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Old 15 November 2019, 22:47   #1
CLXIV
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Cheap Amigas

Hello everyone,

I love the Amiga but I've never owned one (I have very fond memories of many, many hours of gaming on my best friend's A500+ when I was younger).

I've always wanted one and decided it's time to finally try and get my hands on one, but I really don't like how expensive they are on eBay.

I was wondering if anyone has any advice or recommendations on how to get a bargain on one? Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 15 November 2019, 23:30   #2
Glen M
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WinUAE is free and the cheapest way to experience Amiga.

Cheapest way to get a real one is to watch the classifieds such as gumtree here in the UK. I got an A500 for £20 and an A1200 for £100 i.e. a fraction of eBay prices.
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Old 15 November 2019, 23:44   #3
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WinUAE is free and the cheapest way to experience Amiga.

Cheapest way to get a real one is to watch the classifieds such as gumtree here in the UK. I got an A500 for £20 and an A1200 for £100 i.e. a fraction of eBay prices.
Appreciate the advice Glen and that's an amazing deal on the A500 (both actually). I was thinking about Gumtree (Amibay too) but there's no buyer protection there is there? So you could get scammed and lose your money?
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Old 15 November 2019, 23:46   #4
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Hi.
One way is trading. But that obviously depends if you have something of interest to the person willing to trade. Do you collect any other computers/consoles for example.
Also depending on where you work you can bite the bullet and let out your interested in old computers and you might be surprised what might crop up.
Just be careful of people not knowing what they are selling and want to charge a fortune. Hardware is old and has its foibles. Capacitor and battery leakage, disk drives failing and yellowing of plastic.

It can be a bit of a rabbit hole of needing to buy other parts to overcome issues. For example floppy disks are very flaky now. Need to move to a Gotek or if a A1200 then running a Compact Flash card as a IDE harddrive, but then you really need extra memory to run WHDLoad games (and excellent way of playing games).

As said you could start off trying WinUAE or an emulator on Raspberry Pi 3.

Oh FPGA is also a good alternative. The is MiST , UnAMIGA , MiSTer.
Most devices you can use USB devices, SCART RBG or VGA or HDMI and you get other systems also for free. MiST has loads of computers and consoles. Really active developers at the moment. It has rare computer 'Cores' such as Sam Coupe and Archimedes

Last edited by Higgy; 15 November 2019 at 23:52. Reason: Added FPGA info.
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Old 16 November 2019, 00:00   #5
Glen M
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Appreciate the advice Glen and that's an amazing deal on the A500 (both actually). I was thinking about Gumtree (Amibay too) but there's no buyer protection there is there? So you could get scammed and lose your money?
Well if buying from gumtree make sure to see the machine before giving over any money i.e. do the deal face to face.
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Old 16 November 2019, 00:13   #6
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Hi.
One way is trading. But that obviously depends if you have something of interest to the person willing to trade. Do you collect any other computers/consoles for example.
Also depending on where you work you can bite the bullet and let out your interested in old computers and you might be surprised what might crop up.
Just be careful of people not knowing what they are selling and want to charge a fortune. Hardware is old and has its foibles. Capacitor and battery leakage, disk drives failing and yellowing of plastic.

It can be a bit of a rabbit hole of needing to buy other parts to overcome issues. For example floppy disks are very flaky now. Need to move to a Gotek or if a A1200 then running a Compact Flash card as a IDE harddrive, but then you really need extra memory to run WHDLoad games (and excellent way of playing games).

As said you could start off trying WinUAE or an emulator on Raspberry Pi 3.

Oh FPGA is also a good alternative. The is MiST , UnAMIGA , MiSTer.
Most devices you can use USB devices, SCART RBG or VGA or HDMI and you get other systems also for free. MiST has loads of computers and consoles. Really active developers at the moment. It has rare computer 'Cores' such as Sam Coupe and Archimedes
Lot of good advice here. I should have mentioned to begin with though that I'm really after original hardware (I run FS-UAE which is great, but not quite the same).

