Good Zone Service & Repairs

Second-Hand MacBook Buying Guide

Acquiring a new gadget, particularly one like the MacBook, which is not exactly known for being budget-friendly, can be a somewhat daunting task. So, is it worthwhile to explore the option of purchasing a used MacBook? This can be a practical choice for people with budget constraints. The build quality of used MacBooks remains comparable to that of new models. Moreover, selecting the right model can grant you access to upgrades available to new gadget owners.

However, purchasing any secondary device comes with inherent risks. There’s the possibility that the gadget may be faulty, and the seller might be seeking a quick deal. Consequently, it’s crucial to know how to navigate the process of buying a used MacBook correctly and safeguard yourself from potential scams.

Advice for buyers

When you’re about to acquire a used MacBook, start looking for it by deciding on the model you want or need. Conduct online research and make a list of used MacBooks that align with your budget and satisfy the work or gaming requirements. Take into account the need for storage space as well. Read some online reviews of the chosen model or seek advice from experts to make an informed decision.

Be sure to keep track of software updates. To get new features, the gadget should ideally be no older than 7 years. Then it will not only serve you for a long time, but also will be a cost-effective purchase.

Compare prices online

Analyze as many offers as you can, so you’ll have a more objective idea of fair value. Keep in mind that the cost of a used device can vary based on the seller’s location and availability of a particular model. That being said, no one will stop you from negotiating with the seller to lower the price. However, be vigilant in cases where the initial cost is very high or on the contrary too low.

Now there are a lot of unscrupulous sellers and con artists, so do not rush to buy a MacBook at a very low price and scrupulously read the description, terms of sale, etc. And to leave yourself more room for choice, look for several models, not just one.

What to check in a used MacBook

Buying a second-hand MacBook can be a lucrative option, but there is a risk of getting a faulty device. To avoid being scammed, ask the seller for the original documents and packaging of the gadget or request some other evidence of the device acquisition:

  • Check the serial number in Apple menu > About This Mac and compare it with the number on the gadget’s case, box, or receipt, if you still have it.
  • In case there are no supporting documents, simply compare the serial numbers of the MacBook itself and the packaging.
  • And if the MacBook box is missing too, use Apple’s coverage check page.

Don’t forget that having documents that confirm the purchase is important. It is the best way to ensure that you are getting a device that wasn’t stolen or lost by the original owner.

Good Zone Service & Repairs

When it comes to the physical condition of the MacBook, it’s crucial to inspect it thoroughly before making a purchase. As an owner of a MacBook, you will have to repair it one day, but even though there are dedicated experts like the Good Zone Service & Repairs team, you would definitely like to have to do it after a while, not immediately. So, here’s what you should check:

  • The condition of the case and screen

Carefully inspect both the case and the screen for any damage. Inspect all the feet and screws that hold the parts in place. Check the screen for scratches and scuffs. It is great when the display hinges are not loose and the rubber seal has no obvious signs of wear.

  • Keyboard and touchpad functionality

Make sure that the keys function smoothly and that the touchpad is responsive. Check that the brightness keys are working properly by activating the maximum and minimum screen brightness.

  • Charging and battery

Check if the charger turns on and find out the battery capacity. Checking the MacBook battery status can be done through the System Settings. One parameter that is very important to check is the number of charging cycles of the battery. A used gadget may have more than 500 of them and this is not so good, although the number is much lower than the 1000 cycles that Apple predicts such a battery would last. In general, the lower the number of charging cycles, the better.

  • Condition of ports and connectors

Look at the condition of the ports and connectors to ensure that they, including USB and Thunderbolt, are working smoothly.

  • OS and performance

Run the device to verify that the operating system is functioning smoothly and meets the advertised specifications.

Before finalizing the deal, verify that the MacBook has been cleared of all content and logged out of iCloud:

  1. For MacBooks with an Apple processor or T2 security chip, use the Erase Assistant program to clean it up
  2. For Intel-based Macs, the seller will have to manually log out of iCloud, iMessage, and other Apple services.

In addition, when following these tips, don’t be afraid to ask the seller about previous repairs, upgrades, and general usage history of the device. And in general, invest time and attention in checking all the necessary parameters to minimize the risks of buying a used MacBook. This will give you the chance of purchasing a quality device at a more affordable price.


The decision to buy a second-hand MacBook depends on various factors, and it can be a viable option under the right circumstances. Such a device can be a worthwhile purchase if you carefully assess the factors mentioned above, make an informed decision, and deal with a reputable seller. You’ll enjoy access to Apple’s ecosystem at a more budget-friendly entry price while still benefiting from the quality and performance associated with all MacBook devices.