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Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - Printable Version

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Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - Rainer Wiedemann (Germany) - 03-04-2009

A few minutes ago, a HP-15C auction ended at 810 bucks!
If you don't believe, have look here:
HP-15C auction

Is that little machine really worth that much?

If so, I should look for a safe instead of keeping my collection in a glass cupboard :-).

If the seller reads these lines - congratulations!

Rainer

P.S.: I didn't bid on this item, I only watched and wondered.


Re: Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - Paul Dale - 03-04-2009

No.


Re: Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - bill platt - 03-04-2009

Advertised as NIB. That is a special case.


Re: Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - Martin Pinckney - 03-04-2009

Not $810 special!!


Re: Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - Michael de Estrada - 03-04-2009

A few weeks ago I asked the same question regarding a NIB HP-42S that sold in auction for $630. I guess it comes down to the perceived value. Is a Picasso worth $60M? See here

Edited: 4 Mar 2009, 8:10 p.m. after one or more responses were posted


Re: Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - Walter B - 03-04-2009

Quote:
I guess it comes down to the perceived value.

Exactly.


Re: Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - Rainer Wiedemann (Germany) - 03-04-2009

Michael,

regarding Picasso et al. you raise a difficult question. What is the value of art? I won't even dare an attempt of an answer, because it's impossible to answer. IMHO the difference between a Picasso (or in general an artwork) and a pocket calculator is the intellectual uniqueness of the artwork, an outstanding effort of the artist, whereas the calculator is an industrial mass product (I do not want to debase the effort of the engineers, I am one, too). So I don't think these can be compared to each other.

Following the link in your posting I noticed, that this HP-42S was the buyer's first auction. The HP-15C was the 33rd article of its new owner. So I conclude, that the extreme bids must also have to do with their buyer's little experience and lack of information. Maybe they had better visited this site before bidding.

Just my two cents.

Have a good night,

Rainer




Re: Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - DaveJ - 03-04-2009

It's obviously worth that much to someone.

And just like anything else, other people think it's worthless and would throw it out.

I'd love to see what happens to 15C prices if/when the new emulated 15C is released, it could be a very bad investment indeed!

Dave.


Re: Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - Michael de Estrada - 03-04-2009

Rainer,

I agree wholeheartedly that comparing a vintage calculator to a piece of art like a Picasso is absurd. The point I was attempting to make is that human valuations of collectable items, be they machines like calculators or paintings like a Picasso are often based more on human desire to possess than serious and educated analysis. Many times the purchasers are ignorant but wealthy enough to push selling prices up to ridiculous amounts. I am far from wealthy enough to own an original Picasso or Monet or Degas, so I am perfectly happy to have framed prints of them adorning my walls.

Michael


Re: Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - Michael de Estrada - 03-04-2009

Anyone who buys vintage calculators as an "investment" is a fool. I would hope that most visitors and participants on this forum are collectors, and buy them for the simple joy of ownership and nothing more. I will occasionally sell one of my redundant HP models at auction, but do not expect to make any profit, just hopefully break even.

As far as the impact of the introduction of a retro HP-15C, I agree that it would likely drastically reduce the prices of the original units at auction. Certainly, we have seen this with the HP-12C, as the original units do not command significantly higher prices than the new units, even though I believe the older units are better quality.


Re: Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - DaveJ - 03-04-2009

Quote:
I agree wholeheartedly that comparing a vintage calculator to a piece of art like a Picasso is absurd.

Not absurd, just different in the way they are viewed and valued. They can both equally be deemed to be works of art, it's merely a point of view.

The Picasso is a one-off work of art, where the collectible value is deemed to be in the original and not the mass produced copies. Mass produced copies are all but worthless due to their limitless ease of reproduction. Yet the mass produced copy can still be viewed as a work of art.

Calculators like the 15C on the other hand were mass produced in countless quantities, where the collectible value is deemed to be in the physical condition of the original unit. Once production is stopped, they are not easy to reproduce.

Hence if the new 15C comes out that faithfully emulates the look'n'feel of the original, the collectible market will more than likely plummet.

With a mass produced product like a calculator, the "work of art" is usually viewed as the mass produced version itself, and not the original prototype. Although the original prototype would have a collectible value in it's own right.

Quote:
The point I was attempting to make is that human valuations of collectable items, be they machines like calculators or paintings like a Picasso are often based more on human desire to possess than serious and educated analysis.

Indeed!

But to quote Seinfeld - "Not that there's anything wrong with that!"

Dave.


Re: Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - Dia C. Tran - 03-04-2009

It's worth that much to the person who bought it!
It's not even worth the original price tag to me, otherwise I would have one.


Re: Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - Anthony L. Mach - 03-04-2009

Perhaps one could save a few bucks on a slightly burnt HP-41 instead.

Tony


Re: Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - designnut - 03-05-2009

My dad collected stamps, traded far and wide. He specialized in making complete sets from many sources, then improving the quality of the sets, I asked him, what can a used stamp be worth, he said, somebody wants it.


15C for $810 - Hal Bitton in Boise - 03-05-2009

I've been watching this auction for a few days. I knew it would go high, as it was NIB.

At least it was new until the seller set it face down on that hard surface for the back photo...that sort of made me cringe.

hal




Re: Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - George Bailey (Bedford Falls) - 03-05-2009

Quote:
joy of ownership

The what? ;-) Never experienced this.


