This article is from the Macintosh for sale FAQ, by Elliotte Rusty Harold firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
Apple occasionally dumps overstocked equipment at various
auctions around the country. Most of the time this is NOT a good
way to get a good deal on a new Mac. Once auctioneers fees (5%)
are factored in prices tend to be higher than you'd pay at a dealer
for newer, better models. However some deals are possible if you
know what you want and how much its worth. Here are a few rules
of thumb for shopping at auction:
1. Get a list of the merchandise offered for sale. Be sure to
preview the items before the auction. Auction configurations
are not always the same as dealer configurations. Check whether
the models you're interested in are new or demos and what their
warranty status is. New equipment should have a full
one year warranty.
2. Make a list of street prices and prices you're willing to pay
for everything you might bid on. The sections on new and used
equipment prices in this FAQ can be of great help here.
3. Don't get caught up in the excitement of the auction. NEVER
bid more than you planned on for any piece.
4. Powerbooks almost always sell for more than their street
price. Don't even bother attending an auction if you only
want a PowerBook.