how much should I sell a used iMac for?
February 28, 2010 5:43 PM   Subscribe

how much should I sell a used iMac for?

Bought in 2004. In good working condition. iMac G5 with 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo. 512 MB 667 MHz RAM. how much can I make?
posted by Jason and Laszlo to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: 17" screen
posted by Jason and Laszlo at 5:44 PM on February 28, 2010

Do a search on eBay, and make sure to check the 'completed' tab. Then look for items in a similar condition to yours, with similar accessories.
posted by Wild_Eep at 5:58 PM on February 28, 2010

If it's a G5, it's not an Intel Core Duo and vice versa.
posted by rikschell at 5:58 PM on February 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Here's one currently on eBay (but with 1 GB memory) with 6 bids, currently at $157.50, with 4 days to go. Off the top of my head, I was guessing you could ask $100, but you might aim for $200. I know it's a drag how much computers depreciate.
posted by lukemeister at 5:58 PM on February 28, 2010

eBay? Craigslist?

See what others have gone for.
posted by k8t at 5:59 PM on February 28, 2010

I just looked. Your looking at high 200 hundreds mid 300 hundreds if you advertise right.
posted by lakerk at 6:03 PM on February 28, 2010

Response by poster: lakerk, any advertising tips that you see are useful?
posted by Jason and Laszlo at 6:05 PM on February 28, 2010

If there's a lot of popular software on it, that would be a selling point.
posted by lukemeister at 6:07 PM on February 28, 2010

How will you be selling it? If you're selling it on Craigslist, see what other people are asking for similar equipment. That won't tell you what people are getting, but you'll at least know what you're competing against.
posted by alms at 6:11 PM on February 28, 2010

The range of values on Craigslist is nutso. People are trying to sell ancient iMacs for hundreds of dollars, or obviously stolen current gen MacBooks for a hundy. I'd use eBay as a more reliable gauge.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 6:34 PM on February 28, 2010

First of all, know what you're selling. If you had said "iMac G5" and then said it had a Core Duo, you'd not only be wrong since that's impossible, but I as a buyer could assume cluelessness on your part, and would look to take advantage of that. So first and foremost identify your iMac.

Next, go into System Profiler and pull the "Model Identifier" from the Hardware page. That will be worth putting in your post to help specify exactly what it is you're selling.

Then you want to identify other specs that may be applicable, such as the size of the hard drive and the screen size (which I see you eventually also noted).

It's also helpful to your sale price to have a well lit, non-blurry picture of the actual thing you're selling. Don't just use a stock picture from a site if you can avoid it.

I'd give you an estimate of potential sale value, but you don't state if you have an "iMac G5" or an "iMac Core Duo", which are two different things with two different values. The former is less valuable and desirable than the latter by a certain amount.
posted by majick at 6:37 PM on February 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you bought in in 2004, it does not have an Intel CPU. Apple did not release Intel Macs until 2006. If you represent the computer as an Intel Mac, your buyer will be very angry when he/she finds out it isn't.

The problem is, the non-Intel Macs are not well-supported by software makers anymore. The latest version of OS X won't run on it. A lot of newer programs won't work. That is going to hurt the resale value. You could probably get between $100 and $200 for it.
posted by twblalock at 6:57 PM on February 28, 2010 [2 favorites]

Mac2sell, Guide to used Mac & iPod. "We offer a free estimation of your hardware."
posted by The Mouthchew at 11:17 PM on February 28, 2010

Caution: Mac2Sell seems to be trying to hand out drive-by download viruses.
posted by Mwongozi at 3:24 AM on March 1, 2010

Thanks, Mwongozi. It's a widely used site, but it looks like people get malware warnings now. I don't know whether it's included content from another site, or if the site itself was hacked. Anyway, I'm sorry. (I didn't get any warnings when I visited the site earlier. I'm on a Mac)
posted by The Mouthchew at 3:57 AM on March 1, 2010

Because I'm brave I just dropped a few example models into that mac2sell site for you. It consistently highballs the price by 20% or so over the actual closing price of models I've recently purchased. Assuming you have an iMac G5 -- you still haven't returned here to clarify what you're selling, so this number may be totally invalid -- they are suggesting you set the price to $190. I think you should have no trouble moving it at $150-170. Hell, I'd consider it at that price myself.

Whatever you do, you should totally ignore Craigslist pricing. Mac sellers on Craigslist overvalue their computers by anywhere from 70% to 300%, typically as a result of totally failing to understand how obsolete their computers are. I've seen many people ask $600 for computers similar to the $190-ish example I use here. I can't imagine there are more than a handful of totally clueless buyers willing to be ripped off at that price, but there may be a few.

Fair prices on Craigslist are few and far between. Don't use it as a guide unless you plan to do a lot of haggling. Don't do haggling until you understand what you have and what its value is.
posted by majick at 4:14 AM on March 1, 2010 has a handy feature at the end of every hardware spec listing reflecting their estimation of current retail value. this should be a general guide, and will be dependent upon whether you put more RAM in, what the condition of the machine is, etc. i linked to the one that i think is your model based on the info you provided, but double check to make sure the specs line up.

be aware that as a G5, it's a PPC (PowerPC) chipset, and while they will run Leopard OS 10.5.x and are currently still viable, the switch to Intel chips means the OS will stay at Leopard (while Intel machines now run the newer Snow Leopard OS 10.6.x), and eventually new software won't be able to run on it. but for now, it can do pretty much everything one would need a Mac to do, but be aware (and be honest with potential buyers) when you resell.
posted by kuppajava at 9:09 AM on March 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

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