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XP: Ethical question for selling computer

Cross-posting with Etiquette to get as many different viewpoints as I can.

I am replacing my 2009 MacBook Pro.  My question is regarding how to phrase the Ebay ad for my old computer, which I think is still worth enough money to sell.

My computer has started to get PAINFULLY slow lately.  Spinning rainbow, icons not loading, hanging on startup, the works.  I took it to the Apple Store today and it checked out perfectly on every diagnostic, except the battery is starting to lose its capacity (as would normally be expected in a computer this age).  There is nothing diagnostically "wrong," but it's so slow that it is virtually unusable for me.  Apple guy told me if I can deal with the slow loading, it should be usable for a couple more years at least.  I can't deal with the slowness, I'm losing my mind.

I want to be honest when selling this thing, but I still want to make some money back.  Ebay ads for my same model computer range widely from $300-$900.  What do you all think is my ethical obligation to describe the slow performance?  May I assume any buyer purchasing a 2009 computer knows it will be slow?  I also feel like I should disclose the condition of the battery, but again I am not sure how to walk the line between honesty and making the sale.  

Another wrinkle: most eBay listings describe the computer not by the year, but by the processor type.  I've noticed this is especially true for the professional computer stores advertising prices on the higher end.  On the one hand, I think this is a little misleading since it obscures the fact that the computer is fairly old.  On the other hand, this was the only year that used the particular processor, and a quick Google search would tell a buyer; plus, I think it would put my post at a disadvantage if I list the year when others don't.

You all seem like considerate ladies on here, so thanks in advance for any thoughts.
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Re: XP: Ethical question for selling computer

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    I think you should mention how slow it is. I don't know a lot about computers and while I'd probably have my SO or someone else who does know more help me buy a new one, I'd appreciate honesty from the seller.


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    I'd just say "computer is very slow, but Apple diagnostics has assured me it will continue to work for a few more years".

    I wouldn't worry about it selling - in college, I was able to sell an old laptop with a fried hard drive to a computer student - I think he gave me $200 for it.

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    PolarBearFitzPolarBearFitz member
    First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited November 2013
    Cross-posting with Etiquette to get as many different viewpoints as I can.

    I am replacing my 2009 MacBook Pro.  My question is regarding how to phrase the Ebay ad for my old computer, which I think is still worth enough money to sell.

    My computer has started to get PAINFULLY slow lately.  Spinning rainbow, icons not loading, hanging on startup, the works.  I took it to the Apple Store today and it checked out perfectly on every diagnostic, except the battery is starting to lose its capacity (as would normally be expected in a computer this age).  There is nothing diagnostically "wrong," but it's so slow that it is virtually unusable for me.  Apple guy told me if I can deal with the slow loading, it should be usable for a couple more years at least.  I can't deal with the slowness, I'm losing my mind.

    I want to be honest when selling this thing, but I still want to make some money back.  Ebay ads for my same model computer range widely from $300-$900.  What do you all think is my ethical obligation to describe the slow performance?  May I assume any buyer purchasing a 2009 computer knows it will be slow?  I also feel like I should disclose the condition of the battery, but again I am not sure how to walk the line between honesty and making the sale.  

    Another wrinkle: most eBay listings describe the computer not by the year, but by the processor type.  I've noticed this is especially true for the professional computer stores advertising prices on the higher end.  On the one hand, I think this is a little misleading since it obscures the fact that the computer is fairly old.  On the other hand, this was the only year that used the particular processor, and a quick Google search would tell a buyer; plus, I think it would put my post at a disadvantage if I list the year when others don't.

    You all seem like considerate ladies on here, so thanks in advance for any thoughts.
    The reason for your computer running slowly is not due to the year it was made. It is in fact due to the processor and possibly the memory (depending on the software and OS you have on there). The reason you see only the processor advertised is this makes more of a difference than the year of the machine. While the fact that the machine as a whole is 4 years old matters in terms of hardware life the processor is more important.

    Anyone buying a machine off of ebay should be looking at the processor, RAM, and hardware specs. You do not need to detail the slowness of the machine in your posting as that is a matter of perspective.

    Just put the brass tack specs of the machine in your advertisement. There is no need to detail the way the computer is working. Slower/older processor information will detail the computer's speed for you.

    Hope you get it sold!
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    Yes I've tried wiping it and it doesn't help. I'm using less than half the hard drive space so I don't think that's the problem. Thanks all. Won't be listing it for a few days so I still have time to think about it, but I think I will be including at least some mention of the slowness to be fair.
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    Could it be your IP?
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    Could it be your IP?
    What IP are you referring to? Internet protocol, internal processor, information processing system....? IP stands for a lot when it comes to compters.
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    I was wondering this too. I just got a new MacBook as my 2009 just got painfully slow! I might sell mine too. I was going to put the year and the specs, but nothing about it being slow. I'm going to wipe it before sending, so that may help a little.
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    Yeah IP can mean a lot of things.  I'm assuming Internet Protocol.  I don't think that would affect my problems at startup.

    I'll be doing an erase and restore tonight.  I do not expect it to really help, since I'm using less than half of hard drive space, and diagnostics on my OS came in fine.  But at least that will get it ready to sell and perhaps help a bit.

    I'm now having second thoughts actually, since my computer has been functioning okay this past week.  I might wait until January (I'll become eligible for a corporate discount at that time) and sell it then.  Now I feel better about selling it though, since it's working fine, just slow, right now.  @kgd7357, I think if your computer is just experiencing normal slowness and no serious problems, you can just list the tech specs.  If it's actually having issues, I would list the problems.
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    Do not restore from Time Machine if you use that.  There could be something on your machine currently that is slowing it down, and that would be backed up on TM.  If you do a restore using the discs and then run system updates, you should be fine.  I don't see any reason why your machine should be painfully slow, though.  I have a 2008 MBP I passed down to my fiance and it still runs like brand new.  I only bought a new one because I needed a newer video card. 

    You can also run disk repair permissions through your Utilities menu and clean up things that way.  That helps quite a bit. 
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    Yes, thanks-- I was just thinking about this and had decided the same thing.  Restoring from TM would just bring over any problems I already have.

    I think I will just back up my photos, docs, and music, and start everything else fresh.
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    If you loaded the new operating system the Mac probably takes forever to wake up from a screensaver, this is a common problem (Ive done some research on it) due to some (sorry I don't know the technical terms) programs/scripts written into the screen saver program to save as much battery and memory while in the screen saver mode. In the research I have seen you can change this by rewriting some of the code but I don't know enough about computers to do that.

    Anyway I would let the buyer know exactly what the tech said, it is too slow for you but functionally it is perfect and can get a few more years out of it. It is possible that you may find a buyer that just wants the parts and doesnt care about the speed...he may be able to use different parts of yours to make money fixing someone else's.

    I love my Mac but it is slow when waking up from screensaver HOWEVER if i close the screen and reopen it when I'm ready to use it again it wakes up immediately.

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