Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who followed this Sony ICF-6800W on eBay. Dan notes:
In my talk at the SWL Fest, I rated this receiver as among the best ever made for SWLing.
Dan believes the final price of $919.00 may be a record for the ICF-6800W on eBay. Click here to view the archived listing on eBay.
This is the thing about sites like eBay: the market price of any given item is the price it eventually fetches in auction. This Sony appears to be in superb shape and was being sold by a seasoned seller with a high approval rating. The collector behind the winning bid paid top dollar, but he felt it was a fair price to snag this rig.
Note of caution about eBay BuyItNow pricing
The ICF-6800W above was sold in an auction listing. There are times, however, when eBay sellers don’t have an item up for auction, rather they ask for fixed “BuyItNow” prices which are sometimes outrageous. For example, I see a lot of shortwave portables that are still in production being offered at three times the retail price. These sellers are hoping you didn’t do your homework prior to purchasing at a fixed price. We actually addressed this issue last year–check out our previous post:
An eBay caution: some sellers are out for a buck–or hundreds
Way over priced no matter what the condition is. In 2011 I picked one up in Australia that still had it’s original box and was near mint and ended up paying 80AUD.
In 2014 I spent a few days at SONY Electronics in Japan. SONY staff even think anyone that would pay these kind of prices are somewhat off. Sony in Tokya have a small museum a their electronics division. It’s not open to public, but only for people from other companies that visit. Even the guy who managers it said they would never pay those prices.
Therefore we are in a “Shortwave Bubble”
Perhaps the winning bidder had one of these radios in his/her youth or maybe they wanted one way back when and couldn’t afford it. Might have nostalgic value for them, who knows. It might not be the equivalent of today’s modern shortwave radio but it does have a large, commanding presence and a somewhat adventurous look about it, especially with the D’Arsonval “S” meter which to me is much more exciting to look at than a LCD “S” meter. And what about that flip up world map ? It stirs up a feeling of international intrigue and travel to foreign places. I hope the winning bidder enjoys their radio to the fullest.
Yes, it’s a combination of desire, and having the money. I can’t imagine spending a lot on an old radio, but that may mean the “right one” hasn’t crossed my path, and I’d also have to have extra money at that time. Though I’ve done fairly well in the past decade at rummage and garage sales, which isn’t about finding specific radios, but I’ve found interesting ones, at really good prices. I admit that probably means I’d be less likely to spend a lot, not after getting a Grundig Satellit 700 for $2.50 and a TMC GPR-90 for $20.
But at least these eBay buys often are about bidding. I’ve seen local ads that can’t reflect reality. I assume someone is expecting “internet prices”, indeed they may be basing their price on something they saw on the internet.
Someone’s trying to sell a generic analog multiband radio, that were so common forty years ago, and is asking $120. I can’t see that selling, he’s expecting too much. It’s not even a well known radio. Maybe he’s expecting based on it “being old”, like those cheap consumer reel to reel portables someone thinks is valuable because it’s “vintage”.
Someone else is asking $150 for a Hallicrafters S-38, which seems way too high, especially when the local market won’t provide many potential buyers. Though at least it’s a known brand and model.
So ebay provides a wider pool of potential buyers, at the cost of packaging and shipping.
I agree on the D”Arsonval meter. There are some very good new radios the user “interface” is so tacky it detracts from their appearance and at times usability. I have disdain for touching displays like ipads and iphones partially because they get very dirty and also from a childhood experience of busting a B&W crt by tapping it with a pencil (fortunately I was not injured ).
Manufacturers: More knobs, toggle switches, dials and meters on your radios.
I think you’re right. I came across the multiband (AM/FM/SWx2) portable that brought me into the hobby 35 years ago on eBay, and though they normally wouldn’t even get a bid at $20 I got into a bidding war with someone who probably had the radio and the same fond memories. I ended up as the high bidder at $95 but believe me, my high bid would have gotten a nice FRG-7!
Tsk…radio herders…:D As much as I like the looks of these old…errr..classic receivers, I can’t get over the idea how much more receiver this kind of money would buy me today, be it in form of a different second hand classic with much more elaborate innards (like the JRC radios or some transceivers), or a contemporary receiver with modern guts that excels in pretty much every aspect.
It’s interesting to note that some people are prepared to pay a higher price for an item on eBay even if it can be had cheaper elsewhere. Part of the reasoning behind that is the location of the buyer – they might live out in the sticks or some very remote location and don’t mind paying extra for obtaining an item which they probably couldn’t source locally.
Of course, some people have more money than sense and don’t do any basic research. The “want it now” mentality that is so pervasive in society has created a culture of people with no real value of anything. They simply crave materialism as an addiction to help fill some void.
As for me, I would not have bid on that Sony receiver. Why ? One would have to spend quite a bit of $$$ getting it fixed, tuned and up to spec in order to use it properly. As nice as these radios look they are indeed old and will require much TLC.
Forget about 401K’s, IRA’s, stocks, bonds, gold bullion, etc. Just buy a bunch of new radios and keep ’em in storage, auction ’em off 40 years from now. Might bring in a hefty return in one’s old age.
Wish I knew this 40 years ago hi hi! 🙂
“Collectables” gain is in a higher tax bracket unless you sell it under the table.
The dire warnings about repairs for this particular model directed me towards the stylistically similar ICF-6700L instead. Cost £360 in 2012 and needed work to sort out the 89300 bug; it looks and sounds gorgeous.
And I sold my “Orange” model back in the 90’s for around $100 – $150, maybe a bit below what I’d paid for it a year or so earlier. One I wish I had back!
Ebay is an “efficient market” when you do your homework. I bought a non-working table radio at a bricks & mortar auction for ten bucks.Similar non-working radios were at similar prices on Ebay. It cost me about 25 bucks in tubes and parts to get it into good condition. It turned out that 35 bucks is all it would fetch on Ebay.
I would agree overall with Edward – the key being “do your homework” as mentioned here and elsewhere. I have found some good deals, some reasonably priced deals, and of course seen the ridiculous. There are some radios which are going to fetch a big price because of perceived value.
I recently purchased an FRG-7 for $199 in very good cosmetic and working order. I had been watching them for 2-3 YEARS before I found mine, because to me, at that price, it needed to be extremely good.
However I commonly see them going for $300+, which was beyond what I felt I could pay.
On the flip side, sometimes you see a good price and let it get away – I did that several years ago with an FRG-7 which sounded good, reliable seller ratings, and I missed the final bidding. It went for around $100. Never forgotten that!
There are many places to check prices, reviews, etc. for getting a handle on an item’s worth–eBay included. You just have to take your time.
I decided to keep my table radio. Nice interesting exercise in seeing how much it was worth.
I wonder About Amazon marketplace prices. Sometimes they are extortionate, and when you find the product elsewhere it’s at a much more reasonable price.
Sometimes there are multiple products on Amazon marketplace with an extortionate price tag, and I wonder if the same company will list the same product twice with different company names: one at a rather steep price tag, and another extortionate one to make the first one seem more reasonable. It seems like quite an obvious trick to play on consumers, and you would probably get away with it as well.
Very good point, Chris. Yes, I’ve noticed crazy Amazon Marketplace prices in the past, too. I feel sorry for the consumers who purchase those items thinking they’re buying at a fair market price.