Search the FAQ Archives

3 - A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M
N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z - Internet FAQ Archives

Macintosh for sale frequently asked questions (FAQ)

[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index | Houses ]
Archive-name: macintosh/wanted-faq
Version: 2.4.0
Last-modified: September 8, 1995

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Buying and Selling Macintosh Computers, Software and Peripherals

     comp.sys.mac.faq, part 5:
     comp.sys.mac.wanted & 

     Copyright 1993,1994 by Elliotte Harold
     Please see section 5.8 of the general FAQ if you wish  
     to redistribute or revise this document in any way.

     Archive-name: macintosh/wanted-faq
     Version: 2.4.0
     Last-modified: September 8, 1995
     Address comments to

What's new in version 2.4.0:

  I've improved the URL formatting.

  I've added info about several new models, current and future.  

  And of course prices have continued to fall over the last few months.

          Table of Contents          

I.   Buying and Selling Used Equipment
     1. Should I buy/sell on Usenet?
     2. Where should I buy/sell used equipment?
     3. I've decided to completely ignore your excellent advice and
        post my ad anyway.  What should I do?
     4. I've decided to completely ignore your excellent advice and
        buy something offered for sale on the net anyway.  How can 
        I avoid being ripped off?
II.  Fair Market Value
     1. How much is my computer worth?
     2. What is used software worth?
     3. Going prices?
III. Where Should I Buy a New Mac?
     1. Authorized Dealers
     2. VAR's
     3. Superstores
     4. Performas
     5. Educational Dealers
     6. Direct From Apple
     7. Auctions
     8. Does anyone know a dealer in New York City?
     9. New Equipment Prices
IV.  When Should I buy a new Mac?
     1. Macrotime
     2. Microtime
     3. When will I get my Mac?
V.   How Should I Buy a New Mac?
     1. Know what you want
     2. The dealer needs to sell you a mac more than you need to buy one
     3. Have a competitor's ad handy
     4. Cash on delivery
     5. The sales tax game
     6. Leasing
     7. Be nice to the salesperson.
VI.  The Gray Market and Mail Order
     1. What is the gray market?
     2. Are gray market Macs covered by Apple warranties?
     3. Does anyone know a good mail-order company?


  This is the FIFTH part of this FAQ.  The first part is also 
  posted to this newsgroup under the subject heading  "Introductory 
  Macintosh frequently asked questions (FAQ)" and includes a complete 
  table of contents for the entire document as well as information on
  where to post, ftp, file decompression, trouble-shooting, preventive
  maintenance and conditions for reproduction, posting and use of this
  document outside of Usenet.  The second, third, fourth, and sixth parts
  are posted every two weeks in comp.sys.mac.system, comp.sys.mac.misc,
  comp.sys.mac.apps, and comp.sys.mac.hardware respectively.  Please
  familiarize yourself with all six sections of this document before
  posting.  All pieces are available for anonymous ftp from 


  Except for the introductory FAQ which appears in multiple
  newsgroups and is stored as general-faq, the name of each 
  file has the format of the last part of the group name followed 
  by "-faq", e.g the FAQ for comp.sys.mac.system is stored as
  system-faq.  You can also have these files mailed to you
  by sending an email message to 
  with the line:  

   send pub/usenet/news.answers/macintosh/name 

  in the body text where "name" is the name of the file you want as 
  specified above (e.g. general-faq).  You can also send this server 
  a message with the subject "help" for more detailed instructions.  
  For access via Mosaic use 




  No, you should not.  Usenet is a medium by which information 
  is broadcast to millions of different people around the world.  
  It's almost certain that noone in Singapore wants to buy a Canadian
  Classic 4/40, even at a really great price.  Import laws, the cost
  of international shipping and a host of other concerns pose too 
  big an obstacle to the sale of small quantities of used equipment. 
  Even within one country geographical distances often pose a severe
  obstacle to the sale of used goods.  There is simply too great 
  a chance of either seller or buyer being ripped off in a
  long-distance transaction via non-payment, non-delivery, 
  or non-usable equipment.


  LOCAL bulletin boards, both of the electronic and paper
  varieties, are a far better medium for the sale of used hardware,
  software, and other tangible quantities.  Some Usenet sites and
  local areas have local for sale newsgroups (e.g.
  here in New Jersey) which are more appropriate for classified
  advertising than netwide groups like comp.sys.mac.wanted.  In 
  large cities and college towns you should reach just as many 
  potential buyers by advertising locally as by posting to the net. 
  Advertising locally gives both the seller and the buyer the BIG
  advantage of being able to meet to test the system, verify that
  what is being offered is in fact what is available, and avoiding
  the hassle of shipping.  The chance of being ripped off either
  through non-payment or non-delivery is GREATLY reduced by 
  advertising and selling locally.


  First see section 2.0 below to try and decide on a reasonable
  price.  Be prepared for flames if your price is too far out of line
  including follow-up posts warning potential buyers that you are
  trying to rip them off.  You may just want to state "best offer." 
  That way you aren't responsible if someone else misvalues your
  equipment.  If an offer does come in that meets your minimum price,
  you can sell it.  If there are no reasonable offers, you don't have 
  to sell. 
  Be sure to include a descriptive subject line in your post.
  For Sale, Macintosh For Sale, and Macintosh Software For Sale are
  all HORRIBLE subject lines.  Better subject lines would be 
     SE/30 4/40, $395 or best offer
     Photoshop 3.0, full edition, unopened, $250.
  Then include a more detailed description in the body of the post.
  Also be sure to state whether or not you'll pay shipping.  (It's 
  much easier to sell an item if you agree to pay shipping.) 
  You should post your notice in comp.sys.mac.wanted and ONLY.  Posting a for sale ad to
  comp.sys.mac.misc is guaranteed flame-bait, even more so if your
  offer is over-priced.  You should also restrict the distribution of
  your message to as local an area as possible.  Ask your local news
  administrator for help if you don't know how to do this.
  Finally if you've sold your item please don't post a message
  saying the item has been sold.  Most of us don't care.  If you are
  getting a lot of offers and want to take the item off the market,
  it's better to cancel the original message.  The bandwidth cost is
  the same, but you'll save a lot of people the trouble of reading 
  two now-pointless messages from you.  Again you may need to ask 
  your local news administrator how to do this.


