More for Your Money: The Best Trade-Ins for Your Old MacBook Pro

Now that the God of all notebooks has made its way to Earth, you’re probably wondering: How soon can I cash in my old MacBook for the new MacBook Pro?

With the new MacBook sporting a stunning 2880 x 1800 pixel Retina display and available for purchase now, it’s tough to restrain yourself from speeding to the closest Apple store as soon as possible. But at $2,199 for the base model, you’re going to need some extra pocket change to foot the bill. Trading in your old model certainly won’t make up the majority of the cost, but, hey, it’s a start, if you know where to trade in.

There are dozens of sites all over the Internet that boast great prices for your old notebook, but most of them don’t live up to their gimmick. The five most well known — Amazon, the Apple Recycling Program (which offers an Apple Gift Card for your old device), Best Buy, Gazelle and NextWorth — all offer some kind of reward for your used goods, but which service gives you the best bang for your buck?

It depends on which MacBook Pro model you’re looking to trade in, but one service reigns supreme in most categories. We did some digging to see how much you could get for your 2010 and 2011 13- and 15-inch base models. We checked out the prices on a model in perfect or excellent condition, depending on each website’s specifications, and a model in good or fair condition.

The 2010 13-inch model had a 2.3-GHz CPU and a 320GB hard drive under the hood, while the 15-inch version packed 2.0 GHz and 256GB. The 2011 versions packed 2.4 GHz and 500GB and 2.2 GHz and 500GB for the 13 and 15-inch models, respectively.

When it comes to the 2010 13-inch model, NextWorth gives you the most cash in both categories, whether your MacBook Pro is in perfect or fair condition. The service offers $600 for a MacBook with light wear and $520 for the notebook with normal wear. To put it in perspective, Amazon only offers up to $540 for the model (and we’re assuming that’s for a notebook in perfect condition), and Gazelle offers an even lower $477 in perfect condition. If your notebook has the normal wear and tear, the most you’ll get for it outside of NextWorth is $441 from Gazelle.

But for every other model, the 13-inch 2011 model as well as both 15-inch models, Gazelle takes the prize. For your 13-inch 2011 Pro, you can get $623 from Gazelle if it’s in perfect condition and $577 if it has slight wear and tear. Although Amazon says you can get up to $625 for the model, we’re not sure how perfect the notebook’s condition would have to be. The next best deal is $600 through NextWorth.

If you’re trying to sell your 2010 15-inch, you’re in luck: Gazelle offers the most for this model than any of the others. With $952 for a Pro in perfect condition and $883 for one with slight wear and tear, that’s significantly more than the next highest value of NextWorth’s $700 with light wear.

And although Amazon says you can get up to $990 for the 2011 15-inch, we’re skeptical. Gazelle offers $842 and $781 for one in perfect condition and with slight wear and tear, respectively, with NextWorth coming in second, offering $700 for light wear.

Molly Klinefelter
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