Price Advice Sealed unopened Macintosh Plus plus printer plus 20MB hard drive. What's it worth?

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by 195, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. 195 macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2013
    First post!

    My grandpa bought a mac plus a long time ago (the UPS shipping label shows October 1986) along with an ImageWriter II printer and a 20MB hard drive.

    Everything is still brand new never used but the hard drive box has been opened and the printer is inside the macpack case it came with (still has the original tags attached to the case). Grandpa said once he saw the hard drive he got really intimidated and put everything away in storage and forgot about it for 25 years. He never bothered opening the Macintosh Plus box so it's still sealed. Nothing has ever been cabled, plugged in, or turned on. Paper has never been in the printer, etc. The mac plus is still completely sealed in the original box with brown packaging tape.

    How much would you recon this set could be worth?

    Any information is appreciated. :D
  2. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    Well that's pretty cool. The kind of auction that shows up on Engadget or some such. The tricky bit is that it's good that it's sealed, but you have to break the seal to prove there aren't bricks in the box.

    I'd shoot a video of the box opening, take a bunch of images of what comes out, and post everything on eBay, with a real auction, starting at 50% of what you're hoping for. And launch it during a week when folks have more time.

    Make sure to test fire it before shipping, so they don't complain that it won't work. Ideally you'll catch a museum or collector, or better yet, two!
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd personally not open it, but rather post it on eBay as sealed.
  4. costabunny macrumors 68020


    May 15, 2008
    Weymouth, UK
    I agree with maflynn - best for money is to list it as you have detailed below.

    Sealed - v nice :)
  5. tdiaz macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2006
    If you have a plumbing camera you can stick that into the box through the hand-holds, and see what's inside.

    You can also get around to where the battery door is and see if the thing has puked itself or not. It will be running down the side of the case if it did.

    I even do that to look inside typical boxes, since they're sealed with just a strip of tape down the center.

    Closeups of the box tape, you should see only one. If it's broken underneath, it has been opened. Even if a dealer did it, it's not sealed anymore.

    Also, the bottom side tape. Again, if someone has added new tape to it, or there's tape on the sides, not just the center seam, it's not original. I've seen dealers open from the bottom so the can show a customer a "sealed" box, and since they "set them up" in the store, the customer doesn't see that the warranty / seal on the bag was already ripped apart, or the bag was crumpled, shoved in.
  6. WMD macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2013
    Florida, USA
    That gear must have cost $5,000 back then. And he "forgot about it" like that? I suppose his loss is some collector's gain, but yikes.... :eek:
  7. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    Best to keep it sealed. I've seen sellers who kept their item as sealed while on sale.
  8. Astroboy907 macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2012
    Spaceball One
    Keep it for another 20 years and then sell it, buy a lot of cheese.
    Put it in an airtight, climate controlled room. :D

    Edit: an eBay auction for a mac plus in original box (opened and used), at $1500. Seeing is how yours is unopened, never used, and has accessories I'd say it's worth quite a bit more than that.
  9. Carlanga macrumors 604


    Nov 5, 2009
    as long as you don't take it to "Pawn Stars" (unless the show pays you a renting fee lol) you should make good money.
  10. havokalien macrumors 6502a


    Apr 27, 2006
    Kelso, Wa
    Bad if never used

    The pram battery has probably corroded and destroyed the analog board and dripped onto the motherboard if what you say is true. Probably not worth much really. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but you have to realize sealed does not mean new in box.
  11. kbfr08 macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2007
    That's not an auction, its just the asking price for a buy it now listing. The seller is likely to get much less than $1500, but I don't think eBay publishes best offer prices.

    Anyway, the OP should just price the thing high using buy it now and take offers, that way he can just test the market without worrying if the auction will end with only one or two bidders.

    Um, yes it does... it may be broken, but it's sure as hell new if it's never been out of the box.
  12. Astroboy907 macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2012
    Spaceball One
    Sorry, my bad, you are correct, I listed a buy it now... Good idea about the "testing the market" though!
  13. dextr3k macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2012
    The Macintosh Plus computer was the third model in the Macintosh line, introduced on January 16, 1986, two years after the original Macintosh and a little more than a year after the Macintosh 512K, with a price tag of US$2599.