  You can't, which is the single biggest reason I recommend
  against buying and selling on Usenet.  The most effective
  precaution you can take is to insist on check-on-delivery.  That
  way you give the seller nothing until something is delivered, and
  you can stop payment on the check if what is delivered is not what
  was advertised.  This may cost a few dollars more, but the added
  security is more than worth it.  NEVER pay in advance for used
  goods from an unknown shipper.

  You may also want to insist on a work address and phone number
  for the seller.  This is especially effective if the forsale post
  originates from a company account.  The threat of being harassed at
  work is more effective than the threat of legal action against some
  unscrupulous individuals who realize you probably won't sue but may
  complain to their boss.  Even when dealing with completely honest
  individuals it's still much easier to haggle over terms and work
  out shipping arrangements via phone than through protracted 
  email exchanges.



  Make your lowest estimate of the resale value of your hardware
  taking into account current prices on new hardware of equivalent
  capability.  Then divide that estimate by two.  The price you now
  have is somewhere above the fair market value of your hardware. 
  Almost everyone severely overestimates the value of their
  equipment.  I've seen friendships and business relationships
  destroyed once buyers realized how badly they'd been taken EVEN
  Computers are like cars in that they lose 30% of their value 
  as soon as you walk out of the dealer's showroom with one.  They 
  are unlike cars in that they lose more value when new models are
  released irregardless of the condition or age of the previous model. 
  Unlike cars newer models of computer really are better.  High-end
  systems retain their value longer.  My 8/45 SE/30, a high-end system
  when I bought it four years ago, is still barely salable today. 
  Had I purchased a low-end Plus instead it would at most be worth 
  $100 for parts. 


  Almost nothing.  It's certainly worth less than the cost of
  distributing a for sale message around the world on Usenet.  If the
  software is the current version AND includes all original master
  disks and manuals AND a notarized letter transferring ownership
  from the original purchaser to the new owner, then it's worth 
  about half of the current mail-order or educational discount price,
  whichever is lower.  Especially note that software left on a hard
  disk when a computer is sold adds NOTHING to the value of the
  system.  The buyer can pirate payware and download shareware 
  just as easily as the seller. 


  I'll give a few numbers I consider current as of Fall, 1995.
  Unlike the completely ridiculous prices you'll find in the AmCo
  index these values shouldn't leave the buyer feeling ripped off. 
  As a seller you can often get higher prices than these, but as a
  buyer these represent what you should be able to bargain somebody
  down to.  Asking prices and configurations vary WILDLY so haggle 
  and don't be afraid to wait for a better deal if you don't like 
  what someone is offering.

  When trying to determine reasonable prices for discontinued
  equipment I consider several factors.  First I set a floor for a
  given model based on what used equipment dealers like Sun Remarketing
  are willing to pay for inventory and by what repair shops will pay
  for parts.  Then I set a ceiling based on two thirds of typical
  prices for a model at used computer dealers.  Used computer dealers
  can charge more than individuals because they do offer warranties
  that provide some protection against buying a lemon.  Nonetheless the
  Macintosh market moves so fast that dealers of used equipment
  sometimes aren't able to unload inventory before the price of
  equivalent new models drops below what they paid for inventory.  The
  existence of many of these dealers is marginal and depends heavily on
  customers who assume that new equipment is more expensive than old
  and that mail order is cheaper than buying from the local dealer,
  neither of which is necessarily true.  Thus I also considered the
  prices of equivalent and better new machines as well.  
  The real kicker here is the LC 475 (a.k.a. Quadra 605), a 25 MHz 
  68LC040 (no FPU), 4 megs RAM, 80 megabyte hard disk, keyboard, 
  several useful applications and a twelve month warranty for about 
  $499 new.  Very few used Macs currently being offered for sale have 
  as much horsepower as this machine though some may have additional 
  features such as a monitor or more slots.  However very few people 
  buying used equipment need more than one expansion slot.  Thus as a 
  buyer or a seller ask yourself what a machine is worth compared to 
  an LC 475.  Within this range I try to set the suggested price 
  in the ballpark of the lowest asking price I've seen on Usenet or 
  elsewhere.  Finally I adjust the prices a little between models to 
  make sure that equivalently capable used Macs cost about the same 
  amount.  My ultimate goal is to ensure that a buyer who pays the 
  price listed here does not feel cheated in a transaction, either 
  because they see the Mac they just bought for $1000 advertised for 
  $500 two weeks later or because they realize they could have bought 
  a better Mac new for the same money.  Both of these happen far 
  too frequently.

  These prices are mainly for discontinued models.  For models
  that are still available new, see the list in question 3.8. Figure
  the same system used is worth about 70% of that price plus an 
  extra half percent for every month of warranty coverage left.  For
  compact Macs all prices include a keyboard and mouse.  Take $100
  off the price if there's no keyboard or mouse or both.  Otherwise
  the prices are just for the base CPU with internal hard drive and
  RAM.  Most offers to sell do include a monitor, keyboard and mouse
  and some room for haggling so asking prices will typically be
  somewhat higher.  RAM and hard drive configurations can vary
  greatly.  I've tried to include the high and low ends as well as 
  the configurations you're most likely to run across.  Use your best
  judgment when interpolating and extrapolating to other models.

          Mac 128                     $50
          Mac 512                     $50
          Mac 512ke                   $50
          Mac Plus 1/0                $50
          Mac Plus 4/0                $100
          SE 1/0                      $75
          SE 1/20                     $100
          SE 4/0                      $100
          SE 4/40                     $125
          SE/30 1/0                   $150
          SE/30 4/40                  $350
          SE/30 5/80                  $400
          SE/30 8/80                  $450
          Classic 4/40                $140
          Classic 4/80                $165
          Classic II 2/40             $265
          Classic II 4/80             $370
          Color Classic 4/80          $410

          LC 4/40                     $175
          LC 4/80                     $225
          LC 10/80                    $300
          LC II 4/40                  $175
          LC II 4/80                  $200
          LC II 8/80                  $250
          LC III 4/80                 $300
          LC III 4/160                $350
          LC 520 4/80                 $650
          LC 520 5/80/2CD             $800
          LC 520 8/160/2CD            $900
          LC 550 4/160                $895
          LC 575 5/160/2CD            $940
          LC 575 8/160/2CD            $995

