Advice on buying a used 15" MBP

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by plix, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. plix macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2014
    Hi all,

    I recently sold my 13' 2011 MBP as I am no longer using it right now and the screen seems a bit too small.

    2 questions:

    1) I have done some research about retina display, and generally people say its worth it. Is this is the general feeling/census?

    2) This is the important question. School will start in September so I don't think buying anything now would make sense. I am keeping a close eye on the 15' retina MBP on ebay, and I'm wondering if in the unlikely event the price seems quite good then should I go for it? Or should I start looking a month or two before September?

    I have no idea when Apple will upgrade rMBP line but if its anything after September then I think the right thing to do would be to start looking now.
  2. DFWHD macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2011
    Updates will most likely be October or later. I'd keep an eye on the market now and be ready to strike when you see what you want at the right price. Have you looked at refurbished on the apple store site? My son has a 2012 13" cMBP that I'm about to sell for him and pickup a refurb 15" rMBP so he has the larger screen and better specs for his stuff as well... All of our macs are refurbs and all are great.
  3. plix thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2014
    Yes I have looked at the Apple refurbished site. The baseline 15' rMBP is $1599, and so I'm wondering if I can get a better deal on ebay.
  4. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    It depends on your budget/uses

    Hi Plix,

    If you are looking to get a 15" rMPB just for extra screen real estate, you are going to be spending a lot of your money on stuff you may not need (quad core processor, extra ram, dedicated graphics card). I don't know what you plan on doing at university, but you will most likely not need that much power. The most cost efficient, and most useful solution for you, may be to get a nice IPS monitor at home, and get a 13" rMPB, which has been overhauled in 2013, plus reduced in price by 400$. (Check out B&H Photo for tax free purchases in many states).

    On the other hand, I can relate to you on the issue of wanting a 15" computer. The 15" rMBP is beautiful to look at, and if I didn't have a desktop at home, or mind carrying around a 4.5 pound computer, I would get one. If you absolutely need the power, and can't afford to do your multitasking work at home, get a 15".

    In terms of which 15" rMPB to get, I would go look on ebay, and if you are patient, you can find a baseline 2012 model for about 1400$. I recommend the 2012 model because there were very few useful updates on the 2013 model, that justify more than 100$ price bump at least.

    I would still recommend getting a 2013 13" rMBP 8GB/256GB SSD new on B&H photo, and a 1080p 24" IPS monitor for under 200$. It would cost you less than 1600$, and would be a much more portable solution. It's based on your needs though, so if you want more help, let the forum know what sort of work you plan on doing!

    Best of luck,
  5. plix thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2014
    Hey guys thanks for the help so far! :)

    I actually have a 27' iMac at home. I want the 15' because I will be spending quite a bit of time at the library. I also have really bad vision, and dizziness/headaches regularly sets in after staring at the 13' MBP for two hours or so. With that said, I would really prefer a 15' MBP, retina or not (though retina display looks marvellous!).

    I have some ebay items on my watchlist. Most are 2012 models. I saw the base 2012 rMBP 15' just sell for $1300 today. I was tempted to jump in but I keep thinking the value of the 2012 models might go down before September?

    And I heard there is an issue with the LG screen on the 2012 rMBP 15' model. I haven't dont much research into that.

    Back to ebay, $1300 for a 2012 15' rMBP seemed like a very good deal for me. I am not sure if I'm myself any good by waiting up until july or august.
  6. cb911 macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia
    It's the same as any other tech item... don't overcomplicate things for yourself. You have two options really:

    1. Wait for as long as you can in hopes that prices will drop or new models will be released.
    2. Buy the best you can afford and enjoy using it now.

    Do you need it now? No? Well then it won't hurt to wait and keep on the lookout for a good deal or see when new models are announced.

    If you want/need it now, then just get the best deal you can and enjoy using it. Forget about what new models are going to be released.

    If you're unsure about buying it right now, then it seems like you don't really need it yet. You may as well wait, or at least bide your time and look for a good deal.
  7. plix thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2014
    Yeah I don't need it now, but school will start on Sept so I will need one before then.

    I guess I will be looking like crazy on June-August.
  8. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    I like my two 15" rMBPs we use for work/personal, a mid-2012 bought from MacMall with a link from Appleinsider's web site right after the 2013 units came out. We spent $2k on a Mac that was $2800 a few days earlier on Apple's web site, with free 2-day shipping. My latest unit is a late-2013 rMBP that's maxed out, and I picked it from the website - it shipped overnight and it was only 2 weeks old and looked brand new. I'm happy with MacMall and with Apple's refurbs. I also bought Applecare+ from B&H - $105 cheaper than Apple and free shipping.

    I've heard and I now believe that Apple uses the web site to move product that isn't selling well. Two of my friends bought the same rMBP I have and another bought a maxed out iMac and they all looked brand new.

    I can look on CL or eBay and find people asking higher prices than we spent on our Macs. Buying my way, it was less hassle, and I got 0% interest via Apple's site on my latest unit.
  9. plix thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2014
    The prices from are not any different from Apple's refurb website. At least I don't see any differences in the 15' rMBP models.

    On another note, I am having a really hard time with the different 2012 15' rMBP models. Can someone give me a link or a source to the different 2012 15' rMBP models that Apple released at the time? I have been out of touch with Apple's notebooks for a long time and I'm confused by the different ebay listings that I'm seeing.
  10. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    #10 is Apple.
  11. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    One effect of the Retina display is that it is just easier to read, especially if your eyes are not perfect. Many people say that they can't see the difference, but it is there even if you don't see it. And you can switch the screen to lower resolution if that helps your eyes, and you will get everything bigger but staying perfectly sharp. You can try on a non-retina MBP, and while things get bigger, the letters are not sharp anymore.
  12. plix thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2014
    Just to recap, is the price difference between the mid 2012 and early or late 2013 15' rMBP models justifiable? Ebay seems to have good deals for the 2012 models, and people are really asking for a lot for the 2013 models.
  13. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    If you go the ebay route, make sure whatever you get has Apple warranty remaining.
  14. plix thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2014
    Yeah thats a good idea. Can anyone else have a look at my other question:

    "Just to recap, is the price difference between the mid 2012 and early or late 2013 15' rMBP models justifiable? Ebay seems to have good deals for the 2012 models, and people are really asking for a lot for the 2013 models."
  15. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003

    An Apple refurb comes with the full one year Apple limited warranty and is new for all practical purposes.

    As for your other question, you can practice your student research skills - if you look around these forums you'll find a wide range of opinion.
  16. plix thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2014
    I believe the warranty for 1 year is useless. For all the apple products I have owned the problems that occured happened after first year anyways, so splashing an extra $400 for that one year warranty seems silly. I will however continue to look for ones that have warranty left or applecare.
  17. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    #17 has all the info on each model if you have trouble differentiating.

    Personally, when I was researching a used 15" (in Canada) I found that I wouldn't get a much better price for a used one compared to value of refurb. Even the sealed box items were going for the same as refurb, so getting a 1 year warranty was a no brainer.

    In the end, however, I decided to get a 13" and an external IPS display, but that's another topic.

    Edit: as for 1 year warranty being useless... I found that if something is wrong with the computer, it will fail within the first year. Otherwise, after 3 years.

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