Buying a new MacBook - anyone ever used Craigslist?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by cpweld, Aug 22, 2007.

  1. cpweld macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2007
    I'm looking to buy a new computer for school (I am a university student, so if I purchase through apple I'm eligible for the educational discounts). I was going to buy the 2.16 GHz white macbook and upgrade the RAM to 2GB and potentially the hard drive to 160 GB. I need the 2 GB RAM to run VMWare Fusion or Parallels because Windows is used in my program and I was just going to use Office 2003 for Windows until the 2008 version for Mac came out, so I'd be using it often. I would also get the free ipod and printer through Apple because of the educational discounts. Before all software, this computer would cost me roughly $1810 (this is tax included).

    I found a listing on Craigslist to get a 15" 2.16 GHz Macbook Pro for $1600 (originally $1800, talked down to $1600, hoping to get it down to $1500). 1 GB RAM, 120 GB hard drive. A couple of questions :
    a) Has anyone had any experience with purchasing anything expensive through Craigslist? I'd meet with the seller in person to buy the Macbook Pro, but is there anything I should check right away or ask for before hand to get checked out (i.e. serial number to make sure it's still covered under warrantee, not stolen, etc.)
    b) I would need to upgrade the RAM to 2GB probably soon for school, so this would be an additional cost. I'm fine with the smaller hard drive.

    What do you think? I'm not a gamer nor do I do any video-editing, but I'd like to get a computer that will last me roughly 4 years of solid performance without any major setbacks, which is why the Pro is appealing because I can upgrade the RAM even further in the future. Suggestions?

  2. MAW macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I think the mbp you're looking at can only hold 3 gig o' ram. The new macbooks take 3gig now too.

    If you're not a gamer and you wan't solid performance, I would not buy a used machine!!! I could list all the reasons why, but I'm lazy.

    Buy a new macbook with apple care.I mean we're talking like a $200 difference! Get your ipod and enjoy!!:)
  3. bennyboi macrumors regular


    Jun 1, 2006
    West Coast

    Just to comment solely on craigslist - I've had nothing but good experience. I deal only locally and demand to test the electronics thoroughly before purchase. Usually meet in public establishments, which you can with a macbook pro. Just be smart and cynical and you'll be ok. Remember- you're also saving what you'd be paying in tax :)
    Edit - also check apple's page for refurbs!!! You can save $300+ and the cpu has been thoroughly tested!!! Just got mine and saved about 500 and it's clean and healthy as a new one :)
    Good luck!
  4. cbtscheid macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2006
    Bay Area, CA
    Craiglist works!

    I've purchased several items from Craigslist, including an iBook earlier this year. I was pleased with the results because I could meet the seller locally. This allowed me to make sure the unit was not dead on arrival. I was able to check that everything that should have been in the box was there and in working order, and the seller got to tell me how much he loved his lappy (he had named it George) and how excited he was to be getting a new MBP.

    A few things to mention. Purchase Locally. Meet in a public place. Check the unit out if at all possible and deal one-on-one with the seller. I'm glad to see how Craigslist has spread to so many places beyond the Bay Area! :D
  5. ktbubster macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2007
    I was on the apple store ... yesterday morning and the 2.16ghz are going for 1499 refurb applestore which would include a one year warranty, this guys would not. I'd check to see if it is still eligible for the applecare upgrade (within 1 year of him buying it.. and you'd probably want to check out the serial number at apple as well before purchasing to make sure the purchase date is indeed correct)

    If it's not eligible for applecare... don't bother with it. If it is, make sure to tell him you could get one directly from apple (no tax ofcourse, but still with a full year of free warranty) for 1500. You should be able to lower the price a bit more.

    make sure it's a c2d and not a cd as well. If it's only a core duo (which are fine, I love mine) then it is only worth about 1200.

    otherwise... i reiterate everything that was said above me. :)

    btw... i just did the math, and how did you get 1810 with tax for the white macbook 2.16? i upgraded the ram to 2 via apple (BIG mistake btw... no matter what, get the 2 gig third party and then sell the 2 512s it comes with.. you'll save .. including selling the other ram.. probably 100 bucks) and the harddrive and only came out with 1683 total INCLUDING tax.

    You could get a refurb 2.0 whitebook for about 1200 probably... i'd do a bit of look at the refurb site, but if you really want the ipod then stick to student discount, but remember THIRD PARTY RAM lol :)

  6. cpweld thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2007
    Oh, sorry, I should have mentioned, the prices I listed were in Canadian dollars - I'm Canadian. Thanks everyone so far for your input!
  7. cpweld thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2007

    Okay, I've bargained with another seller to get the 2.2 GHz base model MB Pro for $1800 (CDN). It's gently used, for less that 2 months, and I've already obtained the serial number so I can call and check with Apple later to verify this information. Any input as to whether this is a good deal? I could get the free printer/ipod directly from Apple as I am a student (plus $100 off) but I have zero need for a printer or ipod, as I have and love both. Plus this will be tax free, an added plus :)

    What should I check for when I inspect the computer right away? I'll inspect if before paying, I'm just curious if anyone has any advice as to what to check immediately to make sure I'm getting my money's worth.


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