Upgrading every refresh?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by wct097, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. wct097 macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2010
    Just curious to hear some feedback from people that upgrade every refresh. I bought my 15" MBP on the early 2011 refresh, and I'm contemplating selling it to buy a new one on the refresh should it happen next week.

    For those of you that replace your machine each major refresh, what are you finding your average net expenditure to be? Net, of course, meaning, how much are you spending after you sell the old machine?

    My assumption is that people with base model machines make out a bit better than people with CTO higher end machines.

    I know Macs tend to depreciate slower than PCs, but what could you expect to sell a 1-1.5 year old MBP for? 75% of it's original price? 50%? 25%?
  2. Zeov macrumors 6502a


    Apr 1, 2011
    Macs are pretty easy to sell, and they don't lose that much value as PCs, so as long as you sell it before the model arrives, it's actually possible to only lose a few $ from new :)
  3. Jazwire macrumors 6502a


    Jun 20, 2009
    IF Apple holds the current price line I'd say 70-80% is about right.

    If they drop prices then you will prob get about 70-80% of the new comparable models price.
  4. wct097 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2010
    As a business expense, it becomes exceptionally easy to justify the expenditure to stay current with in-warranty hardware when you're talking a 20-30% net loss when refreshing. I may try it this time to see how if it works out that well. Unfortunately, I probably won't sell before the refresh since I really can't be without a laptop for long.
  5. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    If you can afford it, it's probably better anyway to get the new one before you sell the old one. That way you can set up the new one, make absolutely sure you have everything transferred over that you need, and then wipe the old one clean without worry.
  6. DrKockter macrumors member

    Jun 4, 2012
    as much as i like to have top of the line all the time

    selling and buying every year, you lose money, and that adds up. the macbooks are designed to last more than just a year
  7. ixodes macrumors 601


    Jan 11, 2012
    Pacific Coast, USA
    It's very refreshing to read the truth.

    Unfortunately too many users paint this rosy picture of how Mac's hold their value (which they do, but some exaggerate the actual amount) and that it's a very reasonable, and inexpensive way to go.

    I upgrade at each and every refresh cycle, year after year. Yet I can easily afford it, I put a massive amount of run time on my Macs since they are used for intensively for work, and personal, so I'm more than ready for a change when new ones are introduced.

    The old ones I give to family, or donate. I simply don't have the time or desire to deal with selling them on the used market.
  8. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    I upgrade every 3-4 years typically, although recently I've been able to upgrade through some fortunate circumstances a bit more often. I certainly wouldn't dream of upgrading every refresh, but if I had the money to spare, I'd probably go for each major refresh, or every 3 years (once AppleCare was running out).

  9. wct097 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2010
    I completely understand the fact that you lose money upgrading regularly. For me, I think the cost is worth it to stay on top of new hardware that's under warranty. Like ixodes, I put a lot of miles on my laptop. I literally have it with me every day and depend on it to make a living. It pays for itself, so the cost isn't as big of a concern, especially when I can recoup a bit from selling the old one.
  10. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    I used to be a refresher but then one day as I sat in a starbucks waiting on a craigslist deal I asked myself "what am I doing"?

    Yes it's good to have the latest and greatest but even though I depend on my laptop for everything (paperless office, statements etc), I don't want to go through the headache of obsessing over scratching the machine, keeping the boxes, manuals etc, haggling with serial killers et al.

    Of course when I did refresh often it was great because I was able to buy @ academic discount and get the free iPods or printers to go along with it. But now that everything is retail price, not worth it.
  11. user418 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 22, 2010
    As much as I would like to I can't convince myself to sell/trade/buy with each new update. I've always kept my computers 3-4 years at least. It wasn't until I was bitten by the "apple" bug that the urge to refresh each year became so prevalent.

    Nothing against those folks that do. I'm still using the iPhone 4. Plan to hold onto the iMac and MBP a little longer and spring for the next iPhone though.

    To all those about to take the plunge, I'm jealous but hope you enjoy your new purchase.
  12. Jiten macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2008
    I used to be like that a decade ago, selling my slightly old and buying the latest release. In in a way, was quite fun but really time consuming and quite a hassle. If you can keep doing that for years more power to you but unless you really need the hardware for your work, it can be quite a drain in your financial resources as you always take a hit when you upgrade.

    I'm now a bit laid back and simply upgrade only after the extended added 2 year of Applecare of my last Mac is done.
  13. Camwin macrumors member

    May 24, 2012
    Well think of it this way, every 4 years you upgrade full out, and spec the machine out. You will be looking at around 3000. You sell it for 2250-2500 the next year and buy the new for 3000. You lose 500-750 a year doing this. Times that by 4 and you are looking at 2000-3000 every 4 years to stay on top. Therefore losing the same, if not less money then waiting 4 years to upgrade and stay with the newest models/specs.

