Buying a used iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Carl Jr., Jan 26, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2013
    Traditionally I have alway purchased my Apple products directly from Apple so I was not worried about getting a faulty product. But I am now on the market for a iMac. I was originally going to buy a refurb from but for some reason there are none for sale. My second option was craigslist. So to get to the point what are some things I should look out for when buying used. It there any how to tell-tell sign you are buying a piece of junk?
  2. macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    Currently there are no refurbished machines but be patient and keep checking, sometimes multiple times per day. They sell very quickly so be ready to pull the trigger when you are ready. I wouldn't buy from Craigs List or Ebay. If you do then well at least insist on a test drive, ALL original media and boxes and if the machine is less than a year old insist on getting AppleCare. Otherwise let the buyer beware!
  3. macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2012
    keep your Peace of Mind and order a Refurb. they come up all the time .the high end 27 inch goes exceptionally fast . the last one sold in 22 minutes . you have check the refurb store a couple times a days till you get the one you are looking for. Good Luck with the Hunt !
  4. macrumors 68040


    Nov 3, 2011
    I love buying used - the MBP in my sig is a 3k laptop - paid 1440 on CL

    Just dont get scammed - common sense really will safe you 99% of the time. If you have any questions let me know.
  5. macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2012
    also with the refurb you get the same warranty as new with the option of purchasing the extended 2 year plan. rumor has it the machines might very well be new but given a new serial number and put in plain white packaging.
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2013
    I like peace of mind you get when buying from Apple. I've been told buy a genius bar rep that a lot of the refurbs are machines pulled for quality control testing (i.e. testing out graphics and processor). I was just curious. My sister bought a used iPhone and her local Apple store opened up the phone and checked moisture sensor etc. Thought maybe there was something similar that could be done with the iMac
  7. macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2012
    Im telling you from experience , when you take that refurb out of the box you will think its new . it even smells new . if you were able to put a new one next to a refurb , I don't think you could tell the difference .
  8. macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2012
    That's because in most cases they ARE new: most refurbs are simply machines that get returned inside of the 2 week grace period Apple gives you. For most of them, there's nothing wrong at all: the customer wanted to return it for reasons other than it being broken.

    FWIW: I'm typing this on my used 2010 iMac that I bought off Craigslist in November: zero issues. And I've never dropped a dime on Applecare (or any kind of extended warranty for any other product for that matter). In the long run, you will pay more for extended warranties for your gear than you will for the occasional repair that wasn't covered because you don't have the extended warranty. I've bought on average one Apple product a year since 2005, and not one of them has broken before its time. One exception: my 2006 MBP's screen failed at the 4 year point; fortunately at that point I didn't need it for road duty so I just bought an external monitor and SSD, and I got another 2+ years out of it (that's what my current iMac replaced).

    Find what your looking for on CL, have the seller start it and allow you to take it through its paces, and negotiate a fair price. Simple.
  9. macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    I have bought a number of items on craigs list (2006 Imac im typing on now...only payed $160,cars ect) but...and it's a big but...always meet in a public location,(mcdonalds ect have plug in to test products) and always bring a friend...never be to careful!

    If your looking for a newish Imac I would buy from refurb store...spending $1000+ i would want security of buying from apple and also want to get added apple care...if you think about the refurb store,there macs that have gone over by hand...might be even better then new,as they have been extra checked over!
  10. macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2012
    in alot of cases , when you purchase from the Apple refurb store they ship it with double the RAM and the higher specd gpu .
  11. macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2011
    Long Island/North Jersey
  12. macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2013
    Hi there,

    Unfortunately, there's always an exception to the rule and I hate to say it, that in this case, that's me. :(

    I purchased my current iMac, a refurbed 21.5" 2.5GHz i5, back in March last year and although it's working correctly, there are a couple of screen issues, namely a single, solitary always-on pixel, that's smack-dab centre of the screen and also "flare" marks on either the inside of the glass panel, or the screen itself.

    Both the dead/stuck pixel and the "flares" (basically, they look like big, elongated triangular streaks, running almost full height from about 3" in from the sides of the screen) aren't overpoweringly noticeable, but once you do see them, (especially the pixel) you know they're there. :(

    It seems to me as if Apple's QC isn't quite what it used to be, as I thought Apple put refurbed products through extra stringent testing, prior to being put into inventory for sale. Apparently not, in my particular case.

    I have spoken to Apple regarding the pixel issue and they have told me that I can get a screen replacement, but to be honest, I don't fancy losing my iMac for days on end (they quoted 4-5 days, back in July/August, when I took it to my local AS), so I am thinking that I'll wait out Apple's current QC issues with the 27" iMacs, before I get the 21.5" sorted, as I have AC on it for another two years. :)
  13. macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2012
    I never claimed that he is guaranteed to have no issues . Apple did offer a you replacement in your case and Im sure that is what you will do once you are satisfied with the current QC issues in which you will get a handsome bounty if you decide to sell it.;) That's the peace of mind I was trying to convey to the OP
  14. macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2012
    So you paid extra for Apple Care, but aren't using it? How long have you put up with this defective screen?
  15. macrumors 68040


    Nov 3, 2011
    Guess its not that big of a deal.
  16. macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2013
    The pixel issue has been there since I got the iMac, back in March, but I just can't be without a machine for the few days that Apple will need to fix and test the new screen, hence the reason why I have been holding out for the new iMac 27"s.

    To be perfectly honest, although the issue with the pixels is annoying, I can live with it for the time being. I'm just waiting for Apple to sort out the QC issues with the new machines and once I have one, then this one can be taken for repairs. As I said before, I still have two years AC and the issue is documented on my account, both with my local AS and the techies on the phone, so I can afford to play the waiting game for now. :)


    In the short term, it's not. :) But I guess, as time progresses, I will have to rethink my options. :)
  17. macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2013
    Have you tried buying at pawn shop? Most of them give a great deal on Apple products.
  18. macrumors regular

    Mar 7, 2011
    Had great luck picking up a used, maxed out 2011 iMac a couple months back...I think there's a much bigger market of used sellers, given many are clamoring for the 2012. I got a great deal and found one with 15 months left on Applecare. I was able to transfer applecare to my name in 2 days...piece of cake.

    I tried sniping a few refurbs over about a 2 week period, checking multiple times a day, but they usually didn't come with the bigger GPU's or were basic setups. (27" model) There were a couple that had the bells/whistles but they were gone in before I could even get to checkout.

    If you ask a bunch of questions before meeting, including requests for screenshots/serial numbers, you can figure out pretty quickly who's a normal seller and who is a scammer.

    Good luck!
  19. macrumors newbie


    Aug 26, 2015
    First, Hello. Second, no post is too old since as we read them they are as fresh as the moment and relative considering a used item.
    I look for good character. An honest description (too me) is detectable within a short conversation , no mater the product.
    I ALWAYS buy refurbished or used. A computer generally remains new relative to software (given...hard drive, screen, power supply) , The price is always worth the saving of depreciation. Feelings prevent many many people from doing, buying, thinking logically all the time. An object is fixable even if broke most of the time.
    Relevant to this discussion...I have a Mac Pro 13 bought new 1,395 is a brick after 5 years.

    I just bought a Dec 1997 iMac Aluminum 24inch 2.8 duo Extreme 750gig and 4 gig Ram BEAUTIFUL and Exactly like new in Box for under 300.00 (2100.00 and up for these options). Thats like 85% off the original price, and is plenty of room for error or failure and still buy another happily.
    Good luck, remember to buy refurbished for sure if not just plain used. refurbished have been human tested and inspected.

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