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Trouble dealing with a local seller with a massive hoard


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In my locale, an elderly man was a vintage Apple collector/hoarder.  He passed away, and the person he willed his estate to is selling it.  However, she's also being very difficult to deal with.

 

My friend called me to the 'garage sale' that had Vintage Apple's because he purchased some LC5xx Macs for $20 each.  He then told me there was everything, you name it, it's there.  I dropped what I was doing and drove across town to see it.

 

When I got there, sure enough, 150+ Macs on shelves.  Everything.  128k all the way up to PowerMac 9600 and G3s, G4, G5 iMacs.  Every single model of PowerBook.  Many multiples of some.  Printers, monitors.  It was all there.

 

I asked about a few items, and I was presented with prices significantly higher than my friend paid.  Example, a Mac LCIII, untested, bare, $200.  They wouldn't budge with pricing.

 

I was able to get her to email me the list of the items, but she refused to give me the prices.  They didn't want someone 'cherry picking' the lot.  ...okay... ?

 

I asked about 25 items, and her response was maybe I'd like to just buy the whole thing.  It hadn't really occurred to me.  So I think about it, and I ask her what she wanted for the lot.  She tells me a man had shown up on Saturday morning with $10k in cash and she was insulted with the amount and told him to f-off.  ...okay... ?

 

So I go through the items, and basically it's a $30k blow-out on eBay, providing each 'box' has guts inside.  It's a huge gamble.  She makes the first move and says she wants $15k.  I counter with less than that and she says there's gold here.  Like, literal gold.  She is convinced that someone could extract all of the gold from the machines and be $50k+ ahead.   ...okay... ?

 

Then I tell her the boards are actually made of copper, not gold.  Components are soldered with lead solder, not gold.  etc.  She's not convinced.  Then she says broken computers are worth far more than working ones, because the parts inside are worth more than an entire computer.  Obviously she's browsing eBay, and seeing disk drives sell for $50 when the computer sells for $30, etc.  I tell her that's not the way it works.  She isn't convinced yet again.  Then she tells me that people take these same computers and turn them into an iPad holder and sell them for $2200.  Sorry, I'm not convinced.

 

Then she tells me any one of these machines could be cleaned up and fixed up and sold for over $3000 each, and there's a 'goldmine' here... (remember, these are everything, IIci, IIvx, LCs, SEs, Classics, but all of the 'unicorns' have already been picked out by a couple of local collectors for peanuts [she sold them to them as 'monitors']).

 

How in the world do you talk straight into someone like this without losing your cool and without losing the deal.  Because I think in the end, she's going to discover it's not what she thinks, and either she's going to destroy them all 'looking for gold' or blowing them out to someone else for pennies on the dollar, or keeping them until they're wrecked from weather (they're currently being stored in a non-climate-controlled garage, with 90%+ humidity, 100' temperatures during the day, and 50' temps at night.  If she doesn't sell them before November, they'll also be in temps of -40'.

 

I've given an offer that I placed an expiration time on, but it's a huge gamble.  Anyone else encounter someone like this ?

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8 hours ago, MrFahrenheit said:

How in the world do you talk straight into someone like this without losing your cool and without losing the deal.  Because I think in the end, she's going to discover it's not what she thinks, and either she's going to destroy them all 'looking for gold' or blowing them out to someone else for pennies on the dollar, or keeping them until they're wrecked from weather (they're currently being stored in a non-climate-controlled garage, with 90%+ humidity, 100' temperatures during the day, and 50' temps at night.  If she doesn't sell them before November, they'll also be in temps of -40'.

 

I've given an offer that I placed an expiration time on, but it's a huge gamble.  Anyone else encounter someone like this ?

 

Haggling is a fine art, and it's not uncommon to hit a wall like this especially if there is an emotional connection (for example the seller/carer may not care about the items they are selling, but want to do their best in getting the best amount to assist their friend/family to help in a trying time).  You also need to build up rapport - kind of like dating - and them perhaps the walls will come down a little.  If I've learnt anything from haggling, offer to pay full price for some items to show you are a serious buyer, then bundle bundle bundle the things you want in  larger qualities.

