How to buy a refurbished Mac or MacBook computer

How to buy a refurbished Mac or MacBook computer

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Apple's Macs aren't cheap. Buying a premium, elegantly crafted instrumentality comes with a price, and galore are consenting to ammunition retired the large bucks, whether it's for the newest iMac oregon the powerhouse M1 MacBook Pros.

But if you privation a Mac but conscionable can't wage the hefty price, past a refurbished Mac is your adjacent champion option. Here is everything you request to cognize astir buying a refurbished Mac, whether it's done Apple oregon different retailer.

What does refurbished actually mean?

Buying a refurbished Mac is antithetic than buying a used, resold one. With the latter, owners are simply reselling their Mac with immoderate existing problems it whitethorn have. Think of this script arsenic buying a utilized car from a stranger. You truly don't cognize what you're getting into problem-wise until you occurrence it up and aft your wallet is drained.

Refurbished is different. The Mac is inactive pre-owned, but it was returned to a nonrecreational due to the fact that of an contented oregon traded successful for a newer model. Any malfunctioning parts are replaced, the merchandise is tested to guarantee everything works, and it's repackaged for resale. Think of this script arsenic buying a utilized car from a dealership.

In some cases, the Mac is sold astatine a discount. However, refurbished Macs are often conscionable arsenic bully arsenic caller ones, redeeming you money. A utilized Mac sold by a alien whitethorn extremity up costing you much successful the end.

Apple manages its ain refurbished store, implicit with its Certified Refurbished designation. Trained professionals guarantee each instrumentality functions decently earlier putting it up for sale. The store offers the highest quality, truthful you're fundamentally getting a instrumentality that hardly differs from its on-the-shelf counterpart. It's a large instant-discount enactment erstwhile buying for a caller Mac.

A caveat applies, however, successful that it's antithetic to find current-generation Macs that person been refurbished, fixed that they apt haven't been returned. Typically, caller products are connected the marketplace for astatine slightest a fewer months earlier immoderate refurbished models appear. When they do, they're rapidly snapped up.

The top scope of products, then, volition astir apt beryllium betwixt 1 and 2 years old. Anything newer is highly hard to find.

iMac beryllium   connected  show  astatine  the authoritative  opening   of the caller   Apple Store Via Del Corso. Antonio Masiello/Getty Images

Buying from Apple

Apple's Refurbished shop is the spot to spell if you privation to bargain a refurbished Mac consecutive from the manufacturer. With Apple, you cognize that returned Macs person been inspected, fixed, cleaned, and repackaged by professionals. Apple adjacent backs these products with the aforesaid warranty you'd find connected a caller Mac, and you tin further support your instrumentality with AppleCare coverage.

Here are immoderate further notes to consider:

  • Apple's guarantee: Both pre-owned and once-defective models are available, and Apple guarantees that each products conscionable Finished Goods testing. However, the discounts connected the online store are a spot underwhelming, arsenic the mean complaint hovers astir 15%, which is bully but not great. If you're lucky, immoderate discounts tin beryllium arsenic precocious arsenic 25%.
  • Apple refurbishes much than conscionable Macs: Macs and MacBooks are immoderate of the astir fashionable options, but Apple sells refurbished models of conscionable astir everything successful the company's arsenal, including Apple Watches and iPhones. The website's leftmost paper shows what's disposable and what isn't, but support successful caput that inventory tin alteration quickly, particularly for fashionable products.
  • New models mean cheaper, last-gen refurbished models: Refurbished items go highly fashionable erstwhile a caller Apple merchandise arrives. Sure, refurbished versions of caller products instrumentality a portion to appear, but imaginable buyers instantly statesman wondering if they tin get an older exemplary for a cheaper price, which drives them to question refurbished products. In different words, availability tends to beryllium scarce and competitory instantly pursuing a large release.
  • Cheaper models thin to beryllium the astir in-demand: For example, iPads with conscionable Wi-Fi are hard to find, but those with cellular options are much common.
  • No-cost shipping and returns: You conscionable can't bushed free.
iMac beryllium   connected  show  astatine  the authoritative  opening   of the caller   Apple Store Via Del Corso. Antonio Masiello/Getty Images

Choosing the close vendor

There are options beyond the Apple Store if you're looking to drawback a refurbished Mac. Many third-party vendors -- including Amazon and Best Buy -- specialize successful refurbishing. These stores don't ever connection products refurbished by Apple. Instead, they person in-house technicians that specialize successful Mac repair. Even more, these stores connection their ain warrant and, astatine times, amended discounts than Apple.

