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HP Forum Archive 08

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New eBay Record ? HP-16C
Message #1 Posted by John Smith on 29 Apr 2002, 9:28 a.m.

I saw this eBay auction a few days ago, and though I'm fairly used to eBay prices, this one took me by surprise:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1345429808

Now, after thinking about it, several questions come to mind, and I thought I would like to know your opinions, namely:

1) Is this a new record for an HP-16C on eBay, or have any of you ever seen even more preposterous prices ?

2) Is it for real, or may it be part of an ellaborate scam, where the seller buys its own item at such extremely high price only to sell it again a few days later, hoping people will recognize it was the one sold for so much and then be happy for winning it at half that money, yet still two times its normal price ?

3) I guess part of its high price is the announced fact that "... It is still in the original box with the original shrink wrapping, i.e. it has never been opened." If this is so, should it be assumed that opening it would inmediately devaluate its value ? If so, when the buyer wins it, he/she must not open it lest it will instantly get devaluated, and so must accept on faith or nearly so that inside there actually is a new, working HP-16C ?

4) What if the buyer opens the shrink-wrapping only to find it all is a scam and the calculator inside is not what it purported to be ? How can he effectively complaint to the seller ? The seller can simply answer that that one isn't his calculator, and the buyer is trying to deceive him by getting a refund for another calculator instead.

5) If the seller hasn't ever opened the shrink-wrap, how can he know anything about the calculator inside, its cosmetics, its working order, anything ? How can he say that the one being returned is or isn't the original one inside ?

6) If the buyer cannot open the shrink-wrap without devaluating the item, does he have to sell it to another buyer also 'on faith' ? Shall all people ever selling or buying this item blindly trust there's a mint, working HP-16C inside, without ever looking ?

It really puzzles me ! Thanks for your wise opinions on the subject.

      
Re: New eBay Record ? HP-16C
Message #2 Posted by Andreas Stockburger (Germany) on 29 Apr 2002, 10:34 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by John Smith

Hi,

See this: I Thought the 500 Euro I was willing to pay were crazy ...

http://cgi.ebay.de/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2018338402

We have a expensive hobby ...

Best regards

Andreas

      
Re: New eBay Record ? HP-16C
Message #3 Posted by doug on 29 Apr 2002, 10:37 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by John Smith

Yes they sell higher than that. But if you categorize that as preposterous, what is this? Insane? $583 more for an HP-67. Not $583 for an HP-67 but in addition to what the HP16C sold for.

http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1331462967

Nothing wrong if that is what they really wanted. Ever seen anyone pay $75,000 for a 57 Chevy. The car isn't worth that ever. Some sell for multi-millions. None of them are worth that. It is like I wrote on this forum before, none of these calculators are really worth more than $4.95. That is what the components are actually worth. But that has nothing to do with this, or a $75,000 57 Chevy. It is what it took to get the other person to let go of what they had that they wanted. That is what it is always about. A piece of canvas with paint on it isn't worth anymore than $0.50. None of them. Don't care who painted it. But it just takes millions to get someone to let go of a genuine Rembrandt.

      
Re: New eBay Record ? HP-16C
Message #4 Posted by Ren on 29 Apr 2002, 12:53 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by John Smith

In regards to shrink wrap... Shrink wrap equipment is available in any small city that has a manufacturer. It would be easy enough for any dishonest person to put a new shrink wrap on something that has been opened but will go for a higher price if it is advertised as "still in shrink wrap". I don't know, but I suspect you could buy used shrink wrap equipment on Ebay. If you are interested I could sell you any CD-R I've burned or failed to burn, "Still in shrink wrap"! b^)

      
Re: New eBay Record ? HP-16C
Message #5 Posted by Richard Garner on 29 Apr 2002, 4:42 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by John Smith

I hope this person is getting what they are paying for. Out of all the HP calculators, add-ons and peripherals, I have bought new and off the shelf in stores, they never came shrink wraped. Did HP ever shrink wrap?

            
Re: New eBay Record ? HP-16C
Message #6 Posted by Raymond Hellstern (Germany) on 29 Apr 2002, 6:20 p.m.,
in response to message #5 by Richard Garner

Hi,

I bought many new HP calculators during the last 22 years. Nearly none of the calcs themselves were shrink-wrapped, except for some of the clamshell models, where the inner plastic form holding the calc & acc's was shrink-wrapped indeed.

