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HP Forum Archive 18

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Why did this HP-01 fetch so high a price?
Message #1 Posted by Wlodek Mier-Jedrzejowicz on 12 Dec 2007, 11:48 p.m.

Does anyone have any idea why this particular steel HP-01 fetched over US$5,000 on eBay? Sure, it is a very nice one, but that price is way over anything normal. The serial number is missing on the back of the case - I'm not sure if the seller edited it out in the image or if this is a very early HP-01, but it does not look like a prototype.

      
Re: Why did this HP-01 fetch so high a price?
Message #2 Posted by DaveJ on 13 Dec 2007, 12:24 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Wlodek Mier-Jedrzejowicz

It's a "private" listing, so may very well be a fake auction designed to create some recent "price history", so some sucker gets duped next time thinking that's the going rate.

Dave.

            
Re: Why did this HP-01 fetch so high a price?
Message #3 Posted by Wlodek Mier-Jedrzejowicz on 13 Dec 2007, 12:59 a.m.,
in response to message #2 by DaveJ

Hi Dave, that's possible, but judging by this seller's general profile and history, I don't think s/he would do that. I suspect that some sucker has already been pulled in to bidding much more than the going rate. I just wondered if anyone could suggest a reason for someone to bid so high on this particular item. It might make an interesting article for Datafile :-)

                  
Re: Why did this HP-01 fetch so high a price?
Message #4 Posted by Chan Tran on 13 Dec 2007, 11:59 a.m.,
in response to message #3 by Wlodek Mier-Jedrzejowicz

I think it was bought by someone who want to collect it with the expectation that the price would go higher. Not someone who really like it.

            
Re: Why did this HP-01 fetch so high a price?
Message #5 Posted by Randy on 13 Dec 2007, 12:03 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by DaveJ

Quote:
It's a "private" listing, so may very well be a fake auction designed to create some recent "price history"

I'll go out on a limb here and guess you never sold anything on eBay... as the auction will cost the seller over $100 US to create that price history... Unless of course the buyer is defaults and doesn't pay. While that may well be the game, I doubt it based on the sellers history.

I said this about the same time last year and got criticized for it but I'll say it again: 'Tis the season to be stupid.

Okay, so it's not politically correct but it is a general commentary on how eBay prices go nuts this time of the year. People with deep pockets don't know the market values and just keep bidding. There was just a mint 42S that went over $500.00. Not crazy but certainly higher than what the market has been of late.

Personally, I think HP prices on eBay are down a bit, no doubt just following the US economy.

                  
Re: Why did this HP-01 fetch so high a price?
Message #6 Posted by Gonzalo Fernandez (Spain) on 13 Dec 2007, 1:57 p.m.,
in response to message #5 by Randy

Do you remember the auction?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=220172797112

It seems the seller still doesn´t have paid the more than 4000 EUR auction ended.

Outrageous prices are not reliable.

                        
Re: Why did this HP-01 fetch so high a price?
Message #7 Posted by Ron G. on 13 Dec 2007, 3:21 p.m.,
in response to message #6 by Gonzalo Fernandez (Spain)

How do you know the buyer didn't pay? Based on lack of feedback? Positive feedback may eventually come about, but I expect the negatives come a lot faster. I would think that if he didn't pay, he definitely would have a negative feedback on the auction by now. Unless they worked it out by email.

                  
Re: Why did this HP-01 fetch so high a price?
Message #8 Posted by DaveJ on 14 Dec 2007, 6:13 a.m.,
in response to message #5 by Randy

Quote:
I'll go out on a limb here and guess you never sold anything on eBay...

Plenty actually, close to triple digits I'd estimate.

Quote:
as the auction will cost the seller over $100 US to create that price history... Unless of course the buyer is defaults and doesn't pay.

Correct, it does cost the seller if they try this scam. But for these people it's usually a full-time cut-throat business for them, and they are not afraid to spend money to make money. Illegalities aside, wouldn't you spend $100 to make possibly 10-20 times that? Even if you only got a $200 increase in the price over what you would normally get, you've made an extra $100. If you are smart you even claim it as a tax deduction on income you never made.

These scams are common, especially in "collectable" markets, and are very effective.

"Private" auctions like this are a big fat warning sign. Avoid.

Dave.

                  
Re: Why did this HP-01 fetch so high a price?
Message #9 Posted by allen on 14 Dec 2007, 8:05 a.m.,
in response to message #5 by Randy

Quote:
I think HP prices on eBay are down a bit,

If it were a US only site, I would tend to agree. But remember ebay is also a currency exchange market. Many currencies are at an all time high compared to the Greenback. While domestic prices may have fallen slightly, the buying power of foreigners has risen significantly.

The prices only look higher to Americans because there is no currency exchange in the middle. A few years ago a 300 EUR bid would appear to us as a $360 purchase, today that exact same 300 EUR bid appears to be $440 -- without raising the bid an extra $80 -- Europeans are spending the same 300!

                        
Re: Why did this HP-01 fetch so high a price?
Message #10 Posted by Massimo Gnerucci (Italy) on 14 Dec 2007, 10:28 a.m.,
in response to message #9 by allen

Quote:
The prices only look higher to Americans because there is no currency exchange in the middle. A few years ago a 300 EUR bid would appear to us as a $360 purchase, today that exact same 300 EUR bid appears to be $440 -- without raising the bid an extra $80 -- Europeans are spending the same 300!

