One more thing… What to do with your old Apple gear

30 December, 2010
View more articles fromthe author

Part of being an Apple fanboy means coming up with a way of justifying new Apple purchases (mainly to your spouse) which means working out what to do with your old Apple kit. If you’re a really serious fanboy, that means replacing most of your Apple gear nearly every year.

But don’t get confused, life as a fanboy is pretty straightforward. There’s only one rule to follow: If a new Apple product comes out that costs less than $1000, you buy it.

True story: On the eve of an Apple event, I’ve heard stories about fanboys calling their local Apple Store and asking them to put aside whatever new product is announced – and handing over credit card details too.

Most fanboys truly don’t even care what comes out, they just want it.

Thankfully, with Apple’s move into cheaper and cheaper products (iPhones, iPods, Apple TVs, iTunes content and peripherals) that means there’s always something new to buy.

Take my past three months: I’ve bought an iPad, a new iPhone 4, two sets of Apple rechargeable batteries (for home and the office), a new Apple TV, a Magic Trackpad (which, by the way, is rubbish), a new iPod nano and way, way too many apps.

Unless you married well you’ll need to work out an efficient way of getting rid of your old Apple gear to fund your new purchases. I’ve experimented with lots of different ways, and by far the easiest and most cost effective is eBay. I’m not sure why, but the market for second-hand Apple equipment is just so strong.

My iPhone 3GS, for example, sold a couple of months ago on eBay for just short of $700. My old Apple TV 160GB sold for $227, my old iPod nano just sold for $120. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that for these prices it’s almost stupid NOT to keep turning your Apple equipment over every time a new model gets released.

And what about the prices? I’m still in a state of shock that someone would pay over $200 for a used Apple TV when a brand-new, sealed-in-a-box, smells-like-China model retails for nearly half that much. Is the older model really still that valuable?

Apart from the new features that new models or products bring there’s also the warranty issue; new products are under warranty and old ones aren’t.

Actually, that’s not quite true; I sold my parents’ BROKEN Apple TV earlier in the year and got just over $100 for it. Let me say that again: It was BROKEN. God knows what people on eBay do with a broken Apple TV, but hey, I guess everything has a price.

If you’re not an eBay fan then you can at least use it as a barometer to value your old Apple gear. You’ll need to register to do a ‘completed items’ search, but once you do you’ll get a good feel for the value of the product. Then, you can shop it around to your family and friends, or even put a shout out on Twitter and Facebook to see if any of your mates are interested.

However, just to be clear, I don’t do that because I think selling your old products to friends is a dangerous thing; I mean, what should you do if the product breaks for your mate the week after he pays you for it? Refund him? Tell him bad luck? It’s not worth the pain, in my mind.

This article originally appeared in the December issue of Australian Macworld magazine.


3 people were compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. Ben Smith says:

    I have a Trackpad and I love it. I put the mouse back in it’s box and in a cupboard. I only use my Mac to browse the web, for music and for photos. I find the trackpad more accurate and I don’t have to drag my arm around to manover the pointer. It is definetly easier to drag and drop things with the Trackpad if you set up the options properly. It’s not rubbish it’s just better suited to certain users. I wouldn’t use it to do high end work in Photoshop etc… but for general use it beats the mouse hands down. Maybe you should have tested it properly in the store before laying your money down? Declaring it rubbish could put some users off who – like me may find it far more useful. Oh and it also frees up a lot of space on my desk.

  2. Xenophos says:

    Good thoughts. BTW, I bought a previous generation Apple TV because I have an old television that doesn’t have HDMI.

  3. Dylstra says:

    That’s why I bought an old Apple TV also. Of course, now we have a TV with HDMI. Oh well. I like having a HDD in the device itself.

    I bought mine from JB Hi-fi after the new model was announced and paid less than $200. There’s now way I would have bought an old one for $227 on eBay.

Leave a Comment

Please keep your comments friendly on the topic.

Contact us