Fair price for a 6mo old Laptop?

I debated putting this on the “Everything Else” forum since this isn’t strictly about gaming, but it just seemed like that forum tends to dwell more on the absurdities of life, and selling a laptop isn’t particularly absurd.

Here’s my question:

I’m trying to sell my wife’s 6mo old Gateway Solo 5350 locally (I don’t want to get involved with shipping it to people, dealing with eBay etc.)

I’m trying to sell it at work, and I wanted to find a fair price, since if I cheated somebody, they could beat me up in the parking lot.

After looking at “remanufactured” Solo 5350’s from Gateway, their newer low-end models (1450 series) and some other bargain laptops, I concluded that a fair price was $1000.

I based this on the fact that a similar remanufactured model from Gateway was selling for $950 and that their brand new 1450 models did not have some of the features of our laptop.

Here are the basic specs:

Solo 5350
Mobile Pentium III 1.13Ghz
20 (or 30) GB HDD (can’t remember exactly)
Intel 82830M graphics system
14.1 XGA screen
Built in NIC and Modem
DVD/CD drive

There really is no direct comparison to new Gateway laptops/notebooks, but the fact that they’re selling the remanufactured model for $950 indicates to me that I’m in the right ballpark. Remember that Gateway is going to charge tax and shipping on that system, and I think that the $1000 is a reasonable and fair price. Just for completeness, I’ll add that we paid $1400 when we bought it, although this obviously doesn’t make any difference to the current value. (Just ask any Ford owner.)

So my question is this:
Is $1000 a fair price for a machine like this?

I had a friend at work express some interest, but his thinking is that the price isn’t really fair, although he hasn’t yet said what he thinks a fair price would be.

What say ye?

People tend to expect a hefty discount when buying used, even over buying a remanufactured laptop. If you really want to get top price for it, you have to use e-bay; if you are going to confine yourself to a limited set of buyers, you are going to have to discount more. $800 would probably be fair.

What kind of warranty does Gateway give on those and will you be offering your co-worker friendly in-home service and/or 24-hour customer support?

You expect to get MORE than the price of a remanufactured notebook?

Most of these retailers offer a full “new” warranty on remanufactured equipment. That’s particularly attractive with a notebook.

Similar notebooks on eBay have been going for $500 to $700. I’d peg THAT as the real current selling value.

$750 to $800 would be the highest price I’d think would be “fair,” sorry to say. Any more than that and I’d just buy straight from Gateway for the difference and know I had something newly remanufactured. (Remanufactured equipment is better-tested than most “new” equipment.)

I think you need to beat the Gateway remanufactured price by $100-$200. ‘Remanufactured’ is better than ‘used’ IMO, especially direct from the original manufacturer who will be around to take responsibility if it craps out within a month or two.

What kind of warranty does Gateway give on those and will you be offering your co-worker friendly in-home service and/or 24-hour customer support?

Gateway is offering a 1year warranty with support. My laptop still has the original 3 year warranty with 2.5 yrs to go.

My friend is also a computer guy and has no need for 24 hour support, although if he wants, I’ll let him call me a 2am a couple of times just to make him feel better.

People tend to expect a hefty discount when buying used, even over buying a remanufactured laptop. If you really want to get top price for it, you have to use e-bay; if you are going to confine yourself to a limited set of buyers, you are going to have to discount more. $800 would probably be fair.

I don’t see why I could get more money for this thing on eBay than I could locally. You would think you would get LESS money selling it on eBay, since you are competing with other sellers and you have to deal with PayPal, cross-country shipping etc, thus you need to lower your price to be competitive with local sellers. The nationwide audience for your goods is offset by the nationwide supply of similar goods.

It seems to me that this is born out in practice as well. I’ve noticed that eBay items seem to almost always sell for less than for what I’d have to pay locally.

As far as a discount over the remanufactured laptop goes, I just don’t understand why this should be the case. He’s gonna get MORE warranty and he knows the history…the remanufactured system doesn’t have that.

You may have a lot more experience with this stuff than me, but your line of reasoning seems to contradict what I’ve noticed, and you don’t provide enough info for me to follow your line of reasoning. Care to expand?

Perhaps I’m missing something.

Won’t my friend get the benefit of the current 3 year warranty which still has 2.5 years on it?

If I were in the market, I sure wouldn’t pay more for a local box than I would for an ebay box. The thing about “knowing where it came from” doesn’t impress me at all as a strategy for buying something (nothing personal).

Pricewatch has new Intel 1.2 notebooks for the same price. Plus it just seems like a lot to shell out for a used machine. But if you can find a buyer, more power to you.

