MacBook Buyers Guide: Buying a Refurbished MacBook

MacBook Buyers Guide: Buying a Refurbished MacBook

16th Sep 2019

Since its early days, Apple has been synonymous with cutting edge designs and quality products. Apple’s approach of producing products has been vastly different than any other computer manufacturer. The company has become a trailblazer and a thought leader in the industry with their sleek process. Products are designed, tested and manufactured by Apple, resulting in top quality and reliable products that work seamlessly together while giving years of continued performance. Hardware and software are made for longevity, so no wonder that Apple users are some of the most loyal and happiest computer users.

Apple products are top rated, trusted and rank consistently high for reliability. Buying a refurbished MacBook for less is a smart decision. It is easy on the budget, or simply saving some money for another purchase.

Before going through the guide of buying refurbished MacBooks, here are some questions you should keep in mind:

  • Is the retailer dedicated to Apple products only?
  • Have the technicians working on computers gone through official Apple training certification?
  • Does the retailer have a long history of excellent verified reviews (remember: any other reviews can be faked)?
  • Is the retailer readily available to you during business hours at any communication platform (voice, chat, email)?
  • Is the sales team knowledgeable? Are they pushy or do they care to set you up with the right machine for your needs?
  • Is the retailer nickel and diming you for every little detail and what’s included?

6 Reasons to Buy Refurbished MacBook (Pros, Airs, Books)

When deciding between buying a new or gently used refurbished MacBook, many customers usually choose the refurbished route. Here are some reasons that might likewise motivate you to spend your cash on a refurbished MacBook:

1. No outdated hand me downs
Apple computers stay current for many years and remain compatible with the latest operating systems. Extensive research and product design have gone into making Apple computers which results in cool designs and functionality that stays current for years. Big design changes to the exterior only happen every 3 to 5 years (some even longer), so unlike other non-Apple computers, the exterior design looks like the current design for quite some time. Apple is famous for its forward-thinking industrial designs, where laptops are milled out of a solid block of aluminum (no cheap plastics or folded metal). It feels premium and classy at the palm of your hands.

2. It's much cheaper
Check out qualified and specialized retailers where you can fetch a price that’s 50% cheaper or lower than the original price. It will require a little bit of extra time on your end but will be well worth your effort. Some refurbished retailers use a more stringent quality protocol than Apple, as it is in their interest to have reliable product and satisfied customers (see section about reputable sources).

In line with this, you have savings across the board (from entry level to the most elaborate Pro machine). If you are looking for a standard specification laptop or a Pro machine, retailers receive all kinds of units from lease returns and other professional sources. Refurbished Mac laptops are in high demand and can be bought year-round at great savings. You might find a great holiday promotion but remember to pull the trigger quickly if you have decided on a certain machine as they do sell out.

3. It has the same specs as the new one
Although a refurbished MacBook may get a replacement part, it will have the same specs or configurations as when it was new. Since 2015, Apple switched to complete space saving modules so the processor (dual-core, quad-core, and so on), memory (RAM), graphics processing unit (GPU), are all connected on the same logic board. This means that your refurbished MacBook will be as capable as it was when brand new.

4. It's fully tested and cleaned
Specialized retailers will only have Apple certified technicians work on their product. MacBooks undergo a thorough inspection inside out for technical performance as well as for cosmetic grading. The refurbishing process involves deep cleaning both on the device’s exterior and internals, making sure that fans are dust-free, the keys have no debris, and screens are as sparkly as its first day.

5. It’s good as new
The process of refurbishing doesn’t stop with maintenance work. All the information that used to be on the computer will have to be securely erased in compliance with the Department of Defense standards. And depending on your request, the OS of your choice will be copied onto the computer. The computer starts out with a blank slate as it would on a new unit – ready for your data.

6. It includes everything
When you buy a refurbished MacBook, you can expect it to come with proper, safe packaging and a charger as it would coming directly from Apple. Many years ago, Apple changed to manuals being available via online download only – so you will always have easy access to documentation.

How to Identify Qualified Retailers to Buy Refurbished MacBook From

  • Only buy from a credible source
    Like Apple, they make sure that the unit you’re getting has been tested and cleaned by technicians who specialize in MacBooks, and has passed a rigorous certification process.

    For your peace of mind, you could do some background check on the retail store before greenlighting your purchase. Read customer reviews about the seller with special attention on their technical expertise and customer support. Find out too if they source the parts or components from Apple as this will ensure that you’re getting premium quality Macs.
  • Right product recommendation
    Apple sells the same model, sometimes for years, so the newest and biggest might not be so relevant. However, a good retailer will help recommend the right product, so you get the exact features you are looking for. Refurbished MacBooks come at discounted prices which can be enough to sweeten the pot. Just imagine getting your preferred machine with the right specs, storage, and design at a price that’s right in your alley.

    A great retailer will tell you all these details with no other agenda but to provide you with optimal service.
  • Look for a return policy
    A return policy allows you to get a refund for the purchase should you decide that you no longer want or need the item, or if you want to exchange your item for another. Retailers should, generally, be able to refund in a couple of days. Your goal is to find a reseller that offers the most lenient return policy to its customers. Return periods range from 14 days to 30 days. Again, reviews will give you a good clue if this has been a problem with the retailer in the past.
  • Check the competitive pricing
    As you shop around for refurbished MacBooks, take note of the total price. Some retailers add unnecessary service-related fees which result into higher total payables at the end. Pay attention to the different cosmetic grades as the description on cosmetics does vary. You can always check on verified reviews to give you a good clue if this has been a problem in the past.

    Check if the retailer’s tech team has been certified by Apple for certified technician status. Certified technicians follow a pre-set protocol of how to test machines.
  • Know the retailers warranty policy
    Buying refurbished comes with a warranty seal to protect you in case you encounter any hardware issues. Warranty periods should be at least 90 days, and extended warranty plans last for 1 to 2 years. Warranty extensions should also be available through the retailer for a minimal fee. Great retailers will offer a one-day turnaround time for repairs once they receive it back, for most cases. A retailer should be very interested in returning/exchanging your product quickly. Smaller retailers are often faster than Apple to fix issues. Check the retailer’s site if warranty and return policies are easy to find.

To Buy or Not to Buy a Refurbished MacBook?

Buying a refurbished MacBook doesn’t mean you’re settling for something less. On the contrary, MacBooks that have undergone refurbishing are becoming more and more attractive for buyers who choose to be practical while still enjoying the same brand. Some retailers do offer current refurbished models that might have been used for a few hours only. Pay attention though to retailers that largely sell older computers (5 years or older). At minimum every computer purchased needs to run the current Operating System.

Not sure where to get the best quality refurbished MacBooks? Check out our offerings at Macs4U. We offer great deals on refurbished MacBooks with a 1 year warranty included (starting Nov 1, 2019), other extended warranty plans, financing up to 36 months and more. Our customer support team and Apple-trained and certified technicians will be more than happy to answer your questions and help you find your very own prized MacBook.