          Mac II 0/0                  $200 
          Mac II 0/0/FDHD             $225
          Mac II 8/40                 $300
          Mac II 4/105/FDHD           $400
          Mac IIx 0/0                 $300
          Mac IIx 8/80                $525
          Mac IIci 0/0                $400
          Mac IIci 8/80               $600
          Mac IIcx 0/0                $250      
          Mac IIsi 2/0                $325
          Mac IIsi 3/40               $420
          Mac IIsi 5/80               $475
          Mac IIsi 5/120/FPU          $500
          Mac IIfx 0/0                $700
          Mac IIfx 4/270              $900
          Mac IIvx 4/80               $400
          Mac IIvx 5/80/2CD           $550
          Mac IIvx 4/230              $450
          Mac IIvx 4/230/2CD          $600

          Centris 610 4/80            $500
          Centris 610 8/80            $575
          Centris 610 8/230           $675
          Centris 610 8/230/2CD       $800
          Centris 650 8/230           $800
          Centris 650 8/230/2CD       $950 
          Mac Portable 1/40           $200
          Mac Portable 4/40           $250
          Mac Portable 4/80/Backlit   $300
          Quadra 605 4/80 (LC 475)    $400
          Quadra 605 4/160 (LC 475)   $469
          Quadra 605 8/160            $579
          Quadra 605 8/250            $599
          Quadra 610 8/160            $700
          Quadra 610 8/160/DOS        $990
          Quadra 610 8/230            $800
          Quadra 610 8/230/2CD        $900
          Quadra 650 8/230            $1100
          Quadra 650 8/500            $1400                    
          Quadra 650 16/230           $1500          
          Quadra 650   8/230/2CD      $1280          
          Quadra 650   8/500/2CD      $1600          
          Quadra 660av 8/80           $1050
          Quadra 660av 8/230          $1095
          Quadra 660av 8/230/2CD      $1200
          Quadra 660av 8/500          $1320
          Quadra 660av 8/500/2CD      $1560
          Quadra 800   8/230          $1400
          Quadra 800   8/500          $1500
          Quadra 800   8/500/2CD      $1600
          Quadra 800   8/1000         $1900          
          Quadra 840av 8/230          $1660
          Quadra 840av 8/230/2CD      $1895
          Quadra 840av 8/500          $2050
          Quadra 840av 16/500         $2200
          Quadra 840av 16/500/2CD     $2450
          Quadra 840av 16/1000/2CD    $3900
          Quadra 950   8/0            $1960
          Quadra 950   8/230          $2100
          Quadra 950   8/400          $2250
          Quadra 950   8/500          $2500
          Quadra 950   16/1000        $2900
          Quadra 700 4/0              $600
          Quadra 700 4/80             $700
          Quadra 700 8/105            $800
          Quadra 900 4/0              $1200
          Quadra 900 4/160            $1500

          PowerMac 6100/60   8/160    $905
          PowerMac 6100/60   8/250    $1000
          PowerMac 6100/60   8/250/2CD$1205
          PowerMac 6100/60   16/250   $1300

          PowerBook 100  2/20         $300
          PowerBook 100  4/40         $375
          PowerBook 140  2/20         $400
          PowerBook 140  4/40         $475
          PowerBook 140  4/120        $650
          PowerBook 145  4/40         $650
          PowerBook 145b 4/40         $595
          PowerBook 145b 4/80         $695
          PowerBook 145b 4/120        $795
          PowerBook 160  2/20         $600
          PowerBook 160  4/40         $700
          PowerBook 165  4/80         $1095
          PowerBook 165  4/160        $1195
          PowerBook 165  4/160/Modem  $1295
          PowerBook 165c 4/80         $1295
          PowerBook 165c 4/120        $1395
          PowerBook 165c 4/120/Modem  $1495
          PowerBook 170  4/40         $900
          PowerBook 170  4/80         $975
          PowerBook 170  8/40/modem   $995
          PowerBook 170  4/120        $965
          PowerBook 180  4/80         $1350
          PowerBook 180  4/120        $1460
          PowerBook 180  4/120/Modem  $1570
          PowerBook 180c 4/80         $1550
          PowerBook 180c 4/160        $1660
          PowerBook 180c 4/160/Modem  $1770
          PowerBook 540  4/240        $2195
          PowerBook 540  12/240/Modem $2595

          Duo 210 4/80                $605
          Duo 230 4/80                $695
          Duo 230 4/120               $795
          Duo 230 4/120/Modem         $895
          Duo 250 4/200               $1150
          Duo 250 12/200/Modem        $1350
          Duo 270c 4/240              $1500
          Duo 270c 12/240/Modem       $1895

          ImageWriter                 $50
          ImageWriter II              $75
          ImageWriter LQ              $100
          StyleWriter                 $135
          Personal Laserwriter SC     $200
          Personal Laserwriter LS     $235
          Personal Laserwriter NT     $285
          Personal Laserwriter NTR    $335
          LaserWriter IISC            $300
          LaserWriter IINT            $500
          LaserWriter IINTX           $600
          LaserWriter IIf             $735
          LaserWriter IIg             $995          
          Apple CDSC                  $50
          Apple CD-150                $75
          Apple CD-300                $125
          Apple Standard Keyboard     $50
          Apple Extended Keyboard     $85
          Apple 12" B/W Monitor       $115
          Apple 13" HiRes Color       $300
          Apple Portrait Display      $265



  Hard as it may be to believe Apple authorized dealers are
  normally the most reliable, best stocked, and cheapest source of
  Apple brand equipment.  You are unlikely to do better by buying at
  educational discount, at a superstore, or by mail-order (though
  walking in with the price list from a local university or
  superstore is often the quickest way to cut through a lot 
  of haggling).  

  The larger dealers should offer you a price several percentage 
  points less than offered by smaller dealers since Apple charges them 
  less for product.  The key number is $5,000,000.  A dealer that orders
  five million dollars of merchandise from Apple in a year pays about 
  three percent less for its product than a dealer that only orders
  $1,000,000 of Apple products in a year.  (This is also a great
  incentive for dealers that are on the borderline of one of the two
  tiers to cut margins to move more volume.)  Dealers that order less
  than a million dollars a year normally order product through a master
  reseller like MicroAge which tacks on its own markup.  Apple sets
  minimum advertised pricing and punishes dealers that advertise lower
  prices so that smaller dealers can compete, at least for the business
  of uninformed consumers (which isn't you since you're reading this
  FAQ list.)  This helps keep advertised prices pretty much in lockstep,
  but you should expect that the larger dealers will offer prices 
  several percent less than what they advertise when you visit 
  their store.

VAR'S  (3.2)

  I include Value Added Resellers (VAR's for short) only for the
  sake of completeness.  These dealers custom configure Macintoshes
  for specific purposes and sell them at a premium price.  Generally
  they are uninterested in single CPU, retail sales.  Very few will
  even attempt to match rock bottom prices.  However they are about 
  the only part of the dealer channel that provides significant 
  after-sale support to their customers.


  Superstores like CompUSA are fairly hassle-free since they
  won't do any haggling except on the largest orders.  They should be
  able to match a competitor's advertised price though you may need 
  to show them an ad with the better price first.  On the other hand 
  any authorized dealer should almost certainly be able to beat a
  superstore price.  After all, noone puts their best price in an ad
  for all their competitors to see.  The best use for a superstore is 
  to tell salespeople at authorized dealers what prices they need to 
  beat to get your business.


  At various times Apple repackages different models of LC's,
  Classics and Quadra's with slightly different software and sells
  them as Performa's through consumer outlets like Sears.  With 
  one exception (the Performa 600) these have all been virtually
  identical to one model or another of the Macs sold at authorized
  dealers except for the bundled software.  Most of the time the
  regular model is cheaper than the equivalent Performa, especially
  if you don't want the bundled software; but this isn't always true
  so you should double-check the price of a Performa compared to the
  model you want to buy.  Finally most Performa dealers will sell Macs
  over the phone to customers they've never met.  So if you can't find
  what you want locally, a Performa may be a reasonable choice.


  The nicest thing about campus computer stores is that they're
  willing to distribute firm price lists with reasonable prices so
  there's no need to haggle.  Also since they typically don't work 
  on commission they're much more honest and open than the average
  authorized dealer.  The worst thing about campus computer stores is
  that they're normally the last part of the channel to get product.  
  If you order a Mac that isn't in stock through an educational dealer, 
  plan on waiting at least two months for delivery.  

  Educational prices haven't fallen at the same rate as have prices 
  in other channels over the last two years (mainly because educational 
  prices were much lower to start with) so larger authorized dealers 
  should now be able to match or beat educational prices.  One of the 
  most effective tactics for dealing with an authorized dealer that 
  cuts through a lot of hassle and haggling is walking in with a copy 
  of a local university price list and asking "Can you do better?"


  Apple does not sell Macs retail except to their largest 
  accounts.  They occasionally sell discounted Macs to certain
  developers but like educational discounts, developer's discounts
  aren't what they used to be.  Most developers agree that the 
  paperwork and delays involved in buying direct aren't worth any 
  small savings that might be had by buying from Apple rather than 
  from a dealer.


  Apple occasionally dumps overstocked equipment at various 
  auctions around the country.  Most of the time this is NOT a good 
  way to get a good deal on a new Mac.  Once auctioneers fees (5%) 
  are factored in prices tend to be higher than you'd pay at a dealer 
  for newer, better models.  However some deals are possible if you 
  know what you want and how much its worth.  Here are a few rules 
  of thumb for shopping at auction:   

    1.  Get a list of the merchandise offered for sale.  Be sure to 
   preview the items before the auction.  Auction configurations  
   are not always the same as dealer configurations.  Check whether  
   the models you're interested in are new or demos and what their 
   warranty status is.  New equipment should have a full 
   one year warranty.
    2.  Make a list of street prices and prices you're willing to pay
   for everything you might bid on.  The sections on new and used 
   equipment prices in this FAQ can be of great help here.
    3.  Don't get caught up in the excitement of the auction.  NEVER 
   bid more than you planned on for any piece.
    4.  Powerbooks almost always sell for more than their street 
   price.  Don't even bother attending an auction if you only 
   want a PowerBook.



  If you're planning a trip to New York, you may want to do a
  little Mac shopping on the side.  New York City is one of the most
  competitive Mac markets in the United States, and the prices here 
  reflect it.  For the current ads of most NYC dealers pick up a copy 
  of Tuesday's New York Times.  Below I list several dealers you may 
  want to check out.
     26 West 23rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues
     (212) 255-7600
     I've dealt with PCSI several times over the last few years
     and they've always been friendly, honest, and had competitive

     4 West 20th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues
     (212) 463-8585
     I worked at MPC for about a year a few years back.  Since 
     MPC is also a full-service service bureau as well as being an
     authorized dealer, they're by far the most technically 
     knowledgable dealership in NYC.  The prices aren't bad either.

     J&R Computer World
     15 Park Row
     NY NY 10038
     (212) 238-9000
     (800) 221-8180
     This is New York City's superstore.  Like most superstores
     there's limited haggling, not particularly knowledgable
     salespeople, and decent prices; but you can often do better by
     going to one of the other dealers and saying "J&R has it for 
     $2000.  Can you beat that?"  J&R is also authorized to sell
     Macs over the phone.

     Sam Ash
     160 West 48th Street
     NY NY
     (212) 719-2299
     While most New York City dealers cater to the graphics design
     market and the occasional business user, Sam Ash has developed
     a large and loyal following among musicians.  If you need advice
     on MIDI to Mac hookups and the like, you won't do better than
     Sam Ash. Be warned, however, that the salsepeople work on
     straight commission so they can be somewhat aggressive and hard
     bargainers.  There are also locations in Queens, New Jersey,
     and other parts of the metro area.


