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NOS Apple II game prices on eBay are terrible

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Maybe its time I bought a floppy emulator for both my IIe and IIc.

 

There was a seller on eBay selling factory sealed Apple II games (i.e. Phantasie II, King’s Quest 1, etc.)

 

I know these titles are valuable. I planned on playing them, not sticking them on a shelf to collect dust. I placed hefty bids on some of the games (in the neighborhood of $100-$200), and then some sniper bidder bid the prices up to $500-$600 on five different titles.

 

Ridiculous! Where can I purchase the floppy disk emulator? Someone dropped a link once in one of my prior posts here, but I can’t seem to find this person’s response.

 

Any help that can get me on the right track, will be greatly appreciated!

 

Thank you in advance for reading my post and responding.

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25 minutes ago, youxia said:

I'm rather skeptical of anything high-value that claims to be NOS. But yeah, even used Apple games are rather dear. It's the same with PC, Amiga, etc. There's no way I could afford building a collection at these prices.

 

http://www.bigmessowires.com/floppy-emu/

https://ct6502.org/product/wdrive/

Thank you for responding! I agree on the prices - it’s getting too expensive to collect physical games. 
 

You also made a good point about the validity of NOS. 

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This emulator is better if you are not planning to use it on a Mac too, and is cheaper.
http://www.mfa2lab.com/opcart/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=62
It usually states that is out of stock but if you write a message they usually stock them for you in a short time. I’m very happy with mine, even if I also have a FloppyEmu.


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10 hours ago, cybernesto said:

This emulator is better if you are not planning to use it on a Mac too, and is cheaper.
http://www.mfa2lab.com/opcart/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=62
It usually states that is out of stock but if you write a message they usually stock them for you in a short time. I’m very happy with mine, even if I also have a FloppyEmu.


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I agree, I own the same and it works like a charm in my Apple IIe and Apple IIc.

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The Floppy Emu also has a feature that it can emulate two 5.25 drives at the same time. I don't believe the wDrive can do that.

 

The drive adapter sold for the IIc has switches on it that allow you to disable the internal drive and only the dual drive, or you can use it in single drive mode and switch whether the FE or physical drive is #1. 

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Agree with the NOS thing too, though I have accumulated a few vintage sealed Mac games and programs mainly for the 128K that I'm keeping sealed for preservation purposes.

 

But for other things, many times the box itself is crushed or damaged, even though it's still sealed.  Who knows if there's damage to the contents or if everything is even included in the first place. And who knows if the seller didn't reseal them.  

I find its best to compare multiple listings to get a feel for what should be included in the contents and then just bid accordingly.  Oftentimes there are little registration cards and addendum letters that go missing, so do your research and bid on the best (tested) one.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/20/2022 at 1:16 PM, ColecoGamer said:

Maybe its time I bought a floppy emulator for both my IIe and IIc.

Yes. Absolutely. The prices are ridiculous. And for what? We're living the digital age, the Information Age (to use a 1970's term).. Vintage floppies are on the way to being troublesome and intermittent. And paper documents rot, fade, or develop brown fungus spots.

 

There's FTP Asimov. With supplementation from Archive.org. Just mirror it for a comprehensive (and expanding) collection. It's fun to manage and curate. And make favorite folders from. Once you do it over time, it BECOMES your very own collection. Like no other. You can even buy a carton of disks and make your own, just like in the WaReZ days! Every Apple II owner back then had way more pirated disks than originals.

 

Learn the in's and out's of CiderPress, Copy II+, and AppleWin, to complete your toolbox on the PC side of things. Once you get good at it you can search and find any title, and make a real disk or put it on SD card for use in a FloppyEmulator, all in a matter of moments. There is no one right or wrong way.

 

There's no need to pay scalper prices on ebay. Except to purchase a few favorite original titles to display on your bookcase.

 

The PC, the tools I mentioned, and floppy emulator, are the best accessories you can possibly get for an Apple II.

Edited by Keatah
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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, nick3092 said:

The Floppy Emu also has a feature that it can emulate two 5.25 drives at the same time. I don't believe the wDrive can do that.

 

The drive adapter sold for the IIc has switches on it that allow you to disable the internal drive and only the dual drive, or you can use it in single drive mode and switch whether the FE or physical drive is #1. 

And the question is: why do you need two 5.25 emulated drives ?. In my Apple IIc and Apple IIe I keep one physical drive together with the wDrive and is enough.

 

On the other hand, the external switcher for Apple IIc from BMOW perfectly works with my wDrive: https://shop.bigmessowires.com/products/internal-external-drive-switcher-for-apple-iic

 

And last but not least, wDrive is 40% cheaper than Floppy Emu...