    I'd rather pay 3000 once and then make "yearly" payments to keep on the cutting edge.
  14. SDAVE macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2007
    Updating every refresh is always a losing game.
  15. Camwin macrumors member

    May 24, 2012
    How might I ask? I've been using the method I described above for years now and I'm losing less money then if I was upgrading every 4 years instead.
  16. auero macrumors 65816

    Sep 15, 2006
    I've always upgraded every year with the exception of this machine I'm currently using. It's not as much of a loss as people believe. As long as you take care of your machine and don't scratch it up you can still fetch a decent amount of money. I would normally sell about every ~11 months so I could still offer someone the chance to buy AppleCare. Personally, if I have a choice of buying AppleCare for $350 or lose $300-500 on selling and buying a new machine I would rather take the new machine. Even if I lost $500 then thats only a $150 difference from buying AppleCare which is about ~$14 a month. I also buy my machines in DE so sales tax is a savings.

    Over the years I've also learned one thing. People love the 15" model and the 17" usually gets the shaft on resale value. Now I know some would say "If you buy AppleCare then you have coverage for an additional two years!" Yes this is true but I now run the risk of having to service my machine as it gets older which I don't have time for and I'm depreciating the value of my machine as years go on.

    It comes down to what you can afford and what you NEED. If you're watching youtube videos and browsing Facebook all day then this refresh model isn't for you.
  17. fizzwinkus macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2008
    My own feeling is that upgrading every year only works out if you're buying base models. Top of the line models lose too much value.
  18. DrKockter macrumors member

    Jun 4, 2012
    i thought it was other way around
  19. huythanhv2 macrumors regular

    Apr 5, 2010
    This is true. Usually people buy used MacBook are those want to save as much money as possible. And I personally don't think they are into top-of-the-line MacBook.
  20. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I have been upgrading every refresh because the next one is always a lot better than my previous one. I see USB 3.0 on the next model and I'm thinking I need that!
  21. oddsratio macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2012
    This is very true and in my experience the quoted 70-80% depreciation if you sell within the year is too high because that doesn't factor in tax. The true recovery for apple products is probably closer to 60%. If you don't get lowballed or waste time dealing with flaky craigslist people, then you lose about 5-10% on commission if you sell on amazon or ebay. It might still be a higher rate of return than a similar HP or Lenovo book, but not as great as you would hope. God help you if you even spring for applecare if you sell before the first year is up because that's usually money down the drain.
  22. MovieCutter macrumors 68040


    May 3, 2005
    Washington, DC
    Negatory Ghost Rider. I've upgraded my MacBook Pro EVERY refresh for the past 6 years. I pay an average of $100-300 to buy the latest gen after selling my old laptop, mainly because in my line of work, I need the fastest gear I can get. Maybe it's good marketing, or maybe it's luck. It's far better to sell every rev than wait 3-4 generations and take a huge hit on upgrade cost...or it evens out. Then again, I had the Apple employee discount for a while, so I'd buy my gear at 75% retail, sell it for what I paid for it, and buy a new one for nearly the exact amount I got for the old one.
  23. fizzwinkus macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2008
    Gee, upgrading every year sure is easier when you've got a 25% off discount! :rolleyes:
  24. ixodes macrumors 601


    Jan 11, 2012
    Pacific Coast, USA
    General blanket statements like that are never accurate. We all have different circumstances. Speaking only for myself, I need all the power, speed, capacity, & resources available. It's the type of work I do which requires this.

    Then there's the fact I use it 7 hrs per day at work, and at least an hour at home. Thus after a year or so I'm more than ready for something fresh. Even if the refresh is very modest, I still take great pleasure in buying at least one new Mac each year. I say Mac, because there are times I buy two or more depending on what Apple is refreshing.

    I always have a Mac Pro, MBP & MBA at a minimum. The MBP & Mac Pro take care of work, with a second Mac Pro at home since I have two home networks. One connected to the web, and one that's not (for maximum security & backup).

    The MBA is for the international travel I do. Finally I have a few ThinkPads, for the Windows work I do, I'm well covered.

    Needless to say, I really like Macs.
  25. r3dm4lcz macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2012
    You're obviously losing money, as the depreciation, no matter how low of a percentage, is still below the price you paid. Therefore people should focus more on the additional productivity value they would get from this "extra cost" over anything else. Personally, the extra cost is more than worth it for extra time in a warranty, being ahead of the curve technically (I'm a developer / consultant) and to keep the hardware fresh (it gets thoroughly battered). The annoying thing regarding Apple however is that people loyal to the brand will put this price on the extra image they'll get for having the latest product. So people would often assume (like my colleagues) that I'm just some 'fanboi', which is a moot point.

    As long as the new machine offered extra productivity for me personally, I wouldn't really care how much value the old machine had lost.

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