Reconditioned or clearance vis-a-vis new

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Peterg2, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. Peterg2 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 28, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I have for some time been considering making the jump to a Mac, essentially for the OS. My last 3 computers since 99 have been home built but with the best of components like Lian-Li aluminum cases, PC Power & Cooling PSUs, Corsair Ram and quality motherboards like ASUS A7N8X etc. I am mentioning this in case people start talking about "junky PC components" when in effect Apple, Dell (at least with the XPS range) et al use the same parts bins.

    For my needs an IMAC (in the absence of a headless Imac) is the best fit but I was quite disappointed in the 2009 updates in the mid-range in terms of the video (NVIDIA GeForce 9400M). So I have been looking - in Canada - at the items in the refurbished and clearance stores.

    I can have this refurbished

    iMac 24-inch 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    2GB memory
    320GB hard drive
    8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB memory
    Built-in iSight Camera

    at a price of C$1399.

    I can have the same as clearance at C$1649.

    A New equivalent iMac but with 2.66 Processor goes for $1799. Yes, it comes with 4 GB Ram but through Crucial I can update either of the refurbished or clearance to 4 Gigs for US$50.

    Now in searching through various threads I do appear to notice that refurbished Imacs are perhaps as not as wonderful as they were perhaps before. Reconditioning does not always extend to the cosmetic (OK, I am a bit superficial myself) and clearly in some cases there are mechanical or monitor issues out of the box. If I have a problem with my newly received refurbished I know I cannot avail myself of the services of my local Apple store in Montreal and I will have to deal with Apple over the phone and shipping things back etc. If the refurbished is not satisfactory to me in terms of say having clear mechanical issues or having say 3 dead pixels which do not conform to Apple's definition of faulty I know I can return it to Apple but will they ship me another refurb or will they simply refund me?

    When it comes to the clearance model, this is essentially a new item but other than that is it much difference from a refurbished in terms of being able to exchange within the 14 day period? Will they ship me equivalent clearance models as if I were buying a current model new? I do know that Apple generally is more generous than what their Apple store terms would have you believe.

    I do know that if I were to deal with the local Apple store I could purchase and have them unpack my new iMac there and I would only leave the store if I were completely happy with it (including an absence of dead or stuck pixels - both my monitors here - a Viewsonic Pro and a Samsung have not and have not had stuck or dead pixels).

    I mention Canada because I believe that they may not be as liberal as in the US (seemingly the UK is not) when it comes to exchange policies.

    Any advice most appreciated.
  2. trevpimp macrumors regular


    Apr 16, 2009
    Inside A Mac Box
    You dont refurbished computers.

    TO ME, I see buying a refurbished item as buying something still broken. I know its fixed and all but still.

    Just buy a new computer, even on clearance.
  3. dborja macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2007
    Northern California
    Read this:

    I've purchased several refurbished items from Apple and I can't distinguish them from brand new except for the box they come in (typically brown). I actually prefer refurbished because whatever's broken is fixed/replaced, they go through more testing than brand new, the casing is flawless (Apple appears to replace the casing if it doesn't look new) and the unit gets whatever upgrades are available to it (iLife, etc). The warranty is also reset to one-year just like a brand new unit...
  4. OldMike macrumors 6502


    Mar 3, 2009
    Dallas, TX
    My last three Macs (2 a long time ago, and 1 just recently) have been purchased refurbished. I also had the same apprehension about buying refurbished in the beginning. On all three of my Apple refurb purchases, the computers arrived indistinguishable from new. They all came shiny, clean and wrapped in the same plastic the new ones arrive in. If an Apple refurb were to be put right in front of you next to a new one - there would be no way of telling the difference.

    I am so impressed with Apple's refurbished computers, that when I shop for Macs, I don't even contemplate new ones anymore.
  5. Peterg2 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 28, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Thank you all for your replies.

    dborja and OldMike, that has been my understanding regarding the quality but in searching here and looking at many threads over the last 6 or so months I have been finding - not necessarily in the US - that there appears in some cases to be a less than thorough reconditioning, be it on the cosmetic side (a few seeing scuff marks) or mechanically. It is almost as if in a few cases of Apple certified reconditioned computers, only a cursory once-over had been done.

    In your cases, however, I can see that you received what you were hoping for and I would be very happy if matters turned out as well as it did for you.
  6. rjp macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2008
    The refurbs are a very good buy. I bought two. They were immaculate in appearance. They must have replaced the enclosures I guess because nobody could have ever cleaned a used unit to this degree. However, one of the units had a defective LCD panel (blotches). I called Apple and they put another one in the mail the same day and sent me a prepaid return label for the defective unit. I just doesn't get better than that.
  7. Peterg2 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 28, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I was just on the phone with Apple now, discussing the matter of refurbished and I actually mentioned *your post* on this issue yesterday when you talked about the blotching :) :) How about that?

    Anyhow, I was reassured that was a rarity although when it came to returning it I asked them if they did cross-shipping with them taking my credit card details and shipping me a replacement. When I received the replacement I would return the defective unit.

    The individual at Apple said that when we see that you have shipped the unit we send the replacement.

    Quite a difference from what they did for you.
  8. rjp macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2008
    I can not understand why they would treat you differently. Are you still within the 14 day window as I am?

    They never asked me for a credit card number at all for the replacement.

    btw, what unit are you returning and what was your defect?
  9. Peterg2 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 28, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    rjp, I have not bought yet but quite probably I will purchase very shortly. I just threw this up to the Apple customer service person as a scenario as in "If this happened, how would you take care of me..."
  10. rjp macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2008
    Man, you are being careful. Don't worry so much. They are a good operation.

Share This Page