[rescue] "My city had been torn down, replaced by online auctions. Hey, ho , way to go - eBay" (with apologies to Chrissy Hynde...
rescue at sunhelp.org
Sat Aug 11 10:23:58 CDT 2001
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Nicewonger" <twmaster at twmaster.com>
To: <rescue at sunhelp.org>
Sent: Saturday, August 11, 2001 9:53 AM
Subject: Re: [rescue] My U5 buy
> What I find disturbing about all of this is that inventory I have is
> worthless, ok, maybe not worthless but nearly all my profits have
The shelf life of a piece of electronics is *amazingly* short these days.
> Perfect example is this U5. I have 2 used 270's in stock and I have in the
> been selling them for ~$685.00. While these are very clean used machines
> equipped too, people will look at that deal and say "Well gee if I can get
> new one for that money.... Yours must only be worth X number of $"
Heh, I've been on both sides of those discussions ;^)
> I have been
> noticing a very bad trend in the second hand sales market of late and
> it has me more than a bit worried. The funny part is, at least in my
> is that the (price) dumping of gear in venues like eBay is harmful to the
> as well as to the rest of us.
Low prices aren't bad, per se, but many people are so obsessed with getting
a "deal" that they stop to care about customer service or other
considerations. Right now, the novelty of bargains is so new, that many of
us are "intoxicated" - when we sober up, the market will, in my opinion,
stabilize with prices even lower than today. As stable markets are
established, which may or may not resemble eBay, the independent reseller
will be squeezed out.
Previously, the reseller took surplus/excess items from one person and
resold it to others who had no means to purchase directly. In the near
future (today?), the buyer will locate the seller (or vice versa) and the
reller will be squeezed out - any resellers that do remain will exist
because they are able to locate sources for equipment significantly under
market value, but with the internet/eBay type markets, market value will be
well known, and finding poorly informed sources will be very hard. The only
market opportunity that will persist will be the reseller than can take a
broken part and make it work - leveraging their skills/abilities to bring a
broken (undervalue) item to a higher value (market).
I've sold IPXen for $300 in the past (bare), becuase the buyers didn't know
there was anyplace *other* than eBay to buy such things ;^). I also bought
two Ultra 2s (one 2x200 MHz, the other 2x300 MHz with some RAM/HD/SBUS cards
for about $2500 - I sat on them too long, and was lucky to get about $1850
for them, after de-grading the RAM/HD and adding a second 200 MHz CPU to one
system. Pete got one (www.basenji.com) and the other went to Tokyo (!). That
got me out of the second-hand reselling game (it was only a hobby).
Recently I got into it again when I had the chance to get the Ultra 30s
w/300 MHz CPUs, 256 Meg, 4 Gig HD from Comdisco for $350 + $75 S/H/Tax. I
kept one, and flipped the other for $800 on eBay. It sold with a buy it now
within 12 hours! Can that continue? No. Comdisco will realize that eBay will
allow them to dispose of equipment quickly and at better prices.
There will always be a market for folks that can muster the resources to buy
large lots of inventory at a significant discount but pay *now* and take it
away *now*. The days of the onsey-twosey reseller are numbered.
> In another life I refused to play the price game.
> And it worked. Think of the "price, service, quality" triangle. As the
> goes pick two. You cannot get all three. There will always be somebody who
> sell stuff cheaper. I flatly refuse to play that game. So as I sit here
> few really nice workstations in stock I can only hope my "institutional"
> customers come along and buy for close to a price where I can at least
> little more $$$ toward my freaking mortgage.
I have no idea what advice to give, I hope it all works out for you...
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