% of sellers there are doing the
    right thing & that it's just that 5% of people who
    aren't which spoils the whole system. I've only
    heard the bad stories about those people on eBay
    who try to make a quick buck out of selling a box.

    My bad experience with a Amazon client doesn't
    help either & frankly it's changed my views about
    Amazon. If I ever shop there again I'll expect the
    costs of the goods to be charged after the product
    has been sent.

    In future I won't be dealing with an Amazon
    aproved client, simply because I don't trust them
    & the way they charge you before the product is
    shipped. Naturally, I'm sure they didn't mean to
    intentionally swipe $50 bucks out of me, but it's
    just their attitude towards being just being an
    overseas client, they expect me to make an
    international call at my expense to see what's
    happening - it probably wouldn't guarantee anything.
    They won't talk to be by e-mail cause they just
    assume me as anybody & with Amazon.

    Since they think that of me, I think it's fair they
    don't get my business any more.

    > There is a lot of lunacy, and for a collector/user
    > of vintage hardware the attitude that the person
    > with the most cash wins is kind of grating. I
    > truly care about PCjrs, and I share every bit of
    > informationt that I come across on my website
    > and in discussion grups where it is appreciated.
    > Somebody who buys a rare piece of hardware
    > and locks it up in a collection without
    > documenting it for the rest of us is almost
    > stealing in a way.

    I share you thoughts about that. Some people
    decently want to just sell their vintage equipment
    because they don't have the room or need to
    make more room.

    Somebody once posted a link to a sale of an
    Altair computer in the CP/M newsgroup once &
    they wanted $5000 (US I persume) for it. That
    to me is suspecious. Naturally you got some
    nice extras with it, but at $5000? I wouldn't have
    thought an Altair be worth $1000 let alone $5000.

    > Sometimes 'Buy-It-Now' auctions are a great
    > deal for the buyer, but horrible for the seller.
    > I've bought 3 or 4 items that had previously
    > sold for pretty good sums of money, but with
    > Buy-It-Now were almost a steal. For example
    > - Central Point Option Boards usually go for
    > $60 to $175 depending upon the completeness
    > and version. I've scored two at ~ $50, both
    > complete and one of them being the latest
    > version.

    Speaking of auctions I had a simular case with
    Amazon where they were Auctioning this book
    & since I was the only bidder for it, won the
    Auction. Unfortunatly Amazon wrote to me saying
    the book was actually sold (through another
    book shop), fortunately the money wasn't taken
    out until the book was shipped. No actually it
    was, but got refunded.

    > I don't sell on eBay. For me, if I want to get
    > rid of something, I'll offer it to a fellow enthusiast
    > at cost or free.

    Well that's fair. It doesn't quite work for me because
    I'm a one & only enthusiast around this area for
    collection of CP/M books or Programming Languages
    relative to CP/M. Hardware wise, I just haven't been
    looking for a while, but normally it's in relation to
    an IBM compatable.

    Cheers.

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