Price Advice Buying USED, need HELP!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by BEL86, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. BEL86 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    #1
    I am moving to Guatemala to teach English. I need a laptop that will allow me to access the internet/wifi, use Word, load my pictures, use Skype etc etc.

    I am going to be making VERY little money there so I am hoping not to spend much either.

    I found a mid 2010 13in silver MacBook Pro.
    250 GB
    (allegedly) 8-9 hour battery life
    Has MS Office, Photoshop and iTunes.

    The seller is asking $500 which is the TOP of my budget and the lowest he's willing to go.

    Does this seem like a good deal?

    If not, what would you recommend I look for (year, specs, price etc)

    Thank you very much for any/all input!!
     
  2. Vampire5003 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    It's not bad, but check out eBay and Craigslist too, and add see if a 2011 or 2012 MBA is around your budget. Now if you really want bang for your buck, with a $500 dollar budget, you may want to consider windows PC's too. My parents Lenovo was $449 and it has a core i5 dual core processor, 1080p screen, 17 inch laptop, 8GB RAM. Just saying a windows pc may be a better fit if your budget is under $750.
     
  3. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #3
    Pretend it has no software installed, as that's likely just pirated software unless you receive disks and everything. You don't have the software unless you have a way to restore it if a drive dies. It's not an incredible deal, although it's probably around market rate in the US. These things are used. You have to factor in that you may have service costs at some point. Even for a new battery that claim would be bogus. You are unlikely to have more than half that if you're lucky depending on how you use it. Make sure you check the trackpad and the bottom. If the battery is starting to swell, the trackpad will become more difficult to use, and you may feel a slight bulge beneath it.
     
  4. BEL86 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    #4

    I agree - a PC would be MUCH better for my price, however (unfortunately) I am the opposite of most of the world: I have only ever had Mac's and I find PC's difficult to use/understand etc. I'm sure i would catch on eventually, but I have too much going on to try to learn a new system. I may end up resorting to that though!

    I've been looking on Craigslist but have avoided e-bay. I will check there too, I just don't trust ebay very often haha.

    ----------

    That is a VERY good point. I should probably look for/ask for original discs of those programs too huh? Some have said they do not have the disc bc they downloaded it (office, etc) from iTunes - would they be able to "give" me anything in that case?

    I just really don't want to purchase a used computer THEN have to spend $150 on word, seems crazy to me haha.

    I will look out for "the bulge"! Thanks!!
     
  5. Vampire5003 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #5
    Oh ok that's understandable. I trust eBay, because work case scenario you open a eBay case and get all your money back. I've had worse luck with Craigslist then eBay lol. Also check out Amazon's used section they're pretty good deals on there.

    Thanks,

    T

    ----------

    Then Pirate the software yourself. Not the best advice, but if you can't use free programs or trials of paid software then your only option is obviously pirating the software. Just make it up to the developers and buy the software one day :)
     
  6. durruti macrumors regular

    durruti

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    Location:
    Jersey
    #6
    Try for MBA 2011 128/4GB, HD 3000

    Bad deal for $500.

    I would go for a Mac that has an SSD.

    For around $700, you can probably be able to get a 13" 2011 MBA core i5 128GB/4GB. A 11" 2011 MBA would probably be closer to your target.

    I recommend the 13" MBAs. From experience, easier on eyes.

    It is worth it.
     
  7. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68020

    Mr_Brightside_@

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    The 6ix
    #7
    That sounds far too high, sadly.
    He said pretty specifically his budget was no more than $500...
     
  8. BEL86 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    #8


    Awwwmannnnn. He is a SHE! hahah :eek::eek:
     
  9. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68020

    Mr_Brightside_@

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    The 6ix
    #9
    I've been trying to be more PC lately too, sorry.
     
  10. velocityg4, Jul 24, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013

    velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #10
    With that $500 budget you are also going to need a backup hard drive.

    What's the situation like on getting replacement parts in Guatemala? You may want some replacement parts for those components more likely to fail. The hard drive, battery and power adapter. That's also the order of likelihood of failure.

    For $200 to $300 you can get pretty good used/refurbished Core 2 Duo's, with Windows 7 and 2GB to 4GB of RAM from Microcenter. Then be able to get an external backup drive, spare internal, extra battery and spare AC Adapter within the $500 mark.

    You are also going to want a good laptop lock.

    Also the old Windows laptop is much lower profile target against theft than a shiny Macbook Pro. Perhaps a bland looking business model with Win 7 Professional.

    To save money on office use the free Libreoffice.org.
     
  11. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #11
    My typical rule is that I purchase all software myself. With a legitimate copy of office, drm is in place to prevent more than one instance of that license from running simultaneously. This is because one user might install it on more than one machine. That is allowed, just not for concurrent use. When you buy one of these machines, you should base what you are willing to pay on the hardware alone. Pretend it comes with an operating system and nothing else. At that point how much is it worth to you? I was serious on all points. A used computer is not worth as much as a refurbished one of the same age from Apple, as these things do suffer wear and tear over time. Especially with notebooks and imacs, the benchmarks of the hardware are only one factor. That one is significantly cheaper than a new one, but just be aware that whether you buy new or old, out of warranty battery replacements are expensive ($100-200 in the US depending on model).


    I wouldn't say that, and really that kind of topic can result in the thread being closed. I was trying to point out not to factor the inclusion of pirated software into the value of a used product. It is something jerks do to prop up the value of aging tech.
     
  12. SilverOath macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2013
    #12
    I'd consider getting a iPad with a BlueTooth Keyboard. Smaller, Cheaper. I don't know the area you are traveling too - but consider a lot of thieves prey on foreigners - so I wouldn't put all my eggs in one basket. When I traveled to France I took a old beat up iPad and it worked well for a month of sky-ping, pictures, and e-mail.
     

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