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Author Topic: Why is used gear so expensive?  (Read 4412 times)

Posts: 9


« on: June 23, 2003, 12:22:54 AM »

On eBay, eHam/QRZ classifieds,, etc... everyone is selling use equipment for top dollar.  Some of it is junk.  Some of it is obsolete.

Whatever happened to the deals?  The bargains?  The good honest guy who's looking to clean out his shack without cleaning out someone's wallet?

I may as well spend a little extra $$$ and buy something new instead.

Posts: 3199


« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2003, 08:21:28 AM »

One word 'eBay'!

Posts: 10091

« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2003, 08:49:39 AM »

With the classifieds being so popular online, the audience/potential customer base is so much larger than what would be achieved in print form that it's natural that the prices have drifted up.

I've found the prices on, and to be generally reasonable. eBay, on the otherhand is a crap shoot. I've been looking mostly for HF antennas, however...

Mike N2MG

Posts: 1

« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2003, 03:59:42 PM »

Well - perhaps some of what you are referring to is what people collect - had but now miss after having sold it years ago - or just want to have to have it and thus boost the price up on what you perceive to be junk.  if i really want something i will pay for it either at a swap fest of even on line.  If I think it is way too much I will not bother with it even tho I might really want it.  All depends on what you want and what you feel anything is worth.  That is the American Way - supply and demand!

Posts: 527

« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2003, 05:57:23 AM »

That's why they call the process "bidding".
Some of the equipment that was formerly called
"Junk" is now considered "Collectable" or
"Antique" . But the best explanation is that
the frenzy to acquire is driving up the cost.
Decide on a bid and stick with it. You can't
compete with lunacy. I have watched folks at
flea markets pay more for used stuff than what
it originally cost new, and they weren't antiques.
There is no logic to the madness.
73 - Tim

Posts: 43

« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2003, 09:05:52 AM »

I think they are trying to recover the price they paid for new gear.  A lot of the time the gear they are selling has something wrong with it, especially on ebay, and they don't or won't tell you about it.  remember BUYER BEWARE!!  AE4TR. 73's

Posts: 24


« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2003, 03:28:58 PM »

It is basic economics. In a free market the price of anything is the greatest amount that buyers are willing to pay. If hams wouldn't buy it the price would go down. Don't blame the seller.

Have you offered what you are willing to pay?

Careful -- you might get it for that price! Maybe there were no better offers.

After making an offer you might also get a counter offer in return for your offer. Then you can accept the new price or counter offer back and negotiate to a price you are willing to pay.

You may also hurt the seller's feelings because you came in with a low offer. So what? It isn't your wife or girlfriend. They might get over it eventually.

One thing is sure; if you don't ask, you'll never know.

Posts: 999

« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2003, 10:43:37 PM »

Depends on what you're looking for.  New radios are so inexpensive that the used market has virtually collapsed.  I see really nice radios for sale for a song all the time.  Cruise the swap lists, here on eHam, on, and  There's lots more too.  People are almost giving away TS-850's, TS-830's, IC-756's, FT-1000Mp's, all good rigs.  At a hamfest last weekend, my buddy couldn't sell his cherry FT-101B for $200!  It's near perfect, and works great.  What a perfect starter rig for those who complain about the high cost of admission into ham radio.  He even had the matching 2 and 6 meter transverters for $75 interest!   Don't rely on eBay prices as a standard.  Too many unrealistic influences cause prices to soar.  Egos and uneducated buyers are the biggest problems on auction sites.  It's a great seller's venue.  I have little inclination to bid against some bonehead who doesn't have any idea of an item's value in order to see who is willing to pay the most!  I'd rather deal one on one with a seller to establish what the LEAST he is willing to accept for an item.

Now if you're talking about "collectable" radios, it's sure a different story.  It's like the old advice, "Buy land, they ain't makin' it no more."  There's only so many S-lines, Valiants, 75A-4's and Hammarlunds left in servicable condition.  Evidentally supply doesn't meet demand and prices can range from high to astronomical!  I've seen SX-115's go over $2000 and SX-88's go over 8 grand!  Of course you wouldn't buy a rare coin just because you need change for a candy machine.  Seems like there's a large number of hams wanting to relive their youth, and can afford to do so at nearly any price.  Nevertheless, good deals are still out there, if your willing to invest the time and effort to hunt for them.

