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794RE: [midatlanticretro] regarding Ebay and vintage computers

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  • Evan
    Jul 4, 2005
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      Here is some additional background information, for anyone not familiar with the auction in question.
       
      The item is at http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=80286&item=5213140640 and the main problem was that the seller was extremely vague in his answers to questions.  This was discussed exhaustively on the classiccmp.org's cctalk mailing list.  By comparing notes, we found out that the seller has a history of suspicious selling bahavior.  The buyer is going to be quite disappointed when they learn the truth about the item.
       
      Bill, I agree with the idea in concept, but I don't think MARCH is the group to do it.  I think what the hobby needs is some kind of worldwide organization.  For example, there used to be a group called the International Association of Calculator Collectors (I don't know why it faded away - perhaps it was because of eBay!).  I know that other technical hobbies have similar associations, but I don't know any specifics.  Perhaps other MARCH'ers know of some?
       
      What I imagine is a group that would address any issues affecting computer collectors worldwide.  For example, the group could:
      - do public outreach, such as to school children, related hobbies, and politicians/recycling advocates (who I fear are training the world that ALL old electronics are junk)
      - give stamps of approval to individual sellers (not per item, that would be insanely complicated)
      - maybe become a central place where people can post rescue opportunities
       
      In general, I think it's wise to avoid duplicating existing efforts (i.e. classifieds, forums, etc.)...
       
      Initial feedback here on the MARCH list would be great, but soon I think it should move to classiccmp instead.  The issue is just too big to be stuck within a regional group, especially with eBay being worldwide and largely anonymous.


      From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com [mailto:midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of billdeg@...
      Sent: Monday, July 04, 2005 3:17 PM
      To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [midatlanticretro] regarding Ebay and vintage computers

      The recent sale of a fake Apple I computer got me thinking.  I knew it was a
      fake because the keyboard layout differs from the original kit.  The fact that
      the auction ended at over $2000 tells me how uneducated and greedy people are.

      I sell and buy things on ebay regularly, and sometimes vintage computers.  I
      don't really have anything against it, you just have to be smart like any
      place else. 

      I believe that Ebay is simply a reflection of the world capitalist system.  
      You can argue back and forth, blah blah blah, but that's not my main point. 
      People are going to buy and sell vintage computers and parts on Ebay no matter
      what.  That said, what do you all think about some sort of "MARCH seal of
      authenticity" for vintage computer sellers to earn from our group?  I don't know
      exactly how it would work, but it might be a way to earn money for the group
      and build a the MARCH name in a positive way.  If a person wanted to sell a
      vintage computer or part, a representative of MARCH could somehow certify that
      "yes this computer/part works and is what the seller says it is"  There are
      organizations that do this sort of thing for coins and baseball cards.  Why not
      computers?

      Just a thought.  People could send us pictures of their systems in operation,
      if there is no MARCH-certified person available locally.  I am not proposing
      that we actually do this now, but I am curious what others think of the
      concept in general. 

      Bill Degnan
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