What is A Worthy Upgrade - Used M1 Mac Mini Price Analysis

Why you shouldn't get the storage upgrade, and which configuration has the best resale value.


Debuted on November 10th, 2020, the all new Apple Silicon M1 Mac Mini revolutionized the whole Mac world. While the new M1 chip substantially improved performance compared to the Intel counterparts, it also forgo the user upgradability due to the new SoC design that incorporated the RAM into the CPU package, and the storage NANDs are soldered on the system board.

Without the possibility of future upgrades, buyers are forced to make their choice at the time of purchase. In this blog post, I will analyze the residual value of the RAM and storage upgrades to see which upgrade, or a combination of, holds the value best.


I will be collecting my data from eBay, which is a popular used market that would most likely reflect what second-hand buyers are willing to pay for a particular spec.

The data will be limited to “Auction Only”, “Completed” listings within 40 days to maintain relevancy. Also, I would also remove listings that have extras, focusing on the value of the machine itself.

M1 Mac Mini
Base 8+256 RAM 16+256 SSD 8+512 RAM+SSD 16+512
355 620 405 500
320 660 346 690
331 490 340 635
330 500 335 611.36
310 505 355 575
330 510 370 650
320 476 450 500
290 497 585
316.11 520 647.98
315 415 581
305 421 680.88
350 504 635
315 660
365 600
340 600
Avg Sold Price 326 510 372 610
Original Price 599 799 799 999
Price Difference 273 289 427 389
Discount 45.55% 36.19% 53.50% 38.93%


When we dive into the numbers of resale values for the M1 Mac Mini on eBay, a clear pattern emerges. The data decisively points to the 16GB RAM and 256GB SSD configuration as the savvy choice for those looking to minimize depreciation. The balance struck between performance enhancement and cost retention here is most favorable. Not only does this configuration show the least amount of depreciation, but it also stands out for maintaining its resale value almost at par with the base model.

This analysis underscores a critical point for potential buyers: investing in RAM over storage yields a better return on the resale market. With external storage solutions both economical and abundant, it makes sense that the built-in storage upgrades do not hold their value as strongly. They offer less perceived value when one considers the flexibility and price of external storage options.

Interestingly, the data also points to the diminishing returns on higher-tier storage upgrades. The 512GB storage option, in particular, falls short in maintaining its value, making it the least advisable upgrade for those concerned about resale price. This steep drop in resale value is a compelling argument for those considering future-proofing their purchase. It may be more prudent to channel funds into next-generation features or hardware rather than doubling down on built-in storage that depreciates rapidly.

In light of these findings, consumers should feel encouraged to make purchasing decisions that align with their immediate needs, without overestimating the value of higher storage configurations. As the M1 Mac Mini continues to impress with its performance, it’s the smart configuration choices that will ensure users get the most out of their investment when it's time for an upgrade.

It's important to note that while this analysis is informative, it’s based on the current market and technology trends. As with any tech purchase, future market conditions and personal usage scenarios should also be considered. But for now, the data speaks volumes: for the M1 Mac Mini, upgrading the RAM is where the value holds firm.

So, how can one live with their 256GB Macs? See my review on this Thunderbolt enclosure and how you could expand the storage without shelling out $200 for a mere 256GB upgrade from Apple.