OT: Selling Used Computers

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Journey, May 8, 2007.

  1. Journey

    Journey Guest

    In the last year or so I have been in a quandary about selling my used
    computers. I recently advertised my used computer on Craig's List for
    $500, and a man tonight stopped by and wrote me a check and will take
    delivery in a few days once it clears.

    I feel like I am ripping him off, as I did with several other
    computers that I sold this past year, particularly ones that I bought
    with $750 off coupons and then sold a while later for about what I
    paid for them.

    It's buyer beware, right? (?)

    Usually I'd be able to get more from a used computer, but technology
    has changed so much recently that selling used PCs and other items for
    a good price isn't so easy.

    This computer has a P4 3.2Ghz HT, 2.5G RAM, two 250G hard drives, 17"
    Dell monitor, USB 2.0 PCI card w 4 ports. That's it. I am including
    the XPS USB keyboard and mouse, and no speakers. I bought it on
    December 12th 2005.

    When he called, I said I'd hold it for him because I opened his e-mail
    first and he is the first person who I talked to about it (he happens
    to be only the person who responded to the ad).

    He wanted to buy one of my "big monitors". I didn't have the heart to
    sell him my 20" Dell 1600 x 1200. I would have offered it for $200.
    Sure, I would have loved to sell it, but I told him instead that I'd
    help him find a good deal on one online. Someone said Viewsonic is
    good, so I am going to get prices on Viewsonic from the coupon sites
    and on Dells. If he still wants to buy my Dell 20" after I show him
    the ones from the coupon sites then I will (and then I'll consider one
    of the new HD TV's that Tom says are a good deal (Olevia?)).

    For maybe 5 of my ads in the last year, it seems like there has been
    one and only one person show up who would pay my asking price.

    I have to keep repeating, "It's OK, buyer beware, It's OK, buyer
    beware .....".
    Journey, May 8, 2007
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  2. Journey

    Journey Guest

    The check will clear tomorrow because I am going directly to his bank
    and I think they will give me the cash immediately.

    Checking out prices of new E520's, it does take the low-end ones up in
    price to get more RAM and larger hard drives.

    Anyway, the one computer that I wish I hadn't ever sold is the
    Inspiron 700m that I had. It was a very light computer with long
    battery life, but a cramped keyboard. That's why I sold it (at about
    the price I bought it at thanks to the $750 off coupon).

    Still, it was a great laptop for the price, and it shows in the
    amounts they go for on ebay and on the Dell outlet site.

    I had hoped for a newer version with a full-size keyboard, but the
    1210 ended up in the XPS area, and I won't pay the premium asked for
    it there (or on the outlet).
    Journey, May 8, 2007
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  3. Journey

    Ben Myers Guest

    All the memory and the pair of 250GB drives make the computer a reasonable value
    at around $500, more or less. Betcha you would get close to that on eBay
    without the monitor, and monitors are next to impossible to ship anyway. Not
    sure the monitor is worth much, unless it is a flat panel LCD. Used monitors
    are a glut on the market, 'cause everyone wants a flat panel... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, May 8, 2007
  4. Journey

    Journey Guest

    Thanks Ben -- I think I am happy and he is happy, and you've assuaged
    my guilt a little.

    I always throw something in that the buyer isn't expecting to make the
    buyer _really_ happy. I think I am going to throw in my 250GB Maxtor
    One Touch hard external hard drive, or one of my two 250GB Iomega
    silver externals. Not sure which is of lesser quality, but at least
    the Iomega silver looks good with the Dell silver cases while the
    Maxtor looks like it got its inspiration from the Humvee. The Maxtor
    is also older.

    You're right, the memory is worth something, and the PC multi-tasks
    very well and has been a solid performer. With the external and two
    250G drives they will have more disk space than they know what to do
    with, until they realize they have Windows Media Center and could buy
    a TV tuner for it, then they will be glad that they have the space.

