The Museum of HP Calculators

HP Forum Archive 13

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15C: Original Packaging or Repackaged
Message #1 Posted by Mike on 10 Aug 2003, 3:37 p.m.

There is an auction running that is advertized as never opened. But the packaging does not look like original HP packaging, that I've seen.

Did HP ever shrinkwrap the calculator to the manual? I have seen original 15C Manuals that were shrinkwrapped seperate from the 15C.

I wonder is this is repackaging?

Repackaged or Original

If it is repackaging, who knows what is really inside the case.

Re: 15C: Original Packaging or Repackaged
Message #2 Posted by Raymond Del Tondo on 10 Aug 2003, 7:47 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Mike


when I bought my first new 11C in the early eighties, it was in a pink air 'bubble' sleeve. The manual was wrapped separately. The retail box had the old graphic design with the symbolized technical construction platform, in other words the four squares;-)

In those years I saw many new 11C's and 15C's, and all were packed like mine.

Maybe the newer 15C's were packaged in a different way, and HP omitted the sleeve, because it better fitted into the box that way (the 15C manual has more pages than the 11C manual), and it could save cost.

It's hard to tell if this is original packaging. The page cut of the manual and the edge of the calc seems to be clean. Too bad the seller didn't include some more pictures which could show the manual front side, and parts of the side case of the calc.

However, let's see what the buyer will make with this expensive item. If he/she doesn't open the plastic, he/she will never know if the item is just a dummy.

Otherwise if opened, the 'never opened' price bonus will go away. Very difficult decision;-)


a fake, quick & dirty repackaging...
Message #3 Posted by Emmanuel Verbeeck on 11 Aug 2003, 2:01 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Mike

... as you often find on eBay.

It's very easy to go to a bookshop (or any other shop with this equipment) and ask to have a manual + a calculator shrink-wrapped. There are cheap devices can can shrink-wrap second-hand videotapes, cd or dvd cases, books, magazines with a bonus cd, etc...

IMHO HP never packaged items like this (it looks like a very very cheap method, and during the glorious HP days it was absolutely not their corporate culture).

And it works : $686 for a calculator that was bought without even seeing a picture of it !!! Gullible people ar e amazing.

Maybe well, maybe not...
Message #4 Posted by on 11 Aug 2003, 3:44 a.m.,
in response to message #3 by Emmanuel Verbeeck

When I bought my 1st 15C in 84, the manual was indedd shrinkwrapped.

I also bought a 12C solutions handbook for Father's day and it was also shrinkwrapped.

Nevertheless this one does not seem original...

Sure manuals are shrinkwrapped
Message #5 Posted by Mike on 11 Aug 2003, 11:02 a.m.,
in response to message #4 by

But was the calculator shrinkwrapped to the manual?

I have seen many manuals shrinkwrapped but never a calculator shrinkwrapped to the manual. Bookstores might shrinkwrap a return like this.

However, the seller does say this was given to his father, by HP, so it might be special packaging. If he has first hand knowledge that it has never been open, then it's probably mint.

Edited: 11 Aug 2003, 11:05 a.m.

Re: 15C: Original Packaging or Repackaged
Message #6 Posted by Fred on 11 Aug 2003, 4:14 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Mike

I think it's TRUE.

The seller said : "the plastic wrapping around the calculator and manual HAS NEVER BEEN OPENED"

The seller does not say : "this is the orignial packaging"


Yes indeed, they did
Message #7 Posted by Casey on 11 Aug 2003, 7:43 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Mike

I've owned 4 NIB voyagers that had the calc shrinkwrapped with the manual. All new, all original. But whether this auction claim is legit, is anyone's guess

I sold the 15C. It is indeed originally packaged.
Message #8 Posted by Chris Gardner on 11 Aug 2003, 11:06 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Mike

Thank you to Renato for bringing this discussion to my attention. As I said briefly in my Ebay listing, when HP stopped making the 15C, they pulled them out of stores and gave them free to their employees. My father was one of those employees. At the time, they gave him 3 or 4 15Cs and he gave most of them away to friends and family as gifts. He also had 1 or 2 15Cs that he used himself. He nor I never had any reason to "repackage" it. In fact, I just found this one 2 weeks ago while cleaning up the house and I was going to give it away as well...that was until I saw what they were going for on Ebay, so I decided to sell it. I am as amazed as you are that someone was willing to pay so much for an old calculator, but it is definately authentic. Nobody in my family (including me) had any idea of its value...we probably would have eventaully given it away, thrown it away, or sold it at a garage sale for $5. It is just an old calculator taking up space to us.

I do have some more pictures if any of you would like me to email them to you. I just didn't provide them on Ebay because I'm not a very good photographer and they didn't come out.

As for peoples' comments about how their 15C was wrapped, I think it is entirely likely that HP changed the box and wrapping during the years they were selling it. In fact, just looking around on the Internet for 5 minutes has shown that there are a few different boxes. Just go to Mine looks like the box on the right. However, it is not exactly the same - the description on mine is slightly different. Also, notice that the manual in that picture is bound rather than punched and bound with wire like mine - an obvious move towards cheaper packaging and materials in my calculator. There is no way it would ever fit in the box if it was anything other than shrink-wrapped to the manual...the box is not very big. I know my father would not have cared enough to rewrap it because he had so many of these things...and he could probably get more from work whenever he wanted.

Finally, you're right Raymond, it was a difficult to choose whether or not to open the item. Not because I'm worried it is a "dummy," but just to see if it works. I decided to leave it wrapped because these are very high quality calculators...I'm sure it is fine.

Thank you all for a very interesting and unexpected conversation. I would have never thought that they way an old calculator is wrapped would spark such a lively debate.

P.S. The manual is shrinkwrapped separately from the calculator, and then the whole thing was wrapped again with the calculator

Edited: 11 Aug 2003, 11:55 a.m.

Re: I sold the 15C. It is indeed originally packaged.
Message #9 Posted by Renato on 11 Aug 2003, 2:11 p.m.,
in response to message #8 by Chris Gardner

Chris, Iīm happy that I emailed you, and with your reply. In my opinion you were very lucky with the price you got for the calculator, and you deserved it. I am also happy that your father, a HP employee of the old times, left such a nice surprise to his family. Here in Brazil, yesterday we had Fatherīs day.

Now you know what to do with any old HP itens you may find laying around the house -including books, manuals, magazines - ANYTHING.

Best regards, Renato

Re: I sold the 15C. It is indeed originally packaged.
Message #10 Posted by David Smith on 11 Aug 2003, 2:19 p.m.,
in response to message #8 by Chris Gardner

I suspect that it was an machine returned or recalled to HP. The original packaging for the machines was a pink anitistatic foam or bubble pack bag. A lot of HP return items were repacked by shrink wrapping them together (usually with a piece of cardboard backing). I have several HP65 and HP67 software pacs that were done this way. They were part of a special promotion that HP did for cleaning out a bunch of returned items.

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