MacHQ Jackasses

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macfreak4's picture
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MacHQ Jackasses

I've been a long time supporter of Apple products. I've owned many Macs over the years, my latest being an iBook G4 12" 800MHz. I've been thinking of selling or swaping it to purchase a newer Apple laptop, prehaps a new iBook. So I take my 'book to the nearby Mac Headquarters for a free evaluation of the system, just to see what it's worth. The jackass at the counter removes the keyboard, then replaces it saying, in a rather nerdy voice, "Hmm, looks like the keyboard is warped. Possible sign of a liquid spill? Questionable hardware malfunction? Let's make sure it boots..." UGH! Do they have NO knowlege of the products that they are testing??? All you iBook owners out there probably know that there is a small magnetic disc that fits in a slot between the top of the keyboard and the iBook. When you remove the keyboard, this magnetic disc sometimes moves, not fitting correctly and thus pushing up on the underside of the keyboard, giving it the appearance of being "warped". Now, I *try* telling this to the person, but he just says "Uhuh" in disbelief. I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS!!! The possibility of a liquid spill is going to dramatically reduce the value of my iBook, isn't it?? Cray 2 I can't STAND getting ripped off! :o

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Then don't get ripped off...

MacHQ isn't the only place to sell your old mac. You're probably better off selling it on your own. Why not just fix it yourself, then list it on ebay, or craigslist, or another forum? You'll probably get more than what these retail jerks would offer for a pristine iBook.

Good luck!

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I agree with blackbag

I agree with blackbag, just keep using your computer until you can find a buyer on your own. Retailers know how much they can sell something for. In order for them to make a profit, they have to offer you less than what they know someone will really pay for it.

Sell it on your own and don't get ripped off!

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I don't get it...

what the...? Is the keyboard made out of wood? How would a liquid spill warp the keyboard?

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I think it was molten lava...

I think it must have been molten lava that was spilled on the keyboard. The intense heat would have reduced any other notebook computer to mere fumes, but Apple products are built to withstand volcanic releases by simply warping. Wink

Let's just agree that the guy that looked at the computer, is an idiot. Smile

Jon
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Or not an idiot but a possibl

Or not an idiot but a possible swindler. It's the same kinda story I heard when we were trying to sell a car. Dealer would look at it, comment on how nice of shape it was in, ran great, but "Nobody really wants to buy these cars, so we'll give you $(chump change) for it." Then I see they stock almost the exact make/model/year that I brought to them for 2.5x what they offered for mine.

FWIW, when somebody points out a "major flaw" that is obviously not, point back at them and call them a liar, then get a manager right away. Hopefully you had a witness to the attempted fraud, too. Wink Bringing friends never hurts.

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knowledge = power . . . lowball offer? move on, but LISTEN first

I'm a longtime (over 20 years) trader in photo and camera gear. Camera 'shows' are notorious for such an experience as your's, for newbies it's like swimming with sharks. Resellers are smart and knowledgable, and their aim when buying from an individual is to spend as little as possible. That may mean running down a potential seller's goods, as distasteful as that may seem.

It's obvious of course, but the first thing to know about buying and selling anything is that the more you know the better you'll do in any bargaining situation. If you know how much a similar item sells for elsewhere, you're in a much stronger bargaining position. If the offer received doesn't jibe with your value estimation, it's probably time to move on. Don't waste time debating the item's value, if the buyer doesn't want to pay what you think it's worth you're not going to change their mind.

However, also keep in mind that knowledgable buyers may actually know something which you don't. It's quite common for newbie sellers to have an exaggerated opinion of their item's worth. So anytime you are told something that doesn't mesh with your own ideas, it can be quite useful to take the time and ask for specific details to help you understand their position. Use it as a learning experience; even if you don't accept their offer you'll come away with more knowledge than you had before.

FYI - As a reseller I always try to be totally upfront with individuals. I'll explicitly estimate what I think I can get for an item and then offer approximately 1/2 to 2/3 of that value. Individuals (usually) understand that I need to make a profit.

dan k

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Actually, it's not broken. I

Actually, it's not broken. It is in perfect working order, and I find it really really disgusting that the salesperson would not believe me when I said that it works to the extent of booting it in front of me to "make sure it boots". And yes, I agree; how in the world can a little bit of water warp a metal-and-plastic keyboard?? BTW, is Mac HQ affiliated/connected to Apple? Because if it is, that kind of sick reselling is just downright awful. What I can't stand the most, though, is the lack of knowlege of the item being evaluated!

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Sorry, dumb question. lol Mac

Sorry, dumb question. lol Mac HQ is separate indeed...

macfreak4's picture
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OMG!!! They're offering me 15

OMG!!! They're offering me 150 BUCKS??? That's not right! What a ripoff!!!

