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How to trade in your old Mac with Apple GiveBack

MacBook lineup
MacBook lineup (Image credit: iMore)

If you're looking to get the new iMac Pro you know you're going to be spending a fair chunk of money. Dropping such a large sum all at once on a new machine can be daunting, but if you have an older Mac in good condition that you wouldn't mind parting ways with, you may be able to save some money.

Apple offers a trade-in program known as Apple GiveBack for customers looking to save a little money on their next purchase. With the launch of the iMac Pro, you could get as much as $1,000 for your old iMac or MacBook Pro right now! Here's now the whole thing works.

How much money can I get back?

The estimated trade-in value is determined by a company Apple has partnered with called Phobio. All models have to be from 2009 or newer and in good condition to be considered.

Here's a quick break down of all the devices that apply to the program and the maximum amount of money you could receive for said device.

  • Macbook, Macbook Pro, and iMac can fetch up to a maximum of $1000
  • iPad and iPad Pro can get earn you a maximum of $250
  • An iPhone can only fetch up to $290
  • An Apple Watch can net you a return of $175

How will I receive the money?

Apple Giveback only grants you an Apple Store gift card for the agreed upon amount when you trade-in your device, meaning you can only use that gift card at an Apple Store or on the online Apple Store.

How do I make a trade-in?

You can fill out all the necessary information at https://www.apple.com/shop/trade-in,#mn_p and it only takes a couple of minutes.

  1. Go to the Apple Giveback webpage (opens in new tab).
  2. Click on the device you want to trade-in. If you're trading in a Mac you'll click computer.
  3. Click the manufacturer of your trade-in device. In this case, Apple.
  4. Enter the Serial Number of the device you want to trade in. You can find the serial number of your Mac by choosing About This Mac from the Apple menu.

  1. Click Verify.
  2. Click Yes when it asks you to confirm the device you want to trade-in.

  1. Click Yes or No for the questions about the condition of your device. There will be a few questions in a row, make sure you read the questions carefully.
  2. Click Trade it in for a gift card.

  1. Enter your shipping information.
  2. Click Finish Up.

Phobio will now send you a prepaid shipping label and supplies in the mail, so you can pack up your old device and mail it back. After the company has received your old device and verified it is in the condition you claimed it was, the Apple Store gift card will be sent back to you.

You also have the option of taking your device directly into an Apple Store — but it appears this is only available in certain markets at the moment so your mileage may vary.

Any other questions about Apple GiveBack?

Let us know in the comments below!

Updated July 2018: Updated with new steps for Apple GiveBack.

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 


Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.

2 Comments
  • Yeah, no. The 3rd party company that Apple uses Phobio is terrible. They held my Mac Mini for 5 weeks before paying me. The best prices I got were from iGotOffer.com. Better than Gazelle.
  • Lots of questions- but let's address one at a time. I currently have an iMac (early 2009-OS Lion), MacBook Pro (10.9 Mavericks) and iPhone 6 w/iOS 10.3. In oct 2016 I had a very unsatisfactory experience at the Apple Store. While my MCP was running LION, I updated my iPhone to get ios10. I never saw anything in system requirements to indicate what version of OS. It became a problem when I could not sync my iPhone with my Mac.
    I also own adobe creative suite: CS3 design suite, and CS4 and CS 5.5 master collection - (virtually everything adobe) Although I have support vouchers good for 1 or 2 cases, (if live tech support exists) I just need to know what is the latest Mac OS which supports CS5.5 master collection.(hard to find out because neither apple nor adobe support these "vintage" systems. Forums don't always help : while adobe is consistent, my early 2011 MacBook Pro may be different architecture than another 2011 MBP..
    Apple changed lots of things. Not all for the better. It would great to have a compatibility chart.
    I need OS Yosemite so I can then update my iPhone to iOS 11 and this way, I'll now have PHotos available again and be able to sync my iPhone with my MacBook Pro via iTunes for music, movies, and Photos
    (iPhoto's) it's not easily available . Suggestions?
    2. Also : I use iBooks on my iPhone mostly to have documents turnted to PDF. It's already 2.5 gb The largest size. It appears that iCloud backs up ibooks - but.not all files -. Forwarding PDFs and other content on ibooks is only limited to emil and printing. I'm not sure if iTunes phone is the same as my iTunes app on my Mac. There's got to be an easier way. Thanks!