Re: Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - Raymond Del Tondo - 03-05-2009

Maybe because you're collecting fictional items only?

SCNR;-)


Re: Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - Randy - 03-05-2009

Back on 06/11/2006, a new in box (still sealed) 15C from an HP employee sold for $1135.00.

Seems the market has weakened?


Re: Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - Michael de Estrada - 03-05-2009

It's because of the world economic recession. ;>)

Edited: 5 Mar 2009, 8:56 a.m.


Re: Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - MikeO - 03-05-2009

I've heard this before. Is this merely a rumor, or is the new/emulated 15C really on the horizon anytime soon?

As far as Ebay goes, I've learned to just hope someone with more money than sense doesn't get interested in any auctions I'm on.




Re: Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - DaveJ - 03-06-2009

Quote:
I've heard this before. Is this merely a rumor, or is the new/emulated 15C really on the horizon anytime soon?

It's just a rumor, but it's based on a couple of recent events, namely:


- HP using Eric's nonpareil emulator in the new 12C model

- Nonpareil support has been removed for all other voyager models citing "licensing issues"

- HP recently did a customer survey (through a third party?) that (depending on how you interpreted it) was aimed at swaying the vote toward the 15C.

HP have the new 12C hardware platform in production and the emulator is working, so the only thing they have to do to produce a 15C again is plug in the existing 15C firmware and change the key legends.
Bit of a no-brainer decision really...

Dave.


Re: Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - Didier Lachieze - 03-06-2009

Quote:
HP have the new 12C hardware platform in production and the emulator is working, so the only thing they have to do to produce a 15C again is plug in the existing 15C firmware and change the key legends.
Bit of a no-brainer decision really...

Dave.


.. plus some other things easily overlooked but required for any new product introduction, adding cost that can influence the decision in those tough economic times:

  • get appropriate regulatory certifications for the new 15C
  • prepare user documentation and sales documentation in all languages needed for the targeted countries
  • update hp.com web site for all targeted countries
  • train service centers and stock service parts
  • product launch communication, adds ...
  • ...



Re: Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - DaveJ - 03-06-2009

Quote:
.. plus some other things easily overlooked but required for any new product introduction, adding cost that can influence the decision in those tough economic times:

Sure, but the 15C would probably represent a fraction of the cost of a totally new calc design. Calcs based on the new 12C and 20B platforms would I suspect get viewed more favorably due to the GFC.
I greatly doubt they will stop working on or releasing calcs entirely.

Actually, during bad times it's well known that technology companies use this as a chance to ramp up their R&D and change direction. HP shaking up the market with a "retro" calc like the 15C may actually be viewed favorably by "the powers that be".

Quote:
  • get appropriate regulatory certifications for the new 15C
  • prepare user documentation and sales documentation in all languages needed for the targeted countries
  • update hp.com web site for all targeted countries
  • train service centers and stock service parts
  • product launch communication, adds ...
  • ...

Excellent, keeps people gainfully employed!

HP have so many new products being released all the time I suspect a few calcs will barely appear on the budget radar...

Dave.


Re: Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - Gonzalo Fernandez (Spain) - 03-06-2009

These prices are fabulous, I doubt people pay such prices, there must be an arrangement between the seller and buyer to set a fair price after auction ends. I donĀ“t have such sum on money to spend for a calculator, the maximum I have spent on a single calculator was $180 for a very well condition HP41CX with the case and manuals.


Re: Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - Dan Grelinger - 03-06-2009

Those are pretty outrageous suggestions. I have bought and sold stuff on ebay as a collector for almost 15 years, and never have I participated in such a transaction, or even been approached about one. It may be possible that the bidder backs out of the deal before paying (happens rarely, but happens), or tries to negotiate a lower price after receiving the item, due to it perceived to not be as described. Otherwise, there is no motivation for a seller to negotiate a lower 'fair price' after auction end.


Re: Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - Michael de Estrada - 03-06-2009

I agree. I have sold a dozen or so calculators over the years, and have yet to have a problem with payment or buyers approaching me with under-the-table deals. Of course, I am very detailed in my listings, such that the likelihood of any misunderstanding regarding the condition of the item is minimal. Also, I am very cautious regarding the bidders that I accept, and if someone were to email me with a proposed questionable transaction I would block him (e.g. the Brazilian who asks that I lie on the customs form).


Re: Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - Gonzalo Fernandez (Spain) - 03-06-2009

I could be wrong, I never have sold items in Ebay, but some time ago I commented to a local Ebay seller the high prices reached by vintage calculators, he was aware of this and told me that were arrangements if the final auction price was very high.


Re: Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - Michael de Estrada - 03-06-2009

Well, none of my items have sold for unreasonable amounts, and I have never bid stupidly high amounts that I was unwilling to pay. Yes, there are all kinds of people buying and selling on various sites, but generally the dishonest ones don't last very long.


Re: Is a HP-15C worth 810 bucks? - Don Shepherd - 03-06-2009

I'd say that local Ebay seller was misinformed. If I were a seller (which I've only been a couple of times) and one of my items ended at a very higher than normal price, I would expect the buyer to pay that price, or I would report him/her to Ebay. I wouldn't "bargain."