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TI99/4a Lot, ebay, Why So Much?

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I'm a casual TI99 user, gaming mostly, so I'm not really in tune with the niche items and holy grails for the system. I'm curious is there is something in this lot that had two bidders go so high? The cartridge holder is pretty cool but the rest appears, to my untrained eye, to be nothing special. 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Texas-Instruments-99-4A-Home-Computer-w-Box-Manuals-Games-Controllers-Speech-AI-/203593293141?_trksid=p2349526.m4383.l44720.c10&nordt=true&rt=nc&orig_cvip=true

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Something really wrong there, as there is nothing special in the auction. The console is worth about $35 if it works, The Speech Synthesizer is worth no more than $20 or so, the cartridges are worth a maximum of $50, and the case is worth $15 or so. So it should top out at around $120 or so.

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Stuff on ebay is going crazy. I’ve seen a single, used TI-99/4a console in good state being offered for 800 EUR.

That is just plain nuts. There was nothing in there that made the offer special. Well except for the price maybe.

 

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4 hours ago, Schmitzi said:

We are rich !!!  🤣

Right!  I knew investing in TI equipment would be far, far better than Bitcoin!

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The whole eBay market just makes it hard for people like @Ksarul and I, who want to try and preserve some of the more rare stuff.  The documentation (CB Wilson) treasure trove that we split cost on - the guy wanted $1500, but we had no choice - otherwise it would likely have never been seen again. 

 

The whole 'retro' market is nuts.  For example, video games like SNES and NES consoles, are even way higher priced than needed.  I've gone to buying Famicom and Super Famicom lots in Japan, which can go for cheap (I can get a Super Famicom deck for $10-$15 with multiple controllers and games, and also bundle for a discount on shipping) vs. getting them here domestically (I'm seeing SNES lots like those on FB Marketplace for $150-$200).  I think it has to be a US centric thing, because I don't see (or at least have a hard time noticing) this going on in other countries.

 

I really need to get a video quality corner setup in my basement to introduce some of this cool tech to people via YouTube videos.  I've started cleaning up Jon Shack for that reason - I just need to figure out stands, cameras, etc.

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2 hours ago, acadiel said:

I think it has to be a US centric thing, because I don't see (or at least have a hard time noticing) this going on in other countries.

 


look at UK for steam engines and you'll see similar

prices high due to rarity, so factory makes current reproductions....but sells them at rarity prices

(shrug)
 

 

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It's a "complete" collection for someone.  Boxed console, a bunch of games, all the cables and joysticks -- all in very nice condition.  I know it isn't worth $280 + shipping to us old-timers.  But to someone who has no TI stuff, this type of complete auction would be appealing. 

 

I would add this too -- the current market is a good time to sell if you want to.  An auction like this one illustrates that a complete setup should go for a premium right now. 

Edited by RickR

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3 hours ago, acadiel said:

The whole eBay market just makes it hard for people like @Ksarul and I, who want to try and preserve some of the more rare stuff.  The documentation (CB Wilson) treasure trove that we split cost on - the guy wanted $1500, but we had no choice - otherwise it would likely have never been seen again. 

 

The whole 'retro' market is nuts.  For example, video games like SNES and NES consoles, are even way higher priced than needed.  I've gone to buying Famicom and Super Famicom lots in Japan, which can go for cheap (I can get a Super Famicom deck for $10-$15 with multiple controllers and games, and also bundle for a discount on shipping) vs. getting them here domestically (I'm seeing SNES lots like those on FB Marketplace for $150-$200).  I think it has to be a US centric thing, because I don't see (or at least have a hard time noticing) this going on in other countries.

 

I really need to get a video quality corner setup in my basement to introduce some of this cool tech to people via YouTube videos.  I've started cleaning up Jon Shack for that reason - I just need to figure out stands, cameras, etc.

I have a bunch of club news letters and I think Micro Pendiums? I was going to list on ebay.  But I'd rather give you first dibs.   If you are interested let me know and I can send you some pictures. 

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1 hour ago, RickR said:

It's a "complete" collection for someone.  Boxed console, a bunch of games, all the cables and joysticks -- all in very nice condition.  I know it isn't worth $280 + shipping to us old-timers.  But to someone who has no TI stuff, this type of complete auction would be appealing. 

Still a rip-off.

1 hour ago, RickR said:

I would add this too -- the current market is a good time to sell if you want to.  An auction like this one illustrates that a complete setup should go for a premium right now. 

