Recently licensed technician here, and going straight into my general class, I'm keeping an eye on cheap (sub-$400) HF radios. I keep reading articles that suggest used radios that normally sell for under 350, but I can only find them on Ebay for over 400 right now, and rising, it seems. Is this a seasonal thing, or is this relatively abnormal, like the recent rise in price of firearms and ammo?
This question was asked in the middle of the pandemic, where people were largely isolated from physical social events. I suspect that as a consequence of this, amateur radio activity increased to replace those missing social events (I know I did that for sure). Possibly as a consequence of that, demand for amateur radios increased, to the point where even used equipment has become scarce. Scarcity leads to higher prices.
Additionally, on October 20, shortly after this question was asked, the AKM chip fab factory caught on fire causing a partial building collapse. This facility made ADC and DAC chips that are the leaders for SDR based radios and digital audio systems including radios, phones, and high end digital audio equipment. AKM also makes oscillators used in radios. While there should have been stock of these parts, when news of the fire got out, any available stock immediately disappeared or prices for it skyrocketed. AKM outsourced some of its ADC/DAC production (but not the oscillators) to other companies including Renesas, which ironically had its own much smaller fire several months later.
Many manufacturers who relied on AKM parts have halted production, making the radio shortage worse. Some still have their own stock and production may continue at least through July 2022, but will run out before production restarts and backlogs catch up, possibly in late 2022.