 

Edited by Papalapa
Rectifiy
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The Floppy Emu also has a feature that it can emulate two 5.25 drives at the same time. I don't believe the wDrive can do that.
 
The drive adapter sold for the IIc has switches on it that allow you to disable the internal drive and only the dual drive, or you can use it in single drive mode and switch whether the FE or physical drive is #1. 

This is correct. On the other hand the wDrive can:
- switch from smartport to Disk II emulation without changing firmware.
- has an on screen menu as an alternative to the built in display for selecting disk images.
- is able to work with non contiguous files
This last one can be pretty cumbersome on the floppyemu if you frequently try new disk images and reorganize your SD cards
The wDrive 3D printed case is also included in the price.
You can get a drive switcher (with a 3D printed case) from kboohk as well:

http://www.mfa2lab.com/opcart/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=59

He also sells a card to enable smartport on Apple IIs with slots that costs a fraction of the Liron or Yellowstone cards.


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Posted (edited)

Buying NOS games has two problems.  First is that there is no guarantee that the data on those diskettes is intact.

Even sealed games could have bit-rot or mould growth on the media, which will clog your read-write head and subsequently destroy the physical media.  Worse, old diskettes you have lying around may have the same issue, and you then systematically destroy a series of disks and wonder why your drive won't read.  Ask me how I discovered this particular nugget of knowledge.

 

Also, the minute you open a sealed NOS copy of something, it's value plummets.

 

Besides, why buy a sealed copy of something when you can play a virtual disk image version with zero impact?  Unless it's a game that is missing archived documentation (a common occurance).

 

As for those $600 snipers?  There are two breeds:  the first are "collectors" and "investors" who have more money than sense and think that magically those things they paid 5-10 times more than they should have will appreciate again by that factor.  The second are bogus auctions that are shill games - some are money laundering efforts.  Sadly, the first breed is becoming far too common.

Edited by Baldrick
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2 hours ago, Baldrick said:

Buying NOS games has two problems.  First is that there is no guarantee that the data on those diskettes is intact.

Even sealed games could have bit-rot or mould growth on the media, which will clog your read-write head and subsequently destroy the physical media.  Worse, old diskettes you have lying around may have the same issue, and you then systematically destroy a series of disks and wonder why your drive won't read.  Ask me how I discovered this particular nugget of knowledge.

 

Also, the minute you open a sealed NOS copy of something, it's value plummets.

 

Besides, why buy a sealed copy of something when you can play a virtual disk image version with zero impact?  Unless it's a game that is missing archived documentation (a common occurance).

 

As for those $600 snipers?  There are two breeds:  the first are "collectors" and "investors" who have more money than sense and think that magically those things they paid 5-10 times more than they should have will appreciate again by that factor.  The second are bogus auctions that are shill games - some are money laundering efforts.  Sadly, the first breed is becoming far too common.

There is a third category which is collectors who have a lot of money and just want to own games from their childhood in the very best condition possible and who have no intention of selling them.  The reality is that as the years go on, the number of NOS games continues to dwindle as there were many years where individuals like the OP bought them for reasonable prices and opened them decades after they were released.  Moreover, there are a lot of collectors that have been holding copies they bought years ago and who won't sell them and likely won't do so until they pass on and a family member liquidates their collection.   

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Posted (edited)

I’m a gamer first and a collector second. Being a gamer first allows me to not spend unreasonable amounts of money on Apple II games. I just can’t see myself spending $450 on any specific title, just to tear off the shrink wrap because I would want to play it.

 

I believe someone posted in this thread earlier, who said to be weary of NOS (unopened) Apple II games. I suspect it’s become a business for scammers (not surprising to hear). I haven’t purchased a sealed Apple II game yet - and probably never will - unless a homebrew title is released.

Edited by ColecoGamer

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Posted (edited)
On 3/21/2022 at 11:51 AM, Leonard Smith said:

Agree with the NOS thing too, though I have accumulated a few vintage sealed Mac games and programs mainly for the 128K that I'm keeping sealed for preservation purposes.

 

But for other things, many times the box itself is crushed or damaged, even though it's still sealed.  Who knows if there's damage to the contents or if everything is even included in the first place. And who knows if the seller didn't reseal them.  

I find its best to compare multiple listings to get a feel for what should be included in the contents and then just bid accordingly.  Oftentimes there are little registration cards and addendum letters that go missing, so do your research and bid on the best (tested) one.

I own one game for the 128k Mac, CIB. It’s my prize, my treasure. It’s an ultra rare  copy of Doug Sharp’s The King of Chicago.

 

I bought the game back in 2010 from an eBay seller who was asking $50 for it.

 

It’s been sitting in the same bubble wrap it came in, for over 12 years. 
 

