"Refurbished" -what does it mean?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by macstatic, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. macstatic macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #1
    What does the term "refurbished" mean in the context of buying refurbished Apple hardware?
    A second hand unit with worn/damaged parts and scratch exterior replaced, or a brand new unit except it's been assembled out of (brand new) spare parts by Apple service engineers instead of a complete unit straight out of the factory?

    I'm trying to determine if I should take advantage of the iPod Nano replacement program or not (my Nano is almost in pristine condition and very little used so getting a second hand replacement wouldn't be a very good deal, and in that case I assume I could easily replace the (possibly fire-hazardous) battery myself).
     
  2. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

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    #2
    As far as Apple is concerned, as good as new, without the nice packaging.
     
  3. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

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    Jan 27, 2007
    #3
    Refurbished can mean ANYTHING, so be careful. Everyone says that they put their refurbs through x number of quality tests, blah, blah, but they all lie! At best, they take a return and repackage it. At worst, some will send you used items that are beat up. Even Apple isn't perfect!

    Refurbished from Apple is the only way I'd go. I've still gotten DOA items which is a pain, but they did replace it with little trouble. Apple is a respectable company, so you know you won't get ripped off.

    There are no such guarantees with third party refurbs.
     
  4. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

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    Feb 13, 2009
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    United Kingdom
    #4
    In the nanos case, the refurb procedure is as follows, in effect Apple is giving you a new Case,and a new Battery (and probably, although nobody can confirm this other new bits to make up for the years of wear and tear). From whats appeared it will be as good as your current one in terms of condition. While a few bits inside may be second-hand, they will be properly tested. My experience with numerous Apple Refurbs over the years has been excellent.
     
  5. eRondeau macrumors 6502a

    eRondeau

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    #5
    I wouldn't hesitate to buy an Apple refurb. My brother bought a 27" i5 iMac (refurb) for the price of a new 21.5" C2D. It has been flawless for him. I wouldn't look at it as getting a cheaper unit as -- much as I'd look at it as getting a much better unit for the same $$$.
     
  6. Confuzzzed macrumors 68000

    Confuzzzed

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    Liverpool, UK
    #6
    Actually, that is not strictly true! Bought an iPad refurb from Apple and it did come with all the nice packaging. But you are right on the important stuff. It's as good as new. The back, front, screen and battery get replaced and QA tested before sending out. On Macs, it's usually machines that were returned (sometimes for no good reason other than users not knowing how to transition from PC world) during the 2 week remorse period.
     
  7. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    Nov 25, 2005
    #7
    Also whenever a new model of anything comes out, anything old that wasn't sold will appear under "refurbished". That's why you always see "Originally released..." besides the offers on the refurbished store.
     
  8. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #8
    Refurbished models are often what were new models, but new models that have just have been superceded by a newer model, and thus, come with a discount.

    As a refurbished model will have been individually examined - perhaps with some parts - i.e. with a new case, new battery having been replaced, it may well have undergone more scrutiny than a standard "brand new" model.

    While it may indeed lack the packaging of a "new" model, the warranty is the exact same which is offered on a new model, whereas the price usually is a considerable discount on what you could expect to pay for a 'new' model. In other words, a 'refurbished' model comes with all of the advantages of a new model but costs less.
     
  9. dendowling macrumors newbie

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    Aug 29, 2011
    #9
    Apple wouldn't take something that's used for a long time and try to resell it as 'refurbished' - they only sell as refurbished if it looks clean & new. Apple's refurbs are most likely just items people returned soon after buying or stuff that just needed one part swapped out to get it working again.

    http://store.apple.com/Catalog/US/Images/apple_certified.html

    Refurbished is fine as long as you get it from Apple directly. I and my friends got a 2010 iMac, 2010 MBP, 2009 MBP, & 2007 MBP, iPods, all refurbished - no problems, no scratches or blemishes, everything looked brand new and worked fine.

    Apple's refurbished items are warrantied for a year just like their new products. If anything is wrong they'll fix it free. You can also get AppleCare for the 2yr extended warranty.

    The refurbished MBP I got actually came with a 7200rpm drive even though it was listed as a normal 5400rpm drive - free bonus.
     
  10. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    Nov 25, 2005
    #10
    That's called the "refurbished Mac lottery". Apple doesn't bother listing Macs separately if they have extra items like a faster hard drive, so you always have a chance of getting more than you paid for.
     
  11. Paratel macrumors 6502

    Paratel

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    #11
    I have bought sever refurbs and haven't had any problems or issues. I would however, recommend purchasing Applecare
     
  12. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

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    #12
    They do in the UK store, Gnasher.
     
  13. Geekbabe macrumors 6502a

    Geekbabe

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    Nov 20, 2011
    #13
    I just got a refurb 13 inch Macbook Air, there isn't a scratch, ding,dent or blemish on it & so far it performs flawlessly.
     
  14. rookiezzz macrumors regular

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    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    WA,USA
    #14
    I got a refurbished ipod touch and it has been flawlessly working. I found no different with the brand new one though! Apple's refurbished products are awesome!
     
  15. airborne333 macrumors newbie

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    Apr 11, 2010
    #15
    I've heard a rumor that replacement iPhones are Refurbished - for instance if your new iPhone fails, Apple will take it back and send a replacement that is refurbished! Can anyone confirm this?
     
  16. TannerH macrumors regular

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    Oct 20, 2009
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    Salt Lake City, UT
    #16
    Usually they come with fingerprints because they're handled by AppleCare repair guys.
     
  17. Speed.Power macrumors newbie

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    Sep 26, 2014
    #17
    When i got my iPod touch 4 replaced, i got a 'new' one back which obviously wasn't new; the screen was slightly misfitting (due to the back being very slightly bent) and the battery was not a patch on the original.
    But from what you guys are saying, that was an isolated occurance:(
     
  18. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #18
    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.
     
  19. AllergyDoc macrumors 65816

    AllergyDoc

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    #19
    the guy at the Apple Store told me most everything is new except for the CPU, which can have been in one previous device.
     
  20. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #20
    Don't believe everything that employees at the Apple Store tell you. They are frequently uninformed, like the one you talked with, and many are new on the job. Apple doesn't take parts from one device and put them in another. When they refurbish a device, they replace any defective parts with new parts. Also, they're not going to replace just the CPU. If the CPU is defective, they would replace the entire logic board, rather than have to unsolder/solder components.
     
  21. Haaker macrumors newbie

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    Jun 26, 2012
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    Philadelphia area
    #21
    My 13" MacBook Air (mid-2012/i7/512 GB SSD/8 GB RAM) was a refurb, and I got it for hundreds less than a new one would have cost me. It has been the best computer I have ever owned. The only spot of any kind of wear anywhere on the computer was on the MagSafe port - there was very minor evidence inside the port that it had been used before. I didn't care, of course. I would definitely recommend Apple refurbished products.
     
  22. AllergyDoc macrumors 65816

    AllergyDoc

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    Mar 17, 2013
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    Utah, USA
    #22
    My mistake. He did say the logic board, not the CPU. And hey, the guy had dreadlocks. He looked like he knew what he was talking about. :D
     
  23. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #23
    Oh! Dreadlocks! Well, that changes everything! Forget what I said! :D
     
  24. gmm421 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    #24
    re-Furby

    I have bought only Apple refurbs from Apple over the past 15, and I have had no troubles. They have generic packaging (which goes into the same garbage can as the fancy packaging), but everything else is tops.
     

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