The Value of Specialist or Niche Stuff for Your Interest or Hobby

Lots of people have some kind of interest or hobby involving expensive stuff. People involved in that interest or pursuit understand the value of various items of kit or components etc but sometimes that same stuff seems incredibly expensive to people not involved in that hobby. What are some examples of stuff for your hobby that you think is a bargain but you know that people not involved in that pursuit wont understand.

I'll go first with Road Cycling…my hobby. Before taking up cycling I would have thought anything more expensive that the $200 bikes i saw in KMart was ridiculous. I currently ride a bike that cost around $7K and I've bought expensive upgrades on top of that. I spend ages looking at bike stuff and regularly think I've found a bargain because I saw a cool cycling lycra top for $130 etc. Only last week I bought some new cycling shoes for $200 down from about $400 ….. absolute bargain!!!

Other hobbies I imagine would be similar are photography, drones, horses, collecting stuff etc.

Comments

  • +13 votes

    I collect old retro PC games predominantly from the 90s. Think original boxed Wolfenstein 3D, Duke Nukem 3D, rare expansions, US exclusives and anything other from the big publishers like Apogee back in the day.

    eBay used to be the best place to source the products and there were a lot of overseas sellers too. Now the eBay fees have driven sellers away and those who do sell have their listings sell for big bucks.

    A few years ago I scored and original US version factory sealed Spear of Destiny and Wolfenstein 3D for $70. Now I've seen an AU Wolfenstein 3D sell for +$200 in an auction and it wasn't even factory sealed!

    Many people would think spending money on old abandonware games is not a bargain but when you can score them cheap and resell for big bucks later on then I think it is a bargain.

    •  

      it wasn't even factory sealed
      You'd want to be careful of this, as in my experience it is extremely easy to 'factory seal' games at home.

    •  

      I think I have Battlezone (1998) and Battlezone 2 (1999) around somewhere. Want me to take a look sometime?

    •  

      LOL one hobby of mine is selling my old retro games.

      Some insane prices for console games, on sega Saturn game I sold for $700. I have them all back on emulators

      •  

        Strictly PC for me as I was never lucky enough to have a Sega growing up. I think a lot of those always sell for more anyway.

    • +1 vote

      same, but for retro console games. We had some retro PC games but I have no idea where they are now. Street Fighter 2, Stormovik: Soviet Attack Fighter SU-25, GODS, Paperboy, Rick Dangerous, Commander Keen, Doom, Grand Prix, Lotus, Prince of Persia, Ivan "Ironman" Stewart's Super Off Road, so many great ones.

      •  

        Commander Keen always sells well and highly sort after. Original Doom I/II in original boxes or even the special versions like Final Doom and Ultimate Doom are even more rare.

    • +1 vote

      Hi Clint!

    •  

      I have a few oldies (not sealed) if you're interested, mainly late 90's stuff from memory

  • +3 votes

    Photography and to a lesser extent cars.

    I just dropped $6K on new photography gear a couple of months ago, after spending around $2K over the last 5 years before that.

    Cars - I have a sports car and done maybe $5K of mods to it in the 5 years I have owned it.

    Travel if that counts as a hobby - others say I travel a lot but I feel that's because a lot of it is for work thankfully so not totally my expense.

    •  

      how much is the car itself

        • -1 vote

          Can you tell me more about your car and the mods you put on it. Genuinely interested. I don't have the money to get into that stuff but would love to when i retire and finish paying off the house. I feel that when i do the electric cars/hybrid scene will be wild.

    •  

      Amen. I bought two cameras in the last year and maybe six lenses.

      And my weekend car? I stopped counting two years ago when I hit $12k in costs. It started to get depressing.

    •  

      I feel your pain with the car situation. I spent 17k on my car and probably around 10k in mods + tuning/dyno'ing. Best, most enjoyable car I've ever owned though, so no complaints or regrets.

  • +49 votes

    80k high investment vehicle

  •  

    After spending $7k on the bike, what did you upgrade on your bike?