I was planning on Retrobrighting and re-capping (will start new threads for advice on those although I had heard that A500s used good caps and only the A1200 capacitors need swapping?).

I'd really like to run the games from floppy, but I know I'll be limited in what I can get hold of that is still in working order. That being said, the original Lemmings is what I want most and those don't seem to be too rare (thanks to the Cartoon Classics pack I guess).

Trade is a good idea and something I had considered. I have some old systems (PSX, original XBox, Wii) but they're not particularly valuable unfortunately.
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Old 16 November 2019, 03:43   #7
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If you're sure you want a classic Amiga, decide whether you want to to fix it up yourself or buy a well refurbished system, there will be a big difference in price.
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Old 16 November 2019, 04:06   #8
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Usually only A1200, A600 and A4000 need new caps. The caps in A1000, A500 and A2000 at least to not tend to leak.
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Old 16 November 2019, 04:57   #9
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Usually only A1200, A600 and A4000 need new caps. The caps in A1000, A500 and A2000 at least to not tend to leak.

add CD32 to that , also just to say that a CD32 with a TF expansion TF328/TF330 is another alternative to get an Amiga with affordable accelerator/ram options and hard drive.
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Old 16 November 2019, 13:27   #10
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grelbfarlk, I'm actually quite looking forward to doing it myself, though it will be an entirely new experience (I've never even soldered) so I'll need to do some research first so I know what I'm doing! Something already re-capped appeals just in terms of me not risking killing the thing with solder, but think I'll risk it and just take care doing it.

xubidoo, are we adding CD32 to the leaking three or the non-leaking three? I'm guessing from your avatar it's not the non-leaking three but isn't the CD32 essentially just an A1200 with CD anyway? They definitely appeal but they're crazy expensive and not really the memories I'm trying to resurrect.

R4M... gonna hold you to that ;-) (but not really)
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Old 16 November 2019, 17:31   #11
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Cheapest way to get a real one is to watch the classifieds such as gumtree here in the UK. I got an A500 for £20 and an A1200 for £100 i.e. a fraction of eBay prices.
Shpock is another option.

Boot fairs are a possibility but I don't think I've seen an Amiga at one. I did pick up a C64 with 2 1541's and datassette for £30 though. No cables or power supply.

My friend saw a big box Amiga going cheap in Scotland. He was ready to drive from London to Scotland to pick it up but the guy realised this and pulled out
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Old 16 November 2019, 17:39   #12
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Thanks, I didn't know about Shpock. Competitive price on there for a CD32. That's a very nice deal on the C64! Did you recap and/or Retrobrite?
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Old 18 November 2019, 11:07   #13
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are we adding CD32 to the leaking three or the non-leaking three?
Absolutely adding the CD32 to the leaking cap category. Many are starting to show up on eBay etc with damage in so much as corrupt display, missing sound etc which all points to leaking caps and other damaged components!

In some ways I'd consider the A600 the worst for cap damage then the CD32 then the A1200 and A4000. Thats not to say an A1200 won't be damaged by leaking caps (it can be) but it appears the 600 and CD32 more commonly suffer damage. Hope that makes sense.
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Old 18 November 2019, 15:18   #14
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One potential untapped resource for machines is auctions but you really need to be close them or you'll be paying some serious handling and postage fees.

But for anyone close currently in Essex - https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/s...archTerm=amiga
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Old 18 November 2019, 18:51   #15
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You come into the game far too late for cheap stuff. A lot of us have Amigas because we didn't chuck them back in the 90s in exchange for a SNES or something like that.

Sadly today collecting and making everything retro be "cool" has made Amiga prices impossible Lucky for you you live in a country like me where there were and are a lot of Amigas so finding good deals on Gumtree is not completely far-fetched. You've got to keep an eye out, every day, and be quick.
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Old 18 November 2019, 21:12   #16
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Glen M, good advice in general, though this one isn't close to me unfortunately. Apparently eBay is a lot more reasonable if you do auctions instead of 'buy now', but I know bidding on eBay is tricky now that everyone has last-minute sniping browser extensions... probably worth me looking into that though, how to bid last minute effectively.

