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"Thrift" Stores...

Slix

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 24, 2010
1,170
1,390
This always makes me laugh a little bit, when a local thrift store sells an older Mac for outrageous prices. Today, I found this 20 inch iMac G4, 1.25 GHz, 768 MB RAM, 80 GB HD. It had the original white (granted, yellow) keyboard and mouse, and Pro Speakers, too. Overall not a bad iMac. However, the price made me laugh for a few minutes.

$400?? Come on. Not even on a half-price day would I (or any person knowledgable about older Macs) pay that for it!
IMG_0905.JPG
 
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SkyBell

macrumors 604
Sep 7, 2006
6,566
142
Texas, unfortunately.
Ten years ago, it used to be easy to find older hardware for pennies on the dollar in thrift stores. Doesn't seem to happen much anywhere, at least not where I live.

I suppose one could chalk it up to how cool that design looks even in this day and age? Almost like it could be a fairly new computer to one whom is not knowledgeable in Apple products.
 

Slix

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 24, 2010
1,170
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I was guessing the person who priced it had no idea as well. :p

Actually, it was running 10.2.8, which was also kinda funny, since it wasn't even a moderately modern OS for that computer.
 
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eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
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Ten years ago, it used to be easy to find older hardware for pennies on the dollar in thrift stores. Doesn't seem to happen much anywhere, at least not where I live.
The people running these shops started realizing the money they were losing over computers and accessories. With Apple's popularity increasing this also drew attention to anything with an Apple logo on it. I think too, once management started to see how much they could get online for this stuff they recalibrated their pricing structure.

In short, the thrift industry has wised up about the value of stuff. I think that happened around the time the economy collapsed which forced these places to really start looking at the value of their stuff.

My wife used to be able to walk into Goodwill and look through all their $1 glassware and their $2 silver. Not because she wanted glassware or silver but because some moron in the backroom slapped a $1 sticker on crystal and a $2 sticker on a real silver platter. She made out like a bandit for years.
 

ApolloBoy

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2015
734
246
San Jose, CA
Funny, I came across a fully working 700 MHz iMac G3 SE at Savers about a month ago for $25. Very tempting but I don't have anywhere near enough space for an iMac G3 so I passed on it.
 

Dronecatcher

macrumors 68040
Jun 17, 2014
3,791
3,796
Lincolnshire, UK
Ten years ago, it used to be easy to find older hardware for pennies on the dollar in thrift stores. Doesn't seem to happen much anywhere, at least not where I live.

I suppose one could chalk it up to how cool that design looks even in this day and age? Almost like it could be a fairly new computer to one whom is not knowledgeable in Apple products.

As an...ahem...younger man, I used to buy my clothes exclusively from charity shops - a)because they cost pennies and b)mainstream fashion was awful...then suddenly, mid 90s, indie/alternative/underground became a thing and you could buy skinny tees and retro leather jackets etc etc everywhere...which kind of made the charity shops redundant and anything they did have was premium priced.
Same with anything "retro" now - plus the internet and ebay have allowed everyone to instantly scout the price on things...though in the iMac case they clearly didn't bother - just assumed, "it's a Mac - worth a fortune!"
 
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Dronecatcher

macrumors 68040
Jun 17, 2014
3,791
3,796
Lincolnshire, UK
In short, the thrift industry has wised up about the value of stuff. I think that happened around the time the economy collapsed which forced these places to really start looking at the value of their stuff.

In the UK, charity shops traditionally used to be staffed by dear old ladies and well meaning volunteers but now marketing has seized them with rebranding and "maximise profits" BS. Plus the government forces long term unemployed to work in them for free - which brings in a lot of out of work graduates who can use their internet savvy to utilise ebay etc etc.
 
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roadbloc

macrumors G3
Aug 24, 2009
8,784
213
UK
Most junk and charity stores don't know what they have most time. I remember when I was 13 I found a copy of Doom 3 and it's expansion in the DVD section for 25p each. Best value for money I got out of a video game.

There was a particular older ThinkPad with quite a lot of software discs priced at £50 that I managed to talk down to £5 as well. Shame shops like this appear to be closing down fast nowadays. At least in my area anyway.
 
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eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
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In the UK, charity shops traditionally used to be staffed by dear old ladies and well meaning volunteers but now marketing has seized them with rebranding and "maximise profits" BS. Plus the government forces long term unemployed to work in them for free - which brings in a lot of out of work graduates who can use their internet savvy to utilise ebay etc etc.
Some of the charity shops have a social presence as well.

A friend of mine lives in Nottingham and he contributes to Midlands Air Ambulance. MAA has a Facebook page and a Twitter account. They post about their charity shop quite frequently. I've contributed to MAA because I like the work they are doing.
 

A.Goldberg

macrumors 68020
Jan 31, 2015
2,382
9,002
Boston
I saw a guy pick up a (working) Bose Acoustic Wave Radio for $7 at a Goodwill. I really wish I had walked into the store 10 minutes earlier!

I really hate these people on eBay, craiglists, etc who try and screw people over on prices. $400 for a G4 iMac- a computer otherwise obsolete for 99% of people.
 

weckart

macrumors 603
Nov 7, 2004
5,154
2,502
The $400 might sound exhorbitant but right now on eBay UK there are two 20" iMac G4s. Both are BIN for £200 and neither has the Apple Pro speakers. Not far off the $400 asked for above. It may be getting close to the going rate for the rarer 20" model.
 

Greene

macrumors regular
Jul 15, 2015
149
42
Fort Worth
That price doesn't surprise me. Sometimes one person's emotional valuation is twice the dollar amount of everyone else's practical valuation.

PS. thrift stores aren't bad for powerpcs, but the best deals can be found at the dump! (atleast in the US)
 

davidg4781

macrumors 68020
Oct 28, 2006
2,310
219
Alice, TX
I saw a green (lime??) iMac G3 in a thrift store once, I'm thinking it was $25, but could've been $10. I posted about it here years back. I almost bought it, but a little girl was also looking at it so I let her take it instead.

I remember trying to sell my 2006 MB to a pawn shop a few years ago, hoping they would maybe give me a lot more than it was worth. They looked it up online and I think used eBay prices to determine how much it was worth, then offered me 50%. I ended up selling it a few years later for twice of what they offered me.
 
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556fmjoe

macrumors 68020
Apr 19, 2014
2,055
1,951
PowerPC Macs are often priced at one of two extremes. Sellers either think they're basically worthless because they're 10+ years old, or they think they're absolutely priceless gifts from God himself because they have an Apple logo.
 
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mlovergaard

macrumors 6502
Jan 28, 2011
440
196
New York City
PowerPC Macs are often priced at one of two extremes. Sellers either think they're basically worthless because they're 10+ years old, or they think they're absolutely priceless gifts from God himself because they have an Apple logo.

Yup I see that often, also the same with iPods, they are either dirt cheap or super expensive
 

Slix

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 24, 2010
1,170
1,390
I went there the other day to see if it was still there, and it looks like someone bought it. I really hope the price was cut before they did, otherwise they're gonna be sadly mistaken when they realize their $400 computer is 13 years old and runs an OS from the same time... :/
 
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