The Value of Used Electronics

One thing that is rarely discussed in the world of electronics is the resell value of certain items.

Yesterday I visited a man’s home who claimed that he was moving and had multiple electronics and other goods for sale. He claimed that he had collected various monitors, computers, keyboards, DVDs, TVs and more over the years; yet he could no longer take all these items as he was moving. According to him, he was a collector of items, and was not an avid person in the world of technology.

I found that he was in fact moving, but that’s where his story’s truth came to an end. The first thing I noticed upon entering his home, was a rather shiny computer case. Upon further inspection, I noticed it was a custom built machine; hoping it was for sale I inquired about its price. He said it was not for sale as it was his own machine. There was the first hint, he claimed he was not a tech junkie, then why did he have a custom built machine? Even if he had a shop make it for him, he had to specify the details of what he wanted in the machine; he obviously had to have some knowledge of computers. Interesting.

He began touring me his house, showing me various antiques and furniture items that he had for sale, with a lack of interest I told him I just came to see his electronics. He showed me to a room where he had all his electronics stored. First if all, there was nothing from this decade there, bummer. And second, when I started asking about things he would give me the dog and pony show followed by a ludicrous price. For example, a Pentium 4 tower he had, was lacking a PSU and Hard Drive, ok I thought a fair asking price for this would be roughly $25. Put in the missing components and we may have a $60 resale computer.

I didn’t ask, I just told him I could offer him $25. There is nothing unprofessional about giving your offer first, especially in cases like this. It just shows that you have interest and the will to get things going. Unfortunately I didn’t come home with this machine. He told me it was a “superb” machine, that it ran circles around most machines from even today. Even in its condition he said, he couldn’t let it go for any less than $120! Please, anyone that knows anything about such machines knows that even at a 3.0 Ghz Pentium 4 it isn’t worth $120. And I didn’t even know what the speed of this particular one was! Sure, it runs circles around an Intel i5.

I followed by simply stating that I couldn’t do that, and continued to browse. Item after item, he gave me some story and an outrageous price. By the time I left, I knew two things: one, he knows about technology, unlike he claimed. The custom built machine was a first indication, and the type of items he had for sale do not come by just by “collecting.” I won’t go into the details of the items he had, but I’m sure a stack of boxed Nvidia graphics cards aren’t just collected. And two, he was simply trying to rip people off by over pricing machines even he knew were old and pricey.

So folks the lesson here is, if you have any old electronic that you wish to sell, go ahead no one is stopping you, just make sure to price it fairly. If you don’t have an idea what it’s worth, some Internet research might help you out. You can’t just price something based on what you want out of it. And if you do manage to sell a Pentium 4 based machine for $120 you have met a true sucker. Chances are, you will meet someone along the way of your sales that will inform you of what your item is really worth if you’ve over priced it. If you do inform someone, be polite, otherwise they won’t believe you or they’ll think you’re scamming them. In my case, I didn’t inform the seller of what his stuff was really worth, simply because he knew what it was really worth. He just had the audacity to try and rip someone off. Be reasonable.

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