Below are the primary sources I use to find the best deals on Macs for my clients and my reasons for appreciating them.

New Mac

If you absolutely must have the latest model today and you have an Apple store in your area, that’s the best place to visit.

Whether you know which model you need and it’s available off the shelf, or you walk in and need some help, you can pretty quickly walk out with a new Mac—at full price.

Certified Refurbished

Before I recommend that anyone buy new, I ask if a client can wait a day or two. Various Mac configurations, including many custom builds, are available from Apple’s Certified Refurbished listing. Each also comes with Apple’s standard 1-year warranty, which can be extended to 3 years with AppleCare+.

The accepted wisdom on refurbished is that it’s actually better than new. For unknown reason, a Mac was returned to Apple. It got a second dose of quality assurance by a technician. Finally, it can’t be sold at retail again, so Apple drops the price by 15%.

Third Party

If you still want to buy new and can afford to wait a couple days, you can choose an Apple Authorized Reseller and sometimes avoid paying sales tax, too.

For example, B&H Foto and Electronics, a New York City-based retailer, carries some of the best deals on new Macs, including many prior year models. Steve recently ordered a top-of-the-line 2017 MacBook Air that B&H is still offering for 30% off.

Used Macs

Although I often reference Craigslist to identify the resale value of a used Mac, I have largely exited using the platform as a market to help clients buy used Macs. It can be tedious finding a trustworthy seller with an honest deal.

Instead, I prefer to look at Other World Computing. As a long time purveyor of Mac memory and storage upgrades, OWC also offers some custom builds on used Macs. All come with a 90-day warranty.

These sources can help you start the research process if you wish. However, I still recommend at least a brief conversation with me to identify your primary computing needs, including what you aspire to do with your Mac over the next 5–8 years.

Then I can help you narrow your choices and find the best new Mac for you.