The price of keys

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by N2SUB, Feb 13, 2018.

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  1. AA4OO

    AA4OO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

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  2. N3HEE

    N3HEE Ham Member QRZ Page

    My Son is an antique dealer and also deals in vintage electronics. It's absolutely amazing what people will pay for broken vintage electronics ! He buys vintage electronics at auctions, dead or alive, and always makes money reselling them. Things that should be headed for the dumpster bring hundreds of dollars. He brings the broken ones to me to see if there is a quick fix but will not invest any more time or money in fixing them because he can make nearly as much with them broken. For example, four head VCR's bring $150 all day long broken, vintage stereo receivers from the late 1970's by Kenwood, Pioneer, Fisher, etc. bring $150-$300 all day long broken. Prices are like this because people are paying it. Visit your local dumpsters and your relatives basements and cash in !!
  3. KE4OH

    KE4OH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I bought a nice used Speed-X key at a hamfest last year. It had a very light spring, just the way I like them. Price was reasonable.

    But a crusty J-38 missing parts with a cracked base on eBay? $$$$$. Why this is, I don't know. They must have made these by the tens of thousands. And while they are decent keys, they are nothing special. I just can't fathom why they command the prices they do. You can buy a nice Navy flameproof, which is far superior in terms of build quality, for about the same price. Why is that?

    Just keep refusing to buy high priced janky keys. If you're going to pay a lot, get a nice new one.
  4. VA3VF

    VA3VF Guest

    My opinion is that most keys are not purchased to be used regularly. It's a mix of utility and collecting, with collecting taking precedence. A lot of people refer to keys as fine instruments, works of art etc., hence the desire to collect them. One collector can easily replace 4 or 5 regular key users in the market, and they are more forgiving of high prices, in order to add a particular piece to their collection.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2018
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  5. AE8W

    AE8W Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think the pricing of used equipment at hamfests is driven by the ebay effect. Vendors at hamfests price their items to what they think they see on ebay.
  6. N2SUB

    N2SUB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I look for keys that I can restore. I recently bought a J-37 mounted on a board for $15 bucks, but it was so beat up it was barely recognizable...but I'm a sucker for a J-37. Cleaned up I would sell it for $40 - $50 and it would look brand new and last for a good long time. The junk I saw at the hamfest would all need to be restored, and that's what I was looking for because I like bringing stuff back to life. But I can't pay a fully-restored price for a key that needs to be restored. It's not that much fun. Here's a before and after of another J-37 I got for a steal. The before picture is better than most of the over-priced stuff I saw. 20171115_182508.jpg 20171118_010130.jpg

    Morse Express it pretty awesome. They run the gamut on pricing, and the service is top-notch. There are many custom makers too. There was one at the hamfest, but he only had 1 straight key in his lineup, and that was north of $400. It had a good feel to it, but not $400s good.

    I'm turning into a grumpy old man, and I am killing it! Get off my lawn! :)
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  7. N2SUB

    N2SUB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  8. VA3VF

    VA3VF Guest

    I'll accept your offer...I would like an N2DAN Mercury. :D:eek::rolleyes:
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  9. N2SUB

    N2SUB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You already know code....can't unring a bell.
  10. VA3VF

    VA3VF Guest

    True...but an N2DAN Mercury would take me to the next level. I'm tired of using a knife as a cootie key.;)
    WJ4U likes this.

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