What gives a classic it's value?

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What gives a classic it's value?

Postby gavo on Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:30 pm

A recent spate of trademe auctions has me wondering. Some classics seem to attract consistently high values and some do not. I suppose there are all the usual factors like rarity etc, but I wouldnt exactly class Apple II's as that rare - certainly not as rare as some of the other classic's (in my view anyway) I've seen on trademe go for a lot less lately. I suppose in a lot of ways it's about being in the right place at the right time. If you catch the imagination of a buyer willing to spend some dosh for nostalgic reasons, then I guess theres no telling what something will go for.

Maybe its something to do with brands that are still a going concern today? Should that make a classic device from one of these brands more or less valuable?

Maybe its investment collecting? But how do you decide what is a good investment? Clearly an Apple I board is, but I doubt there are as many clear cut cases as this. And will investment collecting ultimately pay off? I mean if you look at the purchase price of an classic at the time it was new and compare it to the price it fetches today, how long would you have to wait until it reached its original purchase price or more? Or does that not matter? Or is it not that simplistic?

It is a boogle.
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Re: What gives a classic it's value?

Postby tezza on Wed Nov 17, 2010 6:37 pm

An interesting question with no simple answer. I think it’s a number of factors which are intermingled and do ebb and flow somewhat. I think the more one answers “yes” to the following questions, the more valuable a computer is likely to be..

1. Is there a strong nostalgic factor? Would people have owned these in the past and remember them fondly? (Many of the common home computers)

2. Was it innovative from technical point of view?

3. Was it innovative from a design point of view (e.g. Apple II's plastic moulded case)?

4. Was it successful in the market (hence lots of software and high visibility)?

5. Is it a very early microcomputer? (e.g. Apple 1, Altair)

6. Did it set a trend or a standard? (e.g. IBM PC, Osborne 1)

7. Are there well known personalities associated with the machine or company? (e,g, Steve Jobs, Clive Sinclair, Adam Osborne)

8. Are other people likely to pay a lot for this microcomputer?

9. Was there a significant computer culture associate with the machine?

10. Is it simply iconic, and representative of an era?

11. (for individual machines) Is it working, and if not how easy would it be to get it working?

12. How rare is it?

Interestingly the “nostalgic” factor is probably the least durable. It relates only to a particular age group and (eventually) as those folks die off the machine may fall in value.

Something like the Apple II would satisfy a lot of the factors above.
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Re: What gives a classic it's value?

Postby YetiSeti on Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:49 pm

Here's a wee secret.

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Computers/Vintage/auction-333166986.htm

Yes, it's just an auction for an Spectrum & Plus. I was taken back as it was less than a day after the auction start when I looked at it, and, boy, check that View count !!! It was 600+ views on Friday some time when I looked. I couldn't figure it out, but then I realised, that must be the number of views one gets on an auction when they're prepared to pay all those premium service feature upgrade extras. Everyone looks at it.

I've always been staunch with my selling and refusing to pay any extras whatsoever, but I've never sold anything where I didn't have some expectation of value. I do have a suitcase listed on the family account at the moment which perhaps might be worth something (well, at least one more buy in Computers/Vintage). It was about to be chucked out after sitting in the shed for about the last 30 years with mum's old clothing in it, then I thought I'd list it because I think people buy retro suitcases, then someone asked a question about labels on it, then I checked and it said "Disabled Servicemen's Product NZ".

Well, perhaps it's not worth anything, but the moral is, perhaps it's worthwhile paying a few extra bucks on an auction as people like to click on and look at auctions, and they don't have to collect the items, as long as it's stuck in front of them. "oooh, look a picture, it has a clicky link..."
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Re: What gives a classic it's value?

Postby Carcenomy on Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:23 pm

Sentiment is what gives a classic its value. Look how many interesting or relatively uncommon machines turn up from time to time, garner no interest and sit for months versus the number of C64s and A500s changing hands constantly. If people know what it is and remember it well, they'll be interested. Oh, and good pictures + information goes a huge way with getting decent interest. Only reason I bought my CDTV is because the gentleman provided plenty of good quality images and a decent description of its running order (ie, perfect).
Just the local Commodore hobo and middle-aged PC hoarder.
eisa on Trademe. A lasting reminder of a Compaq fetish when I was younger.
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