More Info about the G4 Tower Value Guide.
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This SiteThis site is hand written In PHP and Valid CSS using BBedit. This site will look the best on a Mac, in Safari, but has been designed to look good in most browsers. There is a rarely updated RSS Feed available to notify you of changes, new features, and price fluctuations. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to email me at thirdopticaltool [@] gmail [dot] com
At this point, I am trying to keep the numbers accurate, but it has to be done manually. When accuracy drops somewhere below 10% on more than 15% of the cases, I will rework my numbers.
FutureFor now I plan on this guide dealing exclusively with used Apple G4 Towers - ones which you can no longer buy directly from Apple. In the future it may include used G5 Towers, but then I might have to change the name of this guide. :P Unless I start having a lot of extra time, or this project grows to justify the inclusion, I don't plan on including Minis, iMacs, Powerbooks or anything else outside of towers. (Feel free to email me if you disagree.)
HistoryWhile spending too much time on eBay trying to find a decent deal on a used Powermac G4, I started noticing patterns in the prices certain machines were selling for. I was most interested in the Quick Silver model, but for the sake of this guide, I expanded my research to all G4 Towers.
I started keeping track of the Model type and specifications that were selling and how much they were going for. I created a simple excel database listing out all the specifications and the selling price. Arbitrarily, I started assigning dollar values for specifications. After a while of tweaking, I got the sum of all the assigned values to match the final selling amount of the machines, keeping the same dollar values and cross referencing multiple eBay auctions.
It came to the point that if I plugged in the specs, my sum would be within 10% of the final selling price on 98% of the current auctions. There were (and are) exceptions, of course, where someone paid $200 more than my value calculations amounted to, and times when a machine would sell for $150 less without any explanation. Such is the way of a dynamic auction site, I suppose, though these cases were rare.
For the sake of accuracy and simplicity, I decided to remove a number of variables (or to simply ignore them) and my results became more accurate. Shipping costs, processor upgrades, and other items included in the auction, for example, were taken out of my calculations. Doing this made it a lot more simple to translate my findings into a website that is easily navigated.
After getting my calculations to be pretty accurate and reliably linked to actual selling prices, I researched my arbitrary values against average online prices. The RAM values I assigned were around 5% to 10% less than the average online cost including shipping, which makes sense as the RAM you get with a used machine is obviously used RAM (and so it ought to be worth a small amount less than retail costs.) Same was the case for my Hard drive and optical drive costs, so it turns out that this guide not only reflects the selling prices of Apple's G4 towers on ebay, but also the component prices from 3rd party vendors (which is to say that this guide is relatively accurate and logical.)
ResourcesSome of the really useful resources I used while making this site include ebay.com, apple-history.com, and pricewatch.com.