Price decrease with Intel Macbooks?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by wing70301, Jan 25, 2007.

  1. wing70301 macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2007
    Hey all,

    Sorry if this is the wrong forum, but I really didn't know where to stick this.

    So I was talking to my professor and he's the Mac guru at my university. He told me a little trick he does with the Macs he buys. When he buys a Mac, he keeps it for a year or so for personal/business purposes. He installs all sorts of useful software, such as Final Cut Studio, then sells the Mac after 9 months - a year. He then takes that money and uses it to buy a brand new Mac, then continues the cycle.

    When he told me about this, I thought it was a great idea to stay ahead of the tech curve. So I checked eBay to find out the current resale value of the Mac Book Pro Core 2 Duo and found that they were pretty low. Many websites claim the "awesome resale value" that Macs have, but if these eBay prices were anything to go by, that doesn't seem to be the case. I have a 15" MBP C2D 2.16 GHZ, which is $2000+ tax. I'm currently looking at the bid for a same modeled MBP that's ending soonest (1 hour and 5 mins left), and it's only going for $1425! QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    I know that with a brand-new notebook, one would be getting a year of Apple care, plus the piece of mind that they have a brand-new laptop that hasn't been used by anyone yet, but when it comes down to it, I think folks would rather save a bit more money.

    So my question to you all is, do you think switching to the Intel processors have caused the demand for used Macs to go down? Also, is it worth it to "turn your Mac" every year to stay ahead of the tech curve? If it is worth it, how should I go about it? Thanks so much!
  2. foidulus macrumors 6502a

    Jan 15, 2007
    Does he provide non-academic licenses

    for the software he installs? If not, it's illegal. Especially if he keeps on using the same licenses(or none at all) to install the software on his cycle of macs.
  3. NoCleverSNForMe macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2003
    Sold for $1751. 2.16Ghz model is $1999. That's pretty damn good resale value.
  4. wing70301 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2007
    Well I'm not too sure whether he's using the same licenses or not. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt and saying he goes the legitimate route. But besides that point, is it still possible to "turn" Macs? Or is it too good to be true? Thanks!

    Well, there are all those ebay fees that take a good chunk out of the profits. I'd say in the end, he gained $1500, which is still good, I suppose. Maybe my expectations of the "awesome resale value" of the Macs are just too high?

    It's just this whole "Mac-turning" has me thinking that you can resell your Mac, and by plunking down a little bit of cash ($300 or less), you can get a new Mac and stay ahead of the tech-curve.
  5. NoCleverSNForMe macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2003
    Whenever you buy any electronic device, you will lose value. Yes, Macs have the best resale value, but unless you're a reseller, you're not going to see the full retail value of the machine.

    If I buy a digital camera for $249, then I go on eBay and try to sell it, I might get $230 for it, but I'm not going to get the full value...even if it's unboxed. It's just the way things work.

    The one you showed above---it's a $1999 MacBook Pro, current model, that was resold as used at $1751. That's freakin' awesome. Now that's GREAT resale value.

    As for your friend being able to "upsell" Macs every year---yes, it's illegal. The way you described it is illegal. If you buy one copy of Final Cut, install it on a machine, then sell it to someone else, you have to sell the entire license of Final Cut. He has to give up the box, the license, the serial key...all of it. He can't just do an install, then keep the CDs/serial key for his new Mac. That's basically the equivalent of me purchasing Final Cut, then going to everyone's house and installing it on their Macs for them. It's stealing. Sorry, legitimacy there.

    Still, Macs have the best resale value.

    But again, are you buying your Mac because of its resale value or because of the incredible OS, the great community, and the amazing features? I switched because of the latter. The former was just a bonus.
  6. yojitani macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    An octopus's garden
    Well, we've just done what your prof has done and all was above board. I sold my wife's G4 mini and 19" monitor for a total of $800 (sold separately to get max value) and then bought a 20" C2D iMac refurb for 1,200.
    Then I sold my 1.8 G5 dual for 1,500 (plus a few other bits and bobs I had around) and bought a QUAD core MacPro 2.66 for $2,300.
    Now, the mini + monitor only cost me 650! And the G5 was 1,999.. so resale value?? yes! My father bought a dell for about 2,000 a year after I bought my g5 - he sold it recently for 450... Oddly, I still can't persuade him to use a mac:confused: . Every dell he buys goes in for repair at least 4 times. The current one is at 5 :eek: . anyway, I digress.

