Saving up for a laptop or desktop Mac computer can be easier said than done, especially since they retail for as much as $2,299 brand new. But, thanks to refurbished sellers, you can find the products you need for much, much cheaper than that. You can save hundreds of dollars when you shop for refurbished electronics.
Buying a refurbished computer is similar to buying a new car in that it’s somewhat risky, but for the most part, you get a piece of technology that works just fine and will suit your everyday lifestyle very well.
And Apple even has their own refurbished site. So, when it comes to buying used parts, you know you’re getting them from the best.
Apple’s Refurbished Mac store has some of the most recent laptops, iPads, iPhones and more available for purchase at a much more affordable price point than if you visit an Apple store a buy a brand new product in person.
For example, they have 13 inch MacBook Air models going for as low as $979 when the new versions retail starting at $1,150. So, if you were to buy the refurbished version, you’d be saving yourself at least $170. Not bad at all!
Whenever you’re buying refurbished computers online, here are some things you should pay attention to:
1. Memory Space
Sure, you may be saving beaucoup bucks on a laptop, but is that because it only has half of the storage capacity as a new model? Compare specs between new and refurbished of the same make and model whenever possible.
2. Warranty And Returns Policy
Another thing you want to keep in mind is how long you have to return your computer, in case you get it and everything doesn’t check out.
Between the retailers mentioned above (Amazon, Best Buy and Apple’s Refurbished store), shopping straight from Apple’s Refurbished Mac store will give you the best warranty. They offer a 14-day return window and a one-year limited warranty. Amazon only allows you to return computers that are “dead on arrival,” otherwise, you have to refer to the individual Amazon merchant’s return policy, which could vary. Best Buy offers a 90-day warranty for parts and labor.
Be sure to check the warranty and return policy before purchasing from a retailer because, as you know, shopping used is always somewhat of a gamble.
One good thing about shopping from Apple’s Refurbished store is that you know you’re getting a pretty recent make and model, which may not be the case for every merchant. For instance, they don’t carry anything later than an iPhone 6S in their phone category, and age is definitely something you want to be mindful of when choosing a computer. You want this thing to last you for years to come, so make sure you’re not getting something that’s already pretty outdated.
4. Physical Damage
Sellers should note any instances of physical damage. You don’t have to worry too much about scrapes and dings, but you should worry about any serious issues: bending of the screen, cracks in the screen, etc. Taking note of this kind of thing early-on could prevent you from purchasing something with a faulty display and having to go through the process of returning the computer. It’s always good to avoid a hassle!
OK, so you’ve done your research and the computer check out. Now what do you do to make sure everything really is as good as it seems to be? CNET offers a comprehensive checklist of things to look for to make sure your computer is up to par the before the return window closes. Make sure you run through this before getting too attached to your new and affordable piece of technology.
We were not paid to write this story. Our team scours the internet looking for tips, tricks and products that can help you save time and money. However, we may receive a small commission if you make a purchase from one of the retailers mentioned in this story.