Buying open-box at Best Buy

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ab2013, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. ab2013, Dec 12, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013

    ab2013 macrumors member

    May 5, 2013
    Hi everyone,

    I'm interested in getting a 2012/2013 MacBook Pro Retina. I've been paying attention to Best Buy's clearance stocks. There's a store that's about 20 miles away from home that is offering the 15" 2012 rMBP for $1,529 and one that's about 4 miles away from home and is offering the same exact model for $1,623. Both are listed as in "Excellent condition, Open-Box" and both have had the listing there for almost a month now. Apple has had the refurbished listing for $1,599 for the same model.

    How likely is it that I can get the store closest to home to bring their price down to $1,529 (matching the lowest price in my area), then have them apply the student discount that's currently available since Black Friday is over? Also, can I get Reward Zone points for open-box items?

    They also have the non-Retina 15" (new, clearance) for $1,399, but that's a tad high for a laptop without 8 GB of RAM and a non-SSD hard drive. Is it possible to drive a much harder bargain on this laptop compared to the open-box 15" Retinas, since the non-Retina is discontinued/outdated with only 4 GB of RAM and a spinning/non-SSD hard drive?

  2. boazjoe macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2008
    I don't know about anyone else but I would go with the Apple Refurb. Apple will stand behind it and I have had excellent experiences going this way. Best Buy is a reputable company but they are a vendor, not THE source and getting that peace of mind for less than a Bennie seems worth it to me. YMMV.
  3. ab2013 thread starter macrumors member

    May 5, 2013
    What about the clearance Macbook Pro 15" non-Retina (with 4 GB of RAM and 500 GB HDD) that's on sale for $1,399 and is brand new? Would I have a shot at driving the price down on that since the model is outdated/discontinued or at least applying the student discount on it?
  4. iDuel macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2011
    I don't think you'll be able to bargain on the price since it is already labeled as clearance. I'm not sure about the student discount though.
  5. SteelBlueTJ macrumors 6502

    Apr 2, 2012
    I would also go with Apple refurb over Best Buy open box. I know how tempting those open box Macs can get though. I almost bought one myself once but then went home and checked the Apple refurb store.
  6. ab2013 thread starter macrumors member

    May 5, 2013
  7. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011
    It can be. By technical point the warranty started when the first user bought it. You either have a warranty from that point or if you can get Apple to reset it to when you bought it, but that can be a crapshoot. It used to be solid that they would, they seem to be getting pretty hit or miss about it these days tending toward miss.

    Best bet is to get the serial off of it and go to Apples Web warranty check before you hand over $ to see what you have. I've seen open boxes in BB that are out of warranty already.
  8. ab2013 thread starter macrumors member

    May 5, 2013
    Ah ... so Best Buy should be fine with me copying down the item's serial number and going on-line to check the warranty?

    If I can get the clearance Macbook Pro non-Retina 15" for < $1,300 I might consider it since it's brand new, it should have a full one-year AppleCare warranty. But $1,399 is too high because it'll need some upgrades (I'm finding that 4 GB isn't cutting it, even on Mavericks, and those 5,400 RPM HDDs are really slow)
  9. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011
    I've never had an issue with it. Heck, I've even used it as a bargaining tool to get them to lower the price.

    ran into a situation there where I was looking at an open box 21.5" iMac for my wife. They said it was missing nothing, and the drones stated it had a warranty. Apple had the warranty in April as starting in October of the year before, and the restore discs were missing which Apple charges $60 for. Got $175 off the price once I pointed that out. Then when I registered it submitted the receipt to Apple and they reset the warranty to April. Win/win
  10. Papillo macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2009

    I highly doubt they will match the price at the other store unless you get lucky. The prices differ per store and depend on how long they have been sitting at each store. I just got a 13 inch rmbp open box tonight. Also, unless you get lucky, you can not use the student discount as open box and clearance items are excluded per the fine print. I tried tonight and i was shut down. Finally, you should be able to get reward zone points for open box items.

    FYI, It is possible that neither machine is at the store. Their system is not 100% accurate despite what it says on there. I once saw one there called and by the time i got there i was told it was gone. I went two a different stores for and didn't call ahead of time and each time, the computer was not their either. So its hit or miss.

    Good luck and i hope you find it there.
  11. Irishman macrumors 68030

    Nov 2, 2006
    Not quite true. With open box at Best Buy, when you buy it, the warranty period begins from the purchase date on your receipt. It has nothing to do with the warranty from the previous owner who returned it.
  12. ab2013 thread starter macrumors member

    May 5, 2013
    Would purchasing warranty from Best Buy (e.g. 3 year Geek Squad or AppleCare) increase any negotiating power that I may have?

    Thanks for the helpful advice so far, everyone!
  13. Pharmscott macrumors 6502a


    Dec 13, 2011
    Sacramento, CA
    Yep. I am in this very scenario and typing on a rMBP that I bought as open box at Best Buy. Saved some cash and the machine was flawless. Also, you do get Reward Points (I did). Plus, the purchase may bump you up to Elite status!
  14. tdiaz macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2006
    Geek Squad warranty is a waste of loot, though they'll be salivating all over your transaction for it.