    • +2 votes

      Switched groupset, added Powermeter, changed wheels and run them tubeless, switched saddle to a Selle SMP. Also added lights, Speed and cadence sensors, Garmin and Speedplay pedals etc

      •  

        Did you get anything much back, by selling off the parts you swapped out ?

        •  

          Yep, sold the Ultegra Gruppo and the saddle via FB Swap Groups. Keep meaning to sell the original wheels but been keeping them as a backup option

          •  

            @2ndeffort:

            Keep meaning to sell the original wheels but been keeping them as a backup option

            I find I'm the same. It's hard to part with stuff when it's related to a hobby you're passionate about. You keep thinking, but I might need this, as a backup etc.

            Since you have upgraded wheels already, and spent so much, you would most probably want to get another wheel (the upgraded ones) if you end up needing backup/replacement.
            Probably would never be happy to go back to the lesser grade equipment.

      • +2 votes

        I gotta ask, are you likely to win any tours in Australia or anything? Do you compete in road cycling?

        I always find that this kind of hobby lends itself to over 35's that generally get into it for fitness, but then find other well off dudes that spend a lot of cash on a bike and turn it into a little boys club get together.

        I guess it isn't any worse than Golf, at least cycling will keep you very fit (in a certain way).

        • +8 votes

          I fit your example. Knees are worn out from my career in the Army when I was younger, I get a small DVA pension for them. Doctor suggested i try cycling and BAM!!!! I am not rich but I have a decent job and earn a good wage, I dont have too many other vices … well maybe a few but cycling has risen to number 1.

          What I would say is that it is much more social and more inclusive than what I thought it would be before starting. I assumed lonely hours of solo introspection on a remote road somewhere and some people like doing exactly that but instead I've found a local group of tragics like me and we've all become great mates. The group is extremely diverse and the only thing we seem to have in common is cycling. One of the guys is a removalist and he rides old steel racing bikes he either finds or he buys off people when he is moving their house. Many folks have an old bike in the garage that theyve had for years and dont treally want so my mate offers them $50 for it or offers to get rid of it for them. He then fixes it up and turns up on it at next week's ride. Hes very fit as well, keeps up with overweight over-ccapitalised middle aged guys on expensive bikes and beats most of us.

          I know I fit the 'all the gear no idea' label and I know loads of others in the same boat but I also know a fair few A Grade racers, I even ride most weeks with an NRS rider, most weeks with a national masters champ and a few months ago, through a friend went for a couple of rides with a local guy who turned pro and was home in Oz training prior to the European season. Cycling is one of the few sports where you can literally go for a training ride with the Pros.

      • +1 vote

        If all the components are replaced, is it still the same bike? :D

        • +2 votes

          Just like Grandad's old axe …. had it for 40 years, been through 3 new axeheads and 4 new handles!

          •  

            @2ndeffort: Upgraded to the new aero axehead and ultralight and stiff handle for better power transfer.
            Maybe a straingauge in the handle to measure those wattbombs as you attack the logs.

  • +17 votes

    4-ply.

    Craps all over 3-ply.

    • +24 votes

      That’s weird, I get crap all over either, no matter how many ply…

      • +11 votes

        Tried plywood?

        • +6 votes

          Marine ply. Rough one side, smooth the other. One side for dingleberry removal. Other side for a silky smooth finish.

          •  

            @pegaxs: Nah, just stick to regular cheap 2ply.
            Wipe a couple time to remove the bulk.
            Then apply a little Hand Wash/Gentle Detergent to next bunch.
            Really gets those stubborn stains, has a nice smell, and helps kill the coliform buildup.

            Just store it in your bathroom at home, and have a travel bottle for when out and about ; )
            It's the OzBargain spirit !

    •  

      I think you're missing the the 'shi' from the front of your username.

    •  

      If you ever want to touch your inner self, try the 1-ply. i did but ended up in the $h1t!!

