First, I agree that $525 is a very high price for these, probably too high in my opinion given that some of the caps are damaged and the typewriter is not included. There's also no debate that the seller is blatantly attempting to flip these. He told me himself that he ended up looking for these only after seeing pictures of my own blue keyed selectric just recently. And, it's clear that he has no interest in the typewriter itself (he purchased just the caps from the previous seller).
However, I can't help but roll my eyes at the reactions in this thread. An angry lynch mob will always show up to attack anyone who attempts to sell stuff at high prices, whether it's here, GH, or reddit. There is evidence that the seller is a greedy flipper, sure, but does that warrant such a strong reaction? These are just keyboards and keyboard accessories for fuck's sake, rare and collectible at that. I wish people had this much energy to attack people who are doing the same thing with essential goods that actually matter like housing, but I digress...
In some cases, it gets to the point where these sellers are baselessly accused of harboring some nefarious agenda of reaching out to the keyboard community for the sole purpose of ripping off unsuspecting buyers who don't know better, which is what bothers me the most. People like myself and Ellipse can attest to this. We were not attacking anyone personally, yet some people thought it was ok to react in kind because they disagreed with our prices. It's easy to be shortsighted and self-righteous in these situations, but just think about the consequences of that. Had other community members not come to our defense, I certainly would have never posted pictures and stories of all my other interesting finds or worse, stuff like the Model F reproduction project would have never come to fruition. Why should we bother trying to contribute to a community which does not welcome us? Is this the outcome you guys want?
I'll just leave it at this quote that's been said over and over again: "A fair price is whatever the buyer is willing to pay for it."
With all of that out of the way, I'd also like to respond to a few people in particular:
That's not a fair comparison. The hobby was much smaller in 2013 and as you said, 4704 keyboards were not usable on modern computers yet. If you actually read tinnie's thread, you'll also notice that some people thought his prices were too high even then. But more importantly, demand was much lower because far fewer had an interest in Kishsavers back then. But now? There are perhaps less than 100 kishsavers that are currently known to exist by the community, but Ellipse's project has proven that demand grossly outstrips supply.wobbled wrote: ↑ You're only making it seem more acceptable when it just isn't. This is a hobby that used to be fun and had nothing to do with making ridiculous money - back when kishsavers were listed for dirt cheap (granted they were unusable, but they were still ridiculously rare if not more rare than these blue caps)
I am glad you pointed this out since it undermines your argument. What incentive is there to sell something for a generous price if the buyer can immediately flip for double? There are plenty of examples I can mention, but I think it would be best to mention my own. Remember the 3278's I sold last April for $700-800, which made people scream bloody murder? As it happened, I traded one of them to a well respected community member for another board he valued at $800. He did mention that he would probably sell it on ebay rather than keep it, which I was fine with. Lo and behold, I found it on ebay, but listed for $2000!!! Now, I don't know if he managed to sell it at that price but I am not bringing this story up to denigrate him. If he did, I can only blame myself for not making a better trade. The only reason I even wanted to mention this story is that I don't ever want to see anyone complain the next time I sell a beamspring for $800 when shit like this happens. It's extremely grating.wobbled wrote: ↑lets not forget that there are still people who list for fair prices that get fucked over by greedy ass holes who resell to other dumbasses.
Shit like this is killing a fun hobby, and I hope I'm not the only one that sees it this way.
I also don't take kindly to referring to the buyers who actually pay these prices as "dumbasses". Your point would have a lot of merit if you were actually talking about someone attempting to sell an item that can easily be found elsewhere at a lower price. That would be a legitimate case of a seller trying to take advantage of unsuspecting buyers through ignorance. But that does not apply to rare collectors items that seldomly ever turn up for sale like these keycaps. Sure, it's possible to find them at one tenth the price this seller is asking, but doing that will require a lot of luck (AND usually effort). If the buyer wants to deck out their beamspring badly enough but doesn't want to go through the trouble of searching for these themself, then they have every right to pay whatever price they feel they can reasonably afford. This does not make them a "dumbass". I think fohat said it best:
Lastly I'd like to say I have great respect for people like tinnie and Cindy who have made great relics available to us at affordable prices. But I feel like this has made some people in this community feel entitled as a result. It takes a lot of time, effort, and luck to make these hauls possible. Ellipse explained this point very well in one of the threads I linked earlier if you need further elaboration. Just because a few people decide to be very generous and keep their prices low (for buyers who did not put in the same amount of effort to find those boards) does not mean everyone else should be held to those standards. The satisfaction of circulating more cool stuff into the community is enough for some, but others will also be motivated by personal gain. You can bemoan about this reality all you want, but just remember that more beamsprings and Model F's would have been dumped into the shredder by now if it weren't for that. It's an irony that seems to escape a lot of people sometimes.The definition of a good business deal is: when both parties are satisfied with the outcome. If something is worth $50 to you and a seller is willing to sell it for $50, everybody wins.
