Apple Trade-In Weirdness

My current MacBook Pro is about 19 months old. Seeing the new models released this week, I thought it might be time to upgrade to a faster model. I don’t use the MacBook Pro a lot – it’s my second Mac for testing, and for emergencies when there’s a problem with my iMac – but I have found myself using it more lately because it allows me to work in a location other than my desk. I’ve started moving around more in my home office, finding it a nice change of scenery to work in a different room.

Apple has been offering trade-ins on their website for some time now. I used this twice last year, trading in an iPhone 8+ and an iPad Pro. The process was smooth and seamless, and the amount that Apple paid was acceptable, compared to what I might have received by selling the devices on eBay. I used the following formula to determine this:

if Apple price ? eBay net price - (hassle factor selling on eBay)
then accept

Today, I went to the Apple website to see how much I could get to trade in my current MacBook Pro. I entered my serial number, and the device was not found. I then went through a process answering a few questions about the device. In the menu where I was to select the exact model, it was not available; the most recent device shown was a 2016 MacBook Pro.

So I called the Apple online store, and a helpful salesperson checked on her end. She didn’t find the same model either. She found a 2018 model, or a 2016 model, but not mine. For the 2018 model, the price would be around £700, she said, which, according to the formula above, would be acceptable. But for the 2016 model, she quoted £245, which would be ridiculously low. She said that I could send it in for trade-in, and the amount would be somewhere between the two, and I would have the choice to not accept what was offered.

But Apple’s hassle factor now exceeded the potential eBay hassle factor, and I decided to not only not trade it in, but to not buy the new MacBook Pro. I don’t need a new laptop that badly, and I certainly don’t need this kind of hassle. I’m surprised that this specific model doesn’t show up in Apple’s trade-in database, but what has been a smooth process for other devices in the past has too many hurdles for me to bother.