This article was first published on 2008-05-22. Due to the age of this article, it is included here for archive purposes only.
Even though to all my friends I seem to happily buy every Apple consumer item soon after it becomes available, I still agonize over spending the money. I wonder, "Can the little bits of Leopard really add up to $129 worth? How about the new themes that come with each iLife release? Are they worth $79?" I wrestle with it for a while and then usually end up buying it at one of my local Apple stores.
Little did I know at the time, when I bought Tiger and iLife ’06 it would only cost me $30 each. Yes, I paid full retail at my Apple store, but what I never factored in was resale value because it never occurred to me to sell them later.
That was until last week. I was going through my growing stack of cd/dvd install disks, thinking that I need to thin the herd down to just the ones I was using in order to keep it manageable. I also dread throwing plastics like that in the landfill, so I thought I’d check the value of selling them on eBay like I do with my old hardware.
Boy was I surprised to see the average selling price of Tiger was $100 and iLife ’06 was $50. That’s only $30 less than retail!
So my auctions just ended earlier in the week and sure enough, I got the prices I figured on. My PayPal account is up $150. The other nice thing is software is easy to ship in prepaid envelopes. No hassle with boxing and wrapping. Go check your software drawer to see how much you have just sitting there.
This after market surprise reminds me of a Salon article from last year comparing the costs of PCs versus Macs. The main point was the resale value is so often overlooked in the original purchase decision. If you factor in how much higher Macs get sold for in the used marketplace, Macs always come out cheaper than PCs. Another interesting point brought up is that PCs degrade so rapidly, PC owners rarely even think of putting them up for sale after a few years. I’ve found that my Macs have about half their original value after 3 years or so.
So what does this tell me? I can be a little more confident when throwing down some hard earned cash in the Apple store knowing I can make some of it up on the back end when I am done using whatever the new shiny thing is.
That’s got me thinking… how much do you think a 1st gen used iPhone will be worth in a month?
Side note: If reselling isn’t for you, don’t forget your local school. Odds are they have a crusty old Mac lab that can use your old software.
Have any tips on what sells well in the used market? Let us know or just voice your opinion in the Comments section below!