Why are hams so cheap?

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wb3cez
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Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2004 11:11 am

Why are hams so cheap?

Post by wb3cez » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:10 am

I,am the third of four generations of hams in my family. After being licensed for 37 years, I believe I,am qualified to make an observation about hams in general. Hams are probably the cheapest people with money of any group of people I have ever delt with. I have learned this not just by selling on qth, but also from many years of hamfest buying and selling. This tendency seems to be unique to hams since I never experienced this when dealing in communication equipment with CBers. I have delt with hams who have million dollar stations who will argue over a buck! I swear if I put a Kenwood TS-2000 on the hamfest table for $100.00, someone would come along and offer $50.00! Ofcourse we all want to get the best price, but hams make an art form of being cheap. Some of these guys are so tight that I think their butts squeak when they walk!

K4ICL
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The art of scrounging...

Post by K4ICL » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:53 pm

For most hams, anything they buy for the hobby is relatively expensive, so hams with little or no "hobby money" are hard pressed to set up and keep a station up and running.

Compare this hobby to some others. One does not need to pay hundreds of dollars to buy fishing equipment, unless, of course, a boat is required. Stamp collecting is relatively less expensive. Most sport related hobbies are relatively inexpensive, with exceptions of course. There are other examples, to be sure.

A new ham, just starting out, has to lay out significant resources to build a nice station. The rigs, the antennas, the power supplies, the other accessories can quickly exceed a thousand dollars--just to start out.

This motivates and amplifies the art of scrounging. For some, this is the most rewarding part of the hobby! It also motivates learning how to repair and modify electronic equipment--a must for the ham on a budget.

Besides, when something comes too easy, it is no fun at all. We are not cheap, we just like the challenge.

Lighten up, Paul. What is, is.

K4ICL
Licensed since 1959

lhk0pd
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Post by lhk0pd » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:56 pm

I agree that Hams by an large are tight but believe me are they any worse than car buyers? I want the most for the least cost and part of the fun of buying used radio gears is getting it for less than offered. Besides how many times are Hams told that the item works perfectly only to find out after buying and using that the description was say slightly exaggerated.
Larry Huff K0pd

NM7L
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Re: Why are hams so cheap?

Post by NM7L » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:47 pm

wb3cez wrote: I swear if I put a Kenwood TS-2000 on the hamfest table for $100.00, someone would come along and offer $50.00! Ofcourse we all want to get the best price, but hams make an art form of being cheap. Some of these guys are so tight that I think their butts squeak when they walk!
And when they do, there is that single-most powerful word in the English language that trumps all: NO
"These floors are dirty as hell...and I'm not gonna take it anymore!"
- Stanley Spudowski
U-62 Custodial Lead

N8QBY
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Location: Michigan

Post by N8QBY » Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:29 pm

I must agree with the original post. Not only are many hams tightwads, there are many vultures that pounce on recently deceased amateurs equipment., but that's another story. A newbie can be on the air for as little as a couple hundred dollars, and work the world with simple, low cost antennas. There won't be any vultures flying around my equipment with I go. I'll have it all tossed first.

KA2CDT
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Re: The art of scrounging...

Post by KA2CDT » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:50 pm

K4ICL wrote:For most hams, anything they buy for the hobby is relatively expensive, so hams with little or no "hobby money" are hard pressed to set up and keep a station up and running.

Compare this hobby to some others. One does not need to pay hundreds of dollars to buy fishing equipment, unless, of course, a boat is required. Stamp collecting is relatively less expensive. Most sport related hobbies are relatively inexpensive, with exceptions of course. There are other examples, to be sure.

A new ham, just starting out, has to lay out significant resources to build a nice station. The rigs, the antennas, the power supplies, the other accessories can quickly exceed a thousand dollars--just to start out.

This motivates and amplifies the art of scrounging. For some, this is the most rewarding part of the hobby! It also motivates learning how to repair and modify electronic equipment--a must for the ham on a budget.

Besides, when something comes too easy, it is no fun at all. We are not cheap, we just like the challenge.

Lighten up, Paul. What is, is.

K4ICL
Licensed since 1959
Fishing gear can be quite expensive. There are $5000 rod and real combos out there made from bamboo. A Yaesu FT-5000 runs in the $5000 range compared to an Icom IC-718 which runs in the few hundred dollar range..All three will catch you some fish. It just depends on how big! :D
Oldschool-Hams Helping Hams
73
Ronald G. DeAngelis KA2CDT
Marco Island,Florida 34145
25.95°N 81.72°W
www.KA2CDT.com

ke5oah
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Post by ke5oah » Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:30 am

