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Used Macbook purchase advice
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Sep 9, 2008, 10:01 AM
 
I think I might be in the market for a small light and inexpensive laptop. To that end, I'm considering buying a used macbook - black of course

The thread here in this forum about the dell mini got me thinking about using a small light machine for travel duty, but since I prefer apple over dell, that leaves with a macbook.

Anyways, I saw on craigslist a 7 month old macbook for 800 (seems a little steep to me) because its a core duo. I'm going to offer 500 since its only including the macbook and no other software (other then what was included with the MB). any ideas what the going rate for a core duo macbook are?

I'm also kicking around the two offers I see in the marketplace for black macbooks for 900, and 1100 respectively. While its more money that I first envisioned spending, I'm liking the 1100 offer because of the pristine condition and it's fairly new

Here's my question regarding the three machines. The first is a core duo, the others are core 2 duos. How much of a performance boost will I see with the core 2 duo over the core duo.

I'm wanting this as a backup machine and one that I'll use when I travel. I want a machine that small, light and if something happened to it in travel, I'd not be terribly upset. This is why I'm leaning towards the first machine provided I can talk him down lower. I'm not sure what the going rate is for core duos but 800 does seem a tad high.

Edit:
Almost forgot what I'll be using it for: When I travel, I'll be backing up my photos, surfing, internet stuff. Some web development. iTunes movies/music etc. I doubt that I'll be using photoshop and even if I use aperture on it, I'll not be doing any heavy duty editing. I'll leave that task until I get back home.
( Last edited by Maflynn; Sep 9, 2008 at 10:05 AM. Reason: included the purpose of the machine)
~Mike
     
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Sep 9, 2008, 10:18 AM
 
The guy's not going to sell a MacBook for $500, unless he's desparate. I sold a Core Duo MB with 2 GB RAM and SuperDrive for CAD$750 recently, and that's with no warranty. That's over $700 US, for a white model.

The C2D isn't really much faster for surfing use etc. You'd notice the speed in stuff like video encoding and such.
     
Maflynn  (op)
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Sep 9, 2008, 10:24 AM
 
Oh wow really. having the price at 800 makes the decision a little more difficult because there's a smaller difference (800 vs. 1100 ) between the marketplace offer and the craigslist offer. Craiglist, I can pick up and pay cash, the marketplace, I use paypal and wait for it to be shipped. One month old computer vs. 7 month old computer etc.

I guess I'm out of touch with computer prices, I thought a core duo would go for much less then a core 2 duo.
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Sep 9, 2008, 10:33 AM
 
I don't think anyone cares much about CD vs C2D in the used market. Hell, even G4 iBooks go for close to $500 used. Plus I don't think people care about colour that much either. You're not going to save much by going with a white model. Then again, the good news is that if you're in the market for a black one, you're not going to have to spend much more to get one...

I think the biggest factor for prices of Intel MacBooks (besides features like RAM and drive) is having warranty left over. So, $800 for one with 5 months left over might be appropriate, esp. if he has adequate RAM and a SuperDrive. If you do go for a deal like that, make sure the seller calls up AppleCare to transfer the warranty to you. If he doesn't, Apple won't repair it under warranty.

Personally I wouldn't buy a used MacBook for that kind of money, but many people will. However, I'm biased, because I get slightly cheaper pricing on my Macs, and usually when I buy them, I get a bit of monetary support from my workplace.

P.S. To give you an idea of the demand for the Intel MacBooks:

I put the ad up on Craigslist... and then within 30 minutes I had several emails, and one phone call offering me $700. I said no so he immediately offered me $750.
     
Maflynn  (op)
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Sep 9, 2008, 10:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
I think the biggest factor for prices of Intel MacBooks (besides features like RAM and drive) is having warranty left over. So, $800 for one with 5 months left over might be appropriate, esp. if he has adequate RAM and a SuperDrive. If you do go for a deal like that, make sure the seller calls up AppleCare to transfer the warranty to you. If he doesn't, Apple won't repair it under warranty.
The craigslist one is 7 months old and no applecare so its almost out of warranty

Personally I wouldn't buy a used MacBook for that kind of money, but many people will. However, I'm biased, because I get slightly cheaper pricing on my Macs, and usually when I buy them, I get a bit of monetary support from my workplace.
why not, is 800 too close to a new macbook? The budget that I'm working with is between 500 and 800, though I could top it off to 1100 if I choose the more expensive one, but I'm only saving 400 and why not buy a new one with a full warranty then
.
P.S. To give you an idea of the demand for the Intel MacBooks:

I put the ad up on Craigslist... and then within 30 minutes I had several emails, and one phone call offering me $700. I said no so he immediately offered me $750.
yes they do seem to be moving briskly I was going to email another guy one one and found that it was taken down.
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Sep 9, 2008, 11:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
The craigslist one is 7 months old and no applecare so its almost out of warranty
By Craigslist standards, 5 months left is excellent. I usually try to sell my used Macs with 1-3 months of warranty left. People seem to think that's reasonable.

why not, is 800 too close to a new macbook?
Yep. But like I said, new pricing for me is a little less than for most people, so that affects my approach to buying.
     
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Sep 9, 2008, 11:36 AM
 
I think I'd start looking at Apple's refurbs, because that one year warranty with the option to purchase an additional 2 years is pretty darn important.
     
