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Advice on old-timer collection
08-25-2017, 08:45 PM (This post was last modified: 08-26-2017 07:46 AM by Frans.)
Post: #1
Advice on old-timer collection
Hello,

This post does not immediately offer anything for sale, rather I'm looking for advice on how to go about such a task, should I decide to part with my collection.

I'm a Dutch HP-41 old-timer who was active in the 1980's and early 90's. Was a member of PPC (10993), CHHU, HPCC (583) and HPX (73) and wrote articles for their journals, as well as for Dutch ones. For hobby activities, after that period my focus shifted to other areas, and for work I didn't really need my CX anymore. My daily calculator is a HP-16C, which I purchased from Wlodek Mier-J. at a HPCC conference, by the way. Smile

During all those years I collected a fairly large amount of equipment, accessories, manuals, brochures, ROM listings, books and magazines, and now I'm contemplating passing on most or all of them. It's still not an easy decision, as this stuff meant the world to me -- but that was so long ago that I've forgotten so much of it...

I'm not looking to make a fortune from selling it all, although I see some rather high prices requested in eBay offerings ($400+ for a PPC ROM? Wow). Rather I am wondering how to find a good home for as much of my collection as feasible.

I suppose making one eBay entry for the whole collection is not very effective, as prospective collectors will not want to accumulate a pile of duplicate stuff in order to acquire the few items they may really be interested in. On the other hand, I'd rather not have to create dozens of eBay entries to offer every (set of) item(s) separately. Also, it appears many of the English-language magazines are already available as online PDFs or on a DVD.

The Dutch second-hand and collectors market for this kind of stuff is very small, so I'm looking for European and even worldwide options. How have other old-timers handled this kind of situation?

To get an idea of my possible offerings, I've compiled a detailed inventory of my collection (attached). Would anyone have some advice how to deal with this?

(Cross-posted on forum.hp41. org)


Attached File(s)
.pdf  HP_Inventory.pdf (Size: 57.94 KB / Downloads: 66)
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08-25-2017, 11:16 PM (This post was last modified: 08-26-2017 02:55 AM by rprosperi.)
Post: #2
RE: Advice on old-timer collection
(08-25-2017 08:45 PM)Frans Wrote:  Hello,

This post does not immediately offer anything for sale, rather I'm looking for advice on how to go about such a task, should I decide to part with my collection.

...

To get an idea of my possible offerings, I've compiled a detailed inventory of my collection (attached). Would anyone have some advice how to deal with this?

Frans,

While the 2 obvious options of selling or donating the items seems simple enough, both are actually more complicated than it seems.

You can sell the items via eBay or other local auction/sales sites, but this requires a lot of tedious activity which you imply you want to avoid.

Another sales option is to sell the entire lot to someone (presumably a person already selling similar items) who will then sell the individual items. This is far easier for you, but of course, this approach will mean selling the lot for much less total money than by individual sales, but this is reasonable since someone else will be doing much of the work

Donating can also be difficult, as you would surely want a minimum of hassle, which probably means you would prefer to have someone pick it up at your home, and you've noted the active community there is small.

If you do choose to donate the items, I would ask, on behalf of this entire group of fans, that the materials be donated in such a way that the unique items you have, which are not already freely available to the public, are given to people that are willing to scan and share the items with the community, either by donating the scans to the MoHPC document collection (or similar collections such as Jake Schwartz's DVD, hpcalc.org, etc.) or possibly through their own website, etc.

The worse case scenario, socially speaking, is for rare and unique items in your collection to end up in some other private collection, and therefore not accessible or enjoyed by others in the community.

Some collectors are more interested in finding good homes for their beloved old toys, or the social connections that come about through donating, than in the money made, others haven't thought about this stuff in many years and don't care about it, they just want it all to be taken away to make moving easier, etc. Collectors have used all of the above options, depending on how much energy they want to put into it, how much money they want/expect, if they do or don't care about sharing with the community, etc. so it's quite hard to answer with specifics.

Other replies to follow will also provide other views and options on how to proceed, so feel free to ask about the ideas and experiences people have had; as you have guessed, this topic comes up a lot here.

Good luck with your decision and thanks for asking about this within a community that cares about these old treasures; too many people just throw it all away which is a loss for us all.

--Bob Prosperi
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