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Sell your MacBook

Why Buy Water Damaged Macs?

edited August 2011 in General
I am wondering why so many people are buying water damaged Macs on eBay. Water damaged ones are selling for around 400$ for the 2.26GHz 2009 model which seems extremely high. How could they possibly make a profit? I'm sure they part them out, but I don't see how they could even break even when spending so much. I mean the only parts would be the HDD, Battery, Display, Ram and Optical Drive, and a few minor parts like DC-in. Especially with them not knowing if any of the hardware works in it. Would you know what these people are doing to make a profit? Thanks


  • edited August 2011
    I wouldn't pay that much, but like I've said, a broken laptop is without a doubt the best source of good parts. If you add up what those components would cost separately, even used, it's going to be way more than $400. If you go to Apple looking for a unibody screen assembly, they will probably charge $1000. So $400 for one out of a parts machine is not bad. And like I said, I wouldn't even pay that much...I lowball people all the time, and you'd be surprised how many people on CraigsList will take $100-$200 for a dead unibody MacBook.

    Plus, I've gotten countless parts machines working by simply cleaning up corrosion and liquid damage, reseating RAM or taking RAM out of non-functional slots, or doing one or two minor part replacements. There are also lots of people out there with engineering backgrounds and soldering skills who are able to go beyond simple cleanings and actually repair boards. Unfortunately this requires more knowledge than most of us have, but depending on the machine, there are common fixes for various issues, such as re-soldering a microfuse on a 13" MacBook Pro in order to re-establish the backlight. There's a post in the Answers section of this site detailing this procedure.

    Here's the #1 rule for buying parts machines: NEVER pay more than you can sell it again for. In other words, never gamble. Buy machines cheap enough that there is no doubt you can get your money back on eBay by selling them again. You can look in completed auctions to see approximately what similar machines will end up going for. There's really not that much guessing involved when it comes to the value of a machine, if you use the eBay tools correctly. If you end up fixing it, then that's great, and you can make several hundred profit, but if you can't, you get your money back. And if you got a really good deal on the parts machine, you can often strip it of things like the AC, hard drive, and at least some of the RAM, then sell it back again and still make a little money, even if you aren't able to fix it. If you are careful about pricing machines, and you always follow this rule, you should never lose money. And once your abilities improve, and you accumulate an arsenal of known-good parts, you will eventually start to make some money.

  • Could you please give me a link to the post about resoldering the micro fuse for the backlight? I've looked around but cannot find it. Thanks
  • There's some info on it in the post below, and also a link within the post:
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