The price of Commodore 64’s is getting out of control.

I’ve been looking on and off the last year, and they all seem to be $100 USD minimum for one that is either ‘as-is’ or broken. Good working ones are selling for double or more.

I’ve been disappointed, as I haven’t played with one in years.

Commodore 64 C

And then as a fluke I found an auction for a kind of beat up Commodore 64c for a mere £40! Naturally shipping it to Hong Kong was going to cost more than that, and with all the Wuhan Flu thing going on, I really didn’t expect it to show up any time soon. Yet, one week after I bought it, the Commodore arrived!

It’s a little dirty, but overall it feels okay. I was a bit nervous if it would even turn on. However as it was in the UK, the power supply is already 220v, and the TV I have in the office is PAL (it should have had SCART too, but they sent me the UK one, not the continental one ….)

Now for those who have never setup a PAL Commodore before, they output to CHANNEL 4. The cable to the TV (LEAD, lol!) has 2 different ends to it, so only one side goes to the TV, and the other to the equipment. Unlike NTSC, there is no channel 3/4 select, nor is there an external RF modulator, it’s all contained in the 64c’s chassis.

Nice.

I had to wave my phone around for a bit to get the TV to scan the analog band with the Commodore powered up, but after 5 minutes, it finally had done it’s scan and I could behold the hew of the blue screen.

It looks much better in person, but yeah there it is. I haven’t’ had time to do much else, but I wanted to share this quick bit.

I also got a datasette with it, but I’m oddly enough out of audio cassettes. It feels so weird to have no software for a machine.

Asking some suppliers I was able to get some 10 packs of 60 minute tapes for 元 27.5, or approximately $3.75 for a pack of 10. If this were 1982 I could be a media mogel! But in 2020 I suspect that I can measure the demand for new tapes on one finger.

I have big plans for this little thing. Although amateur surgery may be part of it.

13 thoughts on “The price of Commodore 64’s is getting out of control.

  1. Pretty cool, looking forward to this. As someone also disappointed at their price online, I guess I can live vicariously through your blog.

    • It’s just going to be very slow as getting stuff from Europe or even China is going to take a long time.

      I have a lead on where to pick up some cassettes, but it’s not very close to where I’m at. It’s funny how something as once ubiquitous as the audio cassette is now so hard to find.

      I should probably start trying to source diskettes. I’ve heard there is one factory still making them, but I am unsure of anything beyond that.

      Prices are getting insane though. I have a feeling that before the decade is over, a working c64 will be well over $500.

        • they sell penty of these hats on ebay, but oddly enough nobody sells them with the Pi. And those things are crazy expensive! I’ve never found a pizero for sale with stock, but 3’s cost 50 USD+++++ and 4’s well forget about it.

          It’s like 1983 all over again, the cheapest thing will be the c64, I’ll end up having spent a lot more on peripherals.

  2. Those prices are a scam. #C made >15 million of those, they arent rare at all. I see at least 20 listed under $50 in Poland right now. Here you can just ask around and someone is bound to have one stashed in the basement/attic, it was the most popular 8bit platform locally.
    Working SID chip on the other hand might be a problem, manufacturing process used means most died (randomly failing analog part of the chip) of old age already.

  3. Hi,
    Congrats on getting your c64. I have a couple myself plus a couple c64dtv’s and a c64 mini.
    I used to complain about the prices, but the thing is, if they were only worth 5usd, they would all be rotting in landfills long before now.
    People who don’t care about them, find them, see what they are worth and sell them on eBay, rather than throwing them out – good by me!
    There’s lots of cool stuff you can do with your c64, have fun!

    • That would have been to cosmically awesome, but sadly no. I got this from demonology7789

      However I do see that you have a bunch of software…. Can you do some good combination shipping to Hong Kong?

  4. I have a 64c back at my parents place (240v, PAL), and I’m now living in the land of 110v NTSC. Do you know what challenges I’d face in shipping it over? I haven’t booted it in ~15 years though, and I don’t know how many of the floppies would be readable.

    (PS. “amateur surgery” might be contributing to high prices.)

    • In the old days the biggest problem was NTSC vs PAL.

      But the Chinese TV I use (and if imagine most others) can support both standards.

      I have a Japanese megadrive, an American Genesis, and the pal c64. The TV can drive them all just fine.

      I’m 220v land so I have to use inverters although for the Sega stuff I have 220v power supplies and I can drive stuff directly.

      I’d imagine all you need is a recent TV/monitor and a native 110v PSU. RF/coax is totally different between the UK/USA so you will need composite cables.

      I’d say get a SD2IEC type adapter / pi emulator as it’ll be easier to transfer disk images and not deal with the impossibility of sourcing physical disks.

      I ordered a bunch of SD2IEC all in one completed emulators, but all mail out of Poland is now halted. I expected people unable to receive from China, but not send? Sigh.

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