how to identify a refurbished macbook pro ?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by episode, May 12, 2008.

  1. episode macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    #1
    hi
    i have been reading a lot on this forum how could i recognize a refurb mbp and still cant find an answer
    some people says that refurbs come in a brown cardboard box, but this isnt a enough proof for me because the seller could have a retail box:confused:
    im gonna buy a supposed brand new mbp and i want to be sure that will be a really brand new one and confirm that the seller isnt a cheater

    please guys, i need your help, im in chile and i dont have a direct support from apple:(
     
  2. siurpeeman macrumors 603

    siurpeeman

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    the OC
    #2
    i believe refurb macs come with a serial number that starts with an "R."
     
  3. vultureboy70 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #3
    My refurb MacBook serial, purchased 2 month ago, starts with "Y" , my eMac purchased new 4 years ago starts with "G", and my G4 MDD purchased new about 5 years ago starts with "X". These were all purchased directly from Apple.com. I think I read somewhere that "Y" does indeed indicate refurb status. Your best bet is probably to call Apple directly at 1-800-MY-APPLE and ask their sales or tech support people. Good Luck!
     
  4. f1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    #4
    If you can get the serial number of the MBP you can go to the website https://selfsolve.apple.com/GetWarranty.do and it'll tell you if its a refurb.

    Also, if the seller packages a refurb into a retail box, the serial number of the computer won't match the serial number printed on the retail box, and the seal will be obviously questionable.
     
  5. DesignerOnMac macrumors 6502a

    DesignerOnMac

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #5
    As mentioned serial numbers are different, and a refurbished computer comes in a plain brown box and not the full color retail box.
     
  6. episode thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    #6
    oh thanks, ill check that website when i receive the MBP,
    so theres no way to verify physically the product ? like a printed "refurbished" word on the serial number plate or something
     
  7. ktbubster macrumors 6502a

    ktbubster

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    US
    #7
    No there isn't anything printed on the computer. Sides, apple already lost money on a refurb, i doubt they would sink any more money into it by engraving it specially ... they already have to check it over, repackage and fix anything that might have been wrong.

    I'm not sure why you care that much anyway. I mean, yes, the seller could go to all that trouble putting a refurb in a new box, but like mentioned, then the serial numbers between the computer and box won't match up...

    Not to mention, refurbs have the same warranty length and in my experience are exactly like new with the exception they were checked over more then once. It's not like new ones are magically better, have a better warranty or are less likely to fail (infact, once again, i find the opposite true, since they have been checked over so much) If it works, looks new and feels new, then does it really matter? (other then the seller being a cheat/liar) i'm sure you'll be fine.
     
  8. Abraxsis macrumors 6502

    Abraxsis

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #8
    Ask for the serial number on eBay. Its unlikely the buyer can just come up with a serial number. As for the brown box, personally I would look for that in shipping. I had a shipping box from Apple from a previous Powerbook fix and I sold my MBP this week on eBay and I shipped it in an Apple box. I placed a picture of it on the auction and of course everyone asked if it was a Refurb.

    Id just ask for a serial number.
     
  9. Sir Cecil macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    #9
    I would NEVER buy a refurbished unit. One only has to read the stuff people admit to here, relating to what they take back to Apple for exchange. Taking the glass off iMacs, changing drives and then putting the originals back, cleaning screens with the inappropriate fluids... you name it.

    So often we hear from posters how machines are taken back and exchanged as faulty, even though the Apple Tech could not see or reproduce the fault. So it follows the fault won't be corrected on the refurb. You'll just inherit someone else's rejected unit, warts and all.

    The lesser profits on a refurb make it essential that any repairs are done as cheaply and quickly as possible. Apple knows that a screen with a gradient that one person doesn't like, will be no problem to someone less observant, or demanding. So even if a computer has been returned with a faulty screen or noisy fan, you can bet it won't be replaced on a refurb unless the effect is drastic. I'd say the savings on a refurb aren't sufficient to make up for doubts over a machines history.
     
  10. nufanec macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2005
    #10
    If it is an official Apple refurb then it will have an Apple Refurbished sticker underneath the battery (covering the original serial number). However, it may not be an official Apple refurb in which case a 3rd party will have refurbished the unit them selves and sell it on. This means it might not come with any Apple warranty, a reduced length Apple warranty, or a warranty provided by the seller only.
     
  11. Abraxsis macrumors 6502

    Abraxsis

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #11
    I disagree, you are more likely to receive a defective unit buying a new unit, because the machine has been throughly tested, unlike the quick test that new machines undergo. Apple specifically states their refurb process on the website, they are by insurance law, required to keep to that. You see, a company just doesn't go out and make stuff all nutso, "warranty" work is tied to an insurance policy, this protects the company from a catastrophic failure of parts across an entire line. This covers them in case of a recall or a battery swap like the one we have seen over the last few years. Refurbs are also covered since they use the same parts and are given the same warranty, ergo the company must follow a stringent refurb policy on anything they are reselling. This is the Insurance companies' way to protecting themselves from a massive payout.

    Yes, people do some unscrupulous things when they send stuff to Apple to fix. Its just the nature of the game, but Apple isn't going to sell crap, and if they do by mistake they'll graciously fix that mistake.

    I can almost bet money that noisy fans or faulty screens ARE replaced because it costs the company alot of cash to fix that after the fact, as opposed to while the machine is on the refurb bench. In fact, I would be willing to bet the entire guts of the machine are replaced on a refurb machine because its faster to just replace the guts with parts that are KNOWN to work than it is to take the time to test each part.

    I love refurbs, every one I have is rock stable with zero issues. However, I have never owned an Apple refurb before, only other electronics.

     
  12. ktbubster macrumors 6502a

    ktbubster

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    US
    #12
    You have clearly NEVER owned nor seen a refurb from Apple. I agree with the below poster. Apple has a lot invested in fixing refurbs completely, and it is a lot easier for them to just replace parts that are suspected to be faulty. They go over them VERY VERY thoroughly for legal reasons and i'm sure to keep customers happy.

    Sure, screen gradient returns... MIGHT just be costmetically cleaned and fixed, and left to go like they are and hope the next person doesn't mind it, but you have the same chance of getting a bad gradient on a new one too (probably more so since no one complained before on it) but other then small cosmetic personal issues, everything faulty will be fixed. A lot of refurbs are simply returns or upgrades as well.

    I have own 2 new Apples and about 5 refurbs. (computers.. also ipods as well on top of those numbers) One of the new ones I had to take back due to it not recognizing the battery. EVERY refurb I owned was flawless.

    I just happen to like switching computers a lot otherwise they would have kept on plugging. My dad bought refurbs as well and our refurb tibook lasted 6 years before i sold it still working - my dad's current 17inch CD hasn't had to go in for ANYTHING over the last 2.something years.

    Just goes to show you, that Apple really does a good job with their refurbish process and stick to it. So... I think you really need to experience an Apple refurb before jumping to conclusions. Sometimes it's a great way to save a little cash if you need/want to.
     

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