But many of the manuals for the calcs were shrink-wrapped when I got them, and many still are;-)

Raymond

      
I think you've watched "Conspiracy Theory" one too many times
Message #7 Posted by Mike on 29 Apr 2002, 10:07 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by John Smith

What's with all the wasted time specualting on these conspiracy theories?

$1900+ Red Dot

$1900+ HP-35 Version 4

$1000+ Stainless HP-01

$1200+ Gold HP-01 And it's not even over

There are lots of people out there that have plenty of money to get what they want.

It's much better to consider occam's razor, than develope a bunch of conspiracy theories, don't you think.

BTW, regarding shrinkwrap. Whenever you see shrinkwrap, that does not guarantee that it is even original. You need to be sure to ask. Many companies and and do apply shrinkwrap after something has already been opened.

I have received shrinkwrapped books and manuals that were obviously opened before.

            
Re: I think you've watched "Conspiracy Theory" one too many times
Message #8 Posted by John Smith on 30 Apr 2002, 4:40 a.m.,
in response to message #7 by Mike

Mike wrote:

"What's with all the wasted time specualting on these conspiracy theories?"

Being a seller, it's plain that you're taking my humble opinion as "yet-another-attack-on-innocent-eBay-sellers", like yourself, but that's not the case.

You don't seem to get the point. It's not that I suspect any conspiracy at all, it's simply that the 'shrink-wrap' nature of the beast makes me suspicious.

Why ? Because I've bought many, many HP calculators new, at the shop, since the times of the HP-65 onwards, and never, even once, did they come shrink-wrapped. The manuals, yes. The calculators, never. And this applies specially to the Voyager series, HP-16C included.

Have any of you purchased one, directly from the shop, where the calculator was indeed shrink-wrapped ? I would like to know.

And anyway, regardless of it being a scam or not, my questions originally dealt with the theoretical case of what should you do if you buy such a 'shrink-wrapped' item, whether opening it or not, and what the consequences are in either case.

                  
Re: I think you've watched "Conspiracy Theory" one too many times
Message #9 Posted by Luca Passaggio on 30 Apr 2002, 9:07 a.m.,
in response to message #8 by John Smith

I have purchased several new HP calculators in the last 20 years in Italy and they never were shrink-wrapped.

Regards,

Luca

                  
Re: I think you've watched "Conspiracy Theory" one too many times
Message #10 Posted by Frank on 1 May 2002, 2:58 p.m.,
in response to message #8 by John Smith

I'd swear the HP16c I bought from Office Depot in the early-mid 90's for $35 or so dollars (last one), in the box which seemed complete had the calculator and manual all shrinkwrapped together in the box, unlike the 15c I bought new in the early 80's which was in pink foam bag. Too long ago on the 16c, however and some chance Office Depot re-wrapped.

                        
Are you sure?
Message #11 Posted by Dave Hicks on 1 May 2002, 3:18 p.m.,
in response to message #10 by Frank

The 16C was in production until 1989 and it seems like a rather specialized calculator to be selling at Office Depot.

Although I suppose that could be why they still had one in stock years later.

                              
Re: Are you sure?
Message #12 Posted by Frank on 1 May 2002, 3:33 p.m.,
in response to message #11 by Dave Hicks

Yep, sure about where I got it, store is still on *University* drive here in Huntsville, a few blocks from the Univ. of Ala. in Huntsville which has a large Engineering and Grad School. Huntsville has the largest per capita Ph.D. Pop purportedly by some media in US due to MSFC, Redstone and Contractors and Univ. One of my better buys by the way in addition to a HP25 for 10$ working with case and charger at a major Flea Market in Miss. in the mid 80's, the 16c was a very fast grab out of a wired cart up front at OD! Frank (one of those piled higher and deepers!)

                                    
Piled Highers
Message #13 Posted by David Smith on 1 May 2002, 5:46 p.m.,
in response to message #12 by Frank

Actually Los Alamos, NM has the highest per capita of PHD's, while those in Santa Fe get higher...

                                          
Re: Piled Highers
Message #14 Posted by Frank on 2 May 2002, 8:31 a.m.,
in response to message #13 by David Smith

Yes, I beleive the local media reports the highest in several areas of the country, like here depends on the specific measures and Geo area. Is there a national source with a table for comparison?

