eBay’s Fee Structure – An Unattractive Option for Casual Sellers

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On April 30, 2004, I officially joined the growing number of users on eBay. Initially the first few years my account wasn’t particularly active, and it was only to purchase random cheap stuff. At the age of 19, priorities certainly weren’t on purchasing old computer bits and pieces.

This decade though the account has been more active, both for buying and selling. The buying experience has generally been positive, with only the occasional hiccup along the way. There was a time I successfully bid on some enterprise level software, including an early version of Microsoft Exchange for the lowly amount of $1. The software was never received and the seller was not responding – I guess they felt it wasn’t worth it.

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eBay Purchase #13 – Adaptec 2906 SCSI Card

adaptec2906eBay Purchase Price: $25 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: New Old Stock

In the way Creative Labs were a major player with sound cards, Adaptec were the equivalent in regards to SCSI cards. Here I picked up Adaptec’s 2906 still in shrink wrap.

SCSI (pronounced “scuzzy”, and meaning Small Computer System Interface) was the interface of choice for devices where faster data transfer speeds were of benefit. This typically meant hard disks, CD-ROM drives, scanners, and Zip drives, as an alternative to the slower IDE and parallel cable options available.

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eBay Purchase #12 – Honeywell 101WN AT Keyboard

honeywellkb-1eBay Purchase Price: $20 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Excellent

Lately I haven’t been trawling through eBay until only just a few days ago. When I did this keyboard was found, known as a Honeywell 101WN.

In more recent times of owning 486 and early Pentium PCs, I didn’t find much in the way of keyboards. IBM mechanical keyboards have the reputation as being the best, with ones in excellent condition easily going for $200 or so, sometimes more. Alternatively I took the approach of picking up a couple of new Microsoft PS/2 keyboards, as they were cheaper and easier to find. These would then be plugged into an adapter to convert PS/2 to the old 5-pin DIN connector on the motherboard.

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eBay Purchase #11 – Matrox Mystique 220 PCI Video Card

MatroxMystique220-1eBay Purchase Price: $275.50 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Excellent

Purchased from the same seller as the Creative SBS10 speakers, this was a highly contested item at auction. The desirability of the card was based on a combination of factors, though was a rather uncommon example of finding one with retail box and all. Here I’ve installed the card in one of my 486 PCs.

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eBay Purchase #10 – Creative Sound Blaster SBS10 Speakers

sbs10speaker-1eBay Purchase Price: $20.50 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: New Old Stock

After scoring a brand new sound card for my 486 build, a Sound Blaster AWE 64 Gold, it crossed my mind as to the likelihood of finding a PC speaker set of similar vintage. After searching for a while on eBay, the chances looked rather slim. Then out of the blue, these new set of speakers came out of nowhere and fortunately I had won the auction. With the lack of thrift stores compared to North America, finding items such as these makes it all the more challenging.

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eBay Purchase #9 – Microsoft BackOffice Server 2.0

msboffice2-1eBay Purchase Price: $60 AUD

Country of Origin: United States

Condition: Very Good

Long since discontinued, BackOffice was a suite of server orientated products in combination with Windows NT aimed at business. Originally released with Windows NT 3.5 Server included, the final version had Windows 2000 Server.

This particular version is 2.0 released in April 1996, and was the last to include Windows NT 3.51, just four months prior to NT 4.0. I grabbed this copy among some other newer versions of BackOffice from the same seller. The postage was pricey given their size and weight, though finding complete copies of these isn’t that easy.

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eBay Purchase #8 – Symantec pcAnywhere32 7.5

pcanywhere75-1eBay Purchase Price: $25 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Very Good

Just recently I picked up a complete copy of pcAnywhere32 7.5 remote access software. The good news is the manuals are in excellent condition, and the original parallel port cable is included which can often go missing. The bad news is that out of the four floppy disks for the software itself, the second disk couldn’t be imaged due to bad sectors. Fortunately I could retrieve this elsewhere.

Symantec’s strategy in the late 1980s and early 1990s had been one of company acquisitions. One such acquisition was announced in August 1990 with the purchase of Peter Norton Computing Inc. who had a stronghold in the DOS disk utilities space. Symantec retained the Norton branding and had done so for a number of years.

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eBay Purchase #7 – Microsoft Publisher 2.0

mspub2-1.pngeBay Purchase Price: $1 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Very Good

Sometimes every now and then a bargain is picked up, and in this case it was a new shrink wrapped copy of Microsoft Publisher 2.0 for only $1 AUD. Other copies found tend to be priced between $50 to $100.

This version of Publisher from 1993 had a few minor variations to the retail box particularly with the large fonts on the front, and the coloured diamond that would either say just “Version 2.0” or mention some sort of special offer.

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eBay Purchase #6 – Microsoft Windows/386 2.11

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eBay Purchase Price: $100+ AUD

Country of Origin: United States

Condition: Very Good

Witnessing the very few copies of Windows 1.0 on eBay usually for sale overseas and in excess of $1,000 US at the end of auction, I never had success obtaining a copy. Due to that, Windows 2.11 marketed as Windows/286 and Windows/386 are the earliest copies I have in a box.

win386-1

“New” copies of Windows/286 and Windows/386 side by side.

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eBay Purchase #5 – Microsoft Windows NT 3.1

nt31-1eBay Purchase Price: Approx. $60 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Very Good

I guess as a follow-up to my previous post about running Windows NT 3.1 under Oracle VirtualBox, I thought to share how this OS looks in the physical sense as it was a challenge to obtain a copy.

This particular retail box was still in shrink wrap for 20-odd years, and therefore the contents was intact. The sticker on the box in regards to a special offer, was aimed at existing Windows or OS/2 users to purchase at a reduced price. Continue reading