Buying Used? Where? What? How?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by stevietheb, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. stevietheb macrumors 6502a


    Jan 15, 2004
    Howdy all,

    So, my wife and I have a budding photography business. As we've become busier and busier, our old system of working with RAW images has become unmanageable. Moving to an application like Aperture or Lightroom has become preferable. Because I'm pretty much an Apple fanboy, we chose Aperture.

    However, currently we're running Aperture on the iMac in my sig. The 1.8 GHz G5 and 1 GB of RAM just don't cut it. Especially when using Aperture and Photoshop in conjunction.

    The logical step would be to move up to a Mac Pro...but resources are just too stretched at the moment to throw down $3000 (the cost of the Mac Pro + a decent monitor).

    So, I began to think that a PowerMac G5, loaded with RAM and a two or four processors could do the job for a lot less cash.


    (a) What configuration would I need to run Aperture and Adobe CS2 fluidly? (note that I'm only looking at computers at the moment...I've got scratch disks and stuff like that taken care of)

    (b) Does anyone know of any online retailers that are reputable and deal with older model macs?

    (c) Is eBay a crap shoot?

    Any advice is welcome...

  2. cmccarten macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2006
    While some would disagree with me, I say avoid buying used computers on eBay like the plague.
    I had the horrible experience of buying an iBook on eBay that arrived with a dead optical drive. Neither eBay or paypal will do anything on your behalf to make the seller accountable, it pretty much comes down to you having to deal with the problem yourself (in my case, it involved spending weeks convincing the seller that >>I<< wasn't the one trying to rip her off so that she would give me my money back!)
    Ebay=no tech support, (often) no return policy, no manager to summon when things go crap.

    Stick with a store (online or otherwise) that is actually somewhat interested in maintaining a good retail reputation.
  3. stevietheb thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 15, 2004
    Thanks, cmccarten, for that response.

    I found an ad for the following machine (not on eBay):

    Power Mac G5 dual 2.0GHz
    4.5GB RAM
    160GB Hard Drive
    Airport Extreme card + antenna
    Bluetooth module
    Power Cord
    Fresh install of Tiger 10.4

    Machine has no performance issues, but the bottom of the case was damaged in transit. Cosmetic damage only - the machine is 100% funtional. Priced for quick sale @ $1000. This machine has 4.5GB of RAM and really screams.

    There are pictures on the ad that make the damage look pretty minor (just a couple of dents). One of the bonuses here is that I would be able to pick this machine up here in town.
  4. Frankf300 macrumors regular


    Oct 15, 2006
    I would also agree with avoiding eBay. I just don't trust getting such expensive items such as computers from there. I believe the risk is just too high, they may list is as being flawless, but they'll obviously say whatever to make the sale. So they'll say it's flawless, but 2 lines down it will also say the item is sold "as is" to cover their arse.

    I bought my iBook from an online retailer... Great company to deal with, awesome customer service and they got my iBook to me fast. They don't stock too many systems, but they get some gems in there sometimes. I also know of:
    and of course the Apple refurb store.
  5. cmccarten macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2006
    that sounds like a pretty good deal from where i stand!
    and the fact that it is local has the added bonus of being able to more easily get in touch with the seller if any whacked out problems arise right after purchase.
    (i would suggest, however, that you take a look inside the case before you buy it. just to make sure that there are no extant internal issues with the initial damage)
  6. cayley macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2007
    I've never had any issues with buying expensive items on eBay. My personal rule of thumb is be very paranoid. If anything seems strange, just move on to the next auction. Use PayPal to pay... they offer protection up to $2,000.
  7. stevietheb thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 15, 2004
    Yeah, I think I'm a bit nervous to bid that much money on eBay—which is why I probably asked in the first place. I'm sure there's a lot of honest people out there...but I'd rather be safe than sorry.

    Frankf300, I'll try those online stores that you suggest...

    Thanks again...all advice is welcome.
  8. nightsky macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2007
    Gd Refurb Experience

    Purchased refub powerbook from and its like new. You want manufacturer refurbs so they come sealed from them w/1yr warranty and before the yrs up u can purchase apple care.

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