Your Older MacBook Pro Is More Valuable Than You Think

If you’re a recent MacBook Pro buyer, Apple just did you a huge favor—something that may be lost on new MBP buyers, who are in for some sticker shock. The entry-level for the cheapest, newest 13-incher is $200 or $500 more than its predecessor, depending on whether or not opting for the newfangled Touch Bar and Touch ID. That’s $1,499 or $1,799. Yikes. MBP 15 is a $400 price hike, $2,399, for current tech.

But if you already own MacBook Pro, particularly the 13-incher released in March 2015 or the larger model two months later, Apple increased the laptop’s value by not accelerating its depreciation. No kidding. That’s because the new entry-level SKUs are the same as before. 

The 1,299 MBP 13 is the same vintage 2015 model: 2.7GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, and Intel Iris Graphics 6100. The $1.999 MBP 15 also is the same 2015 notebook: 2.2GHz Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, and Iris Pro Graphics.

Think of it like this: Whenever Apple announces new models and plugs them into existing price points, the resale value of the older Macs goes down. But arguably that’s not the situation this release cycle. Apple arbitrarily kept the old in market, and that’s great for the value of your existing Mac. You might even turn it into opportunity, selling the old one to buy the new thang.

I wonder if sellers understand this. Over at Swappa, the lowest listed MBP 13 March 2015 with 128GB SSD RAM is $899, in “good” condition. High lister is 3.1GHz Core i7, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD for $1,650. I have the same model but with half the storage, purchased from a reputable reseller that buys Macs from corporations. I paid less that Swappa seller’s price five months ago, with AppleCare that’s good through 2018. He lists his laptop’s condition as “good”. Mine is “excellent”.

Swappa-listed MBP 15 starts at $1,750 for 2.5GHz Core i7, 16GB RAM, and 256GB SSD. The laptop sold for $2,499 new last year. Other sellers are smarter, asking for as much as $1,910.

Prices at eBay are all over the place, with some sellers giving away too much value. Don’t they know what they’ve got! Don’t price MacBook Pro based on Windows laptop depreciation.

Apple sells refurbished 2.7GHz March 2015 MBP 13 for $1,099, and that’s a good measure for your resale pricing, if condition is excellent. Imagine if you could use a laptop for 18 months and recover as much value off your original purchase price of $1,299. Even selling for $899, you only spent $400 to use a computer for as long as 18 months. Wow.

If anything ruins the boon Apple gives current owners, it will be sellers’ desperation to cash out fastest to pay for the shiny new models announced yesterday.

laptop A version of this story appears on BetaNews.