The Museum of HP Calculators

HP Forum Archive 13

[ Return to Index | Top of Index ]

Online Tracking of Calculator Prices - User input needed
Message #1 Posted by Mike on 22 June 2003, 10:12 p.m.

Ok, I have added a new page that some of you might find useful. It is an online database that allows anyone to track current eBay prices. The database is searchable by calculator, auction number and condition. I can add other search criteria.

Now, this will only be as good as the data that is entered. However, anyone can enter data. So, hopefully, it will fill up quickly.

The site is at: Online Calculator Price Tracking

If you have any suggestions for making this better, let me know. One thing that I plan is to have a search bring back the High, Low, and Average prices (I think I'll do this). I think that would be preferable to just a list of all calculators. But for now, I'm just listing everything returned by a search.

Edited: 22 June 2003, 11:30 p.m.

Re: Online Tracking of Calculator Prices - User input needed
Message #2 Posted by hugh on 23 June 2003, 6:41 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Mike

could it somehow automatically collect the final sale prices for units matching certain key strings?

No, not exactly
Message #3 Posted by Mike on 23 June 2003, 9:36 a.m.,
in response to message #2 by hugh

It can't do that automatically. That would require a program to be continually running on my server. I can't do that.

Another option would be to manually run a program to gather that information. But then, I'd have to write a program to search for every know HP calculator and that too would be very time consuming.

So, I believe the easiest way is for people to enter the data manually. A simple eBay search or even when people happen to be looking at an auction, is the easiest way to gather the data.

I have two browsers open. One on by page and one on the auction page. I just toggle between them and transfer the info. Fairly easy. I'll be doing that as I get time.

Others can help too.

About the site
Message #4 Posted by Mike on 23 June 2003, 11:38 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Mike

This site is meant really to document current prices vs declared condition. There is a comment section for the poster to post additional comments like, "includes case and manual" or "obvious dents" or "Not working".

But this is not meant to be just for slamming a seller. I DO think it is fair to put incorrect, misleading or false claims by sellers, just as it is fair to list good points.

I had one buyer contact me and say his "guaranteed not DOA" was not honored for a DOA calculator, because the seller said, "that is to be expected of 25 year old calculators". That is simply nonsense. This kind of statements are false advertizing but I leave those claims to others to add, if they like. I won't post hearsay claims.

Keep in mind though that this is really mean just to document calculator prices, with a little discretion for notation of flaws or such. These kind of input can help explain the variance in calculator prices and is important information.

Re: Online Tracking of Calculator Prices - User input needed
Message #5 Posted by Holger Weihe on 23 June 2003, 4:00 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Mike

Hello Mike,

please have a look at I have tracked ebay auctions of hp-calculators for nearly a year now. I could give you the data for inclusion in your database if you see the possibility to integrate them. It's an excel-file with over 1000 auctions.

The data doesn't exactly fit in your categories. I did not note the auction number, but the date. Since i didn't buy all these calcs, I also could not verify the advertised quality. I just rated the calculators in 3 categories from what I saw in the description (A: Optical and Technical OK, B: Technical OK with optical problems, C: defect).

So I could only give you: date, model, price, quality (A-C). If that is useful for you, send me an email. By the way: I only covered


Message #6 Posted by Mike on 23 June 2003, 4:55 p.m.,
in response to message #5 by Holger Weihe

I plan to just track auctions for 3 months. That's about as long as they stay on eBay. I don't find that anything older than that is of much use.

And of course, anyone can simply use the eBay search facility but then they have to find all the ways to search to find calculators.

Entering the data and keeping it updated is too much of a chore to do on a regular basis. That's why I made the site as "User input data" which can be spread out over many users. The program can automatically display only the last 30 days data. So, it "could" be update all the time :-)

Thanks, Mike

How about this for a feature
Message #7 Posted by Mike on 24 June 2003, 5:59 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Mike

I've been thinking of ways to make this a better tool. How about his feature?

I can put a "public/private" checkbox, on the form. I can also have an "open/closed" checkbox, on the form.

You can enter your calculator price data. It could be for "open" auction or a "closed" auction. You can check "public/private" and "open" or "closed" depending on the item.

I would also have the ability to "update" your entry. You could edit or delete your entries. Your "comments" could be the points that make that item of interest to you. You could change that after the auction closed and before it is made public. That way there is an incentive to add items to the database.

Any search would bring up all "public" items and your own "private" information.

This way, you could see the items you are tracking for current auctions, and get a historical perspective of prices on the same form. No one else could see which auctions you are tracking, via a search.

What do you think? Any value in this?

I'm just bored and looking for creative programming tasks :-)

Edited: 24 June 2003, 6:04 p.m.

[ Return to Index | Top of Index ]

Go back to the main exhibit hall