The Sinclair
Spectrum Games
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SINCLAIR SPECTRUM AUCTIONS

If you are looking to buy good condition, second hand Spectrum stuff (and don't want to spend hours trawling car boot sales and jumble sales), the best place, period, point blank, is eBay.

Despite the fact I have been an Internet journo for about two years, I had never used eBay until Summer 2001. But, I can honestly say, hand on heart, that it works and it is BRILLIANT!

I only buy and sell on eBay UK but there's always tonnes of Speccy stuff up there, with new stuff added every day. Prices start ridiculously low (to create interest), but items like mint ZX81s can end up near £100, having attracted dozens of bids.

ROUGH PRICE GUIDE

To give you some idea of what items sell for, here's a list of the Speccy stuff I've auctioned over the last three months (excluding postage)...

Wafadrive 1 by LERM (1985). Final Price : 2.70.
Eight Great Spectrum Games From The 80s. Final Price : 6.55.
Sinclair ZX Microdrive + 4 Carts + Manual. Final Price : 26.00.

Sinclair ZX81 (non-working) + 16k RAM pack. Final Price : 11.03
Rubber-Keyed ZX Spectrum 48k. Final Price : 21.00

Working Spectrum 48ks and 128k +2s start off as low as £2, and usually work their way up to around £20-£25, depending on how many games and peripherals are included.

You can also find rare 128k machines, and even +3s, which also start at only a few pounds but can end up over £30 and beyond, depending on what the total package includes.

Some sellers even offer individual games, starting at £1.00 each, but a lot of these remain unsold. It hardly seems worth the effort to list so many - better to sell them as a job lot! But if you are an original game collector, you may find a few hidden gems on eBay.

SPECCY BUYERS TIPS

  • Have a good look before bidding. The chances are that there will be several auctions of the same product, all at different prices. Use the search facility to find the cheapest.
  • Check a seller's feedback before placing a bid. The majority are excellent but you get the occasional poor performer.
  • Ignore anything with a starting price of over £10. That's way too high and the seller will probably be forced to re-auction it later at a lower price.
  • Try and leave your bids until the last possible moment. Search results are always listed in date order, with the auctions finishing soonest shown first. If you see something you like the look of, wait until there's only a few minutes remaining and slip in there with a bid. If you time it right, the auction will close before anyone else can outbid you.
  • Watch out for postage costs! Sellers will usually state the P&P along with the item. If not, email the seller before you bid. Hardware sometimes comes with a P&P charge as high as £12, so make sure you read the small print.
  • ONLY BID IF YOU REALLY WANT SOMETHING! Sounds obvious but if you win the auction you are obliged to but the item. If you break the agreement, you will get back feedback on your feedback file and people will avoiding buying from or selling to you. Play fair and everyone will be happy!
  • Check what type of payment the seller accepts and settle up as quick as possible, as this will earn you positive feedback.

SPECCY SELLERS TIPS

  • Don't set the starting price too high. Think what price you would be really happy to sell the item for and start at about 1/3 of that. Okay, there's the risk you might not get your ideal price, but with so much of the same Speccy stuff on offer, a low price is essential to help attract bidders.
  • Include a picture with your description of the item. It's proven beyond doubt that photos help sell products and many people will simply not bid if they can't see what they might be buying.
  • Always answer enquiries promptly and politely, as if these people decide to bid they will inevitably push the price up. Having said this, don't mislead them about what you are selling to try and get them to join in.
  • Make your postage charges crystal clear and stick to them.
  • Pack items well when you post them to people, or you could end up with negative feedback. If there's a delay in despatching an item, or you discover an item has got broken and can no longer be sold, inform the buyer immediately. Most people are very understanding - as long as they are kept informed via polite, friendly emails.

The other important thing is... HAVE FUN! eBay is a great way to buy and sell Speccy stuff, so click on the banner below to join the cyber car boot sale of the 21st century NOW!!!

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