Time to sell your or upgrade your MacBook? Make sure to follow these tips.
Whenever Apple trots out new hardware, it’s only natural to look at your old hardware and think, “Time for an upgrade!” Just one problem: You’re not made of money. And you already sank a hefty chunk of it into your current MacBook.
So what do you do? Simple: Sell that old machine to help subsidize the new one.
When you do that, you’ll want to squeeze every last dollar out of it, to get the absolute best trade-in value. Here’s your handy guide to doing exactly that. This story is updated periodically to keep it current.
How to sell your Mac for best possible price.
Know your hardware
Before you can figure 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’s handy, the box it came in. Either way, that number will reveal most of the key specs about the system: processor speed, RAM, storage and even color name.
Now that you know exactly what you’re selling, you have two main options for selling it.
Sell on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace
The venerable free want-ad site Craigslist makes it pretty easy to create a listing, all you have to do is just write up the details, add some photos and you’re done.
Downside of selling of Craiglist: A MacBook is a very valuable item, it’s worth a lot of money and that greatly increases your risk of getting ripped off or mugged or worse.
Selling on Craiglist means you’re going to have to meet your buyer at a physical location. This is very risky. Think about it: Do you really want to meet a stranger in a parking lot and hand over your MacBook in exchange for a big wad of cash?
If you do decide to try this option, at least make sure to meet your buyer in a well-lit, public place. Some police departments offer their parking lots as transaction sites.
Make sure to be completely honest about the condition of your hardware so the buyer doesn’t feel surprised or taken advantage of.
There’s also Facebook Marketplace, which operates very similarly to Craigslist, with one key difference: It’s linked to your Facebook account, so there’s less anonymity.
Sell Your Mac on eBay
eBay is definitely the safer way to sell a used MacBook than Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. It also exposes you to a wide range of potential buyers, meaning you might fetch a higher price — though you also have a lot more competing sellers as well.
Do bear in mind that creating a listing on eBay cost a few dollars
and the company takes a hefty 10% of the final selling price. And if you accept payment through PayPal, you’ll be charged an additional fee of 2.9% (3.9% if sold internationally) of the final value.
With eBay, you can decide to auction off your MacBook or set a Buy It Now price. The latter can help you make the sale more quickly, and it also gives you greater control over what you’ll make.
Tip: Check the Buy It Now prices that others have set for your same model, then undercut them by a few bucks.
Be sure you Mac is in good condition before selling it on eBay as the company tend to favor the buyer in the event that, say, your MacBook won’t boot or arrives with a cracked screen.
Trade it in
Apple has a trade-in program for many of its products, including MacBooks. Plug in the details of your machine and you can get money for it in the form of an Apple Store Gift Card or a credit toward your next purchase.
Trading in your MacBook to a store or to Apple itself could let you recoup some money from an older laptop.
You can mail in your MacBook or bring it to an Apple Store to trade in or recycle it, but it’s unclear how in-person trade-ins will work as Apple begins to reopen its retail stores. You can stay home and use Apple’s online service to get a quote and complete the trade-in, however, or call your local Apple Store for more details.
Apple’s not the only trade-in option. Best Buy accepts used MacBooks in its trade-in program, although you’ll need to mail in your machine because Best Buy has temporarily suspended in-store trade-ins due to the coronavirus outbreak.
If you prefer cash as opposed to credit, check out sites like BuyBackWorld, Gazelle and ItsWorthMore — they will pay for your MacBook via check, PayPal or Zelle. But the process can be a little time-consuming, because you have to ship your system and wait for it to be evaluated. And if the company finds any problems with it, you may get less money than you were originally quoted.
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