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rcajun90

Buying a 7800...

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I’ve been scoping out goodwill, EBay and Etsy.  They all get close or surpass $150.00.  That’s a little more than I can spend.  I want one for $100.00 or less.  Is this unreasonable? Are there other places to watch or buy outright?

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Try Craigslist and thrift stores and give yourself some time, set up an EBay search. It might make sense to look for "Atari console" and "ProSystem" as well as not all sellers are aware of the 7800/2600jr difference. I live in Europe where I believe the machine to be even less common than in the US and got all of mine well below that, at least one very recently and including a French machine with RGB output. I even sold one for a similar amount. (I can't rule out that the Pandemic, keeping people at home, has led to a temporary increase in prices. On the contrary, people having more time to clear out their attics might find more to sell....)

 

Are "completed listings" as high as well. Have a look there and try making offers to sellers pointing out realistic historical sales prices. 

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Thank you for the reply and tips.  I had one back in college.  I was taken a back by the prices people are asking.  Someone on my local Facebook market place is asking $350 for a 2600.

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If you’re not opposed to trusting a stranger on the internet, I have a spare that I’d be happy to let go to a good home, for however much you can pay and ship it for.

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On 1/27/2021 at 12:52 AM, slx said:

Try Craigslist and thrift stores and give yourself some time, set up an EBay search. It might make sense to look for "Atari console" and "ProSystem" as well as not all sellers are aware of the 7800/2600jr difference. I live in Europe where I believe the machine to be even less common than in the US and got all of mine well below that, at least one very recently and including a French machine with RGB output. I even sold one for a similar amount. (I can't rule out that the Pandemic, keeping people at home, has led to a temporary increase in prices. On the contrary, people having more time to clear out their attics might find more to sell....)

 

Are "completed listings" as high as well. Have a look there and try making offers to sellers pointing out realistic historical sales prices. 

Thrift stores.  No any more.  I used to find Atari items there 20 years ago.  Even they have internet and know what things go for these days.  I got mine with 75 games for $75 at a pawn shop.  That was over 20-25 years ago and Atari was out of fashion.  I didn't need it, but the guy said, "Hey, 75 games, why NOT?"  Couldn't argue with that logic.

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I've never seen a 7800 console in the wild. I've seen 2 cartridges ever. Both at goodwill. One was a NIB Pole Position and the other was a loose copy of some other common. That was a long time ago too. Once in a while I see some 2600 stuff be it games or consoles but not very often. Don't even see NES or SNES much anymore outside of Pawn Shops that want "what they go for on ebay".

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Here in Australia I reckon they sold almost no 7800s. The 8 bit console of that generation that sold like crazy here was the Master System. In 25 years of game collecting have only ever seen one 7800 for sale in the wild and that one was missing its power supply. Would have come across literally many hundreds of 2600s in that time. I wound up paying over $200 off another collector to get my 7800. That's cheaper than eBay generally is here so was happy with paying that.

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I got mine from Spain some months ago (9 maybe?), it was 100€ with four (NES like) controllers, and two 2600 cartridges.

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I Bought this https://www.ebay.com/itm/ATARI-7800-Video-Game-CONSOLE-For-Parts-Not-Working-NO-POWER/124502331763?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649 non working 7800 for $35.17 shipping included. I spent $11 on Console5 for new buttons, Voltage regulator, caps and ICs and $14 for a composite mod / sound improvement kit. After a total of $60.17, the mod and new parts, what once was a broken console is now a perfectly functioning Atari 7800 with Composite out and sharp, crisp colorful graphics, better sound clarity and more volume. I was lucky to find even a broken one for less than $50-$75. The Atari 7800 is built like a tank and most are easily repairable, especially power issues if your are moderately comfortable with soldering and have a basic understanding of electronics.

P.S. This is the voice of experience talking: No matter what you hear, for best results remove the RF module and the top RF shield entirely as they are about as usefull as a screen door on a submarine and for me, they created form, fit and function issues that went away when removed.

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If you buy a 7800, do not even think about developing anything that connects to the bus.  It's the way to gray hairs and ulcers.

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I bought 4 Atari 7800's in the past few weeks, all from $35--$70 dollars.  They all work (one needs a little repair) and they all are in good condition. 

 

You just have to make offers on ebay, haggle a bit, and buy "untested" or without the Power supply (you can get new ones at Best for $20).  There are still deals to be had!

