Apple starts accepting Mac trade-ins at retail stores

Up until now, you could only trade in a used Mac online, which was unwieldy and time-consuming

External shot of a flagship Apple store

Got an old Mac you’d like to trade in? Until now, you could only do that online. You’d have to ship your machine to the manufacturer and wait two or three weeks to hear back. Now, you can bring your used Mac straight to the nearest Apple Store and trade it in right there.

The tech giant just made this big change, but it’s complicated by the fact that a lot of Apple’s retail locations remain closed. Apple closed all its retail outlets a few months ago due to the coronavirus pandemic. At the time of writing, about 100 Apple Stores recently reopened, and the rest are sure to follow suit at some point.

If your Mac is eligible to be traded in, you should be able to take it to a brick-and-mortar Apple Store and get instant credit for it. However, it's worth noting that a number of Apple Stores have coronavirus safety measures in place, such as mandated appointments and curbside pickup, so it’s best to call ahead.

How much can you get for your used Mac? Realistically, you won’t know until you try — even if you get a trade-in estimate online. Apple has always cautioned that any physical or operational issues your device has could potentially lower its value, even if those issues aren’t immediately obvious to you.

Still, it should be a lot easier to find out immediately now than after a few weeks like before.

Bloomberg recently reported that this change was imminent and noted in a tweet that Apple has removed language from its website stating Mac trade-ins were online only. Gizmodo got an Apple official to confirm the new policy.

Previously, only other Apple devices, such as iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches, were available for in-person trade-in at an Apple Store

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