Do refurbished fail more often than new MBP's?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by oregon2, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. oregon2 macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2009
    I just got mine refurbished and it appears in perfect condition, and runs perfectly, but I have no idea whether the previous owner stressed it, in which case it may be more likely to break, or may break soon after my year is up. I don't really want to buy AppleCare, but I guess I might if it really is worth it.
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Refurbs often have been looked at closer than new as they're usually returns due to some problem or some perceived problem.
  3. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    Umm... They do have to actually pass Apple's check-up which is fairly rigorous. In case you look around these forums plenty of people with new cameras have a lot of problems. Some things like hard drive and logic board failures are somewhat completely random.
  4. SkyBell macrumors 604


    Sep 7, 2006
    Texas, unfortunately.
    I would guess that they're less likely to fail, since they've actually been tested and whatnot. But I could be wrong.
  5. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040


    Sep 28, 2008
    I'd say it's a toss-up.

    On one hand, they've been repaired and looked over. On the other hand however, how many horror stories have we seen on here about somebody sending their MB in for the same issue 3 times.

    I'm cheap, I'd take a refurb if the savings are significantly better than my 6% EPP discount or .
  6. boom2085 macrumors newbie


    Oct 27, 2006
    Tacoma WA. USA.
    My friend has bought refurbs from apple for a few years now with no problems.
    I just bought a refurb and am loving it. noting as gone wrong with it.
  7. mls64 macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2009
    I've bought four or five Macs refurb from Apple, as well as four refurb iPods. Only one problem, which was quickly taken care of with a repair by Apple. They've been as reliable, if not more reliable (wild speculation here) than buying new. The price savings are worth it.
  8. mainomega macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2007
    In the company that i'm part of...
    New items ship directly from manufacturing, a couple of those have some defects as they can be missed by the manufacturing QA. The refurbished cards actually are fully tested by our techs. So while refurbished cards are used I have more trust on a refurbished card. But then again certain things I would only buy new.
  9. PAC88 macrumors 6502

    Apr 23, 2009
    I wouldn't worry about it. new/refurbished both have the same warranty and apple will give you the same service if something goes wrong. I bought a refurbished 17" macbook pro and the display had fingerprint smudges from the inside of the display.. long story short, the guy at the genius bar ordered me an entirely new display to have installed.. I respected the great effort and service but ended up returning the notebook in the end.. new products sometimes have worse quality control so I would almost feel more comfortable with refurbished..

    edit: I would also use the savings to buy extended apple care if you spent close to $2000 on the notebook.. if you bought a macbook, I would probably not buy applecare but thats just me
  10. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    My only fear about buying a refurbished Mac would be cosmetic. Something odd like the trackpad wearing, I mean I understand it has to pass I'm sure vigorous tests, but still there is a certain point in which they have to say "it's just a little wear." But that's why Steve Jobs invented Apple Care.
  11. pdxflint macrumors 68020


    Aug 25, 2006
    Oregon coast
    If it's an "Apple certified reconditioned product" sold only by Apple, it will look, feel and perform exactly as brand new. Anything not meeting that standard is replaced. Basically, a refurb is a handbuilt/overhauled machine made in Cupertino complete with a brand new serial number and complete warranty.

    I'd prefer a refurb over a mass-produced in a Chinese factory new unit, since the factory defects are just far too common due to bad quality control. They probably inspect only a small percentage of the new machines that go out the door, and even those inspections are probably cursory at best. The refurbs are completely inspected, tested and made like new.
  12. o2xygen macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2009

    If you get refurb then you know 100% that your machine has been checked for quality and it will be working 100% when you get it. Plus there have been stories of people getting a refurb with extra RAM, or a better processor in it.
  13. oregon2 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2009
    Everyone in this thread is talking about refurb's as though they are better than new... is this really true? Did all of you buy refurbished?

    Surely there must be a downside since it is so much cheaper.
  14. airplaneman macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2009
    Well, if you think there's a downside, buy new!
  15. lars666 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2008
    My only concern buying a refurb would be that refurbs mabye more often have one or two dead pixels as a reason somebody sent the machine back ... (something I guess wouldn't be fixed as it is within the specifications?) Not claiming that it really is this way, just my only fear ... Of course, if the screen really has a dead pixel, I think you can exchange it within 14 (30?) days like every product ...
  16. neteng101 macrumors 65816

    Jan 7, 2009
    Couple of questions that might be of interest...

    1) Does Apple mark refurbished products clearly as such? Either stickers, or if someone checks the S/N or such? Some other manufacturers do, and it could impact resale values down the road.

    2) Is the packaging/etc just like a new unit, or can you clearly tell its refurbished based on packaging? Sometimes a refurbished unit can be just a brown box with power supply. Or sticker/etc on box to indicate refurbished?

    3) Comes with the regular warranty support and you can add Applecare to it I would assume?
  17. Mactagonist macrumors 65816

    Feb 5, 2008
    NYC - Manhattan
    Downside? The box it comes in isnt as nice. ;)
  18. DesignerOnMac macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2007
    I have purchased several refurbished laptops from Apple, and my experiences have been the same as the others here! Just as good or better than new!

    It will be your decision to buy new or refurbished!
  19. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    Another downside is they can't be customized. Also, you can't buy the latest generation until long after the release.
  20. bc008 macrumors 68000


    Aug 6, 2007

    I don't think there are any "specific" markings on the machine, although it might have a different serial # than new machines.

    No, it comes in a simple brown box but includes everything you get when you buy new. the outside of the box says, "APPLE REFURBISHED" or something like that.

    Yes :) Actually up to 3 years. When you see these machines on ebay that have applecare far past when they should (ex. the product stopped selling in '06 but applecare is until '10 then you know it was purchased refurb.

    Also: A couple years ago I purchased a 2.16 GHz macbook pro refurb, and at first it seemed brand new, but then the screen started flickering, and 2 screws on the RAM compartment were stripped. Im not saying this is common, but it happened to me.
  21. Benjic macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2007
    Madison, WI
    The obviously can't charge you the same price for a refurb as the same computer if it was new, no matter what the issue was. Then no-one would buy refurbs, and they'd have no reason to offer them.
  22. rockstarjoe macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2006
    washington dc
    Bought a refurb iMac for my GF a few years back, and while it has held up great over the years it did have a small scratch on the screen that is a little distracting, and 2 dead pixels. She wasn't bothered by it so we didn't try to get applecare to do anything about it though.
  23. jamesryanbell macrumors 68020


    Mar 17, 2009
    Mine's a refurb, and it's been great aside from a screen flicker issue (it's gotten more rare for some reason lately).
  24. Fizzoid macrumors 68020


    Jul 11, 2008
    My refurb had a dead pixel. I sent it back and got another. This one's absolutely fine, although I would say the outside of the lid did looked 'used'. Not scratched though.
  25. Romanesq macrumors 6502a


    Jun 16, 2003
    very good...

    Got a Penryn last fall for a very good price, saving a lot. It came flawless and I think some of the machines have nothing more than a memory card loose or something.

    People turn around and return the machines. Legally, they must then be resold as refurbs.

    But they are as good as new. :cool:

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