How to sell an iMac in NYC.
July 16, 2008 9:11 AM   Subscribe

How to sell a two year old iMac in NYC?

I have an Intel iMac that I bought in September of 2006 and that I'm looking to sell. I've listed it on NYC Craigslist for $950 OBO, but there haven't been any bites and I'm leery to use eBay since it seems to be pretty scammy lately. It has Applecare, but no box or anything. Just the computer, an upgraded keyboard and a mouse.

Is there anywhere in NYC that would buy this and not totally rip me off? Is there anywhere else I can list it for private purchase?
posted by youcancallmeal to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
See if you can put up a few flyers in bookstores or coffee shops near a college campus.
posted by effigy at 9:30 AM on July 16, 2008

I've sold computers on CraigsList in NYC without much hassle. Your problem is, IMO, the price. Brand new iMacs start at $1200, and the bottom of the line model is probably as good or better than your 2-yr-old model. I can actually get a refurbished iMac direct from Apple for $950.
posted by mkultra at 9:34 AM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

I figured price might be an issue, but I haven't even gotten any counter-offers. Not to mention that I've been seeing the same ads popping up on CL over and over again...the market there seems saturated. I'm just wondering if there's an alternative.
posted by youcancallmeal at 9:59 AM on July 16, 2008

Yes compare to the Apple Refurb page for pricing guidelines.

I second Craigslist (meet the person first WITHOUT the iMac if you're worried), and agree your asking price is a bit high. $800 seems about right.
posted by rokusan at 11:08 AM on July 16, 2008

Resale values on computers are terrible, since most people feel that they're buying essentially obsolete gear when they do buy a used box. Especially if it isn't one of those "I just bought it and don't like it, but can't return it" stories with a late-model machine. Basically, to move a computer, you've got to price it in the 1/4-1/3 range of the new price. Otherwise it doesn't look like a deal, and folks'll just save up for another couple weeks and buy the new one.

The price has to be set low enough that either somebody who could never afford a Mac can now afford yours; or for somebody to feel like they can buy yours, and an upgrade in a year or two, for less than the cost of the new Mac that will last them four or five years.

I think I might pay $300-400 for your machine, assuming it looked clean and nice. If it looked two years old, I think I'd probably only pay a couple hundred.

You haven't been getting counter-offers because very few people are interested in convincing you of what mkultra and I are: that your computer isn't worth anything at all like how much you think it is. And so instead of offering you $300 on something you want a thousand for, they're just moving on to whatever ad has a lower base price.

(Also, I'd be wary of assuming that reposted ads indicate a saturated market. On Craigslist, they're just as likely to be scams or spam or some kind.)
posted by Netzapper at 11:09 AM on July 16, 2008 [2 favorites]

there exists a used-mac store in Phoenix -- I imagine such stores exist in NYC.
posted by maulik at 11:10 AM on July 16, 2008

That price is way too high, that's why you aren't getting any responses.

(I manage the used Mac store in Phoenix that maulik is probably referring to.)
posted by BryanPayne at 11:29 AM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

Make sure your craigslist ad includes pictures that you take (no stock photos) and a clear, coherent description which highlights the fact that this machine STILL has applecare- which means it isn't as much of a risk.

If you want it out the door, list it at $800 obo. If you are willing to wait for $900, repost the ad every week and you'll either sell it for $900 or eventually you'll decide you're willing to take less to get rid of it.

Craigslist is the way to sell it. When you bring it to show it to someone, meet in a busy parking lot or cafe during business hours. You'll be fine. I'm a petite young woman and I've sold multiple high-value items on craigslist to strangers. Just don't meet them at their/your apartment and you'll be fine.
posted by arnicae at 11:59 AM on July 16, 2008

CL is good, but nobody savvy is going to pay more than $500 for your 06 imac, dude. 800? This stuff is like cars, it's practically worthless once its off the lot...
posted by shownomercy at 12:14 PM on July 16, 2008

I figured price might be an issue, but I haven't even gotten any counter-offers

because at $950 you can't even begin to send a counter-offer, your machine is worth a little more than half that. and if it's one of the white plasticky ones, forget it. there are still some leftover, 20-inch, 2Ghz new in the box ones sold for less than that 950
posted by matteo at 1:11 PM on July 16, 2008

I agree that your price is a bit too high, but whenever I've sold an Apple on craigslist (about 3 times in the past 4 years), I've gotten a bit more than you would think I could (10-25%).

While a comparable, 2-year-old Dell may be worth about $500, Apples tend to hold on to a little more value, and $750-800 may be possible.

That having been said CL is kind of a ghetto these days.
posted by crickets at 2:58 PM on July 16, 2008

Also, pricing is entirely dependent on what size and which iMac you got- there were two different breeds of iMacs available for sale in 2006. If you got the one released 9/6/06 it is more valuable than the one released 1/10/06. Other questions would include whether you've upgraded the ram, how big it is, etc, but all in all, it is worth something between $400-800, the biggest determinant being the processor speed.

Give us more details and we might be able to be more precise.
posted by arnicae at 3:40 PM on July 16, 2008

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