Apple Collectors: what is the best path to max value when selling my collection?


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 14, 2014
I've been accumulating computers, electronic devices, and related things since 1980. I recently started unpacking all the stuff I had stored away and its hitting me just how much stuff I have. Eight Apple IIs of various configs, a MacII (vi, I think), Performas/Centrises/Quadras, a couple of PowerMacs, and I keep finding more stuff. I just did a major renovation/addition and even with that, the collection is taking up too much space. I originally wanted to build a replica Computerland in a room here, sort of my version of Peter's Luna City Arcade, just with vintage computers, but I've moved on now.

I've already sold off an amazing Newton collection - one of nearly every device up to the 2100, including some amazing accessories - and thrown out the non-working stuff, some of which I've really regretted (internal battery leaked and ruined my perfect MagicCap). I sold off my complete AT&T 3B2 with full hardbound documentation. I also tossed my very complete HP3000 mini with several dumb terminals, before finding out that certain government agencies were looking for replacement units and paying top dollar. After that I decided I would be a lot more selective and efficient with what I'm doing and start asking for advice.

I only want to keep a couple of things and lose the rest. My original Apple II from 1981, my best IIgs (along with the full shelves stocked with software, new in the box, and the Dreher CF internal drive), maybe a PowerMac so I can play some of the early 90s games when I feel like it.

I look at what I've unpacked so far and it fills a rolling wire shelf rack to a height of 7 feet. I can't even fit it through the door. and I have a lot more to go. (I haven't even gotten to the boxes full of docs and magazines, my Creative Computing and SoftTalk collection, TSE Hardside catalogs....)

My foundational question, I think, is "in what state would this stuff be worth the most?" Should I try to sell the computers as-is to fellow collectors, or should I pull the internals and toss the cases, then sell the mainboards and related stuff as replacement parts to people restoring their machines? That would take up far less storage space while it was waiting to go, but it would have no value to someone trying to start a collection compared to complete working machines. I'm sure I'll end up listing all the things on eBay, eventually, but the foundational question stands.

Advice is appreciated.