Midnight Pub

Regretful Purchases


What are some of the things you most regret either buying or not buying? Some of these will stay with me to my dying day.

It seems niche gear and nostalgia inducing items have really exploded in the past several years even as the financial situation of many continues to be more precarious than before.

Not too long ago there was a later model Symbolics Lisp machine keyboard on eBay from Italy with only one keycap broken, and it went for under a grand (no idea what the top limit the winner was willing to bid was but given what a new Keymacs repro costs he got the original for a steal). We can't all be lucky enough to score an earlier model Symbolics keyboard in a thrift store like happened in Canada on Reddit recently.



I used to be into Lego Star Wars, and ten years ago the scene was nothing like it is now. I saw this guy for $400 back in university, and he'd go for thousands today, that is, if you could even find one.

I have allowed several garage kits to slip through my fingers because I knew even if I possessed them I would not have the requisite skill to give them a worthy paintjob or afford to hire a professional to do it.

Opportunity cost: sometimes you overpay and miss out on better deals down the line because there is no guarantee of availability at a later date.

Here's a good rule of thumb.

It's a two part decision:

(1) am I happy with what I have?

(2) does the new product have features I'll regret not having 5 years from now?

If the answer to 1 is yes, I pass.

If 1 is no and 2 is no,, I buy the last gen at a discount.

If 1 is no and 2 is yes, I'll buy the new product, preferably on sale.

Let people purchase the way they see fit, and appreciate something for what it is, rather than what it costs. Insulting the price paid not only insults the product, but those who justified paying it.


My theory: popular youtuber briefly explores the scene and does a video on it. People with no interest in the hobbyist community but still wanting to be part of something big and new to show to their friends (I call these people SteveJobheads) flood the scene, and the scene doubles in price from all the attention a few dozen vendors suddenly get.

I think the secret to surviving this is to simply jump to something else more niche and tell no one.

I used to passively collect calculator watches as a teen. Now? status symbol.



You might as well be calling out LGR by name.

The only calculator watch I've ever liked was this round Citizen one which came in silver and gold. You probably know which one I'm talking about.



This seems to be a broad effect of certain types of YT channels unfortunately. I dread when someone makes a new video recommending the film cameras I use for example: enlightening a more casual yet somewhat less cash-strapped audience about how "cheap, feature-rich, and obtainable" they are, because they become immediately less cost-viable to maintain as a result. I dare not gatekeep a hobby, but there's always a subset of people who hoard/collect things that would be put to real use by others.



How much money you have to spend is always going to be positively correlated with how serious you are about a hobby.




I'd never heard of him until now, but he sounds like he was already part of the scene but did the one thing no one in the scene should do: tell others about his interest

Round Citizen one
Do you mean one of these?

I'd never until now seen a round calculator watch. I have mostly Casio's and a Sanyo. It's an astounding collection of 5 whole watches I have. Yep!



It's a difficult balancing act between doing YouTube and not selling out.

That's the one. I think it still has the distinction of being the only scientific calculator wristwatch. I like this King Arthur Round Table watch which is hundreds of thousands of dollars but that you can get a Chinese reproduction of for a few hundred dollars, but I wouldn't be confident enough to wear a fake openly.



That's true, and youtubers gotta eat. Especially if the algorithm suddenly says "no" to them.

+1 for chinese fakes - not only because they're cheap, but that they undermine the whole wealth-flaunt lifestyle by reproducing these overpriced objects with limited functional value.