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Post by Wildcat445 on Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:56 pm

This topic has been skirted several times, but I have never seen a detailed discussion about it that I can find or remember. Of course finding and remembering are not currently some of my long suits, either.

The topic concerns ridiculous prices posted for items on Craigslist, ebay, and elsewhere.

There is a console stereo listed on Craigslist locally for $2000. A common, mid-70's cardboard and plastic GE. I emailed the owner and informed him, that on a good day, should he move the decimal point over two places to the left, he should kiss the ground should someone actually buy that old dog. His response cannot be printed on TRF.

There is a Curtis Mathis console stereo for $1000. Similiar email, similiar response. "Family heirloom", "fantastic condition" "works great except the record player does not work, radio has static, and the FM does not work" "prolly just a tube", that kind of nonsense. "Just a few scratches" after they drop it out of the truck and it gets run over by a freight train.

Where, oh where, do these people get such outlandish prices for common stuff? Do the "picker" shows have that kind of influence? I recently bought a solid state Magnavox stereo for my BIL that was listed on Craigslist for $1200. I emailed the owner and asked him to move the decimal point, and, if he was interested at that price ($12) I was a buyer. I got it! I also did that with a radio. I was advertised at $350, and I got it for $35. A Philco 116 console.

My greatest fear with all this insane pricing is that the owners are young, and, after repeated advertising, and no sale, they turn the radio or whatever into a fish tank or (worse yet) a guitar amp. Or it ends up in the landfill.

Lets kick some thoughts around and have some fun with this topic.

Regards

WC

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Post by Guest on Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Where, oh where, do these people get such outlandish prices for common stuff?

I'm not sure about where they get the prices on radios but I run into this all the time with old cars. People will see a car for sale that is a top of the line, fully restored model and note the "asking price."
They never find out what the car really sold for and then apply the "asking price" to the rust bucket sitting in their yard. They don't seem to realize the amount of time and money that go into making something nice again.

I saw a Motorola radio on ebay for $99.99 and the pictures of the inside revealed a missing 35W4 not to mention all the dirt. I purchased mine (complete) for $10.

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Post by Wildcat445 on Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:52 pm

When it is obvious that they will sell for lots less, why try to sell something for 10 times or more what it is worth? Do they really think that a sucker will pay what they ask? The motivation may be obvious, but WHERE do these prices come from? What makes people think that their item is worth so much money? And, the bad part is, EVERYBODY does it. Is nobody well informed about what they are trying to sell? There are LOTS of ads saying how an old whatever will make a good fish tank. And the rat rod/hot rod/street rod crowd to cars is getting to be like the guitar amp crowd is to console stereos. Doing their best to make originals rare....

Thanks for your response, MEZLAW.

Regards

WC

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Post by 75X11 on Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:14 pm

I just watch them do it...

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/atq/3690897520.html
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Post by Wildcat445 on Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:23 pm

Yep. A ten dollar radio. I would bet that it could be had for ten bucks, if you wait for a month or so. And, if, they don't just toss it as junk that nobody wants.

Am I so badly out of touch that realistic prices have gone up so much on this stuff? When I buy a radio, I figure what I would give for the best example of its type that exists on the planet. Then figure what I would have to spend to get the one I am trying to buy in that condition. Then base my offer accordingly. In your example, there is no way a reasonable person would pay $300 for a ten dollar radio, then spend 50 bucks fixing up a radio that would probably sell for less than 50 dollars restored. I figure that I'll be upside down when I do a radio, with the entertainment value as part of my costs. But I do try to keep it reasonable. How can the person trying to sell that radio honestly feel that it is worth $300? On what can he base his pricing?

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WC

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Post by Guest on Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:35 pm

I think part of the problem has to do with a lot of "free" advertising. Back in the day you had to "purchase" advertising by the line and/or word in the classified section of the local newspaper. When you have money invested you get serious about a return on it. With "free" advertising you can reach for the stars without any skin in the game. It's just plain greed!

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Post by Wildcat445 on Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:42 pm

Interesting. If I understand your point, they just put a "shoot for the moon" price on something and wait. Maybe they will catch a big fish. No skin off them either way.

I get people telling me that they saw one sell on ebay or wherever for that price, so they figure theirs are worth that. They fail to realize that many times shill bidding has artificially driven up prices. The item they cite did not actually sell for that amount. Getting sellers to understand this is the trick. And I just explain what it will cost to restore THEIRS to the condition necessary to get the big bucks. If the seller is reasonable, this strategy works. I always leave my number with a seller after an unsuccessful negotiation. I have yet to not be able to buy an item that I had made a reasonable offer on.

Can we as collectors and restorers change the trend of over-pricing radios and such?

