What's up with eBay prices?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hauntedcity, May 18, 2007.

  1. hauntedcity macrumors member


    May 4, 2007
    Out of curiosity, I've been looking at eBay auctions for a new computer. I realize that Macs hold their value quite well, but several auctions are going for like-new prices! In many cases, used computers are asking for prices above refurbished. I've seen other auctions where used computers are about the same price as buying new through Amazon or MacMall. Some of these are offering extra software or Apple Care, which can understandably raise the value, but many are not.

    What's going on here? What am I missing? Why are people asking such high prices for used equipment, and even more mystifying, why are others paying those prices? Searching completed listings, every once in a while a legitimately good deal is found, but you're much more likely to find what looks like an obvious scam.


    And has anyone ever looked at Yahoo Auctions? That place is MESSED UP. It's no wonder that it's closing soon.
  2. rmhop81 macrumors 68020


    Apr 4, 2005
    Dallas, TX
    for some reason people on ebay LOVE if you have extras with your computer. If your computer has a bigger hard drive then the standard or you have 2gb ram or even applecare people are willing to pay brand new prices for that. I don't know why, but they do. There are G5 iMac's going for more than the brand new Intel ones. Heck, you can go those from apple refurbished for soo much cheaper.
  3. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030


    Apr 14, 2006
    Clemson, SC
    eBay's crazy for stuff like that.

    When I made the switch from a blackbook to a MBP, I sold the blackbook on eBay. It had an upgraded HD (120GB) and 2GBs of RAM. This was when the MBP C2D was released, so the low version came standard with 120GB and 1GB of RAM. I actually ended up MAKING $100 to make the switch (after my EDU discount).


    Not that I'm complainin... lol
  4. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    many people shopping at ebay seem to be brainless. you see that on many items.

    i don't know what they are thinking. sometimes i'm tempted to send them a PM after the auction is over and tell them what morons they are and ask them what they where thinking when the bid $300+insane expensive shipping for a used digital camera that RITZ or Best Buy sells brand new for less with free shipping.

    especially in electronics it's easy to see what a item did cost new, what a comparable item costs now. yet still people pay more for used stuff than what a new computer/mp3 player/camera would cost.

    on ebay if you wait long enough one fool is going to buy it and pay big bucks for it. regardless what "it" is.

    unfortunately that ruins the prices if you want to buy.
  5. Turkish macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2007
    I sold a Revision E (1.67GHz HD/DL) PowerBook on eBay that I bought in April of 05 for the same price I paid for it........ a year later.

    Admitted, I added an iCurve and an Incase sleeve with it, but needless to say I was shocked.
  6. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    It's pretty easy to see why ebay prices go above refurbished pricing. People are far more aware of eBay than of apple's refurb store. Not much more to it than that.
  7. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    not really. because when you go above refurbished prizes you are with shipping included close to apple store prices and sometimes above. at that point people should be able to check realistic prices at amazon or apple.com. but the aren't because they are retarded.

    in some cases they are between refurb and new prizes. in those cases you are right. that's understandable.
  8. topgunn macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2004
    eBay is a great place to sell Macs but not always a great place to buy them for just this reason. My guess is that most people buying on eBay do not know about the refurb section of the Apple Store. All they see are the retail prices at their local retailer and on Apple's own website. They think they are getting a great deal.

    With the help of Mac Rumors and having a pretty good idea of when a new models are coming out, I have been able to continually upgrade to the latest revision for very little money using eBay. In some cases, like someone else posted before, I have made money selling the soon to be replaced model with the brand new one. Because of this, I am rarely out of warranty, never have to worry about buying the latest OS, and have a free subscription to MacWorld.
  9. DTphonehome macrumors 68000

    Apr 4, 2003
    Let's not forget sales tax...most eBay sellers won't collect it, but Apple sure will.
  10. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    But not everyone thinks like this and all it takes is one to bid on a mac on ebay.
  11. Dimwhit macrumors 68000


    Apr 10, 2007
    This is all great to know. When I buy my iMac, I'm going to sell my G4/800 Quicksilver PowerMac. 1GB RAM, a second 150GB HD (on top of the stock 40GB), a 16x DVD burner, a 3-port USB2 PCI card...and a few other things. I'm hoping to get some decent money on it.
  12. montycat macrumors 6502


    Mar 19, 2007
    New in the box

    Whats up with this? What is the advantage to the seller to buy something and not open the box and hope that they can profit from it. The bids are always so low. Also, the winner of the bid has to pay for shipping too. Am I missing something? MC
  13. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    What you don't see is the number of those high priced sales that are won, that the buyers never pay on and the machine ends up going back on Ebay again (and again).

