• Computers have become more important amid the COVID-19 pandemic due to remote work and classes
  • Consumers looking to save money can buy used MacBooks
  • Interested buyers need to check the specs, physical condition and whether or not the model is supported by Apple

Buying a new MacBook for work or online classes can be very costly, especially amid the coronavirus pandemic. Homes with several children will find this an even bigger concern.

That said, there's a way to save money while buying Apple machines: purchasing secondhand units.

Where to buy

There are many MacBook owners who are selling their used machines for less than the original price. Their devices can be found listed on various platforms such as Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace or eBay. Buyers can also find some via OWC, Amazon and Apple's own Refurbished store.

Those who opt to buy from individual sellers might be able to find great deals. It's risky business, however, and buyers will need to carefully check the following:

  • Specs

Before deciding to meet the seller in person (or via eBay), buyers will need to know the device's specs, year of manufacture and other important details. This is so that buyers can determine whether or not the device will meet their needs and that it's still supported by Apple.

To do this, ZDNet recommends asking sellers to send a photo of the About This Mac screen, located under the Apple menu.

Buyers should take note of the year of manufacture. MacBook Pros made from 2016 to 2018, for example, feature the infamous butterfly keyboard, which is something to be avoided.

Buyers can also use the serial number included in the About This Mac screen to check if it is covered via Apple's Check Coverage page.

  • Physical condition

Those who decide to meet with the seller should inspect the MacBook for signs of abuse and damage. Dented corners can indicated dropped machines, further indicating possible internal damage.

The display should also be in good condition and not de-laminating, scratched or cracked. Ports should also be in good condition.

  • Check if it's working

After that, prospective buyers will need to check if the device is in good working condition. Running Apple Diagnostics and other things such as this screen test and following this guide will help to see if it's worth the cost.

If it is not performing as well it should be, buyers can simply look for another Mac or ask the seller for even more discounts.

MacBook Air
MacBook Air Pixabay