This entry is my personal experience I wanted to share with all the Apple laptop fans who would like to upgrade their MacBook or MacBook Pro with a newer model and lower the damage this upgrade will do to their wallets.
Toward the end of the year I found myself dying to get this 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo 13″ MacBook Unibody that came out last October. It is not a particularly new model, yet a significant upgrade from my old 13″ MacBook that would satisfy all my photo/ video editing, internet browsing and other needs. Plus, I really like the new design.
Price tag on this Unibody model is still around $800-$1000 depending on the place you go to buy it. I did not want to spend more than $600, though. Unfortunately, Apple still doesn’t offer any “trade in” programs. So, I needed to sell my old MacBook to raise the rest of the cash.
I decided to check internet for ideas. All the forums are filled with posts advising eBay and Craigslist. (Come to think of it, these two come up every time you face the need to sell something.)
- List your MacBook locally
- Get the buyer pick it up and hand you the desired cash
- No fees, no shipping and, seemingly, no hassle
- You get tons of calls from people offering to help you sell your macbook for a “small and reasonable” fee
- You receive calls with offers that are ridiculously lower than what you asked for
- You have to repost your ad every couple of days so it doesn’t get lost among all the new posts published every hour. Reposting is tricky, too: you need to modify your ad each time, so Craigslist’s software sees it as new, otherwise it will be blocked as being too similar to your older ones.
- List your MacBook (or any other laptop, desktop, car etc) for a small fee.
- Get it sold (small fee again), get paid (if you use paypal- which is now mandatory- pay another fee)
- Ship laptop to your buyer (find proper packing materials, pay postage and don’t forget to get your shipment insured)
- Fees are not small at all: between eBay and paypal it’s about 15%-20% of the price you get. So, if I asked $410 for my MacBook, I would walk away with $320-$340
- To get top dollar for your used MacBook (or any other laptop / pc) it has to be in top condition, with bunch of installed software, with all original manuals (not everybody keeps original manuals and packaging)
- There’s always a threat of ebayscam
I did not save the original box or manuals. I found the recovery disks and used them to reformat the hard drive and do fresh install, so the new owner wouldn’t inherit all my personal stuff: REALLY time consuming process.
I posted my MacBook on eBay for $600. I figured that would cover all possible fees, insurance and packing/shipping costs and leave me with around $450. Exactly what I was aiming for considering my MacBook has seen better days, though, still operating without issues.
I received about 4 or 5 emails from “traveling businessmen” asking if I could ship to Nigeria (can’t these people come up with a different place?!)
About a week after listing was posted my laptop sold… to a person with “0” feedback. Googling the address on profile showed Turkish Embassy in Malta (?!) No email, no payment, no replies to my inquiries.
EBay refunds your final value fees 8 days after filing unpaid item dispute, but there’s no refund of your listing fees. If you used any listing upgrades – you’re screwed. A $70 Featured First upgrade will get you lots of views and potential buyers, but if one of “Nigerians” or “Turkish diplomats” does the purchase – your loss.
Second time around laptop was sold the buyer was offering to send a money order for $2000 and was asking to send the laptop along with the price difference. I believe nowadays everyone has heard of this one as well.
Third time: buyer paid from hacked paypal account. Had I shipped the laptop same day – I would have lost it. The owner of the account opened the unauthorized transaction claim the next morning.
I still think eBay is great place to BUY things, but it sure isn’t the place to sell.
The best place I found to sell my MacBook on-line was www.LaptopsIntoCash.com
www.LaptopsIntoCash.com pleasantly surprised with a detailed classification of ALL APPLE LAPTOP models. To my satisfaction they offered $420 for my model and (I just had to check) $365 for the 1.83GHz Core Duo model.
Since my goal was $400 to begin with I stopped to check further. I didn’t find any hidden fine print fees or 20pages long vague disclaimers.
Procedure is very straightforward: describe your laptop, they give you cash offer for it. If you are happy with it – fill out quick contact form and submit it. You receive confirmation email. Best part: THEY PAY FOR SHIPPING. They even send you special box designed for shipping laptops, so, you know it won’t get damaged. Once you get the box – pack your laptop and drop the box off at any FedEx or Kinko’s. As soon as your laptop arrives LaptopsIntoCash sends you check or paypal payment. You can track the package through FedEx site at any time.
Being paranoid after eBay failures I called the number listed: 1-888-880-8283. A friendly lady (not a machine) picked up: “Laptops Into Cash. How can I help you?…” She walked me through the process again, added they offer $5 extra for all laptops sent back within 3 days of the date the box is received by customer. I was also told that they are legally bound to wipe any hard drives before processing laptop any further (So, folks, 2 things: 1. Don’t waste your time like I did reinstalling OS. 2. Don’t be paranoid if you can’t find a way to erase your hard drive – they will do it, because it’s the law)
I went for it. Submitted my quote and shipping address. Received confirmation email: “Your quote has been received and confirmed. We will be sending you the protective packaging within 24 hours. / www.laptopsintocash.com”. Box arrived within 3 days. Inside: prepaid return shipping label. I packed my MacBook up and dropped it off at our Kinko’s. 3days later compny sent me a confirmation email – laptop arrived and has been inspected. I requested a check versus paypal (paypal takes 3-4% fee for money received). I received my check within a few days. The whole process took 12days.
To sum up:
- Craigslist – waste of time (unless you really get contacted by a decent person who really likes your laptop)
- EBay – waste of time AND MONEY. Sell your kid’s toys, your vintage records, but not laptops. Unfortunately this company trying to lure more buyers closes eyes on all sort of crooks and it will charge you for their screw ups.
- www.LaptopsIntoCash.com – way to go. Offered highest cash amount for my used MacBook. Communication was prompt and courteous. Service was quick with no hick ups. I got exactly what was quoted plus $5 bonus. AND I got my new Unibody to prove it.