11C - Creative Advertizing on eBay


Watch this auction. It was advertized before. The seller just recently bought it and then found out it had mushy keys. In his first auction, he mentioned the mushy keys. He also mentions that it does not include a manual.

His auction with mushy keys

It did not sell because he mentioned that it had mushy keys ("softened from use") and was overpriced as it didn't have a manual. So, he relisted the item and removed the notice about mushy keys and left out that it did not have a manual.

11C leaves out mushy keys and the fact there is no manual

You will also notice that he has recent negatives. These are the kind of people to stay away from. It appears is using deceptive advertizing to sell something defective.

I wonder how many will see his previous auction and see it as deceptive and retract their bid.


Hi. I am the seller of this item. A friend who specializes in selling HP's informed me about this notice. Here is a copy of an email response I just sent to describe the calculator to someone who wants to buy it but saw this ad. The calculator, by the way, looks like a nearly new 11c, with no wear whatsoever on the logo, and works perfectly.

"It's kind of true, but not flattering. I bought this calculator and the photo looked like it was dirty. I emailed the seller and asked, and she emailed to tell me the grime was an illusion; just the photo. It wasn't. The keyboard was dirty. She lied to me. I bought a more expensive 15c to use. I also used electronic cleaner and spent an hour carefully cleaning the calculator. It really does look like a new 11c. It has one very slight scratch on the front and no wear on the emblem. It looks great. The keys on ALL HP 11c's and 15c's are not as punchy as a modern 48 or 49, and they ALL soften with age. My ad was just too honest. All of the keys make a distinct click, which is what you want, except the enter key (which gets the most use) which does not click very loud. But everything works perfectly. It's a good machine, in my view. The keys definitely work better after I cleaned it and I have used it for homework a bit. It looked like someone left it out of the case on a desk all the time and the keyboard got dirty. That may also be why the logo is unworn. Anyway, it looks excellent and the keys work well and better after I cleaned it. I will accept what I paid for it: $140. There is no manual. These go for about $190 to $275 with a manual. This one looks FAR better than 11c's I have seen sell for $160. That enter key just doesn't make a distinct click. That may or may not matter to you. Thanks for writing. Any other questions, feel free to write or call."

I tried to be a nice guy. I cleaned up the dirty calculator to resell (after I had bought another anyway). I am a lawyer and don't need to litigate a case over $100. But later I thought that the seller I bought from should not have lied to me. That was really wrong. But after I cleaned the machine, it really does look like new. I think she may be an older person (runs an antique shop) and may not have had good vision. I do not know. I try to think the best about people.

By the way, we should avoid jumping to conclusions about people from a tiny bit of information and from the remarks of others. Assuming another's deception without proof and alleging dishonesty can be a civil wrong called defamation (slander, libel, or libel per se). On the other hand it is good to be careful on ebay. I don't know what negative feedback there is. Let me look. This fellow wants $20 to ship a pen and did not list the shipping amount clearly on his selling form. I did not renig on the purchase agreement. I simply asked him about it and he flipped out. The time to buy has not even expired and he has left this feedback. I think he is a little sensitive about what he is doing. He should clearly communicate if he wants to charge $20 to ship an item for which Priority Mail costs $3. And I do know the law on this. And I believe I am the only one speaking who does.

Larry A. Peluso, J.D.


Larry, FWIW, I believe you. You've gone above & beyond in your attempts to be fair, and I hope that you sell this 11c. It's nice to ~see someone who isn't an eBay shark about it. Alas, it's all to easy to misunderstand & misinterpret when all one has is text.



As fate would have it, today I was comparing a co-worker's personal 1986 11C with a company-provided 15C used by another co-worker. (My employer provided 15C, 42S, 16C, and 32Sii units to the engineers in the '80s and early '90s.)

I have two 15C's, but no 11C, and I would not buy one unless I found a bargain.

While the seller (Larry) seems honest and upstanding, Joe did make several valid points, and I could add several more:

1. The item *was* overpriced at $135 with no manual.

2. Larry *did* omit the "no manual" fact in the re-listing (although lack of a manual is evident in the picture).

3. Larry claims, dubiously, in the first listing that 15C's go for $100 more that 11C's. (I see complete 15C packages for $150-200 if not MIB; I won a $137 15C package with Advanced Solutions Handbook but a cosmetically flawed unit. Might 11C's might be even more due to rarity?)

3. Larry is a lawyer, not an engineer, so he might be excused for several of the statements made in the listings:

"like 15C" in the title (See discussion below.)

"all functions of 15C except integration, imaginary numbers and matrices, which you probably don't want to do with this one line display handheld anyway." (Not quite right; the 11C also lacks SOLVE and has only 203 bytes RAM vs. 448 for the 15C. Furthermore, matrix and complex-number support is *very* useful in science and engineering; that's why HP introduced them in 1982 to the 15C when not even the flagship 41C/CV had them. SOLVE and Integrate were available on only the fine-but-obsolescent 34C, and are also very useful if one does not have a PC with Matlab handy. How many even had a PC in 1982?)

"The 11C is the Engineer's favorite." (Consensus in MoHPC seems to be that the 15C, 42S, and 41CX are the favorites, and I couldn't agree more.)

Some personal anecdotes: I bought the 15C as a collegian in November 1983 fter comparing it side-by-side with a new, unsold 34C. I liked the conventional looks of the 34C, but saw that the 15C was the better product. Back in college again in 1991, we EE students were asked to solve a 3-loop AC ladder-network circuit on a test. I saw that the 15C was fully equipped to tackle the problem. The 11C was not -- it lacked sufficient memory, functions for linear algebra, and complex numbers. I'm really not sure how the other students got through that problem...

An excellent article about the development of the 15C is found in the May 1983 Hewlett-Packard Journal, scanned on Volume 4 of the MoHPC CD-ROM set. The 15C was a brilliant advancement of the 11C, with its built-in high-level functionality having an ease of use that even a much-costlier 41C with Advantage Pac ensemble couldn't match.



I have two HP15C and I'm willing to rebuilt another, plus an HP11C, also one HP16C and two chinese HP12C. I cannot agree more: the HP15C is the Voyager. The most powerfull math tool at the time.

I cannot compare it to the HP16C, mostly because the 16C is almost a "two-in-one" packed calculator: a complete computer scientist tool linked to a simple six-opperation (+, -, ×, ÷, square-root and 1/x) RPN floating point calculator. And it is programmable.

Anyway, I use the HP15C a lot more than the HP11C. But I take the HP11C for a walk sometimes, and I rarely dare doing the same with any of the 15's.



Actually 15C machines quite often do seem to sell in the $100 ballpark over 11C machines. Sounds like a good time to check the guy from Germany's Ebay price history....


I just found the link to the Ebay price history... in Europe the 15C seems to be bringing around $20 more than 11C's. My experience says really nice 11C's seem to get around $150, 15C's around $250. Mint in box can be twice that.


I'd like to know that link to e-bay price history if you don't mind. Thanks.


I think he relates to my site:

If there is another one, please let me know...


Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Gotta love creative yet deceptive wording in some auctions Mike 17 3,822 12-29-2006, 11:44 AM
Last Post: Pierre Lallier
  Creative "DOA Guarantee" definition Mike 0 670 06-23-2003, 02:50 PM
Last Post: Mike
  A "creative license" challenge Michael Meyer 22 4,174 03-11-2003, 09:56 PM
Last Post: John Nelson

Forum Jump: