Used Mac Retail Store

fish40

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 14, 2015
18
0
My partner and I are thinking of opening a small retail store that only sells used Apple products. Any advice?
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
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Boston
Where are you going to get the product?

Do you have a business plan defined and conducted some research to see if there's demand for used equipment, at least enough to support the overhead of running a store.
 

fish40

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 14, 2015
18
0
I'm based near Miami, we have demand for used Macs. The problem with buying on craigslist is that most of the sweet finds end up becoming reported stolen or iCloud locked. There is too much national competition for buying used Apple products so we can start a site just for our local market.
 
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maflynn

Moderator
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May 3, 2009
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I'm based near Miami, we have demand for used Macs. The problem with buying on craigslist is that most of the sweet finds end up becoming reported stolen or iCloud locked. There is too much national competition for buying used Apple products so we can start a site just for our local market.
Am I understanding you post, you'll buy off of CL, and then resell? If not where will you get your used equipment to re-sell?
 

fish40

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 14, 2015
18
0
The store will also do repairs to cover overhead. Selling used devices is the icing on the cake. This shop Experimac sources used devices on eBay, they're overhead is high! My partner and I will not finance a thing, we have saved and this is a big decision for both of us.
 

MICHAELSD

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,693
1,055
NJ
Definitely do watch your use of the Apple logo and trademarks as Apple can and will come after you based on branding, retail space design, and marketing.

Frankly I do not think the margins are high enough in your current model to sustain a business. There can be money in selling used Apple products but your business model does not work anywhere near as efficiently as it should, and I'm not going to spell out how it should be. Good luck though.
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
17,089
16,611
The Misty Mountains
Hmm... You are going to have a store space with overhead? My concern is how much is a store space going to cost? $2-3000 a month plus utilities? Do you have a large amount of cash to risk or are willing to put yourself into a large amount of debt for a business loan? An alternative might be to operate out of your home, with grately reduced overhead, if that is manageable, until you have confidence this endeavor will work out. As others have stated, the big concern is the source of your inventory. There will be a risk buying off Craig's list or eBay, you'll have to include limited warranties I imagine. Do you have indepth repair knowledge or would you pay someone else to fix stuff?
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,409
I don't see this as anything more than a hobby.

NYC has probably the busiest Craig's List for sale section and you'd be hard pressed to find enough products to call an inventory.

Where will you source parts for repair?

Why would I want to buy a used mac from you rather than the seller, especially since you're going to mark it up?

Lots more questions.
 

fish40

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 14, 2015
18
0
I appreciate all responses, even the more harsh ones.

If I do find a good source of used Macs, should I just sell online instead of in a retail store until we start growing?
 
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Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
17,089
16,611
The Misty Mountains
I appreciate all responses, even the more harsh ones.

If I do find a good source of used Macs, should I just sell online instead of in a retail store until we start growing?
Not to sound harsh, but you have thought this out a little? ;)

Online would have the huge advantage of low overhead, but no face to face for people who want to see something before buying it. The former outweighs the latter. Online advantage number 2, a relatively large maybe a huge market, although there is all ready competition. If you look at eBay, people are getting the going retail rate for their computers. The last MBP I sold on eBay went for $800. Three years prior I had purchased it for $2200. Not bad. For you to do this and make money, you'd have to find something similiar, but buy that computer for $400. And what would it take for you to make enough money to sustain a business?
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
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Boston
I appreciate all responses, even the more harsh ones.

If I do find a good source of used Macs, should I just sell online instead of in a retail store until we start growing?
Craiglist is so popular for the following reasons (all my opinions).
1. Cash based sale.
2. See the buyer face to face (no faceless transaction that could be a scam).
3. No taxes.
4. Lower price then retail.

I'm not sure a store specializing in selling used Macs can compete with CL, you have to mark up the prices for your overhead, you have to charge sales tax, if you're online only then you lose out on a key factor that CL has going for it and as rdown's posted Why would someone pay more $$ for something that he can get cheaper on CL?

I'm not trying to sound like Debbie downer, but I think selling used computers is a hard sell. Heck, opening up a computer store selling new computers is a hard sell, never mind used.

Back in the day I used to work in computer stores repairing computers and selling new ones. Except for a handful of mom and pop stores, Apple stores, its a business model that has largely gone by the boards.
 

MICHAELSD

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,693
1,055
NJ
Craiglist is so popular for the following reasons (all my opinions).
1. Cash based sale.
2. See the buyer face to face (no faceless transaction that could be a scam).
3. No taxes.
4. Lower price then retail.