That listing is not at all indicative of the actual value as it was BIN. It's also worth mentioning that it also sold VERY quickly after it was put up, which should be further evidence that it could have gone for considerably more if it were put up for auction instead. Quite frankly I'd say $459 shipped for a fully refurbished blue keyed Selectric is a killer deal.just_add_coffee wrote: ↑$400 + $59 shipping. And as you said, Re-Furbished, i.e. WORKING Selectric.JP! wrote: ↑Let's see an entire Selectric I Re-Furbished, Serviced And Tested sold for $450 + $59 shipping. What a bunch of bollocks parting out just the keys.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-Blue-Keys ... 7675.l2557
There are few accurate benchmarks that can be used to determine what these are really worth, since these rarely ever turn up for sale and the few recent examples were probably below market price. I have spoken with several typewriter shop owners who are very knowledgeable about Selectrics, so I'll do my best to provide an estimate. First, let's consider what a standard Selectric I costs. The cheapest fully refurbished unit on ebay is going for just under $400 shipped, and there are some going for above $600. My local typewriter shop also sells refurbished Selectric I's for around $600 (taking the high cost of living and demand for typewriters in my area into account). So, let's just say $450 is around average. The blue keyed Selectric I purchased was also around $450 shipped. It worked but needed service, and it did suffer some damage during shipping. I paid $150 to fix the stuck carrier, so now it types. However, fully refurbishing it would probably cost me anywhere from $200-300. So completely refurbished, that puts my Selectric at an estimated value of $800-900. Finally, I talked to another typewriter shop owner who had two that he was in the process of repairing and restoring. He was planning to sell them later for $1000 each. So let's go with $900. This would put the value of the keycaps at around $400-$500 by my estimate. Taking into account that some of the keycaps are damaged, I wouldn't pay more than $400 for this seller's set, but if I were the seller I would also absolutely not consider any offer below $350.
tl;dr, the seller's asking price is probably a bit too high but not totally outrageous. And if someone wants these badly enough and is willing to pay anyway, more power to them. They are very rare after all.
You are dead wrong. I think my price breakdown above should be a sufficient explanation and it's one that's backed by typewriter experts that I have met.Myoth wrote: ↑I'd value them at something like 200usd max, I'm pretty sure the Selectric JP! linked was bought by a collector rather than a keyboard enthusiast with way too much money. And a collector surely will see way more value in a complete typewriter than just the keycaps.If you have more information to help me price these please say so.
I also felt urged to mention this: If anyone thinks paying $400-500 for a single keyset is unreasonable, just look at what people are paying for most Topre HiPro keyboards (which are also purchased purely for keycap harvesting). A 104UK will set you back anywhere from $350-$500 and these are the most common, far more common than a blue selectric set in fact. And there are some others which will go for above $1000!
That's being disingenuous. You and I both know that the AVERAGE price for a beamer is comfortably above $1000 these days. $1500 might seem high but it's not far above the average price, especially if it was in good condition. Most of the examples you mentioned are outliers or compromised in some way. The displaywriter you linked was a BIN, and the 3277 was missing a case (which decreases its value considerably). I have already made this point earlier, but it's worth repeating: Just because someone got lucky and happened to find a really good deal does not mean you should expect or feel entitled to the same. If you want something badly enough and don't want to leave it up to chance, you'll need to pay a premium for it. Plain and simple.
PS @just_add_coffee: I also concur that your 3101 looks awesome. I haven't decided what color that I would eventually paint my 3278, but you have convinced me that black might be the best choice to go with the blue keycaps.