Best place to sell a brand new Air?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jfrancis04, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. jfrancis04 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 11, 2010
    Ok so I have a brand new, unopened 11-in Macbook Air that I'm needing to sell. The easier answer is to return where I bought it, right? Ehh...not so much.

    You see, I purchased the item off, which is a penny auction website. If you aren't familiar with it, basically you bid on items and hope to get them for an incredibly discounted price.

    Long story short, I didn't win the auction so rather than losing all the money I had bid, I used their buy it now option. The buy it now option subtracts what I spent in the auction from the total price of the item. (Ex. spend $100 on bids, get the Air for $100 less). It's a good system because it keeps things from being a total gamble.

    So now you see my predicament. I need to sell the item, hopefully for full price. I have it listed on Craigslist now, but I think I'm going to avoid Ebay. The Final Value Fees on an item this large are nuts.

    What would you guys recommend?
  2. marzxbarz macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2009
    You can press your luck on Craigslist. Assuming that you just paid MSRP and no tax, that may be big enough incentive for buyers to purchase from you, especially since it's brand new.

    Of course it's quite risky to do business on Craiglist. Make sure you go somewhere public -- maybe even the bank to meet up and collect the funds. Good luck!
  3. jfrancis04 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 11, 2010
    My thoughts exactly. I actually put that in the listing as well. Way to risky to accept a $1200 check or even cash for that matter.
  4. neal.young macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Irvine, California
    I would put it on craigslist. Most people will pay MSRP for an unopened Mac to avoid paying for shipping/tax. You'll sell it easily within a few days, and you'll get cash in hand as soon as it sells.
  5. Acorn macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2009
    i dont know craigs list is pretty shady. ive heard about alot of people getting bullied into givin up their stuff even in public areas. you can try them but i wont touch craigs list. not worth getting jumped.
  6. topmounter macrumors 68020


    Jun 18, 2009
    FEMA Region VIII
    My biggest problem with selling my (used) MBP on craigslist was all the scammer / spammer emails from people trying to buy it (for more than I was asking) and have me ship it overseas (I assume they're working the customs scam).

    And I hate to think how much money you dumped into that ponzi auction scheme to make it make sense to buy the MBA after you didn't win and then expect to not lose more money by reselling it.
  7. torbjoern macrumors 65816


    Jun 9, 2009
    The Black Lodge
    As long as the seller has insurance which covers that item against theft/robbery, he might be even better off in that case - depending on the premium and the policy, of course.
  8. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Craigslist is perfectly fine. Just:

    - Use another email account
    - Ignore spammers / scammers
    - Meet in public place
    - Cash only
  9. ansabakhan macrumors 65816


    Mar 3, 2010
  10. Mr Kram macrumors 68020

    Mr Kram

    Oct 1, 2008
    standard 11" is $849 refurbished through the apple store...
  11. ansabakhan macrumors 65816


    Mar 3, 2010
  12. jfrancis04, Feb 10, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011

    jfrancis04 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 11, 2010
    Yes I actually have it.

    This version is the 11in, 128GB flash storage, 2GB RAM, and 1.4GHz processor. Quibids had the item priced for $1199 (same as Apple). Everything included, I paid exactly $1199 for the item, plus $20 for shipping.

    This is correct; however, I kept track of the bids I was purchasing to make sure I didn't go over the retail price of the Macbook Air. I think I kept bidding until I hit about $500 (in money I had spent on bids). At the time, the auction was around $150. $150 + $600 = $750, which is still a phenomenal deal for this version of the brand new Air.

    Alas, I didn't win the auction and elected to stop bidding there. So I spent $500 in bids. Quibids then subtracts that from the $1199 when I chose the "Buy-it Now" option.

    It's definitely not a scam...but you can easily lose a ton of money if you aren't smart about it and know completely how it works. If you use it just as another "Amazon" then you'll be fine. What I mean is this: Let's say I'm already planning to purchase a Macbook Pro and I already have the money. Why not purchase $500 worth of bids and see if you can get the Macbook Pro for $100? Then you only paid $600 for a brand new Pro. If you lose, so what. Just buy the item for the regular price as you planned originally anyway. At least, that's my logic behind it.

    There's also no guarantee that you will have to use a large number of bids to win the item. Sometimes, people do get lucky. Take a look at this recent iPad auction. You can see that it sold for $20.85. Take a look at the "Winner Information." The guy only spent THREE bids on the auction. THREE! That means he paid $1.80 + $20.84 for a brand spanking new 64GB Wifi iPad. Very rare and highly unlikely? Yes. But still possible.
  13. MastaK macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2011
    With such generic name as 'astros4355', I wouldn't be surprised if it was a bot generated by the site who won the bid.
  14. jfrancis04 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 11, 2010
    I can't speak for the larger auctions because I've never won one.

    I do know that I bought a $15 gift card for $.01. Came in the mail a week later.
  15. FloatingBones macrumors 65816


    Jul 19, 2006
    You received a reasonable price and reasonable S&H costs for your MacBook Air. I think you were a bit lucky. Quibids does not list the buy-now price for their penny auctions on their website, and they don't list the S&H costs for the items. I cannot think of single reason for failing to disclose this information up front.

    This news article describes a class auction lawsuit complaint against Quibids. If you chase the link and read the legal complaint, you'll see a discussion of excessive S&H charges on products bought with the buy-now program.

    The fundamental presumption in your thinking is that penny auction websites are legitimate businesses.

    Why wouldn't Quibids have a webpage that clearly and unambiguously describes their buy-now program? Why don't they list the exact buy-now price and S&H charges before anyone spends a penny on an auction? Why would they allow a highly dubious site like to exist (see this message).

    Who is paying taxes on these items? Quibids charged you the face value for your MBA; I don't believe they just ate the tax for your computer. At the very least, Quibids would have to charge sales tax to buyers in Oklahoma. I see no pages describing their sales tax policy on their website.

    I do not see how any penny auction business is even remotely comparable with Amazon.

    Those exact same adjectives could be used to describe any gambling activity. And that is the key point: they are not auctioning sites; they are gambling sites. The guy was lucky. He pulled the metaphorical lever on the slot machine and won the jackpot.

    Another way to look at these sites: how does the business scale? What would happen if they auctioned off 1000x the number of iPads and MBAs they sell today? If the buy-now program sold computers at retail price with reasonable S&H, a significant number of the losers would use that program to buy the computers. Where would Quibids get those computers from? Apple has no interest in creating a huge grey market for their products; they want people to buy directly from them. I would guess their contracts with retailers also prohibit those retailers from reselling products to other wholesalers. Why wouldn't the states be demanding collection of sales tax for items sold through these sites?

    I don't think the penny auction sites are viable long-term scalable businesses. Currently, they are flying under the radar. As you note, they are gambling sites, and some people are lucky. I think you were also lucky: there is no evidence that most would get a buy-now price based on the retail price with reasonable S&H. Caveat emptor! Don't presume that such deals exist in the future unless you see it clearly spelled out up front.

    I applaud that the MR staff has decided to pull advertising from penny auction sites. If you want to discuss that topic, please visit this thread.

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