Advice on buying a used 2012 iMac from Craigslist

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by teesh810, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. teesh810 macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2017
    I'm thinking of buying a used iMac on craigslist since I don't really have enough for a new one or even a refurbished one from Apple. The one I found on craigslist is a Late 2012 iMac for $500 with these specs:

    8 GB 1600 MHZ DDR3 MEMORY

    What exactly should I look for when inspecting the iMac before buying? Also I've read on a couple of these threads of people advising to take the product to the Apple's genius bar to inspect it and do a diagnostic test. Is that something they willingly do? How do I go about getting the genius bar to check it out? Is it okay to tell them that I'm buying it from craigslist? Any help will be appreciated. Thanks!
  2. davidg4781 macrumors 68020

    Oct 28, 2006
    Alice, TX
    First do some research on here about problems with that particular model. Someone may not see this and post about specific issues. Example, I purchased an iMac on CL. Came home and it worked great... until it froze. Reset, did some stuff, and froze. Turns out that's a known problem with that model. Really wished I had done some research before hand.

    Also if you can check ALL the ports and make sure they are fully fictional. I bought a 24" LED Cinema Display. The seller brought a power inverter and MacBook to show me how it worked. I asked to check the USB ports and they didn't work. He said it was probably because the inverter wasn't supplying enough power. Sure enough, came home, and only 1 of the 3 ports work. I thought of emailing him about it but never did. It was a really inexpensive display so I figured I got what I paid for.

    I'm not sure about the Apple store thing. That may be something to look in to.
  3. capathy21 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    It's going to be a little harder to check out an iMac in a public meeting place than it would a MacBook or ipad. I'd recommend meeting at a Starbucks and just plugging it up and testing the ports, wifi, etc. Anytime you buy used from Craigslist, you run the risk of getting screwed. I've bought many electronics on Craigslist, and only once was I scammed. Bought a PS4, got it home, it powered up then powered down. Long story short it wasn't worth repairing and I lost 300 dollars. Even with that experience, I highly recommend buying on CL. You generally save a ton of money on nice things, usually just people needing the money to pay the bills or upgrade their equipment.

    As far as getting them to meet you at the Apple Store. You can ask the seller if they'd be willing to do that. Honestly, the wait is usually long and the Apple Store is generally packed. It'd be a pretty big pain for the seller to go through all of that with no assurance that you're going to buy it afterwards.

    I think you're better off just texting/talking with the seller a bit, get a feel for them. Meet them at Starbucks or somewhere like that and if you get a strange vibe, walk away.

    As long as you always understand the risk of buying used electronics, and that there's always that slight chance that it malfunctions due to previous abuse/neglect. I always weigh the savings against the risk. Like I said, out of probably 30-40 electronics purchases on CL, I've only been scammed once. Pretty good odds if you ask me.

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