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The resale value of older MacBooks is plummeting because the new M1 versions are so good

No wonder there was a rush to sell off Intel-based Macs in the run-up to the release of the M1-based models.

new macbook pro 13 inch
Image: Apple

When Apple released its new, M1-powered MacBooks, they started smoking the earlier Intel-based MacBooks in almost any test thrown at them. That disparity in power and battery life has put the resale market for Intel-based MacBooks into a tailspin, with savvy shoppers going for the new M1-based machines instead.

If you think about it, would you buy a used MacBook Air for 80-percent of the price of a brand-new M1-based MacBook Air? You’d be missing out on over twice the performance, and 50-percent more battery life, to save a couple hundred dollars. That’s before you even factor warranty into the equation.

Just check out recent eBay listings, to see how far the prices have dropped. Even the i9-equipped MacBook Pro models that still outperform the M1-based MacBooks are selling way below their usual price. Nearly-new 2020 Intel-based MacBook Airs are in the $600-range when they used to sell for $800+.

No wonder there was a rush to sell off Intel-based Macs in the run-up to the release of the M1-based models. While some sellers are still trying to get top dollar for their older Macs, buyers have more information now and it’s going to be a hard sell to get anything near the previous resale values.

If you’re wanting to sell your Intel-based Mac to trade up to one of the new M1-based models, your best bet for maximum return might be Apple’s own trade-in program. If you’re a buyer, hold off on buying that Intel-based MacBook you’ve been eyeing, retailers are stuck with large inventories right now and they’ll have to price them to move before 2021 is out.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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