When you’re looking to buy an Apple MacBook, one topic mentioned frequently in your search is “refurbished MacBooks.” As explained in this report by Apple Gazette, a refurbished MacBook is a device which has been returned to a manufacturer or retailer by their previous owner before being repaired, tested and sold to customers.
The devices are confirmed to be in working in order and will generally be in decent cosmetic condition too, but as they cannot be sold as “brand new” due to their previous ownership, they will be sold at a lower price. For those looking to save money on Apple tech, buying a refurbished MacBook is the price-savvy option. But before you buy, there are several different factors that you should know.
When Can You Buy Refurbished MacBooks?
Over the years, more and more people have turned to refurbished MacBooks as a way to cut the cost of Apple hardware. As retailers aim to cash in on this surge in demand, there is a growing number of places where you can buy refurbished MacBooks from. When deciding where you’re going to buy your refurbished MacBook, there are several factors to consider and weigh up so that you know that you’re getting the very best deal. These factors include the way the devices have been tested, the warranty and shipping costs.
Some of the most reputable retailers in the industry include Mac of All Trades, Amazon, and even Apple itself. These all have different testing policies for refurbished MacBooks, though, and this will impact the price (more on that later). For example, refurbished MacBooks from Apple go through its Apple Certified Refurbished program which sees an in-house engineer test the device and carry out repairs (if needed) and the device will arrive in a white box with a new power cord/adapter. Though, consumers will pay a lot more for the privilege of Apple’s involvement. In comparison, Mac of All Trades’ testing process is extensive and thorough and includes testing every component of the MacBook, even reinspecting it a second time before it is sent out. However, you’ll pay less with Mac of All Trades because it isn’t an in-house Apple team.
There are also differences in terms of warranties. Apple, for example, offers a one-year long limited warranty whereas a retailer like Gazelle offers a warranty of 30 days. Some retailers also give you the option of paying a bit extra in order to extend your warranty. Either way, it’s important that you have some sort of warranty deal; in the event that something goes wrong with your refurbished MacBook, you’ll want to have that warranty for added security.
What Refurbished MacBook Stock is Available?
The availability of refurbished MacBook stock also varies from retailer to retailer. But looking at the refurbished market in general, there are refurbished MacBook Airs, MacBook Pros, and MacBooks, including more recent models as well as models released as far back as 2010.
For example, you can purchase a refurbished MacBook Pro 13.3-inch, choosing from the recent 2017 version with 1TB SSD and 3.5GHz Intel Dual-Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM for $2,379 (a saving of $520 or 18%) or going for an older, less powerful model with a 128GB SSD, 2.4GHz Intel Dual-Core i5 processor and 4GB of RAM for $699 (a saving of $500 or 42%). Alternatively, you could opt for a more lightweight model of MacBook such as the refurbished MacBook Air 11.6-inch which uses the faster form of flash storage and uses Intel HD graphics to keep things looking crisp and clean. The thin and small design makes it ideal for people who want to use their MacBook on the go.
Because there is so much choice, it makes it a lot easier to find a MacBook that suits you well. While it is recommended that you act fast in order to take advantage of the best discounts (they do tend to sell out fast), there is room for you to shop around and choose a refurbished MacBook tailored to your needs whether that be game development, writing or just browsing the web.
How Much Do Refurbished MacBooks Cost?
The price of a refurbished MacBook will vary depending on where you’re buying it from, whether it is a MacBook, Air or Pro, its specs and the year it was released. This is why it’s important to shop around or use a price comparison platform such as RefurbMe to find the best deal for you.
But wherever you buy from, you will likely be saving a huge amount of money when compared to buying brand new. According to Apple Insider, the average Mac selling price is $1300, meaning that shoppers on a budget will be unable to buy the devices without a substantial price cut.
In comparison, you can save as much as $1,930 (a discount of 56%) on a refurbished MacBook Pro 15.4” Retina. Even looking at the higher end of the pricing scale, you will still be saving $200 (a saving of 15%) when you buy a refurbished MacBook 12” with a Retina screen from a leading retailer. So if you’re looking to save money, refurbished is the way to go.