Best place to buy a used Mac?
May 31, 2008 3:56 AM   Subscribe

What are some of the better places to buy used Macs? What are good models to buy? I'd like something that can run OS X and still has some life left in it, but also hoping to keep the cost down.

I've used both Macs & PCs for quite some time. Finally went 100% PC in the late 90's. Now that it appears MS is incapable of delivering a decent OS and will be discontinuing support for XP (and Windows 7 looks like absolute rubbish), I'm looking at possibly switching back over to a Mac. Not a real fan of the Mac GUI, but having one around to tinker with might let me get accustomed to it.

Also, what are fair prices for various models? I've flipped through the local CraigsList listings and the prices seem terribly high (often more than retail!).
posted by OTA to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I swear by Wegener Media. They have the machines that you want at really good prices, and kickass customer service. I live in Philadelphia, where you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a Mac tech, and I still send my machine to Wegener in South Carolina for service! (Unbelievably, it's cheaper AND faster, and for some reason they don't have that, "I work at the Apple Store" attitude.)
posted by cometwendy at 4:12 AM on May 31, 2008 [3 favorites]

I did alright with the apple online store refurbished machine section. Got a refurbished iPod and laptop on different occasions and have no complaints. The machines were both only one step away from 'the latest model', and I saved a couple of hundred dollars in both cases.
posted by schwap23 at 4:26 AM on May 31, 2008

I've had good luck with Small Dog Electronics buying refurbished Macs. Also Low End Mac is a good place to look for info and sometimes pricing on older machines.
posted by jdl at 5:40 AM on May 31, 2008

I bought the used 12" g4 powerbook I'm typing on from powermax. It serves me well - I mostly do the websurfing/emailing/movie-watching stuff on it, but I've used it for photoshop, and when I was freelancing, for working on (large) InDesign files with no complaints except for sometimes wishing I had a bigger screen. When I bought it, I think it was about $600 less than a comparable new model.

The newer the used machine - say, a MacBook Pro - the less money you're going to save, but that's true of most used things, I think.
posted by rtha at 6:06 AM on May 31, 2008

I'd go with Apple's online store if those refurbished models are still in your price range. Otherwise I'll second Powermax. I've only purchased from them once, but they were very nice, very helpful, and even months after the sale were eager to help me deal with Apple on an issue that came up.
posted by Science! at 6:21 AM on May 31, 2008

Used Macs are often highly-priced. Part of the problem is that Macs tend to hold their value (and functionality) for a long time. I've got an iBook here from 2002, running OSX and doing just fine.

I did alright with the apple online store refurbished machine section. Got a refurbished iPod and laptop on different occasions and have no complaints.

Ditto, except I'm in the UK. The refurbs aren't always supercheap (e.g. sometimes Apple only knocks off £50 for a refurb MacBook), but you are getting a proper and full Apple warranty. It pays to wait and watch what deals come through.
posted by outlier at 8:18 AM on May 31, 2008

Keep in mind that this is not the best day to buy a Mac: WWDC starts June 9 and there will probably be new models (or at least updated processors/pricing) released that week. Wait a bit longer and you'll see all the "old" models go down a bit more in price.
posted by bcwinters at 9:53 AM on May 31, 2008

I got my last one 3 years ago from DVWarehouse. It was a used Dual processor G4 tower but it came in great shape and it still runs fine today. They have G5's too but no Intel machines so far, not sure why.

Anyway, I've also gotten a computer from Small Dog but I'd recommend DVWarehouse over them because they were more accommodating (Small Dog wouldn't replace a laptop with burnt pixels) and they seem to be less expensive too.
posted by eatcake at 3:09 PM on May 31, 2008

Low End Mac keeps track of best prices at various outlets, including the Apple refurbs.
posted by Orb2069 at 6:32 PM on February 1, 2009

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