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 Post subject: Seeking Experiences from members who Sold large lots of Tube
PostPosted: Jul Wed 28, 2021 2:20 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 17, 2013 2:30 am
Posts: 45
Location: Bristol,CT. 06010
At some point in future will be selling of Dad's supply (big) of American tubes from his Tv Repair Shop and seeking feedback from others who actually sold large quantities of Tubes (various including Audio given he did many Guitar Amps.).

Will seek best prices (NOS?Boxed) , but avoiding E. Bay/PPal . Other Auctions ??

He closed his shop in the 70s. Guess a few Thousand in number.

NO offers requested for these tubes now, ONLY Experiences from Sellers.

Were you satisfied with transaction/ Any issues ??

Tubes been stored properly in climate controlled condition and untouched to date.

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Experiences from members who Sold large lots of
PostPosted: Jul Wed 28, 2021 3:03 pm 
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Location: Gretna, Nebraska
The best thing that will help you with getting the highest potential price from a prospective buyer is to have an accurate inventory.

Ideally the minimum information would include tube type and quantity of each type.

Whether the tube is NOS or used, tested, boxed or loose, and the maker would be next.

Naturally, this would require a lot of work on your part. Also, be aware that many tubes types have minimal value.

Soliciting bids with any less information will discourage serious offers.

I sold a large lot of tube to Antique Electronic Supply several years ago and was generally happy with the transaction.
I don't know if they are still buying tubes or not.

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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Experiences from members who Sold large lots of
PostPosted: Jul Wed 28, 2021 3:31 pm 
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Location: S. Dartmouth MA 02748-1225 USA
Selling to a dealer WILL be below wholesale. Selling as a lot, if the lot has a majority of low value tubes those will degrade the offer. IMHO there are likely few power output and power rectifier tubes in the inventory. These were always costly to purchase even if the retailer was in the preferred buyer list from the distributor. Once on that list one could get 60 to 70% discount on all tubes. So a shop has to push tubes out the door or suffer piling inventory. You got knocked off the list if tube sales fell off for 3 months.

It is possible to do better by small lot sales. Eventually being left with the dregs and even those can move deeply discounted, 10 cents each.

Don't expect premium retail unless prepared for onsey/twosy for a period of time... As well as providing a guarantee :roll:

Indiscriminate cherry picking can spoil the inventory that is if a one time bulk sale is anticipated.

An accurate inventory is essential. That would include actual careful opening of the box and see if the correct NEW tube is inside. Serviceman often swapped out tubes when field serving and a used tube likely untested could be in the box. The visual check will also reveal any tubes have gone to air and if there is pin corrosion...

GL Chas

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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Experiences from members who Sold large lots of
PostPosted: Jul Wed 28, 2021 3:54 pm 
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Location: Gretna, Nebraska
Chas makes some good points about high value tubes vs low/no value tubes.

An experienced tube person can spot the high value types. With a very large collection of tubes, I might be inclined to separate the wheat from the chaff and sell the high value tubes separately.

Depending on the quantity of less desirable tubes, it might be more expedient to sell them separately as a bulk lot.

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Paul
...... how hard can it be?


Last edited by processhead on Sep Tue 07, 2021 11:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Experiences from members who Sold large lots of
PostPosted: Jul Thu 29, 2021 2:26 pm 
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Location: Sunbury, Ohio 43074
Just out of curiosity, would the advice be similar if one had, say, 35,000+ tubes .... :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Experiences from members who Sold large lots of
PostPosted: Jul Thu 29, 2021 2:29 pm 
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Location: Fernandina Beach, FL
Barry H Bennett wrote:
Just out of curiosity, would the advice be similar if one had, say, 35,000+ tubes .... :roll:

(Affectionately) "Better you than me!" Seriously, too bad we don't live close, I would be happy to volunteer help.

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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Experiences from members who Sold large lots of
PostPosted: Jul Fri 30, 2021 6:38 pm 
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Joined: Dec Wed 27, 2017 3:05 pm
Posts: 81
Location: Little Rock, AR
Some really good advice in this thread. (yes, I've bought and sold a lot of tubes over the past 45 years.)

Besides the stuff others have said, here's some fodder for thought.

