If you're the guy who always has to have the next big thing, who can't stand owning gear that's "so last year," move along. This tip's for the folks that want quality gear that's gently used—and at a steep discount. The techies who have champagne tastes on a beer budget.
If you live in the city, you can probably count at least 10 universities nearby, ranging from big state schools to small technical colleges. But you know what they all have in common? They're filled with plenty of gently-used computers and tech accessories.
Every so often, usually when a school is given a technology endowment or a big donation, those labs full of 2- to 5-year-old machines are emptied out to bring in a slew of brand new tech gear. And guess what happens to the old computers? They're sold off at a huge discount.
Some technology sales are only open to employees of the university, while others are free-for-alls you can definitely get in on. The way to find out is to call a local school (you'll usually want to ring up the IT department) and ask if and when they sell off their old gear.
To get a good shot at buying a used Mac for cheap, try finding a school that teaches graphic design or film editing. They'll have labs full of upgraded desktop Macs that are ripe for the picking.
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(Images: Flickr member Ruthieki licensed for use under Creative Commons, Flickr member Mikmac licensed for use under Creative Commons)