The Commodore 64 is the most popular computer model of all time. That also means it’s the most common vintage computer, but high demand and parts scarcity drives up its value. If you’re wondering how much your Commodore 64 is worth or want a price check on Commodore 64 value, read on.
Beware the power supply
First, let’s get a big caveat out of the way. Commodore power supplies are horrifically unreliable, and they unfortunately tend to take machines down with them when they die. Test a Commodore power supply before you hooking up any 64. Pins 1 and 5 (the two on the side) on the power connector should read slightly over 5 volts DC with a multimeter. The other two pins should read 9 volts AC. If either of these voltages are off by more than about 15 percent, don’t plug it in to the computer. Sell the computer as untested and throw away the power supply to avoid doing any further damage.
Commodore 64 value when tested working
A tested, working Commodore 64 with all necessary cables and power supply is worth around $100. For maximum value, demonstrate it hooked up and working, even if the display isn’t included in your price. Here’s some help connecting a 64 to a television.
Once you get the 64 connected, be sure to test the sound. Here’s a simple type-in program to test Commodore 64 sound. The sound chip alone is worth $50, so a bad sound chip greatly decreases the value.
If you list your Commodore 64 on Ebay, at least show a photo of it working. Better yet, show a video of it playing sound so they know the sound works. You’ll get more money and you’ll certainly sell it faster.
A silver label Commodore 64 is worth even more.
Commodore 64 value when untested or not working
If your Commodore 64 doesn’t work or you can’t find a suitable TV or monitor for it, you’ll get a lower price for it. Assume $35. The reason for this is several chips are failure prone. RAM chips are easy to find but hard to replace. PLA chips are usually easy to replace but hard to find.
Even a dead 64 has value though. The CPU, video chip, sound chip, and I/O chips all have been out of production since 1992. The only way to get them is to find an old repair shop’s unused stock, source one from an overseas recycler, or salvage them from dead 64s. So it’s a fairly safe bet that a dead 64 will have $35 worth of salvageable parts.
Shipping machines is a hassle, so if you can’t test your 64, you might consider flipping it on Craigslist rather than Ebay, to avoid shipping.
Boxes, paper, and other stuff
The box the Commodore 64 came in has some value. Collectors like to have boxes and machines with matching serial numbers. If you still have the box, include it. The same goes for the manual, and any other paper the machine came with. If you happen to find the original receipt, or receipts from repair records, include those too. The effect that kind of paperwork will have on value is unpredictable but all it takes is one bidder who wants the paper to make it worth your while.
Disk drives, printers, and other peripherals
Disk drives have some value if they work, but they are difficult to ship and often need service before they will work well. Early model 1540 drives are the most valuable. Late-model 1541-ii drives are the most practical. They’re more likely to work and make multi-drive setups easy. $50 is a safe value estimate for a good disk drive.
Printers have minimal value. You’re better off recycling them, generally speaking.
Joysticks are valuable. A working joystick is easily worth $10.
Mice and RAM expansion units are also valuable. Prices are a bit unpredictable but they are worth your while to sell.
Original disks and cartridges are valuable. The value varies and having the box and paperwork helps. Assume at least a couple of dollars per title, if not a bit more.
Copied disks aren’t worth a lot. Someone will buy them to go through them and see if they can find anything they haven’t discovered yet, but don’t expect to get more than a few dollars for a shoebox full of disks.