Calculator sale value-- will it persist?



#17

I certainly didn't begin collecting calculators for their financial value, and when they were less expensive years ago, I especially enjoyed repairing and restoring these wonderful antiques.

I can't help but notice that many of these machines are worth much more than I paid for them. Not bad, in the sense that the things I enjoy have appreciated in value much more than what many people collect... figurines, beanie babies, etc. (On the down side, it makes it harder to collect the models I'm missing.)

So, I was wondering. Do you think the value of these HP (and some other) calculators will continue to increase or will the value suddenly drop off when most of us who were alive when they were new...well, "drop off"?


#18

My guess is it will drop off at the time you stated. As you can see in this forum, many of us have fond memories to different vintage models. We were young when they were launched. We saw them in the shops, but couldn't afford them. We saved money for many months to be able to buy a model with a function set you get for 15 bucks today. So we really cared for our babies. And using, owning or collecting them today brings back those memories. These personal memories will die with us. No problem - the next generations will have their "babies" as the previous had.

#19

Calculators and computers have a serious problem unseen with earlier collector items: At some point, they will go bad and are hard if not impossible to repair. E.g., a dead woodstock is worth nothing but a few spare parts, and TAS prices reflect that. So, their value is limited in time.

Some calculators might survive generations of users enjoying them, and since classic HPs are really special in many respects, you'll probably always find people interested in *using* them.

From time to time, I look at the C64 and Amiga followings. There are quite active guys born in the 80th using and enjoying the 64!

My personal conclusion: An extraordinary piece of harware will always sell as long as it is working. The price just reflects the ratio of potential buyers to objects on sale. I can't see the number of potential buyers of classic HPs decreasing any time soon. If they are in use now, where computers are ubiquitous, there's no reason why people should gave up on them.


#20

Quote:
My personal conclusion: An extraordinary piece of harware will always sell as long as it is working. The price just reflects the ratio of potential buyers to objects on sale. I can't see the number of potential buyers of classic HPs decreasing any time soon. If they are in use now, where computers are ubiquitous, there's no reason why people should gave up on them.

I have been told a few times by older Mech Engineers and Machinists "never trust a Engineer without a HP" and they are regarded by most as being the creme of the crop. Hence my interest in them since they seem to be respected by people who I look up to. However I am sure I am not the only young guy in a manufacturing field to hear these comments.

As I figure it the number of units out there will slowly drop as the number of people wanting them may go down the demand for the available HPs will go up.

Dimitri

#21

My take is that there will always be a relatively small group of hard core collectors who will be willing to pay big bucks for mint specimens, but eventually the value of all other vintage calculators will drop off at the time you suggested.

I can cite my experience with Nikon film cameras of a certain era. After the world finally went digital in a big way, these cameras and their lenses suddenly dropped to about 1/3 their previous value on eB**, excepting absolutely mint cameras and certain rare lens types.

#22

There's figurines & beanie babies on one end of the increasing value scale.
This is on the other and it doesn't even have an enter key.
Didn't those things use N cells though?


#23

Heh, this guy is running circles around co****in, isn't he! d;-)

#24

Now, what if that particular game module goes defect? Does the investment loses $13,000 by a simple sparc?

#25

A foole and his money be soone at debate: which after with sorow repents him too late.

-T. Tusser, 1573

#26

When looking at another interesting device, the CURTA calculator, I didn't notice that prices collapsed. I guess many of the buyers are too young to have actively used CURTAs in their younger days; they just buy these calculators out of curiosity and admiration. Probably this is also true - at least partly - for HP calculators ...


#27

Juergen-- you make an interesting observation. I think the value of cameras dropped because people were just then ceasing to use them. Now, the only value is to collectors, and that will sort out on its own, and to collectors, some models should slowly get more valuable, I suppose.

It's of interest to me because I don't plan to part with most of my calculators until I part from them... but will I out-live their value? Hopefully I have a few years to figure that out. But I don't think I'm any closer to getting rid of them.

I know that I've bought many calculators from people selling an estate, and they're often please to have them go to an "appreciative" home.

#28

Fads for old gear like this usually start out with those who worshiped the gear when they were younger as we all know. But then I suspect it's common for those with a generic collector mentality in similar fields eventually grow to dominate. It's at this point the industry become a bit self perpetuating.

So I think it will be around a for a lot longer than we imagine, absent some external factor that brings fear or big change to the market and possible eventual collapse.

Dave.


#29

Dave, that makes a lot of sense to me. I'm thinking about other kinds of antiques... cars, furniture, certain books, etc. that continue to be collectible long after the original users are gone. Perhaps it just becomes widely known that they are of value and that maintains their value as an antique.

Part of me is glad that these calculators have gone up in value. Part of me is sad, because it makes it a very tough hobby for someone with limited resources who wants to enjoy these fine machines.


#30

I agree with the sentiment as well. I wasn't around when the Classics debuted; my interest stems from a general interest in antiques with a bit of bias for vintage electronics due to being an engineer.

#31

Apparently, HP calculators are becoming so rare they are now being sold "by the slice".

;)
Dave


#32

Quote:
Apparently, HP calculators are becoming so rare they are now being sold "by the slice".

Why didn't I think of that!
Multiply your investment with a bandsaw!

Watch out for the other parts in coming weeks ;-)

Dave.


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