What if we told you that you could pick any Apple product of your choice for up to 50% of the price discounted or even more? Sounds a bit far-fetched, right?

This is where the overlooked world of refurbishment and certified pre-owned Apple products comes in. Refurbished Apple products offer you the same quality guarantees, functionality, and features as a new MacBook, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple Vision Pro, and more—except they’re cheaper.

In this article, you will learn if refurbished MacBooks are good and the pros and cons of owning one. Keep reading!

What does certified pre-owned mean?

A certified pre-owned product can have the following three definitions:

  1. It was used as a display model in a store.
  2. It was a product with a technical glitch or imperfection and was restored by the manufacturer or a seller.
  3. It was returned by the customer for some reason.

Refurbished products mainly exist in the electronic category, such as laptops, tablets, phones, smart TVs, and smartwatches. They undergo a rigorous refurbishment process, testing, and quality check before being sold again with the corresponding cosmetic condition or refurbished grade.

The difference between refurbished Apple products and other brands is in the quality controls. Apple follows very strict guidelines when it comes to selling a pre-owned MacBook—they undergo extensive quality checks and testing before a product goes live.

A person using a MacBook

How is a refurbished MacBook different from a used one?

A certified pre-owned MacBook has undergone rigorous testing and cleaning. If there are any faults, a skilled and qualified technician will repair them.

A refurbished product is different from a used product. A used product may not come with a warranty and is often sold by individuals.

Even if third-party companies sell them, they may not have been checked and tested. Hence, a fault could go unnoticed, and you could risk losing money or falling prey to a scam.

A used product without a warranty won’t ensure the device will work properly. You could also be prone to potential identity theft frauds or malicious activity as you don’t know the person you’re buying a used MacBook from, putting you at significant risk.

In addition, when you buy a used Macbook, you’ll purchase it in the same condition as the previous owner had it.

A certified pre-owned Apple product works perfectly and is in excellent technical health, with a warranty included.

What are the pros and cons of owning a certified pre-owned MacBook?

There’s some stigma or misunderstanding regarding the terms refurbished and pre-owned.

We will now help dispel some common myths and provide a guide to understanding the benefits and drawbacks of buying a certified refurbished MacBook.

PRO: You save a lot of money

One of the most obvious and important reasons for buying a certified pre-owned MacBook is that it will save you a ton of money. As an example, see all available models from multiple merchants here:

Even with fluctuating prices, you can typically save anything between 15% and 70% while buying a refurbished Macbook, and even more. If you’re in a cash crunch or don’t want to spend much money, then it is the right choice.

A certified pre-owned MacBook is also the perfect option if you are a college student, regardless of your choice. You could save money for what’s essentially as good as a new model.

PRO: Quality assurance

Refurbished MacBooks go through rigorous testing and quality checks. To the untrained eye, it’s challenging to differentiate them from a new one if they are classified with an Excellent (Grade A) cosmetic condition. That’s how well they’re taken care of.

The only difference is there could be minor wear and tear, but the hardware and software are in perfect working condition. Apple makes sure to take care of any minor superficial issues as well.

CON: You don’t get to choose

When buying a certified pre-owned MacBook, you don’t always get the make and model of your choice. It all depends on the current availability of Apple’s inventory.

You might be able to get the laptop of your dreams, or you might have to settle for a different color, model, or variant—therein lies the real drawback of buying refurbished.

It’s a bit like buying off the lot at a dealership.

However, to hedge against this, you can use RefurbMe, which will notify you when the MacBook you want is available on the Apple Store or third-party sites. This ensures you do not miss out on it and don’t have to settle for something you don’t like or need.

PRO: Warranty period

Did you know that Apple offers the same warranty period for a refurbished Macbook as it does for a new one? It can also be extended to three years with AppleCare.

Other third-party Apple refurbishers might provide a different warranty.

CON(-ISH): The potential of fraud or scam

Many websites or individuals claim to offer refurbished or pre-owned MacBooks, usually just quick repairs done on an old laptop. You run the risk of possible fraud or being scammed by such sellers.

To avoid this, you must ensure that the product is sold by a certified refurbisher with a high-quality control check and good warranty and return policies.

On RefurbMe, we compared all public reviews of every refurbisher listed so that you can make sure that the refurbisher is trustworthy—hence the “ish.”

PRO: Environmentally friendly

A certified pre-owned MacBook is a value-conscious choice with the rising need for sustainability and environmentally conscious decisions. These would’ve otherwise been discarded, thus adding to our already overflowing levels of human waste.

The e-waste generated is very difficult and sometimes impossible to process. By purchasing refurbished, you save money, positively impact the environment, and boost the circular economy.

Isn’t that a cause you can easily get behind?

A MacBook and a plant

PRO: They are thoroughly cleaned

Obviously, no one wants a dirty laptop.

When buying a certified pre-owned MacBook, you can rest assured that they are spotless.

The laptops are polished externally, the internal drives, fan, and internal components are cleaned, the gunk stuck under the keyboard is removed, and they undergo sterilization to eliminate germs.

Apart from light scratches here and there, there’s no gunk or anything unwanted that comes with it.

PRO: It works like a brand-new MacBook

When buying a certified pre-owned MacBook, you’re guaranteed to get a 100% functional device.

They undergo rigorous testing and are treated to the same quality standard as a new MacBook. You also get an updated macOS—which, let’s face it, is a huge part of Apple’s appeal in the first place.

No shortcuts are taken, especially if you buy them from a trusted source that connects you directly to Apple’s refurbished product inventory (like here on RefurbMe!).

PRO: You can get it directly from Apple Store

If you would rather pay a bit more than third-party refurbishers, you can get a refurbished MacBook directly from the manufacturer. It eliminates any third-party intervention, thus guaranteeing you a safe, trusted, and certified device.

Apple Store sells its own refurbished MacBooks, which receive the same treatment as factory-new products. If you have any issues with your laptop, you can go to the nearest Apple Store to receive official support.

👉 Learn more: 10 Best MacBook Accessories in 2024

Looking for your next MacBook? Buy it refurbished

Buying any piece of technology comes with a risk. Your brand-new MacBook is just as prone to unknown damage as a certified pre-owned one is. They all come with varying levels of risk, which a consumer inadvertently takes.

However, this shouldn’t stop you from saving money, among other benefits of buying refurbished tech items. Ultimately, you’re given the same level of service that anyone else is entitled to.

The decision to buy a certified pre-owned MacBook depends entirely on you and your needs. The points above are generalizations based on our customers, but they’ll hopefully act as a guide when purchasing anything online, especially a refurbished or a pre-owned product.

👉 Learn more: 7 Best Refurbished MacBooks in 2024

Conclusion: refurbished MacBooks are a good choice

Yes, buying a refurbished MacBook is a good choice! The essential aspect of buying refurbished or certified pre-owned MacBooks is to buy them from a trusted source. Many websites sell them, but some lack proper certification and authenticity.

If you use RefurbMe, our platform will connect you to the official Apple website and third-party sellers so you can easily compare all available models in their inventories. Once you’ve chosen your MacBook, we will redirect you to the seller’s site.

Compare and get your refurbished MacBook here. 👇

RefurbMe is the easiest way to get an authentic refurbished MacBook with the highest quality standards from reputable sellers and always with a warranty.

Happy shopping! 🛍️