Do you look wistful and count the zeroes on the latest Apple price tag? You're not alone if you can not afford the new, high-resolution iMacs and MacBooks. But there is a savior, and it comes in the form of refurbished products.
You need to know the following when buying a refurbished Mac – either through Apple or another retailer.
What does a refurbished Mac really mean?
Let's first clarify: Renovated is not the same as resold. Reselling only means that someone resells the same, often used item with all the problems involved. Refurbished means that the Apple product in question (ideally) was returned to a specialist due to a minor problem or because it was no longer wanted. All defective parts are replaced and the product is subjected to a one-time inspection to ensure that everything is shiny and working properly. Subsequently, it is repackaged to be resold. Usually sold at a discount. This means that when you buy a product that is often as good as new you save money.
Apple Manages Its Own Renovated Business Called "Certified Refurbished" Trained professionals ensure that every device works properly before it's offered for sale. The store offers the highest quality, so you essentially get a machine that hardly differs from a new model. Many people consider it an instant rebate option when they buy a new Apple device ̵
One caveat, however, is that it's unusual to find recently released Apple products that have been refurbished, as they probably have not come back yet. As a rule, products must be out of service for at least a few months before refurbished Mac deals come onto the market. These are then brought to market quickly. The largest product range should be between one and two years old. It's hard to find refurbished Apple electronics that are older than a few years.
Buy at Apple
If you want to buy directly from the source, go to Apple Obsolete section. Buying directly from the manufacturer is a great way to go for outdated items because you know they have been professionally inspected, repaired, cleaned and repackaged by people with experience in these specialized electronics areas. Apple even backs these products with the same warranty you find on a new Mac, and you can continue to insure your device with AppleCare. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind:
- Both used and broken models are available. Apple guarantees that all products comply with the finished product tests. The discounts in the online shop are a bit overwhelming. The average discount rate is 15 percent. That's good, but it does not make hearts beat faster. However, some discounts can be up to 25 percent if you are lucky.
- It's not just about Macs: Macs and MacBooks are among the most popular options, but Apple sells outdated models from just about anything in the company's arsenal, including Apple Watches and iPhones. The menu on the far left of the webpage shows what is available and what is not. But keep in mind that inventory can change quickly, especially with popular products.
- Obsolete articles enjoy great popularity when a new Apple product comes out. Sure, it takes a while for outdated versions of new products to reach the digital shelves, but consumers immediately wonder if they can get an older model at a cheaper price, which leads them to look for outdated products. In other words, availability is rather low and competitive immediately after a major Apple release.
- The cheapest models are usually the most sought after. For example, iPads are hard to find with Wi-Fi only, but those with mobile data options are more common, and so on.
- Free shipping and returns apply to all of these products.
Choosing the Right Provider  Beyond the Apple Store, there are options if you want to get a refurbished iPad or iMac. Many third party vendors – including eBay, Amazon and Best Buy – specialize in home improvement, and you can find them on the internet. These shops do not always offer products that have been repaired by Apple itself, but they can offer used products that have been repaired. You'll also get better discounts from a third party than the Apple Store.
Trust is of the utmost importance here. Do not just search eBay and search for the best possible prices – this is a quick way to fraud and disappointment. Instead, look for quality brands that offer well-reviewed, refurbished items. Some of the most common retailers are:
Other World Computing : OWC specializes in used computers and shuns smaller Apple devices. The good news is that prices are generally below those of Apple and there is a two-week money back guarantee. The bad news is that the products have not been tested or certified by Apple.
Mac of All Trades : Mac of All Trades offers some of the best deals in the Mac world. Quality can be a problem sometimes, but there is a 90-day warranty and expedited shipping, which makes this a great alternative to the Apple Store. Note, however, that the stock tends to be in high demand. Therefore, the options are limited.
Amazon : Amazon is a great place to find online options that have been collected from a variety of vendors, including Apple R, Us, and Open Electronics. However, always make sure to get a high user rating before thinking about buying and note that many of the available models differ only slightly. It can therefore be difficult to find what you are looking for.
PowerMax : Apple's premier partner for Macs, iPads and iPhones, PowerMax offers 120 days warranty on used Macs. However, the site is more difficult to navigate and use than the Apple Refurbished Store.
Best Buy : Best Buy also offers a limited number of refurbished Macs through its own program. They are often sold out, but if you're a Best Buy customer and can draw loyalty points or other benefits from the purchase, it's definitely worth a look.
Sign of good business
The price is one of the highest important factors for a sweet deal, but there are other signs of a wise purchase. Whether you search the Refurbished section of the Apple Web site or explore other vendors:
- Warranties and Returns Policy : A warranty provides some protection if your refurbished Mac unexpectedly throws dust after purchase and save too much money. A good example of this is Apple's one-year warranty on refurbished goods. Luckily, other manufacturers offer similar protection features.
- Testing : You want to buy a Mac from a company that offers product testing. Apple is the best in the industry, but other vendors also offer proprietary, albeit non-branded, testing to ensure the highest quality.
- Practical Exam : This is often not possible when buying online. However, when you search the local resellers, you should make sure that you can inspect and test the product yourself. That way, you can look for obvious problems before you buy.
- Original Materials : The original packaging, instructions and accessories are a big bonus. This should have a serious, refurbished product, as the experience, as new, is part of what differentiates a refurbished model from its used counterpart.
signs of bad business
Amazon and other areas of the Internet:
- No warranties or guarantees : If a provider does not offer any protection or redemption terms, you should resign slowly. If the warranty is extremely short, the dealer can not assume that the products they sell are reliable. You roll dice here unless the dice are made of money.
- No Pictures : If someone does not publish real pictures of a product and is not a trustworthy provider, do not trust them.
- A model too old for you and Apple : While you may be able to get an older product for less, that does not mean you it should. Older products are "outdated" because they typically do not support the latest MacOS features and come with outdated components. If you are considering a so-called overhaul that is older than three years, ask if the battery has ever been replaced. Also check the Apple Vintage and Outdated Products page to see if the device you want is no longer supported by Apple.
- Outdated goods that have not been reconditioned : Sometimes it says in a store: "refurbished", but in reality it means "used". This is common with smaller vendors on Amazon and eBay. Go to a store where products are actually processed, and do not rely too much on nomenclature.