Buying from Friends or Colleagues Before Buying a Used Mac: A Comprehensive Guide

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Buying a used Mac from a friend or colleague can be an attractive option. You may trust them more than a stranger online, and you may have better insight into how they’ve treated the device. However, it’s still important to be thorough and considerate in this process. Here’s a detailed guide on buying a used Mac from a friend or colleague:

1. Open Discussion

Discuss openly about the Mac’s condition and any issues it might have. Since you know this person well, they should be honest about any problems, how they’ve used it, and how often they used it.

2. Inspect the Mac

Just like with any used Mac purchase, you should thoroughly inspect the Mac. Check the screen, keyboard, trackpad, and ports. Ensure it boots up correctly, and the sound and webcam are working fine. If it’s a MacBook, verify the battery condition.

3. Review Specifications and Performance

Check the specifications of the Mac under “About This Mac” in the Apple menu. Make sure the processor, memory, storage, and other details match what your friend or colleague described. Run some applications to see how it performs.

4. Check for AppleCare or Warranty

Find out if the Mac is still under warranty or if it has AppleCare coverage. If it does, this can add value to the purchase and offer peace of mind.

5. Negotiate a Fair Price

Do your research on current market prices for the same model in similar condition. Even if you’re buying from a friend, you want to ensure you’re getting a fair deal. Discuss the price openly and come to an agreement that both parties are comfortable with.

6. Secure and Clean Transfer

Ask your friend to sign out of all their accounts and restore the Mac to factory settings before handing it over. This will ensure that their data is protected and you’re starting fresh. For the transaction itself, make sure it’s done in a secure and documented way.

7. Balance of Friendship and Business

Remember, it’s important to balance the business transaction with your existing relationship. Make sure that the deal is conducted in a way that doesn’t jeopardize your relationship.


Buying a used Mac from a friend or colleague can be a reliable way to obtain a device that you know the history of, potentially providing a greater level of trust in your purchase. However, it’s essential to still conduct a thorough inspection, discuss the details openly, and negotiate a fair price. By treating the transaction with the same professionalism as you would with a stranger, you can secure a good deal while maintaining your relationship.

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