[Urgent Assistance Needed] What to look for when buying a used MacBook Pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by .11, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. .11, Jul 7, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011

    .11 macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2011

    I will be buying an used 13 inch macbook pro, and I wanted to get a list of questions to ask when I get there. And I will be examining the device and I want to know what I should look for cosmetic wise and in OS X wise.

    For an example going into the terminal and running some commands to test stuff, checking the battery life indicator, auto brightness and etc.

    Or doing a test when booting up the device like want to click. Like running some BIOS test if I was buying a Windows machine.

    And is this a good buy? It's a:

    • 13" 2009 Macbook
    • 2ghz c2d
    • 4GB DDR3 Ram
    • 160GB HardDrive
    • Charger
    • Box and Manual
    • Original discs
    • and a cloth/sleeve that came with it
    • Aluminum Unibody

    For $675

    Any help would be greatly appreciated thanks.

    Bought In the summer of '09 according to his papers and etc.(He bought for school)
  2. DWBurke811 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2011
    Boca Raton, FL
    For $200 more you can get a mid 2010 refurb from Apple with a year of AppleCare. I know that's what I would do.
  3. MacsOnAnabolics macrumors regular


    Jul 31, 2009
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    I would ask if it still under apple care warranty. And if it is. Before you buy, call Apple Care to confirm.
  4. .11 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2011
    No it's not. The year ended.

    This is the 13in unibody macbook pro, when I checked the refurbs at Apple the lowest one was $1020.

    All but one were Intel Graphic Cards, the other one was NVIDIA 320m the one I was think about buying has a NVIDIA 9400m
  5. 2hvy4grvty macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2011
  6. .11 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2011
    Any reason why?

    And @DWBurke811

    It would be about $1100 total as a refurb from Apple tax included.
  7. 2hvy4grvty macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2011
  8. .11 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2011
    That's true let me ask him, and tips on what to look for?

    I know about the Battery and light indicators outside the machine, and to make sure the 8 screws are there to make sure it wasn't tampered with.

    But how would I go about checking the amount ram, hard drive space, processor, and etc.
  9. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    i just wouldn't even buy it, doesn't seem like a good deal.
  10. madisonfaye macrumors regular


    Jul 7, 2011
    I would personally spend a bit of extra money and get a refurb from Apple. Honestly you will feel so much better about it, plus you will get Apple Care for a year! :)
  11. DWBurke811 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2011
    Boca Raton, FL
    Mid 2010 unibody pros(7,1)with 2.4 C2D, 4gb, 250hd, 320M(the one I have) show up on the applestore for $899. IMHO it's well worth a little wait and little more cash money to not only get a better machine but one that comes backed by apple with a year of AppleCare.

    The 320 is better than the 9400.

    And fwiw, all the screws being there doesn't mean it wasn't messed with, just that they put all the screws back. If you are dead set on getting that used one, bring $500 in hundreds and offer that. It's not worth more, again IMO.
  12. Naimfan macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2003
    Stay away--that's awfully expensive. They go for $450 or so here, and as others have pointed out you can get a refurbed 2.4 GHz 13" Macbook Pro for $899 plus tax from Apple. MUCH better idea.

    That said: Check System Profiler to verify the specs and the serial number. Make sure everything works--the Superdrive, the iSight camera, etc. Make sure any software is working and doesn't need a serial number, and verify the serial number of the machine with the serial number on the box.

    If it's under Applecare, make the seller send the requisite email to Apple to tranfer it.
  13. 2hvy4grvty macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2011
    Not sure where you guys learned math, but $450 is 70% more. If you can find the same laptop with a certified warranty for $100 more, or even $150 more, maybe. But asking someone to almost double their budget makes 0 sense.

    That's like saying, no, don't buy the base 13 inch. For just $700 more, you can get the 15 inch.

