so, refurb or no?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MacTurtle, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. MacTurtle macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Location:
    Arlington, TX
    #1
    So, I've got the okay to order a new laptop from the powers that be in my household.

    In looking across the apple store site I notice that they have some killer deals on refurbs. You can get a refurbed 12 and 14 ibook for roughly 200 less than the new ones in the stores.

    Apple covers them a full one year, and they are eligable for applecare. Has anyone here bought refurbs before? I've always been leary of refurb electronics in the past. A feeling of why should I buy someone elses problem child that they've returned. But I'm also smart enough to know that that thinking is firmly based in the distant past on bad experiances with non computer electronics...

    How about cosmetic issues? Are they likely to be scuffed? marked? or otherwise not as pristine as a new fresh smelling ibook off the factory line? I'd hate to buy a refurb and then me annoyed by a set of big scratchs across the top of the case, or grungy palm rests or keyboards...

    The discount is substantial to me. I am very tempted here. Give me some advice folks.
     
  2. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #2
    Do an advanced search in this forum for refurbs. There are quite a few threads.
     
  3. budugu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #3
    They are generally ok ... but avoid stuff with chronic problems like rev A imac G5, single processor G5 powermacs etc. Research the product you want to buy. I bought a rev A imac refurb and it was hopeless. I finally retuned it (ahh!) and got a refurb imac rev B which works like a charm! Refurbs are good. Try getting them from an apple store near you (note the prices online). You have much better deals there and will find stuff which are not available on line.
     
  4. GraphicUmp macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2002
    Location:
    Mid Atlantic
    #4
    I'm posting from a refurb 12" iBook - absolutely no problems whatsoever. Not a blemish, not a scratch, not a mark on the screen, not one dead pixel.

    Pristine, in other words.


    I also own a refurb 3G 10GB iPod. Same - no blemishes, no problems. And I've owned that for well over a year.
     
  5. tag macrumors 6502a

    tag

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    PA, US
    #5
    Well in my experience they are great deals but be aware things can go wrong. So far oddly enough, I've bought three refurbished systems and each one has had one problem after I got each one (like within a days of receiving them), but each was squared away with the included 1 year warranty.

    First I bought an iMac G4, honestly it looked brand new, not even a scuff mark. Though there was a loose connection to the monitor, which the genius at the apple store just had to tighten (It was probably due to the Fedex guy roughly putting the box down outside my door, all I could think of was I hope he didn't break it doing that grr). I love my G4 iMac and it runs flawlessly. My first mac, my favorite mac.

    Second, a month later I bought a 12" Powerbook, cosmetically it was nearly perfect except for a small small dent on the bottom right side that you don't even really notice. The powerbook worked great, the only thing was the function keys stuck a bit, so the tech at the apple store just replaced the keyboard quickly and free of charge. (And get this they replaced the keyboard with one that didn't even work, sadly I didn't think to really check it out till I got home, so I gotta head back and get it replaced again, oh well).

    And finally my family just got a refurb G5 iMac and barring some bad ram which was included (and replaced free) its great. And condition wise, I can't even tell it was used, it looks perfect and clean. The screen seems a bit fuzzy with videos though and am looking into that (as can be read about in another post).

    So in the end, you do have a chance to get some problems(probably on par with a new system I would think), though the price savings often trumps all, at least for me. Honestly I have never bought a new apple system, everything I have bought has been refurbished, barring my iPod, and to be honest its totally worth it in my opinion. You save a good deal, comes with the same great warranty, and 9 out of 10 times you can't even tell the difference other than the box it comes in. Though I would recommend getting the upgraded 3 year warranty, it at least puts my mind at ease.
     
  6. dallasuo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    Canton, GA
    #6
    You can also end up with a little surprise. I ordered a 12" ibook for my sister, and it was advertised as a 30 gig hdd but when it arrived it had the 60 gig hdd. I have heard of this unexpected sort of gift happening to others as well. I say go for it.
     
  7. nomad01 macrumors 68000

    nomad01

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Location:
    Birmingham, England
    #7
    I'd second that. I've had two refurb machines and both were returned as DOAs. First one had kernel panics all the time and the second just died!

    Anyway, Apple were great with both and refunded my money. Currently waiting for delivery of another refurb that'll hopefully work. A refurb is the ony way I can get a previous gen Powerbook at the moment so fingers crossed it works.

    Condition of both refurbs has been fine though. The last one was like new and came with a better GPU and HD than the base model and I know somebody that received a refurb PB with 2GB of RAM in it so you can get lucky.:)
     
  8. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #8
    My only experience with refurbs is the iPod that replaced my broken one today. It's pretty much faultless. Cosmetically, it looks brand new. :)
     
  9. tag macrumors 6502a

    tag

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    PA, US
    #9
    Ah they are really lucky (not sure how much they ordered originally but still its always good to get free stuff :D .) I'll tell you what though, when I got my first iMac I was so excited because there was an extra 512MB stick of RAM in the system (had it open to install the airport card first), but when I booted it up the RAM wasn't recognized. Now I mean couldn't really complain about something I wasn't supposed to get anyways, but man it did get me a bit excited for like what, 5 minutes or so. :p
     
  10. mrfrosty macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    #10
    I was in a similar position.....but it was really the cheapskate in me that wanted a refurb. I decide to get something brand new. In my drink addled head it went a little like this.....