 

In this instance, as much as you like the items, there is good chance it'll sit there and the seller will become more and more frustrated with low ball offers while thinking they're sitting on an absolute goldmine (when they're probably not) and eventually realise they're not going to get $3000 a machine.  I'd give it a few days and try again, with empathy, and if you get the same response again it'll probably sit there forever.  The more you push with explanations of prices, trying to "teach" them something, the less of a good deal you get.

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8 hours ago, MrFahrenheit said:

Anyone else encounter someone like this

Not exactly like this - but I was told a broken SE/30 had "$250 worth of gold in it if he recycled it" - so it's an oddly common idea people have.

 

I guess just keep cool - she's going through a tough time/loss in her life and seems to feel like people are out to get her. (which it sounds like you're doing). EDIT: it sound like you're keeping your cool, not out to get her! wording!)

 

I wondered what someone would do with my stash once I'm gone - hopefully my kids each take a few to play some games on, but the nostalgia train will be gone.

Edited by erichelgeson
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Lets assume you are correct that the lot would sell for $30K on ebay. 

 

For that to happen you need to clean, test, repair, install an OS, replace missing or broken items (HDs, floppy drives, etc), take pictures and store then ship it all.

 

All of that takes lots of time and money even before you pay ebay and paypal fees and nobody stiffs you in the process.

 

Anybody who flips for a living pays pennies on the dollar because of the risks involved and you are buying unknown condition goods in bulk.

 

As you said collectors have snagged all the good stuff. Tell the old lady your offer is $4K or she can pay somebody to scrap it later.

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8 hours ago, erichelgeson said:

Not exactly like this - but I was told a broken SE/30 had "$250 worth of gold in it if he recycled it" - so it's an oddly common idea people have.

 

I guess just keep cool - she's going through a tough time/loss in her life and seems to feel like people are out to get her. (which it sounds like you're doing). EDIT: it sound like you're keeping your cool, not out to get her! wording!)

 

I wondered what someone would do with my stash once I'm gone - hopefully my kids each take a few to play some games on, but the nostalgia train will be gone.

I used to do the gold refining accounting for the business I worked for, back 10 years ago.  I remember an elderly gentleman came in and wanted a million dollars.  He was serious.  He had a big 20 gallon pail full of 'gold'.  We weighed it, and it was very heavy, like 50 lbs or something (can't remember).  Asked where he got it, and why he thought it was gold.  He said he used to hoard electronics and computers, and then he found out there was gold inside, so he had spent the prior like 5+ years sitting in his garage getting every 'gold' piece he could out of all of them.  Okay.

 

We sent the lot off to be refined, and we told him we would pay him based upon the result of the refine.  We get a phone call a week later from the refinery.  "What the HE77 did you send us to melt??  It messed up our furnace, we're billing you $3000 for cleanup, and you can have this crap back".  They shipped the 'gold bar' back to us.  It was a massive melted bar of lead, copper, tin, etc.  No gold.

 

The man was devastated.  He had saved this stuff up for years hoping to live off of it, and then leave the windfall to his children.  And...  he wrecked many hundreds, if not a thousand computers to boot.

 

Over the years after, we had a lot of people bring in bags of clippings and such that they claimed came from computers, and were solid gold.  A simple demonstration of placing it inside a glass with 90% nitric acid proved otherwise.

 

I don't know where the notion has come from that the 'gold colored' bits in a computer are actually pure solid gold.  It's a myth.  Manufacturers used copper, and gold-plated pieces, but never solid gold.  At least that's been my experience.

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Kind of similar story to share.