    That's great, but there's no logical connection between the first segment and the latter segment, despite the use of a transition.
  14. scarboni21 macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2008

    • Also it sounds like its a Alu Macbook (not pro). The first 13" MBP had a 2.26 processor
  15. DWBurke811 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2011
    Boca Raton, FL
    Ummm yeah that's cool, but you're wrong...his is selling for $675. You can get a 7,1 from apple for 899(I don't care enough to check if they're in stock now, but they show up a lot). Let's round up and say 900, that's a 225 difference. Or around 33% more.
  16. marshallbedsaul macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2007
    I always check
    battery cycle count
    serial number on apple site and powerbook medic (id your mac)
    Run HD check smart status
    see the actual system sepcs hd,ram,screen everything.
    Also check signs of water damage its hard to do but, there are some signs
    smells,dry spots ect..
    But the computer cam out in 2009 will be 3 years old soon enough.

    I would personally not buy just save some money and get a 2010 refurb from apple.
  17. 2hvy4grvty macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2011
    Going by what the poster said above me.

    Regardless, you pay tax when buying from an authorized seller, so ~50%.

    That's still quite a margin. No one looking to buy a 20k Camry is going to end up with a 30k BMW.
  18. hcho3 macrumors 68030

    May 13, 2010
    675 dollars for a laptop that is out of warranty and comes with only 160GB HDD?

    Hell no...

    Spend more money and get MBP 13 inch refurbished at apple store. They go as low as 830 dollars. It also comes with full year warranty.

    That thing is overpriced. I would not even buy that for 475 dollars.
  19. 2hvy4grvty macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2011
    Why not just get a PC...

    No reason to force your way into an Apple line.

    Not going to lie, that's a terrible price to pay for a 2 year old laptop. It's absolutely basic specs, and retailed for ~$1000 new. It's worth ~$400-450 right now on ebay.
  20. .11 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2011
    First thanks everyone, second I'm typing on my phone so quoting everyone won't be happening

    Can you show me an ebay listing?

    And to everyone here's the deal.

    I wanna start obj-c and android tablet development, the mac allows me to get both. My ideal machine would be a Macbook Pro 15, but by the time I save up the money, I might as well wait for the spring refresh.

    Another thing to note, this laptop will be a dev laptop until the 15in. Once I get that I will be giving the 13in to the family.

    As for a refurb mac, the lowest one I saw was $1020 before tax and $849 before tax for the white.

    I will ask the buyer to lower the deal to $550, and as for the windows machine getting ruby on rails on windows is a pain. And I'm currently 3rd in line for a HP dm1 for $250.
  21. Lennyvalentin macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2011
    Regardless what price you end up paying, just try to make sure it's not been stolen! :p Macbooks are high-value, easily pilfered commodities with unusually high resale value for an electronic product. Excellent targets for those who are, shall we say, less morally inclined...
  22. randomrazr macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2011
    refresh wont occur till maybe novemberish- most likely early next year.

    who al we know apple might just keep the same design and bump the specs.

    even though the unbody design has been arround for 4 years just about, pc manufacturers are still trying to catch up to the designs looks and quality.
  23. .11, Jul 7, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011

    .11 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2011

    Thanks for the heads up regarding ebay. I will try to get him to go down to $475-$500.


    Jumped the gun on this I just checked the listing the ones that are $460-$500, the bidding is still going on. I will see what price they end at.

    The other unibodies that are $450-$500, don't work, they don't power on.

    Thanks for the tips I'll note them on my phone.

    @Lennyvalentin yup! He has the receipt


    I thought it was a yearly refresh for the 15in MacBook Pro, which would be in the Spring again. Has something changed?
  24. randomrazr macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2011
    apple is estimated to update there macbook pros every 8 months but from the past release, its been passed that so it will likely be next spring.

    u my as well spend the extra 200 dollars on the refurb macbook pros. they are practically brand new and have warrenty.

    i know u plan on getting a macbook pro in spring but macbooks do last for quite a while, and you may even look past release and keep using ur 13inch.

    if u want to upgrade badley to whatever comes out, sell the thing. least by that time it still has warrenty and such so it should be easy to sell to put towards ur future macbook pro.
  25. .11, Jul 8, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011

    .11 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2011

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