Want to save a little money on your next Apple purchase? If so, you may be interested in a refurbished Mac. Apple offers MacBooks, MacBook Pros, iMacs, iPods and more a few hundred dollars cheaper than retail. The catch is they are refurbished. What exactly is that? Let’s explore what a refurbished Apple computer is, how much you can save and how to find them.
What is an Apple Refurbished computer?
No factory is perfect and not every new computer is tested. In order for each iMac, MacBook/Pro, and iPod to be tested it would require additional resources and time. This would translate into a substantially more expensive Mac. While modern factories have quality control, there is always a certain percentage of duds. This is true for all computer and electronics manufacturers, not just Apple.
So, what happens when someone buys a “bad” Apple? It gets classified as a “DOA” and returned in exchange for a new one. This is not to be confused with a computer that’s been in use for a while and then breaks. Those are repaired under warranty.
Apple then takes the dead computer, fixes it, tests it and then sells it again as refurbished. Apple does this for every return whether it was returned for technical problems or not.
How much can you save?
Of course, Apple charges less for a refurbished model but how much less? It depends on the computer or iPod but as of this post, some of the savings are as follows:
- MacBook: $200.
- MacBook Air: $250.
- MacBook Pro (17″): $500.
- iPod Nano (3rd Gen.): 4GB – $70, 8GB – $100.
- iPod Touch (16GB): $180. – (Not sure if 1st or 2nd Gen).
Is it safe to buy a refurbished computer?
You’d be tempted to think of a refurbished computer as damaged but it’s not. In fact, some were damaged but aren’t anymore. Apple’s not going to sell you a known broken computer for $200 less than retail. Here’s exactly what Apple does to a refurbished model before it’s available for sale:
“Each Apple Certified Refurbished Product:
* is fully tested (including full burn-in testing).
* is refurbished with replacement parts for any defective modules identified in testing.
* is put through a thorough cleaning process and inspection.
* is repackaged (including appropriate manuals, cables, new boxes, etc.).
* includes the operating software originally shipped with the unit and the custom software offered with that system.
* is given a new refurbished part number and serial number.
* is placed into a Final QA inspection prior to being added to sellable refurbished stock.”
- Source – Apple’s website
That’s actually better than from the factory, where not every machine is tested by a human technician. It’s perfectly safe to buy a refurbished Apple computer. It’s so safe that Apple actually gives them a 1 year warranty – just like the new factory fresh models. They also allow you to purchase AppleCare if you’d like.
How do I find refurbished Apples?
Now, if you’d like to save a few hundred dollars, you can buy refurbished Macs directly from Apple’s online store. I only recommend buying refurbished computers and other electronics directly from the manufacturer.
Note: Apple isn’t the only company out there offering refurbished computers for sale. Other manufacturers that offer official refurbished products are HP, Lenovo/IBM, Dell and many more. Do research them if you are looking for deals and as always, only buy them directly from the manufacturer.