Vintage calculators and audio gear are among the items coveted most often by vintage
electronics collectors. Condition is extremely important, so thoroughly inspect
and research item.
The following websites have photo galleries and other information to help you identify
and describe vintage electronics:
Age, moisture, and temperature and humidity fluctuations can also contribute to
deterioration of speaker cones and other delicate parts, so find out how the item
was stored and when it was last cleaned or repaired.
Things to test:
If possible, hook up audio components to an existing system to test functionality
of speakers, receivers, etc. If this isn’t possible, you can sell the item “as-is”
but the final sales price and number of bids will be lower.
If the item doesn’t function fully, it might still be valuable; research comparable
items to see whether they’re sold for parts or “as-is.”
It’s helpful to include close-up photos of all controls and panels, as well as logos,
stickers and other markings.
Vintage electronics should be stored in a well-ventilated room, away from children,
pets and smoke. Don’t place an item next to heating vents or air conditioners either,
since temperature and humidity changes can cause damage. Cigarette smoke can damage
sensitive electronics, so ask the owner if the item came from a smoke-free environment.
Large consumer electronics should be double-boxed and insured for protection during
shipment. Use the original packaging whenever possible to store and ship an electronic
item. If the original packaging is unavailable, use boxes made of a durable corrugated
cardboard for the outer and inner cartons. If feasible, enclose each item in an
anti-static bag. You will need to use a cushioning material, on all six sides, to
protect the item from shock. Foam is best, but if it is not available, bubble wrap
should be used as a substitute. Do not use styrofoam, peanuts, or popcorn in the
inner box since they will not support the item in all directions during shipping.
If shipping more than one item in a box, ensure that the items do not touch, and
that they are each cushioned individually. Remove all accessories, including cables
and remotes, wrap them separately and place them in the box away from other items.
Tubes are very delicate and should be removed and wrapped individually in bubble
wrap. Be careful when removing them because they’re easy to damage; you may also
risk hurting yourself on exposed capacitors that still hold a charge. To understand
the dangers and how to avoid them, visit the website at http://www.kbapps.com/tubeamptips.html.
Turntables are very delicate and require special packaging. Visit the website at
for an online packaging tutorial.