1. Don't Cherry Pick, and for heaven's sake don't tell your cousins and relatives about "Dad's goldmine"
2. Don't assume anything about what you have. KNOW or FIND OUT
3. DO learn your tubes - know the differences and how to spot them
4. Don't get sugar-plum price syndrome by scanning eBay
5. No, that Mullard GZ34 is not worth $800.00, but it might bring a hundred.
6. Enlist and be willing to pay for initial expertise, even an initial assessment could save you hundreds of hours of wasted time, and potentially earn you thousands in extra revenue
7. Inventory Inventory Inventory. Photograph Photograph Photograph. Organize Organize Organize
8. IGNORE any prices on the boxes from back in the day - and in both directions. a $1.69 RCA 6V6GT might bring a really good price. An $8.99 priced Compactron is probably almost worthless.

General realities These are generalities, mind you

Octal based beam tetrodes, power pentodes and rectifiers, twin triodes in 9 pin, some specialty types applicable to hi-fi, musical amplifiers, popular radios, test equipment, and so forth are fairly easy to spot and to move.

Compactrons, high voltage TV rectifiers, Television CRT, 7 pin tubes in general, and small signal pentode/double diodes, complex multi-section types and so forth are generally NOT going to get anyone very excited - but there ARE exceptions, so...

Know your markets:
Scope/Test equipment restoration guys want x,y and z.
Guitar amp guys want a, b and c.
Stereo hi-fi guys want b, c, and d and e.
Old radio guys want a mixture of everything...cheap :-)

By the way, know your military equivalents, and your European equivalents:

Before you get all ready to go by your new boat with the proceeds, realize that you will probably earn every penny of it.


Just some observations


Keith
coolblueglow


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Experiences from members who Sold large lots of
PostPosted: Aug Tue 03, 2021 5:25 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 6076
Location: 253 Blanche St. Plymouth, MI USA
Simple way to go is... dont avoid Ebay !
line all the similar size tubes up in boxes so the type numbers are EASY TO SEE. Take pix of each box lot. Post all on Ebay in the fall (November is ideal) as one auction. Do a 7 day auction, start it on a Sunday around 7pm EST (4pm PST for ebay time).
This will be SIMPLE and EASY. No making lists, no testing,
Usually about 70% of general repair shop tubes are virtually worthless. Its how good that other 30% is which will make you money. If you have any really desirable tubes, you will get questions if they are "NOS" or "pulls" (used) tubes. Open those tube cartons to show those tubes inside and add those pix to the auction.
This method is the best , easiest and usually best $ you can get.

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Antique Audio
Plymouth, MI
http://www.oldradioparts.net


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Experiences from members who Sold large lots of
PostPosted: Aug Sat 07, 2021 3:03 pm 
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Joined: Dec Thu 04, 2014 12:44 am
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Location: Union Bridge MD 21791
Be careful when handling tubes not to rub off lettering and DO NOT TRY TO CLEAN THEM !!!!!!!!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Experiences from members who Sold large lots of
PostPosted: Aug Sun 08, 2021 4:17 pm 
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Joined: Sep Mon 02, 2019 6:50 pm
Posts: 76
Location: Yorba Linda, CA 92886
I buy and sell about 1800 tubes per year. Generally, I have to buy the worthless ones to get tubes with some value. When someone sends me pictures and an inventory (a rare occasion), I can get a good read on the value, if the tubes have been stored well, box condition etc. If I buy 100 new tubes, I usually net about 85 tubes that actually test new. Even in the box, tubes will have ozone on them which needs to be cleaned and oxidation on the pins. Buying and selling tubes is frankly, a lot of time consuming work. I mark up my tubes about 60%. Once I pay fees and I also pay postage in the US, I net about 50% profit. It's becoming rare to hit a home run on purchases in the tube business these days. In a recent negotiation, I received some nice pictures and great inventory from a seller for about 600 tubes. He was asking $3000. I ran the numbers and I needed about 380 of them and I offered $1900 for the lot. He was insulted. Not many people have the ability to lay out big money like that. So if your a seller, keep your expectations in price realistic. If your a buyer, I just doesn't make sense to "trade dollars". If you would like more detailed info, send a private email.


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Experiences from members who Sold large lots of
PostPosted: Sep Tue 07, 2021 2:06 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 17, 2013 2:30 am
Posts: 45
Location: Bristol,CT. 06010
Thank you all for your helpful comments. For some reason my "new Message ' counter in upper right corner of the Home Page still shows No Messages? Anyway, while not an expert in tubeology, I have repaired/restored/modified amps over the decades. These are from my Dad's TV Business he closed up in the 70s and I did spend weekends in the shops. I will have to open these cases sealed back then and I have stored in a low humidity area. I once used EBay but stopped when dealing with the crooked buyers. Yes, I am aware of the cooked sellers too. At least I have an idea what the "hot" tubes are valued and the "TV" tubes that aren't. Looking at tube vendor prices helps too. I am not sure how to best sell off these yet and looks like further thinking sin order as well as mentioned inventory etc.

