Refurb vs new

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dj95, Aug 7, 2014.

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  1. dj95 macrumors member

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    #1
    Hi guys,

    I'm playing with the idea of getting a refurb retina 13 inch 8/256 with education discount. Configured with the apple are uplift, that costs £1030. On the refurb store, the late 2013 model costs £929. Is it worth saving an extra £100? Also if anyone has knowledge of the educational apple care uplift, can this be applied at a later date in the first year to the refurb mac, like the standard apple care, or only on the purchase of a new mac? I only ask as you can purchase it separately from the online store. Wish I could just get away with the base model with 128GB as it would be much cheaper at £859!

    So basically:

    2.4/8/256 refurb for £929
    OR
    2.6/8/256 new for £1030 with edu discount.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Justin Horne macrumors newbie

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    Jun 3, 2007
    #2
    Get the refurb. I bought a refurb Macbook like... 5 years ago, and it was perfect, and I'm typing this on my refurb rMBP 13 /8 / 256 that arrived 2 days ago, and it's also just perfect. Seriously, other than a worse unboxing experience, everything is indistinguishable from brand new. I've read SO many recounts of people who bought refurb, and they're always great. Seriously, just get a refurb. :p

    You can 100% still apply Applecare just like normal to a refurb. You can buy it anytime in the first year.
     
  3. SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a

    SarcasticJoe

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    #3
    From what I've heard refurb machines have a higher failure rate as they're mostly built out of parts from machines that were sent in for service and their owners ended up getting a refund or a new machine.

    Don't get me wrong, a higher rate does not mean every refurb machine is going to break down, just that they're more likely.
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #4
    I've never heard that, where did you read that. If you review the threads here, the refurb machines are just as good as new, and carry similar warranty. Apple puts it through a certification process to make sure all th parts work.
     
  5. SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a

    SarcasticJoe

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    #5
    That's what they say, but I wouldn't be so sure their test will be able to catch components that are ticking time bombs rather than ones that have already blown up or are just about to. Just look at all the GeForce 8600GT and Radeon 6XXX-machines that passed quality control as new and have since gone on to fail on their users.

    As for an actual source, it's a study that I read a few years ago, but can't seem to find it at the moment ([joke]maybe Apple asked Google to "forget" it[/joke]).
     
  6. maflynn, Aug 7, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014

    maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #6
    Not sound harsh but it sounds like you're basing your opinion on assumption then fact. You assume Apple's certification process is not up to par because of radeongate.

    As for that, its a manufacturing defect that won't exhibit itself for years down the road, so no amount of quality checks would uncover this.

    I've not purchased refurbs myself, but from what I see here and other boards, the people who find them problem free far outweighs any problems.

    I can understand your angst but I don't believe the facts line up to this, refurbs are a solid option that has proven track record spanning decades.
     
  7. SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a

    SarcasticJoe

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    #7
    You may call it an assumption, but it's actually based on a report that I can't seem to be able to find at the moment. I'm not making that up like you seem to assume.

    Not all faults and flaws are ones that exhibit themselves right away and Apple has already shown that their detection of faults that show up down the line isn't very good with both Radeongate and the Nvidia flaw a few years ago.

    Random forum posts are hardly a sample big enough for a proper argument.

    Angst? All I'm doing is pointing out that the machines are essentially built from leftovers and I remember reading a study where they concluded that refurbished machines had a higher failure rate.
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #8
    I believe apple's track record speaks for itself and the number of positive feedback on the refurbs,while being random posts on the internet do show that the machines are fine.

    Also consider the economics, if refurbs had a high failure rate, as you infer, then apple would be pay 2x to repair them. The first time, since you mentioned the parts are pulled form defective machines and now a second time. refurbs carry the same 1 year warranty. Apple has been selling refurbs since the PPC days. If these machines were largely flawed and problematic, its reputation would be on the line as well as its failure to make a profit.

