Recycling Your Old Mac

If you have an old Mac or other Apple product that has been replaced by a newer model, you may want to get some money from it by reselling it. You could use Craigslist or eBay to sell old equipment, or look for a local shop. You can also get paid to recycle your Mac from sites like, or even Apple itself.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Recycling Your Old Mac.

Hi, this is Gary with On today's episode let's talk about recycling your old Mac or other Apple equipment.

So whether you are trying to get rid of an old Mac, or iPad, or any Apple product one of the first place you can consider is simply going to Craig's List to sell it to somebody locally. This might be the best chance you've got for getting the device into the hands of somebody that will actually use it.

But, of course, a lot of people are uncomfortable using Craig's List. I like it because you don't have to ship anything. You don't have to package stuff up like that. But then it also can be a little risky and sometimes hard if you haven't used Craig's List to go and use it for the first time to sell a computer. But a lot of people are familiar with it and it is a decent way to get rid of an old Mac.

Now if you are looking for getting top dollar on selling your old equipment then probably eBay is the best bet because people will be bidding on it. So there will be competition for the product. At the very least you should search eBay before you go to Craig's List to see what prices your products are going for. You probably won't make as much off of Craig's List because of the limited market that is just local to you but it gives you a good idea and of course it is a little bit safer because eBay is going to handle the money for you and there is ratings and things like that.

So eBay is probably your best best if you want to get every penny out of your old equipment or maybe sell an even older piece that you can't even recycle or can't seem to get anybody to buy on Craig's List. Somebody might pay you a few bucks for it on eBay.

Now if you want less hassle you may just want to go to an electronics recycler. For instance you can go to a company like Gazelle which I have talked about before. They will walk you through it on their website and give you a price for what it is you are going to send in and then you can send it off to them. You are just dealing with a company rather than having to deal with an individual. You certainly won't make as much money and older products, much older products, you won't get anything for. But it is a lot less hassle.

You can also go directly to Apple. They have a recycling program. You go to You can go and fill out their information here. So let's get started here with a Mac, for instance. You are going to get an Apple Store gift card for your old device. The advantage of getting something like a gift card, as opposed to cash from another company, is you may get a little bit more because there is incentive from the company to keep your money there and have you buy a new product. If you are buying a new Mac anyway or a new iPad or some other device you might as well get it in a form that you can very quickly use and turnaround.

So you can go through their program here and enter in all the information about your Mac and the condition and things like that and it will give you a price.

You don't just have to stick with Apple for it. For instance you can go to Amazon's trade-in program. You search for their trade-in program. They have this site here and you can select what it is you are trading in. You basically find a matching product or you have to enter in all of your data. So you can go and do just about any Apple product, any recent one anyway, will be in their trade-in program and then you can trade it in and get an Amazon gift card. If you spend a lot of money at Amazon then it is pretty much the same as cash but you are going to get a little more than cash again, just like the Apple program.

Now if you have a really old Mac product you might find that nobody will give you any money for it. It just doesn't have any resale value. You can go to a lot of local stores. For instance Staples if you go to their website, they will accept computers and monitors and things like that for free recycling in their stores. I have also had a lot of luck with Best Buy, as well, to be able to walk in and go to their customer service desk and drop off old machines and equipment there. A lot less hassle than having to ship if off somewhere. If you go to an official, real recycling place, a lot of times they are going to charge you just a little bit, $5 or $10, to recycle a computer or a monitor.

Those aren't the only options. There are other recycling sites. There are other shops both online and locally that will take your old Mac.

I'd love to hear from you about how you've recycled or resold your old Apple equipment. Leave a comment at this post at

Comments: 11 Responses to “Recycling Your Old Mac”

    4 years ago

    Had no idea about Amazon or Best Buy so this was helpful. But how does someone clean/clear the hard drive before sending it in?

      4 years ago

      That’s a whole other topic. And it depends on which Mac you have. Older Macs have a very different process than newer ones. Old ones involved booting with the system DVD, erasing he drive and re-installing the system. Newer ones involve booting to the recovery partition and then doing the same.

        Patricia Farrell
        4 years ago

        So, if I have an old MacBook Pro with Lion on it, I can use the little USB they supplied to erase and re-install it? I think there may be other steps that would protect my data from prying eyes. Am researching it. The Mac is great and has a built-in DVD drive, new battery.

          4 years ago

          I don’t have one of those, but I assume it works the same as the DVD or recovery partition. In that case, you erase with the Disk Utility app, which has options on that screen for overwriting the bits on the disk for security.

    Randy Miller
    4 years ago

    I would agree with the above comment. A nice follow-up would be how to clean you iPhone / iPad / Mac to prepare it for recycling.

    Phil Hjemboe
    4 years ago

    Do the machines have to be in working condition to be accepted by these stores? I have a couple older Mac laptops w/o hard drives and don’t otherwise work, either.

      Phil Hjemboe
      4 years ago

      OK – should’ve watched the video first!

        4 years ago

        Obviously to sell it to someone it would probably have to be in working condition. But someone may buy something cheap just for parts. Just be sure to be honest when describing it. For very old machines, it doesn’t matter as when you go to recycle them as they will just be taken apart anyway.

    Philip Lewis
    4 years ago

    Gary. Thanks for all the help. I think it may be helpful here for people to know about the necessity to secure wipe hard drives and how to of this if they are disposing of old equipment.

    4 years ago

    Will be helpful to talk how delete de hardrive before recycle

    Jeff Widen
    4 years ago

    At our local Mall in Portland, Oregon there was a small kiosk which paid cash for older iPhones (and I think androids). Gave a fair, competitive price for a iPhone 5 in excellent condition.

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