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Floppy drive prices on eBay...

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    Floppy drive prices on eBay...

    So BOTH of my external Toshiba floppy drives died recently and my Tecra 500CDT also has a dead CD-ROM drive. So I essentially have no way to get data onto the computer except serial (which unfortunately my Tecra doesn't have a copy of LapLink installed) and I don't feel like removing the HDD just to install a copy. The floppy drives just make a buzzing noise and refuse to read any disks.

    So I figured it was time to get a new FDD. Looked on eBay and the prices are insane! The cheapest drive I can find is over 30 bucks and it's not even tested! There are cheaper listings but those don't include the FDD, only the external case. Searching for listings for the FDD alone have been futile as well as the drive itself has no markings of any kind.

    A few years back I picked up one of these external drives (on eBay) for under 20 bucks. What happened between then and now to make floppy drives on eBay so friggin expensive? That being said, maybe all of this is my fault and I'm just cheap but I don't see paying 30+ bucks for an external floppy drive as reasonable.

    I can pick up a CD-ROM drive for much cheaper than a floppy drive. Is it something about floppy drives that just makes eBay sellers think they're worth a lot more than they are?

    Mods: NO THIS IS NOT A RANT. I am not trying to smear eBay, you guys or any other entity here. I'm merely asking a question.
    Vintage computer systems and peripherals I'm currently looking for:
    IBM PS/2 Model P70, Compaq Contura 3/25, Any Toshiba Libretto laptop from the Libretto 50CT up to the 110CT, Commodore 1541 disk drive in working condition.

    Send a PM if you are interested in selling any of these items to me. Thanks!

    #2
    I suspect floppy drives are in demand from people using them to archive disks with USB based controllers. But somehow I don't think that explains it all.

    I've also noticed the prices going up, and I'd also like to know what is going on, besides eBaydiots just asking too much as usual. Recently was looking for a particular model (crappy belt driven) and wound up buying a pair of overpriced untested drives listed with a bad item picture that nobody else seemed to want to touch. Fortunately they did work after cleaning.

    And then just to ship a feather it seems to cost a bazilonty dollars or more if it happens to be located in California.

    Comment


      #3
      I must be rich--I've still got most of a carton of FD505s (combo 1.2+1.44) and 235HF (1.44).

      Comment


        #4
        I don't think I've ever heard the term a "carton" of drives. How many is that? 10? 12? 20?

        Comment


          #5
          I don't consider 30 "bucks" for an external drive for the Toshiba Tecra series expensive.

          And for the record: LapLink can transfer itself onto the target computer. There's no need to have it there already.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
            I must be rich--I've still got most of a carton of FD505s (combo 1.2+1.44) and 235HF (1.44).
            Well now, I've been looking for a few of those. Would you consider liberating a few from the carton for a worthy cause?

            As far as floppy drive prices on eBay. Yes, they are insane. I believe it's the way eBay works to keep prices going up. When someone lists a drive, say for $125, with a buy-it-now option and someone makes an offer and it's accepted, the accepted price is not shown. Instead, when sellers look up "sold" items on eBay they see the inflated price thinking that is what it sold for. To make matter worse, out of frustration (or desperation), some people pay those insane prices helping to reinforce the idea that these are actually worth that amount.

            I've been selling and buying on eBay for over three years now to build and refurbish vintage computers. In those three years I have seen vintage parts and systems increase three fold in price, especially for Tandy computer related items.

            As for the $30 for the drive you're looking at that actually sounds reasonable to me but only if the shipping reflects the actual shipping cost. Many times sellers tack on inflated shipping costs to make money there as well. There's also tax to be taken into consideration now. If that $30 drive + shipping + tax becomes a $70 drive then no, I would move on.

            The drives that Chuck mentioned above are many times listed on eBay for over $125 (hence, he thinks he's rich ) We sold these drives in the computer stores I worked at back in the day for around $75 new and they weren't great sellers because of the high price. If you purchase a used combo drive be prepared to tear it down and at the very least perform basic maintenance on it to get it working, such as removing old grease and cleaning heads (this should be done on NOS drives as well). My time is worth something to me so that $125+ for a drive is just insane in my opinion and I move on.

