What exaclty does "refurbished" mean?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by petrucci666, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. petrucci666 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    My friend and I were talking about refurbished Macs and we couldn't agree on what "refurbished" exactly meant. Are they laptops that were faulty in the beginning and then Apple fixed them or what?

    Sorry for the stupid question but I am looking into buying a refurbished Mac...

  2. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    They could be that, or machines that were bought, opened up, and then returned (even if nothing else was touched and the machines worked flawlessly).

    It's, in essence, any returned machine that cannot be resold as brand new.
  3. Ricanlegend macrumors 6502a

    Apr 21, 2009
    Its when people return the laptop cause it didnt work and apple fixes the problem and sell them cheaper cause is now used
  4. Mactagonist macrumors 65816

    Feb 5, 2008
    NYC - Manhattan
    It could mean a Mac that was sold, returned as defective, repaired and refreshed with a new box case etc and re sold.

    It could mean a mac that was sold and returned by the buyer.

    It could mean a mac that has been replaced by a new model, pulled from the shelves and is being cleared out.

    It could be used as a way for Apple to dump products that arnt selling at retail at a lower price point without having to abandon that higher price point totally.

    Apple is not very clear about which refurbs fit which situation. But they have and still do sell refurbs at a discount for all these reasons.
  5. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    There are several reasons that a system becomes "Refurbished"...

    1) Computer was purchased, box was opened, and then returned - Can't sell as new.
    2) Computer had problems and was replaced by Apple Care instead of being fixed.
    3) Computer was a floor model.

    All of these systems then go back for inspections, and have hardware replaced as required, then they go through the regular testing processes of new systems. So in essence they are new machines, but since someone paid for them at some point, they cannot be sold as new.

  6. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    They need not be non-functional. Let's say I buy a MB, open the box, look at it and decide I'd rather have an aluminum enclosure. Even though I didn't even turn on the system, it would be considered refurbished as it has been sold and opened by a consumer.
  7. knownikko macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2009
    FWIW I've bought multiple refurbished products from Apple and in every case they were virtually indistinguishable from new. The most recent was a 24" iMac a few months ago. If it weren't in a plain-white box instead of the fancy retail box, you'd never know the difference.

    I wouldn't hesitate for a second to buy another.
  8. UltraNEO* macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2007

    with TEG's info.

    Speaking from experience, there's absolutely nothing wrong with buy a refurb from Apple, as every machine comes with the standard twelve months warranty plus your given the same opportunity to upgrade to the full three-years via AppleCare (within the first twelve months of ownership) if desired.

    Technically speaking there's no downside to buy a refurb (except there's no customising)... just be aware a refurb machine won't come in the standard retail box. Instead it'll come in a generic brownbox with all it's standard accessories.. Don't forget you have a 14day allowance for returning your system, should you change your mind but with the saving, I think you'll be over the moon!!:):)
  9. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

    Jan 8, 2009
    Looking back, I would've bought a refurbished unit. You get a full year's warranty and can add another 2 with Applecare.

    But the bottom line is you'll never know why it needed to be refurbished.
  10. sparkie7 macrumors 68010


    Oct 17, 2008
    Refurbished can also mean a few scrapes and scratches to totally trashed gear panel beated back to shape and plain boxed [sarcasm off]

    I've heard people with refurb mac Pros who also got 'extras' like faster/larger drives, more power graphics cards to even raid controller cards with enterprise drives!
  11. smadder macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2006
    I am using the first new Mac that I've had in 5 years. The only reason I went with it is that there was a ridiculous rebate from MicroCenter on the 2.0Ghz. white Nvidia MacBooks, leaving the price at $799. It was $50 less than a refurb MacBook, so it was an easy choice. Otherwise, I have used nothing but refurb Macs from MBPs to iMacs to Mac Minis, even Time Capsules, iPods, and peripherals and have never received anything that didn't look and behave as if absolutely new. I use Macs extensively at work and so I get to compare the new and refurb stuff and there's never been a difference. 9/10 times it's the best deal on a mac you can find. And mac treats it just like a new product as far as service and support goes - you pretty much can't lose.
  12. halfbelgian macrumors member


    Jan 31, 2009
    Winnipeg, Canada
    Yeah that's me! :D Mine came with 4 GB's of ram even though shipping info said it had 2GB and the price was the same as one's advertised recently with 2 GB's.
  13. lavinci macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2009
    I think most of the time, the refurbs are models that were returned just because the person didn't like what they were buying.
  14. hamish5178 macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2009
    Newark, DE
    I've only had one Apple Refurb experiece, and that was an iPod video sent to my house to be shipped to my sister overseas. She asked me to load it up with some of my new music, and it was brand new looking.

    Is it possible that Apple polishes or replaces the casings on the iPods or computers they refurb? Or have other people gotten scratched/dented ones?
  15. IBradMac macrumors 68000


    Jun 27, 2008
    My mbp is a refurb. When it came it was perfect. I Only had one problem with it. Apple fixed it FAST. Other than that, it was a brand new computer.

    It runs just as good now as it did the day I received it! :apple:
  16. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040


    Sep 28, 2008
    With the 3rd generation Nano they advertised that the rear case is new/replaced in the refurbished units, as not to sell dented/scratched units.
  17. pdxflint macrumors 68020


    Aug 25, 2006
    Oregon coast
    I think they replace anything that won't pass inspection as being in "new" condition. One thing nobody mentioned is that they also get new serial numbers which start with RM or something similar, which would indicate they were reconditioned product by Apple. So, effectively they are "hand-rebuilt" in Cupertino, given a new manufacture date, serial number and complete warranty. No effective difference from a factory model, other than it has been individually inspected, and made right - as compared to a small percentage that are probably inspected off the assembly line in China...

    Gimme a refurb any day!
  18. Maserati7200 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 17, 2009
    11230, Midwood, Brooklyn, NY, USA, North America
    Nope. Thats the "clearance" section of the Apple online store.
  19. srexy macrumors 6502a

    Nov 19, 2006
    2 refurbs recently. My MBP ($1000 off original MSRP) is brand new. My Mini looks a bit more gently used. Either way they're a good deal.

    I recommended my mother to get one in the UK and hers was perfect also.

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