:) Paul is right! Ham are tightwads and very,very picky from my observations. Some are easy going and are fair about equipment and some are down right hard to make happy. Paul is correct about the ts 2000 for a 100bucks! I have seen some guys buy a radio dirt cheap and complain about the least little blemishes. Then run around and tell their buddies that they got "took" when the radio worked just fine. I have heard hams complain about cigarette smoke,and how they can't stand and rig thats been around cigarette smoke. I don't smoke and i can smell someone light a cig 30yrds away,but it isn't enough for me to turn down a good deal! I think some hams just look for a reason to justify getting the price lowered on equipment "kinda like oil speculators". I think some hams noses are good enough to replace the drug and bomb sniffing dogs at the airports.I have been to the hamfest in Ft.Smith,Ar and acctually see men in their 60-80's run and dart toward tables soon as the doors open like olypic runners and almost trampple over each other because they knew of a cheap radio that would be there! "the night before the hamfest they were saying how hard it was going to be for them to walk and stand to look at the hamfest equipment" So i have to agree with paul 100percent. I don't know of anything else that will make "older" men toss their cains and take off in a dead run like a deal on a hf rig!

Harte
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Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:51 pm

Re:

Post by Harte » Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:13 pm

ke5oah wrote::) Paul is right! Ham are tightwads and very,very picky from my observations. Some are easy going and are fair about equipment and some are down right hard to make happy. Paul is correct about the ts 2000 for a 100bucks! I have seen some guys buy a radio dirt cheap and complain about the least little blemishes. Then run around and tell their buddies that they got "took" when the radio worked just fine. I have heard hams complain about cigarette smoke,and how they can't stand and rig thats been around cigarette smoke. I don't smoke and i can smell someone light a e cig 30yrds away,but it isn't enough for me to turn down a good deal!
Hehehehe. I don't smoke as well, but can smell someone light a cig even a handsome distance away! My mother has this smell power too.

w5HEH
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Re: Why are hams so cheap?

Post by w5HEH » Fri Sep 26, 2014 2:31 pm

I think it is because this Hobby got rolling around the depression Era Generation , and they passed on the attitude about a buck is hard to earn . Let's face it , when you buy used with no warranty , chances are it will need something in many cases . It is a hobby and a luxury , a penny saved is a penny earned kinda right of passage . Many Ham ops. were also in the Military , hence careful buying demands careful consideration . We are also a BrotherHood, (yes including the YLs,hihi) , and in many cases go the extra mile to help each other achieve our , " Dream Station" . For me , it is interesting i was a Ham as a Teen, saved up and worked part time to buy a spanking new rig , which was a lot of money . Ha ! in those days i would not consider a used piece of Electronics to pay for my hard earned Buckaroos ! Antennas are easy to make and are so important ,so learning to build them effectively is very important . Also , God forbid if the SHTF will come in handy . Now i got lucky and got a great used rig that i am amazed by and cannot relate to the super cost of the new rigs out there and frankly they would not make me any ,"Happier ", using them , i have enough Damn switches and knobs to turn ! hihi. If i was working full time still ,don't believe i would buy a new rig , some cost as much as my Kewl 4x4 Truck i picked up used ! :) Many XYLs are not as understanding about spending Household Budgets on Radio Stuff ,so many of us ,"Justify ", our purchases on how good a deal we got !

Just Have Fun, and Enjoy this great Hobby , Life is too short , so live it Fully ! 73s, "AJ" W5HEH

N4RWM
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Re: Why are hams so cheap?

Post by N4RWM » Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:32 pm

I do not negotiate, if I tell you I want $564.25 for my TS2000( I won't sell it that cheap) and you offer me $560 for it, then it is no longer for sale-to you. Offer me your TS2000 for same money and I will buy it if I have the money, no haggling, no brow beating or dissing your equipment because it has a scratch or a wear spot around the knob.

ku3x
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:43 pm

Re: Why are hams so cheap?

Post by ku3x » Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:45 pm

Some hams are cheap and some hams are not cheap.

How many people on this forum pay sticker price when they go and purchase a car, new or used?

Who doesn't like a bargin? Just because someone offers a lower price for what you are selling does not mean they are cheap. They very well may be? But it's not written in stone that they are cheap just
because they do ask.

I set a price and it's a fair price. Take it or leave it. Now if I am selling something for $1000 and some idiot decides to offer me $600, that's something different.

When someone posts an add on QTH and says, " Call for pricing " it usually (?) goes without saying he wants WAY too much for what he is selling. Then, as soon as someone offers him a fair price, he
is then called CHEAP.

Bottom line, "Cheap is a personality trait and is not all hams that have that trait."

Barry G. Kery, KU3X
Last edited by ku3x on Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

W3ATT
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Re: Why are hams so cheap?

Post by W3ATT » Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:38 pm

When I see something I want, I wait until one comes up at a good price.. But when I see the good price, I send an email or call and say I'll take it at your price. No offers, no haggling.. It's already a good price, so why risk losing it altogether?

If I know its a good price, other hams do too and it won't last long, so I get it while I can.

But then again, I might be a little different, because I can wait for the good deals to come around.

Most of the problem might happen when someone tries to get more than what it's worth, so of course the low ballers are going to creep in.

Oh, and if you want a good price for an item you're selling, put it on eBay, not qrz. Keeps me out of the 'low offers' game.

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