Refurb Experience/Advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by cwaddell2002, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. cwaddell2002 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #1
    Hi all,

    I recently purchased a refurb mini from apple. This experience is different than other refurb experience from apple, so I wanted to poll the audience to see if this was unique to me. In the past, when I have purchased a refurb from apple, it has come sealed in a new box, and looks 'factory fresh'. The machine I recently received was in a container for shipping computers to apple for repair (plain white box). The plastic wrap/seal usually applied to apple products was torn and looked as though it had been taken off and put back on. there was some debris from the foam packaging inside the box. The power cable and hdmi adapter were loose in the box. I called apple and they quickly apologized and are shipping me a new machine with expedited shipping - but I wonder if my previous experience or this one was the norm. I know many MR posters buy refurb, so do you usually receive your machine in like new condition? Is it properly packaged in new apple packaging? A Plain brown box?

    Thanks for sharing your experiences...
     
  2. Swatman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    #2
    I will be receiving my refurb mac book pro 13 tomorrow so I cannot say yet, but the reason I purchased a refurb was because I was reading through a refurb post on this forum and most of the people said that buying a refurb is a better option than a brand new one because apple does a pretty good quality check before putting the refurbs up for sale.
     
  3. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #3
    I got a refurb black Macbook from Microcenter for my daughter. It came in a "brown box" without manuals or disks but it works quite well and she is happy with it. Microcenter claimed it is "from Apple" but it certainly didn't come with normal Macbook packaging.
     
  4. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #4
    I purchased a refurb 2009 iMac and it arrived well packaged and looking brand new but in a plain white box. The box with the magic mouse was labeled refurb but aside from that everyone looked and performed like new
     
  5. MacVibe macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    #5
    My experience was the same as yours, loose power cable, some loose pieces (very small) of styrofoam, and a small gash in the plain white box. The computer was fine though. Aside from the packaging, what exactly was wrong with the computer you wanted replaced? Did it have a dent in it? Did a port not work? Did it not start up? I honestly don't care that much about packaging and I'm glad to have saved some money.
     
  6. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    In my imagination
    #6
    The interesting thing about refurbs purchased from Apple is that they actually have less of a chance of coming with defects.

    A refurbed machine from Apple is only one of two things:

    1) and EOL'ed machine that goes back to the warehouse from the retail stores.

    or

    2) a machine that has been CTO or purchased from a customer, then returned for whatever reason NOT related to defects.

    Once the machine is back at the warehouse, the box is recycled and the machine is inspected for defects. Defective machines get torn apart and the good parts are used as parts for repairs. Good machines get stored in generic boxes and put on the market as refurbed.

    They don't go into detail about the specs of the machine, especially when dealing with very specific CTO systems. At times, a buyer will purchase what they think is a stock configuration of a machine and then find out that the processor or HDD has been upgraded.

    Refurbs come with the full Apple Care eligibility and many other deals Apple offers. You can't get an EDU/business/or GOV discount however.

    I've purchased most of my hardware from Apple refurbed over the past 7 years and have never had a problem with any of them. I just don't get the nice boxes.

    Now, as for your case, I would have done the same thing. I've NEVER gotten a refurbed product from Apple that's looked rifled through with unkept cables. That was a unique incident IMHO.
     
  7. steve2112 macrumors 68040

    steve2112

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Location:
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    #7
    I've purchased a few refurbs through Apple, and they have all been like new. I bought my Mini refurbed in 2009, and the only difference between it and new was the box. All cables were neatly packaged, and the unit looked brand new. All three refurbed iPods I have purchased have been like new, as well. I'm not sure what happened with yours. I haven't had nearly the same experience buying from Dell's refurb store.
     
  8. SornBlippy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    #8
    Purchased a refurb just last week...

    After much deliberating I brought a refurb'ed 27" iMac last week.

    It arrived on the Tuesday, in a plain white box, as expected from my research. Unfortunately, when I opened it I was a little concerned, because though the polystyrene packing was intact, as I took out the individual components it seemed like they had been packaged either in a hurry, or just simply without any care and the power cable was lose in the bottom of the box.

    My concern was confirmed when on first boot, it was evident that the screen was not functioning.

    I went through the fairly standard troubleshooting procedures, but all to no avail.

    Therefore, with a sinking heart I phoned Apple Customer services...

    ...and I have to say they were great. A new (refurb) iMac was dispatched almost immediately, which arrived the following day (I could have chosen the day) and the faulty one was collected by a different courier company, at my convenience.

    I was also regularly updated by email on a regular basis from the Apple employee who dealt with my issue.

    The new one was well packed, and most importantly, fully functional and indiscernible from a new retail packaged machine.

    So I would certainly purchase one again, as they got the customer service right, even when something had initially had gone wrong.

    Also, as an aside, if you ever study any Engineering discipline, you are likely to cover the topic of reliability and specifically the product reliability life cycle, or "bathtub" curve. This basically shows that statistically failures of any product generally occur during two distinct periods - wear out - the end of life and more importantly "infant mortality" - products failing at the very start of their lives, first boot, etc. This is why refurb's are generally good value, as not only are they cheaper, they are generally past the infant mortality period.
     
  9. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 68040

    PinkyMacGodess

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest America.
    #9
    I have never had an issue, so far, getting refurbed systems from Apple.

    My most recent purchase was a Mac Mini Server which came in a rather large white box. The Mini was contained in the normal Apple shrink-wrap style noisy plastic envelope and the box had a divider so a third of its extra width could be for the cables and DVD's. The cables and power supply looked completely new and had the plastic wrap strip on them. The Mini itself was sheltered in enormous foam bits that more than adequately cushioned it.

