Are original unopened/pristine iMacs collector's items?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Sir Cecil, Mar 27, 2010.

  1. Sir Cecil macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2008
    Someone who has a never-opened iMac (one of the original Bondi Blue semi-transparent ones from quite few years back) asked me how much they could sell it for. It has been sitting in the back of an office for years, forgotten amongst dozens of other boxes. I didn't know whether to say it is worthless or if they could actually get a good price for it, being "factory fresh". Anyone think it might be of more value if it stays stashed away, unopened for another ten years? I mean, some people pay good money for old toys from their youth and, I suppose, in years to come there might be a sentimental market for the computer "toys" a particular generation recalls affectionately.
    Having said that, is there a good reason NOT to have it hanging around (chemicals, pollution, anything dangerous over time etc)?
  2. OSX-SUX macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2010
    Precisely how I ended up with a garage full of Apple II stuff, except I didn't pay that much for it at the time, lol. If he's got nothing to lose I'd say stick it on Ebay for $0.01 and see what happens, no sense holding on to it for appreciation.
  3. voyager03 macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2010
    Somerset, UK
    Old toys were (and I generalise a bit here) not mass produced in the same way that modern computer hardware is and the original users were (probably) rather less careful with the product - meaning that there were less of them in the first place and the majority have not survived to the present day. The old owners of these things want to re-live a lost moment in time and they mean something to them and because of their rarity and the fact that more than one wealthy person want them they have a perceived value.

    I don't think the same is ever going to be true of obsolete computer kit - it has a use because it does something once it stops doing that it is simply an inert box of electronics. I have been using personal computers since the mid 80's. Nothing older is materially 'better' than the latest kit. You old Mac may have curio value to a museum - but I'd try to shift it to someone who imagines that they will be valuable one day. With a bit of luck you'll find several who imagine that they will be able to store these as some future 'investment' and will try to outbid each other.

    I'd take their money and run. Buy a nice old boxed toy car with what you get for it. It'll probably be worth more in 10 years than an iMac.
  4. kernkraft macrumors 68020


    Jun 25, 2009
    I have some basic experience in the antique trade and I see no reason, why an unopened iMac should fetch much more later than it would now. So I would wait until the iPad comes out and suddenly, you have this massive hype about Apple products again. Then put it on Ebay. Pay attention to the listing and make sure that you list it in a few categories simultaneously, so it will find the right people (or the other way around).

    The iMac is among the most unique computer designs, so it might attract some rich tech or design guy, willing to pay a few hundred dollars more than what a used one would cost. Somebody might buy it as a novelty gift or for having the exterior used as a fish ball or some home decoration item.

    But without anything to distinguish it from the crowd, that computer will not be that special. It's not a among the very first ones, a special series or a collectors' edition, is it? It hasn't got Steve Jobs' or Wozniak's or Gates' signature on it, right? Then it's something that you come across fairly often.

    But don't open it, it's main value might be that it's sealed. I wouldn't recommend trying to find any practical use for it - an iPhone beats the hell out of that iMac. Whoever knows exactly what to do with it, might just pay that premium.
  5. Ecoh macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2009
    About 3 years ago I bought a factory new one on eBay for the company I work for. I paid $64 for it because that was the minimum bid. We use the old iMacs as printer servers running some archaic printers we apparently can't do without. It looks pretty anyway.
  6. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    As nearly all these intel guys will make you think anything that cant handle 1080p is worthless junk therefore these old iMac g3 have gone down in value , but will go up again ,trust me ;)
    For example my commodore sx 64 is also obsolete by modern standards , but i still have the original box and all peripherals that had been available ,even a acoustic coupler and its in as new condition and fully working , it was considered as worthless junk too in the 90's, but now is considered a rarity and would fetch a very high price among collectors , generally more then the price of it new in 1984
    so once most of the original bondis gone to landfill sites because the owners cant run hulu or youtube on them at 1080p , the few left will go up in value as there are still a lot people out there who don't consider everything as junk only because its 10 years old
  7. plasticphyte macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2009
    Something is only every as valuable as the price people are willing to pay.

    Besides, it's likely that by the time people are willing to pay thousands of dollars (again) for it, you'll be long gone and fertilising daisies (not to sound morbid).

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