Is it safe buying from Craigslist?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by AlexGraphicD, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. AlexGraphicD macrumors regular

    AlexGraphicD

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Location:
    New York
    #1
    Has anyone experience buying imacs from Craigslist? I seethe the are some very good deals almost too good to be true.
     
  2. rawweb, Sep 23, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016

    rawweb macrumors 6502a

    rawweb

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    #2
    It's safe. Just be smart about it and use some common sense.

    Always meet somewhere public and make sure you fully inspect the device before purchasing.

    Pay extra close attention to the display (look for yellowing, dark spots, dead pixels etc). Don't let the seller rush you, and don't get distracted. Spend time inspecting the display, you'll have to live with it if it's not good. Make sure you can turn the machine on and see the OS booted (you can reinstall a clean version later). Prior to the sale, I always make sure the seller has followed these steps to the letter: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201065. Make sure if it's a newer machine, they remove the product from their support profile with Apple (http://supportprofile.apple.com), turn off Find my Mac and log out of iCloud/iTunes. If they're a good seller, they will do this with you in public so you can see them "handing off" the Mac.
     
  3. Spink10 Suspended

    Spink10

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    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #3
    Great advice - follow this!
     
  4. rawweb macrumors 6502a

    rawweb

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    Aug 7, 2015
    #4
    Yes, another piece of small advice. Change the background to solid white. And let the machine sit on for a few minutes. Crank the display to full brightness and look for any blemishes, white will help you detect any darkened or dead pixels.

    I'm super picky, but I think everyone should be (if seller hasn't disclosed any issues).
     
  5. Spink10 Suspended

    Spink10

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    #5
    I would add - call the seller and have specific questions to ask them about the product. Make sure they can carry a conversation with you.
     
  6. rawweb macrumors 6502a

    rawweb

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    #6
    I've got more! I forgot about this, but I also always do this...Before you even waste your time in person, check the product serial number here: (if the seller doesn't disclose the serial number after initial conversation, run away)

    Check Your Service and Support Coverage - Apple Support
    Ultimate Mac - Lookup Mac Specs By Serial Number, Order, Model ...

    If the Mac has AppleCare+ the first link will show all three sections with green marks. It will also tell you when the AppleCare expires. If that's the case, you can feel even more comfortable as the computer is covered under manufacturer and accidental damage. Also, if AppleCare is still available for purchase (within the first year), I highly advise doing it ASAP.
     
  7. mmomega macrumors 68030

    mmomega

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    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #7
    I have bought and sold on CL but it has been many years ago.
    Now I am not saying I wouldn't use it today, I would.
    Ask if the seller has any extra photos, any further information not listed and meet in a public place, Starbucks, etc.
    Now I've never met someone shady on a meet but I was still a little cautious about the item, each time it was exactly as they advertised.

    I use the old, if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is rule.
     
  8. AlexGraphicD thread starter macrumors regular

    AlexGraphicD

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    Oct 26, 2015
    Location:
    New York
    #8
    Thanks for the useful information. I got one question though as I am not very comfortable with tech, I read one of the above links from Apple that says that before you give away an iMac you should sign out from iTunes and iCloud and then perform a drive formatting.

    I am asking cause recently I gave back to a person his iMac that I had borrowed for a short time and didn't sign out from iTunes and iCloud as apple suggests, I just wiped the drive with secure erasing 7 times.
    I also deleted the machine from my Apple account devices but I don't know if there's an issue cause I didn't sign out before wiping the drive.
     
  9. Relentless Power macrumors Core

    Relentless Power

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    Jul 12, 2016
    #9
    Very well said. I always advise the Buyer to take their time and be thorough through there inspection.
     
  10. rawweb macrumors 6502a

    rawweb

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    Aug 7, 2015
    #10
    It won't be a big deal, wiping it does theoretically remove those references. In the future, follow Apple's guide as SOP. It just makes sure that any reference to that system in your account is totally removed.

    I recently bought a 2015 MacBook from someone on CL, they didn't follow Apple's steps and as soon as I got home I couldn't add the computer to my personal support profile because their Apple ID was still associating the computer on their account. Thankfully, they responded to my text and complied with removing it.
     
  11. AlexGraphicD thread starter macrumors regular

    AlexGraphicD

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    Oct 26, 2015
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    New York
    #11
    Actually after I wiped the drive, I created a new admin account for the other person and he signed in with his Apple ID.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 23, 2016 ---
    How can you bring an iMac in a public space, plug it in power and turn it on to inspect the screen? Doesn't seem very practical to me unless I miss something.
     
  12. rawweb macrumors 6502a

    rawweb

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    Aug 7, 2015
    #12
    I just go to my local coffee shop, grab a drink and tell the worker I'm meeting someone to buy a computer. They never care. There's a table and an outlet on a wall somewhere. Works every time.
     
