How are Apple's refurbished Macbook Pros?

Drifty_Child

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 12, 2017
62
6
USA
I've never bought an MBP from Apple refurbished. Can you tell they're different from brand new? What are the downsides?
 

Drifty_Child

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 12, 2017
62
6
USA
So it sounds like you had a pretty good experience. Do any other users here have good experiences with Apple refurbished MBPs that they're willing to share?
 

Drifty_Child

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 12, 2017
62
6
USA
So aside from the packaging, there's no downside whatsoever? No risks of it breaking faster?
 

Sterkenburg

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2016
386
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Aside from the plain-looking box (but who cares really?), pretty much no downsides. In fact, the hardware might be tested even more thoroughly than on a brand new unit. Risk of failures is the same as on any other machine. If you can find the configuration you want for a good price, go for it.
 
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raqball

macrumors 68000
Sep 11, 2016
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I've never bought an MBP from Apple refurbished. Can you tell they're different from brand new? What are the downsides?
Downsides? It was returned for a reason which you will never know.. Was it just because they didn't;y like it? Maybe.. Excessive screen bleed? Maybe....

The bright side is they come with the full warranty and return period..
 
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rex450se

macrumors regular
Apr 9, 2011
209
43
Independence, MO
I would never hesitate to buy any of their refurbished products. I've bought a few and never had an issue. From what I understand they go through more testing than one just rolling down the assembly line. I know the ipods used to have all new screens and cases, so the only thing reused was the main board, it was basically a new item.
 
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puma1552

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Nov 20, 2008
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Aside from the plain-looking box (but who cares really?), pretty much no downsides. In fact, the hardware might be tested even more thoroughly than on a brand new unit. Risk of failures is the same as on any other machine. If you can find the configuration you want for a good price, go for it.
I would never hesitate to buy any of their refurbished products. I've bought a few and never had an issue. From what I understand they go through more testing than one just rolling down the assembly line. I know the ipods used to have all new screens and cases, so the only thing reused was the main board, it was basically a new item.
I think people should stop parroting this, there's literally no actual evidence this is the case and on the contrary, I would almost guarantee if you were to ask Apple they would say the testing is identical to new units - they would never publicly state that one type of product gets any more rigorous testing than another, and there's not really any reason to believe there would be.

As for refurbished products, they are fine. My 2TB TC is refurbished and as expected, it was as if it was brand new. Refurbished products typically are such that every external part that you can physically touch is brand new, with recycled internals. I believe MBPs always come with a new battery as well, but not sure about the SSD - I suspect the SSD may be new because it takes like 7 pass or 9 pass erasure to actually delete data on an SSD/HDD, and there could be legal implications there if someone had child porn or what have you and it wasn't fully deleted and ended up in someone else's hands. You'll never open a refurbished product and have any way to physically tell that it's refurbished and not brand new, right down to the plastic its wrapped in.
 

Weaselboy

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Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
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California
So aside from the packaging, there's no downside whatsoever? No risks of it breaking faster?
The only real downside I have seen mentioned is some of the extended warranty protections you get with credit cards won't cover refurbs. For example, I use a VISA card that tags on and extra year warranty of I use it to buy a MacBook, but the extended warranty does not apply to any refurb items.
 
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raqball

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Sep 11, 2016
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The only real downside I have seen mentioned is some of the extended warranty protections you get with credit cards won't cover refurbs. For example, I use a VISA card that tags on and extra year warranty of I use it to buy a MacBook, but the extended warranty does not apply to any refurb items.
Interesting... Never knew that. I wonder if AMEX covers refurbs? I usually use that card when I purchase anything over 1K..
 
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Weaselboy

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Jan 23, 2005
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Interesting... Never knew that. I wonder if AMEX covers refurbs? I usually use that card when I purchase anything over 1K..
Yeah... I never knew either until someone mentioned it in a thread a couple years ago. I found the VISA terms for the coverage and sure enough it excludes refurb items. I don't have an AMEX so never researched that one.
 
