Somebody told me a Mac keeps its value...

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Mikegs, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. Mikegs macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2010
    But my maxed out MBA 2010 11" seems to have lost 30% of its value in less than a year... Bummer, that's a big loss if i upgrade to a 2011 model. Do you consider 30% a relatively low loss for a laptop?
  2. v654321 macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2011
    Vilvoorde, Belgium
    I can't talk out of experience of selling since I only bought my Macbook Pro in March of last year, but I can tell you that comparable Windows laptops generally lose half of their value by the end of their first year.
  3. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    The whole "Macs retain their value" thing was more true in the past than it is nowadays. They still maintain value better than most other computers but the problem here is the model you bought. Most people knew the Core2Duo was an outdated CPU choice so a refresh was going to come early so they can throw in SandyBridge and all those missing features.
  4. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Never buy upgrades. You pay the premium $ for them but you don't get much off of them when selling. Also, there seems to be different opinions on this. Some people seem to have no problem paying ~$300-400 for their new Mac and they consider this is very small loss.

    You will always lose money, that is a fact.
  5. Bob Coxner macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2011
    I'm only going from memory but I seem to recall reading that base units hold their value better than ultimates.

    I'm also guessing that a older model loses value faster when there's a major refresh rather than just a speed bump.
  6. warfed macrumors regular

    Apr 16, 2011
    I wouldn't say "comparable" windows laptop lose half their value. Maybe acers and HPs. But not laptops that are comparable to macbooks.
  7. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2009
    Durham, UK
    Your particular case is most likley due to your 2010 MBA having a last gen processor.

    Macs still hold there value very well compared to other manufacturers but you'll find that buying products with cutting edge components will hold there value longer than ones with older components. for example, the current Sandy Bridge Airs will probobly be worth more in a year than your 2010 Air is now (which have a 5 year old cpu architecture rather than the cutting edge stuff in the new ones).
  8. v654321 macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2011
    Vilvoorde, Belgium
    Actually, I only have experience with Dell laptops next to the MBP I currently own and aside from my very first Inspiron 3200 laptop I bought myself roughly 12 to 14 years ago, I only bought Dell's second hand, typically for 1/3rd the price. I always tried to go for a "last generation" one targeted to businesses since most of them were more than fast enough for my needs, though I always wanted durability. Other dells I owned were 2 ultraportables (Latitude C400) and a Latitude D630. I always paid way less than half the price of the original price. I did make the habit on maxing them out as much as possible with aftermarket updates. (I can still remember my surprise of maxing my Inspiron 3200's memory from 32MB to 144MB. Under Windows 2000 it was a totally new laptop, much faster! :))

    You're right then as I don't have any experience with other brands either. :)
  9. wegster macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2006
    Macs do hold their value relatively well. Go to ebay, and look for a 2008/first unibody C2D model - search completed auctions. they generally are still going for around $1k USD. It's all relative, but I think they compare favorably vs most other 3+ year old notebooks.

    As stated, you're always going to lose something, short of buying a few with the 20% off deal and selling them to someone at 5% off retail the same week, unopened, etc. and the C2D is definitely going to lose out vs SNB models.
  10. badtzwang macrumors regular

    Sep 1, 2009
    Yea ... but you gotta look at it this way. How much was the MBP to begin with? You gotta figure that the 2008 C2D models might have cost upwards of $2,000 at the time. That's a total loss of $1,000 which is pretty substantial and even more than what some PC laptops cost new.
  11. LeakedDave macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2011
    My 13" Ultimate didn't even sell for $1099 on eBay. I paid $1800+ for that in December. More like a 40%+ loss. ;'(

    When I bought it I was like "I'll get at least 1300 for this for sure."

    Now I'm down 800 bones + eBay fees.
  12. warfed macrumors regular

    Apr 16, 2011
    I'm sure it depends on the brand and target audience. I've never sold a 1 year old laptop so I can't say what the exact resale value is after a year. I generally sell laptops after 3-4 years and that's when I get 50-30% of their initial value.

    Just doing a quick ebay (completed listings) and CL search for my 1 year old VAIO and it seems to be selling anywhere from 10-30% off original price depending on condition.
  13. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    Yes, most windows machines would lose 50-60%. Additionally, to offset that price drop, keep the machine one more year. First year is heavy depreciation, the second is mild.

    The issue with this generation jump is that the technology moved massively. The speed doubled in some cases and certainly entry level models more than eclipsed high end last year.. which is why it's pretty pointless to buy top of the line if you like to change each year.

    This generation well.. it's more of a hit to 2010 buyers.

