Used Macbook Pro's Depreciating Faster?

Harlowgold1

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 14, 2008
187
83
Ohio - GO BUCKEYES!
Has anyone noticed that the 2016-2018 MBP's seem to be depreciating more quickly? I do not have empirical data, but here is my story. I purchased a 2018 15" MBP in October of last year. And guess what? The keyboard is sticking and it's doing so intermittently. I have kept a keyboard cover on the laptop since day one! The 'caps' key seems to stick the most and it's driving me bananas. I'm thinking that the 2019 will be redesigned or Apple's unparalleled quality with be that of a Yugo. My laptop is in mint condition with AppleCare and and a case to protect the outside. I'm OCD about my machine. So, I used eBay to loo look at similar models and the prices are hovering around $2300.00-$2600.00. I've hardly used this machine. I know Caveat Emptor.

I need advice stat! (My Laptop Mid 1018, 512GB, 16GB RAM). I paid around $3300.00 w/AppleCare. Yes, I know things depreciate. However, should I sell it now on eBay or wait until the new 2019 models are released? Thank you friends for your kind comments! Jen
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
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30,607
Boston
Has anyone noticed that the 2016-2018 MBP'
Makes sense, given the poor reputation of the butterfly keyboard and the risk factor of buying a used laptop with a keyboard that may fail. I chose to sell mine at the beginning of 2019, simply for the reason that I'll get the most bang for my buck and word of 2018 keyboard failures was just starting to occur.
 
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Harlowgold1

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 14, 2008
187
83
Ohio - GO BUCKEYES!
That sounds like a smart decision! Thank your for your input!


Makes sense, given the poor reputation of the butterfly keyboard and the risk factor of buying a used laptop with a keyboard that may fail. I chose to sell mine at the beginning of 2019, simply for the reason that I'll get the most bang for my buck and word of 2018 keyboard failures was just starting to occur.
 

GoldfishRT

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2014
505
284
Somewhere
That doesn't seem like particularly worse depreciation than normal. If you've got a stock config 2018 in that spec - retail was $2799 right? And it frequently goes on sale for $2399 or similar. Apple Care adds value but that too depreciates just like anything else.

When I was shopping I looked at 2016 models to get a rough idea and it seems like $350 a year is about standard for the first three years where they then start to bottom out for a while. Interestingly the 13" ones also seem to follow this pattern.

Either way it looked like I was going to lose $750 to $1000 over my use so I figured I'd keep the nice one. But as Maflynn said, depending on how the next few years go these might be real terrible at holding their value as new models come.
 
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Harlowgold1

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 14, 2008
187
83
Ohio - GO BUCKEYES!
I expected depreciation, but I so wished I would have waited one more year. I do feel that the keyboard issues are a consideration. Does anyone want to buy some land I'm selling in the Everglades? j/k
 

SDColorado

Contributor
Nov 6, 2011
4,274
4,221
Highlands Ranch, CO
I expected depreciation, but I so wished I would have waited one more year. I do feel that the keyboard issues are a consideration. Does anyone want to buy some land I'm selling in the Everglades? j/k
I will do a land swap for some oceanside property in Colorado :)

Bummer on the keyboard issues. I had an issue with mine about just over the 2-month mark, when the "e" key became unresponsive. I smashed the key until it worked again and so far so good, but I don't have a lot of confidence in the machine. I was still having T2 related restarts and shutdowns up through 14.14.5 (on 14.14.5 beta now), keys are showing a fair bit of wear already (only had it since December). I don't feel as though the resale is going to be good.

I think if the keyboard fails to the point of Apple having to replace it, I will take that opportunity to sell it.
 

jerryk

macrumors 601
Nov 3, 2011
4,954
2,460
SF Bay Area
It could be worse, look at Windows machines. They drop more like cars, where they lose 10-20% of the values as soon as they the box is opened (or driven off the lot).

But, as others have said, the 2016-2018 MBP do have a stench on them and their resale is suffering.
 

