Relative value of PCs and Macs

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 52

For those who haven't read the thread, yesterday I posted an offer in the ForSale forum (and on the LEM Swap list) looking to swap a PIII/500-based PC for a Mac capable of running Panther (and possibly Tiger) without the use of hacks like XPostFacto. I even went so far as to say that I would consider a stripped (no memory/drives) B&W G3 or totally unupgraded clamshell iBook.

The responses, so far, have been underwhelming and except for one offer of a Beige 266 DT (basically what I have now), have been to the effect of telling me that I have no chance of swinging such a deal. Going into this, I thought I had some idea of what I was offering and asking for- to swap a reasonably configured PC, circa 2000, for a stripped Mac which had been discontinued in 1999. Based on what I've seen here and elsewhere, it appears that the Beige G3 market has totally collapsed and the even B&Ws are being tossed out by most places for surplus.

Obviously, though, I've missed something. So, I'm asking... would someone here with a reasonable experience educate me as to the relative trade values of older PCs and Macs as the mocking emails are getting rather tedious and embarrassing.

Thanks....
John

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Joined: Dec 26 2003
Posts: 585
Perfect example...

Dell Dimension 2400(1 month old), 256MB DDR, 40GB, 17" CRT, 2.5GHz = approx. AU$350.

Power Macintosh G3 Yosemite(vedy vedy old sir!) 450MHz, 128MB PC100, 10GB, 17" CRT = approx. AU$600.

It gets worse as the PCs get older... a 500MHz PC goes regularly on Aus eBay for around AU$50... the cheapest Mac of the same era swings around the $200-250 mark, and skyrockets when you get into G4s...

Edit- just for the record- 50% of my own business is focused on the sale of used PCs and Macs, so I at least kinda(Wink) know what I'm on about.

eeun's picture
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Joined: Dec 19 2003
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Supply and Demand

There's a glut of PCs out there, but few Macs by comparison, so Macs of the same vintage and horsepower sell for far higher than their Wintel counterparts.
Up here in Canada, a typical 500MHz PC will sell for $50 - $75, whereas even beige G3s are going for $150.
ebay's a fairly good measuring stick for a product's current value. It'll at least give you a ballpark figure for comparing prices.

BTW, regarding your trading thread...If those responses you received had been more mature and helpful, then this thread wouldn't have been needed (hint, hint).Undecided

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 67
The high resale value is most

The high resale value is mostly due to supply and demand, I think. There are a glut of used PCs that appear every time Microsoft releases a new OS update (the 600+MHz models are just starting to hit the junkheap about now, and the "sweet spot" for buying used is fast approaching the first 1GHz Athlon-based systems) whereas the older Macintoshes are still quite usable and popular, probably due to hobbyists' tendency to hoard (and I'm looking at all of us on this board ;D).

It certainly is unfair (ESPECIALLY parts-wise...), on powermax.com the only machines that are virtually affordable are completely useless for most tasks (i.e. 7100, 24MB of RAM). The Mac used market is all about camping eBay for some loser who doesn't know enough about Macs to reconnect an unplugged iBook video cable and moved to a Dell instead.

Eudimorphodon's picture
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Joined: Dec 21 2003
Posts: 1203
Re: Relative value of PCs and Macs

jruschme wrote:

even B&Ws are being tossed out by most places for surplus.

Sure, they're being "tossed out for surplus" by businesses who've fully depriciated them, and don't want to deal with trying to sell the things. However, as you've noticed, anyone who stumbles onto a cache of such refuse will grab it and sell them off for the grossly inflated prices they know Mac users will pay. Anyway.

It really is all about what the market will bear. From an objective standpoint, your 500Mhz PIII *should* be "worth" about as much as a B&W G3. Speedwise they're roughly comparable, and the PIII is probably slightly more "modern". (It likely has AGP graphics, for instance.) However, it's also dirt common. Macs are rare, they were more expensive when they were new, and there's this perception that they "last longer" then PCs. (A perception who's accuracy is certainly open to question, particularly since OS X's introduction, but is still believed by a lot of the people who are in the market for used Macintoshes.)

Remember as well that, honestly, most people who might have a Mac to trade don't *want* a PC, particularly one too underpowered to use for games and the like. The value equation of swapping their "old" Mac for an "underpowered" PC just isn't going to add up. (It doesn't matter that the "old" Mac may well be substantially less powerful then the "underpowered" PC.) It's like asking someone to swap a 1932 Ford V8 Coupe for a 1979 Chevy Impala. In every measure (other then style) the Chevy might be a better car, but... the Ford has "Antique Value". So it's worth more, even if the Chevy's "cherry" and the Ford's a rustbucket. Most people in that position are going to hold onto the Ford, unless they *really* need a running car. And even if they *did* need one, they'd probably be more inclined to sell the Ford and buy, oh, a 1996 Saturn with the money rather then take your Chevy, because they know that's what the market will give them.

Anyway, good luck.

--Peace

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[quote]Remember as well that,

Quote:
Remember as well that, honestly, most people who might have a Mac to trade don’t *want* a PC, particularly one too underpowered to use for games and the like. The value equation of swapping their “old

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Jon
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One of my in-law family membe

One of my in-law family members is an eBay fanatic. Almost daily UPS/FedEx packages. Anyway, he bought a Dell 266ish P-II laptop and dumped XP on it because someone wanted a cheap color XP laptop. I would have convinced them to be a little more spendy on the hardware if at all possible, but that's what they wanted. I'd say it's alot like trying to dump OS X.3 on an Beige G3 or an original iMac. It works, but for most of us it's pointless. For someone who wants an OS X box on the cheap, it's the way to go. FWIK, Mac uses may be a little more inclined to use a slower box if it can be funtional enough, even if it isn't quite fast enough. Most PC users want speed and when it comes to desktops speed is cheap. Any sort of color portable PC drives prices to near Mac levels.

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BDub's picture
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Usable

ravuya wrote:

It certainly is unfair (ESPECIALLY parts-wise...), on powermax.com the only machines that are virtually affordable are completely useless for most tasks (i.e. 7100, 24MB of RAM).

I'd argue that any PPC is still usable. I'd even argue that a fair amount of the 68k's are usable. My parents business still has 7200s in service for typing machines and basic email, PB 3400s for the sales staff, and even an 8100AV running as our FTP/Mail server. The only reason why these machines become unusable is when the tasks get too high end for them, or we start having CRTs and mice fail.

Other than hardware failure, which doesn't happen a lot on these computers, there's nothing that can't be solved by remembering that they do have limits (thus, run older programs), and a fresh OS reinstall.

My point being that even those old ones are perfectly usable.

-BDub

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