The Nigerian Used-market space is marred with fraud and sharp practices. So every fairly used Macbook shopper needs these tips to procure a decent Mac for their personal or business uses. Here are tips to help you shop correctly when going to buy a used MacBook in Nigeria.
Every Nigerian shopper must understand that the Nigerian used PC market is unique and has a combination of good/honest, greedy, and fraudulent players in it. Hence, due diligence is required to make better purchases, and here are some pointers to help you get started.
1. Do your research at home and not in the market
This is the mistake a lot of Nigerian shoppers make. They walk into a shop and ask the seller to make recommendations for them at so so budget. While this will turn out positive with honest sellers, some of 9ja PC sellers would see it as an opportunity to rip you off.
Your research should focus on what you need the PC for and the type of spec that’s appropriate for them. E.g., while a core i3/i5 MacBook would be enough for helpdesk and desktop publishing tasks, heavy uses (such as motion graphics or video editing) would require a core i5/i7, 16GB Ram MacBook. Also, understanding the difference between MacBook Pro (high processing power) and MacBook Air (fewer ports, less processing power) would be an advantage.
So at this point, it’s expected that you’ve formed the specs or hardware configuration you’re looking for. Confirming that the product you’re checking out matches your specs is an important checklist.
2. Be deliberate about your budget and specific requirements
You can use sites like Jumia (focus on the products listed directly by Jumia and not their merchants), Konga, online vendors, and Jiji (for used products) to get the average price of the MacBook version you wished to buy before going to the market for it.
Note: A lot of sellers will try to hoodwink you into buying a lower system if it’s going to give them more profit. E.g., You walk into a shop to buy a 2014 MacBook Pro. The seller tells you it’s sold for 360k and you try pricing him 280. Now, instead of negotiating for this model, this seller jumps off to tell you there’s another powerful one for 270k. Now, that’s a 2012 model that’s normally sold for 215 to 230k, but he’ll find ways to convince you that there’s no difference between the two.
Lastly, it’s more reasonable to buy a brand new, non-refurbished 2020 MacBook air for 500k (available on Jumia and other top online stores) than buying the same year and model on the used market space for 450k.
3. Take your time to inspect the product
A lot of big stores that normally focus on brand new PCs before now have entered the used market niche, hence, adding new methods (such as removing the follow-come storage, accessories, etc. to be sold differently) to get the same profit margin they are already used to. With this in mind, you must take your time to inspect the product (as the used PC market is not the same as that of brand new).
Allow the system to boot to the desktop, play music, view an image, or watch a video to let you view the screen properly to ensure there are no dead or defective pixels. Also, check the body and screen for physical damages such as cracks, dents, etc.
While we don’t expect a used product to be flawless, it is good to take note of the obvious defects and ensure it isn’t heating abnormally before parting with your money.
4. Confirm the year and Screen Condition
Yes, replacing a recent MacBook screen could be as expensive as buying a core i5 used HP PC, hence, the screen must be checked properly. Most sellers would not allow you to remove the triple-wrapped waterproof around the screen, while some won’t have an issue with that. Either way, you must carefully check the screen to ensure there aren’t any obvious screen defects (such as flexgate, dead pixels, etc.). Tools like dead pixels checker can come in handy for this.
This same check is applicable for the year as well. You can get the year by going to the About This Mac from the Apple menu.
Note: There are tricks and hacks to get the year when it isn’t showing in the About This Mac section. The first is to connect the Mac to the internet via your phone’s hotspot. Another is by entering the serial number (not the model number) on this site or this other one.
5. Big and Shiny Stores does not always translate to an honest store
While it is very common to lose one’s guard once the store is big and shiny, it is not always true as one dishonest employee can ruin everything. So it’s best to remain discreet irrespective of the store’s look/appearance (after all the deceptive mega vision isn’t located in shanties). Focus on what you came to buy and not the physical properties of the store.
6. Check the keyboard, trackpad, battery, and charger
Unlike Windows PCs, MacBook keyboard and follow-come chargers don’t come cheap. Hence, you must verify that the charger is original and doesn’t have cuts or tapes around it. Also, you can open a browser, a document editor, or use the built-in macOS Text Edit app to confirm that the keyboard and trackpad are working correctly.
Also, confirm the good working of the battery by accessing the power section of the System Information section. To access the System Information section, ==> click on the Apple Logo ==> Hold down the Option key ==> and immediately Select System Information from the drop-down menu ==> Open the Power section from the left sidebar menu, and scroll down to the Health Information section. There, you’re going to see if the battery is bad or in normal working condition.
7. Check the OS, Firmware password, USB Port, and Camera
While this isn’t as important as the first six above, ensuring the good working of the ports and camera is always welcome stuff. You can use the built-in Facetime or Photo Booth app to check the camera, and a flash drive to check the USB port. Also checking for the OS version isn’t out of place, as that would give you a good headstart.
Furthermore, you must ensure there isn’t any firmware password or hidden administrative lock as that would limit you in many ways.
Note: The latest version of macOS is Big Sure 11.4, while the one before it is Catalina.
8. Ask for a return warranty, when in doubt
Most Nigerian sellers do not honor returns (except for the few honest dealers), hence, you can politely ask the seller to give you some warranty in form of free repairs (of obvious issues) or outright replacement of severely faulty products. This is because issues like overheating, freezing (after long use hours), etc. can not be detected by a mere 15 minutes inspection.
Do you have other quality checklists for buying a used MacBook in Nigeria? You can add them here as the thread progresses.