 

I recall buying half a dozen compact Macs a few years ago, sold as "Mac toasters" on eBay (for some inexplicable reason assume an After Dark reference?).  I turned up first to a rural address, and the seller also had several other Apple and non-Apple computers that had been stored in shipping containers, very poorly, for years (think half open containers and lean tos in cold and hot Australian environments).  There was no chance anything would work without very careful checking.  When I arrived, old mate pointed out the Macs then told me "the other guy buying one said he'll have all your keyboards".  I explained these were required for each machine, and as I was paying the most and was first in line, surely they would be included.  To him this was scrap, but the crusty old codger then got all offended and no matter what else I said, he was done and I was pissed off.  By then the relationship had soured considerably, and I told him to shove it.  I contend some mental health concerns were present here noting the extent of hoarding and difficult behaviour encountered.

 

Contrast this to other collections I've come across (Apple or otherwise) I've offered to paid cash even when free knowing there is high retail value in what I'm receiving.  This in turn has encouraged more of the collection being revealed ... and second or third trips back, again with me paying cash and the seller knowing it's going to a good home, not an eBay store. 

 

JB

Edited by Byrd
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8 hours ago, Unknown_K said:

Lets assume you are correct that the lot would sell for $30K on ebay. 

 

For that to happen you need to clean, test, repair, install an OS, replace missing or broken items (HDs, floppy drives, etc), take pictures and store then ship it all.

 

All of that takes lots of time and money even before you pay ebay and paypal fees and nobody stiffs you in the process.

 

Anybody who flips for a living pays pennies on the dollar because of the risks involved and you are buying unknown condition goods in bulk.

 

As you said collectors have snagged all the good stuff. Tell the old lady your offer is $4K or she can pay somebody to scrap it later.

I totally get it.  That's why I'm offering an amount lower.  My rule of thumb is maximum 40% what the trend shows it can sell for.  No more.

 

In 2012 I was heavily into LEGO.  I was introduced to a local collector who wanted to sell a couple of pieces.  I bought.  Then he thought I might be interested in the entire lot.  Okay, I'll bite.  I got the list from him, and ran it through a computer system I wrote, and came up with an eBay average low value for each item (as in, on average, I would be pretty much guaranteed that value) and offered 40% of that.  He was almost offended.  He wanted full eBay price.

 

I explained that this was business, and I wasn't keeping it all.  In fact, I was only keeping 10% and selling on the rest.  He then tells me he was going to sell it all himself.  A few days go by.  Then he asks if I'm still interested.  At this point I explained that the reason I offered 40% is because eBay fees and PayPal are 10%.  Listing and packing and shipping is worth about 10%.  That's now 80%.  I split the amount 50/50 to be 40%.  I was accounting for anything wrong with the lot.  He mulled it, and a few days later, I owned 300+ LEGO sets.  This was a $15k deal.

 

One-shot lots are worth a lot less to a seller than one at a time.  I always wish someone luck with the effort of selling it all one-by-one when I'm done with deals like this, and they don't turn out.  I've just never negotiated like this with computers.  The 'there's gold in there' part really got to me.  And the 'you can turn it into an iPad holder worth $2200'.  

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8 hours ago, Byrd said:

Kind of similar story to share.

 

I recall buying half a dozen compact Macs a few years ago, sold as "Mac toasters" on eBay (for some inexplicable reason assume an After Dark reference?).  I turned up first to a rural address, and the seller also had several other Apple and non-Apple computers that had been stored in shipping containers, poorly for years.  There was no chance anything would work without very careful checking.  When I arrived, old mate pointed out the Macs then told me "the other guy buying one said he'll have all your keyboards".  I explained these were required for each machine, and as I was paying the most and was first in line, surely they would be included.  To him this was scrap, but the crusty old codger then got all offended and no matter what else I said, he was done and I was pissed off.  By then the relationship had soured considerably, and I told him to shove it.  I contend some mental health concerns were present here noting the extent of hoarding and difficult behaviour encountered.

 

Contrast this to other collections I've come across (Apple or otherwise) I've offered to paid cash even when free knowing there is high retail value in what I'm receiving.  This in turn has encouraged more of the collection being revealed ... and second or third trips back, again with me paying cash and the seller knowing it's going to a good home, not an eBay store. 

 

JB

I showed up to a meeting with her today with $12k cash in my pocket.  She laughed at me.

