Prices on 15C.

Item #290663440996 (new/pristine old 15c) on TAS just ended. Check out the price, and be amazed.

Who said the market for 15C is exhausted?



Boxed items typically go for much higher prices due to collectors driving up the prices. The seller in this auction claimed that the calculator was never used and, indeed, the manual and calculator were pristine. But then there were two bidders that became irrational beyond the $400 price and bid it up just to out bid each other. At that point, it's just who has the most money and the least sense.


Also, they were two inexperienced bidders, one with 6 positive feedback and the other a newbie with zero. However, I also agree that the price is not all that extraordinary, and I've seen much higher prices paid on less desirable items.


Also, they were two inexperienced bidders...

I would rather call them "alter egos" of the seller.


Having a low amount of feedback is not necessarily a bad thing. I've been on TAS for years and do about one transaction per year. Being in a bidding war with someone who has zero feedback throws a big red flag for me. A while back i was about to have the winning bid on an item till noticing all the sneaky tricks the seller had used to disguise the true nature of the item. I sent him a letter calling him on it and shortly after that a bidder with zero feedback outbid me and that was the end of it.


I suppose it is possible that the zero feedback newbie was a shill, trying to push the bid price up. Since the other bidder eventually won the auction, there's no way to know. I buy very little on Eb@y now, and much of it is fixed price (BIN) or best offer anyway. On the rare occasions that I do bid in a regular auction, it's a single snipe bid in the last 10 seconds, where I either win or don't.


What percentage of newbies who jack up the price beyond reasonable values end up actually paying??? Any stories folks want to share here?




This guy (110786150114) paid within a few minutes after the auction ended. He received his FIRST feedback from me.

And bought with his second auction the manual for the HP-16C ;-))

She (110788530799) never paid a $15 calculator - just disappeared.

He (110803246120) won three auctions - paid within a few hours.

This guy (110803246120) received his first and second feedback from me. Paid instantly.

She 110814236369) received her FIRST feedback from me. Paid within a day.

I'm very, very pleased with newbies and had never any problems with them on eBay.

Have a great weekend and don't miss my TI Programmables next week ;-))




It depends what kind of product you are selling. I've sold dozens of vintage calculators, and never had any non-paying winning bidders, although a few have not paid immediately. I have had problems with other types of items, such as bicycle parts. I think the type of person who buys vintage calculators tends to be more serious and responsible than the average buying public.


I've only sold one calculator, an HP 48, the bloke had some feedback but not for some time. He came in about 10 mins to go, so wasn't a snipe he'd forgotten about and won. That's the last I heard from him. Never replied, never paid, raised a dispute with eBay and sold the calculator again a few weeks later, I actually got more for it the second time than the first which was kinda nice, but if I was in this to make money, I'd be bankrupt by now :)

I've brought and sold around 300 things on eBay, I tend to buy more than I sell as eBay has rigged the rules to be so much for the buyer, I think anybody who sells anything worth more than £100 is pushing their luck. There's so many ways a buyer can rip you off, from Goods not as described, goods never turning up, claiming the goods are fake etc etc. So long as you're selling lots of cheap stuff, you can lose the costs in the same way shops 'lose' shoplifting costs, simply add a few pence to the average cost, if you're only selling 10 items a year, a single dodgy buyer can wipe out all your profit.

just my 2p worth.


I know it's bad form to reply to your own messages, but just seen the eBay price for 290663440996.

I spat out my drink in surprise. Wow oh wow.

Anybody who wants to buy my pristine vintage 15C with case and manual for that price is more than welcome. I'll throw in a few old calculators as well.

There is one born every day...


I'm still waiting for my bobcat.

Obligatory xkcd


Actually, the main reason I no longer sell much on eB@y is that they now charge a lot more in auction sales fees, and the fee now includes the shipping cost. This makes it particularly unprofitable to ship internationally, where shipping costs can easily exceed the sales price of the item itself. The other change is that although a buyer can leave negative feedback for a seller, a seller can only leave positive feedback for a buyer. So the buyer feedback rating is now pretty much meaningless. Most of my recent calculator sales have been via the MoHPC classifieds, where I can charge less by eliminating the eB@y middleman, and deal with reputable people who pay up front. All of my customers have been very satisfied with their purchases, which is very gratifying as well.


I think the type of person who buys vintage calculators tends to be more serious and responsible than the average buying public.

With exceptions, as always, most of HP-RPN classic calculators users/collectors are engineers and scientists from their middles upward. That most probably results in well educated guys, that has settled in life and have a good income; that would explain their shopping behaviour and also would explain the exorbitant prices that are paid for some of those calculators.

As I wrote in another thread, just ask yourself how much would be paid for a NIB HP42s (if such a thing would still exist) in 2025. Perhaps new HP calculators will exist, some few still with RPN, but definitely a very few of the now new 15cLE will be around by then, and the Voyager and Pioneer series will never ever be seen again, unless in the hands of us in the forum that holds with blood to them. Well, at least I think so.


Hi Fabricio,

It happens that I have three NIB HP-42S calcs. Not offering to sell or anything, just letting you know that the beast does still exist. I grabbed them at sale prices from the UVA (University of Virginia) bookstore several years after they had been discontinued. Four of them were just sitting there on the shelf gathering dust and they were asking around $60 per (if I remember correctly). I instantly bought them all and the three HP-32SII's that they had.




Somewhat similar story here. I bought two HP-42S (ROM rev. C) units NIB in 1997 from the bookstore at University of Alabama at Huntsville...unsold stock with dead batteries that had been in store since 1993. One is still NIB, minus the dead batteries. The other after 14 years of daily use still looks new. I bought another one (ROM rev. A) in 2010 NIB at a ham radio fest. All of these were about $100 each.

So there's likely many NIB HP-42S units out there. That's a good thing, since HP no longer has the expertise to make anything as capable.

But like all Pioneers and all other HP calculators since 1985, these have a real butt-ugly color scheme that's very hard to tolerate. I hope the "artistic" imbeciles who set such sub-standards at HP were fired, but with HP being a left-coast company they probably were promoted instead. Or perhaps they went to Apple.

Sorry to hear about your getting stuck with those HP 32Sii units. I bought one of those dogs in's still NIB because I found that it was such a poor excuse for an electrical engineer's calculator. That's when I sought the capable 42S instead.


That's a good thing, since HP no longer has the expertise to make anything as capable.

I'm pretty sure the expertise is there. The question is if they want to relaunch a scientific model with the feature set of the 42S or similar. The big markets seem to be elsewhere.


I'm pretty sure the expertise is there.

I pretty much doubt that.

Even if the two remaing software engineers would have all models in their head there is still a

- non existing calculator marketing (or no resources given)

- non existing calculator management (or no resources given)

If no resources are given then draw your own conlcusions.



P.S. and their is a CEO praising Apple products...

Edited: 6 Feb 2012, 3:11 p.m.


Sorry to hear about your getting stuck with those HP 32Sii units. I bought one of those dogs in's still NIB because I found that it was such a poor excuse for an electrical engineer's calculator. That's when I sought the capable 42S instead.


A lot of people around these parts seem to love the HP-32S and HP-32Sii. I for one have to agree with you that the 42S is WAYYYY more capable. I take the 32Sii out once in a while just to play.



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