Brand new for $599. Normally they're on TradeMe with a buynow of $749 and an initial bid of $699. I've used one and they're really good for small mobs - a bit weird to hold and bind up a bit if I pick up any speed in the longblow (runs at 3000rpm instead of 3200), but ideal for the jobs I currently have to turn down due to lack of a woolshed with fixed plant. It's electric and runs off 240V - which means it's not noisy and smelly like a petrol motor driven one. It's also lightweight, and the one I used doesn't heat up.
This year I've made ~$2000 from the shearing. Not huge money, but enough to finance extras and a nice little pocket sideline. If I hadn't turned down about 50% of the jobs I've been offered, it'd probably be double that. I'd probably also have scary triceps. And I haven't sold the wool yet, which should net me ~$400.
Thing is, if I buy this thing now, it'd come out of my education/Spain fund - which will be scratching to pay for my courses (yes I know I get that back but not till the end of the course) and my tickets/spending money for the trip as it is. Taking $600 out of that would make me jittery about being able to go.
It's the end of mainshear as such - I have 25 sheep booked in and that's it (mind you 9 of those were booked in yesterday so there may be a few more I had forgotten about. 25 sheep = $125 plus the extra lifestylers usually give me as a 'tip'. Not enough to pay for the new handpiece. There'll be dribs and drabs through autumn, then some more at second shear when I do the show sheep in July/August. But realistically, if I buy this thing now it won't pay for itself till then.
It assuredly will pay for itself - just probably not in time to recoup what I need for my other extracurricular activities.
However, the universe does seem to be quite good at dropping money on me when I need it - I know I shouldn't factor this into any accounting I do, but it's a Thing Worthy Of Consideration in that 'lack of attachment, money out, money in' kind of way...
So, oh wise and all-knowing friendslist, whaddaya reckon? I have a week to think about it.