Question about Refurbished Macs

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by markw10, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. markw10 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I'm relatively new to Macs and have noticed that whenever a new system comes out such as the updated MacBook or MacBook Pro that then there is a line of refurbished macs that come out which seem to be the previous generation systems and of course they are cheaper.
    My question, are these leftover inventory that Apple is clearing or are these actual refurbished machines which were sent in and refurbished? Or is the case that it could be either of these? From what I see it seems like these come with warranty so are likely very good deals if you don't need the latest and greatest.
     
  2. mklos macrumors 68000

    mklos

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    #2
    Refurbished Macs are indeed refurbished. As with anything refurbished, its a crapshoot as to how good a Mac you'll get. The good thing is that they have the same 1 yr warranty as any new Mac, along with 90 days telephone support.

    If it has cosmetic scratches, or dents, Apple will most likely NOT fix those issues as long as it doesn't effect the way the computer works. So just keep that in mind. Thats the chance you take with a refurb computer.
     
  3. btc macrumors member

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    Jan 29, 2006
    #3
    you have to read the fine print. "refurbishing" is either done at Apple or is done at a buisness that does it. some places just plug the thing in and if it runs for 5 minutes it's time to ship it out. "new, in box" is something else entirely.

    i have never bought a new Mac. That says more for my financial status than my faith in Macs. i'm retired on disability. If i could afford it i'd be buying a new Powerbook, too.

    in all my used purchases starting with a Mac Plus up to my recent purchase of a G4 i've never gotten a bad deal. i only buy from well-known refurbishers.

    The G4 i recently bought did have a problem though when it arrived, it would shut down about 10% of the time when booting. I did a clean install of the OS and that problem went away.
     
  4. slu macrumors 68000

    slu

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    #4
    This is a common topic, so a search of the forums will give many more responses.

    That being said, I have purchased a refurb powerbook and 2 refub iPods and they all looked brand-new to me, except for the brown box they ship in.

    I would highly recommend a refurb if you have no need for the latest and greatest.

    Remember, they do come with the standard 1 year warranty and you can purchase AppleCare.

    The only thing you can't do (obviously) is BTO the machine.

    And I disagree with the poster who said it is a crapshoot...I think you are more likely to get a bum Mac that is brand new, because you know that the refurb has been tested to ensure that it operates as expected. And Apple is not going to let a refurb go out the door that is badly damaged externally and looks "used".
     
  5. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

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    Los Angeles, CA
    #5
    Is this from your personal experience, or just a general observation on refurbished merchandise?

    I've bought multiple refurbished items from Apple.com, and they've always been cosmetically perfect- Macs, iPods, Airport card. That's not to say all their refurbs are in such great condition, but I've heard the same from other people who have bought Apple refurbs. My eMac actually came in the regular retail box, as it was likely an Edu leftover that didn't get sold. I would imagine that some of the previous gen computers are also like that (but not 100%.)

    I doubt if you buy a refurb PB it's going to have dents in the case, for the reason that a dent is often enough to invalidate the warranty if your PB goes bad. Scratches maybe. If you want to save some money and want far greater security than say EBay, Apple refurbs are absolutely great.
     
  6. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #6
    It's not scratch-n-dent, it's Refurbished.

    To the original poster, this can mean that a machine failed to pass quality-control at first, a machine that was returned because it had problems, or even a perfect machine that was exchanged.

    The reburbishment process means that all damaged or unworking parts are replaced, including cases, screens, etc. Apple will not knowingly sell a banged-up machine as 'refurbished.'

    I just recently bought a 30GB iPod and the only difference was the box, otherwise the iPod was pristine. I would highly recommend buying refurbished systems and iPods from Apple.
     
  7. Reflow macrumors 68000

    Reflow

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    #7
    Well I bought two laptops for the refirb site and the only thing was it came in a brown box instead of the white on. As for the condition of both laptops I really can't complain because they were in BRAND NEW Condition. So my experience with Refirb is GREAT
     
  8. macg4 macrumors 6502a

    macg4

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    #8
    i have been considering getting a refurbished macbook for $899(white) thanks for your guys comments and advice
     
  9. NATO macrumors 68000

    NATO

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    #9
    There isn't really much risk involved with refurb machines. If you buy one and it's everything you wanted it to be then you're better off as it was cheaper to buy. If not, you can return it just like you can return any other Apple product. Win-Win situation really.
     
  10. macg4 macrumors 6502a

    macg4

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    #10
    well thats good to know anyway
     
  11. darrenemo macrumors newbie

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    Oct 4, 2006
    #11
    Does anyone know how long it takes for refurbs to show up in the apple store after a product release? I'm looking for a black macbook c2d refurb :D
     
  12. macg4 macrumors 6502a

    macg4

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    #12
    it maybe a while for that one....
     
  13. darrenemo macrumors newbie

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  14. aquajet macrumors 68020

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    VA
    #14
    In my experience, having purchased three refurbished Macs, minor hairline scratches are acceptable. A gashed and dented machine is a damaged machine and Apple will repair or replace it in this case.
     
  15. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #15
    I've been corrected, my understanding was all the casings would be replaced if they were scratched and/or dented.
     
  16. macg4 macrumors 6502a

    macg4

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  17. fishy2k8 macrumors member

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    #17
    there is a black macbook refurb on apple.com right now
     
  18. macg4 macrumors 6502a

    macg4

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    #18
    oh, really..faster than i expected
     
  19. MickG macrumors newbie

    MickG

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    Santa Barbara, CA
    #19
    Apple Refurb Quality?