Regards

WC

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Post by Guest on Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:49 pm

If the seller is reasonable, this strategy works.

YEP!! That's the key! I leave my card with the person and many call me when they come back down to earth.

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Post by 75X11 on Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:57 pm

MEZLAW wrote:If the seller is reasonable, this strategy works.

YEP!! That's the key! I leave my card with the person and many call me when they come back down to earth.

That's how to do it. And in that manner, you don't alienate a potential purchase.
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Post by willy3486 on Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:11 pm

I think these pickers shows are a big reason ,but not hte only one. The American pickers came through my town. This antique deal I know was telling me they bought this fiberglass for like 800 bucks and filmed it. But she also told me that it was still in the guys field 6 months later. I heard a lot of that is hype for the show. If you notice on their show a lot of the items around the shop is stuff from last years show.

Another reason is the economy. I think people are hurting then seeing these shows and then think its a way to make money.

Another reason is folks don't have the values they use to. People use to be honest. If they had something only worth ten bucks thats what they would ask. They might say 15 but then accept the real value of 10.

One other problem is they don't do their homework. If they don't know they should research, and ebay is not a reasonable search for info unless as mentioned you look at real sales prices. But even with that you can't tell if it has been run up.

Many of these reasons has caused me to give up searching for them other than at radio meets and folks I know who will sale them at reasonable prices.

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Post by tuberadiogeek on Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:31 pm

I think eBay is more of the problem then American Pickers. The problem with eBay is the fact that people look at the asking prices instead of the prices on the sold items. They see the outrageous asking prices and automatically think the item is worth that much. eBay is only good to get an idea of what something is worth, not the exact value.
When i have an item i'm wanting to sell and not sure of what its worth i will look at the sold listings on eBay and base my asking price off around what numerous of that item sold for. Example: If 5 of one thing sold for between 20 and 50.00, i would start my price at around 35.00. If putting it on eBay, i'd start at closer to 40.00 only bc of the fees which are about 9% right now. However on most items i'm willing to negotiate on price to an extent, even on eBay..
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Post by Doug Burskey on Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:20 am

I agree it's EBay more than anything else. American Pickers TV show does not help. Last year on Crigslist I seen a early mid 60's Magnavox console,the seller listed as a Magnum Box and wanted $3000 for it looked like it sat outside in the weather.I informed the seller that the name was mispelled, but he insited it was Magnum Box!

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Post by DancingBear on Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:46 am

A Craig's List tale...

I decided my vintage HotSprings Spa needed to go. It was over twenty years old. It worked when shut off a few months before but was not filled at the moment, a detail appreciated by the numerous frogs living in the remaining three inches of water.

I advertised it on Craig's List for free....you haul. After a few not-serious calls a lady finally guaranteed me someone would pick it up the next day. Apparently they had the means to move it.

Next day the guy appears at my door with a flatbed and three other guys. Conversation while walking to the site was interesting. I discovered the lady on the phone had sold my "free" spa for $250. This guy was to stop and pay at her home after picking it up. I forget all the details but when he found out the truth he bailed. He didn't have the manpower to move it anyway. He wasn't happy either.

It's amazing how much therapy you can get from dismantling a spa with a sawzall.

TonyM
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Post by tuberadiogeek on Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:36 pm

The other issue with craiglist idiots is that they wont budge on there out of the universe price, but when they want an item they are the first to offer you a fraction of your asking price even though its a fair price.. sometimes they will even go as far as wanting it for free..
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Post by Wildcat445 on Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:20 pm

I have been having fairly good luck with Craigslist sellers. I offer them full price that they are asking if they will replace the capacitors, all the resistors, align it, check tubes and replace any bad ones, clean/refinish the cabinet, recone the speaker and replace the power cord and dial lamp bulb, and have the record player rebuilt, including a new needle, and guarantee the CRT. Can't do that? Then you don't get the big bucks. So far, I have been able to buy for exactly 10% of their asking price. A little investigation on their part as to what exactly it is that they are selling, and its relative condition to the best there is would eliminate this unnecessary (but rather satisfying) haggling process. It feels good to be able to beat these people at their own game. I do not use ebay, so I have not been able to work with ebay sellers.

Regards

WC

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Post by ChrisH664 on Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:14 pm

Ok I think you guys can cover the radio side of overpricing. I can cover most of what I deal with - RECORDS. Primarily 78's.
Sometimes you can get a good sized lot in the 30 cents each or so range but mostly the thought is "it's old it must be valuable".

Plus how many dang times you gotta re-list something on CL before you figure it won't sell at least at that price?