Are you "collecting" or are you "using?"  If you need a competant radio just to use on the bands, good deals abound.  

« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2003, 01:57:28 PM »

Used stuff is getting very expensive because the new stuff doesn't appeal to everybody.  Compare a KWM-2 with a Kenwood 870.  The Kenwood is a good radio but it looks Jap.  Collins radios and most of the old stuff just looks more attractive to alot of users.  Japan doesn't understand it or doesn't care even though some of the most obsessed Collins buyers are Japanese.

If Japan duplicated a KWM-2 on the outside and put a 756 on the inside,  they might sell more.  And as far as the US manufacturers, yuk!  Tin boxes for $2K, $5K, yuk, yuk, yuk, I don't think so.

Posts: 9930

« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2003, 05:39:44 PM »

I buy and sell a lot on here and on Ebay.  I always do multiple pictures and a good description as I want folks to know what they are bidding on.  I have an excellent feed back rating, and work hard to keep it...

The stuff sells for what it is worth to the buyer.  for example, a 1 kw tuner , around a hundred bucks, a 1 kw linear(tubes), $400 to $600.. a good used ham hf mobile (706 or dx 70) $400 to $500 , a 3 or 4 element 2 meter beam $50 to $75 .  These  are just aproximate guess, but pretty close.  $250 to $350 for a FT-101EE.. a 101-zd will bring in close to $500.  an Icom 720, 730 around $300 , and to all of these add shipping.

If I want it I know what it is worth to me, I will pay a certain  price and no more.  I enjoy buying and selling as much as I do using this stuff,  but that's my bag.

The market sets the price.  73  tom N6AJR

Posts: 62

« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2003, 10:56:10 PM »

George Soros said it: the free market is unsurpassed at setting prices, but a hopeless failure at determining value.


Posts: 24

« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2003, 11:17:29 AM »

I agree. I think you are better off buying new.
I was looking for an Icom 706mkIIg a while back. It seemed like the going rate for a used one was about 650 to 700 dollars. New ones were going for about 750 dollars with a free remote head kit and a warranty. I emailed one guy and tried to get him to come down a bit and told him what new ones were selling for. He told me to go buy it.

Also, I recently purchased a 2 meter rig. On a local swap net people were asking between 100 and 125 dollars for 2 meter rigs. So I got brand new ft-1500 for 139.00. The ICV8000 can be bought new for about 170.00 if you shop around.

Unless you come across a rare good deal, you are better off buying new.


Posts: 362

« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2003, 11:29:18 PM »

I agree when you can buy a new hf rig for 500 why pay the price for used gear.  I would love to have a backup hf rig but to me 175 to 2oo would be the most I would pay.  I do understand that a $1000 rig that is still in production would go for more than 200 but the 500 rigs should be way cheaper.  Same for two meter rigs with new selling for 139. You would think there would be a bunch out there for 5o but the used ones sell for a $100.  I can't beleive there are people out there buying this stuff but there must be.

Posts: 24


« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2003, 11:54:00 PM »

I thought this one was dead by now but another in the mail box. The answer is simple but no one wants to accept it.

Everything sells for a price a ready, willing and able buyer is willing to pay to a seller.

Granted supply contributes but there is no scarcity (I am not refering to vintage radios) in most used equipment.

If everyone waited the price will come down. The problem is the people that can't wait or are willing to pay any price just to keep from waiting.

From the stuff I've seen on this subject, I think a course in Micro Economics should be added to the license requirements.

Posts: 4

« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2003, 08:42:56 PM »

There is a guy on ebay selling FT-2800's for $190  His reserve must be over $150 and I have seen many go for $190-199.  They are new. but a quick check of any ham store website will get you one for $159.95.  What gives?
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