    "Is it really worth the risk to save what 20%??"
    "If you are going to treat yourself to a new computer you should do it properly....."
    "You want to enjoy it right?
    "You'll worrying whether you have bought a puppy".
    Regarldless of how it looks or drives a refurb is a refurb it's already secondhand!"
    "It's only money"

    It also made me go for a 20" over a 17" :)
     
  11. tag macrumors 6502a

    tag

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    PA, US
    #11
    Does this go under the good list or the bad list? On one hand the puppy is new and all yours from the start so you can form a nice bond with it, on the otherhand it pees everywhere. Hmm.. :D
     
  12. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #12
    While there are certain problem models, usually you'll befine with a refurb.

    Just ordered a 12" iBook refurb for my daughter.
    I'm not worried at all because it's a well proven model and if anything
    is wrong, it goes right back no questions.
     
  13. cube macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #13
    I thought refurbs were no more risky than a brand new machine of the exact same model.

    Now I am hesitant.
     
  14. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #14
    The new iBooks are generally very strong, so I wouldn't worry so much if you're on a tight budget.

    The recent problem models have been the single 1.8 GHz
    G5's and Rev A iMacs.

    Your purchase is covered by a full year warranty and if you're not delighted with your purchase, you have 14 days to return it
    no questions.
     
  15. SummerBreeze macrumors 6502a

    SummerBreeze

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #15
    I bought a refurb iMac waaaaay back in the day (1999) and the first time we say a problem was 2004 (cd drive giving out). It still works even now, I turn it on occasionally for fun. Honestly, I'd go for the refurb. It definitely saves you money and it's worth it.
     
  16. FadeToBlack macrumors 68000

    FadeToBlack

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    Accoville, WV
    #16
    Yep, I received a surprise when I got my eMac. I ordered a 256MB RAM/80GB HD model and got 512MB RAM/160GB HD. Needless to say, I was and still am VERY happy with my purchase.
     
  17. dcv macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    #17
    I have a positive experience of buying a refurb iMac. It's cosmetically perfect and I even have the original box. One of my Airport Expresses is also 'reconditioned', yet it was wrapped up in exactly the same way as the 'new' one I bought and in pristine condition, so I can't even tell which is which.

    * go for it *
     
  18. nomad01 macrumors 68000

    nomad01

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Location:
    Birmingham, England
    #18
    I have the same conversations with myself too... and usually when I'm sober. ;)

    I agree completely. Nothing like opening a new Apple box. However, I've had that experience several times before and now I'm upgrading from a 12" Powerbook that's 18 months old and out of warranty so the 15" refurb is still newer, faster, bigger, has 12 months warranty and is only costing me 200 pounds more than I sold the 12" for.

    Now, if this third refurb is a turd, I'll be buying new but at present I'm happy to get a (working!) refurb for as little as possible to tide me over to the Intel machines (when they're stable) when I'll be buying a brand spanking new model. :)

    I would add that just about all electrical goods I buy are faulty in some way so my refurb experience is no bl**dy surprise! :mad:
     
  19. GroundLoop macrumors 68000

    GroundLoop

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2003
    #19
    I did the same thing. I purchased a refurb 6GB iPod Mini two weeks ago. It was essentially a brand new iPod repackged in the brown box. Definately a better purchase than a Nano.

    Refurbs are the way to go.

    Hickman
     
  20. jkeithh macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2002
    #20

    I had something very similar happen when I bought my refurb PowerMac G5, the listing stated it shipped with 256MB RAM, but when I received it and booted it, it actually had 512MB.

    Most of the Apple computers I have owned have been refurbs and I haven't had any trouble with a single one.
     
  21. TimF. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    Bucks County, PA
    #21
    Mine is still relatively new but I can at least speak to the condition. I waited until the announcement of the new iMacs last month for my final decision and I'm glad I did. I ordered a refurb iMac G5 17" 2ghz for $949 which was $300 less than the price before the announcement which made me even happier. After reading these forums I wanted to get a Rev B and have been eyeing them in the refurb section when they started appearing. I definitely ordered the Apple Care and added a Mighty Mouse for good measure. I was hoping for a "surprise" of a new Rev B that they wanted to clear out of inventory :D but no such luck. The Mac was packed solidly in a special refurb box with all software and documentation and the everything looked brand new. I almost wonder if they just toss in brand new keyboards and mice because is is probably less expensive than cleaning. I usually would not consider a refurb of electronics but based on what I have investigated on the type of support and that it is Apple itself that is selling the product I decided to go for it and do not regret my decision.
     
  22. nomad01 macrumors 68000

    nomad01

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Location:
    Birmingham, England
    #22
    Well I guess I'll be buying new then. :mad: Powerbook delivered today. Won't even boot into the o/s. I get the folder with a blinking question mark when I power it up.

    That's three bad refurbs in about a month. sigh I so wanted this one to be a keeper.
     
  23. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #23
    I'm typing this on my daughter's new refurb 12" iBook.

    It came in PERFECT

    and

    It came in with a 60GB HD free!!!:D

    $799.00 is so very reasonable for this great lil machine.

    Two scrollling fingers way up!
     
  24. FadeToBlack macrumors 68000

    FadeToBlack

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    Accoville, WV
    #24
    As I posted in another thread, my friend ordered one of those, as well. They shipped it out today. I hope he gets a bigger hard drive or something, too, but if he doesn't, it'll be all good, anyway. He's pretty excited. It's his first Mac.
     
  25. Danksi macrumors 68000

    Danksi

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Location:
    Nelson, BC. Canada
    #25
    ... reaches for 1-Click to buy option..

    ... wife slaps hand away from mouse!

    :(
     

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