This reminds me: I need to replace the RAM chips in my Classic Fat Mac, due to them being old and non-functional.
 

Edit: Fixed typos

Edited by ColecoGamer
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Posted (edited)

Apple2online was caught selling originals overwritten with pirated copies. Not sure if they were sealed in box. But that’s still a lowbrow thing to do. So avoid that ebayer.

 

My personal stash of original Apple II manuals and game inserts range from 1977 to 1992, but only a handful are sentimental and valuable to me. And some of them are not rare at all.

 

Just happy to have saved them so I don’t have to spend $$$ on eBay today.

 

Same with big box PC games, maybe 10% out of hundreds are sentimental favs.

Edited by Keatah
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10 hours ago, Keatah said:

Apple2online was caught selling originals overwritten with pirated copies. Not sure if they were sealed in box. But that’s still a lowbrow thing to do. So avoid that ebayer.

 

My personal stash of original Apple II manuals and game inserts range from 1977 to 1992, but only a handful are sentimental and valuable to me. And some of them are not rare at all.

 

Just happy to have saved them so I don’t have to spend $$$ on eBay today.

 

Same with big box PC games, maybe 10% out of hundreds are sentimental favs.

I appreciate the head’s up regarding that eBay seller. Also, avoid seller Druid123. I initially purchased a keyboard encoder chip from him for my IIc. He never shipped the item. No tracking and he never (ever) responded to my messages either. It makes me wonder how he gets positive feedback at all (unless its a scam).

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Luckily I assembled my boxed Apple II collection before prices went mostly insane.  About the only boxed game I'm missing that I'd like to have is Phantasie III and some of the Infocom titles.

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On 3/25/2022 at 12:29 PM, Tempest said:

Luckily I assembled my boxed Apple II collection before prices went mostly insane.  About the only boxed game I'm missing that I'd like to have is Phantasie III and some of the Infocom titles.

The Phantasie series are three of the games that were snipper bid on into the stratosphere. Whatever I buy, I want to play, and $600+ per title (which is what each game ended up going for in the end) is absolutely insane. I mean, you’re looking at $1800 total! I could purchase a Mac Studio (with a basic configuration) for $200 more!

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Each Phantasie game shouldn't run you more than $60-$80 tops.  III is the hardest to find, but even that one pops up at least every other month. 

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On 3/25/2022 at 2:26 AM, Keatah said:

Apple2online was caught selling originals overwritten with pirated copies. Not sure if they were sealed in box. But that’s still a lowbrow thing to do. So avoid that ebayer.

 

 

Honestly...

How dumb can you get? 

At the very least if you were going to pull such a stunt, copy the 4-AM clean crack onto the diskette.  At least that way the game will be unadulterated (and he might have gotten away with it too).

 

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10 minutes ago, Baldrick said:

At the very least if you were going to pull such a stunt, copy the 4-AM clean crack onto the diskette.  At least that way the game will be unadulterated (and he might have gotten away with it too).

I have several dead original disks that I did this with.  I'll never sell them and they now have a write notch on the so they're easily distinguishable from an unaltered original.

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2 hours ago, Baldrick said:

Honestly...

How dumb can you get? 

At the very least if you were going to pull such a stunt, copy the 4-AM clean crack onto the diskette.  At least that way the game will be unadulterated (and he might have gotten away with it too).

 

Ironically, I'm pretty sure 4am was the one who actually discovered they were doing this. 

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I bid on and won a few of those SSI titles in the second round by the seller. I saw that some went a bit crazy in the first round. I just program the snipes when I see things I want pop up and forget about them. The only thing I was sad to have missed was Shard of Spring since that would have been a nice upgrade from my CIB copy in rough shape. 

 

The tough thing about A2 collecting is that there just isn't that much stock out there. There hasn't been a ton for a decade or so, but it's been especially slim pickins in the last year or so. Just nothing to buy. So if you are really into SSI, or RPGs, or sealed titles, I can see how you might be making a big buy knowing you haven't bought anything good for 6 months and don't anticipate a bunch more to buy in the coming months. I don't necessarily believe in overpaying, and I prefer to pay less, but I also can see the value in sealed games in both the short term and the long term. 

 

Supply side as it is, there is a ton of crazy speculation that is totally unjustified in the form of sky high buy it nows and minimum bids. People just make up the prices and hope for the best, then the other sellers jump on the bandwagon not wanting to miss out on that extra buck. Maybe those guys trying to sell at sky high prices know something? (No, they are deluded.) And then the overpriced stuff sits gathering dust for months or years. And irritates people like me for whom it clutters their search results with junk. 

 

Not sure why you'd bother paying for sealed games when CIB is way less expensive. If you like the smell of old air, it's expensive air. I can see how it would neat to crack old games. I just don't do it.

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