Long Term Adverts

I’ve just seen a mailing list post from someone who needs an ancient printer to work with their old software. As the printer is no longer manufactured and changing the software is expensive this puts them in a difficult situation – which can be profitable for someone who happens to own an ancient printer that still works. This sort of thing is not uncommon at all.

Ebay is a nice auction and online store site but it doesn’t cater for long term personal adverts. I’ve got a lot of old computer equipment that I keep because it might be useful at some time and it’s a shame to throw away working equipment. I’d like to be able to list that stuff on a sale site and have the adverts stay online for years just in case someone wants to pay a decent amount of money for it. If there was such a site I would also list all the systems in my test network, I can test software just as well with different hardware if someone wants to pay decent money for what I’ve currently got.

Storage space is pretty cheap and searching for keywords isn’t that difficult either. The cost of running an online personal sale site for items that sell every few years isn’t going to be much greater than running one that sells items after 10 days. But the profit in many cases will be a lot greater, an old printer that sells for $10 on Ebay could go for $200 or more if the seller could wait for a buyer who had some enterprise software that absolutely depended on that particular printer.

Does anyone know of such an online sale site? If not does anyone want to start one?

5 comments to Long Term Adverts

  • neonsignal

    The trading post lets you extend ads for free (I think indefinitely, though it is a while since I used it). But I don’t know how many people would look for old tech equipment on the trading post. Another option of course is just to create a page on your own website, and hope they will find it through a search engine! It is a similar problem for anything that has only a small potential group of buyers (eg a rare artwork); you need the ads to stay up as long as you can, until you actually find a buyer

  • etbe

    The Trading Post has hardly any computer items, few items means few buyers and it just doesn’t work. You need the Network Effect.

    Creating a page on your own web site might work if it was a particularly unusual item, such as a historic art work. But for an item that was mass-produced Google probably won’t find pages by people who want to sell items due to the large number of pages about software support etc.

    Really we just need a special site for this. If I had a lot of spare time I might try creating it myself.

  • ssam

    that could be interesting. I once needed a docking station for an old camcorder, and there were only a few places online that had it way overpriced. ebay lets you save a search and be emailed when something matches, which eventually found me one, but if i needed it quickly that would not have worked.

    I have been wondering about a related problem. I have lots of electrical bits and bobs, that might be useful to someone, but are below the value that it is really worth listing them on ebay over and over. so a long term listing would be good, especially if you could search for local pickups.

    there was a post (on one of the linux planets i think, i cant find it now) a few weeks ago about someone who has a suitcase full of old hardware that the would take along to LUG meetings, as a sort of hardware library. i think a website would work better though.

  • etbe

    ssam: It’s a briefcase and the above URL describes it. The disadvantage of a website for the really small stuff is that some of it will be taken as an impulse thing. EG if you had an old P4 system lying around with no hard drive and a perceived value that was less than the cost of an IDE disk you might suddenly feel inclined to use it again if a free IDE disk was offered to you.

    Among other things I hope that my hardware library will increase the reuse of old systems and help the environment,

  • Jason Lewis

    Have you considered Gumtree? They will keep your advert posted for quite some time in my experience. At least 3 months I think.