    Unopened.....counting for inflation , then......

    Seems like a bad investment. I'd open it up, clean it up, take the batteries out and hold onto it for another 20 the previous poster said.
  14. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    Don't don't know how far back it goes, but eBay also has a 'completed listings' option under search. Different colors for sold and unsold item. Pretty easy to do a study of likely sale price, provided enough examples.
  15. tdiaz macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2006
    Some tips/comments for this kind of thing in general:

    You can poke around in the box w/o opening it, especially if there's hand-holds in the sides. But you can also get into most boxes through the sides on top and push the camera down around the styrofoam forms.

    You'll at least know that the "right" item is inside, and can see it's original bag, if it's rumpled, been opened, etc.

    You can always search for "harbor freight 20%" and find a coupon, too.

    Always check the top and bottom of boxes, there should only ever be one piece of tape, and factory boxed items are not taped perpendicularly to the opening across the carton top. Added tape on the sides is a suspect thing. There's no reason, other than someone resealing a box.

    I've also found where tape has been "carefully" trimmed along the top or bottom opening in an attempt to make it not detectable as being opened, when a new piece of tape is painstakingly applied to evenly match the existing one.

    It's easy to spot if you're trying to see it, as it's incredibly hard to match the edges where it folds over the side, and they're banking on most people tearing into something fast and not looking.

    With that, if you suspect a re-taped box, you can always try peeling up tape in a very small section at a corner. If you see that you can peel off easily, it's obviously taped over existing tape.

    Only if the proposed seller is the original purchaser, or has to pay for the thing to some substantial degree. Otherwise any money is "free" money. Just depends on how far they want to go to substantiate the item being offered, or not.
  16. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    Something like Toys or Videogames where sealed definitely fetches a premium is different then something like this.

    New in Open Box or New Opened to Test is generally fine because it is not really "used" in the sense it was opened to use on a normal basis.

    In some cases, it is worth more opened as you can now confirm it is complete, not-damaged, all seals intact (take pics). Carefully open the seals (without breaking) to test the equipment to see if still functional.

    You may want to post as sealed but the buyer may want it opened to confirm the unit before payment.
  17. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    Don't follow anyone's advice about opening the box. If it is still factory sealed on both ends you will kill the value. Recently an Apple IIc went for $2600 on eBay that was factory sealed.

    The IIc was not a perticularly notable model. They typically go for much less in good condition. They get a couple hundred on a good day.

    That you have an unused ImageWriter and Hard Drive sweetens the deal. Having the unopened plus boosts credibility that the other parts weren't used.

    A lot of collectors would not open the box once they get it. As they don't want to hurt the investments value.

    Personally I would hold onto it, store it in a cool dry place and let it appreciate. In 10 or 20 years it will be worth much more in all probability.
  18. Astroboy907 macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2012
    Spaceball One
    This. If the OP can hold onto it for some while longer, as the Macintosh Plus becomes more rare, it will increase in value. Perhaps a lot. If this is an early serial # too (not sure if OP could check), it might be worth even more. Opening the box at this point seems not to be a great idea to me because if the battery blew the damage could already be done (though it may continue if the battery did burst, getting the flexible camera might be worth it to check).
  19. havokalien macrumors 6502a


    Apr 27, 2006
    Kelso, Wa
    It's a plus

    A plus is what most 128's and 512's got upgraded to. Being sealed is one thing, but that battery corroding the unit inside its "sealed" bag as it eats away the cage, motherboard, analog board and bottom of plastic case will make it worthless. No collector wants that. You do what you like but carrying that thing around for more time for one is not going to make it worth a lot. It is a Mac plus. Go to any recycle store and they have walls of the the back. The CRT makes them keep them as no one wants them enough to take the time for them to get rid of them. I love macs but generally they are never a huge money maker. The common units will never be even worth what they cost new.

    Good luck on whatever you do just take all comments to mind and consider long term storage and actual going worth.
  20. 195 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2013
    Thanks for all the replies with all of the information. I think what I will do is post it on ebay with a lower-end starting price and possibly a "buy it now" on the high end.

