Originally Posted by nebs0n
I'm curious, LS, how often do you come across a TBC-1000 in the wild that is actually good or working condition? Most I've seen advertised (outside of the marketplace, here) don't appear to be in good condition. I would imagine each unit requires a lot of TLC (and the knowledge to go with it). I know I've sent you some eBay
links in our previous PMs, but it still pains me to see people get scammed there, regardless of all the warnings.
TL;DR answer: Almost never, now, in the 2020s.
The TBC-1000 units were available new from B&H
/etc from about '98 to about '07. But EOL was in the early 00s, so anything from about 05-07 (some before, some after) was NOS. The used market had a put, a max/min resell. The only buyers and sellers were users. Bad units were rarely sold.
Other TBCs (Cypress models/rebadges, other DataVideo models, etc) track similarly.
Very often, discontinued still-in-demand/need pro gear appreciates from the used to new price (or more). But we hit the 08-09 recession, and values were instead falsely low for several years. A forced selling situation, anything with value must go, for any price. Again, all buyers and seller were users. Bad units were rarely sold. So a $250 used TBC-1000 was not unheard off, even somewhat common for a while.
As the 2010s approached the 2020s, price appreciated from supply/demand to the normal 66-200% used range, and those first two waves of buyers held on to their gear. Opportunist resellers, who new nothing of the gear, began to sell it without knowing what it was, nor cared. So bad units tricked in to the marketplace. Suddenly the majority of gear was being resold by recyclers and "Storage Wars" type resellers.
At the same time, gear was degrading. Mostly from careless handling and usage (especially college students, former lab gear auctioned off). So even good people would start to pass out bad gear without realizing it.
Starting in 2019, something major happened to the TBC-1000 especially, the market was flooded was flawed units. Most originated in Canada and the upper northern states. My guess is a warehouse of bad units (replaced by warranty, failed repairs, etc) was auctioned off. The buyer(s) thought they hit gold, but instead it was a steady stream of garbage into the marketplace.
Starting after 2019, costs started to heavily appreciate not due to simply supply/demand, but the amount of time, parts, and donor units needed to renew a unit.
Back around 2016, certain politicians seemed to give horrible people permission to be their worst selves, and it has snowballed to this day. It hit the TBC market as well starting about 2018, and the rude shady shysters were out in full force as we entered the 2020s. Almost all TBCs sold now are from recyclers -- the shady, rude, know-nothing kind.
The "good" recyclers seem to have disappeared. Several reliable recyclers used to contact me when they came across something on my "contact me list", but that has severely dwindled since 2020.
In the 2020s, gear aging has accelerated, failures are way too common now with certain models. The TBC-1000 is badly affected, the green AVT-8710 somewhat. The units can often be fixed, but not always. A broken unknown unit is NOT worth $1k+, or even $500, when irreparable is a possible outcome. When you don't know, it's only worth pennies on the dollar. I've actually sold a few problem units for a decent discount, sometimes demand outstripped my time, but I knew exactly what was wrong (and the buyer fixed it with my quick notes and guidance). Known vs. unknown.
These days, non-crap gear tends to trade offline (or at least online but off-eBay
), this site's marketplace, and more rarely the used section of reliable AV gear sites (Adorama
Quite a few sellers/resellers have sought me out directly, as they know I'll buy gear for a fair price, free of fees and other BS. If there are issues, I can often fix, not have to return. And I'm far more pleasant to deal with than random eBay buyers. It's not just the eBay sellers that suck these days, but buyers as well -- as per above, politicians giving permission to be worst selves, society in general needs a slap upside the head.