            Oh and "tested" 99.9% of the time is BS.

            Comment


              #7
              Does anyone remember what 5.25" drives sold for when they were just introduced? (e.g. Shugart SA-400) They weren't cheap then, and the same prices adjusted for inflation would seem really insane today. Bottom line is that nobody's making floppy drives of any stripe today and there are still plenty of old floppy disks around, so of course prices will increase as the supply of drives diminishes.

              Personally, if I wasn't fussy about it, I'd contact the local electronics recycler to see if they have any drives. I'll wager that those still get tossed into the waste pile today.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
                Does anyone remember what 5.25" drives sold for when they were just introduced? (e.g. Shugart SA-400) They weren't cheap then, and the same prices adjusted for inflation would seem really insane today.

                In 1983, Heath Company sold a single-sided, 40 track drive for $345, and a double-sided, 80 track for $550.
                Heathkit and Zenith Data System Pre-IBM Compatible computers.
                Such as H8, H11, H/Z-88/89/90, H/Z-100/120

                Comment


                  #9
                  In pre-double-digit inflation 1978 the OEM price for a 100 tpi Micropolis floppy drive was about $600--this was still less expensive than an 8" drive.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Timo W. View Post
                    I don't consider 30 "bucks" for an external drive for the Toshiba Tecra series expensive.

                    And for the record: LapLink can transfer itself onto the target computer. There's no need to have it there already.
                    Call me cheap or whatever, but 30$ is a lot more than what I used to be able to pay for the drives. Don't even get me started on the prices of Backpack parallel port CD-ROM drives.

                    And yes I realized that. I have LapLink installed on the Tecra now.
                    Vintage computer systems and peripherals I'm currently looking for:
                    IBM PS/2 Model P70, Compaq Contura 3/25, Any Toshiba Libretto laptop from the Libretto 50CT up to the 110CT, Commodore 1541 disk drive in working condition.

                    Send a PM if you are interested in selling any of these items to me. Thanks!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Proprietary vintage laptop floppy/optical drives are not that common anymore. To be honest I think 5.25" drives that work are going to be harder to source down the road and I remember buying a stack of them for $20 at a recycler a long time ago. Times change and things gets recycled.
                      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

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by TH2002 View Post
                        Don't even get me started on the prices of Backpack parallel port CD-ROM drives.
                        I actually get those fairly inexpensive. The secret is to buy in pieces. Just two weeks ago I purchased a 164550 (4x) for $15, a 3ft backpack cable for $6, and an 18VAC backpack wall wart adapter for $12. $33 plus shipping and tax came to about $50. If you want NOS then yeah, I've seen those on eBay for $195 and more, definitely not worth that. Heck, $50 is a little high as well, but piecing the thing together was definitely cheaper than someone who had all the parts, or the NOS ones you see.

                        I have 2 backpack CDROMs, and 2 backpack 1.44MB floppy drives now by doing this.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Aren't most parallel port CD ROMs just IDE units connected to a port replicator?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Unknown_K View Post
                            Proprietary vintage laptop floppy/optical drives are not that common anymore. To be honest I think 5.25" drives that work are going to be harder to source down the road and I remember buying a stack of them for $20 at a recycler a long time ago. Times change and things gets recycled.
                            If 5.25" floppy drives are getting tossed, the recycler hasn't been paying attention to the market in the past 10+ years. 360K drives dried up here surplus at least that long ago.
                            About all you see now hitting the store floors are 1.44 drives. SCSI CDROM drive prices are doing the same thing now, which is why I've been busy the past month archiving pictures and dumping the firmware from them before they get in the 100$ price range

                            Comment


                              #15
                              It's a bathtub curve sort of thing. In the beginning, you pay through the teeth for the new devices. Then they become common and the price drops precipitously. Finally, they're not made any more and the prices increase as the supply dries up.

                              Comment

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