    I got $560 trade in at best buy for a 4 year old mac that cost me $2000.
  14. drewyboy macrumors 65816

    Jan 27, 2005
    just sold my mid-2007 white base macbook for $450. The biggest hit you'll get is if you have the newest model then a new model comes out and you try to sell. Otherwise, after that it slowly goes down. For me, not bad getting 50% back after 3.5 years of service (got it for christmas) so heck, I actually made $450 off my christmas present from 3.5 years ago :) That's why I tend to buy refurbished. I'm going to be selling my '10 i3 3.2 imac. Bought it for 1300. Plan on selling it for about ~1100-1200. If I had bought it new, it would have been 1500. Saved myself $200.
  15. OneMike macrumors 603


    Oct 19, 2005
    Macs do hold their values. The problem is that you are talking about 2010 to 2011. Your biggest hit is going to be in the first year and/or if a recent update comes out.
  16. fletch33 macrumors regular


    Dec 11, 2008
    Under a Rug
    bought the 2010 11" Air on Craigs for $800 5 months ago and sold it yesterday for $850. that is the only way you can "win" is to buy used and sell at the right time.

    until the last couple years i would buy a new loaded Macbook every year and it would generally cost me about $200 or so which i felt was more than fair.

    also keep in mind that my Macbooks would come with nothing but OSX and leave with iWork, iLife, Word, Photoshop, etc... so that will add a ton of value if you own those apps and leave them there when you sell it.
  17. YEEZY macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2011
    Upgrades are useful, only if you intend to keep the computer for awhile. Otherwise, might as well buy a bigger computer with similar specs and sell that at a higher price.
  18. unagimiyagi macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2009
    Macs hold their value very well compared to PCs. Sonys would be the worst b/c of their sky sky high prices, and then how they fall like a rock later on the used market.

    Dell's are cheap to begin with, so the loss that you would take by selling it is minimized.

    The challenge with macs is that these are regarded as premium products--even on the used market. They are marketed that way from the beginning by Apple, so the extra scrutiny is warranted. I.e., if you say your products are superior, then pickier customer expectations are ok. Macs are fragile beauties b/c the aluminum dents. And you will pick up dents, mark my words, no matter how careful you are. People also tend to be more hypercritical of any other flaws like this, screen quality, battery life, noise, etc. So if you sell your used mac, you'd probably want to note the dents on it.
  19. adnoh macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2010
  20. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    I can barely get that for a mid 2007 pro on craigslist! How long did it take to sell?
  21. Driver8 macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2011
    If you want to upgrade every year, be prepared to pay around 400 dollars to "lease" your mac. Computers in general depreciate pretty fast because they fail easily and are expensive to repair. I read in consumer reports, the best thing to buy used is a car, the worst thing to buy used is a laptop.
  22. thelead macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2010
    The more macs become popular the lower the resale value will be. Also, 3 points, 1) you paid for upgrades 2) The new release was a huge upgrade and 3) you bought at full retail value.

    If you bought a base model (i.e. $1300 model), the new model still had a C2D, and maybe bought refurbished (say, at $1150), you probably could sell it for ~$900 (after fees) and you would have only lost $250 max.

    Otherwise, yes, Macs do hold value pretty well.
  23. fletch33, Aug 8, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2011

    fletch33 macrumors regular


    Dec 11, 2008
    Under a Rug
    have to 110% disagree. as i mentioned above i waited 6 months for the Air to be out for a bit and bought it used on Craigs for $800 and then sold it for $850 5 months or so later. bought another 2.5GHz 4GB ram 13" Pro over a year ago again on Craigs for $750 and sold it about a year later for $900.

    only time i have not gotten my money back or made money is when i buy them new and when i buy new ones i sell them after about a year and generally loose about $200-$250 dollars. have been doing this for a very long time with a lot of macs and it has always been the same.

    you can be a smart buyer and also a smart seller. sometimes not both :)
  24. warfed macrumors regular

    Apr 16, 2011
    Source? Go to ebay and see the completed listings for used Vaio Zs.... There aren't nearly as many for sale as MBA but they hold their value pretty good, better than the 30% OP has stated.
  25. neile45 macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2011
    I'd say they hold their values very well. I bought an HP 13" 2 years ago for $400, it was refurbished, and the cheapest one at retail at the time was $550. Now I can't even sell it for $200.

    I've bought refurbished Dell laptops for my wife for her last 3 computers. This last one, the lowest price I saw new was $1500, and I paid only $900 - now take into consideration that you only get $100 off refurb Apples, and that should give you a hint on the resale value.

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