    The conventional wisdom is that refurbished machines from apple presents a way for the consumer to get a great machine at a lower price, yet keeping the same warranty.
     
  9. rickvanr macrumors 68040

    rickvanr

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    #9
    I bought a refurb rMBP last summer, it's been not great but Apple's been great with repairs. Just took it in for the second logic board replacement and a new display.

    The exact same thing could have happened if I had spent $500 more and bought retail. Just buy AppleCare and you're safe.

    Waiting for the third issue and a replacement
     
  10. DevAndy macrumors member

    DevAndy

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    #10
    The only notable difference between the "new" MBP is a slight speed bump, when compared with the same priced refurb you're getting a less capable laptop. :D
     
  11. capathy21 macrumors 65816

    capathy21

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    #11
    Get the refurb. The refurbs are not made from spare parts. They are either units that were returned within 14 days, or they are brand new 2013 models that can no longer be sold as new due to the 2014 refresh.

    I would think that purchasing a refurb now gives you a pretty good shot of getting a new 2013 unit being sold as a refurb.
     
  12. SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a

    SarcasticJoe

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    #12
    Considering Apple's machines on the whole have been pretty reliable over the last couple of years, the fact that there has been plenty of positive posts about refurb machines doesn't mean they can't have a higher failure rate than non-refurb machines.

    I said higher, not the failure rates were catastrophically bad as you seem to have taken to believing I was claiming. That kind of black-and-white thinking is just stupid.

    Let's say the failure rate for Apple's non-refurb machines is 4% and the failure rate for non-refurb machines is 6%. Nether figure is what you may call catastrophic, but the refurb figure is still 50% higher. If you think that failure rate is too high, here's some real figures from a few years ago.

    To me conventional wisdom tells me that when something fails there's going to be a higher rate of other problems than an identical thing that hasn't suffered a failure.

    The reason why rockstars have these riddiculous requirements like having a bowl of M n' M's with all the brown ones taken out backstage is that when they find that the event origanizer doesn't fill them, there's usually something else that's wrong and actually serious (like safety rules not being followed).
     
  13. GGJstudios, Aug 7, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #13
    What you've heard is completely false. Refurbs are, in fact, less likely to fail then new models, because they've gone through extra attention and testing prior to being sold. Any defective part in a model being refurbished has been replaced with a new part prior to being sold as a refurb.

    Refurbs are not "built from leftovers" and the study you read, if there was one, was a complete falsehood. Just because somebody publishes a study or report doesn't mean they are a reliable source of accurate information. The experience of thousands of refurb users (which is a large enough sample) indicates that refurbs are every bit as good as brand-new machines, and they are covered by the same warranty that covers new Macs, so there is no risk to a refurb buyer.

    Stop spreading misinformation, unless you can back up your claims with some documented facts. Your assertion that refurbished Macs are in some way lower in quality or reliability than new models is completely bogus.

    Apple refurbished products are considered by most to be a very good deal, as they're pretty much like buying a new Mac, except for the box.
    Click the link in that quote for more details on the refurbishment process.
    • Apple Certified Refurbished Products are available online from the Apple Refurb Store and are not sold in local Apple stores
    • Educational discounts do not apply to refurb products.
    • Refurb products come with the same warranty as new products, and qualify for AppleCare
    • Refurb products have a changed serial number that identifies them as refurbished
    • Refurb products come with whatever OS version and software they originally shipped with as new
    • Refurb products come with the same items in the box as new products, only the box is a plain one, not the new box.
    • A refurb product could have some cosmetic signs of prior use, but rarely do
    • A refurb Mac notebook may have some cycles on the battery, but not a significant enough amount to affect usable life
    • The refurb store inventory changes frequently, sometimes several times a day, and doesn't have any direct relation to upcoming product releases. What's available in the refurb store is determined by what has been returned to Apple.
    • If you're looking for a particular item, refurb.me can alert you when it becomes available.
     