    It's going to be nice to have my dining room back. I have a 6'
    rectangle table (industrial quality, with folding legs) along one side
    that I will now be able to dedicate to my laptop, hooked up to my 20"
    monitor and wireless keyboard / mouse. I won't even miss the desktop
    because the laptop can handle everything better that it did. The only
    thing I will miss is having my P4 as a test machine. I'd rather have
    $500 though and pass that computer on to someone who can make use of
    Journey, May 8, 2007
  5. Hi!
    That's something you don't have much control over, unless you tell a
    prospective buyer that this is the case. I believe that's called "being too
    honest". :)

    If someone wants to buy at your named price, they probably feel that they
    got a bargain or that the asking price is at least fair. That's usually a
    good feeling for them. If you came out a little bit (or even quite a bit)
    ahead, that's bound to make you feel pretty good as well.

    I have no objection with what you did. Not that you care, but... :)
    Case in point--you can buy Pentium III computers today for next to nothing.
    They are still quite capable of doing a lot of work. I see no shortage of
    $25~40 PIII systems on eBay, some of which are nicely equipped. So why would
    I do this?


    ....because I have wanted one of these for years, and the price seemed
    reasonable for what was included. (Actually, I though I got a *great* deal.)

    http://greyghost.dyndns.org/cybernet-zpc/ (warning: not for dial up or
    resource limited computers!)

    William R. Walsh, May 8, 2007
  6. Journey

    Journey Guest

    Thanks for sharing that. At first I thought what a nice looking
    keyboard -- keyboards are important to me and $149 for a top-of-the
    line didn't seem out of line, especially considering the bluetooth
    cra* that some companies are peddling for that much.

    The recent original-IBM-keyboard thread also primed me for that

    Then I realized that it's actually a computer! How cool (I hope so,
    with that form factor thermodynamics are probably important ;-)

    The line I especially like is "comes with an OEM Windows XP key
    affixed to the bottom". That made my day :)
    Journey, May 8, 2007
  7. Journey

    Ben Myers Guest

    I hate to sound cynical here, but I would only throw in a Maxtor external USB
    drive to get rid of the Maxtor inside. He really is getting a pretty decent
    deal, and you don't need to throw in anything else to build good will with
    someone you never expect to do business with again. Your buyer is happy and you
    know he is getting a good system in good condition, so why worry or feel guilty?
    I've heard of buyer's remorse, but seller's remorse? It sounds to me like
    you've gotten emotionally attached to the computer.... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, May 8, 2007
  8. Journey

    Journey Guest

    Oh no way, believe me, I'd love to take this money. I can easily
    justify a HD TV now! (woo hoo). I'll take this money and run --
    that's why I am going to drive to his bank and be there right when it
    opens and cash the check!!!

    If he wants to undo the deal, he can't, it's done.

    I do have this value system though that wants any buyer to be really
    happy. I'm not sure where it came from. I think it came from ripping
    other buyers off too, and I figure if I am happy ripping someone off,
    they might as well be happy getting ripped off :)

    In this case though the Maxtor could be used as a backup for
    something. That's about all I use it for now -- backup. I would not
    trust anything production to a Maxtor. I have eight Seagate's and
    they are doing production duty.

    So, I will use this as an opportunity to practicing providing what I
    actually sold.

    It's great... after selling that computer I have been really happy, so
    happy I am cranking some of my old party music... right now it's Rick
    James and Super Freak cranked up -- "She's a very kinky girl, the kind
    you don't take home to mother ... she will never let your spirits
    down, once you get her off the street ... oh yeah oh yeah ... She's a
    super freak super freak she's suh-pah freeeky.... "

    I guess you have to be here!

    As I do this my spirits lift as I move all my data off this P4 that is
    goin' bye bye.

    Oh yes, life is good :
    Journey, May 8, 2007
  9. Hi!
    I've gotten that from a lot of people. I don't think these are overly
    common--I've been actively doing things with computers since 1995 or
    so...and never have I seen one of these in the wild anywhere. (I've actually
    been working with computers much longer than that--but that was strictly
    personal computing. I got into the business around '95.)

