- Joined Mar 19, 2019
As the chip shortage has grown acute, bidding wars for used equipment have spiraled, says Mr. Howe. For example, a Canon FPA3000i4, a piece of lithography equipment manufactured in 1995, which is used to etch circuits in chips, was worth as little as $100,000 in October 2014, and today goes for $1.7 million, he adds.
Potential buyers are now left with a difficult choice if they want to expand their capacity to make older chips: either pay exorbitant prices for old equipment, assuming they can even find it, or get on a waiting list for new equipment, which often stretches to six months and beyond.
He's glum because he'll be broke next year with no sales now that warehouses are empty with little prospect of more inventory being on the market soon. The only thing on the street is leftover junk people are buying just for parts to keep their dinosaurs running.And I bet the surplus equipment dealer (junk man) who had warehouses full of them is laughing his butt off!
It's not all negative.A lot of the "junk men" actually get the old stuff free or even paid for just hauling it away so their only real overhead is just that, the warehouse to store it in. Until either someone wants to buy it or he sells it to the scrapyard. It's actually one of the reasons the company I worked for didn't buy computers. It was cheaper to buy a rental contract with capital from GE Capital and pay the percentage than to buy them outright and have to pay to have them hauled off later. It also forced the area supervisors to replace old out of date equipment when the rental contract expired instead of complaining they "couldn't afford to upgrade and it wasn't in their budget for this year." It became a yearly cost item for their budgets by renting and saved them money to boot. A lot of that expired contract stuff that we thought was outmoded was sold overseas to very eager buyers. It didn't matter to us what they did with it just as long as it was gone to make room for the new equipment and we didn't have to spend money for our very expensive hours to dispose of it ourselves.
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by Jake Hertz
by Jake Hertz