Guide to Buying Refurbished Apple Products

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MacRumors, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. 4jasontv macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2011
    I really like this. MacRumors has a few posts that are very helpful when people ask me for help picking out a Mac. I suspect this will be one of them.

    I would like to see an update that adds when not to buy refurbished. For example, if the option is available for Black Friday sales or Educational Discounts.

    Also, how can a consumer compare the natural depreciation of an older model to the discount being applied. In some cases I have seen refurbished hardware that is less than the original cost, but more costly than the new offering.
  2. melendezest Suspended

    Jan 28, 2010
    ALL my Apple Devices are refurbs, always have been, and always will be.

    I bought 2 new Macs (at different times) and returned them both for issues (dead pixels...that sort of thing).

    Every single refurb I've gotten has been flawless.

    Also, I work hard for my money and I feel refurbs are closer to the actual value of the device (but still a bit over).

    My most recent refurb was a 2012 15" MBP hi-res I bought in early 2015 (late 2014?...can't remember).

    It is second only to my 2011 maxed and tricked out 17" (thanks OWC), which I STILL consider to be the best portable ever made.

    No Retina envy whatsoever. ;)
    --- Post Merged, Feb 3, 2016 ---
    This is true. You have to keep an eye out for that, but it is also based on features.

    For example, a Retina 15" does not replace my 15"cMBP, feature-wise.

    Newer iterations of Macs almost always remove something from the previous version.
  3. BulkSlash macrumors member


    Aug 20, 2013
    I've had two refurbed MacBook Pros, a 13" and a 15" and they both looked absolutely immaculate and like new when I took them out of the box. Aside from the plain outer packaging the MacBooks themselves were wrapped in the usual plastic that a new Apple product always arrives in and had the usual layer of paper between the screen and keyboard too. If it weren't for the box I'd swear they were brand new, I'd definitely recommend a refurb if you're looking for a bargain.
  4. Gary Dee macrumors newbie

    Gary Dee

    Jun 16, 2015
    Normally, I prefer not to buy refurbished goods, and almost never buy "Used grade A" goods, unless the item is priced low enough that I am willing to toss it away when it fails. Also, I typically never buy a refurbed product for mission critical applications.

    But, I have had great experience with Apple Refurbs, which gives customers a chance to own a relatively new piece of Apple gear at prices seriously below retail. The Apple refurbs *always* look factory new, unlike other vendors products that show up with scratches on the screens, worn keys, and other issues.

    And the fact that Apple offers the same warranty as a new machine on the refurbed product just tells me they believe in their product offering.

    Apple Refurbs = Just Say Yes. Other vendors? Buyer beware....
  5. ignatius345 macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2015
    iPhones aside, I can't remember a time in the last 10 years I haven't bought an Apple product refurbished. 100% positive experience.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 5, 2016 ---
    The only difference is that box. Service is identical.
  6. gorbot macrumors newbie


    Feb 5, 2016
    Seattle, WA
    Does anyone know if they usually drop the prices of the refurbs when brand new, non-refurbished models come out?

    For instance, they will update the specs of the Macbook Pros to use the new skylake processors, will that affect the price of refurbished macs immediately?

    I'm currently torn btwn getting a refurb now, or waiting for the skylake upgrade.
  7. LogicalVue macrumors member


    Aug 28, 2007
    USA (Maine)
    In my experience, yes. I did this in 2008, buying a 2007 MBPro (normally $2500) for $1700 if memory serves. But nothing is guaranteed.
  8. intz2nu macrumors 6502


    Oct 28, 2012
    Does anyone know if the iMac's that you buy refurbished have a nice clean and perfect outer body? like free of nicks, marks or scuff marks? Does Apple replace the outer shell's on these machines like they do with some of the other refurbished devices?
  9. LogicalVue macrumors member


    Aug 28, 2007
    USA (Maine)
    You can certainly return it if you were not happy with it. In my case, the refurbished Macs that I've purchased have all been perfect; indistinguishable from new as far as I'm concerned.
  10. Anshante macrumors newbie


    Aug 5, 2016
    Birmingham, UK
  11. Nick11Mac, Oct 30, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016

    Nick11Mac macrumors 6502


    Jan 20, 2011
    Great information from everyone. I haven't yet bought a refurbished Apple product. However, after reading the article and comments above, will now look at what they have in stock as refurbished.

    Update: Did buy a refurbished rMBP 13.3" early 2015, 256GB 8GB, 2.7GHz, Dual Core Intel i5 from the Apple online store. Very pleased with the Mac and the Apple online experience.
  12. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    Refurbished saves money..

