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 Post subject: Current computer prices
PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2023 10:07 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2021 6:19 pm
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After being away from the scrap world for 10 or 15 years I'm thinking about getting back into it. Back in the day I usually paid $3 for a mostly complete desktop computer. What's the going rate these days?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2023 10:50 pm 
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Depends on what you are buying. Anything core era and later starts around $1 and goes up.

Anything older than that, the retro market plus gold value has jacked prices. Only way you snag a PII or k5 or 486 for under $10-$20 now is finding someone dumping a whole lot of them. Or a garage sale.

Keep in mind those systems will scrap at around that price today and the public has caught on to that. A full 486 will scrap to $25-$50 or more.

But people are parts scavenging now too, putting together FrankenPuters with custom breakout boards…. Find a pII for under $50, deal. The lowest one on ebay in the last 18 months went for $70!
Show me a 486 for $100 and I’m game.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2023 11:30 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2021 6:19 pm
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Thanks for that reply. What do you mean by core era and later? I still have to catch up on any new lingo. My overall goal would be to set up single price for a computer regardless of if it's complete or not. If that's even still possible. When I was doing this before, I had a set price for a computer and if it didn't have one of the items that I required but they had a lot of computers I would let it slide. It sounds like maybe $5 a computer would be the price for today.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2023 3:51 pm 
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The price drop appears to be between Core 2 and the current core line. That is, anything older than Nehalem is going to be expensive. The dip there drops down to the sub $10 range a bit but averages around $20-$25 for doa until around 2017-2018. Where the prices jump up again.

Covid changed the world completely. Retro was already post-revival and with lockdowns and internet everywhere; people cleaning attics and garage space… there was a general public explosion in retro computing to go with the game and 8-bit revival.

Honestly, my personal target price for a complete millennial system today tends to be around $20. And that goes up every few months. $50+ is reasonable at the moment for pre 2005 equipment (scraping a pentium 4 IBM or HP will bring in around $20-$40). Any working parts and you can have a good return. An Aptiva with no processor, no ram, and no drive, sold for $67 a few months ago. (The board could post with a noproc fault).

One thing to note, site policy here aside:
Complete rarely includes the hard drive anymore. Recovery tech has gotten really good at rebuilding even the most over-written drives now. Most don’t risk it today.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2023 3:57 pm 
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I should note precious metals prices.
A large box 16-bit or pre MMX 32 era system is going to scrap out for $40 or more. The original pentium chip weighs 5.8 ounces. That’s $20 here for the cpu alone.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2023 6:22 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2022 4:38 pm
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Pre-Covid, I was buying county and school surplus towers for approximately $2 each in auction lots of 10 per pallet, no hard drives. The last surplus batch went for about $30 per tower, again harddrive removed. These were mostly optiplex type, with Windows XP. NT, and older programs. I talked to one buyer who was throwing a hard drive in them and re selling them locally for up to $200, and another who had a commission from a business in India. He would buy at whatever price he had to pay at auction, and load into shipping container bound for India. Local scrap yard sometimes get laptops in small quantities, and will resale them for 5 bucks each ( they buy at shred prices)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2024 1:15 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:53 pm
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If at all possible buy them by weight. I have been buying from 2 scrap yards buy weight and I seem to be doing better than buying them per desktop. Been paying as high as 30 cents a lb. The beige cases I’m making a killing on. The black cases are not so profitable. But there is always a server or 2 in the pallet box along with a few laptops. I stay away from the auctions. I have been burned a couple times. I also watch market place for stuff that has been listed for over a month a lowball them. Most times they are happy to get rid of it cheap. Good luck.


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