9 Donnie Osmond records for $50!! Listed constantly for a year.

Nelson Eddy 78 RPM box set for $60!! Helen Traubel 78 rpm box set for $80!!!

4 Standard disc records for $10.

Over and over they appear.

When I 78 shop I get the "it's listed for such and such on Ebay". I'll say "yeah listed for that but has one sold at that price? Did you check completed listings?". Most don't know how to do that.

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Post by Bill Cahill on Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:33 pm

How about the over priced cylinders? Common titles for twenty four dollars?
Moldy wax for 19.99 BIN?
Uncle Josh for 24.95?? C'mmon, guys!
And, Dealers trying to get the same high price all year around.
Bill Cahill
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Post by 75X11 on Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:54 pm

I was at a show once and I saw one item among numerous overpriced things people were avoiding. I asked the "seller" if that was the best price he would take. He asked me what I thought he was trying to run here. I told him based on the prices he wanted, it was apparent he was running a museum and walked on. Neutral
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Post by Guest on Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:17 pm

I told him based on the prices he wanted, it was apparent he was running a museum and walked on

I like that answer and my very well use it the next time I run into a person like that. lol!

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Post by ChrisH664 on Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:24 pm

Then again, periodically, I'll get a positive response off my CL ad for "wanting to buy 78's". Just got this 10 minutes ago:

I have a couple of boxes of old records. 45's, some 78's and
some 33's. Just want to let them go real cheap? These are from my mother's estate. Interested? call me @ edited or text.
Thank you
Ed
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Post by Wildcat445 on Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:34 pm

I have been "negotiating" with a guy on an RCA TV/radio combination for about two months. Starting out, he wanted $1000. I went over to look at it (I like the comment about the museum) and could tell that the guy felt he had the rarest antique in the world. The model is 730tv1. I told him that I needed to be in the $40 range to even consider it. He ran me off, calling me names, a thief, blah, blah, blah. I threw my card on the concrete of his garage floor and went home. He called before I got home. I returned his call, and he said "Hey dude $900 is my final price. Take it or leave." I told him I would leave it. When you will take $35, give me a call. He has called me several times, emailed me a couple, and is now down to $400. The good thing is that it works, sorta, but I know that the unobtanium stuff is good. Cabinet is refinishable and solid. IT has two record players and AM/FM. The bad part is that I am running out of time. I will bet that I get it.

The comment about the 78 records is timely. The guy also has some old Gene Autry records he wants $75 for. I told him I was a buyer at $5. We'll see. He is selling some of his dad's toys and has no clue.

Regards

WC

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Post by 75X11 on Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:24 pm

This national treasure has been up for about a month with the price slowly going down. It ain't lookin' no better.

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/sat/atq/3702425386.html
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Post by tuberadiogeek on Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:09 pm

I always run into other things more then radios that are overpriced. The top thing here are pop machines, most from the 60's-80's. They usually start out at around 500.00 and most need the refrigerant re-charged in them. The second thing is neon beer lights, theyre usually any where from 200.00-600.00 most in working order. The third thing is traffic lights, most just normal 3 light signals, theyre usually 200-300.00.

As for radios, they come up once in awhile and they will be from 50.00 on up most of the time. Some true antique radios and some 1970's consoles. The problem with people and 70's consoles around here is they base the asking price off of what it costed them when it was new. If it costed them 400.00 35 years ago, it must still be worth 300.00 today, if its a department store brand like sears or Jc Penny, it will be 350.00.
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Post by Guest on Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:02 am

Another way of looking at this has to do with how complete something for sale might be. People tend to reach for the stars when they have something complete. For years at the auto shows I have noticed hubcaps at a very high price when someone has a complete set of four. When I purchase hubcaps for old cars I pick them up one at a time at a much more reasonable price. Now it may take me more than one or two shows to get a complete set but I'm willing to wait and get them for less than half the price of purchasing the set. The same applies with old radios, if someone happens to have one radio they are more willing to sell it at a reasonable price. The guy who has come into a few of them now believes he is in the old radio business and wants more money.

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Post by Wildcat445 on Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:38 pm

I just HAD to say something, didn't I? I just HAD to tell how skilled I was at beating "them" at "their" own game. I finally stepped in it, and have only myself to blame.

The guy I was trying to buy the tv console from called and has decided to not sell it. Not for any money. Not for his original price even. I really feel that he was dealing with others than just me. Sometimes that happens. Nobody wanted to give but a fraction of what he was asking, so he is holding for some reason. The guy will never live long enough, neither will his great-great-great grandkids, to get what he wants for that console tv. I should have started a little higher, found stuff wrong, then modified my offer to something he could swallow. I got in a hurry and scared the guy off. I need to be more patient sometimes. You live and learn.

Regards

WC

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