Do you find yourself staring longingly at the screen and counting the zeros on the latest Apple price tag? It’s no surprise that students, experts, and entertainment gurus around the world struggle to afford the brand new, super-resolution iMacs and MacBooks. But there is a savior, and its name is refurbished hardware – a way to get instant discounts on Apple goods just as great as new versions.
Refurbished what now?
Let’s get one thing clear — refurbished is not the same as resold. Resold just means that a person is selling the exact same item once more, often used, with all the problems that entails. Refurbished means that the Apple product of your eye was sent back to (ideally) a professional because of a minor problem, or because it was no longer wanted. Any malfunctioning parts are replaced, the item is inspected to make sure that everything is shiny and operating as it should, and then it is repackaged to be sold again, better than ever.
Since refurbished Apple items cannot be sold at MSRP, they are typically sold at a discount, which means you save cash while getting a solution that is often just as good as new. How much money you save depends on the item, what went incorrect, and availability, as well as who you shop with. We bet you have a lot of questions, so here are the answers.
What you can get
Here’s a bit of good news, no matter what product you have your eyes on. Each major Apple item, even several generations of Macs, are available refurbished. Nevertheless, supplies ebb and flow over time, so there’s no telling what refurbished goods will be in stock when you look on-line.
A couple other caveats also apply. First, it’s uncommon to locate just-launched Apple goods that have been refurbished, for the clear reason — they haven't had time to be returned yet. Normally goods have to be out for at least a handful of months before any refurbished Mac deals hit the industry, and these will be quickly snapped up. The greatest variety of items will almost certainly be one to two years old. It is challenging to find refurbished Apple electronics beyond a couple of years old.
The key is finding both a supplier you can trust, and specifically what you are looking for. When it comes from vendors, you can either select from Apple…or try out the other guys.
Buying from Apple
If you want to buy straight from the supply, then head over to Apple’s Refurbished and Clearance section of their on-line store. Buying from the maker is great when it comes to refurbished products, because you know they have been professionally inspected, fixed, cleaned and repackaged by individuals with experience in those specific electronics – with no interest in cheating you. Apple even backs these products with the exact same warranty of a new Mac, and you can further that protection via AppleCare.
With Apple, there’s a give and take. Both pre-owned and once-defective models are available, and Apple guarantees that all goods meet Completed Goods testing. However, the discounts on the ones on the internet Shop are a bit underwhelming. Around 10% is the average discount price, which is good but doesn’t really get hearts thumping. Some discounts can be as high as 25% if you get super lucky, but Apple’s bargains are tough to predict. The company puts up new stock often, but it seldom lasts long.
Choosing the proper vendor
There are other alternatives beyond the Apple shop to grab that ideal refurbished iPad or iMac. These are third generation vendors that specialize in refurbishing, and you can find them across the Web from eBay to big internet shops. These shops can’t supply official refurbished products, but they can offer used products that have been fixed up. Also, you can locate far better discounts than those supplied at the Apple Retailer.
Trust is paramount here. Don’t just type a search into eBay and look for the best possible prices — that’s a quick route to scams and disappointment. Start by looking for the most trusted, specialized sellers. This includes Mac of All Trades, Other World Computing, and to a lesser extent PowerMax, among others (but not once-popular The Mac Store, which is now Simply Mac, an Apple affiliate that no longer offers refurbished goods).
Signs of a great deal
Obviously, cost is one of the most essential aspects of a sweet deal, but hold your horses and look for other indicators of a smart buy. Whether looking at the Refurbished Mac of the Apple Retailer or exploring other vendors, here’s what to watch for.
- Warranties and return policies: A warranty provides some protection if your refurbished Mac suddenly re-bites the dust after you get it, saving you from wasting too much money. A great example is the Apple’s own one-year free warranty for refurbished goods, but other vendors offer protection too.
- Testing: You want to buy a good from a company that offers product testing. Apple is the best at this, but other vendors also offer their own (albeit not brand-certified) testing procedures to assure quality.
- Hands-on examination: This isn’t usually possible when buying online, but if you are looking at local dealers, make sure you can examine and test the product yourself to look for any obvious problems before buying.
- Original materials: The original box, instructions and accessories are a great bonus. A reputable refurbished product should have these, as the like-new experience is part of what separates a refurbished model from a generic used Mac.
Signs of a bad deal
If you are determined to check out to lesser-recognized third parties on eBay, Amazon and other corners of the Net, here are the signs that ought to send alarm bells shrieking in your head.
- No warranties or guarantees: If a vendor doesn’t offer any sort of protection or return policy, back away gradually. You are rolling the dice here, except the dice are made of your funds.
- No pictures: Come on, this is apparent. If a person isn’t posting real pictures of a solution and isn’t a trusted vendor…don’t trust them.
- A model that’s too old for you and Apple: While you might be able to get an older item for much less cash, that doesn’t imply you must. Old items stretch the meaning of “refurbished” simply because they usually lack assistance for the most recent OS X functions and have an old battery, tired drive and other components. If considered a so-called refurb that’s more than three years old, ask if the battery has ever been replaced.
- Refurbished goods that aren’t refurbished: At times a retailer says “refurbished” but it actually indicates “selling used stuff.” This is common among smaller sized vendors on Amazon and eBay. Use a store that actually refurbishes and don’t put a lot trust in the word itself.
A refurbished Mac might sound like a risk, but it’s really a fantastic way to save funds. In truth, it’s arguable that there’s very little cause to ever purchase a new Mac, if time is not of the essence. By waiting for models to pop up on an official refurbished Mac page you can save a bit of funds whilst getting the exact same level of quality. Get out there and start your search!