Only one problem: you are not made of money. And you have already put a substantial part of it into your current MacBook. What can an upgrade-hungry user do? Simple: sell this old machine to subsidize the new one.
Of course, when you do that, you want to squeeze every last dollar out to get the absolute best trade-in deal you can possibly. Here's your practical guide to do just that. This story is updated regularly to keep it up to date.
Know Your Hardware
Before you can find out how much your MacBook is worth, you need to know exactly which MacBook you have. You can find the model number on the bottom of the system or, if it is convenient, in the box in which it was delivered. In both cases, this number shows most of the important information about the system: processor speed, RAM, memory and even color name.
For example, if it is a MacBook MJLQ2LL / A, you know that it has a 2.2 GHz Core i7 processor, a 15.4 inch display, and a 256 GB solid State drive. Visit the Apple Specifications page for full details on your model, or just read this list of MacBook Pro models.
Now that you know exactly what you're selling, you have two main options for selling.
Option 1: Sell it yourself
As with selling your car, you will most likely get the most money selling your used MacBook yourself. There are three effective ways to do this:
Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace
The venerable free search ad site Craigslist makes it pretty easy to make a list – just write down the details, add some photos, and you're done.
Now to the disadvantage: A MacBook is a big ticket article, and this increases the risk of being cheated or robbed or worse considerably. Think about it: Are you sure you want to meet a stranger in a parking lot and hand in your MacBook for a large bundle of money? The currentonly complicates such a .
If you choose this option, you should at least meet your buyer in a well-lit public place. (Some police authorities offer their parking spaces as transaction locations
.) Be absolutely honest about the condition of your hardware so that the buyer doesn't feel surprised or exploited.
Then there is thewhich works very similar to Craigslist, with one major difference: it is linked to your Facebook account so that there is less anonymity. (It also has a fancier finish if that's important.)
It takes more work, but eBay is definitely the safer way to sell a used MacBook than Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. It also exposes you to a much wider audience of potential buyers, which means that you may get a higher price – even though you have a lot more competing sellers.
The cost of creating an eBay listing is fairly low, but the company pays a hefty 10% of the final sale price. If you accept payment through PayPal, an additional fee of 2.9% (3.9% for international sales) will be charged.
You must decide whether you want to auction your MacBook or set a buy it now price . The latter can help you close the sale faster, and it also gives you more control over what you will do. Best bet: Check the Buy It Now prices that others have set for the same model, and then undercut them by a few dollars.
Be sure to follow eBay's buyer and seller protection guidelines, which will give preference to the buyer if, for example, your MacBook doesn't start or arrives with a broken screen. In other words, salespeople also need to do their homework.
Option 2: Exchange it
Apple has a trade-in program for many of its products, including MacBooks. When you enter the details of your device, you will receive money for it in the form of an Apple Store gift card or a credit for your next purchase. To give you an example, my MacBook Pro with a 13-inch display and a touch bar from 2016 that worked perfectly would bring me $ 520. If Apple determines that your old MacBook has no value, you can recycle it for free.
You can email your MacBook or take it to an Apple store to trade in or recycle. However, it is unclear how personal trade-ins work when. However, you can stay at home and use Apple's online service to get a quote and complete your trade-in, or call your local Apple store for more information.
Apple is not the only trade-in option. Best Buy accepts used MacBooks in its trade-in program, although you will need to send an email to your computer because Best Buy has temporarily suspended trade-in due to the Corona virus outbreak. I entered the details for my 4-year-old MacBook Pro on Best Buy's website and found out that it's worth $ 461 – not a small sum, but still $ 59 less than Apple's offer.
If you prefer cash over credit, visit websites like BuyBackWorld, Gazelle, and ItsWorthMore. You pay for your MacBook by check, PayPal or cell. However, the process can be a bit time-consuming because you have to deliver your system and wait for it to be evaluated. And if the company has trouble with it, you may get less money than originally stated.
Have you ever sold a used MacBook? What method did you use and how did it turn out? Share your stories in the comments!