There are many reasons why Macs are considered superior to PCs and there has been a massive surge in interest in Apple machines in recent years – at least partly as a result of the increased profile of Apple following the success of the iPod, iPhone and iPad. As well as the droves of customers purchasing new iMacs and MacBook Pros, there is a huge and ever-growing market for second-hand Macs.

One of the many advantages of Macs is the fact that they retain their value far more than other computers and this means that if you are considering upgrading your existing Mac, there’s a good chance you can make back some of the purchase price by selling your old machine. In this feature we’ll reveal everything you need to know – from preparing your old Mac to sell to getting the best price you possibly can for it.

Other ways to get rid of an old Mac

So far we have looked at the steps you can go through to try to generate a bit of cash from your unwanted Mac, but this is certainly not the only route available to you.

Apple may offer you cash for your old Mac, or at the very least, a 10 per cent discount on your next iPod

Another option, although one that may prove to be slightly less profitable, is to make use of the Apple Recycling Programme. As mentioned earlier, you can visit Apple’s Recycling Programme page at www.apple.com/uk/recycling and arrange for a quote from Dataserve to buy your Mac. There is also the option to recycle equipment from other PC manufacturers through Dataserve.

You could also pay a visit to www.apple.com/recycling/nationalservices/europe.html#uk to find out more about recycling. If you purchase a qualifying product from Apple, you are entitled to free recycling of your old computer at any Apple Store. This eliminates the collection fee charged by some councils to collect larger or electrical  items for recycling.

Additionally, if you decide to upgrade to the latest iPod, choosing to recycle your old one means you will receive a 10 per cent discount off your purchase.

Charity begins at home

There are also a number of other options that you might want to consider. It used to be the case that charities would not even consider taking in electrical goods, and certainly not computers, but this is beginning to change.

It is likely that your machine will have to undergo an electrical safety test, but once it has passed, it is halfway to finding a new owner.

You may also want to consider donating your old Mac to a local school or club. The fact that you are getting rid of the machine and replacing it with a newer one is likely to mean that it is not going to be cutting-edge technology. But this is not necessarily going to be off-putting to an organisation that finds itself in need of a computer – it is often just a case of asking around.

Freecycle offers a way to get rid of your unwanted computer and help out someone in need

If you like the idea of helping out someone in need, give Freecycle (www.uk.freecycle.org) a try. This free service can be used to advertise your unwanted Mac online and donate it to someone. This type of initiative has many advantages. It is free and benefits both you and the person your computer eventually ends up with, and it is good for the environment as it means that one less piece of rubbish reaches landfill.

Most towns now have recycling centres where there are recycling points for everything from garden waste and wood to clothes and rubble. You will probably find that your local recycling centre is also able to take in computers and electrical goods. These can then be broken down into component parts – such as plastics and metals – that can then be recycled individually.

You can find out where your nearest recycle centre is, as well as checking exactly what can be recycled there, by visiting the Recyclenow website (www.recyclenow.com).

Selling an iPad/iPhone

There is also a thriving second-hand market for other Apple products such as iPhones and iPads. Many of the tips and ideas we have already mentioned also apply to iOS devices. As with laptops and desktop computers, you should ensure that all of your personal data has been removed – be sure to use the Transfer Purchases option in iTunes to move your apps and other purchases to your new device first.

Phone recycling companies can give you cash for your unwanted iPhone, but don’t expect a fortune

In all likelihood, you will find it easier to sell an iOS device than a Mac. The lower cost of the devices means that there is a much higher chance of finding a buyer. As new products are launched on a fairly regular basis each year, this is a good time to consider selling. You will not only be able to make some money to put towards your latest upgrade (hopefully), but you should find that there is a ready market of second-hand buyers only too willing to benefit from your keenness to upgrade to the latest model.

No one is going to want to buy an iPhone or iPad that hasn’t been looked after, so do your best to polish the screen and body (hopefully you’ll have kept it in a case so it will be scratch-free).

Should you experience difficulty in tracking down a buyer, consider using a mobile phone recycling service such as Envirofone (www.envirofone.com), which will pay cash for unwanted handsets.