  • +8 votes

    God damn Ducati motorcycles… you want an expensive hobby, get into Italian automobiles… parts, ouch, tools, ouch, freight, ouch, availablity, ouch…

    • +17 votes

      Sometimes, if you're lucky, you get to drive them as well.

    •  

      Not to mention dealer attitude & workshop pricing!

      •  

        I have found the workshop mechanics to be fantastic. I brought in a 6 month old Panigale-R for a complimentary service. They were down to earth.

        The sales team… I could have sworn I walked into The Body Shop. I've never seen so many douches.

    • +1 vote

      I feel your pain, but you know once you start riding, you know why you put up with it all.

      • +1 vote

        And that describes most hobbies. Pain, effort, sweat, blood and tears just for that moment where it all comes together and in that moment of bliss, you think “yep, this is what it was all for…”

    •  

      I collect Ducati’s too. I’ve got an 1198S, Panigale R, 1299 Superleggera and just ordered the V4R. Yes it’s an expensive hobby!!

      •  

        Of course it is if you’re buying at the pointy end of the market… So if you can afford to buy up there, you can usually afford the parts and servicing.

        I buy older ones and fix them up and try and keep them running. There is no local Ducati mechanic here that I can just drop my bike off to and pick it up next Wednesday. I enjoy working on them, not just owning them.

    •  

      I did that with aprilias, thought i'd be a cheap and contact Italy directly..so much pain it put me off italians for good, I also have most of my fun on old japanese now anyway (nothing to do with massage parlours).

      To answer op, my cheapness gets in the way of any hobbies or interests (drones, cars, computers)but then again I'm not super well off and working is pretty much my main interest/social event as a result.

  • +9 votes

    Scuba diving. About $5k of kit… well worth it though. Nothing better than being weightless underwater.

    Underwater photography is something I'm just getting into..and yeah. Thats hurting the bank balance in many ways.

    •  

      Which State are you in? I haven't found any good dive sites in Victoria except Ex-HMAS Canberra. I'm going to dive Ex-HMAS Brisbane up in Queensland later this year.

      •  

        In Vic - plenty of good sites in/around Mornington Peninsula.. Flinders, Blairgowrie, Rye for shore dives, Boarfish reef, Canberra, J4 sub (24m from memory, other subs between 30-40m too), plenty of soft coral sites throughout the bay.

        Current makes it tricky, but definitely worthwhile.

    •  

      so lucky…I'd dream of it but then again how to start as a beginner when you are old ? (40)

      •  

        40s not old. A few divers I've met along the way are 60+. One has dived for 20 years, the other is recently qualified (a few years ago), and they use it as a motivator to keep up their general fitness so they can dive. I'd say its an even split between young people and older (40+) people diving I see.

        A dive medical would be worthwhile, but being 40 is certainly no barrier if the doc gives you the OK.

        •  

          what budget should i plan as i start, what should i do or where should i go?

          • +1 vote

            @juki: If your keen to do it, I'd budget $1000 to get started. That will cover a dive medical (important particularly over 40), fins, mask, boots and open water course (which is generally a 4 day course - theory, then skills in pool, skills in shallow water and usually a couple of boat dives to familiarise with that process as it has its own nuances). From there, it's either hire year or buy your own.. depending how often you want to go out as to if it's worthwhile buying your own gear.

            As to where to go, depends where your located.

  • +4 votes

    Back in the day Late 80's early 90's, it was radio controlled cars.

    1 battery pack would cost $140 and it lasted for 3 minutes and you could only use it once every 7 days and you needed a $600 charger/discharger for it.

    I had 20 of those packs.

    All up the radio controlled gear i had, cost 1/4 of the price of the house i was living in. That house is now worth $700k, what a waste of money that was.

    •  

      The remote controlled things were sick!! Except I didn't have the money to buy them!

    • +3 votes

      I recently upgraded 2 of my cars from the early 90s with brushless and LiPo… Obliterated one going way way faster than it should have ever. The 2nd one lasted about 30 seconds after the new brushless motor exploded the gearbox.

