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March 30, 2010 12:13 PM   Subscribe

what is a fair price for a used macbook pro?

say you want to sell your used (about a couple of years old) 17" macbook pro to a good friend of yours. you own a design studio and have a few lying around that aren't being used anymore and your friend desperately needs a new computer but can't afford a brand new one. in fact, your friend can barely afford a used one now but in order to do work, your friend needs a new computer.

what would be a fair price to charge, or fair-to-generous with the friend discount?
posted by violetk to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
If I had "a few" of anything lying around unused that one of my friends "desperately" needed, my fair-price-point would be "free". I would give my friend that item for free.
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj at 12:18 PM on March 30, 2010 [12 favorites]

Gainsavers is my go-to site for pricing used Macs. Failing that, eBay.

Keep in mind they have a guarantee, reinstall everything, etc. and that jacks up the price.

Assuming they buy for 50% of what they sell for, half of whatever price you come up with on Gainsavers would be a fair price - it's roughly what you'd get if you sold to them, and cheaper than your friend could get buying from them.
posted by MesoFilter at 12:18 PM on March 30, 2010

Also +1 jjjjjjjijjjjjjj.
posted by MesoFilter at 12:19 PM on March 30, 2010

Mac2Sell is an awesome guide. It tells you pretty much straight up what the box is worth. Then you can consider how much to knock off the price for a friend.

Personally, if I had an extra computer and a friend really needed one to work, I would let it go for whatever I thought he/she could afford. Then again, I have always been a shite businessman...
posted by solipsophistocracy at 12:20 PM on March 30, 2010

Karma is a boomerang.
posted by mkultra at 12:24 PM on March 30, 2010 [3 favorites]

I'm going to also chime in and say give it to the friend BUT if you think it would make him/her feel awkward offer it to him in exchange for something he/she can provide for you.

"Hey dude, no problem I'm going to be laying some new flooring in a few weeks and I'll ask you to give me a hand" (or something like that) usually wipes away feelings that your being overly generous. With that said, ask the computer recipient once or twice for noted "barter" assistance and then drop it (ie, consider the computer a gift and be glad if he/she actually offers services in kind).
posted by labwench at 12:26 PM on March 30, 2010

posted by Jaltcoh at 12:28 PM on March 30, 2010

I would trade it for something your friend has lying around that you want, or something that wasn't money-based like a few rides to the airport or a home cooked meal. When I got rid of my g4 ibook that I wasn't using, I traded it to a friend who needed one, in exchange for a kayak [delivered]. I think we both feel that we got a good deal.
posted by jessamyn at 12:29 PM on March 30, 2010

This exact scenario played out on Seinfeld, episode 93, "The Soup." In the end, Bania ended up giving a used 17" MacBook Pro to Jerry for a dinner at Mendy's.

Bania: Hey Jerry.
Jerry: Hey Kenny. (with some fake enthusiasm, just to be polite)
Jerry: Elaine, George (introducing them to Bania with less enthusiasm)
Elaine: Hi. (she flips her hair)
George: Hi (raises his left hand in a slight gesture to say hi)
Bania: Hi. (to Elaine)
Jerry: How's it going?
Bania: Great. I've been working alot. Went from a size 40, to a 42.
Jerry: No kidding.
Bania: Yeah, I’m huge (ducks his head into his right shoulder with false modesty) Well, I’ll leave you guys alone. (raps his knuckle twice on the table, turns and walks away)
Jerry: All right.
Elaine: O.K. Thanks.
(Bania gets about 3-4 steps away then turns around quickly)
Bania: Oh. Jerry, You know what just hit me? I was thinking -- Are you still in desperate need of a new computer?
Jerry: Ahh, yeah. Why?
Bania: I just got a some brand new computers -- don't need the old MacBooks anymore. You want one?
Jerry: Well I don't know if I ...
Bania: Oh come on. Why should it just sit in storage?
Elaine: A MacBook Pro?
George: Take the Mac.
Jerry: Well ... ok, I guess (voice trailing off)
Bania: You gonna be home later?
Jerry: Yeah.
Bania: I’ll drop it off. (raps his knuckle twice on the table again, turns and walks away)
George: Heh heh heh hey, new computer (raises coffee cup as a salute / toast)
Jerry: Yeah, yeah, lucky me. (sips coffee)
(Bania opens the door and leans his head in)
Bania: Hey (holds the MacBook Pro up) Here you go. (walks into the apt.)
Jerry: Yeah.
Bania: You didn’t think I was really going to give you a computer, did you?
Kramer: What, you're giving him this computer?
Bania: That's right, and it's a Mac.
Kramer: Mac? Hey, Mac Jerry. (Kramer takes the computer and looks it over)
Jerry: Yes, yes, I heard.
Kramer: Come on, turn it on.
Jerry: No, it's ok.
Kramer: Come on, I want to see how it runs.
Jerry: All right, all right. (turning on the computer)
Kramer: There you go.
Jerry: Ok, Yeah all right.
Kramer: Oh boy, that looks great. I can't believe you're giving him this.
Bania: I don't even want anything for it.
(grinning like a Hyena, Bania looks at Jerry -- Jerry's _expression looks like “what have I gotten myself into here.”)
Kramer: He's very generous, isn't he?
Jerry: Yes, yes, he is.
Bania: I’ll tell you what -- you can take me out to dinner sometime.
(Jerry starts turning off the computer and stops -- looking very surprised at Bania)
Jerry: Dinner?
Bania: Yeah. You buy me a meal -- you can't get a better deal than that (pats Jerry on the shoulder)
Kramer: No, you'll never get a better deal than that.
Bania: All right. I’ll leave you alone. (turns and walks out the door)
Jerry: Yeah, I’ll see you.

posted by trueluk at 12:39 PM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

I just sold a 2-yr-old 17" MacBook Pro on EBay in an auction. It had a 200 GB HD and 4 GB RAM. It was in very good condition, and I threw in an extra battery. Still had about a year of Apple Care left.

The winning bid was about $1,400, including shipping.
posted by mikeand1 at 1:30 PM on March 30, 2010

Can't you just "lend" it to your friend for a while? You know, to get your friend on his feet. You'll let your friend know that if your friend wants to keep it, used ones go for about $900, but you'd let your friend have it for half that. But, for now, I'm sure you can just lend it to him for a while.
posted by jabberjaw at 1:34 PM on March 30, 2010

When you search ebay, make sure to log in and search for completed auctions only. Searching open auctions gives very bad data.

But a 2 year old computer? Half of what you bought it for is a fair price.
posted by gjc at 8:08 PM on March 30, 2010

I've sold two on eBay from a couple of years ago, averaging $1500 apiece (about $1400 after eBay and paypal took their cuts). If it's fully loaded with software and maxed out on RAM and faster drive/processor, you could add $100 or $200 to that price.

I guess the question is really how good is a "good" friend? $1400 is a decent chunk of change.

On the other hand, you said it was just lying around. Maybe $1400 doesn't mean that much. The discount you give him should be the amount you feel you wouldn't resent losing, or the amount you'd be willing to spend on him to help him out.
posted by smersh at 11:15 PM on March 30, 2010

I sold a 15" PowerBook G4 two years ago for almost $400, when it was almost four years old. People are willing to pay outrageous amounts, even for old Apple products. I'd suggest checking eBay's completed auctions and base your price off that.
posted by Aanidaani at 8:14 PM on March 31, 2010

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