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Started by mwplefty, May 22, 2012, 11:15:55 PM

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How many of you have purchased phones (already refurbished) from I bought a Model 500 Desk Telephone that was refurbished back in 2004 off that site. What's nice is that most of the phones are already "modularized" so if you live in a post-1976 house like myself, you can just hook it up like a regular landline.


There prices are WAY too high.. A 1960s-70s 500 is not worth 85.00.  Also a 50's 500 is not worth 110.00. Shop around on ebay and you can get similar phones for a fraction of the price.. no most are not refurbished, but most of the time phones do not need any work.
Ben K...  1960 WE 500 and 1972 SC 554   Always enjoying the sound of a phone with a bell ringer ringing....


Quote from: benkeys on May 30, 2012, 12:23:48 AM most are not refurbished, but most of the time phones do not need any work.

Your response makes sense for some hobbyists that have the knowledge, time and interest to do the refurbishing work and are fanatics about using original parts.

However, for someone who's not a phone collector or who just doesn't have the time or interest to refurbish phones, places like,,, etc. make a lot of sense.

IMHO, their rates are generally a bargain, when you consider the time and effort needed to source the parts, clean, polish, test, inventory, advertize, handle and warrant the phones -- including customer hand holding and support. 

Ask yourself how much you'd charge if running a phone refurb business to do the work for someone else - plus doing all the government paperwork and making a small profit.
Visit:         WE  500  Design_Line



I agree with Paul-F
I used to work for Chicago Old Telephone Co and the higher prices include a warrenty and service when needed.You would buy many telephones to supply parts for repair and refurbishing.Many sets that were supposidly perfect (no cracks or chips) were not.You can buy cheaper on ebay but you might not get service or a warrenty.


This is the classic time versus money trade-off, and there probably is no "right" answer.  I spend quite a bit of time searching Ebay to find that "great deal" on a phone.  Then I'll spend many hours on that $10 phone restoring it.  When I'm done I'll think "I could sell this for $100 on Ebay".  I might be right, but that would probably work out to getting paid minimum wage for my time if I'm lucky.   For me I like to find the dirty, but original, phone so I can do the work on it.   But the guy who just writes the check (sends the Paypal?) has many hours to spend elsewhere.....and time is money.

To Benkeys point, the WE500 always works, so why not buy a nice clean one on Ebay for $30 and you're probably going to be happy while saving quite a bit over "retail".  That is true, but I have had 500s arrive with a bad wire crimp or disconnected ringer, etc., so testing/warranty will be valued by some buyers.


I'm with Paul F as well on this.  While I'm into fixing it up myself, and enjoy the process, not everyone does and for those folks and such are a viable way to go. 

I once spent countless hours, and I mean countless, sanding and polishing on a WE 1500 in blue, and it still never lost all the yellowing and sun damage it had.  At that time one of the phone vender sites had an identical phone in excellent condition, unpainted and unsanded, for 350 dollars, and I'd a been money ahead to buy it.  My phone ended up costing $130 or so on E-bay after a bidding war I got into, then heaven only knows how many hours of work, then I ended up buying new old stock plastics and cords for it as I simply could not salvage the originals.  (I kept them of course) 

Sometimes we get lucky with the 10 dollar find of the month.  Sometimes.  But we are big time into the madness.  "Normal people" probably will be very happy with a nice clean phone from a web site that costs more but is turn key. 


Quote from: McHeath on June 01, 2012, 12:22:57 AM
I'm with Paul F as well on this.  While I'm into fixing it up myself, and enjoy the process, not everyone does and for those folks and such are a viable way to go.  
While I almost never sell phones, I did sell one I had refurbished to a lady who emailed me last fall looking for a nice 302 like she had when she was young. She was thrilled, and I was thrilled with the $100 I asked, and put it into a couple of new phones for the museum. I suppose I could have asked more, but the thrill was seeing her get what she wanted, and her being so pleased!

One funny footnote - couldn't believe how loud the bell was, and eventually stuffed it with cotton to make it quieter!

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