Saturday, September 03, 2005


I've been trying to sell my G4 Powerbook for the last week - it's an older model, but has a 15" screen, 644 megahertz with an airport and a rewriteable CD drive. It's been great for me - I don't find it slow, but then I don't do video editing with my Powerbook. I've used 1.14 megahertz and find it slightly faster, but for the work I do, it's not enough to get all excited over.

I've only had this computer since January of this year. I bought it used for $1500 CDN - I realize now that I was majorly ripped off. I wasn't knowledgeable about Powerbooks and iBooks until I tried to sell this one.

First, I tried to sell it for $1500 - the price I paid for it. I put in "or best offer" in the ad. I had a flurry of Mac geeks email me and ask for more that point I didn't even know about processor speeds and stuff, so they thought I was offering them a major deal. After talking with about six of the Mac geeks, I learned that my Mac isn't worth that amount of money. Especially because it has an older version of the input thing - it's not a DDI.

So I lowered my price to $1350, then $1300, then $1200 and $1100. Throughout this I had people call me or email me and say, "I'm totally interested, blah blah blah." Then I'd get an email from them the next day saying, "I found a Powerbook with identical specs as yours, and I only paid $950 for it." So I called a used Mac retailer, and they told me my model tends to go for $995. But if I sold it through them, they'd take a 20% fee.

Yesterday I had an Australian woman named Catherine (her real name) who lives in Whistler call me, extremely excited and interested, and she thought $1100 was a great deal (partly because I've got every graphic design program known to humankind on my computer). She said she'd call me back because she just saw my ad online, but would get back to me later that day.

The next day, she calls me, and says, "I can't go into Vancouver until next week, but my friend is coming into town, and he said he'd pick it up for me."

I said "great!" She said she'd call me later to tell me when he'd come by on Saturday (today).

Catherine calls me later on Friday evening, at like 10pm, and says, "I just went to the bank, and can only withdraw $1000 unless I use my credit card - would you accept $950 for it?" She needed the extra $50 to party that evening.

She sounded so cute and excited that I agreed. I wanted my computer to be used by someone who would appreciate it. Although the price suddenly went down from $1100 to $950, I thought, "What the heck. I need the money."

So today, she calls me at 10am, and explains that her friend Rob (his real name, and he lives in Whistler, and is English and owns a shop) would be in town and would meet me at 11:30am to pick up the computer. Rob wanted to see a receipt though, to make sure it wasn't stolen. Catherine said, "I trust you, but he's so anal, you know?"

I said sure, "I'll show you the receipt I was given when I paid for it." Catherine also gave me Rob's long distance phone number in case he didn't show up.

So it's now 1:00 and Rob hasn't called. So I call him and said, "Hi, blah blah blah, I thought you were supposed to be coming by at 11:30, are you still showing up?"

Rob says, "Oh, I'm behind, I'm sorry. What kind of computer are you selling again? And do you have a receipt from the person you bought it from before?"

I said, "Yes, I have a receipt, explained my Powerbook's specifications all over again (fuck him, he already knew them, I felt like he was testing me and treating me like I'm some fucking thief)."

Rob then said, "Oh, Catherine asked me to stop by the bank to withdraw the money for the computer, but I'm not sure if I can withdraw $950 at once - isn't the maximum $500? And I may not get there until 2pm."

I can tell Rob is playing some fucking game with me. And I realize that Catherine is also. I'm getting pissed off. So I tell Rob, in my serious professional voice, "Really? When I spoke with Catherine last night, she told me she was on the way home from the bank, after having withdrawn the money for the computer, and that she would give it to you when you came by on Saturday. Plus, I've been waiting since 11:30am for you to call me and drop by, and now you won't be here until 2pm, and I've got things to do today. This is inconveniencing me, and I'm also getting two different versions of the story." In the meantime I've had two phone calls from other interested people, but I tell them that the computer has been sold!

Rob apologized in that irritating English manner, and promised he would be here by 2pm.

Rob shows up at 2:15pm, and immediately begins picking at the computer. He is anal. There are some scuff marks on the edge of the computer - where you rest your hand while typing. So he calls Catherine, and complains about the computer not being "perfect." He said, "Isn't the Powerbook supposed to be made of Titanium?"

I told him, "I think that refers to the colour, not the material."

He said, "Well, scuff marks indicate how well the computer has been taken care of. I can see that this computer has been in and out of back packs, etc." blah blah blah

Then he examines the keyboard and says, "I see there is some snuffies (in that English uptight anal accent) in there. I supposed they could be vacuumed out."

I wanted to say to Rob, "You're fucking buying a used computer. It's not new."

So after Rob bitches and complains about my Powerbook to Catherine, Catherine decides to "think about it" and she'll call back right away. She calls back 10 minutes later, and says, "I just called such and such used Mac retailer, and they've got the same Powerbook for $700, without a CD rewrite drive, but they can put one in for $150, so I'll offer $850."

A part of me knew this would happen, this morning at 7:30am when I went for my morning walk. I had intuitional "alerts." This couple knew how to screw people.

I said, "No deal." I was thinking...fine, let Catherine buy that other machine, and try to get all the software I'm offering in addition to this machine. Meanwhile, I've paid for 2 long distance calls to Whistler, waited my day, let go of two possible clients, and been manipulated by two assholes.

Other points I wish to make here in my rant:
1. Macs don't work like PCs. When you start up an application or do an operation, it does seem slower. I call it "more fluid." There is a zen-like quality to working with a Mac. It's fluid. It's more user-friendly. When you click on the scroll bar, it doesn't "zip" like high-hell to the end of a document, like a steroid PC does. As a lifelong Mac user, I know this.
2. Rob has never used a Mac. He knows nothing about them. He's a PC user.

One of the callers about my Powerbook this morning, while I was dealing with Rob and Catherine, was really interested in my Powerbook. He told me he was buying it for his 16 year old son, who has learning challenges, and dropped out of school. His educational counsellors recommended buying his son a Mac to do his graphic design stuff, which he has a talent for. I ended up telling him that for his needs, he should buy a new iBook. I am not a barter/negotiation slut. I am an honest person, who offers a good, honest deal, without all that game playing shit.

Yes, I've learned a lot in the process about what my Powerbook is worth. But I realize it. And I'm not about to go MacFuck someone else. I really hope that Catherine is MacFucked though...I'm not that ethical.

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