                        
A classic example
Message #15 Posted by Mike on 1 May 2002, 3:40 p.m.,
in response to message #10 by Frank

Like I said, many stores have their own shrinkwrap machines to repackage returns. Your 16C might have just been a return and the store did not know whether it was shrinkwrapped so probably ran it through their machine.

                              
Re: A classic example
Message #16 Posted by Frank on 2 May 2002, 8:33 a.m.,
in response to message #15 by Mike

Could be, though it was squeeky clean new. Sold it on the old usenet group handhelds in fall of 94, course I opened it in the couple of years I had! That does make at least 2 however! Frank

                  
Not at all
Message #17 Posted by Mike on 1 May 2002, 3:38 p.m.,
in response to message #8 by John Smith

I did not take this as an attack on sellers. I simply meant that is a lot of conjecture for no good purpose. It is always better to take the "simplest" correct supposition.

I have an engineering. I see technicians and young engineers (all the time) trying to come up with exotic reasons for problems pr exotic glamorous solutions to problem. I always tell them, just look for the simple solution. It will usually be right.

That's all I was trying to say.

            
Re: I think you've watched "Conspiracy Theory" one too many times
Message #18 Posted by Ren on 30 Apr 2002, 9:14 a.m.,
in response to message #7 by Mike

Maybe you were replying to me and not John Smith... In that case, I've only seen parts of "Conspiracy Theory" and never the entire movie. As I grew up I enjoyed getting a chance to read "Mad" magazine. And if there is only ONE socially redeeming aspect of that magazine, it is this. It teaches kids to be aware/suspicious that people/advertisers/television-movie-magazine producers (including themself) are out to take advantage of you, so always look for what is in it for them, and what other meanings/motives may be hidden in their words/actions. One of my favorite examples was an interpretation of abbreviations used in Classified Ads...in a Real Estate ad, it said "2 car gar att", Mad graciously pointed out that COULD mean "2 carloads of garbage in the attic" B^) So, it helped teach me to view eBay write ups with suspicion. My wife and I are looking at buying a house. As we inspect a property, she is often reminded of the verse in Billy Joel's "Piano Man", "(Name forgotten) is a Real Estate Novelist...". <taking a bow, then stepping off soap box>

                  
Re: I think you've watched "Conspiracy Theory" one too many times
Message #19 Posted by Frank (Knight) on 1 May 2002, 2:54 p.m.,
in response to message #18 by Ren

Which once again brings up the point who is John Smith. Seems like he said his name was something else, unless we have a new real one. Will the real "John Smith" please stand up?;+}

            
Mike!, think whatever you want! but people are being cheated on E-bay everyday!
Message #20 Posted by HP - Freak on 1 May 2002, 1:58 p.m.,
in response to message #7 by Mike

How about this Story:

This happened to me last month:

Story Begin

I bought several items from this guy in the US (Seller-A). Without being aware of it at first I also bought things from another seller (Seller-B) living in the same town. I don't know why, but I started to get suspicious and when I checked past auctions including my own I saw that those two guys (well actually a female and a male) was repeatedly bidding on each other auctions. Also noticed that they were ALWAYS bidding early and also making many bids in the same auction spread over several days. (Having been on E-bay for a few years I know that to start a bid war is a very good way of teasing others to bid higher.) Also noticed that they most of the times came as runners up or lower. Another important observation was that they NEVER bid in the last minute. (Mind you, they actually bid in the last minute when they bought things from other e-bayers in other parts of the US) (E-bay Observation: Last minute bid will increase your probability of acquiring an item at a reasonable price. Bidding early will only make you win if you are willing to pay several times the expected value or in the rare case the item was overlooked by others because of spelling mistakes in the listings.)

Further investigation made it probable that five(5) E-bay user names was being used in this scam. I could confirm that three of the user names were from the same town. The other two was repeat bidders but I could not confirm their location. But one funny thing is that one of these unconfirmed location bidders was buying a very rare collectable of which I had observed one of the first sellers (Seller-A) buy! I have never seen anybody else buy these things before so I found that increasingly suspicious.