    I do think that $149 is kinda high for a keyboard. The boxes and boxes of
    IBM Model M 'boards around here might have something to do with that. Maybe.
    Yep, it sure is! Pretty wild, eh?

    The system does respond to SpeedFan and reports a nice set of statistics.
    The fan runs at 2400 or so RPM, internal temperature is around 80 degrees F
    and the CPU is somewhere around 120. The HD is usually around 90. I consider
    those numbers reasonable, if not excellent. That's with the CPU pushing a
    100% load by way of distributed.net.
    I talked about that some on the second link. It worked...so it's good in my
    book! It even passes the web-based WGA tests. (I won't willingly install the
    WGA notification thingy, so I don't know about that.)

    William R. Walsh, May 8, 2007
  10. Journey

    Pat Conover Guest

    William, That thing looks like my TiVo that just died :-( I need to drop a
    new hard drive in it an pray it comes to life again!
    Pat Conover, May 8, 2007
  11. Journey

    Pat Conover Guest

    Journey, Go for the HDTV, I am now hooked on my Samsung HLS5687 a 56" DLP
    HDTV and Tom is even better with a XXX" Samsung, I think. Best tech toy I
    ever bought bar none, even better than my first Packard Bell 286 from Sam's
    Club, yeah I know better now. Go to the AVS Forums and do your research,
    like I did for a year or two, and even better go to the local BB, CC,
    Crutchfield, etc. and look at them yourself. I am very happy with my
    Samsung 1080p DLP HDTV and personally think they give you the most "Bang for
    the Buck" at about $1,550 from Amazon direct for a 56" 1080p LED DLP. The
    New LED versions are out now, so check the AVS Forums for actual owner
    reports and do your homework.

    And next time you feel like "ripping someone off" please email me, I really
    need your leftovers! My Dimension 4550 just refuses to die though, even
    though I always need or want, the latest and greatest, even last years
    technology works for me. And yes Ben, I too am emotionally attached to many
    of my computers...2:00 AM driver feedings and all that.

    Journey, I will post in your earlier thread about Laser printers, but I am
    not at the machine I need to do that from yet. I have too many printers and
    I am looking to shed a few if your interested. Maybe a swap? Including
    Samsung B&W workhorses, either NIB or slightly used. Sorry for the eBay

    Canned Heat "Going up the Country" playing here on Comcast Cable Classic
    Rock Digital Music in Dolby Digital 5.1 :)

    Thanks, Pat
    pat conover at NO SPAM comcast dot net
    Pat Conover, May 8, 2007
  12. Journey

    Ben Myers Guest

    Ackkkkk! Using a failure prone brand of device for backup! Metaphors,
    similes, and analogies escape me right now, so why not simply go all the way and
    get a Travan tape drive? I spent too many hours in computer rooms in the early
    days watching tape drives stretch and break tapes. You, too, could experience
    what it was like in the old days of monster computers, huge air conditioners,
    and raised floors, if you get your own Travan, or maybe even an Exabyte helical
    scan SCSI tape drive... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, May 8, 2007
  13. Journey

    Journey Guest

    Hi Ben, when my career started I saw the computer rooms you describe.
    There was even a gas of some kind that would be sprayed in case of a

    The person who was to buy my desktop PC didn't pay in cash, so I went
    to his bank to cash the check. He did not have enough funds to cover
    it !

    I have a cash-only or check-must-clear policy. In his Indian accent,
    he told me I should cash the check because he has overdraft
    protection. Then he told me that the check will clear in one day, so
    I can give him the computer tomorrow.

    The clueless person at my bank said his check will take a week to
    clear and there is no way for them to know when it does. I am sure
    there is a way, which I will find out tomorrow.

    He isn't going to be happy waiting over the weekend but I doubt his
    check will clear before then. Too bad.
    Journey, May 10, 2007
  14. Journey

    Journey Guest

    Hi Pat,

    I will keep my eye on them. I have a good incentive on my lease so I
    won't be getting a condo for a while which is where I was going to put
    some of my energy.

