Want to sell (or pawn) your MacBook in 2020?

February 26, 2020 - Electronics

Do you know how much pawn shops pay for MacBooks?

The average offer for a MacBook on PawnGuru is $253, though many fetch more– higher end models can receive offers upwards of $700. Electronics, like laptops and phones, are among the most sought-after products by pawn shops. Many pawn shops want your MacBook even more than they want your diamond ring. That’s because laptops are popular and fairly straightforward to price and resell. This means that they’ll be willing to pay you a lot for your laptop. In this article, we’ll advise you on how much MacBooks sell or pawn for generally, and how to get the best deal possible for yourself.

For your context, our website PawnGuru is a free online space for people who want to sell or pawn their items with pawn shops. What’s unique about our system is that when you list your MacBook for sale on PawnGuru, multiple pawn shops in your local area can make an offer on your item. That means you can choose the pawn shop and offer that’s best for you. These offers are viewable online in your PawnGuru portal, and you can also get alerted by email as they arrive. The advantage of selling to a pawn shop (or getting a loan from one) is that you can get cash-in-hand today. All you need to do is compare your offers online at PawnGuru and then bring your MacBook into the pawn shop with the best offer.

At the end of this post, we’ll show you the easy step-by-step process for using PawnGuru. But first, we’re going to tell you how much pawn shops pay for MacBooks.

The difference between selling and pawning

There is a difference between pawning and selling, even though you can do both at a pawn shop. When you are pawning a MacBook, you are giving it to a pawn shop as collateral for a loan. The loan amount will be based on the value your MacBook is appraised at by the pawnbroker. Generally, it will be lower than how much the pawnbroker would buy it for outright.

The loan will need to be paid back by a given date that you and the pawnbroker agree on. When you pay back your loan and by the given date, you should expect to receive your MacBook back. Most pawnbrokers are flexible; if you need extra time to repay and communicate it, they will accommodate you. They would like to help.

Selling a MacBook at a pawn shop is very straightforward. The MacBook is appraised and you either agree to sell it to them outright for that amount, or you don’t. You have negotiating power, but do be realistic. You aren’t going to get 95% of retail value. Pawnbrokers tend to keep a good pulse on the current pricing of electronic devices.

Pawn shops are a reselling business so they need to be able to sell your MacBook for a profit. It is practically easier for them to buy it from you than it is for them to issue you a loan. You will get more money if you sell it to them than if you pawn your MacBook.

How to Pawn or Sell a MacBook Effectively

You can always just take in your computer to a pawn shop. However, if you want the most money when you pawn or sell it, you should follow these tips to best present it and get the most cash. Also, you should clean your MacBook for personal data safety. We noticed many people bring in laptops with their personal information on them. Do not do that, you want to keep your information safe. You should definitely backup all your data on a device you own first though.

1) Backup Your MacBook

Before you sell your MacBook, you’ll want to make sure that you put all of your information elsewhere. You’ll have to clean all the data off of your laptop.

If you like having a physical copy of your information, then you might want to invest in an external hard drive. These are great for storing information. If you do not want to use an external hard drive, you can use the iCloud features instead and store your data on the Apple cloud.

After your external hard drive is plugged in, you’ll want to select the Time Machine feature on your mac.

2) Remove All Personal Data

Before you head to a nearby pawn shop, remove all your computer’s data. You should also perform a factory reset. Restart your computer and hold Command+R to initiate the factory reset. Click on Disk Utilities, and then choose to delete the data off of your disk drives. 

It is especially important to address the topic of data privacy when it comes to pawning a MacBook. Why? People tend to look to pawning for quick cash, since it is the easiest way to get same-day cash in hand. With this type of option available for quick transaction, it is easy to overlook the issue of data protection.

This includes notes, documents, any type of business information, personal identity data, credit card information and more. Don’t forget to transfer your music, voicemails and photos to a backup drive before you wipe your computer clean.

3) Properly clean your MacBook.

A dirty laptop is a huge red flag for pawnbrokers. If you bring in a product that looks neglected, the pawnbroker will assume your MacBook is dysfunctional. Use a dry rag or cloth to wipe away dust, debris, and crumbs from food. Check the screen for smudges and fingerprints, and check each external port for dust and debris. Click here to learn how to clean your laptop from CNET.com.

4) Learn the details of your MacBook before you pawn.

Knowing the specifications of your laptop will help you negotiate for the best cash price. By researching your item, you will get to know its resale potential.

Know the

  • Processor type
  • Screen size
  • Hard drive size
  • Amount of RAM memory

5) Have all of the dongles and components

When you bought your MacBook it most likely came with a charging cable. Make sure you bring your charging cable to the pawn shop. Your MacBook might’ve also came with its original box, or a table mount. Anything your laptop came with is important for the laptop. If you bring your MacBook in its original box with its charging cable, you can get significantly more money when you bring it into the pawn shop. The more complete the product is, so that the next buyer can purchase it and use it right away, the better.

6) Can I trade in my old MacBook for a new MacBook?

Yes! Once inside, ask to see their inventory of laptops. If you see a computer you like, ask if you could trade in your old one, or get a substantial discount. You will definitely find awesome deals on laptops.

Understand though that you won’t necessarily have the option to get another MacBook. You will be limited by the selection the pawn shop has to offer.

Now that you know how much pawn shops pay for MacBooks, you have a rough understanding of the least and most money you can get for it. With PawnGuru, you can rest assured you’re going to get the best offer possible from a pawn shop near you.


Pawning your MacBook is an effective way to earn some extra cash while keeping your item safe with the pawnbroker, provided you return the borrowed amount of money in time. The most important aspect of pawning MacBooks is choosing the right broker, who is interested in buying electronic equipment, especially laptops. Secondly, you should do your proper homework regarding how much cash you want to generate out of your transaction and how much your item is worth. Once you have done all your research, you should be in good shape to maximize the pawn value of your MacBook. Remember though, you won’t get the original market rate for your MacBook, your MacBook is used! Also, pawn shops have to make a profit to stay in business. They have to make money by reselling your item. What pawn shops offer better than anybody else in the MacBook market is hard cash, right after you walk in the store and make a deal.


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