    I would like to hear more as I'm working with a client who bought a G5 Quad and it has been a nightmare for her. Before I came on the case, there were apparently loose screws in the thing and one of the processors (possibly as a result of this) burned out and had to be replaced. She's probably looking forward to days and days (if not weeks) of calls to AppleCare before they will send her another oneShe just got it in July...

    First of all, is there an official line as to what constitutes an Apple "Refurb?" Can they really be perfectly fine computers that were returned and then much be sold as "used?" Do we really know that "perfect machines" hit the Apple refurb line, or do we assume that? I don't know...

    Additionally, I wonder if there is any way to find out what percentage of the computers are ones in which Apple had to trade out for because all the Apple Care in the world was not able to solve the problem. My G5 dual 2ghz would have gone that way. I bought it brand new when they first came out and I got a lemon. :(

    So yes, you get a year of free AppleCare and you can pay for 3, but if you end up spending days and weeks trying to get it repaired or replaced, the small savings would ultimately not be worth it. :(

    It's good to hear some positive reports, but I'm still leery. :confused: Does Apple publish any statistical data on the "success" of these refurbs? I'm not sure I buy the argument that these refurbs are statistically LESS likely to be buggy just because they've supposedly been "refurbished." I would have to know a lot more specific information about the refurbishing process and what that actually means and entails.

    cheers,

    Mick
     
  20. mick4394 macrumors 6502a

    mick4394

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    #20
    All I can say is my experience with Apple refurbs has been nothing but positive. I've purchased a Macbook and an iPod through Apple's refurb site. Both arrived in brand new cosmetic and working condition (aside from the refurb box and serial number).
    Given the savings (which are significant), and the number of complaints I hear about buying brand new Apple products, I'll take my chances with the refurbs.
     
  21. MickG macrumors newbie

    MickG

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    Santa Barbara, CA
    #21
    Apple Refurb Quality?

    Understood, Mick. :cool:

    And is really is helpful to hear some positive experiences, I was just totally surprised that they were all so positive here while all 3 of the Apple Authorized dealers I work with regularly refuse to sell them to customers. And for their part, it's not about price and markup. They make next to nothing on both refurbs and brand new. It's because they get tired of repairing them again and again. Actually, if they were just in the market to bill AppleCare hours, refurbs, according to them, would be a great income generation thing. So I guess it lent more credibilty to their experience that they were not interested in selling them because they got tired of unhappy customers.

    My initial query remains.

    How do we find out more information (rumored or otherwise - as long as it's so labeled) as to what makes up the stock of these "refurbs?" This is a rumors site, so is there anyone out there working for Apple who can report on this?

    much obliged,

    Mick
     
  22. yojitani macrumors 68000

    yojitani

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    #22
    Well, I just bought a 20" iMac C2D refurb and it should be here tomorrow or the day after. I can report back on the condition, if it would be of help...

    yt
     
  23. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #23
    Mick, according to an Apple Store employee, a computer that is returned opened and used, if only for a few moments, must go back through the process in order to assure it's in working condition. Only a few refurbs might fall under this situation, many more will be returned because of problems that the Geniuses couldn't easily fix.

    Furthermore, check out this link.

    The assumption about Q&A for a refurbished product is during the manufacturing process only a selection of machines are pulled and tested for problems, thus sometimes minor defects in the manufacture get by. Since a refurb (or Apple Certified) has now gone through the process twice, it is assumed that this machine will be more likely to be reliable.

    Obviously there are no guarantees.

    As for Apple publishing statistics on the reliability of refurbs, I wouldn't hold my breath, not only is Apple tortuously secretive, but there's little benefit to publishing this information. Either the refurbs are a bad deal because they're more likely to be wonky and thus fewer people buy stock Apple wants to be rid of, or they're a great deal because the mainline products are more wonky, and thus more people might be inclined to wait and buy the cheaper and more reliable product. With this kind of lose-lose situation in mind, I think Apple would be relatively quiet about this issue.
     
  24. aquajet macrumors 68020

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    Feb 12, 2005
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    VA
    #24
    From the Special Deals page:

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    (1) What are Apple Certified Refurbished Products?

    Apple Certified Refurbished Products are pre-owned Apple products that undergo Apple's stringent refurbishment process prior to being offered for sale. These products have been returned under Apple's Return and Refund Policies. While only some units are returned due to technical issues, all units undergo Apple's stringent quality refurbishment process.

    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. See each products "Learn More" for more details.
    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.
    Refurbishment procedures follow the same basic technical guidelines as Apple's Finished Goods testing procedures.


    (2) What should I expect when I purchase an Apple Certified Refurbished Product?
    Substantial savings
    A fully functional unit with complete documentation
    The assurance that the unit meets Apple's premiere quality standards, and that its defective components have been replaced by genuine Apple components

    (3) Can I purchase the AppleCare Protection Plan for my Apple Certified Refurbished Product?

    All Apple Certified Refurbished Products are covered by Apple's One-Year Limited Warranty. For extended coverage, you have the option of purchasing the AppleCare Protection Plan with your Apple Certified Refurbished Product. The AppleCare Protection Plan extends the complimentary coverage on your Apple Certified Refurbished Product to up to three years of world-class support.

    For your convenience, we have placed the appropriate AppleCare Protection Plan at the bottom of each product collection on the Apple Certified Refurbished products page.

     
  25. MickG macrumors newbie

    MickG

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    Santa Barbara, CA
    #25
    I think that's a great idea. Thanks, yogi. :cool:

    cheers,

    Mick
     

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