Nbd1790

macrumors regular
Jan 2, 2017
182
85
New York
I've noticed it as well. It seems that people are a bit reluctant to purchase these models second hand because of the known issues that people have had. Although, I think people are just less inclined to make the make the switch to a unit that's entirely USB-C (TB3). The benefits are obvious for sure, but I know a lot of industry people who don't want to make the switch just yet because of adapters etc and the lack of USB-C connectivity on other devices. AirPods, iPads (most of them anyway), iPhones, Apple Watch (even though there's no port), Bose Headphones and TONS of more popular accessories have yet to make the switch to C ports.

I think the connectivity is the major reason why these aren't selling the way they typically have in the past. For instance, my Mom (who is relatively tech savvy & also on the younger side) avoided purchasing the newer MacBooks even after thoroughly explaining and understanding the benefits of C. She went with an older MacBook Air. Makes sense for her being that she's not a power user and typically uses her laptops for light web browsing and managing photos etc.

If the entire hardware of Apples Ecosystem had switched to TB3, I actually believe people would be more inclined to purchase these newer laptops (just my personal opinion)
 

ilikewhey

macrumors 65816
May 14, 2014
1,159
1,281
nyc upper east
its not just you, this trend has been happening ever since 2016 when the butterfly feedback start to come in, is this mbp is your only laptop thn you might as well hold onto it, if it isnt then the choice is up to you, obviously you get more money now vs later, i have learned to put up with the quirks with my 2016 model and in all honesty besides the keyboard its a solid laptop.

apple products haven't been able to hold their values lately since they keep making design choices that isn't agreed with the general population. and that reflects big time on the 2nd hand market.
 

maflynn

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Staff member
May 3, 2009
64,065
30,607
Boston
It could be worse, look at Windows machines. They drop more like cars, where they lose 10-20% of the values as soon as they the box is opened (or driven off the lot).
When I sold my 2018 MBP, I took about a 25% loss of value, selling vs. retail price. I get where you sell it, will definitely affect your return. Regarding the PCs, a 20% hit on a 1,500 dollar laptop is a lot better then a 20% hit on a 3,000 dollar laptop and that's what I think people are seeing on the MBP.

If Apple rolls out a new design for 2019 (and hopefully a new keyboard), that depreciation hit will be even more significant for the 2016 - 2018 model years.

My personal opinion, I generally do not choose to buy a laptop based on its return on investment. That is, I don't choose the model that will give me the most $$ when I sell it, but rather the best machine that fits my needs and I'll use until the wheels fall off (at least that was my M.O for my 2012 MBP). I understand where people are coming from, but I usually try to take the position of not selling the machine after a couple of years but keeping it
 
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Harlowgold1

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 14, 2008
187
83
Ohio - GO BUCKEYES!
I agree! I don't buy a laptop for resale - This, however, is different. I've had a keyboard cover on my laptop since day one and I allegedly have dust under the keyboard. I type massive amounts of documents and I'm a fast typist. I cannot believe the number of errors my boss has pointed out to me. Yes, I proof read, but my workflow has slowed immensely.
 

Ries

macrumors 68020
Apr 21, 2007
2,104
2,453
In my country, used 2015 16GB ram/256-512GB SSD models almost cost the same as when they discounted them before the 2016 models came. 2016+ models however have a big drop from their "new" price, some 2016 almost down to used 2015 models. If the 2019 are bad bananas, im buying a 2015 model.
 

ilikewhey

macrumors 65816
May 14, 2014
1,159
1,281
nyc upper east
When I sold my 2018 MBP, I took about a 25% loss of value, selling vs. retail price. I get where you sell it, will definitely affect your return. Regarding the PCs, a 20% hit on a 1,500 dollar laptop is a lot better then a 20% hit on a 3,000 dollar laptop and that's what I think people are seeing on the MBP.

If Apple rolls out a new design for 2019 (and hopefully a new keyboard), that depreciation hit will be even more significant for the 2016 - 2018 model years.