    I also won't throw out the "I buy a retail Mac because i also like the box it comes in"

    Don't make a habit of deliberate buying new, then returning it just to see it later on the reburb store at a lower price tag, but it does work.. :)
  13. Cwalker173 macrumors newbie


    Nov 23, 2016
    Question... I am currently debating between a reverb 2014 imac and newer one with similar specs.

    Refurbished one is
    2014 MODEL
    27-inch (diagonal) Retina display with IPS technology; 5120‑by‑2880 resolution
    4.0 quad core i7
    32GB memory

    1TB Flash Storage1

    AMD Radeon R9 M295X graphics processor with 4GB of GDDR5 memory

    The other option for almost same price is
    2015 MODEL
    27-inch (diagonal) Retina display with IPS technology; 5120‑by‑2880 resolution
    4.0 quad core i7
    16Gb memory
    AMD Radeon R9 M395x graphics processor with 4GB
    512GB flash storage

    I THINK THERE WAS $100 difference and I also get new track pad thrown in for free on refurbished one.

    Just want to know opinions on which to get based on one being the older version did not know if it's better to go with that one as newer technology. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks
  14. cibonak macrumors regular


    Oct 15, 2014
    how come ipad mini 3 cell ref is cheaper than ipad mini cell 2 ref?
  15. Jimmyss macrumors member


    Feb 11, 2017
    • Fully tested & inspected by expert technicians
    • OS X installed and ready to boot
    • Warranted and backed by's expert support team
    • Free shipping within the contiguous 48 states
    • Detailed photos & description show each Mac's condition
    • 14-day 100% Money-Back Guarantee
    • FREE Parallels Desktop for Mac ($79.95 value) with any New/Used Mac purchase $299 and up.
  16. dysamoria macrumors 6502a


    Dec 8, 2011
    "No third-party retailers are permitted to sell machines that have been guaranteed by Apple's refurbishing process."

    This appears to no longer be the case:

    Notice the 5K iMac computers with Apple warranty.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 12, 2017 ---
    Not quite. They show "example condition" photos, not actual item photos.
  17. tentales macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2010
    "Good as new"
    I used to believe that too and have bought several refurb'd products from Apple over the past decade.
    However, something's changed since about 2016 until now.

    While my 2014 Mac Mini refurb is humming along with no issues, I've gone through 4 various MacBooks both Air & Pro in the last 12 months that I've had to return due to deficiencies, mostly related to battery life (high cycle count, DOA), but also sticky keys and dead pixels.

    Today, my last attempt at a rMBP 2015 refurb arrived and it wouldn't turn on. Battery completely drained. 0%
    After charging it, it would come on and show a manufacturer date of approx 1 year ago. At least the previous MacBooks used to come with 70% or so charge and about 2-3 months age.

    The battery quality is one of the most important features in a mobile device, especially since Apple's batteries are officially non-replaceable, I question Apple's quality control of late. Starting off with a 1 year old battery that's been completely drained for who knows how long, is not a confidence builder. Seeing this rMBP is just $100 cheaper than a new one at student price, I will return it and order a brand new one.

    Also note this video about refurb iPads. Apple's quality is definitely slipping:
  18. benji888 macrumors 68000


    Sep 27, 2006
    United States
    Hmm, if you look at the listing it states "Like New | Factory Sealed Apple Refurbished", so they must be getting them from Apple, whereas most of the others are "used" with OWC 90 day warranty. This is new! Apple is thinking differently.

    ...Anything with the apple warranty can also have AppleCare added to it (which I highly recommend for any Mac).
  19. Mr. 123 macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2016
    I live in a country that doesn't have the Apple refurb option. Is there a way to buy from a neighbor country and get it shipped home?
  20. audirs5 macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2014
    Anyone know of a 3rd party reseller selling non touch bar macbook pro? Apple has some but not 512GB HD.. that's what we need.

  21. audirs5 macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2014

  22. LaceyRamos macrumors newbie


    Apr 2, 2017
    United States
    I don't think buying refurbished item is acceptable.
  23. DotCom2 macrumors 68040

    Feb 22, 2009
    Has anyone bought an Apple Watch from the refurbished department that can tell me about it?
    Like if they are any visible scratches and such?
    Was it just like new?
  24. Floris macrumors 68020


    Sep 7, 2007
    I always check prior to buying an Apple product for family and friends, if there is a refurb .. there's maybe some old macbook you dont want to recommend, but the page is always empty. I agree, it's a useless page. I still check, but it has never resulted into a purchase.
  25. McRumour macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2013
    Based on past history - when should iPad Pro 10.5" probably start showing up in Apple Refurb Store (USA)?

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