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Buying Vintage Computers and Mainframes

Once considered old junk as technology left slower computers behind, old mainframes and microcomputers have become valuable on eBay. A vintage computer terminal is an exciting find for collectors. Nostalgia is one reason people buy old computers.

Which type of antique or old computer is for sale?

Some old computers for sale, like the Apple Lisa I, are rare and highly prized. These are sometimes tracked down in garages and attics when owners discover they have a valuable antique on their hands. They are difficult to find but worth the hunt.

A 1960s IBM System/360 is one of the most significant computers ever built, so finding one is a valuable asset to any computer collection. The IBM 709 from 1957 is rare and somewhat more of a challenge to find but a worthwhile endeavor.

Here is a list of microcomputers from the 1970s to 1990s you will easily find:

  • IBM PC
  • Apple II
  • Atari
  • Commodore 64
  • Compaq DeskPro 386
Old computers have value

Old computers are for sale for many reasons. Sentimentality is one. As years go on, machines are becoming rare and, therefore, valuable. One reason people search out old and antique computers for sale is for refurbishing or retrofitting. Called retrocomputing, the trend is like a hobby. Old computer hardware and software are used to rebuild new computers, sort of like restoring old cars. As such, you'll find monitors, keyboards, and mice in addition to combinations of these items and more.

Details to consider before buying a vintage computer

You'll want to ask yourself if you're looking for a microcomputer or a mainframe. Do you want a working computer or one that no longer works? Does it come with software or floppy disks? You also might want to consider if it comes with documentation or a manual.

Making a good purchase decision when buying vintage computers on eBay

You are sure to find some good deals on vintage computers for sale if you pay attention to a few details. When browsing through the large inventory on eBay, keep these tips in mind:

  • Be certain an image of the machine is clear so that relevant details can be easily seen.
  • Look for information about whether all the keys work and if the screen displays properly.
  • Know what you are looking for before you shop for types, styles, or features.
  • Consider whether you need working accessories included. You will come across accessories by themselves, like keyboards or cables.
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