How to trade in your MacBook, macOS desktop, or iPad

If you’re looking to trade in your MacBook, iMac, Mac desktop,
or an iPad, for one of the
new iPad Pro or Mac devices Apple announced today
, you
stand to get a pretty good return. Apple’s tech has a
reputation on the secondhand market for retaining value long
after release. This speaks to build quality, but mostly to
Apple’s long-lasting software support for its older products.
This trend is positive for both buyers, who will end up with a
product that will likely continue to work for years, and
sellers, who will make much of their original purchase back.

There are plenty of ways of trading in your old Apple products
for cash, and no matter which avenue you choose, you’ll first
want to make sure that your hardware is in good shape. You can
easily net an extra $50 to $100 from a sale if you’ve taken
care of your tech, as buyers will pay more for products that
look closer to new condition.

Clean your gear

How you clean your Apple product will vary a bit depending on
what it is your selling. You’ll want to apply some screen
cleaner to your MacBook, iMac, or iPad before listing it for
sale. While doing so, take note of any scratches or other
defects in the display and be sure to accurately report them
during the selling process, or else you’ll probably be met with
an unhappy buyer and no sale.

Remove any stickers from your tech, and if you have a can of
compressed air, clean out any and all ports and various
grilles. There’s no reminder more immediate that your device is
pre-owned than forgetting to clean out port gunk.

If you’re selling a macOS desktop, like a Mac Pro or Mac mini,
open them up and gently remove any dust that has accumulated
within, and if you wanted to add some RAM to sweeten the deal
for buyers, this is your chance. This is an easy task if you
have the Mac Pro from 2013, or a Mac mini made before late
2012. Unfortunately for my colleague Nick Statt, making
improvements to his late 2014 Mac mini
proved to be a lot more complicated

Perform a factory reset

Ensuring that your tablet or computer is properly wiped is
mutually beneficial for both buyer and seller. What good is
hardware that you can’t access due to an unknown passcode?
Depending on what product you’re dealing with, the process for
initiating a factory reset will be different, but it’s easy.

How to erase your MacBook, or macOS desktop

On your MacBook or macOS desktop, first make sure you’ve backed
up all of your personal files to an external hard drive via
Time Machine, or to your
cloud storage service
of choice. Once you’ve ensured that
everything is duplicated and safe in a location different from
your hard drive, you can wipe the computer. Click the Apple
logo up top and hit restart. Once you hear the startup chime,
hold down Command and ‘R’ until the Apple logo appears. This
will load you into the recovery partition of your hard drive,
letting you obliterate your personal information once and for

Of the few applications at your disposal, open Disk Utility,
then click into the first option listed under your hard drive’s
name. If you haven’t change its name, it will probably be
called “Macintosh HD”. If you did change it’s name, then you
probably already know how to do all of this. With this
selected, navigate to ‘erase’ and confirm the selection. If you
select to securely wipe your computer, allow a few hours for
the operation to write over your drive a few times.

With this step finished, you’re ready to reinstall the
operating system. Click the red ‘x’ and you’ll be popped back
to the recovery menu. Make sure your machine is connected to
the internet, then hit ‘reinstall macOS’ to return it to
factory settings.

Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The

How to erase an iPad

Before you get to wiping your tablet, switch on iCloud to sync
all of the information that you want to keep. Open up the
settings app and navigate to ‘general.’ Once you’re here,
scroll down to ‘reset,’ then hit ‘erase all content and
settings.’ If asked, enter your passcode or Apple ID password,
then the operation will execute. It’s far easier and faster to
bring your iPad back to factory settings than it is for one of
Apple’s computers.

Post your Apple hardware for sale

So by now, you’ve wiped your device inside and out. Now it’s
time to sell it and get some money that you can use toward
buying a
new MacBook Air
Mac mini
new iPad Pro
, or something else. We’ve covered the myriad
ways to arrange
a sale for your iPhone
, and much of the process is the same
for selling your Apple tablet or computer.

You’ll find passionate people from all over who will likely
take interest in your gear, if it’s priced well and in good
condition. As for where you can sell your tech, and Craigslist remain the
best options, but for different reasons. If you are selling a
tablet or laptop, you’ll want to go with Swappa (it currently
doesn’t list desktops.) Unlike Craigslist, Swappa charges a fee
to post to its market of buyers. This might be a deal-breaker
for those trying to squeeze every last dollar out of their
sale. But it’s worth mentioning that Swappa protects both
buyers and sellers with PayPal during the transaction process.

Comparatively, Craigslist doesn’t discriminate what you want to
sell, or charge you for listing your items. In fact, for better
and worse, it doesn’t hold your hand at all. It will be up to
you to arrange the meeting point, negotiate a price, and
finally, decide on how money will be exchanged. It can be
stressful, but it can also be super easy and fast. I’ve had
plenty of good experiences selling on Craigslist, though you’ll
always want to make sure that you meet in public places and
don’t fall for an offer that seems too good to be true.

You can always fall back on Apple’s GiveBack trade service,
which will give you Apple Store credit in exchange for your
computer or iPad. At Apple’s site,
you can find out how much you can get for your machine before
sending it in. You’ll just need your serial number and access
to its specifications to find the value. Apple won’t pay you as
much for your tech as it might go for on the public market, but
it’s a good option if you just want to flip your tech without a

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