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How careful is too careful (selling computer)?

KrisKris Registered User regular
edited June 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
Hey all. Real quick question for you this time.

So I'm selling my iMac this afternoon to a fellow who replied to my Kijiji ad (a Craigslist-type site). Seems like a decent guy from the email exchange we had. I'm supposed to be dropping it off this evening, meeting him in the lobby of his apartment complex.

Anyway, since I've never sold anything big this way before, I was just wondering what kind of precautions I should take? I'm bringing the old man along in the car, just so I'm not totally alone and ripe for the jumping (yeah, I'm paranoid :P ). Should I bother drafting up a one-page document for him to sign, that says something like "you agree everything is working as described in the ad"? I just don't want him to phone me back down the road because something broke and expects his money back or something. Am I being ridiculous here?

Thanks in advance everyone. :)

Kris on

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    edited June 2009
    Make sure he pays you in cash or by a certified cheque. Perhaps you can plug it in in the lobby someplace and show that it works?

    Richard M. Nixon on
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    GPIA7RGPIA7R Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Cash, and drive a hole into the hard-drive with a power screwdriver.

    GPIA7R on
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    ApexMirageApexMirage Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    GPIA7R wrote: »
    Cash, and drive a hole into the hard-drive with a power screwdriver.

    I think it's safe to assume the sale includes the hard drive

    ApexMirage on
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    GPIA7RGPIA7R Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Well that's not being careful enough! Honestly, I'd never sell a PC with a HD I used. I'm stripping a notebook of a hard-drive tonight because I'm selling it. Typically people are ok with that if you list it as a requirement. "You're responsible for your own HD and operating system".

    I dunno, in the case of a Mac, it may devalue the item more than a PC =/

    GPIA7R on
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    KrisKris Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Haha. Well, it's a 2006 iMac, so I'd have to disassemble the whole thing to get at the hard drive. :P I did take some precautions though. I reformatted the entire HDD using the "write 0's over all your shit" option, before reinstalling the operating system for him.

    And yeah, I'm getting paid in cash. My main concern is how liable I am incase something craps out down the road and he blames me. Is that my problem, and I should be covering my ass now with some document or something?

    Kris on
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    GPIA7RGPIA7R Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    That's always a sticky situation. It's not like you can guarantee it... I figure it's just assumed that "All sales are final". In your ad, did you say anything like that? I know even putting it would seem sketchy to a buyer... but all you can do is state that it worked great before you sold it, and there are no known problems. Any future issues that arise need to be handled by the new owner, and most responsible buyers will know that.

    GPIA7R on
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    BuddiesBuddies Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    if you are really worried about that, just let him know the warranty is either expired or non-transferable. If it is transferable then transfer it.

    Buddies on
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    illigillig Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    no need to be so paranoid it's a cash, AS-IS sale of a 3 year old computer... if he decides later to try to get his money back you can tell him to sit and spin

    illig on
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    KrisKris Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Haha. Alright, well as long as he couldn't really get away with pulling that type of shit down the road, I'll just make sure to clearly mention it is an as-is sale, and no longer covered by warranty when I drop it off this evening.

    Thanks for help and advice guys! :^:

    Kris on
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    underdonkunderdonk __BANNED USERS regular
    edited June 2009
    underdonk on
    Back in the day, bucko, we just had an A and a B button... and we liked it.
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    PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    illig wrote: »
    no need to be so paranoid it's a cash, AS-IS sale of a 3 year old computer... if he decides later to try to get his money back you can tell him to sit and spin

    Pretty much this, assuming you even dignify him with a response.

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    illigillig Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    illig wrote: »
    no need to be so paranoid it's a cash, AS-IS sale of a 3 year old computer... if he decides later to try to get his money back you can tell him to sit and spin

    Pretty much this, assuming you even dignify him with a response.

    ehh.. it's fun to laugh at people though

    i had a dude email me a YEAR after i sold him a stick of ram (PC-133) to let me know that it was broken in half and he wanted his money back

    needless to say he became a forum joke

    illig on
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    GPIA7RGPIA7R Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    What? Didn't you know that there's an automatic lifetime warranty when you buy from a person?

    Shame on you, you should have gone out and bought him a new stick of RAM.