  14. syan48306 macrumors 6502a

    syan48306

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    #14
    I never buy anything refurbished with the exception of Apple products. Generally, Apple re certified products are really good quality. Even if it were to die on you, the warranty is really good and they'll take it back. Just walk into a store and they'll take care of you. You really can't go wrong.

    It's not like you're buying a dell recertified laptop and have to deal with phone support should something go wrong. :rolleyes:
     
  15. SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a

    SarcasticJoe

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    #15
    Isn't it kind of ironic that you attack me for not having a study I read years ago at hand and then go on make the exact opposite claim and don't even bother claiming that you've ever seen any real compiled figures to support that claim. All you do is make up some "thousands of refurb users" and try to use that as some kind of valid data when anecdotal evidence, which is all you really have, is anything but.

    Yet you've still not brought up any figures to show otherwise... I at least brought up some figures in my previous post that showed an about 10% failure rate over the first 2 years for macs in general.

    None of the information you've copypasted from Apple's own site actually refutes refurbs being ether broken machines that have been fixed or built from leftovers. They even straight up admit there can be some wear n' tear on the machines. This means they're obviously not "pretty much like buying a new Mac, except for the box" like you claimed.

    You've pretty much built your whole argument around blind trust in Apple and what their marketing people are saying about refurbished machines. You don't even for a second take a moment to consider what it would say if Apple offered ether a shorter or longer warranty for refurbished machines. Apple has some very smart marketing people and they understand perfectly well that ether one will tell people that they don't trust refurbished machines.

    One day you may grow up and realize that companies aren't in business to serve anyone except their owners, and what their owners want is simply money. I suppose this kind of blind trust in a company is to expected on a site filled with fanboys of said company, but it doesn't make it any less childish or immature.
     
  16. Suture macrumors 6502a

    Suture

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    #16
    Same here -- I've never had any issues with refurbs. My MacBook Air and former MacBook Pro 13" were the last "new" Macs I purchased. All others have been refurbs, 3 iMacs and a Mac Mini.
     
  17. DevAndy macrumors member

    DevAndy

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    #17
    Such a large assumption on refurbs raises the question: Do you even own a mac?
     
  18. tagy macrumors regular

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    UK
    #18
    Because probably there are not any figures publicly available from Apple comparing the failure rate of refurbs/non-refurbs. So that leaves people reading forums and seeing how other people got on (see this thread). Unless you can find this report you read a few years ago.

    Also your point is that the failure rate is higher on refurbs? So just showing the failure rate of 10% in general is not relevant.
     
  19. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #19
    There are thousands of reports in this forum alone from refurb owners, myself and many I've advised over the years on purchase decisions included. I've spent the time reading those reports over the past 6 years. If you bother to do a bit of homework, you'll find the same results.
    Those figures are fictitious, since Apple doesn't release that kind of information to the public.
    You apparently haven't followed the link to read details of Apple's refurbishment process, which clearly states that any defective parts are replaced before offering a refurb for sale. As I already stated, and as Apple clearly states, it is possible that some refurbs may show some cosmetic signs of prior use. The reality experienced by those thousands of refurb owners who have reported, indicate that such cosmetic signs are rather rare, as most refurbs appear as cosmetically clean as new models. They do not "build" refurbs from leftover parts. They take a returned product, replace any defective parts, such as a hard drive, RAM module, keyboard, etc., then perform rigorous testing that not all new models receive.
    False. It has nothing to do with marketing. The fact that Apple does offer the same warranty as new models, instead of a shorter one or none is proof that refurbs are a safe bet. Apple wouldn't offer the same warranty if there was a higher failure rate for refurbs, especially when selling them at a lower price than new, as it wouldn't make them as profitable. If anything, the warranty eliminates any need for reliance on marketing claims.
    LOL! Very funny, suggesting that someone "grow up" when you have no idea their age or experience! That can backfire and make you look quite foolish.