  What follows are mostly maximum prices you should expect to 
  pay for current Apple models in standard configurations.  You should
  have no trouble getting these prices at any Apple reseller in the
  United States with a little haggling.  In competitive markets or 
  if you're buying several Macs at once, you may be able to get up to 
  10% or more off these prices.  If you do manage to significantly beat
  these prices on a single Mac purchase I'd like to hear about it so I
  can keep this list current.  Most dealers are unlikely to stock all 
  configurations listed here.  You'll generally get a better price if 
  you order what's in stock (not to mention you'll get it quicker.)
  Finally several of the models below are officially discontinued.  I
  keep them on the new list as long as some authorized dealers still 
  have stock and are selling them new with full Apple warranties.
  Finally be sure to check the Last modified date at the top of 
  this file.  Apple has been known to cut prices faster than I can 
  post FAQ lists.  To get possibly more recent price lists you can 
  connect to the University of Texas Microcenter Store at
  <URL:>.  This contains price and product 
  lists from the University of Texas in Austin. While you have to be 
  affiliated with the university to actually buy here, these lists 
  should give you a pretty good idea of what a fair price might be
  elsewhere.  You can be also try Joe Holmes Mac Street Price Index 
  at <URL:>.

  For non-Apple equipment prices just scan the back pages of any
  issue of MacWorld or MacUser.  Since most companies besides Apple
  are willing to authorize mail-order dealers, the mail-order prices
  on Radius monitors, GCC printers, Quantum Hard Drives and other
  third party peripherals should be fairly close to the minimum you
  can expect to pay for such items.

  In the listings below the first number si the amount of RAM included,
  the second number is the hard duisk size.  2CD means a double-speed 
  CD-ROM drive, 4CD means a quad speed CD-ROM drive. A number followed
  by double quotes is the monitor size in inches.  (e.g. 14" means the
  unit comes with a 14 inch monitor).  14.4 means a 14,400 bps modem. 

      Mac TV          5/160/2CD            $1095

      LC 550          8/160/2CD/14"        $895
      LC 5200/75      8/500/2CD/15"        $1695

      Quadra 630      4/250                $895

(All Performa models include keyboards)

      Performa 450    4/120/14"            $779
      Performa 475    4/160/modem/14"      $999
      Performa 550    5/160/2CD/9.6/14"    $1199
      Performa 550CD  5/160/2CD/9.6/14"    $1235
      Performa 575CD  5/250/2CD/modem/14"  $1275
      Performa 577CD  5/320/2CD/modem/14"  $1295
      Performa 578CD  8/320/2CD/modem/14"  $1445
      Performa 630    4/250/modem/14"      $1199
      Performa 630CD  8/250/2CD/modem/14"  $1295
      Performa 631CD  8/500/2CD/modem/14"  $1499
      Performa 635CD  5/250/2CD/modem/15"  $1299
      Performa 636    4/250/               $799
      Performa 636    4/250/14" display    $1099
      Performa 636CD  8/250/2CD            $999
      Performa 636CD  8/250/2CD/14"        $1199
      Performa 636CD  8/500/2CD/14"        $1269
      Performa 638CDV 8/350/2CD/modem/15"/ $1449
                      TV tuner
      Performa 640CD  12/500/2CD/14.4/DOS   $2295
      Performa 5200CD 8/800/2CD/modem/15"   $1820
      Performa 5215CD 8/1000/4CD/14.4/15"   $2295
      Performa 6112CD 8/250/2CD/modem/15"   $2060
      Performa 6115CD 8/350/2CD/modem/15"   $1800
      Performa 6116CD 8/700/2CD/14"/14.4    $1899
      Performa 6200CD 8/1000/4CD/14.4       $2295
      Performa 6214CD 8/1000/2CD/15"        $1820
      Performa 6220CD 8/1000/4CD/14.4       $2300
      Performa 6220CD 16/1000/4CD/14.4      $2500

      PowerMac 6100/60   8/250             $1095
      PowerMac 6100/66   8/350             $1339
      PowerMac 6100/66   8/350/2CD         $1400
      PowerMac 6100/66   8/500             $1430
      PowerMac 6100/66   8/500/2CD         $1550
      PowerMac 6100/66   16/500/DOS        $2050
      PowerMac 6100/66   16/500/2CD/DOS    $2180
      PowerMac 7100/66   8/250             $1199
      PowerMac 7100/66   8/250/2CD         $1299
      PowerMac 7100/66   8/500             $1100
      PowerMac 7100/66   8/500/2CD         $1199
      PowerMac 7100/66av 8/500/2CD         $1650
      PowerMac 7100/66av 16/500/2CD        $1950
      PowerMac 7100/66   16/250            $1300
      PowerMac 7100/66   16/500/DOS        $1935
      PowerMac 7100/80   8/500             $1999
      PowerMac 7100/80   8/700/2CD         $2070
      PowerMac 7100/80   12/500/2CD/14.4   $2695
      PowerMac 7100/80av 16/700/2CD        $2800
      PowerMac 7200/75   8/500/4CD         $1585
      PowerMac 7200/90   8/500/4CD         $1772
      PowerMac 8100/80   8/250             $2400
      PowerMac 8100/80   8/250/2CD         $2435
      PowerMac 8100/80   8/500             $2435
      PowerMac 8100/80   16/250/2CD        $2595
      PowerMac 8100/80   16/500            $2750
      PowerMac 8100/80av 16/500/2CD        $3035
      PowerMac 8100/80   16/1000/2CD       $2900
      PowerMac 8100/100  8/700             $2575
      PowerMac 8100/100  8/700/2CD         $2800
      PowerMac 8100/100  16/700/2CD        $3100
      PowerMac 8100/100  16/1000/2CD       $3200
      PowerMac 8100/100  16/2000/2CD       $4095
      PowerMac 8100/100/AV 16/1000/2CD     $3400
      PowerMac 8100/110  16/2000/2CD       $3779
      PowerMac 7500/100  16/500/2CD        $2552
      PowerMac 7500/100  16/1000/2CD       $2835
      PowerMac 8500/120  16/1000/4CD       $3777
      PowerMac 8500/120  16/2000/4CD       $4249
      PowerMac 9500/120  16/1000/4CD       $4400
      PowerMac 9500/132  16/2000/4CD       $5097

   Workgroup Server 95   16/230             $4555
   Workgroup Server 95   48/1230            $8535
   Workgroup Server 6150 8/500/2CD/AS       $3635
   Workgroup Server 8150 16/1000/2CD/DAT    $6290
   Workgroup Server 8150 16/1000/2CD/DAT/AS $7165
   Workgroup Server 6150 8/500/2CD/AS       $3635
   Workgroup Server 8150 16/1000/2CD/DAT    $6290
   Workgroup Server 8150 16/1000/2CD/DAT/AS $7165
   Workgroup Server 9150 16/2000/2CD        $7780
   Workgroup Server 9150 16/2000/2CD/DAT    $8660