{if you already are equipped with a healthy skepticism to obstinate people}

then Go to Story-Continued

Digression: From my past history here in Europe (going back 10-20 years) people of different political opinion felt themselves being kept under surveillance ( harassed in many ways, phone being bugged, followed around, secret house searches, ....) During that time everybody that brought up these suspicions to the public eye were ALWAYS being attacked by certain people as being PARANOID and making all these CONSPIRACY THEORIES and all. TODAY we know the truth. Because they left so much information in their archives that they were not able to get rid of it before it was to late. The surveillance conducted against people of different opinion went far beyond their imagination. Many people have been able to look in to their "SECRET" files and were absolutely choked by the detail of the information. Some found that people they were close to had been constantly reporting on them. And who do you think up through the years were the ones calling other people paranoid. THEY WERE THE ACTUAL PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL THE ILLEGAL SURVEILLANCE.

Based on the E-bay story above MR Mike (ipscone@msdsite.com) her would call these facts share coincidences and refer to me as paranoid. Sure he can call and refer to me with whatever he likes but I would simply refer to him as an E-bay SELLER.

Story-Continued:

Some weeks ago it happened so that one of the items in a batch of several (from Seller-A)was misplaced and he had to send an xtra package nearly two weeks later. (Be aware that for each item I buy on E-bay I put a unique personal identification code for easier handling) It so happens that to my great surprise Seller A had mixed things up and ACTUALLY put the code used for an earlier transaction made for an item bought from Seller-B.

THIS IS A 99.99% CONFIRMATION THAT SELLER-A and SELLER-B (operating with two different addresses but in the same city) IS THE SAME PERSON AND ALSO BIDDING ON HIS/HER OWN AUCTIONS.

I am sure this proof is once in a e-bay usertime (/lifetime) and I will never again get a confirmation of cheating as obvious as this.

Storry End.

Moral: I want people to question those people that scream up against others being paranoid. On the other side you should NEVER accuse anybody of cheating unless you can prove that your suspicions are true. In most cases (95%?) you will not be able to proove faul play.

I also believe that E-bay should use more money and resources on the protection of the buyer. A SELLER SHOULD NEVER BE ALOUD TO LEAVE FEEDBACK AFTER THE BUYER. That should help a lot for a starter.

As for myself I am happy with more than 90% of the transactions made on E-bay USA and have met some really nice & friendly guys over there. And not to forget, I LOVE THE HP-MUSEUM!!!!

This completes my post from a faraway country. Buy for now! ;-)

                  
Of course they are
Message #21 Posted by Mike on 1 May 2002, 3:47 p.m.,
in response to message #20 by HP - Freak

I was not trying to say that people don't get cheated. I've been cheated myself.

My point was that if one is trying to come up with an explanation (solution) to a problem AND

has no reason to choose one solution over another, that the simplest explanation is most likely the correct solution.

      
How about the Hyacinth Bucket theory
Message #22 Posted by Dave Hicks on 30 Apr 2002, 12:46 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by John Smith

of ebay buying? Where spending more money gives you more bragging rights?

            
Re: How about the Hyacinth Bucket theory
Message #23 Posted by Ellis Easley on 30 Apr 2002, 8:50 a.m.,
in response to message #22 by Dave Hicks

But Hyacinth wasn't "best pleased" when she learned that her prize kitchen counter top was free for the taking at the dump! (The episode with the salesman played by "Mr. Lucas" from "Are You Being Served?") I love that the seller of the recent $1900+ HP-35 verion 4 gave the provenance in the auction listing. BTW, how come that HP-35 ("NIB") doesn't include the hard case?

            
Re: How about the Hyacinth Bucket theory
Message #24 Posted by Frank on 1 May 2002, 3:27 p.m.,
in response to message #22 by Dave Hicks

Well, I'd rather blow money going into space, well OK, orbit anyway, than having the calculators that went there!

            
Re: How about the Hyacinth Bucket theory
Message #25 Posted by Thibaut.be on 2 May 2002, 9:02 a.m.,
in response to message #22 by Dave Hicks

Well, as long as Sheridan likes it...

                  
Re: How about the Hyacinth Bucket theory
Message #26 Posted by Ellis Easley on 3 May 2002, 2:00 p.m.,
in response to message #25 by Thibaut.be

Yes! I got hooked on the series hoping to catch a glimpse of Sheridan! Someone should make a spinoff about Sheridan - he needn't appear, just a different group of people to deal with him by telephone.


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