Future proofing 101

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Pika, Jan 27, 2009.


Best computer buying/selling strategy?

  1. Buy new Mac and sell it 6 months later for $????

    1 vote(s)
  2. Buy new Mac and sell it 1 year later for $????

    2 vote(s)
  3. Buy new Mac and sell it 2 years later for $????

    6 vote(s)
  4. Buy new Mac and sell it 3 years later for $????

    6 vote(s)
  5. Buy new Mac and sell it 4 years later for $????

    0 vote(s)
  6. Buy new Mac and sell it 5 or more years later for $????

    4 vote(s)
  7. Buy new Mac every update and sell it before the new was announced for $????

    2 vote(s)
  8. Buy new Mac and never sell it

    20 vote(s)
  9. Buy new Mac... upgrade it and sell it for $????

    3 vote(s)
  1. Pika macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2008
    What's the best strategy for buying new laptops and selling old ones? I usually buy a new computer once every five years or so and then sell my old one. Say I spend $3000 for a new one and sell the old one for $300. Would I be better off buying a new one every year and selling the old one each year? In other words, would I get more for the old one that it would make up for the depreciation in waiting five years?

    I do the every year thing with MacBook Pros. I generally sell them for within $300 of what I pay for them. The trick is the RAM. I buy from Apple with the base amount of RAM, and then upgrade to the maximum from a 3rd party vendor. For example, with my current MacBook Pro shipped with 2 GB of RAM. I upgraded it to 4 GB. That cost me like $120. Apple charges $700 for the same upgrade. When I post it on Craigslist (which I will probably do very soon), I'll list it for $1900 or so, and advertise that the same machine on Apple.com is $2700+tax. There are plenty of people that absolutely don't want to hear about how easy it is to open up their laptop and upgrade the RAM. They just want to buy it ready to go. For them, it's a pretty solid deal.

    My personal computer buying/upgrade strategy to get the most bang for the buck to is buy a replacement machine every 12 months.

    Use it for 12 months. Sell it, buy another.
  2. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    I think you're putting way too much thought into it. A computer is merely a toaster, in that it's just an appliance, not an investment. Replacement should come when it's broken beyond cost-effective repair or is no longer up to the tasks you require. Beyond that, there's depreciation (only applicable if you're a business) and personal preferences.

    I average a new Mac of one form or another every three years, but the old one becomes a "hand me down," meaning that they last in my household an average of six years in use.
  3. Patriks7 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2008
    I think Macs are such great machines that it's not worth selling them. I mean there are still people running their iBooks and Powerbooks :D
  4. spaceballl macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    I sell my Mac every 18 months or so, depending on when they refresh the line to my liking. I always buy right after an announcement as well. Selling my Mac affords me the ability to only pay between $300 and $600 for a brand new Mac. It has worked really well for me over the past 5 years or so - I will definitely continue.
  5. andrewsd macrumors 6502

    Sep 27, 2008
    never sale or get rid of unless

    I have only sold one of my mac products and I still wish to this day I did not because I would still be using it now in some way or another.. It was a 1.25 ghz powerbook g4 fully loaded but I hit a really rough spot and needed money however I could get it so I sold it. But other then that I keep all my stuff and as long as what you have suites your needs and gets it done in an efficient way then there is no need to go buy a whole new computer.. just my two cents
  6. Turmoil macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2008
    I've never sold a Mac. I use them till they die :)
  7. dmmcintyre3 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    I do not see what I do

    I buy used for $1000 and keep it till it dies. My PowerBook has only lost $300 in value since I bought it
  8. MattZani macrumors 68030


    Apr 20, 2008
    Bought my MBP June '08, hoping to keep it until around the same time in '11, when I go off to uni, will hopefully get around £1000 for it, maybe a little less as it has a small dent (unless I fix) and I think that's reasonable, costs me £500 for 3 years good use.
  9. Theophany macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2008
    NW London.
    I think a more apt question to ask yourself is whether or not you will get $3,000 worth of use out a machine if you pay that price for it?

    Computers only depreciate in value and relative performance. There are a handful of machines that actually appreciate or hold their value, but they're essentially antiques and unless they're in pristine or similar condition, they're worthless.

    Buy a Mac that you can justify spending the money on and use it 'til it shuts down for the last time. A computer that lasts 5+ years is the closest any computer can get to being called an 'investment.'
  10. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    There is no such thing as future-proofing; that said, I would buy a computer when I need the upgrade.
  11. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    I have to agree. I recently sold my BlackBook (Core Duo - the day Intel introduced in MB), MacBook Pro (v2,2), and MBA (the original one)... I must admit, I miss them all. It was madness that led to this though.

