Monday, July 15, 2024

Refurbished Mac buying advice

Apple states: “Before we put a refurbished Mac, iPod, iPad or Apple TV up for sale in Special Deals, it undergoes a rigorous refurbishment process to ensure it’s up to Apple’s tough quality standards.” (iPhones are not currently sold through the Refurbished Store.) More importantly, a reconditioned Mac has the same one-year warranty (extendable to three years with AppleCare protection.) You also get the same sales and return procedure as Apple. You can return a Mac bought from the Refurbished Store within 14 days if you’re not happy with it – but note you’ll have to post it back, as Apple will not accept returns to a physical Apple Store on refurbished products.


Our experience’s only noticeable difference is that any refurbished urb Mac will be packaged in a brown box rather than the white retail box they normally arrive in. Aside from that, we have yet to pick up a Mac from the Refurbished Store and find it wanting. The price for reconditioned Macs changes frequently but is typically 10 to 20 percent less than the original price. This can be quite different, with Macs commanding a high retail price. For example, a 13.3-inch MacBook Air can be found on the Refurbished Store for £719, a £130 saving on the £849 you’d pay for the same model on the Apple Store.

Apple Refurbished Store: Check the specifications carefully

Because many Macs in the refurb store are last year’s models, you should check the specifications carefully. It’s worth noting that most new Macs contain the latest high-end components, so even last year’s model from the Apple Refurbished Store tends to have quite high-specification parts.

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It’s worth looking at the Refurbished Store if you deliberately want to pick up an older model. Apple is often quick off the mark to phase out features it deems no longer necessary, such as optical drives, FireWire sockets, replaceable hard drives, and so on. Some people may genuinely prefer an earlier model with a feature they don’t want to live without.

 Apple Refurb Store

However, if you catch the Store around six months after a Mac has come out, you’ll find it with money off. Getting a current, top-of-the-range Mac or MacBook for 15% off is great. Here are some great current deals on the Apple Refurbished Store:

Refurbished 12.5in iMac, £739 (£140 off)

Refurbished Mac Mini, £339 (£60 off)

Refurbished 11.6in MacBook Air, £759 (£140 off)

Refurbished 12in MacBook Gold, £759 (£140 off)

Refurbished 13.3in MacBook Pro, £759 (£140 off)

Buying a secondhand Mac from eBay

Amazon and eBay are worth considering, although we’d recommend you opt for new, discounted Macs where possible. Buying a secondhand Mac on eBay is a riskier business. Buying and selling anything on sites like eBay can be fraught with problems, but this is particularly true with high-value products like computers. The adage runs ‘buyer beware’, but sellers also need to take precautions. To make money quickly, it is easy to be talked into handing over what you’re selling for much less than it is worth. Having done your research, be prepared to stand your ground. You may have to give way slightly on price, but don’t be swayed too much.

eBay requires a little caution and care, but you may find some bargains. For example, look at eBay’s dedicated Refurbished MacBook section to see if there are any deals on Icas Network.

Buying a new or second-hand Mac from an Apple reseller

If you buy from used or independent shops, your best bet is to seek a certified Apple Premium Reseller. These are dealers and service providers certified by Apple for their expertise and quality. These can be found up and down the UK and the Republic of Ireland. (You can find your nearest Apple Premium Reseller here and in the Republic of Ireland.) These will try to meet or exceed the service you’d get at an Apple Store – and prices may be lower than buying from Apple. We’ve often spotted Apple Premium Reseller stores having special events and discounts, normally when stores open for the first time in a new location. In the past, Apple Premium Reseller Stormfront has offered customers 10 percent off of any Mac purchased or ordered from the new stores in Luton and Epson on opening day.

Some resellers may offer discounts on older Mac models shortly after a new one launches, so look out for bargains! If you prefer shopping with a retailer you’re familiar with, John Lewis offers a two-year warranty on all Apple products as standard, twice as long as the standard one-year provided by Apple. John Lewis also offers a three-year contract MacBook Air deal for £99. This compares favorably with Apple’s own AppleCare Protection, essentially a three-year contract for £199. Finally, look at Macworld’s reseller service, which buys and sells a range of secondhand Apple products. Here’s everything you need to know about Shopping at an Apple Store, Apple Online, and using the Genius Bar

William M. Alberts
William M. Alberts
Unable to type with boxing gloves on. Professional beer scholar. Problem solver. Extreme pop culture fan. Fixie owner, shiba-inu lover, band member, International Swiss style practitioner and holistic designer. Acting at the intersection of design and mathematics to save the world from bad design. I'm a designer and this is my work.

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