The Top Three Places To Buy Refurbished Mac Laptops [Mac]

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refurbished mac laptopMac computers are generally regarded as stable machines that will last a long time if properly used and maintained. I have owned eight different Macs over the last twenty years. One was a refurbished eMac and another one, a PowerBook G4, was a used model. Only the PowerBook ended up needing significant repairs after four years of use. So in my view, Macs are pretty stable.

When I need to get another laptop, I will definitely look into a refurbished mac laptop. There are several reasons why I would do this.

Namely, of course, to save money. The 10-30% savings from purchasing a refurbished Mac could be applied to one or two computer peripherals that most of us computer users end up buying.

Thus, the following are suggestions for buying a used or refurbished Mac laptop.

Do Some Research

Before you go looking for a refurbished or used Mac, find out about the latest hardware models on the market. Apple seems to release new models of desktops and laptops every six months or so, and sometimes the upgrades to those models are significant enough to make a real difference in the speed and performance of the computer.

So I would suggest visiting a nearby retail Apple Store and checking out the latest models on display. Ask important questions about the speed, RAM and internal storage space. A large size screen may also be an important factor for how you plan to use the machine. And of course make a note of and compare prices. A visit to the online Apple Store also gives you a side-by-side comparisons of the latest models.

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After you have narrowed down the type of Mac you’re looking for (MacBook Pro, MacBook, iMac, MacBook Air, etc), most definitely read several reviews for the type of Mac you’re interested in. The more you know about the latest models, the better you can evaluate what is missing in a similar used or refurbished Mac.

Apple Store: Refurbished Macs

The first and best place to look for refurbished Macs is the mothership – the Apple Refurbished Store. Most of the refurbished Macs listed on Apple”˜s site are recently returned or canceled orders – Macs that have hardly been used. Apple says all of its refurbished hardware is tested and certified with a standard 1-year warranty. With the money you save, you also have the option of purchasing a AppleCare Protection Plan.

refurbished mac laptop

So far example this 21.5″ iMac, 3.06GHz Intel Core i3 cost at the time of this writing, $1,199.00 (excluding taxes). A refurbished model with the same processing speed cost $1,019.00. The $180 difference is about the amount of sales tax you would pay on the non-refurbished model.

refurbished macs

Refurbished Macs in the Apple Store tend to run 10-25% of the original price. I have been told you can hardly tell the difference between a brand new and refurbished model when ordered from Apple. However, if you’re looking for a specific refurbished or used model with specific specs that is not found in Apple’s refurbished store, the following are a few good retailers to check out.


PowerMax, an authorized Apple dealer, has received high ratings (PriceGrabber source and reviews) for its used and refurbished Macs. It provides a 90-day used Mac warranty and some conditional return options. It also has a trade-in program for all models of Macs.

At the time of this writing, PowerMax didn’t carry the same model described above. However, upon checking and comparing a few of their used models with Apple”˜s refurbished offerings, I found for example that PowerMax listed a used MacBook Air/1.6 GHz for $849.00.

refurbished mac computers

But Apple listed a similar refurbished MacBook Air at the same price as PowerMax’s used model. Apple’s refurbished model also included an additional 40 gigs of internal memory. So it’s important to do price comparisons and read the fine print. No doubt, PowerMax would be willing to lower the price of their used models to match Apple”˜s prices.

refurbished macs

Mac Of All Trades

Mac Of All Trades also has a pretty wide selection of used and refurbished Mac laptops and computers, with many of them including AppleCare Warranty for a specified expiration date. Though I found the prices of some models sold on Mac of All Trades to be higher than similar models in Apple”˜s refurbished store, All Trades is worth checking for specific models that Apple may not be selling at the time you’re looking to buy.

refurbished macs

This company claims that all its Macs are in excellent cosmetic condition based on their age.

Other Sellers also seems to be a good place to look for used Macs. When you do a search on the site for a particular Mac model, individual sellers of used models will be listed. Some used Mac sellers are consumer users, while others are retail stores with used items to sell.

refurbished mac laptop

And finally, GainSaver also sells used Macs, but mainly older, pre-owned models. If you’re needing to save more than half the price for a new Mac, seems to be a pretty good option.

Have you ever purchased a used or refurbished Mac? Let us know about it.

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This article may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

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