      PowerBook 150         4/120          $895
      PowerBook 150         4/240          $1109
      PowerBook 520         4/160          $1255
      PowerBook 520         4/240          $1475
      PowerBook 520c        4/160          $1715
      PowerBook 520c        4/240          $1729
      PowerBook 520c        4/320          $2195
      PowerBook 520c        12/320/Modem   $2639
      PowerBook 540c        4/320          $2900
      PowerBook 540c        12/320/Modem   $3450
      PowerBook 540c        12/500/Modem   $3950
      PowerBook 5300        8/500          $2079
      PowerBook 5300c       8/500          $3435
      PowerBook 5300cs  8/500              $2599
      PowerBook 5300ce/117  32/1100        $6030
      PowerBook 5300cs/100  16/750         $3250
      PowerBook 5300c/100   16/750         $4174

      Duo 280           4/240              $2275
      Duo 280c          4/320              $3170
      Duo 280c          12/320             $3595
      Duo 280c          12/320/Modem       $3700

      Duo Dock          512K VRAM          $445
      Duo Dock          1/230/FPU          $717
      Duo Minidock                         $280
      Duo Dock II       1 MB VRAM          $820
      Duo Express Modem                    $275
      Duo external floppy adapter          $92
      Duo Type II Battery                  $73
      Duo AC Adaptor                       $60
      PowerBook Rechargeable Battery       $75
      PowerBook External Battery Recharger $75
      PowerBook AC Adaptor (100 series)    $60
      PowerBook AC Adaptor (500 series)    $125
      PowerBook Intelligent Battery        $120
      PowerBook PCMCIA Module              $190

      StyleWriter II                       $195
      StyleWriter Portable                 $395
      Color StyleWriter Pro                $495
      StyleWriter 1200                     $245
      Color StyleWriter 2200               $399
      Color StyleWriter 2400               $365
      Color StyleWriter 2400B              $399
      ImageWriter II                       $350
      Personal LaserWriter 300             $379
      Personal LaserWriter 320             $805
      LaserWriter Select 300               $500
      LaserWriter Select 310               $650
      LaserWriter Select 320               $805
      LaserWriter Select 360               $1215
      LaserWriter Pro 600                  $1300
      LaserWriter Pro 630                  $1785
      LaserWriter Pro 810                  $4070
      LaserWriter 16/600 PS                $2135
      LaserWriter 4/600 PS                 $840
      Apple Color Printer                  $430
      LWPro 500 sheet Cassette             $110
      PLW, LW II, LW Select trays          $62
      Portable Stylewriter battery         $44
      LW 360 PostScript Fax Card           $255

      12" Monochrome Monitor               $155
      Apple Basic Color Monitor            $195
      Apple Color Plus 14" Display         $275
      Apple AudioVision 14" RGB Display    $555
      Macintosh 14" Hi-Res Display         $450
      Apple Multiscan 15" Display          $392
      Macintosh 15" Display                $399
      Macintosh 16" Color Display          $850
      Apple Multiscan 17" Display          $799
      Apple Multiscan 20" Display          $1785
      Macintosh 21" Color Display          $2145        

      ADB Mouse II                         $70
      Apple Keyboard II                    $69
      Extended Keyboard II                 $129
      Apple Adjustable Keyboard            $99
      Apple Design Keyboard                $75

      Apple CD-600E                        $305
      Speech Kit for Power Macintosh       $45
      Apple Video System                   $130
      Apple Video/TV System                $215
      Apple One-Scanner                    $590
      Apple Color One-Scanner              $755
      GeoPort Telecom Adapter              $99
      Power-CD                             $179
      Apple QuickTake 150                  $632

      Mac IIsi NuBus Adapter               $120
      Centris 610 NuBus Adapter            $55
      Quadra 660AV NuBus Adapter           $108
      Quadra 610 NuBus Adapter Card        $55
      PowerMac 6100 NuBus Adapter          $82
      PowerMac 256K cache Card             $247
      Workgroup Server 95 128K cache       $320
      Workgroup Server 95 256K cache       $245
      Apple IIe card                       $135
      PowerMac 6100 DOS Card               $665
      PowerMac AV Card                     $411

      PowerMac Upgrade NuBus Card          $577   



  Apple releases new models of Macs about every three months. In 
  September the first PowerPC 603e based PowerBooks will hit the 
  market.  The 5000 series PowerBooks will include two Type II 
  PCMCIA slots, a PowerBook 500 form factor, 100 or 117 MHz PowerPC 
  603e CPU's, an infrared LocalTalk port and 10.4 inch active and 
  passive matrix color and 9.5 inch passive matrix gray scale screens.  
  Street prices will run from about $2000 to $6000 dollars.  The Duo 
  2000 series will debut in October with an 80 MHz PPC 603e CPU for 
  around $3500.  Also in October the PowerBook 190 will take its place 
  at the low end with a 68LC040 CPU and a PowerBook 500 form factor.  
  As usual all new models will be faster and cheaper than the models 
  they replace. Prices on models being replaced often drop by 15-20% 
  either shortly before or after the introduction of new models.  In 
  particular the introduction of a rebate program is a sure sign that 
  Apple is clearing out old stock in preparation for the introduction 
  of new models.

  Now is a GREAT time to buy a Mac.  While prices may drop after
  the initial back orders are filled (probably around February, 1996),
  no major new models or significant changes in hardware are expected 
  after October (when the new Duos debut) for about the next year.  
  There will of course be models released with faster CPU's, bigger hard
  disks and more memory, probably starting around January; but it will 
  still be quite some time before anything significantly different 
  (e.g. FireWire, PowerPC 615 or 620 CPU's, CHRP Macs or even new
  form factors) comes out of Apple. 
  I advise against buying any more 680X0 series Macs though.  The future
  lies with the PowerPC, not with the 68040 and 68030 models available
  now; and if you buy one of those now, it's going to become obsolete
  and slow even faster than Macs have done in the past.  (The Mac
  doesn't really become slower.  It's the software that gets more
  bloated and less efficient, but you get the idea.  When I recently
  complained about the speed of some software I was beta-testing, the
  programmer told me it seemed fine on his low-end Mac, a IIci that's
  twice as fast as my SE/30.  It took four years for my high-end SE/30
  to become something not worth programmers' time to worry about. 
  Today's Quadra 630's should make that same journey in less than half
  that time.)  Apple may not even port the next version of its system 
  software, codename Copland, to the 680X0.


