That’s the big question I’m asking myself. As a die-hard Apple II user, I’ve collected a fair amount (ok, tons really) of retro-computing gear over the years. I call them spares, my Wife calls it clutter. I’ve also aquired several machines still new in the box that I’ve picked up on the cheap back when the Apple II was generally considered obsolete AND disposable. I used to have an affordable hobby, or so I thought. That was just a few years ago…
On January 26th, a NEW Apple //c auctioned for $2,553 USD on eBay. I saw the //c listed early on, and being that it was new, I expected it to go for $500, even maybe as high as $700. It was only a //c after all and not even the historic original ROM 255 model released in 1984. The selling price went much higher than I was willing to commit so I didn’t bid. So much for my skills as an appraiser of Apple II collectibles. Still, I was astounded at the going price.
I’m not the only one amazed and a little pained by the auction either. Check out what Blake Patterson has to say on the matter at his vintage computing site, BYTECellar.
In the meantime, I’m asking myself other questions as well. Was this a fluke? I’ve seen some weird things happen on eBay over the years. Should I move my brand new machines to one of those temp controlled storage places? Should I secure them better? Should I try to sell them now and ride the nostalgia wave while I can? Despite what my Wife says, my vintage spare computers seem much more like an investment, but who knows if these machines will still be considered collectible a few years from now?
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