    I'm reporting you to the Better business bureau

    GPIA7R on
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    Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Round Rock, TXRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Buy a receipt book. That's what we do for things we sell on Craigslist. Have him put his info on it, put the item and total price, then write "Sold As Is" and "All Sales Are Final", then give him the carbon copy after he signs it.

    Sir Carcass on
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    FiggyFiggy Fighter of the night man Champion of the sunRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    ... really? receipts? cheques?

    Take the cash, hand him the computer, and bid him ADIEU.

    Buyer beware. Once he hands you the cash that sale is final. That computer can not work the second he brings it up to his apartment and it's his own fault for not checking it first.

    Figgy on
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    Captain VashCaptain Vash Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Figgy is right.

    In most states sales between individuals, especially deals done in cash with no taxes reported etc etc are to be considered "Caveat Emptor" which literally translates to buyer beware.

    check to make sure this is the case in your state if you're especially paranoid, but you'd be hard pressed to find the craigslist transaction not covered by this legality.

    Captain Vash on
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    EskimoDaveEskimoDave Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Figgy wrote: »
    ... really? receipts? cheques?

    Take the cash, hand him the computer, and bid him ADIEU.

    Buyer beware. Once he hands you the cash that sale is final. That computer can not work the second he brings it up to his apartment and it's his own fault for not checking it first.

    Exactly what I was going to say. I'm not a dick enough to lime it.

    caveat emptor

    EskimoDave on
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    TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I dunno about Kijiji or Canada, but I've done a lot of Craigslisting here. Even if you're genuinely deceived by a seller, good luck getting your money back from "Greg who lives downtown and drives a blue truck"

    TL DR on
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    Gilbert0Gilbert0 North of SeattleRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I've sold a tower PC / laptop / iPod to seperate people all on craigslist and Kijiji and they have never said anything back after the fact. Even if they did, i'd probably just ignore them

    Also, if you just exchanged emails with you, he doens't know your phone #, address, etc to even start to sue you even if it broke.

    EDIT - Awesome, also in Edmonton. Wouldn't worry too much.

    Gilbert0 on
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    DanMachDanMach Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I have sold a ton of PC's, components, MP3 players, etc etc over craigslist. Including one motorcycle I knew was on the virge of transmission failure(Yes, I told the buyer exactly what I knew and suspected). I have only ever been called after the sale once, it was for a car my mom sold actually. I was nice and drove over to the guys place and helped him replace battery cables.

    He was calling to ask if I knew how to do that because of the way the honda's wiring was. Anyways.. after you have the cash and he has the item, you guys no longer talk or have any legal recourse on eachother. Unless the item is a frigen bomb that kills him(that you made on purpose to do that), you are a-ok.

    DanMach on
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    InvisibleInvisible Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    underdonk wrote: »

    I'd just buy a new harddrive and smash the old one before I did that. DBAN takes forever to run, it took me several days to wipe a relatively small hard drive on I computer I was going to sell.

    Unless you've got detailed financial records or something, I wouldn't be that worried about the information. One the person has to actually want to look for it and two it has to be something worthwhile. Just run CCLeaner (it has a wipe free space function now) it's much quicker than DBAN and works. I made some files and then deleted them with it and then tried to recover it with a recovery program and all I got back was a bunch of gibberish while I was able to recover regularly deleted file.

    Invisible on
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    supertallsupertall Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Check the cash. Someone posted on here who got scammed with some counterfeit bills sandwiched between some good ones when they sold a computer.

    supertall on
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    InvisibleInvisible Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    supertall wrote: »
    Check the cash. Someone posted on here who got scammed with some counterfeit bills sandwiched between some good ones when they sold a computer.

    Yeah, you can get a counterfeit pen at Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, pretty much any office store and I wouldn't be surprised if places like Wal-Mart sell them as well.

    Invisible on
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    underdonkunderdonk __BANNED USERS regular
    edited June 2009
    Invisible wrote: »
    I'd just buy a new harddrive and smash the old one before I did that. DBAN takes forever to run, it took me several days to wipe a relatively small hard drive on I computer I was going to sell.

