The 2nd big article I had here at Clever Dude was when I wrote about How I get Laptops and Plasma TVs for free back in 2007. In fact, I got my first laptop in 2005 and the second in 2006.
To recap, here are the laptops:
- Sony Vaio PCF-V505ECP Laptop = $95 (after completing the required offers)
- Sony Vaio VGN-FS790B Laptop = $30
So the deal is you complete a certain number of offers (those cost money, but some you could cancel before getting charged. They’ve changed it all since then though) and then you get a “prize” at the end, like a laptop, gift card, TV, etc. You’ve seen the spam mail. Well, some of it is semi-legit, but you have to be OCD now to be able to game the system.
Why did I sell them?
Well, I had the following laptops in our house:
- Sony Vaio 1 (not being used)
- Sony Vaio 2 (being used only for Quicken)
- Asus EEE netbook (now used by wife…and I got this for free too, but through a work program)
- An old as dirt Dell laptop we only keep around cause it has a floppy drive in case we need it
- My new Dell Vostro laptop I got to review a few months ago (and give one away!)
- My work laptop, which I’m on most of the time. Every job I get, because I’m in IT, I get a laptop.
That’s 6 laptops in our house (plus one desktop, but I’m not dealing with that clunker). I wanted to purge!
So today I decided to move everything off the Vaio #2 to the new Dell Vostro and post it on Craigslist for $150. The Sony has a recover option that you can run to bring it back to factory settings, so I didn’t have to worry about someone stealing my personal data.
Within 10 minutes of posting the ad, I got 4 non-spam emails! I called one back, but he wanted one with a webcam. I called the 2nd and although he wanted a webcam, he still agreed to meet me. But here’s the neat thing…
I told him I had another laptop I was prepping for sale, and he said bring that too!. I hurried up and ran the recovery disks on the Vaio #1 and threw it in the bag and off I went. I told him $50 for the old Vaio and $150 for the new, so be prepared with cash.
How the haggling went down
I’ve been watching Pawn Stars enough to know there’s going to be haggling involved, and how to play the game. I was being very realistic with my prices, knowing what you can get on the market today, but also knowing the Vaio #2 was in excellent condition (but Vaio #1 was dying).
So I met with Mr. C, let him boot up Vaio #2 to show it was ready to configure Wndows, pointed out some things and then showed him Vaio #1. I had to tell him some caveats with #1, but then I noticed I forgot to bring the battery for #1! Well, I knocked the price down to $40.
Mr. C offers $100 for both.
I counter with $175.
Mr.C counters with $140 (with a lot of hemming and hawing about cost to get back home)
We go back and for between $140 and $150, but then I put out my hand and say “so we have a deal at $150” (not a question). He begrudgingly agrees and we exchange funds (luckily I had the proper change as I never carry cash). I even gave him a laptop bag with it (a free one from a conference a few years ago).
So in the end I made $150-$90-$35= $25 profit, but negate a few hundred for taxes paid back in 2006. In the end, I got 5-6 years of use out of 2 laptops and sold them for more than I paid, excluding taxes. Not a bad deal.
I know with how many inquiries I got so quickly I could have demanded more, but I just wanted them gone and I didn’t want to waste time driving around and meeting up with people, so I took what I felt was a good deal. He didn’t know, nor need to know, what I spent on the laptops, just that he was getting 2 working devices for the right price.
I wonder if I can sell those 3 other items I bought with the Visa gift card for more than $1000… Nah, the wife would kill me if I sold her curio cabinet. And I need a grill and pressure washer!