  13. AlexGraphicD thread starter macrumors regular

    AlexGraphicD

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    #13
    Okay..that's good to know that it is feasible to do.
     
  14. rawweb macrumors 6502a

    rawweb

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    Aug 7, 2015
    #14
    Yeah, to me it's the best way to do it. I've even seen folks hauling an iMac into a McDonalds before. Try to find a table away from a window, iMac's are pretty glossy, hard to see fine details if there's nothing but glare around you.. Spend as much time inspecting that screen as you can! Sorry to sound like a broken record!
     
  15. AlexGraphicD thread starter macrumors regular

    AlexGraphicD

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    Oct 26, 2015
    Location:
    New York
    #15
    Yes the screen is the most important aspect...personally if I ever buy a used iMac I want it to look like new with no visible cosmetic flaw.
    I just hope the seller will be willing to bring it in a public place.
     
  16. rawweb macrumors 6502a

    rawweb

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    Aug 7, 2015
    #16
    Personally, I don't do CL deals if they don't meet in public. In fact, I can't even think of a time that someone refused to meet me in public.

    I've bought and sold a lot of  gear on CL. It's always been in public places.
     
  17. varian55zx macrumors 6502a

    varian55zx

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    May 10, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #17
    I just sold my late 2015 iMac on cl. Sold it for only $100 less than I bought it for, amazing transaction. Now you don't normally make out that well

    As for buying an iMac on Craigslist, I will never recommend that to anyone. I am just giving you my personal opinion. Do as you wish.

    If you want to save money buying your iMac, instead I will recommend to purchase Apple refurbished or from B&H Photo.
     
  18. rawweb macrumors 6502a

    rawweb

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    Aug 7, 2015
    #18
    There's nothing wrong with buying if you're careful and you know what to look for. If the unit has AppleCare or AppleCare can still be purchased, there really isn't much to worry about. I do agree though, great deals on the refurb store. I'm writing on my late 2015 fully loaded iMac that I nabbed off the refurbished store.

    The guy that bought your iMac for $100 less than retail price, that's insane. He could have gotten a certified refurbished unit for way less than that. Usually 15-20% off retail price. I have never priced anything I sold on Craigslist higher than the refurbished store. I guess there's a sucker born every minute though. Hopefully you had AppleCare on your unit? Thats a $350 value.
     
  19. sammyman macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    #19
    Yesterday I bought a base 5k iMac for $1200 cash. Very shady. Box was unopened. Gave the guy cash, and opened it up. Looked untouched so I took it.

    Warranty shows until next July. What has it been doing in a box since July!? For me the savings was worth the risk.
     
  20. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #20
    I have sold a few items via CL. Best I can say is both the buyer and the seller should be considered suspect and thus meeting in public is an excellent idea. Also it is good for both to have a signed paper of transfer of ownership that includes any identification of the item (serial number etc.).

    The only thing I can say is that there are a few of us out there that have sold our items in tip-top shape, honest about any thing that might raise a question mark and offer the item(s) at a very fair price if not better than. My items sold included all sorts of electronics over the years and associated items (computer, photography, audio).
     
  21. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #21
    The best times/durations for finding deals on PCs and Macs are IMHO, the couple of months leading up to April 15 (cars, too...), right after the Xmas bills start coming in, and when college classes are starting up (plenty of Macs that the moms and dads gave to the kids, and the kids don't tell mom and dad about on-campus computer labs...).

    Lots of good advice here. One more, as a NY native to another NYer - pick that coffee shop just around the corner or down the street from a nearby police house, at a minimum you'll have plenty of armed customers nearby and ward off potential money grabbers... :evil grin:
     
  22. davidg4781 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    Alice, TX
    #22
    I bought my old 2010 MBP on CL. Excellent condition, found out the owner was an Apple employee. It was only missing the extension cable... which Apple sent me for free.

    I also bought an older iMac. Got home and it would freeze on me. After doing a quick google I found this was a known issue with this model. Something a really quick search before buying would have shown. I was able to sell it to a friend but I took a loss. I also was very upfront and even let him play with it for a few days before he paid.

    And with the ACD, it was $150 less that what I had seen them for about a year earlier. I thought they just went down in price. Guy was nice, his dad was there even. He had a power inverter and his MacBook so he can show it worked. I thought I'd be smart and check the USB ports... 2 of them showed the USB drive flickering. He said it's probably due to the power inverter not being able power them fully. Well, I got home, and my outlets apparently aren't able to power them either since only one works.

    Again, my fault for not checking fully, but for saving that much and having such a beautiful display, I'm alright with that.
     

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