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regarding Ebay and vintage computers

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  • billdeg@aol.com
    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
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 4, 2005
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      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
    • Evan
      Here is some additional background information, for anyone not familiar with the auction in question. The item is at
      Message 2 of 4 , 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
      • Richard A. Cini
        Bill: Interesting proposition. First order of business is to buy liability insurance :-) This sort of thing already exists in the form of escrow sales on
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 4, 2005
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          Bill:

          Interesting proposition. First order of business is to buy
          liability insurance :-)

          This sort of thing already exists in the form of "escrow sales"
          on eBay. Unfortunately, since there's a fee for using it, many people
          don't. I just buught an Altair for $650 from "fdbruce". I didn't use an
          escrow because (1) it's a pain, (2) it takes longer to get my item and
          (3) I knew the seller through his eBay history. The escrow agent is
          responsible for determining that what was listed was in fact the item
          and is in the condition as specified. If those conditions are met,
          escrow is broken and the money and item are exchanged.

          While writing this response I saw the note from Evan. I agree.
          This is a wider problem that should be also be addressed with the
          ClassicCmp list. This could itself turn into a business requiring the
          full-time commitment of a few individuals. You'd have to convince eBay
          to advertise our verification services, offer our credentials, and let
          them endorse it.

          Classic marketing...define and advertise the problem and offer a
          solution for a fee (natch). Build a business plan! Call the Venture
          Capitalists! The ticker symbol should be "MRCH"!


          Rich
          -----Original Message-----
          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



          Yahoo! Groups Links
        • Evan
          ... LOL, well that s more than I had in mind... actually I ve been pondering the idea of some kind of hobby association for a while, but for now it seemed like
          Message 4 of 4 , Jul 4, 2005
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            >>>> This could itself turn into a business
             
            LOL, well that's more than I had in mind... actually I've been pondering the idea of some kind of hobby association for a while, but for now it seemed like an idea to keep on the shelf and refine.  I also hadn't thought of the certification idea until Bill's email.


            From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com [mailto:midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Richard A. Cini
            Sent: Monday, July 04, 2005 3:54 PM
            To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: RE: [midatlanticretro] regarding Ebay and vintage computers

            Bill:

                  Interesting proposition. First order of business is to buy
            liability insurance :-)

                  This sort of thing already exists in the form of "escrow sales"
            on eBay. Unfortunately, since there's a fee for using it, many people
            don't. I just buught an Altair for $650 from "fdbruce". I didn't use an
            escrow because (1) it's a pain, (2) it takes longer to get my item and
            (3) I knew the seller through his eBay history. The escrow agent is
            responsible for determining that what was listed was in fact the item
            and is in the condition as specified. If those conditions are met,
            escrow is broken and the money and item are exchanged.

                  While writing this response I saw the note from Evan. I agree.
            This is a wider problem that should be also be addressed with the
            ClassicCmp list. This could itself turn into a business requiring the
            full-time commitment of a few individuals. You'd have to convince eBay
            to advertise our verification services, offer our credentials, and let
            them endorse it.

                  Classic marketing...define and advertise the problem and offer a
            solution for a fee (natch). Build a business plan! Call the Venture
            Capitalists! The ticker symbol should be "MRCH"!


            Rich
            -----Original Message-----
            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



            Yahoo! Groups Links






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