Bren McGuire, yeah I am getting that distinct impression. I'll keep an eye out though and hopefully eventually get lucky.
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Old 19 November 2019, 18:15   #17
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Bidding on ebay and focusing on the A1200 (the best option IMO as it plays everything).
I bought my first A1200 about 2 years ago for £130. It was a charity auction on ebay, no box and looked a terrible state, but it turned out to be quite good and not as yellow as the photo made it appear to be. I was happy with it as it worked fine and only needed a good clean. Would have been even more ecstatic if there was an accelerator in the trap door as many listings don't (or state they don't) know anything about them and they'd not put any answered question asking if there was a card in it.
My second was about a year ago for £220 on ebay, but this time with box and I'd noticed the price they were going for had jumped up quite a bit over a short time to around £200 minimum to £300 for a boxed magic pack (The more sought after Escom one).

I found on both auctions I was bidding against traders. These are clearly seen as their feedback score is huge, but they have to make a profit so it's worth sticking it out. Logic is, if they can buy it to sell on then its worth the money.
I found on many occasions that the winning bid sometimes way past the expected price usually has no feed back rating (Shill Bid) and the listing is re advertised with a furious seller explaining why its Re-listed.
Watch what they are going for first (use recent completed items) and set you own limit as its easy to pay over the odds. Wait until the last 10 seconds (It gets a bit nervy) and bang in your bid. Ignore the current bid and put in what you are willing to pay not the next increment you think should be enough to win the auction. 9 out of 10 times it wont be enough.

This method works for me

Last edited by sneckburger; 19 November 2019 at 18:22.
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Old 19 November 2019, 21:31   #18
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Amiga prices, like most retro consoles and computers are ridiculously over priced. Unfortunately I think as someone already mentioned, the days of getting them cheap are long gone.
You can occasionally find bargains on the sites mentioned and also Facebook Marketplace.

The only drawback to all these is even someone who doesnt know about them now searches ebay and the like and assumes that £150 for an A500 (untested usually lol) is acceptable
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Old 19 November 2019, 21:55   #19
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@sneckburger Really good eBay advice here - appreciate it! The A1200 is an incredible machine and easily my most desired model (why do you own two by the way?), but the A500s are great too and will play most of what I want for a far lower price.

Why is the Escom one more sought after? Isn't it just lacking the C= and has a PC floppy drive instead of the proper one? I think I'd far prefer a Commodore personally.

@Tajmaster haha yeah, I think 95% of the time, "untested" really means they tested it, concluded it was broken / faulty, and figured they can get away with selling it anyway and won't have to accept it being returned. The pre-owned market really doesn't bring out the best in people.
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Old 19 November 2019, 23:53   #20
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The ones already in circulation have become expensive as many people have said.

Last May I was telling a Slack group about a retro computer thing I was building and a guy popped up and said "Hey I have an A1200 I don't use, want it?" Couldn't believe my luck! Accessories too.

So one way to find yourself a machine is to make it known you want some. You may not hit the jackpot but you can take action. Drop a note to school principals in your area; explain that you like old computer gear and you would remove anything for free, and donate to their library/whatever if there is anything valuable. Put an ad in the classifieds in your area, like Gumtree - "wanted old Amiga computers, will collect and pay cash".

On eBay I think the best bargains are buy it now but you have to look every day and be quick. If you don't see bargains via buy it now it's probably because someone bought it before you looked! There are enough eyeballs that time-limited auctions tend to always go to a predictable price. And don't discount eBay outside your own country. I am in Australia and UK and USA sites have far more Amiga gear at far better prices. Some will ship, some won't - if you don't have friends in those places who would receive and re-ship for you, make some.

But in 2019 it is getting very hard. About three weeks ago there was a retro computer auction on the outskirts of Melbourne. Well publicised, well attended, and they offered online bidding too. Prices were probably higher than eBay :-(
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