Thanks all.


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Experiences from members who Sold large lots of
PostPosted: Sep Tue 07, 2021 2:58 am 
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Location: Clearwater, KS
Perhaps you will be lucky and have all NIB with a good mix of low and high value tubes.


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Experiences from members who Sold large lots of
PostPosted: Sep Tue 07, 2021 10:27 am 
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As one who has been working on inventorying a vast tube hoard, I can tell you .... it is going to take a lot of time. Possibly twice as much as a lot, since the first time through looking up tube prices, you'll be getting an education.

In my case, I'm doing a fairly thorough inventory for two reasons.... firstly, because the wholesale tube buyers can't make a sensible offer unless they know what's in the hoard, and secondly because I need to keep the tubes I use in test gear restorations. If I need some exotic tube, or a "black plate twisted mica magic getter gold plated base uranium pin 6L6", I can always buy one later from the proceeds of the sale.

Are you really going to open every box to see what color the plate is, or if the getter is this or that shape, so you can advertise ridiculous prices on Ebay and never get those prices? (or rarely enough that it's hardly worth all the time it took) ?

What's your motivation ... move them out, or maximize the dollars when you sell them? In the former, you'll make a few hundred or a few thousand and they're gone. In the latter, you may make more money, but figure out your time expenditure. Is it worth working for 25c/hr to get rid of them? Because that's about the amount of time you'll be putting into the project.

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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Experiences from members who Sold large lots of
PostPosted: Sep Tue 07, 2021 12:38 pm 
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Barry H Bennett wrote:
As one who has been working on inventorying a vast tube hoard, I can tell you .... Is it worth working for 25c/hr to get rid of them? Because that's about the amount of time you'll be putting into the project.


Barry, that has become so true to me. I have lots of "stuff" that I moved, personally, in about 7 trips in rented U-Haul trucks from MD to FL. I still have a lot of "stuff" and just this weekend, I've been organizing and sorting and thinking, "Is it really worth the time and effort to put this stuff on the auction site?" You are right. At 73, I realise that time is precious and I would rather answer a text from my buddies that says, "Hey, meet me at the local gin mill in an hour?" I am not there; I'm getting there and thanks again for pointing it out to us. As they say, "You would know!"

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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Experiences from members who Sold large lots of
PostPosted: Sep Tue 07, 2021 6:12 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: 253 Blanche St. Plymouth, MI USA
I have bought up well over 30 repair shops and probably another 15 good sized piles of vintage electronics "stuff"in my over 45 years in this hobby (now business for last 30 years or so selling parts). What those years of experience has brought me is the ability to funnel and sift quickly thru big piles and get a good feel of the value and of course the DESIRABILTY of the stuff. Its way less desirable to have 50,000 $1 tubes than to have 2000 $25 tubes. Most piles are the former, of course. Also, the hobby changes over time and what sold even 5 years ago (or in the fickle audio world, just a few months ago) may not sell today for half of what it did.

Its like 57 Chevy repro parts... there were at one time maybe 6 makers of repro fenders for those, now maybe 2, as demand has dropped like a rock over the last 20 years. Why? The folks who remember those cars and wanted one have either restored or bought theirs already and at the same time all those that were done 30 years ago are coming on the market as the owners die off. Now, nobody cares anymore. So its a buyer's market. Same with tubes.... most are very hard to sell. How many 13GF7 tubes are purchased from vendors in a year ? My guess is maybe one or two nationwide, and it probably sold for a whopping $1, even though many sites might have it listed for $7. Whereas a very specific version of a common 6SN7GT could sell for $150 if you had the exact correct one that some audio blogger says makes his amp sound like BB King is right in front of him.
Do I know everything? No, and nobody does. But knowing the main demand types is the key so I dont waste time sorting 13GF7's ! I've seen many heirs to estate piles of tubes take forever to inventory each one. A big waste of time.

The pile that Barry has will take a lot of time to sort, but experience eyes will cut that time down a lot.