 

And yes, Craigslist and thrift stores are useless; it's like finding a needle in a haystack at this point.  Except there is no needle and if there is they want $300 for it. 

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Sadly, nothing good ever ends up in the thrifts any longer. Goodwill even has their own ebay type site now. Assholes. I found mine in a swap meet in 1994, and I had never seen one before. I initially thought it was yet another 2600 JR but when I took a closer look at the cart port, I realized it was something I had never even heard of. I bought it and the games that were with it for about $30 if I recall. It had no controllers so it never even realized they had two button games for a while...

 

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My recommendation to the OP is to hold out for a 'for parts' 7800 if you can't find one under 100 (IMO too much).  We have a few modding whizzes on here that can almost certainly repair them.  


It's a shame because a few years ago I had (4) broken 7800s that I didn't have the time/patience to repair, wish I'd held on to them, sold them to a guy who doesnt care about pre-NES systems for next to nothing just so I could clear them out. 

 

Also I agree with the others that thrifts have long been wise that video games aren't worthless things to throw 10 dollar price tags on anymore. Almost anything they get now goes on their auction sites, even loose 2600 games which used to be legion at thrift stores are now rare. 

Edited by SearsRoebuck

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2 hours ago, Rick Dangerous said:

I bought 4 Atari 7800's in the past few weeks, all from $35--$70 dollars.  They all work (one needs a little repair) and they all are in good condition. 

 

You just have to make offers on ebay, haggle a bit, and buy "untested" or without the Power supply (you can get new ones at Best for $20).  There are still deals to be had!

 

And yes, Craigslist and thrift stores are useless; it's like finding a needle in a haystack at this point.  Except there is no needle and if there is they want $300 for it. 

 

Untested without power supply is a roll of the dice. While it works out a lot of the time, if someone is on a budget, they can't go taking risks like that. If you want one to your door in full working order with everything it takes to make it happen as desired, there ain't no $35 solution (sadly).

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I’m really shocked by the prices.  Someone is trying to sell a Jaguar on Facebook for $400 plus!  I bought one about 8 years ago for $50.  I didn’t like the weird games for it.  I sold it for $35.

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If they were to put some of those up in a straight auction (ie with no buy it now), they wouldnt sell for that price.  I see several 7800 - confirmed working too, but with no cords - selling for as little as 50 dollars in ebay's completed items.  Ones boxed are 150+, as much as 300 if it has a bunch of games.  But you probably don't need all that.  So just be patient, try to win it the hard way in a straight auction if one comes up. 

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The only way to get them in the UK for sensible money is to get them spares or repair and restore them yourself, same goes for 6 switch 2600's and 8-bit machines. I watch ebay constantly for particularly rough ones that no one wants as they're more fun to restore and go for next to nothing. Still can't get my hands on a NTSC 7800 which are like rocking horse poo here.

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5 minutes ago, juansolo said:

Still can't get my hands on a NTSC 7800 which are like rocking horse poo here.

 

Probably wouldn't cost an arm and a leg to just ship a motherboard from the U.S., I would think.

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41 minutes ago, juansolo said:

The only way to get them in the UK for sensible money is to get them spares or repair and restore them yourself, same goes for 6 switch 2600's and 8-bit machines. I watch ebay constantly for particularly rough ones that no one wants as they're more fun to restore and go for next to nothing. Still can't get my hands on a NTSC 7800 which are like rocking horse poo here.

That's my plan too.

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10 hours ago, rcajun90 said:

I’m really shocked by the prices.  Someone is trying to sell a Jaguar on Facebook for $400 plus!  I bought one about 8 years ago for $50.  I didn’t like the weird games for it.  I sold it for $35.

If it had a second controller or game with it, that would be considered good for the UK. Jag prices have slowly increased, I don't think pandemic has changed much on that front, but it's normal to see a rough boxed console and maybe cybermorth missing for around that price. 

 

Often, looking into bundle deals with a console which yes will be more expensive initially is cheaper in the long run. I bought my jaguar recently with 6 games and I probably saved $200 than if I bought the games separately. 

Edited by Mikebloke
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2 hours ago, CPUWIZ said:

 

Probably wouldn't cost an arm and a leg to just ship a motherboard from the U.S., I would think.

From USA to UK, under one pound is about $12, one to two pounds is about $23, first class international USPS.

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