  If you're buying a low end home system from a high end corporate
  dealer and you want demos or a lot of questions answered, shop on 
  the weekend.  During the week salespeople tend to be busy with much
  larger sales and aren't very interested in selling one Performa 575. 
  On the weekends, however, especially on Sundays, salespeople are
  often twiddling their thumbs waiting for any customer at all.  On the
  other hand if you know exactly what you want and how much you want to
  pay for it, shop in the middle of a weekday, preferably the day or
  two after the ads come out in the local papers.  During busy times
  salespeople are much more inclined to give in to your $650 cash offer
  for a Quadra 605 just to get you out of their hair.


  I've never heard of a delivery taking more than a year, and
  most Macs ordered through whatever channels arrive within six
  months.  However I strongly recommend not putting more than a one
  dollar deposit on any Mac purchase and making certain that you can
  back out of a purchase at any time up until the goods are actually
  delivered and signed for.  It's not uncommon for Apple to lower
  prices or deliver an improved model at lower cost before all orders
  for older models have been filled.  This is especially common for
  orders placed through the educational channel.  For hot models like
  the PowerMac 8500/120 you may want to place orders at several dealers 
  to have a reasonable chance of getting what you want when you want it. 



  When you walk into the store where you're thinking about buying
  for the first time, you should know exactly what you need and the
  exact maximum price you will pay for that equipment.  Never go in
  to "discuss" your needs with a salesperson.  Remember they are
  there to sell you a computer, not to help you out.  If you really
  want to discuss your needs, talk to a knowledgable friend or 
  even hire a freelancer who specializes in Macintosh (not PC!)
  pre-purchase consulting.  At least that way you're talking to some
  one who works for you rather than the store.  You probably want 
  to ask the salesperson what price they can give you on the system 
  you want before you tell them what price you want to pay.  I have
  occasionally been surprised by a salesperson who initially offered
  me a system at a price several hundred dollars lower than the price
  I expected to pay.  This is more common on high end systems like
  840av's than on low end ones like Classics since there's still more
  money for a dealer in a 3% markup on an 8500/120 than in a 10% markup
  on a Quadra 630.
  Buy the base CPU with the minimum amount of RAM it ships with
  and possibly an internal Apple hard disk, an external monitor, and
  maybe an Apple printer from your authorized dealer, nothing else.
  Many dealers have excellent prices on CPU's but jack up the price
  on peripherals to near list.  They offer very good prices on the
  base configurations of Macintosh and then pile on the extras, $200
  for a modem, $50 for a surge supressor, $100 a megabyte for RAM.
  Guess where their profit's coming from.  Some dealers don't even
  bother to put individual prices on your sales order, just a package
  price, so you won't realize how much they're ripping you off on the
  peripherals.  Almost no Authorized Apple Dealer is able to beat
  mail-order or unauthorized dealer prices on non-Apple peripherals.
  All other non-Apple brand equipment should be purchased from a
  dealer who specializes in peripherals, possibly through mail order.
  And never, ever, buy software from an authorized Apple dealer.
  Software can always be had mail order for about half the price
  you'd pay an Apple dealer.

  Many stores offer to set-up and test your system for you. 
  Typical fees range from $50 to $100 and include hard disk
  initialization, system software installation, burn-in time, and
  installation of one software package (normally HyperCard Player
  unless you request otherwise in writing on the sales order).  In
  other words they're trying to get an extra $75 out of your pocket
  to make sure that the computer they're selling you works.  This is
  a crock.  While these charges might be justified on a PC whose setup
  is traditionally more problematic, Macintosh set-up is so easy that
  anyone who can navigate Usenet can certainly plug in their own Mac.


  Remember that the salesperson needs the sale more than 
  you do.  The more time a salesperson spends with you the more 
  pressure they're under to justify that time to their sales manager 
  by selling you something.  Hemming and hawing over the price 
  (especially if you haven't told the salesperson how much you expect
  to pay) can often lower it.  You can ALWAYS get a lower price than
  advertised.  Aside from the prices in this list a good idea of when
  a salesperson is genuinely giving you the lowest price can be had
  by noticing the level at which they have to check a price with
  their sales manager.


  Nothing is more helpful in convincing salespeople to 
  lower their prices than a competitor's published ad or written 
  estimate showing a lower price.  This works even if you have no
  intention of buying from the competitor in the first place (for
  instance because it's a mail order ad and you don't want to buy
  through the mail).  Except on the cheapest systems you should ask 
  that the salesperson beat the price by at least $50 and maybe as much 
  as $300 on high end systems.  Justify it on the grounds that you don't 
  want to have to shuttle back and forth between dealers to keep 
  getting a $10 drop in price every time.


  If you're buying at a dealership, don't pay a penny until the
  salesperson brings all pieces of what you've paid for out for you
  to see.  While delivery is sometimes more convenient, it's a lot
  safer if you walk out the store with your computer.  Too many
  disreputable dealers sell stock they don't have, especially of very
  popular items.  If you must have the computer delivered to you,
  insist on a clause in the sales contract specifying that delivery
  must be made by a certain date and time or else the full purchase
  price shall be immediately refunded.  The clause should also
  specify that delivery is the responsibility solely of the seller. 
  It will normally be necessary to cross out (and initial the change)
  of a standard clause in the sales contract stating the opposite. 
  For maximum safety insist that the sales manager also approve that
  change in the contract in writing.
  Dealers typically pay between 3-5% of the purchase price
  (including sales tax) to the credit card company for any purchase
  you make on a credit card.  Since the margins they'll be getting on
  their sale to you are thin enough already, expect that they will
  pass the cost of a credit card on to you.  If you intend to
  purchase your Macintosh on credit and you're not buying mail order,
  you're probably better off getting a bank loan or getting a cash
  advance on your credit card so that you can give the dealer cash
  (or a certified check.)  Your interest charges shouldn't be any
  higher than if you paid with a credit card in the first place,
  (though there won't be any grace payment for repayment) and the
  loan or advance charges probably won't be as much as the dealer
  would raise prices for a credit sale.  Of course if you're buying
  by mail you should definitely use a credit card despite any added
  expense.  Since most mail order companies have higher volume and
  lower overhead than independent dealers, the price difference
  shouldn't be very far away from the cash price.  Some credit cards
  offer extended warranties and theft protection on purchases made
  with the card.  If yours does then the added protection may be
  worth the extra money for using a credit card, especially if you're
  buying an easily stolen or easily broken item like a Powerbook. 