I would have problems selling like this.

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Despite the clickbait-y title, this video is actually a pretty good deep dive into where we're at. ;)

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Tursi said:

Despite the clickbait-y title, this video is actually a pretty good deep dive into where we're at. ;)

So, yeah, I reiterate my previous statements made over the years: screw collectors.

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47 minutes ago, OLD CS1 said:

So, yeah, I reiterate my previous statements made over the years: screw collectors.

These are not collectors, but rather opportunists and profiteers. True collectors actually rarely put their wares up for sale because it goes against their err.. collecting drive?

I did ask ksarul to include me in his will though... 😁

 

Edited by Vorticon
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5 minutes ago, Vorticon said:

I did ask ksarul to include me in his will though... 😁

I consider people like @Ksarul more preservationist and historian.

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I suppose my statement would serve better if I re-worded it: screw speculators.

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My raunchy ebay thought.

 maybe I have screwed myself a bit, but I've had it with ebay. I've deleted,(so they tell me), my account. Tired of getting

 crap and the Hastles. I mean once in awhile you can find something that you want and it works, but I've been running 50-50 on buying and some work and some I don't ever see or I'll buy a magazine and the shipper sends it in an envelope and my mail lady folds it in half to squeeze into my mailbox.

Yes, some things are preventable, just like the magazine folding, but not everyone does what you ask, and absolutely nobody sends by UPS Even if I offer to pay..oh, I'm usually paying anyway, but the shipper said free shipping..yeah right. Whatever. There's other stuff, too I just don't like. Especially the chip scamming.. before I realized what happened I had already forked $$

Yes I can send it back, but for me that includes a 60 mile round trip to a shipping line. Again, my fault because I'm in a rural rural area, you know, where all you see in the night sky are a string of network satellites that are trying to rip someone off claiming they got high speed spacenet. Hmm... traffic jam in space that can't get you service fast enough and suck your wallet.

So I'll purchase from friends here period and I'll also offer stuff here if I think it's an ok piece of quality Plastic or book, I'm not gonna offer a pdf for sale OR a disk of disk manager with a printed label for $5-$10 each. I'm fed up. Sorry. Well, I'll probably miss out on that super duper computerized neon confetti sparkler on ebay for $150 +$45 shipping. Life sucks sometimes.

 

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20 hours ago, Vorticon said:

These are not collectors, but rather opportunists and profiteers. True collectors actually rarely put their wares up for sale because it goes against their err.. collecting drive?

I did ask ksarul to include me in his will though... 😁

 

He's in mine in case anything ever happens to me ;)

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14 hours ago, GDMike said:

My raunchy ebay thought.

 maybe I have screwed myself a bit, but I've had it with ebay. I've deleted,(so they tell me), my account. Tired of getting

 crap and the Hastles. I mean once in awhile you can find something that you want and it works, but I've been running 50-50 on buying and some work and some I don't ever see or I'll buy a magazine and the shipper sends it in an envelope and my mail lady folds it in half to squeeze into my mailbox.

 

Some of the crap that I've seen (systems with missing keys and damage, etc) being sold for $150+ - it's crazy that people will even buy this.  Even mislabeled stuff.

 

Case in point:

$175 - https://www.ebay.com/itm/133830339832?hash=item1f28e8ecf8:g:4PMAAOSwLyBg~1lN - look at those missing keys!

$400 - https://www.ebay.com/itm/403181762298?hash=item5ddf8176fa:g:pfgAAOSw7JdhCly1 - Completely wrong description

$30,000 - https://www.ebay.com/itm/265138901450?hash=item3dbb8291ca:g:FRwAAOSwlKhgg2qM - missing keys, and not even the whole computer (just part of the terminal)

 

This is just a sample of the expensive pieces of junk that are being put on eBay by speculators trying to "cash in" on the vintage computer craze.

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, Tursi said:

Despite the clickbait-y title, this video is actually a pretty good deep dive into where we're at. ;)

 

Talk about a conflict of interest.  Wow.

 

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Those selling TI's (or any other micro) at ridiculous prices are known as "scalpers" .... they'll apply the words "rare", "vintage" etc and bump up the price.

 

Another thing that annoys me with ebay is the use of the word "untested".  Okay in some cases it may be that they can't genuinely test the stuff but other than that just admit the bugger doesn't work.  

 

That with Mario going for millions is just plain all out ridiculous.  It's a bloody cartridge with a rom inside.  

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