Every time Apple comes out with a new model of a product, it always gets everyone excited because most of the time Apple adds just enough features and redesigns to make the upgrade worthwhile. The best case study for this is the iPod line. I do not know anyone who’s only stuck with the first bought iPod. Just about everyone upgraded to a newer model. Even more fascinating is that many people actually have multiple iPods in their possession. Apple has done a great job in creating this emotional attachment to their brand and products, thereby giving way to people with “Apple Hoarding Syndrome” — those who have a hard time letting go of old or even obsolete Apple products. I used to know some fanboys who’d only sell their old Apple gear to other certified fanboys — finding a “good home” for their old Apple equipment.
But I think thanks in part to this emotional underpinning and the fact that Apple does make great products, a lot of old Apple products hold decent resell value in the secondhand marketplace. Like the Honda Accords and Civics in the used car business. It’s even a more sweeter deal if you keep the original box, cables, and manuals along with the product. Something I’ve learned to do for all my Apple purchases.
Why would that increase the resell value? Obviously, because it’s more complete. The other aspect, I believe, is with the whole “unboxing” geek culture, especially found in Apple fandom. As a fanboy I’ve experienced many, many unboxing thrills and chills (I fondly remember unboxing the Titanium PowerBook) — you’ve gotta hand it to the Apple folks for the thoughts they put into designing the box and everything inside it, from the compartments to the thin plastic sheets to how everything is layered. When you open the box of a MacBook, the first thing you see is the notebook and its Apple logo. When you open the box of an iPhone, the first thing you see is the unit in all its sleek glory.
So the other reason I keep these boxes and stuff is to give the buyer a taste of that unboxing thrill. A way to spread the Apple gospel, if you will. That’s part of the fun of being a gadget geek (freak?). In fact, I go a bit further in that if I’d bought the product from an Apple Store, I’d also keep the unique logo-imprinted bag to send along to the new buyer of my old, trusty Apple gear. (Maybe next time I should request from the buyer unboxing videos and pictures too?)
My iPhone 3GS will find its way to a new owner soon. I’m glad to have been able to sell it to completely finance the upgrade to the iPhone 4. But more so I’m glad to be able to deliver a little of that unboxing thrill to the buyer…