Maflynn  (op)
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Sep 9, 2008, 11:44 AM
 
I have, but with the apple store down right now, I'm unable to do so :/

Anyways the last time I looked, I saw one black mb (yes I want a black one) for around 1200 which is a bit beyond my budget but I may revisit that and see if its worth it.
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Sep 9, 2008, 12:53 PM
 
If you're really on a budget, you might just want to rethink that BlackBook. But, if that's you want, you'll just have to deal with the higher price, that is if you buy new/refurb.

Or you can hope that Apple releases a new MacBook in an hour that forces a drop in price for all the old models. Unlikely, unfortunately.
     
Maflynn  (op)
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Sep 9, 2008, 01:26 PM
 
I do want a black book, and time is a bit of an issue. I can possibly wait a week maybe two but that's pushing it. The reason for the need is coming up rather quickly, I'm sure apple will be refreshing the MB line shortly but it may be too little too late for me
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Sep 9, 2008, 01:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
I think I might be in the market for a small light and inexpensive laptop. To that end, I'm considering buying a used macbook - black of course
How about a netbook? $400, all day battery life...
     
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Sep 9, 2008, 01:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
How about a netbook? $400, all day battery life...
That is a temptation and the thread about the dell mini got my juices flowing on this topic. The issue with those machines is the fact that it runs windows and not osx. I'd rather stick with OSX if I can help it but at 400 bucks its difficult to pass that up. The size is perfect for my needs though I'm concerned about the readability of such a small display. The macbook is barely readable for my eyes and hate to deal with even small fonts. Still 400 bucks for a new machine is better then 800 for a used - other then its not a mac.

just in case, it comes up, I'm not interested in hacking osx to run on the netbook either.
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Sep 9, 2008, 02:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
That is a temptation and the thread about the dell mini got my juices flowing on this topic. The issue with those machines is the fact that it runs windows and not osx. I'd rather stick with OSX if I can help it but at 400 bucks its difficult to pass that up. The size is perfect for my needs though I'm concerned about the readability of such a small display. The macbook is barely readable for my eyes and hate to deal with even small fonts. Still 400 bucks for a new machine is better then 800 for a used - other then its not a mac.
They also run Ubuntu; I wouldn't run Windows on one unless I absolutely had to for a certain app. The pixel density (~120dpi) is about the same as a MacBook (113dpi).
     
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Sep 9, 2008, 02:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
The guy's not going to sell a MacBook for $500, unless he's desparate. I sold a Core Duo MB with 2 GB RAM and SuperDrive for CAD$750 recently, and that's with no warranty. That's over $700 US, for a white model.

The C2D isn't really much faster for surfing use etc. You'd notice the speed in stuff like video encoding and such.

I disagree! Make an offer some people are motivated to sell! I bought a 2.33 GHZ 17" Macbook Pro for $1,200 and also bought a Black 2.4 GHZ Macbook with 3 years Applecare ....I got it for $1,000!.... Ad Read $1,500 and

"I just bought this almost two weeks ago and I can't get used to using a Mac. I would return it to the store but I bought it with a gift card and I need to use the cash to purchase another laptop. I also purchased 3 years of Apple Care and Microsoft Office 2008. I will include a wireless Apple mouse."


MAKE OFFER .... Then Counter offer .... Then Counter offer .... Then Counter offer
     
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Sep 9, 2008, 02:35 PM
 
$1000 for a very new upper end BlackBook and a few extras is cheap, but not shockingly so. Maflynn wanted to pay $500 for one just a few months old.

ie. His original asking price of $1500 was unreasonable IMO.
     
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Sep 9, 2008, 03:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
$1000 for a very new upper end BlackBook and a few extras is cheap, but not shockingly so. Maflynn wanted to pay $500 for one just a few months old.

ie. His original asking price of $1500 was unreasonable IMO.
I got his Apple Receipt for $2076 for Applecare and Office 2008!

This was 12 days old!
     
Maflynn  (op)
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Sep 9, 2008, 03:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
$1000 for a very new upper end BlackBook and a few extras is cheap, but not shockingly so. Maflynn wanted to pay $500 for one just a few months old.

ie. His original asking price of $1500 was unreasonable IMO.
The seller is stating that its 7 month old core duo. He's either gotten the terminology mixed up and he's actually selling a core 2 duo, or his computer is older then 7 months. I'm not willing to pay more then 500 for a core duo because I can purchase a core 2 duo for a little more. In fact there's two other MBs for sale on craigslist. They're going for the same price as the one ($800) I first inquired and they're both core 2 duos.

I'm not looking to get something for nothing, but rather buying a prior generation computer for less money.
~Mike
     
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Sep 9, 2008, 03:57 PM
 
If you have access to the student discount you could purchase a low end macbook and get a free ipod. Then you could sell the ipod and end up getting the system for a reasonable price brand new.

I too was looking at the blackbook in the marketplace for $1100 but for me the new black macbook is $1399 and I would get a free ipod which I could sell and end up getting up for relatively the same cost + tax.

You should be ok with just the CD as you just want it as a backup machine so you should be able to find something on ebay/craigslist/forum for around the 700-800 range that will suit you just fine.
( Last edited by uprisingpure; Sep 9, 2008 at 04:02 PM. Reason: Line Spacing)
     
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Sep 9, 2008, 04:18 PM
 
Oh and I almost forgot to mention, there is a C2D blackbook for sale in the Marketplace for $775. I think that should work great for your purpose
     
Maflynn  (op)
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Sep 9, 2008, 04:20 PM
 
sweet thanks, I'll look into that.
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Sep 9, 2008, 07:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
I don't think anyone cares much about CD vs C2D in the used market.
As of today:

Playing HD-quality videos purchased on the iTunes Store requires a 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or faster processor
     
   
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