May 15, 2010 By admin
At one time they might have been given away to anyone willing to haul them off, but now many are asking what that old computer might be worth.
These days the power and speed of computers is growing at the speed of light; today’s technology is often tomorrow’s oversized paperweight. Yet many people still love those older models.
Computers aren’t outdated anymore; they are vintage. The growing number of collectors of vintage desktops and portables and those rediscovering their benefits are searching eBay to find out if they have any value. The answer, many times, is yes. Specific models tend to attract more bidders and buyers for a variety of different reasons.
The Altair 8800 was a kit computer from 1975. In those days it could have been bought for $500 but one surviving model recently sold for $1500.
Apple I was introduced in 1976 and was the first product of Apple computers. Today, it is considered the Holy Grail of vintage computing and every time one goes up for sale, buyers come running. It could have been bought originally for $666. In 2003 a mint condition Apple I was auctioned off for $16,000. That might be the high end of the scale, of course, but rest assured if you’re looking for Apple or Altair PCs, you’ll find competition.
Of all the 1980s computers, Commodore 64’s (1982) and the Apple Lisa (1983) also command big bucks at sales and auctions. The 1984 Apple MacIntosh is especially popular and vintage models with working parts and manuals often sell on eBay for hundreds of dollars.
The Apple II was mass-produced and a good piece can be found without much trouble. Even by the most flexible of estimates, it will fetch around $300.
Commodore 64 and 128 models and the Amiga system generally bring $100-300 in good shape.
Compaq desktops and portables are a little less expensive, usually running less than $100 (plus shipping, of course).
The trick to make money off 1980s computers is to choose a manufacturer and stick to it. Some people only collect Apples, Atari’s or Commodores. This is a good idea; otherwise getting into too many boats at a time can be financially disastrous. Besides, a vintage desktop need some looking after and unless you are a millionaire the handling and storage costs can run pretty high.
Value is a delicate issue. Getting your vintage desktop reviewed at eBay might not be a good idea.
EBay auction results show the price of a computer based on market demand and not the actual value of the object. Instead approach a professional appraiser with your vintage desktop. They base the value on many different variables. These include historical significance, condition, completeness and functionality of your computer. If you were wise enough to preserve the old packing and manuals as well, then expect a significant increase in the worth.
Have an old machine from the 80s lying around or see one dirt cheap at a garage sale? It’s worth seeing what that vintage computer might be worth. It could be exactly what someone is looking for. And yes, please beware of the spiders!