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Well, this is probably officially done now.  She's 'offended' by my offer.  I'm not emotionally attached to this deal or the items.  I'm not wasting any more energy on this.

 

On this same topic, I'd love to hear any other large lot stories, and offers, and similar situations.  Just for 'coffee' discussions.

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It's a great topic - yeah if you had $12K cash (far out!) and were laughed at there and then, sadly move on - it won't sell unless some sucker comes along.  Imagine the time spent testing, repairing (hitting your head against the wall) - for what is meant to be a hobby, not a job.  I've sometimes purchased Macs knowing I will flip, but not without dozens of hours spent on each machine (the hourly rate would be shocking), then onsold to have pocket money to sink back into something else I really want to collect.  I've never met a seller like myself that gives so much of a damn, and even then I still have encountered issues with buyers that I have to give up selling for a while.

 

For haggling tips, I've learnt a lot watching "American Pickers"; I know some things are scripted, but their approach to making deals and dealing with human behaviour is really fascinating.  Of course with lots of practice and doing it daily you'd get really good at making deals, knowing where and when to bite, etc.  I suppose for many of use a big lot only comes up once or twice per decade so you can get rusty on your technique pretty quickly. 

 

 

Edited by Byrd
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Walk away. She will be in touch again after the collection has been sitting there for months unsold.

 

I would also be very careful paying out that kind of money for a collection unless I saw everything in person and opened up every machine - how do you know half of them are not PRAM battery disasters or have other major problems?

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8 hours ago, joshc said:

Walk away. She will be in touch again after the collection has been sitting there for months unsold.

 

I would also be very careful paying out that kind of money for a collection unless I saw everything in person and opened up every machine - how do you know half of them are not PRAM battery disasters or have other major problems?

I have decided to do just that. It’s not worth it. I’m not so passionately involved that I will pursue this.  I was seeing them personally but no real opportunity to open or test anything. So basically buy it all as non working parts only. Not for me. 

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9 hours ago, MrFahrenheit said:

I showed up to a meeting with her today with $12k cash in my pocket.  She laughed at me.

This is wild. She will perhaps in time regret turning down this easy one-shot cash sale. 

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Is this in Canada? Because I've heard elsewhere about a garage sale loaded with Macs, with the guy getting a $20 LC575 there, because the seller thought it was just a broken monitor. He did mention the rest of the prices were "eBay motivated". Would seem very coincidental if not.

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9 hours ago, dzog said:

This is wild. She will perhaps in time regret turning down this easy one-shot cash sale. 

 

Yeah, ETA call in four weeks "OK I'll take the $12K cash and I'm doing you a favour there are kilos of gold in them thar hills" ... then you offer $3K.  I'm betting the machines are bone stock with little surprises, apart from dust, leaky batteries and caps. 

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15 hours ago, Daniël Oosterhuis said:

Is this in Canada? Because I've heard elsewhere about a garage sale loaded with Macs, with the guy getting a $20 LC575 there, because the seller thought it was just a broken monitor. He did mention the rest of the prices were "eBay motivated". Would seem very coincidental if not.

It is the same one, yes. 

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14 hours ago, Byrd said:

 

 

Yeah, ETA call in four weeks "OK I'll take the $12K cash and I'm doing you a favour there are kilos of gold in them thar hills" ... then you offer $3K.  I'm betting the machines are bone stock with little surprises, apart from dust, leaky batteries and caps. 

The man who passed away was a highly intelligent hoarder. He had all kinds of stuff in very large quantities. One discovery to add, so far from those who did buy machines at the “sale”, all but one would not boot. The ones a friend of mine bought all were missing RAM. 

 

When I went yesterday for one last try at negotiating I noticed that Macs with a CPU slot were missing their CPU. I’m going to guess the guy took everything out of all of the machines before storing them. Who knows if there are boxes with working parts somewhere. 
 

Someone else bought a bunch of software, and paid quite a bit. When they got home discovered all of the boxes missing disks. 
 

Another person I have been talking to bought a few Apple II monitors. Only 1/2 of them worked. 
 

So it was definitely good to err on the side of caution with this lot. 
 