      RS540 motors and NiCad were just so gutless compared to what I use today.

      • +1 vote

        Yeah, i seen a new Lipo car a couple of years ago. How tech has changed.

        I had an engine dyno and shit you wouldn't believe.

        •  

          Yeah, I don’t even run Nitro cars anymore. Electric cars are as fast with the same get up and do, but without the oil and crap everywhere. So spilling fuel or anything. The only thing I have to do with my cars now is clean the dust off them when I get home.

    • +2 votes

      Nah, they were cheap. The expensive ones were the ones running on Alcohol/Nitro/Petrol and had tiny engines.
      Seen a guy buy one of those Low Yield Investments, and the first time, he loses control and has the car hit his foot and cause a bone fracture. I think his wife is still laughing about it to this day.

  • +4 votes

    Skateboard decks. Particularly from the 80s & 90s. Nostalgia can be a (expensive) curse.

  • +9 votes

    Musical instruments . The average punter would look at an instrument worth $100 and then look at instrument worth $20k , and not realize the value in it.
    Not having much funds atm,
    I haven't exactly spent too big , but you would look at my most valuable guitar, and not realise it has a used value of >$900 (I paid like $50 for it, I think was $60 with the case, on gumtree from some wealthy gentleman who had much better gear upstairs).
    I can certainly see myself spending upwards of 30k on instruments and studio gear, in the future when finsihed uni and working. It will pay for itself though, when I'm a superstar ;) … maybe lol.
    Years ago, when I was technically homeless (staying in boarding house), I spent approx $1,000 on my first good guitar. Even the shops reccomend I get cheaper 1 at first, so I did, then was so passionate about it needed to upgrade.

    Someone posted here recently about looking for piano for his wife. Piano is not my thing (play a little) , but I was gobsmacked that a half decent new piano costs around 20k according to posters on that thread. Even the cheapie piano seems to cost 5k.
    I've been looking at the ones for free or $100 etc on gumtree, and thought of buying 1 to muck around and compose a little on.

    •  

      And guitars here cost more than anywhere else in the world

      •  

        Really … I wonder if it would be cheaper to buy overseas, and have shipped then.
        My favourites of my vintage guitars are some old 70's Japanese made guitars. They were great bargains in the 70's . Japs copied, but actually made them better than USA at the time.
        My most valuable is a 'guild' copy of d40. Was discontinued due to the USA lawsuit, so limited run. Very collectible (plus sounds beautiful). And only $50 on gumtree and the guy was pressuring me to buy (as I was actually there just to buy acoustic amp advertised).

      •  

        i kinda noticed that too.
        why is that?

    •  

      I was in a cover band a while back, and when you looked at all the gear on stage at a gig, and added up the value…scary.

      • +3 votes

        hah, thats true!

        The old saying ring true - a muso is someone that takes $20k worth of gear, in a $5k car for a $200 gig…. - I resemble this remark!

        I just purchased an all original 1974 Fender Jazz bass, my birth year bass, for what I considered to be a bargain ($3600).

        My wifes first comment was "but it's 44 years old!" pretty much sums up how most non musicians see that bass. Why pay that much for such an old instrument…

    • +1 vote

      If you know what you arr looking dor you can pick up a decent piano for free, lots of people cant get did of them

      •  

        If you know what you arr looking for

        What should I be looking for ?
        I can google brand and model numbers and reviews. Is that enough.
        Maybe if someone knows pianos they would open it up and check certain things to see if its any good.

        • +1 vote

          Now that you mention it, as a fellow ozbargainer it uses next to none of the traditional bargainers skill set. Mainly just go on sites that offer free stuff, in the case of pianos they can be expensive to get removed. Find 3 or 4 that look good and pay them a visit and eventually one will actually be good.

          It helps to know someone that plays the instrument becuase unless you have a fair bit if experience with them you wont know.

