So you've held on to your previous MacBook Pro for as long as possible, but the time has come to replace it. Unfortunately, whether it's the more shallow travel and reports of failure of the butterfly keyboard, the lack of port variety, or the expense or size of the 16-inch MacBook Pro, you've decided that newer models of the MacBook Pro aren't for you. What you want instead is a computer with a wider variety of ports and an older style of keyboard, and you want it as new as you can get it. You want the 2015 MacBook Pro.
There's a problem, however. Apple discontinued the 2015 MacBook Pro in mid-2018. And now, you can't get it new from any retailer without paying a boatload of money. Instead, you'll probably need to settle for buying the 2015 MacBook Pro used or refurbished.
Buying used or refurbished
Buying a used or refurbished Mac is a great way to pick on up at a lower price, but it comes with some caveats. It helps to make your purchase from a reputable source, for instance. If it's not through Apple (and it won't be in this case, as Apple doesn't sell refurbished 2015 MacBook Pros), then you'll want to take extra care that you know exactly from whom you'll be purchasing your computer.
You'll also want to make sure that the seller has wiped all data from the device you want to purchase. This includes disabling Find My Mac and signing out everything that uses their Apple ID, including iTunes. Leaving these things undone is a potential security risk, so contact the seller if you can to make sure this is all done. If your seller needs help checking to make sure the Mac is removed from their Apple ID, they can head to appleid.apple.com, sign in, and check for it under "Devices."
You'll want to get information about the battery health of the device, how well the keyboard works, and, obviously, make sure the seller will be including the charger.
Importantly, ask to see the original proof of purchase. A good way to avoid a shady situation is to make sure that you're getting your MacBook Pro from the person who originally bought it.
How to tell which model the 2015 MacBook Pro is
When buying a refurbished Mac, you'll want to make sure that you're actually getting the right model. To do that, you'll want to check the model number, which Apple also calls the 'part number.'
Note: The 'xx' in each model number serves as a placeholder for a two-letter section of each part number that changes based on the specific configuration.
If you're looking for the 13-inch 2015 MacBook Pro, the model numbers you're looking for contain some configuration of MF839xx/A, MF840xx/A, or MF841xx/A. The 15-inch model will contain a configuration of MJLQ2xx/A, MJLT2xx/A, or MJLU2xx/A.
Where to buy
If you're looking to buy a 2015 MacBook Pro, you're buying options are going to be firmly in the "used" category if you don't want to spend a small fortune. While private sellers will increasingly become your most viable options as supplies dwindle, you can still purchase refurbished models through sites like Amazon or Newegg. Just know that those models will likely not be sold directly by the site but by other third-party merchants.
You can get both the 13-inch and 15-inch models of 2015 MacBook Pro refurbished through Amazon. And as noted above, these models aren't sold by Amazon itself, but rather through other merchants.
You can also find 2015 MacBook Pro refurbished on Newegg. Again, these models aren't offered directly by Newegg itself, but through other third-party merchants.
With this one, you have to be very careful. You'll want to check out each individual seller's rating to see if people have had problems with them in the past. Since you're often buying from individuals rather than companies, you'll want to be completely clear that the seller has completely wiped the MacBook, and that they've signed out of their Apple ID.
Unfortunately, it's increasingly more difficult to find the 2015 MacBook Pro. Given that the computer is almost five years old at this point, and many people seem to be hanging on to their older MacBooks as long as they can in the hopes that Apple will deliver something with a better keyboard than the current models, that's not surprising. Used and refurbished is the only way you can really go.
Now that Apple is offering the 16-inch MacBook Pro with a new scissor switch keyboard, Mac users are holding out hope that the smaller MacBook Pro gets a similar treatment, at least in terms of the keyboard. Now that the scissor switch is back, I wouldn't be surprised to find demand for the 2015 MacBook Pro taper off, except for those looking to save money by buying an older computer.
Updated February 2020: Added information on model numbers.
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