  7. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

    Sep 7, 2006
    What the heck model does he have? I've never seen big problems with Dell's but I've never owned one of their laptops.

    This whole "selling a Mac and buying a new one" every year thing sounds awesome, but I wonder how much you'd get once that model is no longer new.

    Plus I'm scared of eBay, plus I would NEVER sell a system with a hard drive I had used (I always destroy them). Meaning I'd want to replace the drive on the Macbook Pro, which is hard to do.
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I think what's probably feasible at best case is to end up just spending as much money as the computer itself costs in about 4-5 years.... like:

    Year one: You buy computer for $2000, sell for 1600 -- net cost to date, $400
    Year two: You buy computer for $2000, sell for 1600 -- net cost to date, $800
    Year three: You buy computer for $2000, sell for 1600 -- net cost to date, $1200

    And so on. But you get a new computer every year, rather than having to live with outdated hardware. It might be an even better deal to do this with used hardware, although I'm not sure.

    I personally lack the patience for it. :eek:
  9. eluk macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2006
    East London, UK
    Sell it to a friend. I had my first MBP for 7 months and I sold it for £100 less than I paid and got a C2D with an extra 1GB memory slightly faster processor and a little more hard disc space for the same price as the original.
  10. phungy macrumors 68020


    Dec 5, 2006
    Or you can try selling it on the forums/craigslist first to avoid fees.

    Still contemplating if I'm going to do the annual or bi-annual far its montnly :eek:
  11. yojitani macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    An octopus's garden
    I have no idea, actually. Luckily, we live in different countries! In fact, both computers are desktops, I'm pretty sure that the current one is an XPS. My sister has a dell laptop (gift from dad, so..) that lived a year and is now entering it's planned obsolescence phase...
  12. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    especially since the same model costs onlt 1599 on apples refurb site. and it has the full one year apple warranty, free shipping and no risk of being scammed. i'll never understand who pay's those prices at ebay:rolleyes:

    but anyway, to me it seems the faster update cycles and the larger speed boosts of the last year has brought prices for used mac a bit down. but they are still insanely high.
  13. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    I had an interesting experience when trying to sell my Intel iMac (prices are in NZ$).

    It cost me $2349 plus RAM upgrade to 1.5 GB (I've forgotten how much it cost in total). I sold it after 9 months.

    My first attempt was with a reserve of $1800. People complained that the price was too high and it didn't sell.

    My second attempt's reserve was $1700. People still complained.

    For the third attempt, I took a big risk and listed with no reserve. It sold for $1880.

  14. bbarnhart macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2002
    Never use a reserve price on eBay. Always have lots of pictures, an honest description and always change too much for shipping. I can't believe how much old computer stuff I've sold.
  15. OldSkoolNJ macrumors 6502


    Jul 10, 2006
    I have had goo dluck doing along the lines of what he has done, save the "load it with software" part. You can still also expect more on your return to if you sell at the right time of the year. Now is one of the "worst" times to be selling. I usually if I am going to sell, sell around Beginning of December. People are in the buying, spend a little more than they usually do, bonus getting modes. Not to take advantage or anything but just being smart for my own good. Another good time is Back to School time. NOw a days it is the second busiest time a year for computers since students are so reliant on computers. Alot of parents or even stuents that can save will even if a little.

  16. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    35 passes isn't enough? :confused:
  17. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030


    Apr 14, 2006
    Clemson, SC
    I did a bit of "Mac-turning" to get to the MBP I have now. I had a year old PowerBook (1.67GHz), which I traded straight up for a white MB that had upgraded RAM. I eBayed that, and it sold so high that I took that money and put it towards a black MB (no cash on my part). I spent about $350 upgrading the blackbook (2gbs of RAM and a 120gb HD). Then I sold that when the new C2D MBPs came along, and ended up actually pocketing about a $100 AFTER buying the 2.16 MBP I have now (because I used the student developer discount)... sooo, essentially, I went from a year old PowerBook to a brand new MBP for about $250. Definitely couldn't do that with a PC!
  18. iW00t macrumors 68040


    Nov 7, 2006
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    If it is not good enough for the military it is not good enough for him :rolleyes:

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