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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

used mac laptops - worth a look or risky?


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stan-o

 
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Hi there,

my wife's ibook g3 is on it's last legs... so we need to replace it.

but with only a tight budget i've been looking at used macbooks...

she's only a basic user, office stuff, internet, itunes... so she doesn't need the latest fast mac.

we're also looking at refurbs which i know are great value, but still cost more.

any thoughts or advice on buying a used/pre owned mac laptop?
is it always gonna be risky? or are there reliable stores to buy from?

I found one place that gives a 90 day warranty DV Warehouse - they service and replace any faulty parts before re-sale, but 90 days ain't long if the mac goes wrong after...

so, $6-700 for a used macbook (13", 2ghz, 1gb etc.)
or $1000 for a refurb with higher spec...

opinions ? advice?

bottom line - is buying used risky?

many thanks

S
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Chris H.

 
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Well chances are, you'll find one that's a bit beat up cosmetically. Battery life may be subpar (and you'll need to find a new battery). The logic board may have problems (rendering the thing junk). Unless you're buying direct from Apple...

Might I suggest Adopt a Mac?
They sell used PowerBooks, and the very rare occasional iBook or MacBook/MacBook Pro. I see a lot of PowerBooks go up on this site. I also see them disappear like hotcakes. Same with the desktops they sell on this site. I bought a PowerMac G4 from them for dirt cheap. But it's your choice.

Apple's refurb'd options really clean up the used computers, but you'll still be paying an arm and a leg.

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Kevriano

 
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I have bought 3 iBooks and my current Powerbook G4 from eBay, and have had no issues with any of them.
Yes, the iBooks were a little worse off cosmetically, but not really beat up, but the Powerbook is very fine indeed.
I think if you have a modicum of Mac knowledge any issues with software are easily overcome, and even minor hardware issues.
Given that you have to be 100% honest when selling on eBay, or suffer the consequences, I have no worries about buying there again.
So to directly answer you - No, it's not risky if you have some good knowledge behind you (which you must do, as you're here!)

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skybolt

 
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Where are you located? Here in Nashville (they also have a store in Louisville) we have a dedicated reseller, MacAuthority, who is currently selling refurbs (2 year old models) for $699. I believe you can purchase online as well, so if you are far from here, you might look into that. I have just spent time in the store and know for a fact that they are good machines, cosmetically good, etc. and have a warranty. And no, I don't work for them, just a happy customer.

Mary
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brairden

 
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I like craigslist much better than eBay for Macbook (or any computer) purchases. You can actually meet the person and test the computer. If you don't like it, don't buy it! I have a 15" i5, a 13" 2.26, and a 13" 2.4 .... all from CL. And my iMac is from CL as well. I am thrilled with all of these computers and got a great deals on 3 of them. If you are in a large city, finding exactly what you want can just take a few days. Good luck!

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redraven571

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brairden View Post
I like craigslist much better than eBay for Macbook (or any computer) purchases. You can actually meet the person and test the computer. If you don't like it, don't buy it! I have a 15" i5, a 13" 2.26, and a 13" 2.4 .... all from CL. And my iMac is from CL as well. I am thrilled with all of these computers and got a great deals on 3 of them. If you are in a large city, finding exactly what you want can just take a few days. Good luck!
My personal experience with Craigslist is that most of the computer listings are scams; I bought my used MBP off eBay and am very happy with it.
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Chris H.

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redraven571 View Post
My personal experience with Craigslist is that most of the computer listings are scams; I bought my used MBP off eBay and am very happy with it.

Scams can happen anywhere on the internet, and usually, if you have a hunch about it, that hunch is usually right.

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brairden

 
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Spotting scams on CL is not a difficult task. I see the scams on there everyday. I check CL 4 or 5 times a day. I was not in the market for a new computer when I bought the 15" i5 last week, but I got a helluva deal on it, so I bought it. If you see one you like, email and ask to see it in person and at a public place (starbucks, panera, etc). If they answer back with some garbage about shipping it to you, move on. If they are willing, go check it out and make your decision. The most you can lose is a little time. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Check the serial in the stolen databases out there before you buy. But if they have the box and the discs, you probably aren't dealing with a stolen computer. All of this is common sense....that is all it takes.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by redraven571 View Post
My personal experience with Craigslist is that most of the computer listings are scams...
It's not a scam if you set up a time & place to meet the seller...and get to personally examine & play with the computer!

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hamlin

 
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I bought a refurbished Macbook mid 2010 off of the apple store for 849. Came with a 1 year warrenty and looks like new.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamlin View Post
I bought a refurbished Macbook mid 2010 off of the apple store for 849. Came with a 1 year warrenty and looks like new.
Congratulations on your new purchase. Buying used (refurbished) from Apple is probably the best and safest way to save money on a Mac computer.
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