My personal opinion, I generally do not choose to buy a laptop based on its return on investment. That is, I don't choose the model that will give me the most $$ when I sell it, but rather the best machine that fits my needs and I'll use until the wheels fall off (at least that was my M.O for my 2012 MBP). I understand where people are coming from, but I usually try to take the position of not selling the machine after a couple of years but keeping it
the 2016 to 18 mbp are like the black sheeps of mbp if a new design comes out this year.
 

pshufd

macrumors 65816
Oct 24, 2013
1,401
931
New Hampshire
I've noticed it as well. It seems that people are a bit reluctant to purchase these models second hand because of the known issues that people have had. Although, I think people are just less inclined to make the make the switch to a unit that's entirely USB-C (TB3). The benefits are obvious for sure, but I know a lot of industry people who don't want to make the switch just yet because of adapters etc and the lack of USB-C connectivity on other devices. AirPods, iPads (most of them anyway), iPhones, Apple Watch (even though there's no port), Bose Headphones and TONS of more popular accessories have yet to make the switch to C ports.

I think the connectivity is the major reason why these aren't selling the way they typically have in the past. For instance, my Mom (who is relatively tech savvy & also on the younger side) avoided purchasing the newer MacBooks even after thoroughly explaining and understanding the benefits of C. She went with an older MacBook Air. Makes sense for her being that she's not a power user and typically uses her laptops for light web browsing and managing photos etc.

If the entire hardware of Apples Ecosystem had switched to TB3, I actually believe people would be more inclined to purchase these newer laptops (just my personal opinion)
The USB-C thing is an issue for me. I have probably four Thunderbolt 2 ethernet adapters, multiple DisplayPort and HDMI to DVI or HDMI converters and lots of other USB-2 and USB-3 devices. I do have a few USB-C devices too with USB-A adapter cables. We will at some point make the move but I wish that Apple did what many other Windows computer makers do and that's to offer multiple kinds of ports in generosity. The 2015 MacBook Pro is the perfect example. Just take that case and add four USB-C ports. It would be the most PORTabile computer ever.
 

frou

macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2009
598
652
Presumably you'd get the Caps Lock etc fixed by Apple for free, before selling it?
 

ascender

macrumors 68030
Dec 8, 2005
2,614
632
Amazingly, despite all of the coverage in the tech press, I see numerous postings for 2016-2018 MBP in online forums which aren't Mac-specific and very few people ask about keyboard issues. Most buyers seem to ask about battery count still!

Things are only ever worth what somebody will pay for them so its difficult to say for sure. They'll find their price over time and steady out because regardless of what we all think, they're still very nice laptops which appeal to a lot of people and there's a whole lot of people who simply can't afford or justify to buy one brand new.

I guess like cars if you've paid sticker price for a brand new MBP in 2019, you're probably going to be hit the hardest if you want to sell it to fund a revised version later in the year. But like cars, nobody ever made money on buying them new and selling them on quickly (unless its the really rare stuff).
 

pshufd

macrumors 65816
Oct 24, 2013
1,401
931
New Hampshire
Amazingly, despite all of the coverage in the tech press, I see numerous postings for 2016-2018 MBP in online forums which aren't Mac-specific and very few people ask about keyboard issues. Most buyers seem to ask about battery count still!

Things are only ever worth what somebody will pay for them so its difficult to say for sure. They'll find their price over time and steady out because regardless of what we all think, they're still very nice laptops which appeal to a lot of people and there's a whole lot of people who simply can't afford or justify to buy one brand new.

I guess like cars if you've paid sticker price for a brand new MBP in 2019, you're probably going to be hit the hardest if you want to sell it to fund a revised version later in the year. But like cars, nobody ever made money on buying them new and selling them on quickly (unless its the really rare stuff).
Most people live their lives and don't think about their computers and don't look at reliability. I personally think that people shouldn't have to think about their computers because they are just so reliable. Unfortunately Apple's had a few problems in this area since at least 2007 (first MBP that I bought).
 
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Queen6

macrumors 604
Personally I buy notebooks to make money and generally gift them out at the 24 - 36 month period. A used 2016 - 2018 MBP you'd need to be paying me to take the risk. Backup systems aside I don't have the time to be dealing with BS like keyboards failing what a ****ing joke Apple has become...

Q-6