Need to make money by selling computers-- what models are best?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by iMpathetic, May 17, 2008.

  1. iMpathetic macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    IMBY
    #1
    Well, it doesn't HAVE to be computers, but I'd really prefer to.

    Basically, I want a MacBook Pro. (I'm going into high school next year and a laptop would be lovely.) I'm going to have to earn all of the money myself , and I want to do it by finding cheap computers for sale (most likely on eBay) and flip them on Craigslist for a profit.

    What I want to know is, what makes and models are best for finding cheaply on eBay and then selling at a mote expensive but still reasonable price elsewhere?

    I'd like to focus on mainly Apple, IBM/Lenovo, and Dell.

    Anyone have any input?
    Thanks a lot!
     
  2. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #2
    That's called the "buy low, sell even lower" model. Not to say you can't make money doing it, but you'll have very thin margins (like $25-$50 per unit, best case, and I think I"m being generous). Counting your actual costs (shipping, fees, etc), it'd likely end up costing you money.

    Assuming you'll cap your cost of purchase, you'll be outbid a lot considering your sole intent is to flip, hence offering low wholesale. On the sale side, Craigslist (I'm guessing local only) will give you a very small marketplace to flip to, and likely somewhat more knowledgeable than you prefer. Not only that, you sell at a fixed price, so no fun watching fools bid up your auction.

    You might want to reconsider that idea, lest you be stuck with a lot of frankly older hardware you can't unload, and less money than where you started. Best of luck, in any case.
     
  3. iMpathetic thread starter macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    IMBY
    #3
    I'm very open to changes.

    Do you have any ideas on what would work better? Perhaps building custom PCs and selling them?

    A friend of mine makes a killing buying older desktops for $50 shipped and selling them for about $100 or so.

    I would be able to make about $1200 by just selling my stuff, so I don't actually need to make ALL $2000.
     
  4. Gray-Wolf macrumors 68030

    Gray-Wolf

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Location:
    Pandora, Home Tree
    #4
    I would only recommend you building them, if you are really good at it. Repairs/warrantees would be in question by building them, and getting access to software/OS's as well.
     
  5. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #5
    The only problem I see with reselling used or building new PC's is that it's a very saturated market, plus you need to consider any backlash from issues that arise. I know you can sell "as-is," but that won't stop folks from bitching.

    I'm guessing you're around 15, give or take, so "real" jobs are limited, but there's still odd jobs that could be done, if you don't mind a little honest sweat. Hell, I'd pay someone looking for a little spare folding money $100 just to put all the broken granite in my yard into one pile. A lot of folks don't have the time or inclination to do those sorts of things.

    Without knowing your skills, neighborhood, time available, etc., the best advice I can give is the oldest: find a need, and fill it. Give it a few days' thought, look around, look for the unexpected or overlooked things in your area.

    Reselling PC's is probably a good hobby, but to make $2000 over the summer (I assume absolute worst case, you should, too), would be a dicey proposition.
     
  6. iMpathetic thread starter macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    IMBY
    #6
    I'm actually 14, and in the eighth grade right now.

    I've noticed that IBM has offices where I live (central NC), and there are a lot of people looking for ThinkPads, and no one really has them for sale.

    There are also a bunch of Starbucks-addicted Apple fanboys trolling through CL on a daily basis looking for Macs.

    Lastly, the market is FLOODED with Pentium 3 and 4 Dell Latitudes.

    So, I have drawn three conclusions.
    - Thinkpads are in high demand.
    - Macs are in high demand.
    - Dells probably aren't a good idea.

    What do you think?

    I don't need to make $2000 this summer, anyway. I'd probably get a refurb if it was a good enough deal. Also, keep in mind I'd get $1200 at the very least for all the stuff I have now.

    Another thing to note is I make $90 a month mowing lawns. :D
     
  7. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #7
    It's really easy to let your costs get away from you. Shipping is a killer.

    As JNB said, first identify a market where people have a need to be met AND where you can reach these people. Then see if you can fill that need at a profit.

    If any one of the following are true
    1) don't have an identifiable product/service or
    2) cannot reach the buyers economically, or
    3) cannot make a profit at the price the buyers are willing to pay
    (the corollary to this one is you have to have a reliable, affordable supply of goods, such as Thinkpads.)

    then you have no business opportunity.

    BTW, if you are skilled at setting up machines and showing people how to get online and use their machines, then selling your service might net you more than buying and selling machines... and is less capital intensive. Ask your adult relatives and friends for referrals. Check with your local community centres and seniors centres.

