If you’re after professional grade hardware, better build quality, or some iOS-only applications then the Apple MacBook may be very appealing. But the thing about the Apple ecosystem is that it’s very expensive, especially the latest MacBooks. That said, there is one way to get the unique Apple experience without having to break the bank – refurbished MacBooks.
Buying a refurbished MacBook is undoubtedly the most bang for the buck option. You get more value than you would if you bought brand new and more quality assurance than you would if you bought a used MacBook. But still, dropping hundreds of dollars isn’t simple and you must have some questions, especially this question – what to check while buying refurbished MacBooks.
1. How much money you are saving
A brand new MacBook Pro will set you back upwards of $2,000 and even if you decide to buy a refurbished MacBook Pro directly from Apple, you’ll just save an average of 10-15% which comes out to be around 100 to $200. Sometimes the discount will be non-existent.
But the point of buying refurbished is to save some cash and a 10% savings isn’t really that much. If you’re not able to find a decent discount (over 30%) on a refurbished/used MacBook, then your purchase may not be worth it. For instance, you can grab a MacBook Pro with a warranty for as low as $475 with free shipping!
2. Check the return and warranty policy
Refurbished products undergo a strict evaluation process to make sure that they are up to standards. But return and warranty policies offer additional safety, and not to mention, peace of mind. Obviously, you want the longest base (not extended) warranty period paired with a decent return policy.
Most large vendors including Amazon, B&H Photo, and macThat provide a 90 day warranty period along with a 14-day return window. Make sure you’ve read the warranty and return policies before buying.
3. Do not confuse used with refurbished
Every product suffers from wear and tear and buying used means you’re buying the MacBook as it is – in its current state with its wear & tear and potential damage. On the other hand, buying refurbished means the MacBook has been restored to its former glory and is as close to a brand new as it possibly can be without being brand new.
You can buy used MacBooks from eBay or Craigslist for a similar price as you would from a refurbished seller but you will miss out on some key features like quality assurance, easier returns, and a warranty. The entire point of going refurbished is that you will get a product that’s as good as new but you’ll pay nearly half of retail.
Remember, before we list any MacBooks for sale, they are tested for their battery capacity, internal hardware condition, performance, and more. Once the notebook passes all our criteria, only then do we list them for sale.
4. Look out for red flags!
The truth is, Apple products are built like tanks. In fact, according to Consumer Reports, out of a 100, only 7 MacBooks would fail due to defects on average, compared to 15 Windows notebooks (more than double).
That said, not everyone takes care of their products as they should. You can find listings of “refurbished” MacBooks on sites like eBay, Amazon, and Craigslist, often advertised as “unboxed” and “unused” for low prices which may seem like a steal! But beware of red flags like:
Stock pictures especially if you’re buying from an individual instead of a store
No warranties or a messy return policy