E-bay auctions: the best way to collection?


Hello everybody.
I'm not really a HP collector, but I like some old models (41-CX, 15, 16) and I had a look on e-bay...
I was horrified for two main reasons:
1) unapproachable (even if starting) prices;
2) "magnificent" descriptions, praising perfections everywhere (sometimes ridiculous: I read a seller explaining that "RPN" stands for "Random Polish Notation"... Should I comment about that?)
Is it there any hope to find items at reasonable prices and/or discussing with people aware of what they're selling?
(maybe it's more difficult living in Italy, like me...).
Any feedback welcome.


Hi Giancarlo,
you can rarely find bargains, even on eBay.
And you're not alone, I'm from Italy too ;-)



So, how did you manage to find items you were interested to, living in Italy (which seems not to be a favourable place as far as this matter is concerned ;-) )?


Hello Giancarlo,
where to find those calcs, uh?
Well I bought them from ads in local newspapers (the owner usually had other items he wouldn't part with at first: express your moderate interest and after months or years you could be rewarded with an offer or a present); coworkers; classified ads on this site; local online auction sites (iBazaar) and, of course, eBay...

And friends, too. Being friends I hadn't to pay either (at least not with money ;-) )

As I wrote you can find bargains on eBay: strange how I paid more for some common items, say a 41CX, than for rare birds such as a red dot or a 94E. Sure, you have to spend a lot of time searching for misplaced/misspelled ads.

I realize that I really spent too much time doing this: I consider my collection complete now (I won't die for those 4 desktop models I miss) and this room is far too small to stock them all, go figure display them in a nice fashion!

Maybe I've gone too far now: time for another hobby?



Ciao Giancarlo!

I have to support the ideas of Massimo, beside ebay.

My experience collecting a hp oldies since a few year is:

a) ebay is the best place to find something you don't find at any other places

b) the cheapest place to find online (or in newspapers) some hp marvel are local or regional advertisment. There I've got a mint 12C for EUR 20 and a mint 48CV with many accessories for EUR 35! You have only to be fast, because there is no bidding window: fixed price and the 1st wins.

c) next cheaper place are the local or regional online markets. They have usually a lot smaller offer then ebay; but also very interesting start and end prices because you have only to bid against the few other local interested.

In (b) and (c) you can usually discuss the affair in your local language (italiano) and, sometime, go personally pick up the item at a meeting place.

I never had any payment/quality/delivery issues with (a), (b) or (c).


Yes you _can_ get a bargain!

Just send me 999 £ (including shipping via hitch hikers or bikers - your choise)

and I send you my HP-16C <very small print>about 9 months or years later</very small print>

It's in mint condition, just a few cracks on the LCD and almost every other or third key working!


E-bay may not be the best choice. First, prices can be outrageous and I have seen reports that your credit card information may not be safe on e-bay.


For a long time, the garage sale (in US) was the best place to pick up HP calculators. Often, the items were sold by unsuspecting relatives of the calculator owner, not realizing that the HP calculators have collector value. I've picked up a couple for USD5.00 or so. I've also bought one or two in "thrift shops" run by charitable organizations like Goodwill.

These sources are less fruitful today.


Giancarlo --

Here in the US, I'd say that eBay is certainly the most effective way to build a collection, because just about everything is available for the nationwide going rate. But, it's certainly not the cheapest.

In addition to garage sales, flea markets, and thrift shops as sources of bargains, perhaps a better bet is the estate sale of a scientist or engineer.

-- KS


You could also try Fry's Electronics, sometimes they have old calcluators on stock (not always and not all stores). I picked up HP 20S and 39G this way.


You need to know where to look




I have a HP-82104A boxed, with the manual and a blank card. Since I do not owe a HP-41, I would like to exchange it with another HP calculator. If someone in Italy (I'm from Naples) is interested he can contact me (cutting the no spam string from the e-mail address).



I'm correcting the e-mail address:


Please cut the no spam string.


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  And the collection grows... Les Koller 1 879 02-05-2014, 05:55 PM
Last Post: Xavier A. (Brazil)
  Calculator collection Miguel Toro 5 915 12-05-2013, 04:06 PM
Last Post: Chris Pem10
  Another non-HP RPN vintage calculator joins the collection Michael de Estrada 2 686 07-23-2013, 04:10 PM
Last Post: Walter B
  The 'Complete' Collection Keith Midson 8 1,404 05-12-2013, 09:52 PM
Last Post: Namir
  OT: My Slide Rule Collection Eddie W. Shore 18 2,322 04-25-2013, 11:47 PM
Last Post: Garth Wilson
  My Mostek collection is complete Michael de Estrada 15 2,119 04-10-2013, 10:01 PM
Last Post: Michael de Estrada
  Just added an HP 50G to the collection! Jedidiah Smith 12 1,788 03-16-2013, 12:43 PM
Last Post: Chris Smith
  A cheaper way to add to your collection Keith Midson 3 870 03-08-2013, 05:50 AM
Last Post: Keith Midson
  The biggest collection update yet Keith Midson 2 657 10-31-2012, 12:16 PM
Last Post: Matt Agajanian
  New addition to my collection: 200 LX wildpig 20 2,360 08-31-2012, 06:39 AM
Last Post: Keith Midson

Forum Jump: