Getting too much now

Todd, KA1KAQ ka1kaq at GMAIL.COM
Thu May 11 11:38:25 EDT 2006

On 5/10/06, Greg Gore; WA1KBQ <GARDGORE at> wrote:
> It's just a newbie who figures he can make a fortune selling his junk box
> stuff on eBay. You see it all the time and we just ignore it now. He will pay
> fees for a while before he figures it out. There is also a Viking-Two in the
> transmitters section with a buy-it-now of $900. Same deal, it will have birthdays
> over there until he learns what Viking-Twos are worth.

Either that or someone who either speculated, paid too much, and now
wants to get the big profit of years gone by *or* heard/read/was told
that he should sell it on ebay for no less than $900 because that's
what they're "worth". I see these guys at hamfests, someone told them
they have to get this much because that's the ebay price. They
neglected to mention 'on that particular day, with two very motivated
bidders' and the rest. I like the 'birthdays' analogy, Greg. Good one!

> I think the big
> attraction to eBay got started about 6 or 7 years ago. Two bidders wanted to
> reconnect with the nostalgia of their novice days when a Hallicrafters S-38 turned up.
> They both wanted it pretty bad and they bid it up to over $300. It was the
> talk of the airwaves for about a week and hamfests have never been the same
> since. Everybody vacuums them now for a pile of stuff to sell on eBay but looking
> for boxes and bubble wrap all the time gets old.

The 'time involved' aspect is what seems to get lost on the folks who
envy someone else getting a deal, making a profit, or whatever else. I
recall when Joe, WB6ACU paid $4150 or so for an SX-115 maybe 7-8 years
back and people did nothing but mutter about it. I wonder how many saw
the one sell for $6K+ within the next year or so? Or the unbuilt
Heathkit AT-1 that went for over $4K a couple of years back? How about
the Ocean Hopper a few months ago that sold for over $600? Recently
SX-115s have been selling for $1500 or less on ebay, sometimes in the
$600-$800 range. Times change, so does demand. If the price really is
too high, it won't sell.

The problem is, too many folks seem mesmerised by ebay and forget that
there's a great big world out there full of people, old radios, and
deals. They P&M about prices but forget that they have the freedom not
to bid or add to it if they don't choose to. There will *always* be
someone who is willing to pay what many of us would consider a
ridiculous price for something, and *always* someone who will
criticise them for it out of envy, jealous, anger, or a lack of
understanding of the free market system. Just like the ones who want
to tell you what you need, don't need, and so on.

This past weekend I saw a beautifully-restored R-390A with meters,
tag, and covers, at the Hosstraders hamfest in NH. Asking price was
$650, about half or less what a similar radio brings on ebay. No idea
if it sold for $650, $500, or what. But someone snapped it up, from a
reputable military collector. I also saw a very clean 75A-4 that I
thought had sold last year for $1500. It was marked $875, and I don't
think it sold. So there are deals, or at least more reasonable prices
out there. It requires prying one's self away from the keyboard and
monitor though, and doing a little legwork. The instant gratification
and convenience aspects of online shopping come at a price.

That said, it's good to keep in mind that the days of $5 NIB ARC-5
receivers, $10 BC-348s, and $50 R-390s are pretty much gone. Food,
fuel, housing, income, antique cars and so on now cost a lot more than
they did 10-20 years ago. I've heard folks moan about the $26K selling
price of a clean KW-1, yet adjusted for inflation it's almost the
exact price they sold for new in 1952/53.

I have a rule that works pretty well for me: Never pay more for a
radio than you're comfortable paying, and always buy to enjoy, not
make a profit from. That way if the demand drops more in 2-3 years,
you're not upset at having to keep and actually use your acquisitions.
And fret not about what others buy, charge, or how much they spend.
After all, it's their money and their gear. Money will take the fun
right out of your hobby if you let it.

de Todd/'Boomer'  KA1KAQ

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