    I do have a question about the internal battery corroding. If the box is sealed, how would you know if the battery leaked everywhere? How would you know that the item is worthless at that point?

    The box was stored in an insulated storage room since it was purchased. There is a sticker on the bottom right which I assume is the serial number: There are two numbers:
    The number above the barcode is: F6410RW
    The number below the barcode is: *F6410RWM2503*

    Any idea if that's an early model? As I mentioned, the shipping label is from 10/86.
  21. tdiaz macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2006
    Like was mentioned.. if the battery did it's thing, and the unit was in the upright position, you'd see evidence around the battery access door, possibly even dripping down the case.

    No real way to know w/o opening it.

    ..and of course, opening it, blows the "sealed" thing. As has been mentioned.

    Which is where I've used the referenced camera to see inside of boxes, and those Mac boxes with the hand holes in them are perfect for accessing with that. As a buyer I would certainly sniff around with one, rather than opening it.
  22. tdiaz macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2006
    ..and with that brown tape on there, that's not "sealed".

    Even if it is, unless you can peel that stuff off and the clear tape underneath is not broken, you're not selling an unopened box.

    Sealed, yes. A mere technicality. But OEM sealed? Not in the slightest.

    It was shipped from Apple to Ormond Beach FL, 2nd Day Air, and then at some point re-shipped, for the shipping charge only, COD, totalling $17 - which would be the $5 COD charge plus the charge of shipping, or Central Point, OR.

    My guess? Someone used it, packed it back up and passed it onto someone else.
  23. 195 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2013
    hmm interesting observation.

    I thought the brown tape came from Apple? Are you saying the brown tape is not part of the original shipping? If so i'll peel it off and see what's underneath.
  24. tdiaz, Oct 10, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013

    tdiaz macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2006
    The brown tape is definitely -not- Apple.

    The top is sealed by a single piece of clear tape down the center, just like the bottom (appears) to be. Tape over broken tape is never a factory sealed box. They didn't do that.

    That was the way you knew it was factory sealed. Dealers would try to pull "tricks", like opening boxes fast in front of customers, after sealing them with a few pieces of cellophane tape to hold the flaps down, and make the customer think they opened it "just now", to move previously opened inventory.

    The dual shipping destination evidence on the box, the fact that the printer and hard drive are opened, and the mentality of the day, make me think that it was in fact used, and packed up again. It was not uncommon for the box, the bag, and the internal packing to all just get placed in an attic or utility closet, and the machine end up back inside it, in a few years.

    But at the very least , it's been opened.

    Again, there is no tape on the sides of the box, and there should only be one down the center. So you're going to peel cardboard off with the side pieces for sure. But the center strip should peel off the clear tape it's stuck to.

    If you peel up the center one by cutting it and picking up a corner, you can uncover the middle of the box and see that you'll probably find opened tape under it.

    If they simply taped brown over it to ship it the second time, why didn't they do the bottom too?

    The other clue on two different shipping events, there's two UPS account numbers on the box. The small dot matrix generated label near the Apple Computer label, both of which are scribbled all over with a pen, has a California UPS number that consequently is Apple Computer, as I've seen that number on many boxes.

    The other, rubber stamped number, is a Florida based shipper account number. It went across the country and back. The whole shipment cost Apple Computer $27 to ship originally. Apple Computer did not ship that MDIdeas 20 meg drive. The Mac Plus and ImageWriter II may have come at the same time, the serial # on the ImageWriter II is old enough to put it in the 1986 era.

    In 1986, I also doubt Reno would have been a location that Apple would have attended a show at, much less that even being a large enough market to justify something like that. A dealer could have been at some kind of expo, if indeed that hard disk was purchased along side the Mac Plus, as it's not an Apple peripheral, and many dealers would sell non-Apple branded drives as they were much cheaper.

    In a stretch, it's quite possible that the Mac Plus was purchased from a Florida dealer attending a show in Nevada, and drop shipped. But then why would it have a COD for only $17, if it was paid for on the show floor, or in some other way, shipping would have been charged with it.

    The name of the sender in Florida appears to be Financial something, from 142? Cone Rd. That's a house, surrounded by swampland, on the other side of a river. Hardly a business district. :)

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