    If the person who is buying my computer decides to buy my 20" monitor
    for the $240 price I would sell it at, then I will have enough to buy
    one of the "lower end" Olevia's or similar. I have the $$$
    regardless, but I'd just like to be able to rationalize that I can
    spend the money on a TV because that's what I got from my own P4.

    I am not much of a TV watcher, but that's because I don't have a
    decent TV. I'd like to watch some of the quality channels, and get
    into the routine of watching the network "sound-byte news" every

    I love watching movies on a quality TV -- makes all the difference in
    the world.

    The 37" HDTV's seem to be in the price range that I'd like to spend.
    I'd really like a 42" or better though. I don't know all of the
    jargon surrounding HDTV's -- 720 (or 7-something) vs 1080, HDMI, and
    another similar spec, etc.

    Until then my 24" monitor is a pleasure.
    Journey, May 10, 2007
  15. Journey

    Ben Myers Guest

    Halon. It was a real gas, but far less fun than nitrous oxide... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, May 10, 2007
  16. I still have two small Halon hand fire extinguishers. It is a fantastic
    fire suppressant, perhaps the most effective ever developed, but it's
    environmentally unfriendly in the extreme (to the ozone layer), so they
    ordered that it's manufacture be stopped.
    Barry Watzman, May 10, 2007
  17. Hi!
    For all the bad things said about these, I never had a problem with any of
    mine. I had two TR-1 drives from Seagate that used the floppy interface and
    a nice HP/Colorado TR-3 drive that used IDE. My only complaint was the stiff
    price of the TR-1 and TR-3 tapes. As such, the HP drive never saw much use
    other than reading the other tapes, which it could do. (It would not write
    to them, however.)

    Today I have a SCSI variant of the Seagate drive and it too seems quite
    reliable. All of my old QIC cartridges are quite readable on it, and the few
    TR-1s that I have left seem to work fine as well.

    I'm not using tape as much as I used to, though. My only semi-active tape
    drive is a DDS2 unit. Network attached storage (via a Linksys NSLU2 device)
    has taken the place of tape here.

    William R. Walsh, May 10, 2007
  18. Journey

    HDRDTD Guest

    Same here. A few years ago, someone at work knew someone that worked at a
    fire ext. company and was selling some extenguishers (freshly charged and
    certified) of the size you would normally have at home. I bought one of them
    that is a Halon ext., and I keep that one in the room at home that has most
    of the computers in it.

    I'll bet he was selling them on the side because his company could sell them

    Halon displaces the oxygen in the room (if I remember correctly), so you
    don't want to be inside a computer room when they dump the Halon.
    HDRDTD, May 10, 2007
  19. Journey

    HDRDTD Guest

    I just wish that the price of DLT and LTO drives would drop a bit. All too
    often, the users at work ask why we just don't add some larger hard drives
    to our servers when they run out of room. After all you can buy 500gig HDs
    at the local computer store for less than $200 these days.....and after all
    even a local manager can sign a PO for $200....

    Then when you try to explain that the tape drive needed to back up that much
    data on a single tape (or use an autoloader) will cost upwards of $5000.00
    just for the tape drive itself, well.......
    HDRDTD, May 10, 2007
  20. Journey

    wm_walsh Guest

    I haven't invested in brand new drives, so the tape drive itself has
    usually come to me reasonably. Pricing for the DDS tapes also seems
    quite reasonable, although I do have to special order them. The newest
    drive I have is an HP DDS3 external unit.

    I have access to an SDLT 320 drive, and it is quite nice, fast,
    reliable, etc. It is not an autoloader, but I'll bet it cost a small
    fortune anyway. What kills me is the media cost...I don't suppose it
    is outrageous, but I would have thought the price would go down over

    I find network attached storage to be growing more and more
    interesting each day. For the price of a new tape drive, I can buy an
    awful lot of hard drives, RAID them and connect them to a centralized
    controller. I can get enough hard drives to store some of them off

    wm_walsh, May 10, 2007
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