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Shopping for an Apple product? Save a lot on refurbs


Apple's certified Refurbished Store offers savings on iPhones, iPads, Macs and more. All items come with a full warranty and iOS devices are literally like new.


Occasionally I am in an Apple Store. When I see customers buying things like MacBooks ($ 1,149 with Amazon) and iPads ($ 360 with Walmart) I want to grab them by the shoulders and shout, "Wait! You can get this one for less! "

How? By venturing online, where Apple & # 39; s Refurbished Store has a rotating selection of products with a whopping 15 percent discount – sometimes more. And although some buyers believe that & # 39; refurbished & # 39; code is used for & # 39; somehow or faulty & # 39 ;, much of Apple & # 39; s equipment is literally like new.

I actually see no reason to choose anything but refurbs, especially when it comes to iOS devices (namely iPhones ($ 699 with Apple) and iPads). Let's see how much you can save and which pitfalls you can avoid.

Read more: This Amazon shopping hack can save you up to 70%

How much can you save?

Here's a great example (from the US, but equally applicable in the UK or Australia). Go to the refurbished iPad section of the Apple Store and you'll find the iPad Pro 10.5 2017 (Wi-Fi + 64GB) for $ 469 – a full $ 80 less than what your & # 39; d pay for a new one.

What about an iPhone? With this writing you can get an iPhone X (64 GB) for $ 599 which is $ 300 less than the original price. (The 256 GB model is available for $ 100 more.)

Let's talk about Macs. A current 13.3-inch MacBook Pro starts at $ 1,299, but you can save $ 200 by choosing its refurbished counterpart – more if you choose a higher configuration.

You can even get a overhauled HomePod speaker for $ 259 with a saving of $ 40. That said, don't automatically assume that Apple's refurb deals are the best deals. For example, that HomePod is currently on sale for $ 198 at MacSales, and it is new (although in bulk, non-retail packaging). And right now, many of Apple's prices on refurbished Apple watches are basically the same as for new ones.

What is the snag?

Needless to say, you should always do your homework when searching for Apple equipment. There may be a sale at Amazon or Best Buy, for example, which gives you a new item for the same price or less than an Apple refurb. (The HomePod mentioned earlier is a perfect example.)

Anyway, those refurbs must be "less than" somehow, right? What exactly do you specify by opting for refurbished Apple equipment over new?

Absolutely nothing in some cases. For example, iPhones and iPads have a new outdoor housing and a new battery, which means you get the same look and performance. Just as well, you get the same one-year warranty that Apple offers on new hardware. There is literally no drawback.

Refurbished MacBooks do not receive the same loving treatment – no new case, no new battery – but you still get a full one-year warranty. For each product category that you are evaluating, click on the link More information at the top of the page to see exactly what you get.

Another consideration: Apple's refurbishment offer and inventory change over time, so you can't always get what you want. (AirPods ($ 129 at Amazon) are still MIA from the store, in case you wonder.) But I think this is the only logical place to shop. I have bought various refurbished products in this way and they have all arrived in perfect, new condition. Consequently, when it comes to Apple devices (especially iOS devices), I see no reason to pay extra for the new things.

If you want an easy way to keep track of what's available in Apple's Certified Refurbished Store (and also in other stores), check out RefurbMe . This free service notifies you when a desired product is in stock.

Originally published two years ago. Updated with new information.

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Cheapskate from CNET searches the internet for great offers for technical products and much more. Follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter for the latest offers and updates. Find more great purchases on the CNET Deals page and view our CNET Coupons page for the latest promotional codes from Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon and more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page .

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