First a small warning – there is a serious chance that by the time you have read this article and checked out the site you will be depressed. I was, Darren is, so there is no reason that you wont be!

For as long as I can remember there has never been a ‘good time’ to buy a Mac. In fact that could be said about pretty much any technology because as soon as you buy it then it seems to be out of date. I have a particularly poor record of this with my Macs: bought the G4 PowerBook a week before they announced the new Intel deal, the new MacBook arrived the day they released the updated version, and show me a site that isn’t talking about the demise of the Mac mini! Still it has always been satisfying to know that there isn’t really any need to worry as the Macs hold their price so well on the second hand market. I can confirm that, as I have often looked at eBay etc first before buying a Mac, and more often than not the ‘saving’ just didn’t seem enough to warrant not buying a new one.

Well, it seems that times may be changing!

I was talking to Darren recently about a forthcoming proposed purchase he was considering and he kind of shocked me!

” As you know we are now seeing Mac models being updated at break-neck speeds compared to the “not so good old days”.

I bought a MacBook laptop in July 2006 and it has now been updated twice since.

As I try to do more and more on my MacBook I have started to ask myself if I bought wisely? I know a couple of people with MacBook Pro laptops. Quite often they are proudly on display in the office, where I then proceed to drool over them.

At my initial point of purchase I had to stick hard and fast to my £1,000 budget. But Apple last week announced the New MacBook Pro line up. The new 15″ MacBook Pro with LED backlit screen was the model that pushed me over the edge. I want one. I need one.

So I started to investigate how viable an option this would be, by selling my MacBook to contribute funds towards the new MacBook Pro.

That’s when I stumbled across mac2sell. This is a new website where you can get a price for your old/not so old mac equipment. Well I was shocked! I paid £899 for my MacBook last year. The used price according to this website was £510. Not far off 50% of its original value.

Once I came back round and the palpitations started to subside it’s not hard to see why. As long as Apple maintains this impressive product revision and roll-out and not increasing prices it will continue to drive down the price of used equipment.

In the past Apple wasn’t a serious contender. But with the phenomenal succes of the iPod and the implementation of the Intel chip across its range that has changed. Apple is now having to play the catch up game with all the other manufacturers – we all want the latest and greatest. Me included!

The grass is always greener on the other laptop. One thing is for certain, if I buy a MacBook Pro this year, next year that will have dropped in value.

Of course I could always get a used MacBook Pro couldn’t I? But, I think for now I’m going to stay with my MacBook.

Perhaps I’ll get a MacBook Pro 8 core in a couple of years, when I really need to replace my laptop.”

I looked up the current prices of my Macs and all I can say is that I am glad that I have a very clear strategy of distributing my Workflow across Macs as that means that my plan is always to retain what I have and find a use for it. For example:

– The MacBook will suffice for now, but will eventually become Sands notebook for the very occasional times that she would benefit from having one.
– When the time comes to upgrade or change her iMac it will become a dedicated movie and photo Mac for me.
– When I get a tower (hopefully something smaller than the Mac Pro) my Mac mini will just get hooked up to the network and a TV and become part of the digital media set up we have.

But if I was looking to trade any of them in I would not be a happy chap at the moment!

So what do you think? How has the recent increase in frequency of Mac updates affected your busying decision/process?

15 thoughts on “mac2sell

  1. andie Smith

    I still use my pink ipod mini. Everytime i get the urge to update it, I think “i bet something better will comeout in a couple months”. when i got the mini, the nano came out about a month later. I do know i don’t want an iphone though!

  2. Darren Rolfe

    I think Chris has the right idea, retain and redistribute.

    You can always find a use for an old bit of kit. iTunes library server, iPhoto server, give to family etc. etc.

    Actually I have a wobbly table at home and a Zune would fit pefectly underneath the table leg.

    Any offers…

  3. Andre is neat, but not accurate. It doesn’t ask about warrenty or condition, which can have a huge impact on your resale value.

    The other day I was looking around to see what my 1.83GHz MacBook Pro might go for. It’s a year old, in perfect condition with 1GB RAM and an 80GB HDD… Similar models were selling [or should I say not selling] for only $1300CDN! I paid $2700CDN for this thing last April, before taxes ($3100 after) and it’s only worth just over $1K now. It’s ridiculous, and disappointing. My three year old Compaq PC has a better resale value then that… I paid $550CDN for it brand new, and I’m sure I could still sell it for $400+ no problem.

  4. Mac Sokulski

    On the other hand this is a good thing. It’s not good for resale value, but then again who ever bought a computer and called it an investment?? Technology is moving forward, and I applaud Apple for updating their hardware as fast as it is available. The latest crop of MacBook Pros is nice, specially the new 17″ with a 1920×1200 resolution screen. Ask yourself this question…. do you need it, probably not. It would be nice to have, but not necessary. Apple is slowly pushing it’s users to the realm of upgrades that windows users know very very well, but when you think about it, Apple is doing it the proper way. How many operating system upgrades can you safely run on an Apple machine, and compare that to Windows systems. I recently installed Tiger on my sons ibook g3. It runs well enough to be usable. Now show me a Windows based laptop with comparable age, and install Windows XP on it. Enough said. This is a fact of life that the Mac users should get used to. My advice is do a lot of research, and buy something that you can keep for years to come. With Macs it will be easy.