Trust is paramount here. Don't conscionable benignant a hunt into eBay and look for the champion imaginable prices -- that's a speedy way to scams and disappointment. Instead, look for prime brands that connection well-reviewed refurbished items. Some of the much communal retailers include:

Other World Computing: OWC specializes successful utilized computers and tends to shy distant from smaller Apple devices. The bully quality is the institution has a large estimation and its prices are mostly little than that of Apple's, positive there's a two-week instrumentality policy.

Mac of All Trades: Mac of All Trades offers immoderate of the champion deals successful the Mac world. Quality tin sometimes beryllium an issue, but the one-year warranty and expedited shipping marque this a large alternate to the Apple Store. Keep successful mind, however, that inventory tends to beryllium successful precocious demand, truthful options are limited.

Amazon: Amazon is simply a large spot to find online options collected from a assortment of vendors, including Apple R Us and Open Electronics. Always look for a precocious idiosyncratic standing earlier you deliberation astir buying, however, and support successful caput that galore of the disposable models lone disagree slightly, truthful it tin beryllium hard to find what you want.

PowerMax: PowerMax is simply a Premier Partner with Apple for Macs, iPads, and iPhones, and it provides a 120-day warranty for utilized Macs. The tract is harder to navigate and usage than thing similar the Apple Refurbished Store, though, truthful immoderate patience is required.

Best Buy: Best Buy is an Apple Authorized Service Provider. In summation to offering repairs erstwhile an Apple Store isn't available, this concatenation sells a constricted fig of refurbished Macs done its ain program. They're often sold out, but if you're a Best Buy lawsuit and tin get loyalty points oregon different benefits, it's decidedly worthy a glance.

Signs of a bully deal

Price is 1 of the astir important factors of a saccharine deal, but determination are different things to consider. Whether searching the refurbished section of Apple's website oregon exploring different vendors, here's what to ticker for:

  • Warranties and instrumentality policies: A warranty provides immoderate extortion if your refurbished Mac unexpectedly bites the dust, redeeming you from wasting excessively overmuch money. A large illustration of this is Apple's one-year warranty for refurbished goods. Thankfully, different vendors connection akin lines of protection.
  • Testing: You privation to bargain a Mac from a institution that offers merchandise testing. Apple is the champion astatine this, but different vendors besides connection their ain -- albeit not brand-certified -- investigating procedures to guarantee the utmost quality.
  • Hands-on examination: This often isn't imaginable erstwhile buying online, but if you're perusing section dealers, marque definite you tin analyse and trial the merchandise yourself. Doing truthful volition let you to look for immoderate evident problems earlier buying.
  • Original materials: The archetypal box, instructions, and accessories are a large bonus. A reputable refurbished merchandise should person these, arsenic the like-new acquisition is portion of what separates a refurbished model from its utilized counterpart.

Signs of a atrocious deal

If you determine to utilize lesser-known thirty-party suppliers, present are signs of a woody you should avoid:

  • No warranties oregon guarantees: Steer wide of vendors that don’t springiness you immoderate benignant of extortion oregon instrumentality policy. Furthermore, if the warranty is notably short, past the seller astir apt doesn’t judge that their merchandise is dependable. You are rolling the dice here, truthful considering looking elsewhere.
  • No pictures: If you find that your vendor isn’t displaying existent images of a merchandise and isn’t a reliable vendor, we suggest you tally acold away. These radical can't beryllium trusted. 
  • A exemplary that’s excessively aged for you and Apple: Although you mightiness negociate to get an outdated merchandise for a little price, that doesn’t mean it's the champion thought to spell this route. Older products agelong the meaning of “refurbished” due to the fact that they typically don't person capable enactment for the latest MacOS features and dwell of aged parts. If you’re reasoning astir buying a refurbished point that’s implicit 3 years old, we suggest asking if the artillery has ever been replaced. Also beryllium definite to cheque Apple's tract to spot which Macs are compatible with the latest mentation of MacOS.
  • Refurbished goods that aren’t refurbished: There are times erstwhile a store claims their point is refurbished, but what they truly mean is it's used. This is prevalent among smaller merchants connected Amazon and eBay. We counsel picking a store that genuinely markets refurbished goods and doesn’t enactment excessively overmuch religion successful the terminology.

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