IBM RS6000 Antiques Roadshow

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Coming to a datacenter corner near you…
Dust off those old systems because it’s the IBM RS6000 Antiques Roadshow!

While this program wouldn’t be incredibly exciting to anyone outside of the Unix world, there are definitely finds to be had. In our marketplace of server, storage and networking gear, older equipment can suddenly jump in value. An outdated system or part will often encounter an unexpected blip in demand or it could be in such limited supply that it goes from obsolete to coveted antique.

For example, take the IBM RS/6000 C20 Server. A base configuration originally sold new from IBM for $11,500 list. As of last year, these could be picked up for as low as $200 each. Then, something strange happened in the long-stagnant C20 market. A government or maintenance client must have made a significant purchase of them as they suddenly were nowhere to be found. Due to this scarcity, values are on the rise and the base now sells for upwards of $800. Now that isn’t like finding a Van Gogh behind a cheap coffee shop canvas, but it’s surely better to get something back for your gear than to pay somebody else to scrap it.

The value of components also often jumps due to supply and demand factors. The IBM 2975 10/100/1000 Base-T Ethernet feature became a very expensive card last year. These adapters list for $1,333-$1,600 (depending on which system they’re being installed into), yet on the used market you couldn’t find one below $1,600 due to the high demand. Fortunately, they have now fallen back to a more rational price of around $650 each.

Keep in mind these are sales prices and stocking prices will always vary based on existing inventory and long-term sales prospects. It’s normal for equipment to slowly decrease in value – these increases are very much the exception.

Nonetheless, it’s worth taking a look at that dusty pile of systems you’ve been meaning to scrap, and take a minute to run it by a remarketer. You might just find an antique surprise in the lot. If not, we can typically arrange the freight and take the gear off of your hands.

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