Sold my iMac for 29K yen

I’ve had my iMac for more than 6 years now, and after discussions with my wife, we decided it’s time to get a new one. Now the question is, what to do with the old iMac.

My iMac back in November 2009 when I was transferring data from my old MacBook.
My iMac back in November 2009 when I was transferring data from my old MacBook.

Send it home

The first thing to come to mind is to send it back to the Philippines. For sure there would be family over there who would have use for a 6-year-old iMac. Also, houses in the Philippines are usually bigger than apartments in Japan, so there would always be space to keep the big iMac, and its accompanying boxes.

Problem is, I’ve had at least one bad experience when I sent an old camera home, and my brother had to pay Philippine customs just to claim it. To make matters worse, shipping companies have become very strict with what OFW’s send home, most likely because of additional requirements from Philippine customs. That is in addition to what we have to pay to send the big iMac box, which I think might not even fit a standard balikbayan box.

Besides, I think Mama is already a bit overwhelmed with the number of gadgets she already has. She has an Android phone, an iPhone, an iPad, and a Nokia phone. I’ve been prodding her to consolidate and simplify, so an additional iMac will definitely not help.

Auction it off

I’ve auctioned used items before on Yahoo! Auctions Japan, but I remember it took some effort to actually do it. I had to register, take enticing pictures, add detailed descriptions in Japanese (!), answer queries from potential buyers also in Japanese (!), and actually make sure they are happy with their purchase. Otherwise, I would get negative reviews as a seller, ruining my potential to auction other items in the future.

Problem is, my iMac is not exactly in tip-top condition, as at least the SD Card slot is no longer working. Some newer applications, like iMovie and Xcode, would also run slow as the processor isn’t up to the task anymore. I’ve already upgraded the memory from 4GB to 8GB which helped, but for some applications, it would still feel slow.

If my iMac were relatively new, I would have auctioned it, because it would be a product I can confidently “sell”, without the need to be apologetic for its condition.

Sell it in Akihabara

I’ve sold used items before at SoftMap Kaitori in Akihabara, and I think this was easier than online auctions. I just had to bring them to the shop, have it checked by the staff, and get paid. The price might not be as good as what I would have gotten had I auctioned it, but if the main purpose is just to get rid of old stuff, it’s fine.

Problem is, the 27-inch iMac is humongous, and it is not something I can easily carry with me as I take the train to Akihabara. I can of course rent a car or take a taxi, but I think the money I’m going to get from selling it, will not be worth the cost.

If it were a smaller item that I can easily carry with me on the train, I would have taken this option.

Sell it to Mac Kaitori Net

Mac Kaitori Net is the option I ended up taking. I googled the web about selling old iMacs, and this site is the first thing that came up, so I guess this is the most popular and hopefully, the most reliable. I signed-up on the website, and scheduled a two hour slot where a delivery guy would come to pick up my iMac.

April 5 (Tuesday)

I signed up and scheduled a pick-up day specifying the 2 hour time I will be home. For this step, I had the option to either accept whatever price they set, or to negotiate after they give the price. I chose to accept whatever the price.

April 10 (Sunday)

A guy from Sagawa Express came over to pick up the iMac.

April 19 (Tuesday)

I got an email detailing how much they are willing to pay for the iMac, and how they arrived at that price.


・iMac 27inch Late 2009 MB952J/A:


メモリ:4GB:→8GB +1000円

Since I chose to accept whatever price they calculated, I didn’t have to do anything and just had to wait for the bank transfer.

April 20 (Wednesday)

29K yen was deposited to my bank account.

Final Thoughts

I searched Amazon and I see people selling the same model for about 90K yen. I searched Yahoo! Auctions and I see people auctioning it for 40K yen. I got 29K yen, which is not at all bad, but for some reason, I don’t really feel good about it.

To be honest, maybe I should have just sent it home. I should have asked around if anybody back there had a valid need for a 6-year-old 27-inch iMac. Even if my Mama wouldn’t have use for it, for sure somebody would have, and I could have helped. All the hassle and the cost associated with the Philippines customs and the shipping companies, might end up being worth it.

Something to think about when this new iMac “expires” 6 years from now…

What about you? What would you have done?


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