    Finally, review the "What's the Catch?" thread and do NOT get suckered into selling machines on eBay that you buy from another eBay seller -- and especially do not act as a selling agent for someone else who will supply the goods. You can get stung bigtime and be on the hook for all the money.
    Do not prepay for product that hasn't shipped, and do not sell products you do not have in hand and tested.

    Also realize that your age presents limitations on the legal and credit agreements you can enter into.
     
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #8
    Unless you're moving 2 or 3 computers a day, you'll make no money out of this.

    I'd think mowing lawns is more profitable than this.
     
  9. jb60606 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #9
    your best bet is probably to buy on CL and sell on eBay, and don't limit it to Computers.

    CL is more of a garage sale than an auction site - you'll have better margins selling on eBay. Plus, on CL, people expect you to deliver the item in person, or accept pick ups.
     
  10. Roger1 macrumors 65816

    Roger1

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    #10
    Not trying to cramp your style, but I bought my kid a used HP for Christmas

    2.8 GHz P4 processor
    20GB HD
    256 MB RAM
    XP Pro
    MS Office
    $150 + tax, 30 day replacement warranty included.

    Recently bought a dell with better specs than that for $125, with a 30 day warranty.

    Good luck making money from your venture. What I would suggest is if you do decide to sell computers, see if there are county rummage sales, or a flea market type place nearby. They've had these at the county fairground out where I live.

    I usually get my computer stuff here: http://www.gibraltartrade.com/

    They have a monthly computer show, where all the local computer companies, resellers, etc sell their stuff. If there is anything like that around you, it might be your best bet.
     
  11. shu82 macrumors 6502a

    shu82

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Location:
    Rocket City, AL
    #11
    Seriously mow lawns, hardware is not a way to make money, just a hobby.

    The only way to make money in computers is in service. Get a clipboard, put on a tie, tuck your shirt in, and sell yourself for 20 an hour (that is cheap). Print out a check list with a real sounding company letterhead, and tell people you are 16.

    All you really need is diskwarrior, and antivirus software on a thumb drive. If its more than a dead hard drive, just say it's the mother/logic board, and give them directions to best buy.

    Oh and always bring some ram sticks with you. Everyone seems to need more ram!!!:D, and you need to put a 50% margin on it + an extra 10 for the install. Just don't let them see you actually install it.
     
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #12
    Hardware companies don't even make money off hardware. I don't expect you to. :p
     
  13. Bobdude161 macrumors 65816

    Bobdude161

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    N'Albany, Indiana
    #13
    school auctions. If u know what you're doing, you could make a steal.
     
  14. iMpathetic thread starter macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    IMBY
    #14
    Ah, now I remember.... NC. State has a surplus sale! I'd have to get up at 6AM and be driven for half an hour, but I recall a friend of mine getting a 12" Powerbook (that worked, 867MHz, 640/60/APX) for $125!

    Perhaps I should check that out.

    (Oh, and a note to the people who say you can't really make any hardware money around here: my local market is ****ed up.)

    Note number two: My father actually encourages selling on CL, because I get to deal with all sorts of people, it'll build character and people skills, blah blah blah....

    Lastly, is it legally possible for me to work at Intrex (a local computer shop) and be paid while I'm 14? I think that would be a great idea.

    Thoughs, of course, are welcome. :D
     
  15. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #15
    Google is your friend! ("north carolina minimum working age"), first sub-hit:
     

    Attached Files:

  16. ryannel2003 macrumors 68000

    ryannel2003

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Location:
    Greenville, NC
    #16
    My brother had a job at 13 working in a motorcycle shop sweeping floors and putting up stuff. I'm sure you could find something like that, I don't think anybody is going to start talking child labor laws about something simple like that.
     
  17. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #17
    In the state of NC, even working for your parents requires a permit. So yes, they will be--and are--talking child labor laws. How closely this is honored, I don't know, but for the OP's benefit & safety, I won't endorse delving into, "but everybody does it" discussions.
     
  18. ryannel2003 macrumors 68000

    ryannel2003

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Location:
    Greenville, NC
    #18
    Ehh I don't think it's closely monitored, I was working with my dad at age 10 for $20 a day. But the OP will need to check that out.
     
  19. iMpathetic thread starter macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    IMBY
    #19
    Tomorrow I'm going to go over there and fill out an application, and take their PC knowledge test. I'll put down my birth date and we'll see what they do. :D

    Unfortunately, I look like a tall 12 or 13...
     

Share This Page