    This is good advice. Physically (thoroughly) destroying the hardware that stored the information you are attempting to protect is always the safest way to ensure that your data cannot be recovered. However, my recommendation is based on a time/money trade-off. Most people don't mind waiting 16 hours to wipe a disk if it means they don't have to spend $100 to replace it. Especially if they're selling the system. Also, keep in mind that the method used to "wipe" the data from the drive plays a large part in how long it takes to run through the entire process. Picking the "most secure" or "most complex" method(s) to wipe the drive generally means it will take a very long time to go through the entire process.
    Invisible wrote: »
    Unless you've got detailed financial records or something, I wouldn't be that worried about the information. One the person has to actually want to look for it and two it has to be something worthwhile. Just run CCLeaner (it has a wipe free space function now) it's much quicker than DBAN and works. I made some files and then deleted them with it and then tried to recover it with a recovery program and all I got back was a bunch of gibberish while I was able to recover regularly deleted file.

    This is not good advice. You always have information that is worthwhile. Always. You need an application that is agnostic to the OS if you want to ensure that your data, and all remnants stored in places you don't think about (swap file/space, application cache(s), etc.), have been wiped. Just because a free tool you downloaded from the Internet couldn't recover the information you "wiped", doesn't mean that others with more advanced tools (both software and hardware) won't be able to do it.

    underdonk on
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Well unless the guy actually runs a data recovery service, it's unlikely that "random guy buying a mac" is at all interested in recovering data in order to potentially steal shit. Paying for a service is expensive, and he already did the basic "write over my shit with 0s."

    Count the cash, and say "it's not that I don't trust you; I've actually had people who overpaid and I've given them money back. And not scam stuff, they just got out money and stuck it in their wallet and had an extra $20 in there." Which probably hasn't happened to you but has happened to me so I OK the use of the story ;D

    I've sold plenty of stuff on Craigslist where I just have the person come to my house. There are scammers, sure, but the vast majority are just dudes who want stuff for less money than new. If I were doing this, I would install the OS and say "it's ready to go, here's the OS discs in case you need them. The password is "password" so you probably want to change it, but you can set it up or reformat it when you get home."

    EggyToast on
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    ascannerlightlyascannerlightly Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    i had a dude email me a YEAR after i sold him a stick of ram (PC-133) to let me know that it was broken in half and he wanted his money back

    needless to say he became a forum joke
    link please

    ascannerlightly on
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    underdonkunderdonk __BANNED USERS regular
    edited June 2009
    I'm not trying to beat a dead horse, but I find it important to post this link:

    http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9127717

    underdonk on
    Back in the day, bucko, we just had an A and a B button... and we liked it.
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    TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    EggyToast wrote: »
    Well unless the guy actually runs a data recovery service, it's unlikely that "random guy buying a mac" is at all interested in recovering data in order to potentially steal shit. Paying for a service is expensive, and he already did the basic "write over my shit with 0s."

    Count the cash, and say "it's not that I don't trust you; I've actually had people who overpaid and I've given them money back. And not scam stuff, they just got out money and stuck it in their wallet and had an extra $20 in there." Which probably hasn't happened to you but has happened to me so I OK the use of the story ;D

    I've sold plenty of stuff on Craigslist where I just have the person come to my house. There are scammers, sure, but the vast majority are just dudes who want stuff for less money than new. If I were doing this, I would install the OS and say "it's ready to go, here's the OS discs in case you need them. The password is "password" so you probably want to change it, but you can set it up or reformat it when you get home."

    I'd get a good chuckle if someone actually tried to act indignant at the seller counting the money.

    TL DR on
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    Captain VashCaptain Vash Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Seriously,

    Do I really need an excuse not to count the money from a guy I don't know selling me things from the internet?

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    ascannerlightlyascannerlightly Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    if he has a problem with you counting the money (once, counting it over and over again - barring you losing your place - might be seen as an insult) abort the transaction. period.

    ascannerlightly on
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    FiggyFiggy Fighter of the night man Champion of the sunRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Count it six times. Unless there is something wrong with the money, no one will have a problem with you being careful.

    "What, you don't trust someone you met over the Internet? The nerve!"

    Last time I sold a big ticket item on Kajiji, I not only counted the money twice but I checked each bill. And by "checked" I don't mean some silly highlighter pen. I mean holding each one to see the ghost and tilting to check the watermarks.

    The guy didn't bat an eye. If a stranger hands you a handful of $100 bills and expects you to hand over an expensive piece of electronics and never see him again, he has to expect some caution

    Figgy on
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