    The system came up and so far everything is spot on. No problems.

    I did hear of a person locally getting a MacBook Pro refurb and the unit had a huge dent in it. They called Apple and they actually sent a new one to replace it. The recipient had evidently filed a case with the shipper who denied the claim because there was no box damage. But how many new products arrive DOA or damaged. Badness happens... Apple stands behind their products, and their users. That's a damn good thing in this time where 'customer service', like 'employees' are a liability...
     
  10. ryanide macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    #10
    Save some money

    If you find a machine with the specs you want, generally you can same some money without any problems. They usually arrive in plain brown or white boxes, not retail packing.

    I've purchased a refurbished Mac Pro and 15" MacBook Pro and both have worked just fine with no problems. I think Apple extends the warranty on refurbished items, or at least it is the same a new.

    Highly recommended!
     
  11. FmlyDskst macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    Location:
    Mesa
    #11
    Refurbished iMac decision

    I have always been on the fence when thinking about purchasing refurbed Apple, only from the sour taste I have had from other companies, (lets face it almost all!), and I was on the fence with apple. I know and trust anything apple, but after visiting this forum I have made my decision to purchase refurb. Saving money and still loving apple.

    I will post my findings.
    Again thank you everyone
     
  12. Kungshi macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    #12
    In my experiences it has been a plain white box. But there has never been any thing loose or out of place. I don't blame you for calling them, you may have gotten a refurb that was used and sent back but never prepared again for reshipment. Just a thought.
     
  13. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Location:
    New England, USA
    #13
    I had a problem with my iPhone 4 and it was swapped out at the Genius bar. I assume it was a refurb.

    It was cosmetically perfect - believe me, I did a thorough inspection!

    It has worked perfectly since I received it. I certainly would have thought it was brand new, except it was in a black box.:D
     
  14. Corrosive vinyl, Jan 31, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012

    Corrosive vinyl macrumors 6502

    Corrosive vinyl

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    #14
    Back in the day, I bought 2 iBook G4s. The first one was refurbished and worked perfectly. It was a return from a previous customer that was just sitting up on a table. The second was brand new and had years of issues that I later came to the conclusion of a bad logic board or solder holding it in place.
     
  15. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #15
    Most of the stuff I buy directly from Apple are refurbs. They always come in plain white boxes, but the cables are usually bound up with their plastic "tabs". Since they are usually in white boxes, they don't have the "normal" compartments so a lot of times cables are a little bit less contained and a little more "free to roam" in the box. I haven't purchased a computer refurbed, but many aiport expresses/extreme's, iPods, etc.
     
  16. JBazz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    #16
    I have bought dozens of refurbs from imacs to macbooks to ipods. Never had an issue. The nly drawback is if you resell. People tend to turn their noses up at a refurb.
     
  17. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #17
    4 Macs and an Airport Extreme refurb (from Apple) that except for the brown box appeared 100% like brand new. If I got one that was a mess I'd question if it were refurbished but somehow sent by mistake and return it.
     
  18. Flynnstone macrumors 65816

    Flynnstone

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Location:
    Cold beer land
    #18
    I can't see a downside.

    I ordered a prior generation macbook a few years ago. Worked fine except an issue with trackpad. Talked to Apple. They said engineering wanted the machine & offer me a brand new latest generation.
    I said .... sure!
    Simply put, Apple took care of the situation.
     
  19. ahdfox macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Location:
    Here
    #19
    Refurbs are the best

    No fancy box, but many of the refurbs come with Snow Leopard (10.6), which means you get to avoid the Lion mess and hassles... and upgrade to Lion for $30 if/when you want to.

    I just sent back my Lion-locked iMacs at work and replaced them with refurbs-- beautiful machines so far, and they came with a stable OS that can actually do good old "Save As' and has all the familiar keyboard shortcuts.
     
  20. trikky macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    #20
    On my second refurb laptop. Why pay full price just because of the box?

    In my case, a 'last model' MBP (17", 2.2Ghz), it came with an extra 4GB of RAM at no cost.

    I'd happily buy refurb again.
     
  21. lolwut89 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    #21
    You'll always get a few bad eggs, such is life. This is true for everything you buy. I got a refurb iPod shuffle, as far as I could tell the thing ran like a champ. No issues.
     
  22. obsidian1200 macrumors 6502

    obsidian1200

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    #22
    I received my 27" 2010 iMac in a grungy white box with a handle, specs label, and shipping label on it. Inside, was the typical packing material you'd find in a retail iMac box; the styrofoam padding, the white box with keyboard, magic mouse, documentation, restore discs, and the power cord tucked away in the lower placeholders. At first, I was shocked that Apple would ship the iMac in just the one box, but after several months of using the machine, and finding it had an upgraded internal 2TB hard drive instead of the advertised 1TB, I got over it.

    I've also bought refurbed iPods in the past, and they came in plain jane boxes, not the retail boxes. Always came with the same accessories as the new devices did.

    If I buy another Apple product in the future, I'll check the refurbed section first. I'd be more than happy to have my next computer, my first iPad, or another refurbed iPod if available.
     
  23. ryannel2003 macrumors 68000

    ryannel2003

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Location:
    Greenville, NC
    #23
    I have owned nothing but Apple refurbs for the past 4 years and they have all been wonderful. The only product I've ever had problems with is my current MacBook cracking near the hinges but that is a product defect and not a refurbished issue. I will be buying a refurb MacBook Pro in the future.
     

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