Forum Question: What Are the Important Factors To Consider When Purchasing a Refurb ?

I’m always after “bagging a bargain”, & when I eventually buy a new MacBook, I think I will seriously consider a refurbished 15″ Retina MacBook Pro.(I’m sure it would be worth it)
Is the Apple Refurb store the best place to look for that, and indeed when is the best time of year to look (in general for most Apple refurbs not just the particular product I mentioned)

Comments: 10 Responses to “What Are the Important Factors To Consider When Purchasing a Refurb ?”

    12/27/12 @ 8:27 am

    I don’t think there is a particular time of year that makes a difference when looking for a refurbished Mac. I can’t think of why it would make any difference. I’m sure inventories fluctuate, but you only are buying one, so it doesn’t matter if you choose one from hundreds or one from thousands. As long as you find the one you want.
    As for places to buy, the two options would be Apple and then other retailers that offer their own used models. As long as you trust the store you are buying from it probably doesn’t make much of a difference. Maybe with Apple it might be easier to go back to them if you have problems.
    I think the biggest factor that people overlook when buying a refurbished machine is age. If you are buying the previous generation, then you are essentially getting a 1-year-old Mac. So if it is early 2013 and you buy a model from early 2012, then you have one year less until it is obsolete. So when it is 2016 it will be more likely that you want a new machine. So maybe 20% less longevity. Is the money you save worth that? Probably depends on how long you keep your Macs and what you use them for. Some people hold on to computers as long as possible — others buy new ones every year to stay current. If you are a video editor or game player, for instance, as opposed to someone that just surfs the web and sends email.

    12/27/12 @ 10:27 am

    I was thinking that possibly the best time to look might be when a new model is about to launch or perhaps I was mistakenly thinking that if a new model is launching then the current soon to be “old” model, might be sold at a discounted price in order to get rid of stock.(I’m not sure if this happens)

      12/27/12 @ 10:37 am

      Those wouldn’t be refurbs. If the machine is new and has never been used by anyone — never out of the box — then it is new.
      A refurbished model is one that was purchased and then returned. It may have been returned because something was wrong, or maybe some other reason and the machine itself was fine. Either way, it would be “refurbished” and verified to be in working order. Then re-boxed and sold at a slight discount.
      Sometimes refurbished models are floor or demonstration machines that have been reset and re-boxed.

    12/27/12 @ 11:28 am

    Yes thats right, I was getting mixed up. But what happens to those models that are new but have been superseded by a new version, would they be offered at a discount or…..

      12/27/12 @ 11:49 am

      I’ve never seen them offered at a discount. Apple is really on in when it comes to inventory. They run out just before a new model. They know what they are doing. Rumor sites even publish news stories when inventories of a model are reported as running low because it sometimes indicates a new model is coming out.

    12/27/12 @ 2:48 pm

    Thats amazing and I also suppose a great shame in a way…wishful thinking I suppose….I’ll guess I’ll just have to dream about buying 15″ Macbook Pro Retina Refurb sometime next year :)

    Shirley Hershey
    12/28/12 @ 9:42 am

    MacMall has time-limited deals on NEW 15″ Macbooks Pro Retina. No tax and free shipping besides discounts combine to make these attractive offers

    Joe W
    12/28/12 @ 1:09 pm

    PowerMax and MacOfAllTrades are great websites for used macs. I browse there all the time.

    12/29/12 @ 6:35 am

    Thanks for those recommendations, thats very kind, but i’m in the UK.

    Greg Locke
    1/30/13 @ 4:44 pm

    I recently purchased a refurb 15″ MacBookPro Retina 2.7GHz i7, with 16GB ram and a 500GB SSD, from Apple online. I saved $450 over a new one. It comes with a full 1 year warranty and I will be able to add AppleCare to it. It included Free Shipping. In most cases, refurbs are returns, somone wanted a different model and brought it back. By law, they cannot be sold as new. Hence, the refurb market. one advantage is that all refurbs are individualy tested.

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