Heh, besides your informal poll has you losing by 100%. :)

Well, I have to say I’m kinda surprised at the reactions. It seems like you’re all generally in agreement that they wouldn’t pay $1000 locally, on eBay, on the moon, or underwater, and also that I’m a big crook.

Hmmm. Sux0rz 2Bme.

Personally, I think that the new/used issue shouldn’t be that big of a deal for somebody buying the laptop from me at work. I can vouch for the fact that we’ve put almost no “wear and tear” on it and we still have all the original manuals, CD’s etc. Me “vouching” to something is worthless to Joe Internet, but I hope it means something to an aquaintance or co-worker. It means that they can trust that it hasn’t been knocked around etc.

A good SpoofyVouch ™ is worth at least $50 bucks.

Also, I’ve never felt the need to buy things new if there is no difference in the quality or condition of the product. Some people seem to put a premium on “new” over “used.” Perhaps I should have told my friend it was “pre-owned.”

I took a look at the lowest 1.1Ghz PIII on pricewatch. It’s a “Prostar” with 128MB RAM (mine has 256MB) and doesn’t have a DVD drive. That was $943.

They were also offering free shipping and I doubt they charge tax, although Gateway does, even for online sales I believe.

I guess I’m really just surprised that everybody puts a $150 to $300 dollar premium on “new.”

I mean, what are my friend’s options?

Some claim he can buy a used off-brand laptop from eBay for $800 (I didn’t see a comparable laptopo for that price) or he could buy and off-brand laptop new from an internet retailer for $950, or he could buy the exact same laptop “remanufactured” from Gateway for about $1000-$1050, or he can buy from me!

I’d pick me. :D

Incidentally, I already told him that I’d give it to him for $950 with the “friend discount.” If he still feels that’s not a fair price, maybe I’ll take my chances with people who aren’t quite as picky.

If I would sell it to him for much less than $950, I think I’d feel like I’d been taken a bit for granted. If he pays much more than $950, he’s probably gonna feel like I took him for granted.

Maybe I’d be better off just sealing it in plastic, burying the thing somewhere, and posting the coordinates on one of those geocaching sites.

IMO, you’re a victim of three things: an era in which a lot of computer hardware is/was relatively cheap to begin with, a recession which is hitting the computer industry harder than the economy at large (which forces heavy discounts on new machines and which, in turn, encourages consumers to wait and watch), and the “used” rule of thumb, which says that the moment you drive a car of the lot, it loses half of its value.

That said, it sounds like a nice system–I’d consider buying it myself–and I think you could get $600 to $750 for it. I can understand wanting more for such new equipment, and hope your sale goes well.

Just my two cents.


If it’s still got 2 1/2 years warranty on it, it still qualifies as “new” to me. So, if I could get online and buy that exact laptop for $150 more than a buddy of mine wanted to sell it to me, and then pay for tax and shipping…Yeah, I’d buy from my buddy, too.

I don’t think you’re a crook, Spoofychop.

I’m not going to go so far as to say that he couldn’t find a better deal on a laptop than that one, but who knows that kind of warranties and stuff would (not) accompany them.

Spoofy the problem I see is you have to compete with things like this:


That $1080 notebook has everything yours does plus a p4 1.6 instead of the p3 1.13.

BTW, the high end Sagers are the one’s Alienware uses for their laptops. The only difference with the Sagers is no paint job and the price is a lot less.

– Xaroc

Thanks to everybody for the input!

Here’s how the situation was resolved…very Shakespearian in it’s complexity and resolution.

As it turns out, my friend was looking to get a laptop since he just started classes again for his masters. He wasn’t about to pay $1000 for mine though, for exactly the reasons that some of you suggested. He didn’t really want to even pay $1000 for a new laptop either though.

At any rate, his offer was $850. After some consideration, that seemed basically fair, although I was unhappy at how much value the damn thing lost since April 30 ($1400–>$850) blech. Eff you Gateway.

I was on the verge of taking my chances with the company classified ads, thinking that maybe I could find somebody who shared my concept of “fair price” and who wasn’t so darn savvy, but then an amazing synergy presented itself.

My friend had started to wonder whether he would need his Athlon XP desktop anymore. He just built it in July…ECS K7VTA3 3.1, cool aluminum case, XP 1600+, DVD Drive, 256 Megs RAM.

This is almost exactly what I intended to buy except for the fact that I intended to get a 2200+. I priced this stuff out new at about $380 now (minus the processor), and I paid him $280. (He’s keeping his 1600+ to try to sell it on eBay.)

So He sold me the barebones of his new desktop for $280, and I sold him the laptop for $850, and in the end, we’re both happy with how things worked out.

Nobody got married or killed in the process, so it wasn’t totally Shakespearian, but close enough.

“All’s well that ends well.”