Buying a brand-new MacBook can be quite expensive since even cheaper models cost quite a lot. However, if you are set on getting a Mac for yourself, there is no need to purchase a model from an official store.
No, there are plenty of people who put ads about selling second-hand MacBooks for much cheaper. And if the laptop is still working fine, it should still do the job despite being second-hand.
Nevertheless, since you are going to spend money, make sure to take some precautions beforehand. Otherwise, the seller might end up scamming you.
9 Things To Consider When Buying A Second-Hand MacBook
- Scratches on the Surface
- Working Ports
- Drive State
- Potential Malware Infection
- Screen Quality
- Functioning Keyboard
- Dust Inside
- Battery Lifespan
- Webcam Quality
1. Scratches on the Surface
Let’s start with the obvious. Scratches on a surface are not necessarily the worst thing since you can use a case or stickers to hide the scratches. But if there is too much visible damage on the MacBook’s exterior, you might be reluctant to get it.
At the same time, if the seller fails to mention scratches in their ad, it should be the first red flag that they are hiding something, and you should be wary of purchasing the MacBook.
2. Working Ports
Spend some time to check whether all the ports are working properly. You can mount a USB flash drive or an external HDD to see whether the MacBook responds.
Some people go as far as using Time Machine and an external storage device to back up the laptop’s data to check whether the port is functioning. In case you wish to do that yourself but lack the experience in backing up MacBook data, check https://setapp.com/.
3. Drive State
Similar to ports, you also want to check what the state of the MacBook’s hard drive or solid-state drive is. If it is an older MacBook and there were no hardware upgrades, keep in mind that the drive might not last as long. Any signs that something might be wrong with it should be worrying.
Losing important files and having to work on restoring them is a pain if you fail to back up data to an external device or an iCloud. Thus, be sure to check whether the MacBook’s drive is working okay.
4. Potential Malware Infection
Scan the device for malware and other threats using reliable antivirus software. Some threats consume drive space and leave users with not enough storage on the computer. Other threats slow down the overall performance or even expose personal information.
5. Screen Quality
Check whether everything is okay with the MacBook’s screen. Run videos or video games to test whether there is no flickering. The flickering problem is not that common as it usually results from incompatibility issues between the GPU and macOS version, but you should still be wary of it.
6. Functioning Keyboard
Click every keyboard key to see if it is responding. Even if the MacBook model is relatively old, there should still be no problems with the keyboard, given how durable they are.
A prior owner might have a habit of eating or drinking next to their laptop, which results in crumbs between the keys or spilled liquids. If that is the case, you can use it as a bargaining chip or kindly ask the seller to clean the keyboard before you purchase the MacBook from them.
7. Dust Inside
Too much dust inside leads to overheating and damages to the internal hardware. The seller might offer you a cooling pad together with the MacBook and mention that the accessory is necessary to counter the overheating problem.
If so, see if there is too much dust inside the laptop, and the seller did not bother removing it before you meet.
Cleaning the dust is pretty annoying, not to mention the risks, as you need to take the MacBook apart to clean it thoroughly. If you have to do the work yourself or hire someone to do it for you, talk with the seller about this problem, and you might strike a better deal.
8. Battery Lifespan
A MacBook’s battery lifespan should be pretty decent overall, even on older models. Before you commit to purchasing a second-hand Mac, spend some time on and to see how the battery holds up. You should also plug the charger in to see how long it takes for the battery to reach 100 percent.
9. Webcam Quality
Even if you are not planning on using the MacBook’s webcam, you should still check whether it is working properly. Similarly, test the speakers and the microphone. Fixing this hardware could be more expensive than what you will pay for the MacBook, which would mean wasting a lot of money on your part.
As you can see, there are quite a few things to consider when purchasing a second-hand Macbook or Mac. Since you are planning to invest money in a device you will rely on a lot, take all the necessary precautions, so you do not end up wasting your hard-earned money.