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 Post subject: Price guide for tube radios?
PostPosted: Jun Fri 14, 2019 1:01 pm 
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Joined: Aug Sat 19, 2017 6:55 am
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Location: Glendale, AZ, USA
I am just getting into this hobby, after many years of saying "someday". :shock:

I realize that prices can be very subjective, but I was wondering if there was any sort of a somewhat reliable price guide around to help me avoid paying way too much for something. Or even the other end, passing up something that I think is too high of a price only to find out later it was a real bargain.

I know I could ask here, but it would be nice to have something I could take a quick look at when I see something for sale on CL or similar.

I am not looking at reselling or making money, I just don't want to over spend based on emotions if I can avoid it. And I know from what I am seeing for sale that many sellers think their stuff is worth a lot more than it probably is.

The hallicrafters I just bought cost $60. Seller had it for sale for 2 years on a site called Offer Up. I probably overpaid, but it is a good entry into this hobby. Just don't want to do that too often. :lol:

Thanks,
Russ


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 Post subject: Re: Price guide for tube radios?
PostPosted: Jun Fri 14, 2019 1:52 pm 
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Joined: Feb Thu 28, 2019 7:48 pm
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Location: Lawrenceville, Illinois 62439
My method:
I type in the model on ebay, then select either 'completed listings', to see how long some of them have not sold at certain prices, or 'sold listings' to see what price the market actually supported. I agree, there's no way to base a price on some sellers desired outcome; a lot of items are shooting for the stars. Some sellers are merely getting an idea of what it's worth, then re-list it at a more comfortable price. But the 'sold' prices are the ones to pay attention to.
Now, I, too, have overpaid from time to time - a radio just like Grandpa's for example. Sometimes you just have to obtain a certain model!
Dan


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 Post subject: Re: Price guide for tube radios?
PostPosted: Jun Fri 14, 2019 2:22 pm 
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Russ,
There are some price guide books like the one by Robert Grinder and the one by Slusser. However they seem to all be written pre-recession and the current values are less. They may give you an idea of value relative to other radios. I have noticed that consoles have dropped in value much more than table models. I would recommend to attend some auctions of an antique radio club if you have one nearby. There should be some bargains to be had and if you pay attention to what price they sell for, you will get a pretty good idea of value. Of course, condition is a big factor.

Jon

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 Post subject: Re: Price guide for tube radios?
PostPosted: Jun Fri 14, 2019 2:23 pm 
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There are a couple Quote/Unquote "Guides" out there though they are rather old.

Slusser's book which is still available used, though I bet you can find better prices on the book.

https://www.amazon.com/Collectors-Guide ... 1574325493

Also the Stein books which I've always felt the prices were a bit overdone.

https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Price-G ... 0964795302

There are several versions and volumes to the Stein books.

As you said, its all subjective. many have dropped in value since the 2008 financial crisis, but a few have held value or risen.

Also some are out of favor for others etc.

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Price guide for tube radios?
PostPosted: Jun Fri 14, 2019 2:23 pm 
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Agree that the completed, sold listings on eBay are about the easiest way to get a feel for what something has sold for recently. However, even that isn't always accurate because in some cases bidding competition between two or more people who are interested in the same item on the same day can skew the final price dramatically. You also have to be aware that there is a certain amount of shill bidding taking place on eBay which is always done with the intent to drive the final price up.

20 years or more back before the internet was popular, there were some printed radio guide books but nothing like that has existed since. Even then the pricing wasn't reliable but the books were useful for beginners to identify radios from the photos given, and to be able to separate the $20 radios from the $200 ones.

Another issue is that the same radio will sell for 2x to 4x as much in NYC or California, and maybe 1/4 or 1/2 as much in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois where radios are still quite plentiful and more of them are around than there are people who want to own them. If you are looking for value, pricing at the major shows held by the radio clubs seems to be the most accurate representation of the current value held by collectors.

Realistically, many old radios made after WW2 are in the $25 or less category including most of the commonly seen plastic stuff made in the 50's and 60's that doesn't have much interest among collectors. In the past it has been quite an issue with beginners loading up on relatively worthless plastic sets rather than seeking out more desirable radios.

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 Post subject: Re: Price guide for tube radios?
PostPosted: Jun Fri 14, 2019 2:36 pm 
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Quote:
I am not looking at reselling or making money,

I buy because it interest me, I don't worry about the resell price. If I worried about the price, I would never get any of the radios that I like. The description and pictures, and sellers feedback are pretty much the only influence on my purchase.
That's just me...

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 Post subject: Re: Price guide for tube radios?
PostPosted: Jun Fri 14, 2019 2:40 pm 
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Very true. I've overpaid many times for a radio I wanted. :lol:

-Steve

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Consoles and floor models, the bigger, the better!


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 Post subject: Re: Price guide for tube radios?
PostPosted: Jun Fri 14, 2019 3:33 pm 
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And don't forget--condition is everything. OK, almost everything.

Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Price guide for tube radios?
PostPosted: Jun Fri 14, 2019 4:34 pm 
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Quote:
And don't forget--condition is everything. OK, almost everything.

