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Buying a used MacBook

Buying a used MacBook can save you some money, but there are some important things to look out for. There are always a few questions and risk associated with it, such as; Where are you going to buy it? Is the seller honnest ? Is it a scam or not? and so on. 

Beware of the Mac's impending obsolescence

First before buying a used Macbook, you have to at least know which model year you're buying. It's not a good idea to invest in a used Mac that is more than three years old, because Apple tends to support its computers for about six years. Also, keep in mind that a used Intel-based Mac may start to encounter obsolescence sooner than you expect. 

Get the details on the used Mac

If you're buying a used Mac from an online marketplace or a private seller, you might need the seller's help to get a detailed look at the computer before you make the purchase.

The easiest way to find out all the important specs at once (including the year the model was produced), is to ask for a screenshot of the "About This Mac" screen. It will tell you details like the model, serial number, RAM, version of the OS, and more. 

Make sure there isn't a firmware password

The previous owner might have set up a firmware password, which can prevent you from booting your Mac from a USB port, which might be important if something goes wrong with the OS.

Make sure that iCloud/Apple ID is logged out

This one is important as well. Because a Mac with a bounded Apple ID is unusable for anyone other than the owner of that iCloud account. It's possible to remove it but it's an additional cost. So don't be afraid to ask the seller about that.

Test the Mac to make sure it works properly

If you can spend some time with the Mac before you buy, there are some simple tests you can run to make sure the computer is in good working order. Minor cosmetic blemishes are no big deal, but if the battery doesn't hold a charge, it is not worth it! A waste of money in my opinion.

Here are few of the important operational aspects of a used Mac you should check out before purchasing it:

  1. Does the Mac start up without an issue?
  2. Do all the ports work properly?
  3. Is the screen in good condition?
  4. Does the battery hold a charge?