We all know what it’s like: the arrival of a shiny new gadget. Cellophane and cardboard removed with feverish excitement. Joyous rapture at our brush with the bright new tomorrow. Be it the hottest new phone, the latest gaming PC: the rush is always the same. Then, a couple of years later, the device ends up collecting dust in the draw of forgotten dreams. Well, it seems it might be worth getting out the Mr Sheen, as some of that old tech could actually be worth money - the kind you can accrue new gadgets with. We take a look at some of the best old devices that you should consider listing on eBay, or maybe even taking to Sotheby’s.
Valuable old tech: Retro PCs
We all know that Apple computers can be a bit pricey. But, as one unfortunate woman in California found out recently, some are more expensive than others. A story surfaced online at the end of May that told of how someone had dropped off a load of old electronics at a recycling centre after the death of a family member. One of these items was a classic Apple 1 computer, which the recycling centre managed to sell to a collector for around £130,000. The manager of the centre is now trying to locate the woman, so he can share the proceeds with her, but so far she had not stepped forward. So if you happen to have an Apple 1 knocking about, it might be time to get it valued.
In fact, you don’t need the super rare Apple 1, as looking on eBay you’ll see that the more commonplace Apple IIe is regularly listed for around £150-200 if it can still be powered up.
Another old classic that may have become an impromptu bookend is the 1980s home computer (or micro as they were called at the time) Oric Atmos. This bigger brother to the Oric 1 was one of many machines vying for the hearts and minds of budding enthusiasts at the dawn of the home computer boom. Now, one of these devices in decent condition can be found online for around £150.
The Oric 1 itself is still popular, with a boxed unit causing a lot of interest on eBay even when priced at £250.
Wales had its own micro, the Dragon 32, and while researching this feature we found one on eBay that was listed for £199 and had a rather impressive 45 people watching it.
This is eclipsed though by the obscure Jupiter Ace, which we found offered for a jaw dropping £900 and followed by 93 watchers.
Sinclair research was probably the biggest name in UK computing throughout the 80s, thanks mainly to the hugely popular ZX Spectrum (which can still fetch around £50 for a working unit). Collectors though are more interested in its predecessors, with the ZX80 going for as high as £500 for pristine models. Not bad for a machine that isn’t even colour.
Valuable old tech: Mobile Phones
It's not just vintage items that will glean you a decent return. If you’ve had an iPhone as your handset of choice for the last few years, then it might be worth thinking about selling it on to part fund a new device. An iPhone 5 16GB model in good condition will easily get you over £100 via various sites including our own Macworld, or www.igadgetsrecycled.co.uk or www.musicmagpie.co.uk, while the iPhone 4S 16GB is valued at a still respectable £60+.
Samsung is another popular brand, and on the same sites you can expect to get around £100 for a Galaxy S4 and £70 for a Galaxy S3, with the Note 3 going up to as high as £170 for the right model. Anything other than those mainstay units really fall off a financial cliff, but you might still get the price of takeaway meal for them.
Valuable old tech: Consoles and Games
There are some pretty crazy prices thrown around for vintage games at the moment. We saw an Australian seller on eBay offering an unopened copy of the original Super Mario Brothers VGA 80+ for the NES at an eye-watering £2000. The fact that the price on the box stated $29.99, shows how much, this seller at least, regards classic gaming. A quick search also found opened copies of the games selling for £70.
The old Atari 2600 system was reasonably plentiful online, with a going rate of around £50, which might seem low but is actually about right when compared to the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) which sells regularly for about the same.
Finally, if you have fond memories of sitting around a table like version of Space Invaders, most likely in a pub, and have one taking up room in your home; then the knowledge that they are currently valued at somewhere between £750-1000 might be the incentive you need to give David Dickinson a call, so that the be-oranged one can get you a great deal. You can always buy a emulator for your phone and play the game whenever you like.