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LogicalApex

macrumors 6502
Nov 13, 2015
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Interesting... Never knew that. I wonder if AMEX covers refurbs? I usually use that card when I purchase anything over 1K..
I haven't yet made a claim for a refurbished item, but nothing in my Amex terms excludes refurbished items so I would say it should be covered.

https://www.americanexpress.com/content/dam/amex/us/credit-cards/features-benefits/policies/pdf/EW Benefit Guide_Tier 1 Rev 07-18.pdf

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/features-benefits/policies/extended-warranty-terms.html
 

dsc888

macrumors 6502
Jun 25, 2010
299
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Boston, MA USA
The only real downside I have seen mentioned is some of the extended warranty protections you get with credit cards won't cover refurbs. For example, I use a VISA card that tags on and extra year warranty of I use it to buy a MacBook, but the extended warranty does not apply to any refurb items.
This also holds true with Discover as well. I just use the Education Store for a slightly discounted NEW unit instead as I have kids in school.
 

raqball

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Sep 11, 2016
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This also holds true with Discover as well. I just use the Education Store for a slightly discounted NEW unit instead as I have kids in school.
Good to know as I also have a Discover card but I only use it where their 5% cashback bonus are in effect...
 

littlepud

macrumors 6502
Sep 16, 2012
253
92
I just bought a 13" 2018 refurb (i5 2.3, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD) and I love it. It's flawless like-new cosmetically, the battery only has 1 cycle. For $2459 CAD compared to $2889 for the same config as new, it's a steal.

Apple refurbs are not "reconditioned" like the refurbished stuff you'd buy from an electronics refurbisher. They should really be classified as "open box re-certified", as they are generally all brand new machines that people have bought and returned within the 14-day refund/exchange window.
 

puma1552

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Nov 20, 2008
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Apple refurbs are not "reconditioned" like the refurbished stuff you'd buy from an electronics refurbisher. They should really be classified as "open box re-certified", as they are generally all brand new machines that people have bought and returned within the 14-day refund/exchange window.
Wrong, they are reconditioned and the Apple site describes the process they undergo.

Where on earth did you get the idea they just box up people's returns? those get the full refurbish procedure like any other.
 

IngerMan

macrumors 65816
Feb 21, 2011
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Michigan
Good experience on a 2011 MBP back in 2012.

I believe the packaging is same as new now just with a print label on the box reading refurbished
 

jagolden

macrumors 65816
Feb 11, 2002
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I’ve purchase 3 refurbs from Apple. All were in perfect condition and the two I still have run great.
Next time I upgrade the desktop I’ll be going back to the refurb store for first looks.
 
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littlepud

macrumors 6502
Sep 16, 2012
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Wrong, they are reconditioned and the Apple site describes the process they undergo.

Where on earth did you get the idea they just box up people's returns? those get the full refurbish procedure like any other.
I didn't say they just box up people's returns, they get "refurbished" which generally means a cleaning up and a new battery with any non-perfect parts replaced, but it's nothing like the "used after-market rebuilt" stuff that you find elsewhere.

I've never had any issues with Apple refurb units and wouldn't even be able to tell the difference from a spanking new one.
 

dsc888

macrumors 6502
Jun 25, 2010
299
59
Boston, MA USA
Good to know as I also have a Discover card but I only use it where their 5% cashback bonus are in effect...
I do the same as well. It’s too bad that Discover got rid of their Discover Deals portal as you used to be able to get a 5% discount on Apple.com items all year round. Combine that and the Education Store discount AND the extended warranty (which stacks on top of AppleCare for 4 years of protection) and you have a wonderful deal. That’s how I got my 2017 27 inch iMac with 4 years of protection and a nice little double dip discount.

But yeah, Apple is one of the best when it comes to refurbs basically only keeping the basic internals such as the logic board and rebuilding the item with new cases, screens and batteries. If it weren’t for the credit card extended warranty limitations on such units, I’d but them in a jiffy. I generally skip AppleCare because of the extended warranty. But that is me.
 
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FlushedNotRushed

macrumors member
Oct 22, 2018
44
8
My 2018 refurbished 15" base model MBP was flawless when I received it. Packaging now looks identical to the regular boxes except it says "Refurbished Macbook Pro" on it. But as of cosmetics, they're no scratches on it or any signs of use. I'm not sure what my battery cycles was at when I got it, but as of now (owned it for 2 weeks), I'm at 10.

Regardless, I bought from Apple refurbished instead of through B&H (cheaper by ~50$) is because I didn't know if I was going to like it as an upgrade from my 2015 13". I wanted the ability to return it and B&H doesn't allow returns once you rip the plastic seal.
 

lJoSquaredl

macrumors 6502
Mar 26, 2012
279
70
I’ve only ever purchased refurbs.They’re amazing and look/feel brand new every time, and i’ve never had one burn out on me. My dad is even using my old 2012 MBP editing machine to this day. Only thing is you don’t get the sexy new white box they usually come in, just a boring brown box:(