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  1. Money Savings
  2. Less Depreciation
  3. Bugs and kinks have generally all been addressed
  4. Environmental Sustainability
  5. New introductions don’t suddenly devalue your purchase

When I bought my MacBook Air in 2010, I was annoyed when a friend bought the new MacBook Air just two months later, and it had the new feature of a keyboard that lights up in the dark. But after some thought, I actually ended up wishing I had purchased a Previous Generation or used MacBook Air instead, and enjoyed the savings. The keyboard was really not that big of a deal, and the cost difference from new to used could have saved me hundreds of dollars. Another way to think about it is if someone would have walked up to me and told me they could install the light behind the keyboard for a hundred bucks, I would’ve turned them down. There’s a price to be paid for every feature, but sometimes those costs get masked behind the overall excitement of buying a new item.

If I had purchased the older MacBook Air, I wouldn’t have had the nagging feeling that I didn’t get the most for my money; my own buyer’s remorse. Computers rank right below automobiles as one of the more expensive items a person will regularly buy. Financial guru Dave Ramsey says only millionaires should buy new cars, simply because it is in fact a luxury. Just like a car, once a new Mac leaves the “lot,” it immediately goes down in value. When a new model replaces your once-new machine, depreciation continues at a faster rate.

Another great reason to buy the previous generation Mac is that most of the bugs have all been worked out. Macs are well known for not having the same virus issues as PC’s, but Apple also makes improvements to their software on a regular basis. Generally the last rev of any generation of OS is going to be the most stable and bug-free.

Buying used also helps the planet. If you want to walk the sustainable walk, buying used is certainly one way to do that. Get the most use out of these machines and do the earth some good. The simple term is “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle”. When you decide to buy used, you are reducing the depletion of natural resources by reusing someone else’s device. On top of that, used Macs hold their value so well, once you are finished with it, it most likely still has trade-in value, or certainly can be of use to someone else who might need it.

All that said, there are always plenty of good reasons to buy new. The latest models are the fastest and have the whiz-bang features you read about on the internet. You get a longer warranty, the ability to buy AppleCare with it, and of course there’s always something to be said about opening the box of a shiny new Mac. But it’s a little bit like what they used to say back in the ‘80’s: you didn’t get fired for buying an IBM PC. Similarly, you probably won’t make a big mistake buying new, but a savvy buyer can really make the most of his or her money with a smart analysis of the benefits of both new and used Macintosh.

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