Posted by: Kai_LeRai | June 29, 2008

The ripping off goes on

Whenever novelty hardware for a long dead system appears on the market, expectations by the fans spark up to acquire the rare piece of heaven. Too bad that also the expectations of the seller spark sky high when they expect huge profits. We all saw that happen with the prototype zip drive for Dreamcast that made it to eBay, but never into a fan’s home.

Finding prototypes for sale is a rare occasion, so thank Sega that they created their own little arsenal of hard to get goodies. I’m talking about their Dream Point Bank. Some special japanese Sega goods came with a Dream Point card. You could register the product online at the so called Dream Point Bank. The more you bought, the more points you collected and those could be exchanged into more or less unique goodies. One of the most exclusive ones, which only few people saw with their own eyes and even fewer owned must have been the Dreamcast Dreampoint Casio Portable TV Divers, a portable Screen that was powered by batteries.

Finding this stuff is rare and getting it is usually determined by a good portion of luck and a heavy diet on your wallet’s side. Seems that at least the luck is in a good mood, because right now the wealthy collector is able to pick up another Dream Point Bank exclusive – an Aiwa Dreamcast CD-Player.

The seller wants a freaking 100 Euro plus shipping for it. That even beats the zip-drive seller, because at least that guy offered something unique. But hey, the seller offers an option to offer my own price. Just to check out his reaction, I sent him a 20 Euro offer, which was automatically turned down a second later. Seems that he really has high hopes to milk the stupid, but rich ones. I guess I would need to offer at least 50 Euro to not being turned down immediately and to get a reaction. I won’t do that though, as I’m pretty sure I would end up paying for this overpriced door stopper, because I can’t see why anyone else would want to offer even more. Just for comparison: the above portable Casio TV went for US$50 (=EURO 33) in October 2007 on eBay. Think about that if you really consider pumping money into that CD-Player.

Let’s take a look at that Aiwa Player. It’s a simple discman that was produced by Aiwa back in 1999 or even earlier with the model number XP-V310. The discman reads CD-R/W-discs and comes with a feature called DSL, which stands for Dynamic Super Linear Bass and allowed to raise the bass to two additional levels of intensity. The player has no support for MP3-playback, or even antishock, which really shows its age. It is powered by 2 batteries, which allow for up to 12 hours of listening fun with the player’s so called “long play” function. It seemed to have been a common gift for bonus programs. Sega wasn’t the only one, who offered it. Webmiles, a German bonus program also offered this player, when people had acquired enough bonus points when shopping at participating shops.

So the player is technically not just old, but ancient. Its quality is supposed to be good, but that doesn’t justify the price of 100 big ones… not in 2008. In 2001, the player sold for about 50 Euro. A quick check showed that you can get this thing for 5 Euro nowadays, but I’m talking about the normal edition. The last time I saw this thing was in September 2007. Back then the seller wanted US$99 (=Euro 66). Selling it new and unopened like the current seller does sure justifies a slightly higher price than only 5 Euro, but only slightly, because old hardware is practically worthless compared to recent devices unless it offers unique features or superior quality. Both is not the case here. So if you throw in the novelty bonus (=old player you can get everywhere, but in a terrible color with a transparent lid stamped with the “Sega Dreamcast” Logo), then I reckon 50 Euro should more than cover it. Everything above that, can be considered a rip-off from the seller’s side and utter stupidity from the buyer. Personally, I believe that this player shouldn’t be sold for more than 20 Euro and even that already borders on robbery, but I’m certain that some desperate collectors that pay any price will help keeping prices for this stuff high.

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