I’m a big believer in taking advantage of Apple-Certified Refurbished hardware sales. Not only do its refurbished models undergo extra scrutiny, but each product is backed up by a 1-year warranty, are Apple Care eligible, and come with free shipping.
The real draw to buying Apple-Certified Refurbished hardware is the amount of money that you can save on hardware. It’s not uncommon to find hardware going anywhere from 15% to 24% off retail price.
The great thing about buying refurbished is that a lot of hardware are built to order models, not strictly the stuff that you can buy off the shelf at your local Apple Store or Apple Authorized Retailer. With that in mind, it’s possible to save some serious coin, and still be served by a 1-year warranty and Apple Care, if desired.
Not only is refurbished hardware a great deal, but its put through rigorous testing. Each certified product goes through the following:
- is fully tested (including full burn-in testing).
- is refurbished with replacement parts for any defective modules identified in testing.
- is put through a thorough cleaning process and inspection.
- is repackaged (including appropriate manuals, cables, new boxes, etc.).
- includes either the Mac OS originally shipped with the unit or, in some cases, a more recent version.
- is given a new refurbished part number and serial number.
- is placed into a Final QA inspection prior to being added to sellable refurbished stock.
By now, pretty much every savvy Apple fan knows about the Apple-Certified Refurbished website. There, you can find deals on Macs, iPad, and iPods. You can even find deals on AirPorts and Apple TVs.
The problem is knowing when the products are updated. Many of the best deals simply slip through the cracks because someone else finds it first, or you simply forget to check the refurbished page as often as you should.
Instead of waiting, why not be proactive and tap into a great free resource called Refurb Tracker? This is a site that’s been around since the first iPhone, and it allows you to track all of the additions made to the Apple-Certified Refurbished store using customizable filters, keywords, and price qualifiers. You can even build your search and add a custom RSS feed to your favorite RSS reader. For example, I’ve added a feed to Feedbin Notifier, and I’m now sent a push notification to my Apple Watch whenever a Mac Pro under $3,000 is added to the refurbished store.
Needless to say, the Apple-Certified Refurbished store and Refurb Tracker are two excellent resources for helping you score some sweet deals on gently used Apple hardware. I highly recommend it.