I'm not sure a store specializing in selling used Macs can compete with CL, you have to mark up the prices for your overhead, you have to charge sales tax, if you're online only then you lose out on a key factor that CL has going for it and as rdown's posted Why would someone pay more $$ for something that he can get cheaper on CL?

I'm not trying to sound like Debbie downer, but I think selling used computers is a hard sell. Heck, opening up a computer store selling new computers is a hard sell, never mind used.

Back in the day I used to work in computer stores repairing computers and selling new ones. Except for a handful of mom and pop stores, Apple stores, its a business model that has largely gone by the boards.
I agree with this but just wanted to point out that meeting strangers face to face should be a major con. eBay ftw.
 

lowendlinux

macrumors 603
Sep 24, 2014
5,155
6,312
North Country (way upstate NY)
Craiglist is so popular for the following reasons (all my opinions).
1. Cash based sale.
2. See the buyer face to face (no faceless transaction that could be a scam).
3. No taxes.
4. Lower price then retail.

I'm not sure a store specializing in selling used Macs can compete with CL, you have to mark up the prices for your overhead, you have to charge sales tax, if you're online only then you lose out on a key factor that CL has going for it and as rdown's posted Why would someone pay more $$ for something that he can get cheaper on CL?

I'm not trying to sound like Debbie downer, but I think selling used computers is a hard sell. Heck, opening up a computer store selling new computers is a hard sell, never mind used.

Back in the day I used to work in computer stores repairing computers and selling new ones. Except for a handful of mom and pop stores, Apple stores, its a business model that has largely gone by the boards.
Even the mom and pop stores have other profit centers beyond computers and service. Some do infrastructure others do other office automation and the like. That's where the business plan comes in it forces you to look at your business objectively.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,860
30,385
Boston
I agree with this but just wanted to point out that meeting strangers face to face should be a major con. eBay ftw.
No question but if you take proper precautions, such as meeting in a public venue, you largely mitigate that risk, where as internet transactions outside of well established businesses (or ebay sales) have the risk of getting scammed.
 

fish40

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 14, 2015
18
0
CL feeds a lot of people these days, it's their bread and butter.

The bad side of CL is most of the computers are stolen/iCloud locked. I once met a guy who called me on one of my 'Wanted' ads and said he had a 15" Mid 2012 Retina for sale. We agreed on a price and I drove to his house (my fault), when I called him and said I was there, a young black male approached my window and pulled a small revolver out of a backpack. Luckily, my foot was on the pedal so I just drove off before he had a chance to do anything.
 

MICHAELSD

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,693
1,055
NJ
CL feeds a lot of people these days, it's their bread and butter.

The bad side of CL is most of the computers are stolen/iCloud locked. I once met a guy who called me on one of my 'Wanted' ads and said he had a 15" Mid 2012 Retina for sale. We agreed on a price and I drove to his house (my fault), when I called him and said I was there, a young black male approached my window and pulled a small revolver out of a backpack. Luckily, my foot was on the pedal so I just drove off before he had a chance to do anything.
This happened and OP still thinks this plan is a good idea.

Luckily criminals are dim-witted enough to make mistakes such as pulling a gun on someone in a vehicle. If OP was out of the car he'd most likely had gotten robbed and carjacked.
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,888
2,480
St. Louis, MO
CL feeds a lot of people these days, it's their bread and butter.

The bad side of CL is most of the computers are stolen/iCloud locked. I once met a guy who called me on one of my 'Wanted' ads and said he had a 15" Mid 2012 Retina for sale. We agreed on a price and I drove to his house (my fault), when I called him and said I was there, a young black male approached my window and pulled a small revolver out of a backpack. Luckily, my foot was on the pedal so I just drove off before he had a chance to do anything.
Why is his race relevant?
 

fish40

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 14, 2015
18
0
Update

I've decided to hold off on opening a retail store until I find a reliable source of product. Until then, I will keep selling on CL or eBay. :(

Thanks, Jay :cool:
 

Negritude

macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2011
297
189
This seems like a bad idea for a business. Your competition is:

1. The Apple Online Certified Refurbished Store, where all products are like new and come with full warranties.

2. Long-time trusted sellers of used Macs like Small Dog Electronics, which satcomer mentioned, and PowerMax.

3. Ebay, where you have a wide variety of sellers and products, and as a single retailer, you would have to provide return and refund guarantees at least as good as eBay and Paypal provide.

The only thing that you might possibly have an advantage over is Craigslist, but once you get into marking things up to cover your costs and maybe a little profit, people might not find your store as attractive, and once again, they already have so many other avenues for good deals.