Buying used Macbook Pro from CraigsList - What To Check??

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by A4orce84, May 1, 2012.

  1. A4orce84 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    #1
    Hello Everyone,

    I am pretty close to pulling the trigger on a used Macbook Pro off of craigslist. The guy offered for me to come check out the machine and inspect it before purchasing. So what should I check?

    So far I have:
    1. Run it unplugged to see how the battery holds up
    2. Wifi / Bluetooth works correctly
    3. Bring USB Drive to test USBS
    4. Bring a DVD to test CD drive


    What else should I check?


    Thanks,


    --Asif
     
  2. BryanSanDiego macrumors newbie

    BryanSanDiego

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Location:
    San Diego Country Estates, CA
    #2
    A4orce84,

    A few things I would check in addition to your list and this may vary depending on the model your purchasing.

    5. I would check the physical status of the battery. (If the model is a 15” 08-09 prior unibody pull the battery and check for signs of bloating.)

    6.Check for dead pixels on the display. (http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/10793/pixel-check)

    7. Check hard drive health. (The reason I say this is all laptops at some point in time will experience hard drive failure. I have found I get about 2-4 years out of a laptop hard drive with daily use. Easy way to check for errors is running “verify” under disk utility. However, this will only tell you if errors are present on the drive. If you want a better idea of the hard drives actual condition run: http://www.corecode.at/smartreporter/

    8. Check the repair history using the serial number:
    https://support.apple.com/repairstat...atus&loginrs=1

    Well that is about all I can think of I am sure others will think of more.


    Wish you luck,
    Bryan Simonson
     
  3. noisycats macrumors 6502a

    noisycats

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    Location:
    The 'ham. Alabama.
    #3
    The person you will be meeting knows you have a grand or so in your pocket. Take a friend and meet at a public place. No exceptions.

    Even better, have a third friend with the actual cash wait in the car.
     
  4. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #4
    Additionally, I would make sure the serial number on the case matches the one in the system. If not, walk away.

    jW
     
  5. A4orce84 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    #5

    How do you check that on a unibody 2010 macbook PRO? (Where is it located physically and how do I check it on the actual system?)

    Thanks,

    --Asif
     
  6. Medic278 macrumors 6502a

    Medic278

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    #6
    I would check the serial number to make sure its not stolen. I would also test out the keyboard and especially the track pad and make sure they are both working well. I would also ask him the seller still has the original box with, it may help determining if its stolen. I still have the boxes for all my apple products.
     
  7. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603

    ECUpirate44

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    Mar 22, 2010
    Location:
    NC
  8. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #8
    Should just be etched directly into the bottom case, towards the back. Compare it to what's show under About This Mac.

    jW
     
  9. umiwangu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    Malawi
    #9
    And maybe consider getting a refurbished one directly from Apple. You know it'll work, and it'll come with the standard 1 year of AppleCare. You'll often save a couple hundred dollars, depending on which model you choose.
     
  10. zorinlynx macrumors 601

    zorinlynx

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #10
    Bring a DUAL LAYER DVD to test. A Snow Leopard install DVD is good for this purpose.

    The optical drive on my 2006 Macbook Pro read single layer discs just fine, but was no longer able to read dual layer discs. Since I installed Snow Leopard from a USB thumb drive, I didn't realize this, and sold the machine without specifying the bad drive. The buyer was upset about the defective optical drive; we agreed on a $50 refund to compensate him for this.

    Other sellers may not be as equitable as I was, so be sure to TEST it!
     
  11. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #11
    The refurb section can be deceiving at times. I usually check it against other sources. Like on the mac pros, B+H clearanced 2009 models at $1900. Apple still charges more than that for an equivalent refurb when they do come up. With the older ones, you need to look at specs to see if you're really saving money. They'll often list the original selling price, but sometimes a newer one at a lower price point has better specs, yet the newer model costs roughly the same refurbished because its price started lower. My point is that if the OP is trying to save money by buying used, they should do some research on the model being considered to ensure that they are in fact doing well on their purchase.
     
  12. umiwangu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    Malawi
    #12
    You're right. I generally tend to buy the previous generation, or the current gen as soon as it's available in refurb.
     
  13. dooboo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2012
    #13
    Few more items to check

    This is based on my personal experience...which I walked away. I was looking at 15" MBP early 2011 model with 750gb hdd...

    1) Be ready to walk away.
    2) Ask lots of questions like - when did you buy? Why are you selling it? ask questions via e-mail, ask same question via phone, and ask same question in person. Reason is that if the person is lying, he/she will have different story when same question is asked.
    3) match the serial number on the casing to the system
    4) negotiate the price, but lowball it a little to see how the seller would react.

    here is my story...based on the above items...
    1) I walked away...cause everything just didn't line up correctly. Even the price was awesome, just didn't feel right.
    2) Asked question via e-mail about when and why. Well, as far as buying part, on the listing he said he bought 09/2011 and want to sell it because he needs the money. When texting about software installed, his story changed it to "I bought it from my friend"...then met him in person, it changed to "I am selling it for my friend" OK buddy.
    3) Serial number on the unit was all scratched up, but still somewhat recognizable. Well, from what I can see, it wasn't matching up with the "about this computer" serial number. Why would anyone scratch out the case serial number is beyond me.
    4) so, the computer was in worse shape than how it was described. he was asking $1200 for it. So, using condition as a reason, I offered him $900...he goes, I need to call my friend to make sure he is ok. I was like "I thought this was your computer? Why do you need to get your friends ok?" That's when he told me about selling this for his friend reasoning. Anyhow, after few minutes he came back said "OK, I will take $950". Ok...don't even fight back on this incredible machine.

    Just nothing made easy about this unit. Non of his stories made any sense. Asked for activation code for his so called "installed software", he had non. Asked for a box, don't have it.

    So, if something doesn't feel right, just walk away. That's my story.
     
  14. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #14
    For the battery I would run Coconut Battery and see what it's current capacity is. It'll give you a number for current and original, along with number of charge cycles, age and percent of original.
     
  15. sos85 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Location:
    nw2 7jp Londo
    #15
    Do not care battery, you can buy cheap replacement everywhere, carefully checked the CPU fan , Graphics cards, mainboard.
     

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