Is this Craigslist price for a used iMac too goo to be true?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by xJennyx, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. xJennyx macrumors newbie

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    Feb 6, 2018
    #1
    Im a college student and I'm looking for an iMac. However I can't afford a new one because like I said... I'm a college student, lol. Please keep in mind I'm not a super computer savvy person.

    Anyway I see a listing on Craigslist offering an iMac, 21.5 inch 2011 model for $200.

    "it has 4GB ram 500GB HDD 3.2GHZ i3 Processor it is loaded with, Microsoft Office, Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro and comes with Apple Keyboard and Mouse and power cord"

    Is this too good to be true? I definitely have some ideas about checking it when I see it such as bringing a DVD/cd with me, SD card, USB plugins, etc. to make sure everything works fine. I just want to check to make sure that this is even worth pursuing.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

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    #2
    I'm always suspicious when someone bundles that much software for free. This falls under the too good to be true category for me. Can you tell from the pictures what the surroundings look like?
     
  3. xJennyx thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3

    I can't tell much, it looks like it's on a desk. They did mention the stand was bent which also shows in the pictures they provided.

    http://i68.tinypic.com/9uooy9.jpg


    http://i68.tinypic.com/11aegjo.jpg
     
  4. oldhifi macrumors 65816

    oldhifi

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  5. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

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    #5
  6. velocityg4 macrumors 601

    velocityg4

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    #6
    Looking at SOLD used prices on eBay. That model with similar specs goes for $250 to $285. Given that it has a bent stand. $200 sounds reasonable.

    If it doesn’t include license keys and installers. The software is about as valuable as any pirated software. Meaning $0. Since anyone would be well advised to format the drive and clean install the OS on any used computer.

    I wouldn’t jump the gun and proclaim it is stolen because the stand is bent. That is no evidence. People are klutzes. It could have been dropped or knocked off a desk. Under any number of circumstances.

    I would only be wary. Because a drop could have damaged something internally. Check the ports and boot into diagnostic mode.
     
  7. blesscheese macrumors 6502a

    blesscheese

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    #7
    If you are on a budget, buying used from a reputable source is a great idea. I've bought a couple of items from Mac of All Trades and had good success with them...the cheapest iMac they have in the 21.5 inch i3 flavor is $329, with free shipping (and you might not have to pay tax). BTW, what do you need to run on your computer?

    https://www.macofalltrades.com/21-5-inch-Refurbished-iMacs-s/381.htm
     
  8. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

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    #8
    I dunno, with Craigslist, if it looks sketchy, it probably is sketchy. Plus that stand looks more bent from prying, less from dropping. I know the stand is aluminum, but it would take a lot of force to do that kind of damage. Just my opinion.
     
  9. MSastre macrumors 6502

    MSastre

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    #9
    If it sounds to good to be true ... it is. Apple software is tied to the Apple ID that purchased it, so will not be upgradeable. I would definitely not buy that.
     
  10. Dittoman1 macrumors newbie

    Dittoman1

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    #10
    I would nt so dont... Lots of scammers do this
     
  11. kschendel macrumors 65816

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    Dec 9, 2014
    #11
    I have bought a couple "too good to be true" PC's via Craigslist. Sometimes it's someone who just wants to make a few bucks from a computer that they might otherwise put in the trash; one of my purchases was exactly that. The other was from a guy who makes a little money on the side picking up junk or unwanted computers, fixing them (often dead power supplies), and reselling.

    Having said that, Craigslist is a crapshoot. If you decide to go for it, take the obvious precautions. I second velocityg4's comment about the software, I'd definitely wipe / format / install in order to be safe, so unless you get installers and license keys the software is worthless. By the way, that goes for OS/X as well; make sure you have or get a usable install medium.
     
  12. Tech198 macrumors G5

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    #12
    $200 for a ANY Mac is too good to be true.

    I really doubt anyone selling will do the honest thing and wipe beforehand unless its brand new..

    Some do, Some don't
     
  13. posguy99 macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Don't. Even if the correct answer to an ad on Craigslist wasn't *always* "don't", that's the cheapie iMac they made for the education market. Come on, 4gb RAM, 500gb rotating rust, and an i3? And you want to run Final Cut on it?
     
