Refurbished ? A good deal or not?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Dambuster43, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. Dambuster43 macrumors member

    May 20, 2013
    Just looking at what is becoming available in the "refurbished" offers.

    I have some what were they before they were refurbished.
    Are they unmarked and scratch free?

    The cost reduction over new does not seem a lot, so are they worth buying - if what you were considering buying is on the list.
  2. Igantius, Jan 15, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014

    Igantius macrumors 65816

    Apr 29, 2007
    Refurbished stock has been returned to Apple for a variety of reasons. This can included products that were delivered to a customer and returned them unused.

    People tend to go for Apple Refurbs for the following:

    a) Lower cost.
    b) Products are tested before being sent, regardless of why they were returned.
    c) The specs can be better than advertised.

    With regards to the second, refurbished models also come with the standard warranty – so if it’s been tested before being sent, you’re (in theory) less likely to receive a lemon and if anything does go wrong in the first year, you’re covered. From various discussions here, this reason is a key one for many.

    With the third point, this was something I used to see people mentioning more but I’m pretty sure recently I read one or two people say this. Going from memory, but the improvements are pretty modest (e.g. more RAM than specified) but obviously welcome – rather like reports about people returning a faulty machine and getting back a larger hard drive. Again, going from memory, but I do recall people citing this as one reason to go with refurbished more than they tend to these days. Testing information can be found at

    With regards to physical condition, under the T&Cs, “cosmic imperfections” are not included under the warranty – scratches and marks would come under this. Going from punter feedback, I would say that the chances of getting a product in mint condition or incredibly close is high. However, if you really, really don’t want a machine that might be marked or scuffed in some way and this is an important buying decision, look elsewhere.

    There have been many refurbished discussions here so you might want to have a search. However, I would say that I think I can only recall one person reporting that the unit was defective and would say cosmetic condition isn’t something that’s a cause for concern – overwhelmingly, feedback will be very positive.

    *edit* Hee, I just read this thread - - where someone has bought a refurbed iMac and there's a problem with it. However, this doesn't alter my point about faults being a common problem.
  3. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    15 to 20% price reduction seems worth it to me. Except for the boxes they come in refurbished products often can't be distinguished from brand new.

    So far I've gotten one refurbished iMac and an iPod Touch. There's nothing to worry about with an Apple refurbished system. And my next iMac will be refurbished.
  4. fig macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Had my refurb iMac for 5 years then sold it to my brother to use. Pretty tough to beat that deal and no complaints on it being a refurb.
  5. adamneer macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2013
    Chicago, IL
    I'm the one who posted the thread in the link up above. This is the second time I've bought a refurb Mac this year and the first time I've had any issue with it. My suspicion is that the iMac was actually returned to Apple for the noted issue of image retention, and then wasn't fixed before being sent through refurb. The other computer I bought refurbed was a MUCH better experience. My rMBP cost over $2400 new and I paid $1600 through the refurb store for it. It was listed as only 8gb RAM, but the one I received was actually 16gb RAM, which was a HUGE bonus (and probably not a typical outcome). There are no scratches whatsoever on the rMBP and except for the lame white box it came in, there is nothing that would indicate it is a refurbished unit, not new.

    Even with my issues with the iMac, I still highly suggest the refurb store. You are talking about savings of hundreds of dollars, and you still get the same warranty as a new model. Check frequently though, as some models seem to come and go rapidly from their stock. Others, stick around for longer.
  6. 2trout macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2013
    our iMac is refurbished, bought it just before Christmas, works like a charm, so far not one issue with it, came loaded with Mavericks, again, not one problem.
    Its the first time we went for refurbished, will definitely look at it again when next we're ready to buy a Mac.
  7. GovtLawyer macrumors 6502

    Sep 6, 2008
    Love Refurb

    I am writing this on my 2008 iMac refurb. It was almost perfect. After a month or so of use with what seemed like a flawless and untouched machine, I noticed the airport was not present. Hadn't needed it, but it appeared to not be there. I took it to Apple and they returned it a day or two later with a working airport. It has been wonderful and reliable since then.

    I am about to buy a 2013 iMac, again refurbed. Just waiting for the right model to appear and stay until I can order it. (They go fast). I have absolutely no reservations about buying another refurb. Even if it should not be perfect, which I doubt, Apple stands behind their products and with the same warranty as a new one, it is a no brainer for me. I'll save around 250 over retail.
  8. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    I often think they might be better then new....would figure they would have been gone over by a apple tech and received a good going over....unlike a new one that just works it's way down the line,the refurbs might get that extra inspection!
  9. Dambuster43 thread starter macrumors member

    May 20, 2013
    Thanks to all for your replies... much appreciated.
  10. inhalexhale1 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2011
    Ridgewood, NJ
    I went through a couple 2013 iMac's recently. They all had issues with audio (specifically USB interfaces and audio work). After reading through a bunch of threads, and tired of the back and forth with Apple, I tried a 2012 refurb. It was the first time I went for a refurb. Versus the current model with the same options (and education pricing), it was a savings of about $400. I couldn't be happier with it. It looks exactly the same as a brand new one. No scratches, cosmetic issues, etc. Best of all, it doesn't have any of the same audio issues the 2013's were giving me. Performance in day to day stuff, Ableton Live, and games has been indistinguishable.
  11. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    This issue is apparently fixed in the 10.9.2 beta.

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