    Don't fall for it. Buy from Apple. If that thing has been there a month, it must not be that decent of a deal. BestBuy is Shenanigan-Central.
  15. Ccrew, Dec 12, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013

    Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011

    Not true. If the machine serial was previously registered with Apple, it's as of the date of the registration - only Apple can reset it. So if the previous purchaser registered say 2 months befiore you lost 2 months of warranty. Unless you can get Apple to reset.

    Now, if the original purchaser bypassed the registration, or if it was a floor sample or the like, it's entirely possible that warranty starts with your purchase.

    And tdiaz is right, the Geek Squad warranties are a profit center.
  16. ab2013 thread starter macrumors member

    May 5, 2013
    Is there a way I can check to see if a machine has already been registered with Apple?

    That's what I'm counting on. Pretty sure I'll hit it with a Macbook purchase. :D
  17. mpantone macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2009
    While I am definitely no consumer rights attorney, my guess is that there are possibly two warranties in force.

    One would be the manufacturer's warranty -- the one from Apple. That one would be based on the date of the original sale. If I recall correctly, basic AppleCare coverage is tied to the device, not the owner. Subsequent owners during the original manufacturer warranty period are covered; Apple knows when a particular device was sold, they all have serial numbers.

    The second warranty in this case would be the retailer's warranty. Thus, if Best Buy sells an open box item two months after the original sale and both warranties were 1-year, months 1-2 (from the original date of purchase) would be covered under the manufacturer's warranty, months 13 and 14 would be covered by the retailer warranty (which might have more restrictive coverage).

    You are highly advised to read all the warranty policies very carefully.

    Personally, I wouldn't bother. I have been to Best Buy enough times and know that I would get inferior customer service at Best Buy versus Apple should I have a problem with my purchase. Unless the BB open box item was being sold at a substantial discount, frankly, I'd rather buy a refurb from Apple, knowing that I'd get the full manufacturer's warranty (a.k.a. basic "AppleCare") from day 1.

    Also, Apple refurbs have been heavily scrutinized to pass QA. There's no way that a Best Buy store can offer that kind of service with an open box item.

    A long time ago, I've bought open box home stereo equipment from retailers and the return policy was really short, like a week. If something is wrong, you need to find out quick and typically they would only issue store credit, no cash refunds. Worse, the hassle of diddling around with something for hours, only to figure out it's broken, then wasting the time to return it was simply not worth it.

    I don't buy open box anymore.
  18. fenderbass146 macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2009
    Northwest Indiana
    Hmm have you ever used it. My open item MacBook Air 2011 got milk spilled on it and I just got upgraded to a current gen MacBook Air. We'll worth the $150
  19. Irishman macrumors 68030

    Nov 2, 2006
    Extended warranties are profit centers for anyone who sells them, including companies like Squaretrade, or else how could a company who offers nothing BUT EW's stay in business?
  20. Locoman macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2011
    Buyer Beware

    That is all I can say. I got a mac mini from BB that was sold as new, but actually had been previously sold, setup and registered. I was able to clean off all the former owner's data, even had apple reset the iTunes account so i could update apps etc. then 18 months later the original buy lock up my mini through icloud, because it was still showing up in his apple account. The local apple store could not fix it, said it was a firmware password lock up. So as far as they were concerned I was SOL. BB would do anything, because I wasn't the original purchaser and even through it is BB's policy to clean up the machine and sell it as an open box, they can't do anything about the possibility of the registered owner locking up the device. I was told by the apple genious expert that the firmware lock code was so buried in the motherboard was that it had to send it back to apple and maybe they could unlock it, or they might have to change the motherboard. In other wards, be ware of a previously registered devices.
  21. ab2013 thread starter macrumors member

    May 5, 2013
    So it sounds like open box items at BBY can be a mixed-bag experience.

    Apple's refurb stocks seem a bit depleted right now. When do you guys expect them to start listing the 13" 2013 rMBPs refurbs? Almost 3 months have passed since those were released/refreshed.
  22. ehrens macrumors member


    Nov 4, 2013
    My first and last experience buying an open box item from Best Buy this past summer, they sold me a fraud return as verified open box, then accused me of trying to commit fraud by trying to get what I paid for.

    It's a very long and infuriating story, and I have not set foot inside one of their stores since.
  23. ab2013 thread starter macrumors member

    May 5, 2013
    Is the "fraud" accusation a chain-wide thing? I once bought a video game from Best Buy and requested in-store pickup, but listed only the first letter of my last name. The clerk there accused me of fraud when I tried to pick up the order, even though I had the order number and credit card on me. After that, I kept buying from Best Buy but haven't gone back to that particular store.
  24. ehrens macrumors member


    Nov 4, 2013
    What I do know is the general manager of the store (who I thought I talked to on the phone before going back to the store, but it turned out to be someone just saying he was the manager) told me that what happened could not possibly happen because of the multiple policies they have in place, which were obviously not followed.
  25. ab2013 thread starter macrumors member

    May 5, 2013
    Sounds like I might either be going for the clearance MBP 15" at BestBuy if I can haggle on the price and shave $100+ (unlikely) or going for the Apple Refurbs once they replenish stock.

    Does anyone have an idea of when Apple will start listing those Haswell 13" rMBPs?

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