  14. kschendel macrumors 65816

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    #14
    OP didn't say (s)he wanted to run Final Cut, that was just something the seller was offering to bundle. If all that's needed is a computer for email, a bit of googling, and a word doc or two, that machine will be fine. A bit deliberate, perhaps, but it will work, and be significantly better than no computer at all.

    I'm not saying this is a good deal (it might be, might not be), but "craigslist always bad" is false, in my experience.
     
  15. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    #15
    I'd avoid this one.
    Sumthin' just don't look right about those pics...
     
  16. 960design macrumors 68030

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    #16
    Seems a little low for a personal sale. We sell our old equipment at warehouse auctions. The last couple dozen iMacs with 8G RAM / 500GB HD / i5 processor go for about $220 - 250. We had a couple of them with only 4G RAM / i5 / 500G HD that went right at the $200 price range. This was a couple of months ago. They were 2012 models ( thin edge, no disc drive ).
     
  17. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #17
    I think the old adage still holds true - if its too good to be true, then it probably is.

    I'd walk away.
     
  18. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

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    #18
    Haven't heard from the OP since Tuesday. Hope they got it sorted out okay.
     
  19. AmazingRobie macrumors 6502

    AmazingRobie

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    #19
    The 2011 model iMacs have graphics chip and display problems, if you buy it you'll be in need of a repair soon enough. Being a college student, I'd say it's a bad purchase for you. Usually recommend people that don't already own these machine stay far away from them. Being a 2011 model owner, the only reason I still have one is I don't believe in taking anymore chances on Apple hardware. I'm still repairing mine when it breaks. It's a good machine if you have the money to keep it running.
     
  20. kschendel macrumors 65816

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    #20
    I thought it was only the 27 inch 2011's that had the GPU problems, the OP listing was a 21.5 inch. Did the smaller 2011's have problems as well?
     
  21. jtara macrumors 68000

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    Mar 23, 2009
    #21
    It's NOT "too good to be true". It's a fair price.

    Keep in mind - 2011 - if it has not fallen out of support, it will soon.

    Sellers often "include" software, but it's just whatever software happens to be loaded on the machine, and I doubt you will get a formal license hand-off. If it's a private seller, and it's their own machine, perhaps they no longer use a Mac, or perhaps they are naive about software licenses. (It would typically reduce the number of installs they are allowed - maybe they don't care because they only have one computer that they have replaced it with.)

    More likely, it's some small-time junker/recycler who gets these at garage sales, etc. and turns them around. Whoever sold it to them was naive and didn't erase the hard drive, and so you would be piggy-backing on their license, and they probably don't even know it.

    So, you should almost always not consider and software that comes with to have any value.
     
  22. xJennyx thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 6, 2018
    #22
    Thank you so much to everyone for giving me advice! I've decided to not pursue the computer, I just thought it was too much of a risk. I'll just look elsewhere. Thanks again!
     
  23. MacGizmo macrumors 65816

    MacGizmo

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    #23
    Unfortunately, you're going to find a LOT of this sort of thing. The bottom line is, if you want to buy a used Mac, the only place you should do it is from someone you know personally.

    You should never, ever, ever buy any computer equipment from eBay or Craigslist. You're just begging for problems. There are a few reputable online resellers, but I wouldn't touch them either. Find someone you know personally. Or go to your company/school, etc. and ask if you can buy one of their older computers.
     
  24. kschendel macrumors 65816

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    #24
    I'll say again, this is false. I put together a mini Hadoop cluster (for testing, not production) from Craiglist equipment for under $300, and it works fine. You just have to be careful. And to dismiss eBay is just silly.
     
  25. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    #25
    MacGizmo wrote:
    "You should never, ever, ever buy any computer equipment from eBay or Craigslist. You're just begging for problems."

    In December of 2016 I was looking to replace my 2010 MacBook Pro. It was (and is) still running ok, I was just in the mood for "something new".

    I looked around ebay and there was a site (in New Jersey) named "Electronics Valley" selling 2015 MacBook Pro's (among other Mac items), by the hundreds, at very good prices. These looked to be "closeout" items (Apple had recently replaced the 2015 MBPro with the 2016's) that Apple was looking to "move out".

    I bought one.
    Came in two days.
    Brand new "as from Apple".
    Still doing fine.

    Just one admittedly anecdotal experience...
     

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26 February 6, 2018