    I had five computers in my office. I was reading here that the MBs, MBAs, and MBPs were going to be released. Was around October 1, 2008. I had the following computers:
    Dell Server (orig price $1600)
    Dell Precision M70 - workstation grade laptop ($3100)
    BlackBook ($1650)
    MacBook Pro ($2700)
    MacBook Air ($1850)

    I first sold the BlackBook for $950 (-$700). Then I sold the MBA for $1650 (-$200). Then the MB, MBA, and MBP were released the second week in October. I bought a MB 2.4 (aluminum unibody) for $1750. I then sold my Dell server for $500 (-$1100). I was loving my MB, and I got everything from the MBP transferred over. I sold my MBP for $1450 (-$1250). I then upgraded my HD (320 GB, 7200rpm) and RAM in the MB... I then used Boot Camp and installed Windows Vista Ultimate. I no longer needed the final notebook and sold the Dell Precision for $500 (-$2600).

    Total Net Loss = $5850
    Net Loss on Macs = $2150 (lost much less but didn't have as long)
    Cash from Sales = $5050
    Spent on new MB and upgrades = -$1750(MB) - $170(HDD&RAM)
    Net cash leftover from sales minus new MB purchases = $3,130

    So, I sold three Macs, and I miss them all! I wish I would have kept the Macs and just never sold them. My kids are three and four, and they want to play Elmo's Potty Time on my MacBook (what was I thinking) - the BlackBook would have been perfect for them. What if I want to play a game, my new MB will not (what was I thinking) - the old MBP would have run games with its 2.33 GHz CPU and 256MB ATI graphics card. Sometimes I wish I had a netbook (what was I thinking) - the first version MBA IS A NETBOOK!

    So, I will never get my Macs back, and I miss them all - WHAT WAS I THINKING!

    I am planning to "upgrade" buy a new MBA revB in the next week (I thought I was going to wait for revC, but I cannot). So, the "net" cash from my madness of sales is going to be nearly nothing. But I have a new unibody MB 2.4 and will have a new MBA revB with 1.86 GHz and 128 GB SSD. I will use one day per month for Windows App I use for a client. I will also use it as a Mac (secondary computer) in case the MBA ever needs servicing, and it will be used primarily for the kids games (what a waste of a unibody MB).

    In the future, all my Macs will stay "in-house." When I get to my next new Mac, my son will be ready for a MB of his own. When I get another MBA, my daughter will be ready for my revB MBA.

    I am going to buy a new Mac every year (MBA on every revision), but I am NOT going to sell my old Macs. NEVER AGAIN will I make that mistake. Wow, never thought I would grow so attached to my Macs and would miss them so. My Macs are a part of me. They are like children (ok, that's overboard), but they are like pets (not really), but if you love Macs I am sure you know what I mean.

    Go Mac, GO! Here's to keeping Macs until they no longer function!
  12. spaceballl macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    A couple more cents on this topic... One of the great things about Apple is their pace of innovation. Every couple years, things are way different than they used to be - software with way more features, cooler and faster hardware, and new ways of doing things. If you buy a computer and think that its current capabilities will last you for five years, then go for it :D. I'm a geek and always need the latest and greatest. Of course, I can't afford to buy every new Apple computer that comes out. But selling mine every eighteen months or so and then trading up to the new one is the most cost effective way for me to generally stay on the leading edge of things.
  13. Vulcan macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I use my Mac until I need a new one. For example, I just bought this MacBook a couple of months ago and before that I was using a five year old PowerBook :eek:

    Now that I'm on my MacBook I wonder how I put up with how slow that thing moved...
  14. Old Muley macrumors 6502a

    Old Muley

    Jan 6, 2009
    Titletown USA
    Let me think about this... I gave my first two Macs away to my in-laws. I sold my Quadra 650 for a couple of hundred bucks back in the pre-eBay days after I had it for 3 years. The next one (a Performa) I bought used from my brother in-law and eventually I gave it to my parents; it was their first Mac. Unfortunately it ended up dying before I was ready to upgrade my G4, so I bought them an older B/W G3/300 which they are still using today. My G4 was eBayed after I'd had it for 3 years to fund the G5 back in 2004. Sometime in the next 6 months I'm hoping to upgrade to either a iMac or a Mac Pro depending on where I'm at financially.

    In summary, I typically keep my Macs for about 4 years, and about 1/2 the time sell them to fund a new Mac purchase. The funny thing is, every time I get a new computer, my wife tells me it's the last one I can ever buy. Then she does something like by a USB printer for the Performa 6200, or gets a video camera that only outputs AHVCD and doesn't work with our G5, thus requiring us to upgrade our Macs to stay current.:)

Share This Page