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It’s a New Mac but Cheaper!

While students and teachers can take advantage of Apple’s educational pricing, business and home users are stuck with paying Apple the "sticker price," right? Wrong. Hidden away at the bottom right side of the Apple Store web page is a red "sale" label that links to the Apple Refurb Store, in which refurbished machines are sold well below their normal price.

The catch is that these machines aren’t exactly brand new. Packaging will likely be scuffed, and things like CDs will have been taken out of their paper envelopes. Refurbished Macs are ones that have, for one reason or another, been sent back to Apple. Once Apple gets them back, any underlying technical problems are fixed, faulty parts are replaced, and then the machine gets comprehensively tested. All things being equal, it is put back into the original packaging and distributed as a refurbished Macintosh at a deep discount.

The big question for the buyer is whether or not these refurbs are a risk. Quite simply, no, because they get the same 12-month warranty as any other Mac that Apple sells, and you can even add the AppleCare Protection Plan to a refurbished Mac to stretch out that warranty to the full 36 months.

What sort of savings are we talking about here? This varies, but typically Apple retails these refurbished Macs at around 10–40 percent less than sticker price. If you don’t mind getting a Mac in a beaten-up box, this can be great way to save money.

Figure 5

Figure 5 Apple’s refurb store can be a great place to get a new Mac at a discount.

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