Six years ago those 300 EUR could only buy $265, so the wheel is turning. Your export goes up, including HP paraphernalia.

Greetings,
Massimo

            
Re: Why did this HP-01 fetch so high a price?
Message #11 Posted by Martin Pinckney on 13 Dec 2007, 4:45 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by DaveJ

This obviously does't apply in this case, since the bidders were private, but here's the way one scam works:

A scam artists scours eBay for pricey collectible items, usually rare but not one-of-a-kind. He bids to win, but then after the auction closes, deliberately provokes a disagreement with the seller, eventually leading to a mutual agreement to release each other from any obligation to complete the sale.

Now the scam artist rips off the photos and description, and after a while sets up his own auction for the item he doesn't have, and usually makes it a one-day auction at a below-market "Buy it Now" price, with a note in the description about going through some service you've never heard of for payment. He may also give you a direct link for payment or his email, to try and keep below eBay's radar. His hope is that by making it a very short duration auction, he will play on someone's greed to get a cheap deal and will get your money before someone reports him and eBay shuts down the auction and/or warns the buyer.

The reason for his fake attempt to buy the item originally is so the sucker will check out his eBay username and see that he did buy the item previously. Of course, timing is essential, because he has to wait long enough for the item to be shipped to him, plus whatever return period to expire, but before the real owner re-lists it. Or maybe he just waits until after it has been re-listed and sold, hoping the sucker won't check completed listings and find it again.

In this case it is most likely: 1) the winning bid is a schill bid by the seller to maximize the price, and he will now claim non-payment and make a second-chance offer to the second-highest bidder, or 2) just someone with more money than brains.

Edited: 13 Dec 2007, 4:47 p.m.

                  
Re: Why did this HP-01 fetch so high a price?
Message #12 Posted by DaveJ on 14 Dec 2007, 6:19 a.m.,
in response to message #11 by Martin Pinckney

Quote:
This obviously does't apply in this case

How so? The seller has made the auction private. The seller can use fake ebay accounts to bid up and buy their own item, totally masked from all who are watching. All the normal punter sees is the price going sky high, and has no recourse to see who's bidding. There is no way to see if the auction is above board.

Dave.

                  
Re: Why did this HP-01 fetch so high a price?
Message #13 Posted by John W Kercheval on 25 Dec 2007, 8:20 a.m.,
in response to message #11 by Martin Pinckney

Martin:

You are absolutely correct on all points.

Superb post. Hit the nail on the head.

John

      
Re: Why did this HP-01 fetch so high a price?
Message #14 Posted by Stefan Vorkoetter on 13 Dec 2007, 5:29 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Wlodek Mier-Jedrzejowicz

I mentioned this auction to my wife, and she pointed out that there are people for whom $5,000 is about what $50 is to you and I. To such people, it's easier to just buy it at that price than to shop around.

Stefan

            
Re: Why did this HP-01 fetch so high a price?
Message #15 Posted by Diehl-Peshkur on 14 Dec 2007, 1:22 p.m.,
in response to message #14 by Stefan Vorkoetter

I work in the watch business, so have a different view :-) This one is truly pristine; haven't seen one that good in ages. The steel are worth more than the gold plated versions, because they wear better and csan be refinished in the long term. Price is still high, though. But Christmas is just around the corner, and for a top collector, this is not a big price. Cheers, Theo

            
Re: Why did this HP-01 fetch so high a price?
Message #16 Posted by Thor Lansen on 14 Dec 2007, 3:05 p.m.,
in response to message #14 by Stefan Vorkoetter

According with the HP Museum the price of the Stainless Steel HP-01 was $650 (1977-1980 period).

If you would have invested $650 in the S&P 500 back in 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980 you would have at least $9,120, $10,285, $10,320, and $9,175 respectively (maybe a bit less the way the Stock Market is doing today). So, $5,000 now for that watch (almost new) it is a bargain (yet, I would not buy it, not my cup of tea).

Regards, Thor

Note 1: I edited my post to reflect a bit more accurate returns of the S&P 500 I found after I posted. The Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) from Jan 1 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980 to Dec 31 2006 was 8.96%, 9,74%, 10.12%, and 10.03% respectively. And for this year the S&P 500 up 6.85% (as of 12/13/07).

Note 2: The CAGR returns are just capital gains, not dividends so you would have earned more than what my figures show and that is the reason I said "at least" above.

Edited: 14 Dec 2007, 4:52 p.m. after one or more responses were posted

                  
Re: Why did this HP-01 fetch so high a price?
Message #17 Posted by Arne Halvorsen (Norway) on 14 Dec 2007, 3:10 p.m.,
in response to message #16 by Thor Lansen

Nor would I :-). But out of interest, since those in the know of the market (I assume) has bashed the price so much... what would a reasonable price be? This is a rare item, right?

                        
Re: Why did this HP-01 fetch so high a price?
Message #18 Posted by Thor Lansen on 14 Dec 2007, 5:13 p.m.,
in response to message #17 by Arne Halvorsen (Norway)

Reasonable price? it depends, if I were to buy it with the purpose of investing I would look at the market for guidance on what it is worth (I would look at other sales) but if I were to buy it because "I just have to have it", the value would be proportional to: 1) how bad I want it and 2) the depth of my pocket.

Edited: 14 Dec 2007, 6:07 p.m.


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