The Resale Value of The Fully Spec'd-out 2012 27 Inch iMac in 3 Years Time

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Pheomixer, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2013
    Nara, Japan
    I would like to know what would the estimated resale value of the fully spec'd-out 2012 27 inch imac with a 1tb fusion drive, 8GB of ram, i7 processor, and with a 680MX graphics card be in 3 years time.

    I'm studying in Japan right now and I will leave this country after my 3 years of study here.

    In US dollars I think it's probably around $2,600? (I'll buy it in Japanese yen of course) And would the resale value be lower if I have the i5 instead? I plan to do video editing, photo editing and occasional gaming. Although I might not use this machine to game a lot, I would like to run games like Batman Arkham City and Battlefield 3 in a good frame rate. That's the reason why I changed my mind from the base-line 27 inch to the higher end 27 inch. Since I will be spending quite a lot of money, I think it would be best to buy the better graphics card also.

    I just don't want to spend too much and then realizing that I won't get much in return after selling it. If the resale value is too low, I might spend less and get the higher end 21.5 inch with fusion instead. (Not sure about the resale value with this spec though)

    Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. macrumors 68040


    Nov 3, 2011
    You will take a big hit - why?

    95% of people looking to purchase a used iMac dont care that is is the highest spec'd - they also are purchasing use because $ is a major factor. (The want the base 21.5 iMac because its the cheapest way to get an Apple iMac)

    The % of lost from a base 21.5 and a spec'd 27 may be similar but the total $$ extremely different because of price.

    Look on eBay at iMac that are 3 years old and see what they are selling for.

    This is my experience buying and selling MBP's on CL and eBay.
  3. macrumors 65816


    Jun 30, 2010
    Got to agree.
    Sold a base 13" MBA last year and only lost a few hundred pounds, same with iPads, you can pick up a second hand 32GB for a little bit more than a 16GB, people just want to get an Apple product.
    However, compared to most companies, Apple products still have great resale value. But I don't expect anything near the price I paid for my fully spec'd iMac a few years down the road.
  4. macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2008
    Sold my high spec late 2009 27 inch iMac recently before I got the new one

    It's around half the price of its original value

    Computer is a product which readily deflat
  5. Pheomixer, Jan 2, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013

    thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2013
    Nara, Japan
    I see... Actually during my almost one year wait for the imacs to be released, I was planning on getting the 27 inch and I really don't want to settle down for the 21.5 inch just because I will lose less money in the resale, considering I will be using it for 3 years.

    But I really didn't expect the 27 inch that I wanted to buy to be this expensive and that's why I was hoping for a good resale.

    Arghhh... It's so hard to make the purchase.... decisions decisions
  6. macrumors 65832


    Sep 23, 2005
    below Ash Tree Lane
    You've gotten some great replies so far, but I think planning three years ahead in the tech industry is a bit difficult right now, particularly with Apple. Maybe their product lineup will have changed remarkably, and this model iMac will be coveted. Inversely, maybe this series will develop issues that will make them undesirable (touch wood). Just a thought.
  7. macrumors member

    Dec 10, 2012
    Buy the iMac YOU want since you are the one who will use it for the next three years. While it's nice to get a good resale -- and Macs are a better bet than PCs for this -- the bottom line is that you will kick yourself over and over for buying a machine that's less than you want just for a few bucks down the line. Life is short.
  8. macrumors 68000

    Dec 8, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    Like others have said you don't know what could happen, if the next model has the ram soldered in and is all SSD with only the proprietary Apple Blade SSD the 2012 model could be a very desired product in a few years, inversely the new models could add more features people want which could make the 2012 model much less desirable. The good thing is out of all Computers, Apple have excellent resale value in comparison.
  9. macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2012
    I am going to assume you would want the fusion drive ($250) if you were to select the base 27" model instead of the upgraded 27". Therefore, the other "goodies" ($200 for upgraded model, $200 for I7 and $150 for 680MX) amount to $550 extra dollars. When selling, perhaps you would realize 50% of the money spent on the "goodies" (WAG). So, is it worth approximately $275 to get what you want? Worst case is the "goodies" don't add anything to the residual value and it cost you $550 to get what you want.
  10. macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2012
    Always felt like the prices of upgrades mostly go straight into Apple products rather than the real cost of the extra parts. So if resell is a big factor then you want to stick to a base model.

    At a guess a current fully spec'd 27" iMac would be about the price of an entry level iMac in 3 years?
  11. macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2012
    This is a good thread as it helps to offset several others out there. I've seen multiple people say they "maxed out" their iMacs, because it will really help the resale value. I don't see any hard data out there that would support such a hypothesis.

    In general, whether we're talking about houses, cars, or computers, it's difficult to recoup the cost of things that are considered to be upgrades, add-ons, or luxury pacakages. People who buy used items are typically cost conscious. While they would like to find the nicest house or car they can for their budget, they're not necessarily willing to pay an extra $5,000 for a backyard fence or $1,500 for leather seats. Those are nice extras if the seller is willing to eat the cost to get their used product to move. The house or car might sell faster than others on the market because there are some "extra" features, but those features are unlikely to pay for themselves monetarily.

    I believe this is even more pronounced in the world of used computers. People who buy 3 year old computers probably don't know much about or care much about tech or specs. If they did, they certainly wouldn't be buying 3 year old tech. This particular market demographic tends to think a compter is a computer and a 3 year old one should be just about as good as a new one in the same way a 3 year old car would be. If they're shopping for a used iMac then their probably shopping for the least expensive used iMac they can find. They might buy yours more quickly if you can sell them on some of it's upgraded features, but only if you're willing to offer those upgraded features to them at a price point pretty close to the next guy on ebay who is selling a base model. Bottom line, buy what you personally need and don't expect to see much return on the BTO upgrades.


    Just another comment. Do some research on the benchmark differences between Ivy Bridge i5 and i7. There are some use-case scenarios that do significantly benefit from an i7, but I'm willing to bet that a very large number of people on this board who are spending $200 on the i7 upgrade will never (or almost never) engage more than 4 cores during the life of their computer. If that's true, then they'll never experience any significant benefit to that $200 upgrade and it's questionable if they will get their money back out of it in the used PC market.
  12. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2013
    Nara, Japan
    Wow, thanks for the info. I guess ur right, people who will be shopping for a 3 year old imac might go for the cheapest one. But like oldgeezer said I will be the one using it for the next 3 years. And yes, life is short indeed!

    Thanks for the help everyone! Most probably I will get the high end 27 with fusion and the 680MX. About which processor to get, I will do my homework and find out the answer. :)

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