    Yes, companies like Apple are in business to make money, which is why a bit of business common sense reveals that they wouldn't offer refurbished products at a lower price with a higher failure rate, then back those with the same warranty as new products.
     
  20. Mike P macrumors newbie

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    #20
    The main thing to remember when making this choice is that the refurb will come with a 1 year warranty. Bought online via an educational network, the new computer will come with a 3 year warranty as standard. This is essentially Apple Care minus the extended phone support.

    You need to decide therefore whether the additional warranty, the fact that the computer is a 2014 model rather than a 2013 one and the small speed bump are worth £100. If it were me, the additional warranty would be worth it alone.
     
  21. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

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    #21
    I'd get the refurb one. Warranty is what really matters -- and Apple Care. I think a "used" Macbook with full warranty is a better choice since there are chances that defects will appear within the Apple Care window.
     
  22. SarcasticJoe, Aug 8, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2014

    SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a

    SarcasticJoe

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    #22
    Yes, two at the moment:
    - Mid 2007 Macbook Pro (i.e a Nvida fault one and it's failed and been fixed once because of just that)
    - Early 2011 15" Macbook Pro (i.e a "Radeongate" machine that's still yet to fail)

    Unless you can actually compile that data in some even moderately scientific way it's still anecdotal evidence and simply no good enough as an argument.

    They're not ficticious. If you actually bothered checking those figures they're actually compiled data from a company that sells extended warranties for many brands of laptops.

    Did you rad my post at all? Of course Apple replaces parts that have failed or are just about to fail. The point is that not all defective parts fail very soon and can take months or even years before they fail. Apple has a track record of missing these ticking time bombs in machines like the GeForce 8600M and "radeongate" machines.

    You're basically putting completely blind trust in Apple and their promise that they're doing rigorous testing on the machines. Anyone with even a little sense never blindly trust a company or other entitiy with the sole purpose of making money.

    If they actually trusted refurbished machines as much as you claim and didn't care about public perception, they wouldn't offer them the standard warranty, they'd instead offer them an extended warranty.

    Again with the assumption that a higher failure rate means a catastrophic one... Nobody's going to notice a failure rate a few percent higher and with Apple's current day machines, that probably is a relatively big increase.

    So in other words nether side can really conclusively prove their point...

    If you actually read my post properly you'd see I brought up that figure to back up the made-up figures I used in my explanation why a higher failure rate doesn't automatically mean a catastrophical one.
     
  23. vpro macrumors 65816

    vpro

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    #23
    Refurb.

    Casting my vote for {refurb}. Yeah they should sell those with extended warrantees - well my humble opinion is simple, they should sell all custom build to order mbps with Apple Care + 1 year more seriously. :D Instead of free apps, they should invest in the PRO-sumer right?
     
  24. GGJstudios, Aug 8, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #24
    I'm not going to spoon-feed you the facts that I and many others in this forum already know. You'll have to do your own homework if you really want the facts.
    Apple products are covered by Apple's own warranties. I wouldn't trust any data from such a company, who doesn't perform Apple-authorized repairs.
    No, I put trust in the legal system and the fact that all Apple refurbs are covered by warranty. Yes, they do perform rigorous testing, but just like new machines, refurbs can be defective from time to time. That's why the buyer is protected by the full warranty.
    Nonsense. They offer the same warranty as new machines and the extended warranty (AppleCare) is available on refurbs just like new machines, if the buyer wants it. In other words, they trust refurbs exactly as much as they trust new Macs.
    The problem is that the assumption of a higher failure rate for refurbs is a assumption based on no reliable facts.
     
  25. Mike P macrumors newbie

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    #25
    I'll say it again as the point seems to be being missed. The new 2014 Macbook will come with 3 years warranty at no extra cost. This is part of the educational deal here in the UK. The refurb will only come with a 1 year warranty.

    The price difference is £100, less than the cost of Apple Care. I'd say, in this case, the new machine was much better value.
     
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