  5. Chris Marshall Post author

    Well at the end of the day what something is worth depends on how much you want to get rid of it, and how much someone wants to pay for it.

    I think the trend is that the ‘good ole days’ are just that ‘ole days’

    Mac you are right – except when did ‘need’ come into a Mac purchase, remind me how many you have????

    In reality – Apple are trying to capture and keep up with the switcher market, us Mac idiots will just buy that latest stuff regardless 🙂

  6. Mac Sokulski

    I never said that “need” was part of my purchases 🙂 , but all my Macs found employment in my house, and they are very happy there. The only one that I have a hard time employing as of now is my older iMac G5 20″. Given enough time I’m sure I’ll find something for it to do 🙂

  7. Gary

    My 500MHz G3 iBook, with its 10GB HD was dusted off recently and I installed and fully updated Tiger on it. (I have a Tiger family pack which entitles me to install it on up to five machines under the one roof.) I then added Canon’s DSLR utilities (and a couple of other bits and bobs) and the laptop went on holiday with me. This was a holiday up the west coast of Scotland where I was planning to shoot lots of landscape photos…

    At the end of each day, the images were downloaded from the camera and converted from RAW to jpg for daily reviewing of my shots. There’s no doubt – the conversion was slow, so I typically set it going when I was having my evening meal. However, it allowed me to get a better view of the shots than simply using the camera’s LCD.

    Additionally, this exercise provided me with a second copy of each image.

    Since the laptop is so old and (relatively) slow – it’s about six years old – I was thinking on my way home that it might be nice to buy a new MacBook to replace the old iBook. But not until they speed-bumped them. I had a bit of a job talking myself out of the new machine when I discovered that Apple had just speed-bumped that range as I was travelling home!! (I’m probably going to buy one of their new brushed steel 32″ iMacs which they’re just about to release instead.)

  8. Gary

    About “mac2sell”

    Hah! (Or should that be “huh!”?) I just found my first site which fails with Safari 3 beta. (Used it all last night and through the day at work today as well.) It lets me input specs, but fails to draw the final valuation. Camino 1.0.3 worked fine, using the same data.

  9. Chris Marshall Post author

    Maybe that is a conspiracy theory we can start about Apple – don’t want people to know how poor the resale price is these days 🙂

    I am surprised that Mac hasn’t responded to your earlier comment to push one of his favourite toys

  10. Darren Rolfe

    32″ inch Imac?

    I missed that announcement during the keynote. It must have been when I popped out to make a brew.

  11. Chris Marshall Post author

    [quote comment=”6389″]32″ inch Imac?

    I missed that announcement during the keynote. It must have been when I popped out to make a brew.[/quote]

    “Just about” = rumour, you missed nothing!

  12. Mike Lipenkranz

    I couldn’t get the final value to display on mac2sell in Safari on a Mac. I eventually figured out that by clicking the back button and then the forward button in safari, it produced the results. It worked correctly in both Firefox and Opera on the Mac.

    I view my mac as part of an investment, knowing full well it will depreciate. Buying perfectly good used Macs from the people that always need the latest-n-greatest, cuts my losses even more. A year ago I bought a 1GHz G4 Titanium Powerbook with Super Drive for a sideline web design business. This Mac is old and slow by today’s standards… but it still runs the Adobe, Macromedia and iLife applications just fine and is solid as a rock. After one small side job it was paid for, and if I were to sell it today ($730 according to mac2sell), I would simply consider it gravy on top of whatever other money my Powerbook has allowed me to make. You always have to spend some money in order to make money.

    I could see if you were using your computer simply to check email and browse the web how a sharp decline in value may be frustrating though.

    Anyway mac2sell is a nice site if you can get it to spit out the results the way it should…

  13. Chris Marshall Post author

    I am still not sure – looking on eBay recently for 23′ ACD and Mac Pro and they aren’t really that much cheaper than the new ones in many cases.

  14. Darren Rolfe

    here’s an option for you? wait not for the new 24″ inch Imac brushed alooominum. all in one box and you have a 23″ already.

  15. Chris Marshall Post author

    Much as I love the iMac and I realy do I think one per family is enough. Why? Because you are ‘stuck’ with it – no way of upgrading, so there is an inhernet issues that you get left with a great monitor and a underperforming Mac.

    When we got the iMac for Sands this longer term issue was covered by the fact that we thought we could always use it just for video and photo stuff in future years.

    A second one would really diminish this option ………

    Plus I want the future expandability of a Mac Pro

    Plus I really want the symmetry of two identical screens.

    Plus I really don’t like the idea of the brsuhed aluminium here in Spain, I would be blinded by the sun bouncing off it!!!

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