Advice For Sellers Of Vintage Computers, Retro Games Consoles & Handhelds (when using ebay uk)Include as many photos as possible, especially photos of your computer or console working, ie. with the tv / monitor displaying a working game, in the same shot as the computer/console.
This will reassure many potential buyers that your machine actually works.
A single picture featuring just the box will not do. It could be empty.
A photo lifted from a retro gaming website will not do either.
Show them it's your computer, and that it works.
List every item that is included with your machine, such as power supplies, joypads, mice, software, cables.
If your machine is expanded in any way, list every item.
The golden rule is, if it's included, list it.
If there are any items that a buyer would normally expect to be with a machine, that aren't included in your sale, eg mice, joysticks, etc, list them.
Potential buyers are much more trusting of sellers who are open about items that aren't included.
Test your machine and state whether it is fully functional, or list any functions that aren't working.
And I do mean test fully. Don't just turn it on and see if the power light comes on. Does it get a clear picture? Do all the keys or controls work? Do the mice or joysticks work? Do the drives work?
To get people bidding, you need to win their trust, and how can they bid in confidence if you can't be bothered to test the machine you are selling?
If it is bog standard, don't bother listing all of the original technical specs of your machine.
Buyers will either already know these, be able to find them for themselves, or simply not care.
Do however give as much information about your particular machine as possible. How long have you owned it? Have you used it much, or recently? Does it have any marks, scratches or visible defects? Does it have any quirks that a buyer would wish to know about.. sticky keys, etc?
Do not be tempted to put "Rare" in your description unless you truly know what you are talking about.
99% of vintage computers and consoles really aren't very rare at all and just because you haven't seen one of your particular machine in the shops for the past 20 years, doesn't make it rare.
Chances are, there are 4 or 5 of them listed right now, and even if there aren't, there will almost certainly be more examples around soon.
While calling your machine rare may draw in a few people, most knowledgeable buyers will dismiss you as either trying to pull a fast one, or simply as someone who doesn't know what they are talking about.
The simple truth is, if it isn't a ZX80, Jupiter Ace, Elan Enterprise, TRS80 1 to 4, Sharp MZ80(A, B, or K), CoCo III, Amiga One, or some other exotic thing, it most likely isn't that rare at all.
The easiest test of rarity is this. Ask several (preferably 30+, non-retro-gaming expert) friends if they have ever heard of your machine. If any of them say "I remember those", trust me, it isn't rare.
Setting a "buy it now" price, and then setting a starting bid at only a few pounds below that price, is shooting yourself in the foot.
If the "buy it now" is high, then people simply won't bid, as they have nothing to gain from doing so.
This being the case, you lose the benefit of a potential bidding war, as your "buy it now" effectively sets a ceiling for the final value.
People will either "buy it now", or they won't buy it at all.
The only way it makes sense to have a "buy it now", while still accepting bids, is to set a low starting bid, and have a high "buy it now".
You may not make as much money as you'd ideally like, but you will get a sale... or then if you're lucky, a bidding war may prompt someone to "buy it now", at your high price, rather than risk not winning the bidding.
Ultimately, people like to have a choice.
Are you being realistic about the price you want? Do people really want your item as much as you think they should?
If you don't want to lose a sale and waste the price of listing, forcing people's hand may not be your best option, so give this some careful thought.
Finally, one last but important piece of advice for sellers.... sell in summer. Don't ask me why, because I don't know, but you will very likely get a better price than if selling in winter.