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HP is selling a surplus 32SII for a $100 starting bid on ebay. Does this seem as unreasonable to you as it does to me?


Without knowing more and on the face of what you've said, I'd agree; it doesn't seem right.

I think if they were smart, they'd have held some promotional event for whatever HP product or program they won and craft into it a contest of sorts, with the vaunted 32SII given as a first prize or only prize.

Somebody is cleaning out their inventory of obsolete replacement parts. What's wrong with selling them at an auction? That's what the U.S. government, and many other companies and organizations, does with excess/surplus parts and equipment.

Free market economy. If you don't want to pay for it, then don't do it. I don't see anything wrong about such auction.

I think that it is reasonable as 32SII's have been sold for well over $100. I won't pay $100 for the 32SII but there were enough people who did so it is not unreasonable at all.

What I find unreasonable is that they start almost all their other auctions for surplus calculators at $1 and let the market decide the value of them. Here they're taking something that they (remember this is HP selling this) sold retail for well under $100 and marking it up based on market demand. When companies do that it's called price gouging and it's illegal in many states.

Are you sure this is HP?


They only claim:

HP_Marketplace is the only Hewlett-Packard authorized reseller of HP & Compaq products on eBay.


From what they say, they are the only HP authorized ebay seller and I believe that given their longevity and ebay rating. They also seem to have access to a vast amount of HP's surplus inventory so they are apparently tightly connected to HP if not indirectly owned by them.

From what they say, they are the only HP authorized ebay seller and I believe that given their longevity and ebay rating. They also seem to have access to a vast amount of HP's surplus inventory so they are apparently tightly connected to HP if not indirectly owned by them.

Actually my presence on eBay predates theirs and my rating is 100%, if this means anything at all... ;-)

Well, I doubt that HP is directly involved with them, but they surely have access to surplus material.

Anyway, who knows? Everything is possible.



HP authorized doesn't sound equivalent to HP, although even if it is HP I highly doubt this would be illegal... In terms of price gouging, the starting price of $100 is well below the current market value of a 32sii. While it is above the original retail price, it's also no longer in production and has become a collector's item.

When production ceased the market value went up. The number of extant 32sii's is now finite and decreasing while market demand is probably similar to when they were still being sold.

I completely agree, but doesn't this on the other hand mean that HP realizes very well that their old calcs are held more worthy than their currently produced ones? I mean, if I was able to sell my surplus items at higher prices than my current offering, it would make me think.

"HP_Marketplace is the Sales Agent only." Sounds like they are selling the stuff for HP, but they are not HP.

Put me down in the column of people who think this is unreasonable.

I would have no problem with HP (or its agent) selling used calculators on their website or telephone. They have a very solid direct marketing procedure. They are capable of setting a price and providing warranties. I like HP; I have HP calculators, printer, fax machine, tape backup, and computer.

However, turning it over to eBay like this feels like HP is abandoning its customer base. They are treating eBay like a higher authority and turning its customers over to the wolves. If we want one of these calculators we must fight tooth and nail, and then get a calculator "as is."

Many of we individuals who sell on eBay provide more in the way of warranty and guarantee. I generally give my buyers 14 days to evaluate the product and if they're not happy, they can return it, no questions asked.


May be what I suspected was correct. HP is secretly reintroduces their old calc but only sells thru Ebay at much higher price.

I haven't heard this one yet! But, it made me laugh! They must have hired an army of retired secret agents to pull this off!

@Katie: There's nothing wrong about asking for a price for an item. The rules of E-Bay allow you to do so. It's up to you to buy it or not. If you don't like it, don't buy it, that's all, but don't say there's something wrong or illegal about it.

You can get a fully working HP-32SII from VP in less than 100 euros

just DROP DROP_ when you drop me an e-mail


The term "Price gouging" is pejorative, at best. Any voluntary, non-fraudulent agreement between buyer and seller is ethical. In some cases, state laws influencing selling prices have themselves been found unconstitutional.

As others have said, if you don't like the price, don't pay it. Our system of market pricing ensures that demand is met by supply; if enough people are willing to pay high enough prices, goods get produced and transported. This is a good thing.

Attempts to regulate prices often have unintended consequences, such as driving sales underground or drying up production (or transportation). Strange that we never hear calls for price controls on labor (or single-family homes in hot markets.)

Hooray for free markets! Without them, we wouldn't have gotten the original HP calculators in the first place.