Craigslist Computing Success

August 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Spending

A few weeks back my wife’s ancient Dell laptop finally died. She needed a new one and suggested a budget Windows unit. I hesitated because her desktop computer is an iMac. She likes Apple products (I don’t) and doesn’t need to slow her learning curve by using another Windows machine. On the other hand, the prices that Apple fans are willing to pay for new Macs astounds me. Enter Craigslist.

I considered buying a refurbished MacBook from Apple or MacAuthority but the prices were still much higher than what a new budget Windows machine cost. So I turned to Craigslist.

In our community, dozens of new listings of used computers of all kinds go up for sale each day. Many of them are Apple products. There were many listings of iBooks but these are older units that are not upgradeable and do not handle Flash well. The MacBook listings were generally overpriced or had some serious flaw (e.g., no battery, no power supply, cracked case, etc.) But I kept watching.

Finally, I an interesting listing showed up. A gently used MacBook with Core 2 Duo processor, upgraded memory and software (including Microsoft Office), a carry case, fully functioning battery, and all of the necessary software CDs. It was owned by the IT manager for a church near us. I called Mrs. ToughMoneyLove and she drove over to check it out. She made the deal right then because others were calling as well.

It was an excellent unit for the price. A physically “like new” MacBook  for the cost of a bargain Windows machine. Yes, the hardware in her MacBook is a couple of years old but that will have no effect on her use of it. She is very pleased.

Thank you Craigslist for this success.

Meanwhile, I tried finding a bicycle for me on Craiglist. Although there are hundreds of listings, I could not find what I was looking for. Instead, I bought a new comfort bike.

Have any of you readers had any major spending successes on Craigslist?

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5 Responses to “Craigslist Computing Success”
  1. It’s encouraging to read about your successful buy on Craig’s list. I too am in the market for a new iMac and one thing that concerns me is though I may be able to score a good computer buy on Craigs, the machine could easily develop a major problem shortly thereafter, well past the guaranty time. With church IT people in short supply around here, I’d also have to rent a beefy guy or two to safely accompany me to any appointment in NYC to look over the computer.

  2. Evan says:

    Those apple people are NUTTY! People will over pay by hundreds if not a thousan (as compared to a comparably equipped PC) just to say “it is easy”

    Do you understand her fascination? Have you tried to understand it?

  3. I have spent many hours working on her iMac – actually trying to make it do what she wants. For example, I spent several hours this weekend trying to connect her iMac to a Canon wireless printer that my PC found and engaged in 10 seconds. I failed. Time for another call to Apple support.

    I also had to uninstall Firefox because it was auto-starting repeatedly.

    So much for “easy.”

  4. Ms. Ferret says:

    Over the years I’ve found a number of good deals on Craigslist. It’s especially good if you’re trying to buy furniture but don’t want to pay too much (or, god forbid, go to one of those “get the furniture you deserve, 0% financing for x months” places). I bought my desk (solid maple, excellent condition and construction) for $40 by scouring the for sale ads and sending out some emails.

    As far as I can tell, the trick is to live in or near a yuppie area where people WANT to offload their , cheap, so they can buy the new model that just came out without feeling guilty about it. Also good are areas full of very young professionals who have a large disposable income and move every few years, because they will practically give stuff away in the interests of not having to carry it from apartment to apartment.

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