You Can Save Big On A Mac By Going Used: Here’s What To Know

You Can Save Big On A Mac By Going Used: Here’s What To Know

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As Apple continues to expand and upgrade its entire Mac lineup, early adopters are trading in their older, but still usable Intel-powered Macs — and even some more recent Apple M1-powered models. The changeover can be beneficial for Mac users who are looking for a great deal and aren’t worried about having the absolute newest and most powerful MacBooks out there.

If you’re looking to save yourself some cash on a new-to-you Mac, you have plenty of options to buy a used or refurbished Apple computer — including our current best Apple laptop pick in the M1 MacBook Air. And regardless of whether you’re looking to upgrade from a sluggish Mac or PC, or your MacBook has finally failed after the fourth cup of coffee was spilled across the keyboard, buying a new Mac doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor.

Before we dive into your shopping options, it’s important to note the difference between a used Mac and a refurbished Mac.

Used versus refurbished Macs When shopping for any gadget in a secondhand store, you’ll commonly see these two terms mentioned — often without much explanation of what each term means.

A used Mac, be it a Mac Mini or MacBook Pro, has had an owner who is most often selling it themselves. The device may or may not have a remaining warranty or AppleCare package attached to it. There’s no guarantee outside of the seller’s word that the device works properly; you have to trust what’s said in the listing. It’s not uncommon for used devices to have scratches or blemishes, pictures of which should always be included in an item’s listing. If a picture isn’t clear, ask for better photos before completing the checkout process. If the seller doesn’t want to take more photos, keep shopping. Used devices are typically sold on an as-is basis.

A refurbished Mac goes one step further. Most often a used Mac is traded in or returned to a company like Apple or Amazon. The company then goes through the Mac looking for any issues or blemishes, replacing the display or housing to make the item look brand-new. And if there are any issues with internal components, the computer is repaired to a like-new state. Most companies offer some form of warranty to guarantee their work.

Know what you’re getting Apple’s Mac lineup has changed quite a bit over the past few years. Some Macs still use Intel processors, while the majority of newer models use Apple’s M1, M1 Pro and M1 Max processors which offer better performance.

It’s important to make note of what kind of processor is inside the Mac you’re looking to buy. Intel Macs can span years of use or be fairly new. We recommend looking for the model number or asking for a screenshot of the “About This Mac” screen to show you the model number and the year the Mac was released.

For example, someone selling a used Intel iMac could have the latest model available or an iMac that’s over 10 years old. The easiest way to identify which year it was released, and by extension how long it’s going to last for you, is to ask for the model number (which you can then Google to find its release date).

Other notable items to look for in addition to the processor are the amount of storage and memory the Mac has. When buying a MacBook of any type or an iMac, you’ll also want to make note of the display size. It’s also worth noting that older, previously used devices may not have the same battery life as they did out of the box.

As we mentioned in the previous section, the best thing you can do when shopping — especially for a used Mac — is ask a lot of questions and photos.

With the gist of what you need to look for covered, let’s dive into where you can go shopping.

Apple’s refurbished store Apple has an online refurbished store that fills up with like-new gear throughout the year, sells out, and then eventually more devices trickle in. The point is, you never really know what’s going to be available at a specific time, so if you’re not in a hurry to make a new purchase, periodically check the store. Right now Apple has a long list of Macs in the store, including an M1-powered MacBook Air for $849 ($150 off) and the latest 13-inch M1 MacBook pro for $1,099 ($200 off). Just don’t expect to see newer M1 Macs such as the 14-inch MacBook Pro and Mac Studio here just yet.

The best part of Apple’s Certified Refurbished store is that each Mac is fully tested, repaired and cleaned. You also get Apple’s full one-year warranty with any purchase from its refurbished store, adding peace of mind to your purchase.

Decluttr Another option is Decluttr. You can buy or sell various tech items on the site, including Macs. All of the Macs listed on Decluttr are refurbished and come with a 12-month limited warranty to help with peace of mind and protect

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