What is the best way to sell a Mac is a question many of our readers ask. Knowing how much a used Apple Mac is worth is key to getting the right amount of money for your old computer. In this feature we're going to look at getting a good valuation for an old Mac computer, and the best price.

With an attractive range of new Macs released in 2014 and old Macs holding their prices it is always worth considering selling an old Apple Mac to invest in a sparkling new one. Especially if you’re thinking of upgrading to the new world-renowned iMac with Retina Display, every bit of extra cash will help.

Discover how to get the most cash when selling a MacBook or iMac with our guide to selling your Mac second-hand. If you’re thinking of selling your Mac: this guide will help you get the most money for a used Apple Mac.

See also: How to buy a cheap Mac

When should I sell my Mac?

Get the best price for a second-hand Mac

When you should sell a Mac is a good question. Typically it makes sense to sell on an old model before Apple announces a new one (rather than after the announcement). Obviously when a new model has been announced, the older ones suddenly lose a small amount of value. So keep an eye on upcoming Apple events and rumours and try to preempt them if possible. Obviously this is easier if you have more than one Mac to work on. As a general rule: the sooner you sell on a second Mac (or any computer) the better.

We expect Apple to refresh its iMac and MacBook range in the middle of 2015, but it could introduce a new MacBook Air with Retina Display earlier in the year. So if you’re looking to sell on a Mac mini now is the time. The iMac with Retina Display and new Mac mini models have only just gone on sale so we doubt if you’re looking to sell one of those on right away. The new Mac Pro is still radically different to the older model, but some people might be thinking of selling it to pick up an iMac with Retina Display. We expect to see a new edition of the Mac Pro at some point during 2015, but have little indication when it will be announced.

See also:

New Retina MacBook Air release date, rumours and leaked images

Should I buy a secondhand Mac?

How much is my Mac worth?

Apple Mac products tend to hold their value a lot more than other products but they still depreciate. A good rule of thumb is that you’ll probably get around half the price you paid for it after two years.

But a lot depends on the model, year and configuration. With upgrades no longer a possibility across many Mac products we think higher spec old models (which will have RAM and storage configurations closer to current models) will command a premium.

You can buy and sell second-hand Macs right here on the Macworld UK website. With our partner Mresell we run a service via which you can sell your unwanted Macs, iPhones and iPads. Once a price is agreed we either pick up your Mac, or you can take it to a certified Apple reseller after which payment is made. Either way the Mac, iMac or MacBook is then thoroughly checked, refurbished and reconditioned, and listed for sale on the Buy/Sell section of this website. (For more on buying second hand, see also Should I buy a second-hand Mac?)

See: Sell your Apple product through Macworld's Mresell

Another way to see how much a Mac is worth is to check the sales taking place on eBay. Because Apple only sells a few different configurations it’s usually possible to find the same configuration as your current model on sale. Use eBay’s Watch This Item on these models to see what the market rate is.

How can I get more for my Mac?

How much you get for a second-hand Mac depends on the model that you’ve got, and where you sell it. Typically you’ll get more cash from a private sale than from a shop or services (as they need to include a markup when they sell it on). But it’s less hassle to take it to somewhere like Computer Exchange or Cash Generators.

Will Apple buy my old Mac?

Apple has a Reuse and Recycling program that will buy your Mac from you. This enables you to sell your old Mac computer to Apple along buying a new one.

Click here to access Apple's Reuse and Recycle program

Be warned that Apple doesn’t pay the highest rates for Mac computers. You will typically get a better deal from Mresell or by selling it in a private sale.

Where should I sell my Mac?

You’ll get more selling an old Mac on eBay, Amazon or Gumtree: all of which offer a lively environment for second-hand Macs. If you sell the Mac via eBay and Amazon you’ll also have to pay a service charge, so Gumtree is the way to go for a complete private. sale.

Should I trade my old Mac in before buying a new one?

It’s really up to you but the wave of Macs and iPhones being traded in just before a new model launches suggests that many other people do the same. You will lose a substantial amount of cash, getting both less for your Mac than it was worth at launch and having to buy a new model. It’s worth remembering that while new Apple products are highly desirable, you don't need a new Mac every single year. But if you only need the one laptop and want to upgrade to the latest model, selling your old one on second hand is the way to do it.

What to do before selling a Mac

Before you sell your Mac on second hand you should clean it (both inside and out). Here are the things you should do before selling a Mac.

  • Authorize the Mac from iTunes
  • Back up your data
  • Turn off Find My Mac
  • Sign out of iCloud.
  • Format the hard drive and reinstall OS X.

Read more: How to reset a MacBook: restore your Mac to the original factory settings

You should also take time to clean the computer, and check to see if you have any original box or packaging. The more presentable the Mac looks in its photographs, and the more original packaging you have, the more it will fetch on the second hand market.

See also: What to do before selling or giving away your Mac | How to sell an old iPhone (and get the best price)