Like this ? Stated it "Powers On".
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Silvertone-Con ... Swk-9bqBn5


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 Post subject: Re: Price guide for tube radios?
PostPosted: Jun Fri 14, 2019 5:20 pm 
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Basically forget price guides to give you a realistic value. Use them only as a spotters guide. I have all the old price guides and the values only make me chuckle these days. Either way too high or laughably low. Today you're going to pay what the seller is wanting to get at that time, and what a buyer is willing to spend. He's got the item, you have the cash, and you either agree or you walk away. I've bought sets for 3 times what the book value is because I just simply wanted it then and there. On the other hand, I've got sets for half their value by a seller who was just eager to sell. It's pot luck.
With auction values all over the map in today's collector market, it is almost impossible to put an average price on anything. You can only know if the item has low desirability, average desirability, or high desirable, in which all you know is that you're going to have to put out a little, quite a bit, or a lot of cash! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Price guide for tube radios?
PostPosted: Jun Fri 14, 2019 10:21 pm 
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russosborne wrote:

I am not looking at reselling or making money

Then you definitely won't be disappointed.
russosborne wrote:
I just don't want to over spend based on emotions if I can avoid it.

Don't be silly; if you see a radio you like, perhaps haggle if possible, but then just go ahead and buy it. Consider that anything you pay over "market value" will be more than made up in your enjoyment of possibly working on it, and having it to look at whenever you want.

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 Post subject: Re: Price guide for tube radios?
PostPosted: Jun Fri 14, 2019 10:27 pm 
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With things like old radios that aren't sold in multiples of the same thing by dealers, sourced from manufacturers .... there is NO SUCH THING as over or underpaying. If you like it and you are happy with the price you paid, then you paid just right for you.

Don't worry about what others pay. If you do that the hobby will lose all it's fun. Just buy what you like and enjoy it.


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 Post subject: Re: Price guide for tube radios?
PostPosted: Jun Sun 16, 2019 5:39 am 
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Joined: Aug Sat 19, 2017 6:55 am
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Location: Glendale, AZ, USA
Thanks, all.

I didn't think there would still be books, but thought maybe a website or two.
But yeah, probably ebay and other online sites for things that have sold.

Sounds like getting one of the older books might be worth it just to use as a guide to what is out there.

As mentioned in the vintage stereo cabinet thread above, it's harder to find prices on the bigger stuff, which is what I am mostly seeing for sale, although I have really just started paying attention to what is for sale around here (Metro Phoenix, AZ). I am attracted to those, but don't have the room right now for a cabinet or dozen. But I see something and think I could make room somehow. But most sellers here seem to think these things are worth hundreds. Maybe that is the price here, too new in this hobby to have a clue yet.

I do have to be a bit careful, this is a very small budget operation. This is only one hobby I have of many. I'm taking the summer off from building a car due to the heat and not being able to handle it anymore. Radios I can do inside in the air conditioning, at night when I get home from work. :D I work most nights til 2am, neighbors wouldn't be thrilled with me using tools and making noises outside working on the car at that time. :shock:

There is a local club I am going to check out. I'm honestly not much of a joiner, more of a loner type. But it sounds like they will be worth checking out at least.

Russ


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 Post subject: Re: Price guide for tube radios?
PostPosted: Jun Sun 16, 2019 11:57 am 
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russosborne wrote:
But yeah, probably ebay and other online sites for things that have sold.

Russ

You're welcome Russ. Be aware that eBay prices though, or any auction selling prices, are very inconsistant. I've seen radios/TV's that I can get at my local swap meet for $60 have an ending bid of $400 or visa-versa.


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 Post subject: Re: Price guide for tube radios?
PostPosted: Jun Sun 16, 2019 5:39 pm 
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I've paid $100 for a $25 radio. why ? because I liked it and could not live without it.

there are sets that go for hundreds of dollars that are not worth $5 bucks to me such as catalins, coffin radios, and tombstones...no thanks.

on ebay, I've seen $5 plastic pcb cheesy tube radios go for $125.

I would believe that a few bidders got into a bidding war for this reason: they had to have the radio b/c they remember playing grandma's on her kitchen counter when they were a kid. that $5 radio was worth $125 to someone.

when emotions work their way into the buying and selling market, the question of "what something is worth" *really* changes everything.

the bottom line as a seller: it is worth whatever somebody will pay.

as a buyer: it is worth what you are happy and willing to pay.

although there are value guides out there, the point is often moot.

I paid $200 bucks for this amplifier. I just had to have it for the style, condition, and...I just had to have it. i may have paid 100 bucks too much, or i may have got a deal. it really does not matter b/c it all worked out for me.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=352204

steve

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 Post subject: Re: Price guide for tube radios?
PostPosted: Jun Mon 17, 2019 2:23 am 
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Russ, keep in mind how common a radio is. I've seen buyers way over pay for a fairly common radio when they could have waited for another to come along and pick it up at a much better price. Nothing wrong with over paying once in a while for a radio you really want, but if its a fairly common radio, better to be patient and pass on one that's been bid up way too high because in most cases another one will come along fairly soon.

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 Post subject: Re: Price guide for tube radios?
PostPosted: Jun Mon 17, 2019 3:02 am 
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I use the old price guides to stratify values. It makes it easier to sort out the cheap/medium/high/uber. For instance, generally, a 1938 Zenith "shutterdial" will be worth more than a 1938 Philco with the same tube count...generally. (I'm running for cover waiting for all the flak) Buy a few guides, watch Ebay CLOSED sales, compare. Don't put much stock in Radio Attic prices because they list ASKING price, not SOLD price.

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