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The words “refurbished” or “used” can make people nervous when looking to purchase a new electronic, but when looking into buying your next Apple product buying a refurbished Mac is a great option. Buying a refurbished Mac can save you between 10-25% from buying new, who doesn’t want to save some money?

So what do “used” and “refurbished” really mean? These two words are interchanged a lot when talking about looking into a refurbished Mac, but they have different meanings that you need to know before you make your next purchase.

Buying a used Mac means the product will come in the condition that it is in when sold whether it is new, old, dirty or warn. With a refurbished Mac, items are supposed to be in new, mint, excellent or good conditions. When you buy a refurbished Mac it is cleaned and any cosmetic damage that is repairable is also done to make it look as new as possible.

Along with being cleaned and repaired, refurbished Macs are also inspected to make sure everything is functioning, a process used Macs do not undergo. These inspections test the products’ hardware and if any of these tests fail the hardware is replaced. Many times with a refurbished Mac customers are also able to add upgrades for more memory, different accessories and software that sellers of used Macs would not provide.

Another difference between used Macs and refurbished Macs is a warranty. Some used Macs will come with a warranty but most of the time they don’t. When you purchase a refurbished Mac it includes a 90-day warranty (unless the original Apple Warranty or AppleCare warranty is still good). There could also be an additional option to buy an extended warranty as well.

There can be some risk with buying a used Mac and the quality of the product might not be the best, but refurbished Macs offer a reliable option for customers to get a quality product at a cheaper price. So when you’re looking into your next Apple product, feel confident in a refurbished Mac!

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Discuss This Article...

  1. hmmm I didn’t know refurbished was different from used! And even though they probably look great, I would still go with a new one. But that’s just me! Great job! p

  2. Kae Whitaker says:

    You know that’s good to know. I always had it the other way around and figured used was better than refurbished, but you’ve got some good points. I’m particular so I always go with new in my electronics, but this can help in some other areas where I’m not as particular about the condition.

  3. Sheri says:

    I had no clue. Thanks! I’ve been hesitant with either, but would go the refurbished route if need be.

    • Meghan O'Keefe says:

      We hear that a lot, many people steer clear just because they don’t have the information. We hope this helps!

  4. Yakini says:

    That is interesting. I had an idea of the difference but now it is confirmed for me.

  5. Amy says:

    So Interesting! When I see offers for used/refurbished items on Craig’s List or eBay, now I k now what questions to ask. Thank you!

  6. I love refurbished items. I have bought several items that way.

  7. Clara Rose says:

    Great info, I have been considering a refurbished Mac but didn’t really differentiate between used and refurbished in the search… good to know!

  8. Good points and they make sense. Used anything pretty much comes with an unspoken warning — you get what you get. Sometimes that’s good and other times it’s not.

  9. Heather says:

    Helpful hints, thanks for sharing! Other than a lower price, is there any REASON to choose used or refurbished over new?

  10. Patricia says:

    You are right, I have heard the terms used interchangeably. My worry in offering my used products for something like this is how to remove ALL the data from the drive so it will never get accessed by the new user. I don’t turn my phones in to places that can make good use of them for the same reason. I don’t think I’m the only one who wonders about that.

    • Meghan O'Keefe says:

      That is definitely a concern people have, and that is why if you go with refurbished all of that is wiped clean by our technicians. Where as with used products you can’t always be sure.

  11. Daveda says:

    My husband is the electronics shopper in our house, and he is all about refurbished! He researches till there is no more information to find, which is sometimes a tad annoying ;-) but I can’t complain too much becasue at the end of his relentless research he always saves us a boat load of money!

  12. I always used to be put off by refurbished items. I know there’s a difference, but I still thought ‘used’ when I heard refurbished. My son who’s at university bought some refurbished items recently and it has really changed my view point.

  13. Gail says:

    Good to know and an easy read. Makes me want to buy refurb!

  14. Love that you clarified the differences between ‘used’ and ‘refurbished’. I’ve often seen those terms interchanged as well and it’s good to see all the perks of having something ‘refurbished’.

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  22. Michael Fallai says:

    I would not hesitate to buy a refurb (with appropriate discount) so long as there’s at least a 30-day warranty to allow for any issues to show up. I would not buy used, particularly from a private buyer, unless I knew the guy or he had a good reputation/referral from someone I trust. You can save even more buying used, but you can also end up screwed if you don’t know what you’re doing.


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