Many people know that buying a new Apple product from a usual vendor is not the only way to get a high-quality Mac and the one that can save a sizable amount just by troubling oneself a little bit to search out alternative options. Our buying guide will provide you with all necessary info on the topic.
On the whole, we recommend that once you intend to buy a new Apple device, you first undertake should be a little check-out of what you can possibly buy at a lower price and through an alternative outlet. And first of all, we suggest you consider a purchase from the Apple Refurbished Store.
Apple devices are not among the cheapest models (and they don’t need to be). Then why don’t you consider second-hand options? The most direct way, of course, is to benefit from the services of the company’s specialized online shop Apple Refurbished Store. But not necessarily. It may well be some other Apple reseller that would offer the most convenient terms or such e-commerce giant as eBay.
Now let us pass over to a more detailed description of each outlet.
Some guidance on buying a refurbished Mac
If you a real Apple fan you should know more about the Apple Refurbished Store as this online service gives you a good chance to buy nearly the same product with a pretty discount.
The origin of the refurbished hardware you are offered to buy here may be different. Saleable items can include either returned Mac models or reconditioned current ones. And reconditioned units may be, for example, ex-demonstration models or computers returned by customers through the standard return procedure. (In accordance with Apple’s rules, buyer has the right to return a Mac device bought from the Apple Store within 14 days for a refund). In case the return was due to the product’s fault, it is certainly fixed before being put on reconditioned sales.
If a Mac or MacBook is sold through the Apple Refurbished Store, it does not mean that it is an unsold unit of an old model. The reason is the extremely high turnover of Apple produce (according to the rumors the company’s turnover is now only second to McDonald’s, which is really impressive!). So the company does not usually stockpile its produce, and most refurbished Macs for sale are actually second-hand units. But those second-hand Macs are such that can hardly distinguish them from the brand new computers sold directly through the Apple Store!
Refurbished Macs: warranty and return terms
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 make sure it’s up to Apple’s tough quality standards.”
Besides, refurbished Macs have the same one-year warranty. The same sales and return procedure applies, and the customer can return a Mac within 14 days of purchase (but not post it back, which is not accepted by Apple).
An apparent difference is that refurbished Macs are packaged in brown boxes, in contrast to the usual white retail boxes.
The discount on reconditioned items is normally 10-20 percent from the original price.
Sometimes people wish to have a Mac with outdated features so they deliberately search for older models. But they may fail to find what they want because Apple usually quickly replaces old components with the latest ones. So such things as optical drives and FireWire sockets may simply disappear even from the refurbished Macs.
On the other hand, due to the quick components upgrade, the Macs that consumers get through the Refurbished Store are usually better than the same models used to be one or two years ago, which is a nice bonus especially as they are bought with a discount.
If you have chosen eBay…
Commerce on sites like eBay often entails problems especially with high-value products group, which includes computers. And the losers may be both buyers and sellers.
So eBay requires some caution, but all the same, you may find reasonable deals there. You may apply to eBay’s dedicated Refurbished MacBook section.
The Apple resellers: what about them?
There is a certificate that Apple awards to its best resellers. It is called Apple Premium Reseller. And this is a useful marker of truly reliable outlets of that class of vendors. Since we trust Apple, they are worth dealing with. But certainly, a company without this certificate may be a decent and reliable outlet as well. Find out the details of each specific case!
Resellers usually try to meet or even exceed the level of services provided by Apple Store, and prices may be lower as well. For example, KRCS has attractive offers on Macs that you can order online and another reseller provides a two-year warranty on Apple’s products, i.e. twice as long as Apple itself. Apple Premium Reseller stores often have special events and discounts, especially outlets recently opened in a new location.
Most frequently, resellers offer discounts for older Macs models shortly after the release of a new one, so look out for bargains!