    Some buyers think nothing of bidding on 4 things simultaneously, then if they win them all, reneging on 3 of them.

    Yes the seller can file a non-paying bidder report but eBay is so pitiful at weeding out frauds and rulebreakers, that it doesn't make any difference in the long run.
  14. cnybud macrumors member


    Apr 6, 2007
    Chittenango, NY
    I just gotta ask this:

    i am new to the Mac universe so you will have to forgive my ignorance.

    What is special about the box and the original packing that some Mac people feel the need to save it? When i bought this mini from a kid in Rochester, it came complete with the original box, wrapping and even the original packing box. In fact the only thing it was missing was one of the stickers. Whenever i buy a pc I usually hold on to the package for the life of the warranty, after that i toss it because there has been no reason that i know of to save it. Perhaps it is because when i buy something used I really do not require the package it came in just the item itself, I dunno.

    As with the OP i am also amazed at the resale value of Macs. The laptops I can somewhat understand, as I too am a big fan of the portability of the 12" books, but let's be honest here, how is it that a Mac can hold 75 percent of its value and provide 25 percent of the power of a new machine? I saw recently someone with a G3 desktop on CL without a display and they wanted $250 for it. Someone else had a 233mHz iMac for around the same price and they sold them both. I just don't get it. A PC at those speeds would get used as a doorstop. Perhaps it is due to the remarkable ability for these old machines to still be used today in a productive manner albeit at much slower speeds?

    This Mini I have actually can out perform the Pentium 4 1.7 I had previous to this one. Anyway i too am amazed at the resale value of these things.
  15. BryanLyle macrumors 6502a


    Aug 2, 2005
    I recently sold my Mac Mini G4 1.42ghz machine on eBay for $450. It had an 80gb HD and 512mb of RAM. Some people still prefer the PowerPC versions over the Intel ones.

    I thought $450 was a fair price.
  16. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire

    The majority of ebay sellers that are selling things new, in box, unopened are actually not individuals. They are small shop owners who are trying to sell more product. The MAJOR benefit of doing business this way is that they can actually sell the product on sale (under the radar) even if it is one that has manufacturer restrictions on prices and/or sales. ( ie. Apple products, Thomas Train, Bruder toy trucks, etc.)

    This proved true when I was buying Thomas the Train stuff for my son. That is a product that is rarely on sale, if ever. The major "individual" seller was a store out of Lawrence KS who sells the Thomas stuff online like crazy. They will put a particular piece on line under an individual account name, and most times they will get 80% of retail if not more. If they have an auction on a particular piece that doesn't sell much over 50 or 60% of retail you won't see that piece offered from that seller for a while. Then it shows up again a month or so later and they usually are successful at getting 80% or better on that item. Sometimes the same as retail because people get caught up in the bidding that they don't think about it- they just know the $10 starting price was awesome!

    For some reason people like buying from "indiviudals" who have this new, unopened in box stuff. Then of course there are the ebayers that have their own little online "store" on ebay.
  17. Mr. DG macrumors regular

    Mr. DG

    Jan 16, 2006
    Absolutely. I sold my Samsung laptop on ebay to part-pay for my Mac; I had to re-list due to non-payment. The 1st winning bidder was a hacked account. The same thing happened when I sold my phone - the winner was a scammer with a feedback of 1.