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Re: OMG!!! They're offering me 15

OMG!!! They're offering me 150 BUCKS??? That's not right! What a ripoff!!!

Welcome to capitalism. If you don't like their offer, refuse to sell your product, or sell it to another market which is actually willing to pay proper price for it.

Check out eBay (finished auctions to get the best idea), and see what consumer demand actually brings the price to on your model.

You do not need to get ripped off just because they want a higher profit margin. If you sell it to a store, you will make a bit less than if you sell it independantly, but that's only because they have to turn around, mark it up, and make up their time and a profit on it.

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Yeah...

I declined. You know what their excuse was? Ok, so my trackpad has never worked, even off the assembly line. I told them that, but they think that because of the liquid spill the trackbad doesn't work because the logicboard might be flawed and therefore unfixable and so they only want it for 150 bucks "for parts". [Deleted]*! Sorry for all this blowing off steam, I'm just really mad, because that's like saying that the backseat of a car is loose and therefore might affect the engine making it worthless. Completely [deleted]*. I'm just going to turn around and sell it on ebay for a whole lot more. Oh, while I'm on the subject, is it all-together too difficult to replace the trackpad assembly on an iBook G4? BTW, I've taken apart and completely put back together numerous powerbooks, most of which were PB Duos, just to put into perspective.

*Language cleaned up by Dr. Webster. Watch it.

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iBook G4 top case

The trackpad replacement on the iBook G4 is pretty straightforward. Chances are that the ribbon cable from the top case to the logic board isn't connected (common issue). The trick is to remove the airport card, the shield that goes under it, and the keyboard. Then remove the screw in the bottom middle of where the keyboard was. Look to see if the ribbon cable with the square connector is connected to the logic board. If you need any other help, feel free to e-mail or iChat/AIM me. iantm@mac.com

- iantm
ACPT & ACDT

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A Response to macfreak4 from the owner of MacHQ

There is a special offer for you at the bottom of this article. I am sorry you had a bad experience at our store. I am unsure of what sales clerk you spoke with. Standard operating proceedure is to ask if there are any problems that you are aware of before checking the unit in for evaluation. This saves doing an evaluation on a item if the customer is aware that there are serious problems with it. Were the problems with the trackpad mentioned at that time? I am in no position to guess, but that would explain why he removed the keyboard to check the trackpad connection or wanted to boot it up. As to the liquid comment I am as confused as you are. Please keep in mind though that different positions require different skills. For instance our service techs are all Apple Certified Technicians with years of experience in technical matters. Our sales staff doesn't have near the technical skills the service techs have. Their job requires them to have a thorough knowledge of Apple's current product line for sales purposes. If they knew as much as the technicians they would be making technicians wages working as technicians. If it turned out that there was a problem with the TrackPad and it needed to be replaced, we must take into account the cost of the replacement, the labor involved and what we could resell the item for after making the repair. Another financial concern is that we stand behind our used sales. So if a customer buys your unit from us and there is a problem we will fix at no charge. We have got to figure in the percentage of units that we need to service during our preowned warranty period. If you sell it outright, you are the one responsible if something doesn't work. However, you will always get more money for your computer if you sell it outright. We are open about this at the store. Of course, we are there to provide a good source or service, new & used computers and training for Mac users, but we are also there to make a profit. Apple's margins grow thinner and thinner. One of the few areas we can still make money is the used equipment. We normally go low on items that are not functioning properly when we evaluate them. For all we know it could be the logic board. We don't know that until we replace the TrackPad. Buying used equipment with problems is a losing proposition for us and we must take that into account before offering a price. I know $150.00 is a low price on a 800Mhz 12" iBook, but the new ones are currently selling for $999 and right now they are sporting a 1.3Ghz processor and are more expandable. We would have to sell your iBook for about 700.00 max. Let's say the logic board was not bad (which we don't know until we replace the TrackPad) and we only need to replace the Pad. If we put $200.00 worth of parts in it, $100.00 worth of labor and give you $150.00, that makes sense for us to buy it. However, if we give you $300.00 or more then it just isn't worth it for us to work with it. So please don't think we are trying to rip you off. We're not. We just need to be to pay our bills too. it is quite surprising for people to compare this with swimming with sharks, doubling our money would be great-it just doesn't happen. I can assure you, we don't take advantage of anyone. I would like to personally apologize that you did not have a good experience at the store. We try hard to make sure everyone leaves happy. If you would consider giving us a second chance I promise we won't let you down. On your next visit to the store, just tell the clerk that you are macfreak4 from Applefritter and we will give you up to 10% off any item in the store. Keep in mind that discounts on Apple branded products may be lower because sometimes that would be less than what we actually pay for them. Thanks again for allowing us to serve you.

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Thumbs up!

I'm glad when a store owner will stand behind his store like this and make an attempt to make things right. Props!

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