I’m all for being a hobbiest, collecting, repairing either for fun or for resale and profit, and the potential to make

money on a deal (which I’ve done a couple times in the past with other hobbies), but at some point you just have to separate yourself from your emotions and let a deal go. 
 

When you’re going to have to spend $300/month on a storage unit for an acquisition, and it’s a 1-2 year project, you can’t just jump in being emotionally attached. Especially when it involves a layout of $10k or more up front. I’m not rich. 
 

Additionally, there’s the exchange rate that you have to consider. I would be paying in Canadian dollars but sales on eBay are essentially pegged to USD. Trends on collectibles could remain the same but if the dollar dropped in value 20% that’s a loss of 20% without even doing anything. 
 

Conversely it could go the other way. It’s a gamble. I won with LEGO that way, having bought almost $5k in 2010 when exchange rate was almost par or better than par, and selling when it was 1.45, netting the rise in price in addition to the exchange rate. On some that I bought for $75, I ended up selling for $750. One I bought for $150 sold for $2000. That was an investment that worked. 

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Oh yes.  Been there, done that:

This guy was a government contractor in the late 80s/early 90s and had loads of vintage machines and accessories that sounds like they were stored for years until (I'm assuming) his wife got tired of them taking up space or they were downsizing to a smaller house.  He originally posted everything for sale in 2015 and wanted waaaayy too much for it then, but when he got no takers he took it down and reposted everything in 2017 and wanted even more for it surprisingly enough.  He even had a spreadsheet showing the value of everything based on, you guessed it, eBay, among other random sites.  When it was posted in 2017 he got back in touch with me to ask if I was still interested and mentioned the price was higher based on the research he had done.  I reiterated what my max was and he told me that someone else eventually bought everything (didn't tell me how much they paid) and that if I wanted anything I could get in touch with that person, which I never did.  The original topic has attached what he posted in 2015 and attached here are things he sent to me specifically in both 2015 and 2017.  I saved it because it was a real head-scratcher that anyone would think there were people out there who wanted to buy old generic laptop cases, loose software disks/CDs without original boxes/manuals, loose manuals, and loose cables that could still be bought new.  He just couldn't get past that "this was worth X twenty years ago" and given the amount of space everything was going to take up I wasn't keen on offering any more than I did.  I just looked up the information I was given back then and see it links out to an estate sales company in the Baltimore/Washington area so it may very well have hit eBay at that point and I just missed it.  There wasn't anything exceptional in the list from what I saw, just run of the mill machines in varying states of repair.

 

Mac Advertised & Whole Sale Values_ October 2015.pdf

Mac Inventory Updated 18 June 2017.pdf

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8 hours ago, EvilCapitalist said:

He even had a spreadsheet showing the value of everything based on, you guessed it, eBay, among other random sites. 

You know, it's funny, I do basically the opposite. I see things like $100 questionable working analog boards on eBay and think "that's crazy, I have a few of those" and then if someone needs one I'll sell it for $30 or something, more if they want a recap and I'll increase the price for parts and a little labor. But I can't justify trying to gouge people on the price. I don't see myself sitting on a gold mine, just some parts that might be really useful to someone for their restoration. If someday there are three of a part left in creation and it really IS worth $200....well, then, it is and I'd be fine selling it as such. But I think the vast majority of us in this hobby just want to help each other out, trading parts and making a little on the side.

 

The outliers are WAY out there in most cases.

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In case anyone is interested, here is the email I sent the seller this morning:

 

Quote

 

I had hoped we could do some sort of deal, but to be honest your personality prevents any reasonable negotiation.  There are things I know and things I don't know.  When I don't know something, I defer to someone who seems to know, and I get educated.  You come across as knowing everything.  Please keep this email, I'd be willing to discuss with you in the future (even a year from now) my points below:

 
1.  You mentioned a Mac can be turned into an iPad holder for $2200.  That is far from the truth.  Vintage Apple collectors want original hardware.  They don't want modified or grossly deranged things.  Case in point:  This item has been listed on eBay and relisted since before March (I can't keep track but I know it's been there a LONG time).  It started off at $900 when I noticed it.  Likely higher before.  It's the talk of the Vintage collectors around the world as the biggest abomination.  Have a look for yourself.  If this is such a good deal, I suggest you buy it and flip for $2200.  https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mackintosh-color-classic-iPad-Air-2-case/124301172196?hash=item1cf0ed5de4:g:I3EAAOSwiS9eOeDk
 
2.  You mentioned that there's gold inside the circuit boards and parts.  There isn't.  Well, not totally true.  There isn't MUCH.  Have a look at this, and please, watch the entire video:  https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/a19670/refining-gold-from-old-computer-parts/
 
3.  You mentioned that the individual parts are worth more than the computers themselves.  While in some cases that may be true, do you really want to go all the way down to removing key caps from keyboards because a single key CAN sell for $5, so a $30 keyboard is worth $150 in its parts?  Maybe.  It's not realistic.  Additionally, I can guarantee you, especially from the track record of the equipment others have bought from you, at least 50% or more of your machines don't work.  At least 50% of those are permanently broken.  Not everything can be fixed.  See another point I'll make below.  A buyer may have to take parts from one to make another work.  The parts taken from one will make that one worth almost nothing.  The work involved with making working machines is extraordinary.  Someone can easily spend 5-10 hours per machine TRYING to get it to work.  How much is that time worth?  People who buy untested and non-working on eBay assume this as well, and buy accordingly.  A fully functioning and reconditioned computer is worth a lot more than a dead one, because of the time involved.  Time is money.
 
4.  The components inside these machines were meant to last 5-7 years tops.  Over time, the components spew out acidic stuff on the boards, which ruins them.  This accelerates over time.  As in, at 20 years it won't be so bad, but at 30 years it's ruined.  When I say ruined, I mean it's like a car that is entirely rusted, including the frame.  Cannot be repaired.  There are traces embedded within a motherboard that get eaten, and no longer electrically connect.  Those traces cannot be easily repaired.  Chips get eaten and no longer work.  Buyers of vintage computers know this, and buy non-recapped equipment priced accordingly.  A Macintosh IIci that is untested and non-working will sell for about $60.  One that at least boots and can demonstrate itself as working, about $110.  One that has been cleaned and recapped, $250.  Tops.  Which leads me to...
 
5.  You mentioned that someone like me could fix any one of the computers there and sell for $2-3000.  You are uneducated in this statement.  Based on your list, and what you have remaining, there is not one single computer in your lot that could sell for even $2000.  Even brand new, unopened stock computers, which have never been touched and are factory sealed don't sell for that.  This PowerBook is buy-it-now:  https://www.ebay.com/itm/FACTORY-SEALED-Apple-Macintosh-PowerBook-5300cs-Mac-100Mhz-16mb-750HD/274471093813?hash=item3fe7c08635:g:vn0AAOSw-XRe8Ty8         This one sold and is used and working:  https://www.ebay.com/itm/WORKS-GREAT-Apple-MACINTOSH-LAPTOP-POWERBOOK-5300cs-Cords/293695121794?hash=item446197e982:g:IuAAAOSw6aRfOvfA
 
6.  You seem to be emotionally attached to the items even though you say you are not.  That is influencing what you are doing here.  Additionally, and I don't know how true this is, I was told yesterday evening that you had been recycling them until someone told you to stop and that you had a goldmine.  From what I heard, you had already recycled a significant portion of what you had.  I don't know how true that is, but if it is, it demonstrates the extreme leaning from far left to far right in terms of what you believe you have there.
 
7.  Listing and selling and shipping items on eBay is a significant undertaking.  Even if every machine you had fully worked and was clean and could be easily resold, that's a lot of time involved.  Time is money, and you should know that.  Additionally, eBay fees and PayPal fees, costs of shipping supplies, and factors of lost packages and damages during transit eat up an average of 20% of the selling price.  That leaves 80%.  So on an initial valuation of $30,000 that leaves $24,000 return.  The items need to be stored in a climate controlled storage, which would cost money (who really wants to store these in their home for a year or more?).  That costs money, about $3000 a year.  I know, I've already gone that route with the LEGO I bought and sold a few years ago.  Which leads me to ...
 
