PLZ buy my compamathingy!
October 16, 2006 9:03 AM   Subscribe

How do I sell my dead laptop for parts. I know virtually nothing about computer thingies.

My 12' Apple G4 iBook (1 1/2 years old, Panther O/S) crapped out on me. The logic board is dead and although I think it was the crappy recalled battery that killed it, Apple can't prove it and so won't help me. I am in the process of getting a repacement battery, and I have already replaced the laptop, so now I just want to get a couple of bucks for the old one. I know that it has a good battery (or will have, once Apple sends it to me) and a working wireless card. I know precious little else. My problems:

I know virtually nothing about the bits and pieces involved, so I do not know what to advertise or how much money to ask for.

Although I have purchased stuff on Ebay before, it was a long time ago and I have never sold anything. Therefore my buyer's ratings are out of date, and I have no seller's ratings.

How do I get around these two obstacles and manage to sell my computer without either a)ripping someone off, b)getting ripped off?
posted by arcticwoman to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
I'm no technology expert either, so take this advice with a grain, perhaps an entire shaker, of salt. But as I understand it, laptops are fiendishly difficult to part out. Your battery and wireless card are likely to be the only resaleable components.

As far as establishing value goes, I would recommend dialing up and trying to find the parts in question. Apply depreciation accordingly.

However, how likely are you to purchase a new machine compatible with what you have already? If you're considering something that your old wireless card would fit into, then why not hang on to it?
posted by EatTheWeek at 9:22 AM on October 16, 2006

I would just selling the whole thing off on Ebay. If tho you haven't used your account for a while. Just be honest and write up a detail description of the laptop and what state its in.
posted by bleucube at 10:00 AM on October 16, 2006

I second what bleucube and list it for whatever price you can find on eBay for that model battery + $20 more to start and see where the bidding goes. Also don't forget to write "as is" in your listing.
posted by k8t at 10:23 AM on October 16, 2006

Do an eBay search for your laptop's make and model in "completed auctions." That will at least give you an idea of what the going rate is for functioning versions of what you have. Put it up there with a low reserve, a photo, and a clear explanation of what you believe to be wrong with it and let market forces take over.

I wouldn't bother parting it out as laptops tend to be worth more whole than in pieces and yours is quite new and therefore worth trying to fix if the purchase price is right. At most, I would part out the wireless card or keep it for my next Mac.
posted by jamaro at 10:29 AM on October 16, 2006


In my experience if you write a detailed. honest item listing (which is pretty much the information you've given above) with a couple of good photos you can get pretty much the going rate for whatever it is you're selling. I don't think you need to be too worried about the state of your feedback rating in this instance.
posted by chrissyboy at 10:36 AM on October 16, 2006

Whatever you do, don't be like this guy.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:24 AM on October 16, 2006

also, note the condition of the lcd screen in the auction. it's worth something, too.
posted by wearyaswater at 12:00 PM on October 16, 2006

Don't be shy on the "THIS IS A BROKEN LAPTOP" messages. I really suggest the all-caps, and maybe some red and exclamation points.

You do not want to deal with bids from people who think it's functioning.
posted by smackfu at 12:01 PM on October 16, 2006

There is a problem with G4 iBooks and the logic board. Check their website to see if you're covered. The same thing happened to me and after taking it apart and removing the hard drive, I took it to a local Apple repair shop and sold it for cash money.

/Then I asked for a job; I start full-time in two weeks.
posted by now i'm piste at 12:23 PM on October 16, 2006

If you are getting a brand new battery from Apple, you might be better off parting it out. Put low starting prices.

- Battery as brand new.
- Keyboard
- Chassis
- Airport card

If you want, remove the HD and zero it out, or just hang on to it. The ram isn't worth selling unless the sticks are 512mb or greater.
posted by mphuie at 2:01 PM on October 16, 2006

I'm typing this on a 12" G4 powerbook with a slightly damaged chassis and internal superdrive. If your chassis is in good condition, compatible with mine, and you are planning on parting it out, drop me an email (it's in the profile). I would love to get my baby in a nice new skin, if the price is right.
posted by Alterscape at 2:20 PM on October 16, 2006

The easiest thing to do would be to recycle it with freecycle or Ebay's recycle partnership. You may get a little more selling it directly, but if you don't know what you're getting into, Ebay can be a pain in the ass to deal with, especially for electronics, and most especially for laptops. Just be sure that you check the box to specify that you ship to the US and canada only, or you'll have 10000 bids from Nigeria, and you know what that means.

(If you don't, don't even consider ebay.)
posted by Mr. Gunn at 5:07 PM on October 16, 2006

*Definitely* look at cashforlaptops and see what kind of quote you can get from them. For the last two laptops I had to sell for parts, they managed to give me excellent prices (better than I could've gotten on ebay, and without the ebay-hassle). They're responsive to email if you have questions or want to describe anything more fully than their little form lets you.
posted by allterrainbrain at 6:38 PM on October 16, 2006

Also, getting saleable parts out of a G4 iBook is going to be very hard for a non-pro. They are infamously hard to get into (the hard drive is almost comically inaccessible -- the lowest of many very delicate layers). I'd wager the people telling you to remove the drive have probably never tried to get into a G4 iBook.

That does bring up the question of information safety, though. If your drive had personal info or anything that could be used to get into your accounts/etc., please don't sell it to a stranger on ebay.
posted by allterrainbrain at 6:44 PM on October 16, 2006

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