          Probably shouldnt mention the above without mentioning that you can buy decent electric pianos with proper weighted keys starting at 600 bucks

  • +2 votes

    What are some examples of stuff for your hobby that you think is a bargain but you know that people not involved in that pursuit wont understand.

    CO2 supplies for a planted fish tank.

    It changed the way I was fishkeeping, it was expensive initially but reduced the maintenance and the plants in my fishtank were thriving with correct light, fertilizers and co2. Before that I always used to have algae issues. Fish were happy and the ecosystem looked amazing to the guests.

    •  

      I’m guessing this is a daft question…
      If you up the dissolved CO2, this doesn’t affect the fish?
      And it helps deal with algae?

      • +1 vote

        30ppm is the general level people aim for when it comes to CO2 in tanks, to balance between actually effecting the fish and promoting plant growth. It really is all about balance in fish tanks, if you have plants in a tank and start adding CO2 the plants will start to suck more nutrients to help their growth. Whereas if you don't have plants but do have a lot nutrients floating around, algae will start to consume them instead.

        Kinda the holy trinity for a planted aquarium lol, lights, co2 and ferts. Sounds difficult and expensive but it is a dream to run once you have achieved balance in a tank. Crystal clear water with little to no maintenance and just very impressive to look at.

        •  

          Sounds difficult and expensive but it is a dream to run once you have achieved balance in a tank.

          Perfectly balanced.

    •  

      So true,
      Initial setup is expensive for a big bottle (brewery is a good place for a bargain) way better than small disposable bottles

    •  

      I am doing the same. Aquascaping CO2 injection, plants, fish. It's fun but the water changes for me can be quite time consuming with all the tanks that I have at home.

  •  

    $15k on a pinball is easy to spend

    •  

      $15k on a pinball is easy to spend

      Would that be for like an old collectible type pinball ?

      What does an average quality (medium quality) new pinball cost ?

  • +4 votes

    Audio equipment, I've been selling stuff that's been a bit damaged or not well looked after and I've been astonished at the cash I've been getting. Not a lot mind you but made nearly 500 bucks on things I thought would just go in the bin

  •  

    Bikes are crazy, my old man had a Tour de France quality rig with everything custom built to his dimensions etc. $$$
    Think he got a kick out of having the exact same frame etc as the pros

  • +2 votes

    I don't think I've had any expensive hobbies like these, never had the disposable income. Although I would say I enjoy riding bikes and for the last 7 years I have umm and ahh'ed over getting something between $500 to $2,000 to ride (I currently ride a sub $100 bike every day as part of a work commute and just getting around locally) so I'd definitely use it. Funny thing is, if I had time to game anymore (haven't for years) I'd have no problems dropping 5k+ on a rig or even more on a killer OLED TV setup. But because I have no time, I'm sitting around dreaming about a LG C8 55" OLED being in stock again for 2 grand!

    EDIT: Actually just on this, I find it is the bargain hunter in me that stops me from buying expensive stuff. I mean I want to really kit out my home gym, but the stuff I want is expensive and is barely discounted, I'd also love to get into woodworking big furniture and the like, but I want all top of the range stuff to start off with that us also barely discounted. I guess that makes it good for me from a cash flow perspective, but a lack of a really great hobby!

  •  

    i got into pop vinyl figures some of the rare ones go for thousands a lot of the pricy ones are limited editions from conventions but some are mistakes
    there's a game of thrones danaerys and dragon figure the dragon is meant to be green with red wings but some are all red and they go for $150

    • +10 votes

      Lol these things are the new beenie babies.

      • +1 vote

        I started collecting at the beginning of 2014, spent nearly $10k. Sold my collection in 2017 for $50k. If I had sold it right now, it would have sold for around $70k. The bubble’s far from burst.

    •  

      a lot of the pricy ones are limited editions from conventions

      How do you get the convention ones ?
      Do they still start off at normal pricing $20 each or whatever. That would be awesome, to buy for $20 , sell for 1k :)

  • Top