How to best auction off a not-so-old Mac

So I’m wondering what the best way is to get good money for a fairly recent Mac (~ 1-2 years old). I realize this depends a lot on where you live so my personal interest lies in or around the Bay Area.

Many years ago while working in Europe I tended to buy a new Mac almost every release and I used to sell off my previous Mac on eBay. I ended up always having the latest and fanciest, and on average effectively paying only about $200/month for my main work Mac. Resale value through online auction was that good. Never got cheated, never had any unpleasant experiences. But of course that was in a small country where almost any buyer would pick it up in person. And it was 20 years ago.

These days, are there good auction opportunities without too many hustlers? Or is trade-in the way to go? Can anybody make a good recommendation?

Like you, I sold my old computers on eBay in the past, but I did it here in the US. Even though I had to ship the computers, I don’t recall ever having an issue. I haven’t sold on eBay in a while, but I don’t think it’s the hellhole many people would have you believe it is. I wouldn’t avoid eBay because you’re only worried about hustlers.

What I would do is check out the completed listings to get an idea of how much you might get for your computer and compare it to what you can get for trading it in. If the difference is large enough, it might be worth the effort to list it on eBay and ship it to the buyer. The last time I looked into listing a computer on eBay, I saw the going price on eBay was only about $100 more than what Apple would pay. To me, that difference wasn’t worth the time and effort to sell the computer on eBay.

Craigslist is an option if you want to sell locally, but you tend to run into non-serious buyers who lowball you trying to score a great deal. On the other hand, if you can sell it there for an acceptable price, it’s fast and easy.

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Sell Your Mac usually has a higher buyback price than Apple. I’ve sold a few items back to them with no issues. When I wish to help a friend upgrade their system, I usually use the Sell Your Mac price as a fair quote to them.

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Thank you, Gentlemen. That’s most helpful.

I’m a bit surprised that a ~$2500 13" MBP from late 2018 will supposedly only get you ~$1200 today, but after considering it for a while that doesn’t sound that terrible. Looks like something worth trying out.

Having bought and sold computers on eBay for at least ten years, here’s some advice. (1) eBay prices depend on supply and demand. (2) Demand is higher for higher-end recent MBPs because they’re uncommon. (3) So if yours is high-end and uncommon, you should be able to sell on eBay and get back a higher % of your purchase price than if it’s common. (4) And if yours was inexpensive and is common, you’ll be disappointed in the price you can get. (5) Finally check outlets like Amazon to see if they’re also offering your model MBP, note price and condition and compare with yours to get an idea of the most you could expect on eBay.


Thank you, Jeff. Very good to know.

I usually buy higher end specs so I can hold onto a Mac if it works well and Apple has nothing I want to upgrade to. My current main work Mac is a 13" MBP from 2013. At the time, I got it with the highest option for every configurable spec I could choose. 7 years later and I’m glad I did. :wink:

As much as I like this Mac, I don’t expect to get any money off of it. I wouldn’t want to sell it either. We’ve been through too much together. :wink: The next one maybe.

As, by default, I am the one who sources and buys IT for our family, I also end up as the one preparing the machines and reselling them. I still use eBay UK quite happily and have had no problems at all.
The strategy is simple: provide plenty of photos, point up any faults, bumps or blemishes and keep the original boxes for packaging. I start all auctions at £1 and no reserve which attracts watchers and by the end of seven days, there is plenty of interest and competition. As there are millions of Macs out there, they are pretty much a commodity and there’s no reason you shouldn’t get a sensible price for your particular machine.

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