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Antique Audio
Plymouth, MI
http://www.oldradioparts.net


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Experiences from members who Sold large lots of
PostPosted: Sep Tue 07, 2021 7:12 pm 
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Location: Fernandina Beach, FL
oldradioparts wrote:
I have bought up well over 30 repair shops ...
The pile that Barry has will take a lot of time to sort, but experience eyes will cut that time down a lot.

Hear, hear, Mark. I get it and I certainly understand. I am hoping that the next time my grandson can visit (he lives in Australia and will be 12 in December) we can set up a pellet gun range in the garage and blast away at those piles of low-testing 6AU6 and series string Compactron tubes!

I have been going through stuff just today... again... still and have a few items that might be fixable, but who cares? A transistor receiver? NO. A Scott 345, heck yes! Fisher 400? Yup. I am getting smarter, not there but getting there.

No doubt Mark has "The eye" for the good stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Experiences from members who Sold large lots of
PostPosted: Sep Tue 07, 2021 10:52 pm 
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Well, I guess a lot depends on what you have. Some tubes are worth a lot of money and Ebay is by far the best way to get the most from them. With enough expensive numbers, I would sell them off and dump the rest for whatever you can get. I know someone who picks the audio tubes from his constant purchases and then dumps the $1 to $5 tubes at radio events for 50 cents each. They actually sell pretty well for 50 cents each and they are out of his hair. If there are only a few audio tubes, you may need them to sell the whole lot and at that you may only get 10 cents each if there are lots of TV and common types. But ultimately, it depends on what you have. I see ads on Craigslist and FB Market place with laughable prices for tubes. 99% of them are not worth more than a few bucks in NOS condition, and large lots sell for much less. I am in the same boat as I have about 6000 miniatures (NOS) that I want gone, but only a few hundred are good selling audio numbers. I might entertain offers from dealers. Aside from large base triodes, there is not shortage of good affordable tubes out there.


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Experiences from members who Sold large lots of
PostPosted: Sep Wed 08, 2021 4:32 am 
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Joined: Aug Tue 04, 2009 2:15 pm
Posts: 592
Location: Elmira, NY
I started hoarding tubes in 1959, I tested and inventoried every tube I found. I had them sorted in whiskey boxes labeled 6A, 6B,6C, etc, staring at 01A.I had close to 100 boxes full. I moved this stash about 20 times, across town , State, etc.
I used tubes from this stash probably 10-15 times though the years to present. I had some what I call premium: 6146’s, WD11’s, 811, 829B, majic eyes, and pulls from tektronix scopes but only in low quantities. About half were odd filament tubes used in series string color TV sets.
Two years ago a guy offered me $1000 for all. I took it!
Since then I bought 6 common tubes , I know I had, but sold. I spent thus far about $35. Most likely I can find anything I need in the future and will take a long time to add up to $1000. I have freed up a lot of storage space. And hopefully the tubes will be used by someone rather than being destroyed. I’m now in my 70’s and know I’m not leaving a mess for my kids to clean up when I die.
Many of us have been collecting a long time. Most of what we got was purchased pennies on the dollar. Collecting and having can bring much joy, but there comes a time to lay down your trophy's. It now brings me joy to pass things forward.
So many heirs think they have a goldmine when dear old dad and mom passes. They don’t know what they have, nor any interest beyond monetary. Once they start inventorying, inspecting, packaging and dealing with others who want something for nothing they quickly loose interest.
My suggestion is to give your collection to someone truly interested that will appreciate the value it was to your loved one that passed, or sell it priced for quick sale without looking back.


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Experiences from members who Sold large lots of
PostPosted: Sep Wed 08, 2021 6:03 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 6076
Location: 253 Blanche St. Plymouth, MI USA
One interesting thing I have found is some folks sitting on piles of stuff they dont use will not take any offers. Often these are folks who could really use the money, too. Reason I have figured out is the hope that the pile is worth a lot of money (as they were mistakenly told at times by uninformed folks who are not in the hobby or biz) is of more emotional value than actually having the real value in hand and be able to use the money now. Sorta like the hope of an eternal afterlife is of far more value to poor folks than it is to richer folks usually. So, when buying stuff, logic is sometimes of no value in the negotiations !

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Mark Oppat
Antique Audio
Plymouth, MI
http://www.oldradioparts.net


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Experiences from members who Sold large lots of
PostPosted: Sep Wed 08, 2021 1:18 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 17, 2013 2:30 am
Posts: 45
Location: Bristol,CT. 06010
No doubt, just see what "others" like businesses are selling stuff for.


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