8.  The environment they are stored in affects their ability to work or be restored over time.  High humidity and extreme temperature shifts work quickly to affect the components.  Add to that the acidic goo leaking out, it is accelerated with extreme temperature and humidity as well.  On top of that, time kills.  You say you will sit on these to sell as one lot, that is a mistake.  Sitting on these without touching them will make them worthless as working machines.  That is what is driving the prices on these machines, that they work.  Nobody really wants machines that don't work.  Vintage computer collectors want it the way it was when it was made.  They don't want someone to take a case and replace the guts.
 
9.  Of anybody in this city, I'm likely the only person who was prepared and able to literally take those computers off your hands yesterday.  I had cash in hand, and would have moved them out immediately.  I have resources with a partner in California, and business connections all over the US and around the world.  My partner and I are establishing a Vintage Apple commercial project, and this hoard actually came along at a good time, which would have been a good piece of our bigger picture.
 
10.  You mentioned your sale wasn't even advertised.  You have no idea.  Pretty much every vintage Apple collector in our locale is aware of your sale.  We are a closenitt group, and the hour someone knows, everyone knows.  Your sale was advertised in our groups Saturday morning.  How do you think I found out about it ?  I don't look up or drive around for garage sales.
 
11.  And my final point in the numbered points, risk.  Exchange rate risk.  Yes, it's a gamble, but who wants to gamble in so many ways here (dead machines, missing parts, damages in shipping, and now exchange rate volatility)?  Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, that is collectible, sells based upon the US dollar.  It may sell on eBay in Canada in Canadian dollars, but I can assure you the prices are pegged based upon the USD.  Right now exchange rates are somewhat stable, but anything can happen in even 2 months' time (currently about 1.33:1).  A few months ago it was 1.47:1.  In the past year it has had a range of 20%.  That could easily be the difference between profit and loss on a deal like this.  On one item, not so much, but on a lot of 200 items?  The only way to mitigate that risk is to hedge the currency, but that involves tying up double the money.  Who wants to do that ?  
 
In closing, I truly hope you have read upto this point.  I will not be reconsidering.  I have provided your list to various professionals and the $15,000 you are trying to get is a dream.  It truly is.  You do not have a mansion on a hill, you have a farm with deteriorating buildings and a worn out farmhouse.  Whoever has been advising you is ill educated themselves on the subject.  Proof in point, you sold the really truly valuable Macs as monitors (based on your spreadsheet).  Those Macs for $20 and $100 are together worth thousands.  If those Macs were still part of the deal, it might have been worth the $15,000 you're asking.  You may be used to saying what you want and getting it, but that's not going to work in this instance.  Vintage computer collectors are often highly intelligent people, who know their stuff, and know what things should be worth.  They do not often buy with emotional attachment.  This is not an industry like others.
 
Whatever expert advice you are receiving from whoever you are contacting is flawed, and I wish you well.  It is truly a shame that the machines you have in that garage will likely never be salvaged and be in the hands of collectors who appreciate them.  And that part is really sad, because I know your friend would have wanted them to be cleaned up and treasured, based on what he had.  When I was involved with a local store, I saw many families sell their grandfathers treasured items, because they didn't care to have them.  Those items ended up in collectors' hands, and in the hands of people who respected and treasured those items.  We also had people think their item should be bought for what they sell for on eBay, and in the end, we actually saw some items end up being thrown out because the people were too stubborn to return and sell them to us.  I know because we bought from a guy who goes around and pulls things out of trashbins.  A $2000 item was bought that was thrown out, and we had seen that same item 6 months earlier.
 
This isn't an email to plead with you to drop your price.  Because talking with you I already know this is not going to work.  I'm the real deal.  You won't find another like me.

I wish you well and extreme good luck, and I cry for the future collectability of those machines.
 
Take care,

 

 
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