    I learned and deleted bids by members with less than 5 feedback points. The items sold for less but the flake rate was lower. So the Macs *may* not actually change hands for the price you see.
  18. suneohair macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2006
    I bought a Mac Mini on craiglist for $600, i turned around and sold it on eBay for about $825...
  19. iMichael72 macrumors regular

    May 19, 2007
    Maryland, U.S.A
    I think a lot of people use eBay for the ease of use. They'd rather buy online then go to a brick and mortar store.

    And, honestly, some people are just lazy. They don't even bother to research what they intend to buy.
    They think they are getting a good buy on eBay and go for it.
  20. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    AppleCare is generally cheaper on eBay than anywhere else.

    I will definitely eBay my MacBook in Nov '08 when it is nearing 2 years old. That seems to be the tipping point for Mac prices.

    Interestingly, I rarely see any mini Core Solos on eBay. I wonder where they all go?
  21. majapapaya macrumors member


    Apr 25, 2007
    eBay buying tips

    There are definitely some things you can get a good deal on eBay and some that are just not worth it.

    The one thing I found good to buy on eBay are cell phones. If the case being you lost yours, your contract isn't up and you are not eligible for a upgrade. I bought an awesome used one for 100$ the phone sells for 300$ new. I even saw new ones for half the price.

    When I was in the market for a new digital camera I first went to a electronic store, found the camera I wanted and then went to eBay and price-grabber. I couldn't believe that people were bidding so high on a camera that they could get new for so much less on an on-line store.

    If you insist on buying from eBay watch a few auctions on the computer you want, put them on your 'watch this item' and when the auctions end you can go back and see what people are paying for that computer model. DON'T GET CAUGHT IN THE BIDDING WAR. Chronic eBayer's tend to push up the price just to get the win. It's all about the win, not the cost or item.
    I recommend buying any electronic equipment from a price comparison site instead of eBay. That's how I will be buying my MBP in June:eek:. Just make sure you read the reviews about the on-line stores.
  22. booksacool1 macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2004
    I've noticed the ridiculous prices on eBay too. Primarily on popular brand name items. You have to think of it like this. People 'hear' that ebay is a cheap place for computers/anything. They find what they want and try to win it thinking they'll get a good deal. In other words, ebay is full of idiot buyers. This is good for sellers (who'll get a great price), but buyers will have to look else-where.
    Having said that, ebay is a great place for non brand name, non original items. E.g. I've bought a couple of phone covers, inverters, and batteries/chargers on ebay. But the moment I start looking at brand name stuff, such as Macs (which people assume should hold their value), Digital cameras etc, the prices are simply far too high. Or they aren't any lower than buying in a store (in which case I'd skip ebay and buy from a store).

    If you really want to buy a used mac, your almost out of luck. I'd recommend trying alternate sites (I hear several mentions of craigs list), newspapers and users groups.

    Otherwise just buy refurbished or a low end new.
  23. dpaanlka macrumors 601


    Nov 16, 2004
    Well surely you're aware of the "prestige" of the Apple brand, and also the collectability of it's older products. That's why original boxes and stuff are important. They have an Apple logo on them, and are a part of the complete "experience" that people are shopping for.

    If you "don't get" why this is the way it is, that's fine - it isn't important to you nor is it important to many people. But a lot of people do hold value to those types of things. I myself actually have some original boxes still, for some very very old Apple hardware (from over ten years ago). My PowerBook Duo Dock still has it's original box and all the crap that was inside it, and that was from like 1994. My Performa 6400 still has it's original box as well, and I have various other accessories and keyboards and stuff in their boxes too.

    Some other stuff you'll notice on eBay - people are very concerned with not just the operational condition but the physical condition of their systems. A PowerBook with lots of bumper stickers on it is going to get much less than a mint condition PowerBook, even if they're easily removable. Anything with tons of scratches or big scuff marks will get a lower price as well.

    Think of trading used Apple computers in the same sense as trading used cars.
  24. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030


    Apr 14, 2006
    Clemson, SC
    Not just collectability reasons, but also because 1) people like to feel like they're buying new, even when they're buying used, and original packaging/boxes help with this, 2) usually means that the machine was not stolen, and 3) suggests a well-kept machine, ie, a good condition box = a good condition machine, to many buyers.

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