  In some sections of the U.S. a significant savings can 
  be realized by crossing a city or state line in search of a more
  favorable sales tax rate.  For instance in New York City sales 
  tax is 8.25% while right across the George Washington Bridge in
  New Jersey it's 3.5% and a bit northerly in Westchester County it
  drops to 6.25%.  Drive all the way down to Delaware and there's 
  no sales tax at all.  A New York City resident is supposed to  
  pay New York City tax even on purchases made out of state; but it 
  is perfectly legal to use the possibility of your going outside
  the city to buy your computer to convince a salesperson to lower
  their price.  And in most other venues except New York and California
  a purchase made by mail from a company outside the state of the 
  purchaser is non-taxable.

LEASING  (5.6)

  The short answer to this option is DON'T.  If you're VERY
  strapped for capital think about it, but most commonly the lease
  payments over the term of the lease add up to as much as or even
  more than the cost of the system itself plus the interest on a loan
  to buy it.  If you absolutely must lease try to keep the term as
  short as possible.  Generally Mac power doubles every year while
  price comes down by about a third.  You don't want to lock yourself
  into obsolete equipment.  The most common lease term is two years,
  but with a little shopping around you can find one year leases.


  This final tip ought to be obvious, but many people have a hard
  time grasping it.  If your salesperson likes you, he or she will 
  be much more amenable to giving you a good price.  At the larger
  dealers that will give you the best prices (if you know how to ask)
  salespeople often don't care about low-end sales enough to do much
  hard bargaining, and will often decide how low they're willing to
  go based solely on how much they like a customer and what sort of
  mood they're in.  (Of course if your salesperson just broke up with
  his boyfriend last night you're out of luck.)  Not all stores will
  be able to offer you a rock bottom price.  Please don't get angry
  about it if they can't. If your salesperson tells you that the
  price you're asking for is ridiculous, get their lowest price,
  thank them, and go somewhere else.



  Due to Apple's reluctance to authorize mail order dealers,
  there are few authorized Apple mail-order dealers (unlike in the 
  PC world).  Unauthorized "Gray Market" dealers take advantage of lower 
  foreign prices in countries like Mexico by buying computers there and 
  reselling them in the United States, sometimes selling them to the end 
  user for prices as low as other dealers can get their machines wholesale 
  from Apple.  They also buy excess inventory from authorized dealers at 
  cost.  The gray market dealers get product, and the authorized dealers 
  get steeper discounts from Apple for ordering more machines.


  Gray market computers are still official Apple product
  manufactured in the same four factories that make the machines sold
  in the United States.  The main caveat in the gray market is that
  the computer you buy may or may not be eligible for warranty repair
  by Apple.  Whether an authorized Apple dealer will perform warranty
  service on a gray market Mac depends almost entirely on the
  authorized dealer you bring it to.  You must make sure your gray
  market Mac has a valid, non-defaced Apple serial number to have 
  any reasonable chance of getting warranty service.  Some authorized
  dealers remove serial numbers before selling the Macs into the gray
  market so that Apple can't trace the product back to them. It is
  almost impossible to find an Apple dealer who will perform warranty
  service an a Mac without a valid serial number.
  In the end a gray market Mac's warranty is only as good as 
  the company that sold it to you so make sure that the company you 
  buy from is reliable in performing service.  When you buy from an
  authorized dealer even if that dealer has a totally dishonest and
  incompetent service department, you can always bring it to their
  competitors for warranty service.  In the gray market you're only
  promised service from the company you buy from.  If that company
  goes out of business while they've got your computer in their
  repair shop, you may never see it again.  It's also very
  inconvenient to have to ship your computer away by mail for 
  service and then have it shipped back.


  Many mail-order dealers advertise in the back pages of MacUser
  and MacWorld.  One that has to date seemed reasonably honest and 
  reliable is MacFriends (1-800-331-1322).  However their prices are 
  not necessarily better than what you could get from an authorized 
  dealer.  Don't automatically assume mail-order prices are better.  
  In many cases they're not. 

  Some Performa dealers like Staples (1-800-333-3330) will sell 
  their Performa configurations over the phone.  MacMall (1-800-222-2808) 
  and J&R Computer World (1-800-221-8180) are two regular dealers 
  that are authorized to sell non-Performa CPU's over the phone.

  There are several steps you should take to protect yourself
  when buying Macs through the mail.  First pay by credit card even
  if there's a surcharge for using a credit card.  You should verify
  that the card will not be charged until the computer is shipped. If
  there is a problem with the shipment or if it fails to arrive, you
  can contact the credit card company to dispute the charge.  This is
  a good idea even if you have had numerous good experiences with the
  company previously.  Jasmine Technologies, a primarily mail order
  company, had an excellent reputation for fast, dependable service;
  but when it went bankrupt in 1990, many people who had paid in
  advance by check for hard drives were stranded without either a
  drive or their money. Those who had paid by credit card were able
  to get the charges removed by their credit card companies.
  Secondly  ask a few questions before purchasing a Mac by mail.  
  Keep a written record of who you talked to including time, dates 
  and what was said.  Some good questions are:

*   Is the equipment brand new?
*   Is the box factory-sealed?
*   Does it come with an Apple warranty?
*   Does it come with an Apple registration card?
*   Does it have a valid serial number?
*   What is your return policy?

  You may also want to verify with a local authorized dealer that the 
  offered configuration is indeed one Apple manufactures. 

   Elliotte Rusty Harold

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic:

[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index ]

Send corrections/additions to the FAQ Maintainer: (Elliotte Harold)

Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM