Why do used Macs cost so much?

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Not looking to get flamed here. I am buying my FIRST mac this week- a used G4/400 sawtooth. These machines go on ebay for $750-$800.

My current Windoze machine is an AMD Athlon, 993 Mhz, 256 MB Ram for which I paid $1300 about 1.5 to 2 years ago.

I know Macs generally jump out of the gate at a higher price. But why do they hold their value longer? If my Windoze machine were a Mac it would be worth maybe $1000 now instead of....who knows (but certainly not $1000).

Just curious about peoples opinions on this topic. I'm new to the Mac world.



  • Reply 1 of 18
    rodukroduk Posts: 706member
    I think its true to say Macs age slower and remain useful for longer than PCs, perhaps in part due to the relatively modest performance increases over the last few years. There's also some degree of overlap between newer entry level models and older high end models, meaning some used older Macs can still outperform (or remain competitive with) some of the newer Macs.

    People do seem to pay way over the odds for used Macs though. Perhaps they compare the high used prices to the very high prices when the Macs were new, making them seem like a bargain, forgetting prices for brand new Macs have come down over the years anyway. <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />

    [ 02-02-2003: Message edited by: RodUK ]</p>
  • Reply 2 of 18
    jccbinjccbin Posts: 476member
    All the above AND

    People pay too much for Macs on eBay!

  • Reply 2 of 18
    spookyspooky Posts: 504member
    It used to be the case that macs were useful well after pcs had bit the dust or could not cope with modern software. also the build quality of macs meant that they would last longer. hence they retained their value. of late this is not true. we have G4 400 agp sawtooths at work. I bought a 9500, stacked it with ram and added os 9. it run all the stuff I do at work fine albeit fractionally slower. so then I bought a dual 450 to work at home. running 9 it was superb and a definite improvement on the 400s I have at work so I was well happy.


    I installed OS X on my dual 450. now the machine feels slower, less responsive and prone to doing odd things to my peripherals.
  • Reply 4 of 18
    serranoserrano Posts: 1,806member
    [quote]Originally posted by spooky:

    <strong>I installed OS X on my dual 450. now the machine feels slower, less responsive and prone to doing odd things to my peripherals.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    I've found that OS X on my G3 450 has vastly improved my stability, allowed me to more easily serve files and printers on my LAN, and allowed me access to new software. A modest performance hit is an insignificant sacrifice for my needs.

    Your single experience does not a trend make.

    There simply aren't as many used macs on the market as there are pcs. ie. Demand outstrips supply on the used mac market and even ageing hardware can bring in half a grand. I don't really understand this with iBook and eMac pricing being what it is.

    [ 02-04-2003: Message edited by: serrano ]

    [ 02-04-2003: Message edited by: serrano ]</p>
  • Reply 5 of 18
    why do european cars have high resale values as pepcentages of original cost? Supply and demand. If you buy macs from time to timo, the high resale value entirely justifies the higher cost as new. If you buy and sell a mac and a PC each year, te marginal cost of mac ownership is about the same as that of PC ownership.

    [ 02-04-2003: Message edited by: Splinemodel ]</p>
  • Reply 6 of 18
    satchmosatchmo Posts: 2,699member
    Apple's relatively minor upgrades and higher prices help keep the value of older equipment for a longer time.

    Apart from the recent LCD display price drops, Apple cuts it's prices by more than a couple hundred dollars.
  • Reply 7 of 18
    I have no idea why. I suppose because macs are more expensive to start with the older ones retain their value because they are falling from a higher level.

    good used Mac deals are out there, just don't bother with eBay or specialty used Mac dealers.
  • Reply 8 of 18
    so anyone know where i can get a 500 mhz ibook with advd drive for less than 800 bucks?

  • Reply 9 of 18
    murbotmurbot Posts: 5,262member
  • Reply 10 of 18
    The question should be, "why are used Macs worth so much?" By that I mean that as long as you are on the selling end of the deal, you come off quite well. To me it makes sense to buy new macs every couple of years and then to sell your old ones on ebay to help pay for it. You can usually make at least half the cost of a new system that way.
  • Reply 11 of 18
    It's called "high resale value". That's why Macs are better.

    You may be able to buy a Dell for $599.00, but as soon as you open the box (and let the stink out), it's instantly worth $200.00

    Why Tangerine iBooks are still selling for $800.00 + on eBay amazes me. Talk about ROI! Damn!
  • Reply 12 of 18
    Simple...Why is the resale value of a BMW higher than a Chevy Cavalier?
  • Reply 13 of 18
    jaredjared Posts: 639member
    Macs are more expensive for a few reasons...

    1. They use better parts.

    2. They are one of the very few who INNOVATE. This bringing up the cost it takes to research and develop a product.

    3. They have a very large amount of beta testers. They have to pay them. Dell, HP, Gateway, etc do not really need to do a real quality assurance check.

    4. Apple create the whole widget, meaning, the OS, the hardware and a lot of the software so not only are you getting a better product but you have to pay those developers.

    I hope this list helps.
  • Reply 14 of 18
    Apple hardware is really just an enticement to get you to run the good stuff, namely the Mac OS. You have to "buy in" to the Mac hardware if you want to have Mac OS, much in the same way you have to "buy in" to a Playstation 2 if you want to play its library of games.

    Since Apple hardware is the only "route" to the Mac OS, it remains in demand for quite awhile, thus retaining its value very well. Great for those selling the used Macs, bad for those buying used.
  • Reply 15 of 18
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    i want to point out that this is one point i use for people to purchase a mac in the first place... when you decide to upgrade, you will actually get a pretty good price for it when you sell it, and then put that $$$ towards the purchase of a new mac.

    then again, many pc's (and their parts) are so dirt cheap, you wouldn't necessarily need to sell your old computer to offset the costs.

    so what do i know. <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />
  • Reply 16 of 18
    Advice. Try the local classified weeklies. Not nearly the selection but much better prices. And once you're at someone's house, they are likely to come down in price just to get it done.

    To quote someone from this forum, "Ebay is for suckers."
  • Reply 17 of 18
    burnburn Posts: 49member
    [quote]Originally posted by jccbin:

    <strong>All the above AND

    People pay too much for Macs on eBay!


  • Reply 18 of 18
    mwmw Posts: 31member
    i guess it depends on how old your Mac is...

    too old:

    I have a 7200/90 I would like to sell, and they aren't going for much anymore <img src="embarrassed.gif" border="0"> (but it was my first Mac, so i just had to hang on to it...

    You can still do pretty much anything graphics-wise on this machine, but certain web browser actions and the screen refreshs (not enough VRAM) just take too long...

    much too old:

    at my university we've been scrapping all sorts of old Apples: Mac Plus, Quadra,etc


    P.S.: Anybody interested in the 7200/90?

    48M RAM, 512k L2 cache, 2 Hard Drives (0.5M and 3M), 2 USB ports, 3 bootable partitions (OS 9, 8.1 and 7.6), tons of graphics software, tons of other software. Give me a shout.

    [email protected]
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