Is your MacBook charger lost, broke, or you'd just like an extra? Buying a replacement Macbook charger can be a real hassle since Apple charges just under $80 for a new one. I ran into this dilemma when I had my old 15″ Macbook Pro and the charger completely stopped working by itself around 2 years into my ownership.
Unfortunately, I was not within the warranty period and I had not purchased AppleCare for that particular laptop so I was out of luck. My only other choices were to spend $80 on a replacement charger from Apple or find an alternative solution. Since I didn't want to drop that much cash on another charger, I did my research on how I could get around the issue and here is what I came up with:
Option #1: Buy A Used Charger
Buying a used charger from someone who has an extra or doesn't need theirs anymore is an excellent alternative to paying full price for a new one from Apple. Always sure to verify the charger is in working condition before purchasing.
Places to find a used charger:
Option #2: Buy An Aftermarket Charger
You can buy a brand new replacement Macbook charger from a 3rd party manufacturer for a fraction of the price Apple charges for a new one. This is the route I ultimately went with and it paid off as I was able to get a brand new working charger for less than $40. This lasted 3 more years of use before I ultimately sold that laptop and upgraded to a new one.
Places to find a new 3rd party charger:
Things To Keep In Mind Before You Buy A New Charger
Be sure to buy the right charger for your specific model
With the variety of Macbook, Macbook Air, and Macbook Pro models on the market in the past 5 years, there are multiple chargers available so it is important you purchase the correct one for your particular model. For example, there are 60W or 85W models as well as MagSafe and MagSafe 2 models. For more information on which charger is right for you, reference this Apple support article.
Be sure to check out customer reviews (new) or seller's feedback (used)
If you are buying a new aftermarket charger, be sure to check out the customer reviews on the particular product before purchasing. Try to stay away from any chargers who do not have any reviews yet and avoid those who have under a 2.5 or 3 star rating.
If you're worried about a low rating, I suggest checking out the reviews in more detail and seeing which factors customers complained the most about. Sometimes you'll see complaints and poor reviews simply due to a customer's own wrong doing so you should verify the complaints are legitimate.
If you are buying a new or used charger from eBay or Amazon, I highly suggest verifying the seller has positive feedback and lots of it. When I bought my replacement charger from eBay, I found an eBay Powerseller with great feedback who had multiple recent feedback on satisfied eBay users who purchased the same charger.
This helped me decide to choose to buy from him and it ended up being an excellent purchase that saved me money and lasted several years of use with no issues.
Photo Credit: Flickr (GemMoth)