Photo by Alisina Elyasi on Unsplash

Although MacBooks are among the most reliable computers in the laptop marketplace, they will eventually meet their end. However, with technology, the end of an era is merely the beginning of something greater. Apple will continue to push the boundaries of their products with each release to inspire consumers to keep using their products.

To help you decide how to finance the purchase of your next laptop, here is how you can sell your MacBook for the value that it is worth. We will answer where you should sell your MacBook, how to determine its value, and help align your needs with the appropriate trade-in route.


Selling Your MacBook; The Preparations:


When it comes to trading or selling your old MacBook, there are some preparations and guidelines you want to follow before shipping it off to Apple or a third-party broker. These guidelines are less tedious and more respectful of whomever you plan to do business with. Don’t let that scare you off though, preparing to resale a MacBook is quick and easy – just follow these simple steps!

NOTE: If you’ve already cleaned and reset your device, skip to the end of the article under the “Selling Your MacBook; Making the Sale:” section.


1. Start with What’s Physically Visible.


Before we get into clicking around the system’s preferences, let’s make sure that your physical machine is cleaned and ready to be shipped off. Whether or not you trade your MacBook back to Apple or a broker, a dirty machine will decrease your device’s value approximation. Ensure that any stains and dust particle are wiped off the device, remember this is your chance to make sure that the machine looks flawless.

First impressions mean a lot in the world of used electronics, so make sure that your old MacBook can look as close to brand new as possible.


2. Last Chance Data Warning!


Before we talk about resetting your MacBook, you’ll want to make sure that any data you find important is backed up and safe on a separate device or hard drive. You can easily do this by purchasing a USB flash drive or SD card from a local computer store/pharmacy if they’re available.

Simply browse the Finder on your MacBook and hunt down any documents, pictures, applications, or other digital assets you don’t want to lose. After you’re finished checking, look again as it’s worth it to double (even triple!) check your data for stuff you can’t afford to part ways with. Trust me, when Grandma Sally asks to see your wedding pictures, you’ll be thankful that I reminded you to save them.


3. Avoid Data Breaches – Disconnect Your Apple Account:


For most Apple devices, Apple relies on continuity via your iTunes or Apple ID. To sign you out of your Apple ID from your old MacBook, simply open iTunes and perform the following steps.

  • On the menu bar at the top of your screen, locate the “Account” dropdown.
  • Click on “Authorizations” then “Deauthorize this Computer”
  • You will be prompted to input your Apple ID and password, then click “Deauthorize”.

Although you are inevitably factory resetting this machine, this step is equivocal to taking inventory and ensuring the safety of your data!


4. Resetting Your MacBook – Performing a Factory Restore:


In step 1 we made the physical hardware of your old MacBook look ready for the factory, but now it’s time to restore the operating system and software to factory conditions.

To factory restore your MacBook, follow these steps:

  • Restart your MacBook
  • While restarting, hold down Command + R until the “macOS Utilities” window pops up.
  • Once that window appears, click on Disk Utility
  • Select the main hard drive, which is usually Macintosh HD
  • Click on the erase button.
  • Ensure that “Format” is set to “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)”, then hit erase.
  • Once finished, go back to the macOS Utilities window and click Reinstall macOS, once complete, the MacBook is reset and ready for sale/trade-in.

NOTE: Some older versions of macOS will not reset this way. To find out if your version is older and requires different steps to reset, click on the Apple logo in the top left of your display and click “About This Mac”. There, you will find what version your MacBook is currently running. Google how to reset that particular version and follow your desired tutorial.

Now that your machine is ready, here’s how to decide where to sell your used device.


Selling Your MacBook; Making the Sale:


After everything is reset and prepared to be traded, many people might opt for the Apple route. Trading your used MacBook to apple is an option if you intend on applying the device’s current value as credit towards your next device upgrade.

You can access more information about Apple’s trade-in program via their website, here. Keep in mind, if you decide to trade your device back to Apple you will surrender that device’s value to be utilized only within Apple. Apple can offer its value as a credit towards the purchase of another Apple product or as money applied to an Apple gift card.

NOTE: Some devices will not bear any value via Apple’s trade-in program at all. For example, Apple will not associate any trade-in value to an old iPod and will simply offer to recycle the old device for free. Though this is environmentally conscious, if you believe the device has value to someone, do not opt to recycle it for free.

How to Get Your Device’s Value & Use it Anywhere:

If you want to sell your used MacBook to a broker and get what it’s worth in cash then you should sell to someone like Sellbroke. Sellbroke will estimate your device’s trade-in value and instruct you on how to ship it to them. Sellbroke makes this process very easy by providing you with your shipping label. Once Sellbroke receives your device, they will make sure the conditions match what you described and send your money to you via Google Pay, PayPal, or a BoA company check.

At the end of the day, you can sell your MacBook to Apple, but if you want to able to use your device’s value outside of Apple’s ecosystem then it’s better to go with someone like Sellbroke.