Sell Macbook Pro on eBay?
September 27, 2019 9:09 AM   Subscribe

Is it possible to safely sell a laptop on eBay?

I would like to sell my current Macbook Pro, because I chose an unfortunate configuration, but would also just like the refreshed version. I've seen a lot of warnings about fraud (and gotten a taste of it by first putting it up on FB Marketplace + Craiglist -- yikes!)

Is it possible to avoid fraud schemes to get anything like the true value, on eBay?

It is less than 1 year old, so I still have more than a month on AppleCare -- does that help at all? I imagine now they can't just say it doesn't work?
posted by tintexas to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
Just trade it in to Apple? They will give you something for it. Might not be as much as you can get on the open market, but there's no fraud worries.
posted by deezil at 9:11 AM on September 27, 2019 [3 favorites]

I've successfully sold a few macbooks on craigslist (in addition to iPhones and many other electronics/furniture/clothing/etc). I think you just need to filter any replies better and only respond to someone who is an obvious person, and writes proficiently and clearly about next steps.

I've always hesitated from selling these devices on eBay due to the annoyance of shipping and their value, plus I love having the buyer inspect it in person and being done with the transaction (I only accept cash). I've sold quite a few things on eBay as well with no huge issues, and you may get more for your item, but I put great value on the lack of stress with the in-person transaction.

If you don't want to deal with this, I like deezil's suggestion above about going to Apple directly and seeing how they can compensate you.

Good luck!
posted by chaiwawa at 10:10 AM on September 27, 2019

If you are looking for alternatives to eBay, another option is Gazelle. There process is very simple and reliable. You won't get as much as you'd get from selling directly to a consumer, but it's safe, simple, and easy.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 11:05 AM on September 27, 2019

In the US, I have had great success and satisfaction both buying and selling Apple computers via Mac of All Trades. For trade-ins or sale of computers, I've found they offer the most competitive rate. You could probably get slightly more via e-Bay or Craigslist, if you want to accept the risks associated with those.
posted by BrandonW at 11:23 AM on September 27, 2019

I've sold three MacBook Pros on Amazon happily and with glowing reviews. Not sure how the profit would compare to Apple's offering and the AppleCare is a plus but only if it goes soon. Be sure to delete your data and third-party authorizations such as iCloud, Gmail, Audible...
posted by rcMAC at 12:03 PM on September 27, 2019

Swappa is generally easier and safer than selling on eBay.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 1:12 PM on September 27, 2019 [3 favorites]

contrary to what a lot of folks seem to think will happen, I have listed my phone number on Craigslist and sold (as well as purchased) many a local item successfully, efficiently, and without having my identity stolen.. if you feel terrified of the prospect, you can get a Google voice number and set it to forward to your cell , or at least receive voicemail that way. It is very easy to learn a lot about a buyer or seller by actually having a voice- conversation with them, and it saves a tremendous amount of time.

As a buyer, I will not purchase an item without a phone call first anyway, because my time is valuable, and I feel better having a sense of who I will be buying from - and it is infinitely easier to get this sense from a call than a text or email.

If you look at it from the side of a hypothetical fraudulent buyer, which is the easier way to trick a seller - via text/email , or an anonymous e-commerce platform, or in person/ on the phone? My experience suggests the former options..
posted by elgee at 1:25 PM on September 27, 2019

Sounds like mostly "no" but I appreciate the diversity of alternative recommendations.

I'm ok with Craigslist, but there doesn't seem to be as large a market as eBay, and I haven't even gotten lowball offers for my posting there (which admittedly may be high priced), so I figured I needed to look national.

Apple trade-in gives ~$800 which is much less than I was expecting so I think that's a last resort. Mac of all trades gives $1100, which I also think is way too low. Hmm.

Swappa seems to use Paypal, which I assume to be the weakest link in payments, since all the scammers seem to want me to use it. But it must be legit? Recent selling prices appear as ~$1300, so if I take that to be the actual value, that's good to know. I think this is probably the answer.
posted by tintexas at 2:26 PM on September 27, 2019

There was a cautionary tale on the blue about this a few years ago ...
posted by essexjan at 3:15 PM on September 27, 2019

I'm a long time eBay seller (since 1999!) and have sold many Macs over the years. The level of scammery I encountered trying to sell two MacBooks in the past few months is greater than I ever encountered before. People cancelled bids but then tried to get me to send it anyway, people promised to send money through Venmo if I would FedEx Next Day Air to Guam, and on and on.

After fees eBay ends up taking about 10%, so keep that in mind.

I was very successful selling one of the two MacBooks I was recently selling using Craigslist. It just took about a month of reposting it, and I was selling it for about 10% less than I sold the other identical one on eBay. With CL a dude showed up at my house, gave me cash, and took the laptop.

So your choices are either safer patience (assuming you don't fall for a CL scam), or riskier speed.
posted by MonsieurBon at 5:10 PM on September 27, 2019

Not sure you are going to get more than $1100 for the Mac, to be honest - people checking eBay or Craigslist are looking for a better deal than they might get from a reseller. If I needed a Mac and had an $1100+ budget I’d be heading to the Apple Store for a new computer.

Yes, I do understand that the configuration of a Pro can bump the price (I took the hit to put a 2 tb drive in mine in 2017, and I can recognize that only getting 1/5th of the cost back when reselling sucks) but... buying used also means that you as the buyer are taking a risk, because you have no idea how careful the prior owner was or what undisclosed issue might exist. Which means that unless buying from a big reseller, no one wants to throw down a lot of cash.

I have previously sold a 15” 2007 MBP on Craigslist. I have also sold a 2010-era 17”one on Gazelle. Neither sale was really that difficult but the Craigslist one did require me to meet the person, hang out while they played with it, worry that they won’t have cash because a check might bounce, etc. - Gazelle was less hassle and less worry, even if I might not have gotten as much as I might have in person.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:33 PM on September 28, 2019

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