Buying a used MBP...any tip to guarantee a smooth transaction?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by CUsurfer, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. CUsurfer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    #1
    So I've been looking to pick up a used '11 MBP. I finally found one and then I had the sudden realization that I've never bought something this volatile and this expensive before. I suppose you incur a decent amount of risk doing this. I was wondering if any of you guys had any tips for making a purchase under these circumstances (used, from a personal owner).

    I was planning to pay with a money order, that way I have a record of the transaction. Would a cashiers check be better?

    Is there anything I should look out for specifically? Of course I'll inspect it for cosmetic damage, bring a DVD to make sure the OD works, and I guess have the owner power it on and make sure it boots up OK. Beyond that, I'm not sure what else I can do on the spot. Any tips?

    Thanks in advance for any replies...
     
  2. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #2
    Is it still under warranty?
    I dunno if Apple keeps records of this, but I'd try to run the serial number and make sure it's not stolen. An original sales receipt should be enough proof though too. Also make sure each key works well, check the screen for dead/stuck pixels, backlight should be even, usually if it boots and the superdrive plays a video DVD should be enough proof that the storage systems are working. Of course a query in the system info should be good to check to make sure you're getting the right model also. A buddy of mine bought a 2010 from craigslist thinking he was getting a 2011. I checked it out and told and he was furious. Of course he had no recourse as he got it several months ago.
     
  3. mabaty macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    #3
    Listen for hard drive "clicks", test the facetime camera, and definitely check that it boots.
     
  4. CUsurfer thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    #4
    It's still under warranty, but no AppleCare. Is this the website where I can check the serial #: link?

    Thanks for those suggestions. I would not have thought to check for dead pixels. And good call on the system info.

    ----------

    Oh yeah, the camera...good call...I launch photobooth to do that right? I'm a Windows person so I really don't know much about Macs. thanks for the reply
     
  5. InlawBiker macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #5
    They will have to transfer the warranty to you. The warranty is on the Apple site, it explains how to do it pretty well. I would make sure they'll do this before you buy, after that you won't have to worry if something is wrong with the machine.
     
  6. CUsurfer thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    #6
    Didn't know that. Thanks--I'll have him do this.
     
  7. iMacDragon macrumors 65816

    iMacDragon

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    I believe this only applies to apple care rather than standard warranty? I've certainly used warranty on second hand apple items without any transfer having taken place.
     
  8. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    #8
    Just an idea but have you compared the used price to a refurb at the online Apple store? There have been some very good deals recently such as an early 2011 13" MBP for $799...

    One thing that I would ask to see is a purchase receipt. Checking the serial number online is also a good idea.

    Good luck!
     
  9. CUsurfer thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    #9
    Yep, that was probably the first thing I did. I also cross referenced it with the prices (Completed Listings) on eBay. It's $379 cheaper than the Apple Refurbished store and around $100-300 cheaper than any eBay auction I've seen, so I think it's a pretty good deal. I wouldn't say it's a great deal, but it's a solid/good deal (assuming no flaws of course).
     
  10. TheMacBookPro, Jun 29, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012

    TheMacBookPro macrumors 68020

    TheMacBookPro

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    #10
    When you're testing out the webcam in Photo Booth, record a quick video to verify that the microphone works.
     
  11. CUsurfer thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    #11
    Thanks! Didn't think about that! Added to my checklist :)
     
  12. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    #12
    It sounds like you have done your homework!

    Just be careful. When a deal (particularly via CraigsList...) sounds too good to be true I see little red flags dancing around my head. You don't want to wind up with a hot MBP...
     
  13. SR71 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #13
    This. Make sure it is not stolen. I bought a MBP 3 months ago off Craigslist only to have the real owner use Find my Mac and get my address and stuff. I had to give it back to her because it legally was hers and I was using stolen property. So, just make sure it's not stolen. It'd suck if what happened to me, happened to you.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  14. InlawBiker macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #14
    I think you're right. If it's inside the 1st year then the standard warranty you should be good no matter what, and you can still buy the extended warranty.

    Here is the official language from warranty about transfer. You can do it once and it's supposed to be officially done. But, in practice it would not surprise me if they just look up the serial number to see if it's covered.

    Think of it this way though - if you buy a used Mac with some time left on the extended warranty and don't get it transferred, there's nothing to stop the original owner from calling Apple to receive a pro-rated refund after he's sold it do you.

    10. Transfer of Plan
    (i) With Transfer of Covered Equipment to New Owner. Subject to the restrictions set
    forth below, you may make a one-time permanent transfer of all of your rights under the
    Plan to another party, provided that: (a) the transfer includes the original Proof of
    Purchase, the Plan's Confirmation and all of the Plan's packaging material, including
    printed materials and these Terms and Conditions; (b) you notify Apple of the transfer
    by sending, faxing or e-mailing notice of transfer to Apple Inc., ATTN: Agreement
    Administration, MS: 217AC, 2511 Laguna Blvd, Elk Grove, CA 95758, U.S., fax number
    916-405-3655 or agmts_transfer@apple.com, respectively; and (c) the party receiving
    the Plan accepts the Terms and Conditions of the Plan. When notifying Apple of the
    transfer of the Plan, you must provide the Plan Agreement Number, the serial number of
    the Covered Equipment being transferred and the name, address, telephone number and
    email address of the new owner.
     
  15. CUsurfer thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    #15
    Thanks for the input. Yeah I'm always worried about it being stolen. I'm not sure what I can do except run the serial # through that Apple website...I hope that is all that is required of me. I know what you mean about certain things--It's almost like you can feel if something isn't quite right. I have corresponded with the seller more times than I can count by now and I don't get that vibe at all, quite the opposite, so that's good. They could just be a really good scammer though! Ha! I will have taken every precaution I could take so hopefully it works out...

    ----------

    This is good info, thanks for posting. Hopefully if someone finds this thread in the future via search this will be of help to someone.
     
  16. iMacDragon macrumors 65816

    iMacDragon

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #16
     
  17. CUsurfer, Jun 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012

    CUsurfer thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    #17
    Just to follow up, everything went off without a hitch. I'm the proud new owner of a used Late '11 MBP w/ Glossy HiRes. For my tastes and needs, this option worked better for me than buying new. 16GB of Crucial RAM and hopefully a 512GB Crucial M4 is up next. Too bad the prices went back up...hopefully they drop again soon.

    No problems so far. It's funny, I've done a lot of work in unix and Linux, but I'm a Windows guy at home, so I have no idea how to use OSX. It's all pretty intuitive, but it's funny...I have this strange urge to open up a terminal and ls -ltr every directory...like I don't trust OSX or something, ha.
     
  18. dhartung02 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Location:
    Little Rock, AR
  19. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    #19
    I recommend getting a copy of David Pogue's "Missing Manual: Lion." Or the Missing Manual for "Switchers." The switcher book is mainly for folks who are making the move from Windows to Mac who need info about how to transfer files, etc. The book has a lot of the info in the regular "Missing Manual."

    But if you don't need the information in the switcher version I think that the Lion book is the way to go. I've been using Macs since 1995 and I always have a Missing Manual around; it gets me up to speed with a new OS fast and relatively painlessly.

    It's the best $10 (Kindle edition) you will spend on your new Mac.

    Frankly, I think that the benefits commonly associated with SSDs are over-sold on this forum. The cost/benefits just don't pencil-out for me. My 13" MBP early 2011 running Lion is plenty fast as far as I am concerned. YMMV, of course...
     

Share This Page