Tips to get Cheap, Eco-friendly Apple Laptops

When you think of Apple laptops, you probably don’t use “cheap” in the same sentence. After all, Apple has sleek designs and lightweight laptops, but you’ll have to pay for those attributes. But you can buy cheap, reliable Apple laptops and still stay in budget. How? You may ask. Simple: instead of buying a new laptop, buy a refurbished one!    

Do you mean a used laptop?

“Refurbished” doesn’t mean the same thing as “Used.” 

Refurbished Apple laptops are pre-owned or display models returned to nearly-new condition. Other terms for “refurbished” are “certified pre-owned,” “remanufactured,” and “reconditioned.”

If parts of an Apple laptop aren’t up to new-model standards, refurbishers will swap them out with new ones. And if a device doesn’t perform as well as it should, despite repeated efforts, the refurbisher will discard it.

In contrast, a “used” Apple laptop may have significant defects. You don’t know that until you’ve bought it, and by then it’s too late. A cheap refurbished Apple laptop, on the other hand, arrives thoroughly repaired (if necessary), cleaned, and wiped of data. Good refurbishers also offer warranties, some as long as a year.

Since refurbished products aren’t fresh off the shelves, they’re technically “used.” (There are cases, though, where refurbishers offer overstocked, unused laptops.) However, it’s important to note that certified pre-owned Apple laptops pass a full battery of tests. If any issues crop up, the refurbisher will determine the cause of the malfunction. For a quick fix, like a loose wire, they’ll repair the part. Otherwise, they’ll usually install a brand-new component.

After fixing all the laptop’s issues, refurbishers put refurbished Apple laptops through another full battery of tests. Only when they pass those rigorous tests will those units be approved as remanufactured units. These tests are more stringent than the quick quality-control check new machines get.

Apart from being cheap, the main way a refurbished Apple laptop differs from a new one is its appearance. Some laptops are so lightly used, though, that they look brand-new.

Apple classifies all laptops it refurbishes itself as “Excellent.” That means you literally can’t tell a refurbished Apple laptop apart from a new one. If you turn your broken laptop into Apple for a replacement, you’ll receive a refurbished unit.

Why should I buy a refurbished laptop?  

Most people don’t know how cheap a refurbished Apple laptop is, but even if they did, there’s a stigma about certified pre-owned laptops. Still, refurbished units are much less expensive than ones that are straight from the factory. 

Think of buying a MacBook like you’d consider buying a car. There’s not as much stigma about purchasing a certified pre-owned vehicle as a computer. The value proposition is similar, though. Once you drive a new car off the lot, it instantly loses a quarter of its value. Is it worth the new-car or the new-computer smell to pay that much extra?

Of course, there’s nothing like the thrill of buying something new—until the credit card bill comes in or you drain your bank account. But even if you can afford it, buying a refurbished Apple laptop helps you maximize your resources. Why spend extra cash or run up a credit card when you don’t have to?

Buying refurbished is also an excellent way to conserve natural resources, particularly rare earth metals. Rare earth metals include mercury, barium, lead, chromium, and cadmium. 

Mining rare earth metals use up a tremendous amount of energy and releases CO2 into the atmosphere and toxins into the ground. Those environmental risk factors contribute to more than 80% of regularly reported diseases.

Another problem with the rare earth minerals used in laptops is that they’re running out. Also, China mines most of these scarce metals, and the Chinese want to keep them to themselves. 

Recycling is one way to minimize these problems.  Removing rare earth metals from discarded laptops and other electronics is a tough task, though, and it costs a lot. When manufacturers embed rare earth metals into electronic devices, they integrate them so thoroughly that they’re hard to remove.

That’s why most of the e-waste shipped to developing nations doesn’t get recycled—it gets dumped. A World Health Organization study linked this toxic e-waste to chemical burns, cancer, and stunted growth in children.

Since recycling isn’t a viable option, we need to focus on the other 3 Rs: reducing and reusing. Reducing our appetite for rare earth metals is a long-term proposition. But we can start reusing today by buying refurbished computers.

Refurbished Apple laptops are cheap and eco-friendly. They don’t require a fresh input of resources, and they conserve their old resources. In a sense, remanufactured laptops are recycled without having to go through an exhaustive process.

Buying a remanufactured laptop is the greenway to go. You’ll save money, and you’ll also help save the environment.

How can I find the best deal on a refurbished Apple laptop?

That’s a good question. You could comb through the classified ads on Facebook Marketplace or craigslist. Maybe you could find something on Apple, Amazon, eBay, or an online or offline neighborhood bulletin board. Or you might have a computer geek friend who’s always looking to upgrade to the latest tech.

It might be tempting to latch onto deals from eBay, craigslist, or an obscure retailer, but if you purchase laptops through those channels, they’re likely to be heavily used, not refurbished. Sifting through those options is hit-or-miss and takes lots of time. And even if your friend wants to sell you his last year’s laptop, you won’t get a certified refurbished model. You may not get the price or model you want, either.

Your best bet is to shop all the reputable refurbishers, but that poses some problems. First, you need to figure out which refurbishers are the cream of the crop. Even when you have that information, though, things can be confusing. For instance, refurbishers have different warranties. One of the refurbisher’s Grade A products is another’s Grade B

A smart way to jump those hurdles is to go through a comparator like RefurbMe. RefurbMe lets you compare Apple refurbished products sold by vetted, top-notch refurbishers including Apple, Gazelle, Amazon, BackMarket, and GameStop. You’ll buy from the refurbisher’s eCommerce website, but you’ll know you’re getting the best deal.

On the RefurbMe website, you can compare Mac laptops based on their price, cosmetic condition, warranty, and return policy. To ensure you’re comparing Apples to Apples, RefurbMe uses just two cosmetic condition classifications—Good and Excellent. It lists key features of each refurbisher’s offer in its listing. When you’ve made your choice, click on the listing, and you’ll be redirected to the refurbisher’s website. 

For example, suppose you want a longer-than-normal warranty. If so, RefurbMe alerts you to that fact in its listing. In its standard orange color, RefurbMe lets you know when a refurbisher has an exceptionally great deal like a one-year minimum warranty. That might be enough to convince you to buy a Good laptop instead of an Excellent one. If not, that’s your choice, and you’ve got the details you need.

By the way, if you want to purchase an extended warranty, you can get one with some refurbished laptops. RefurbMe lets you know upfront which ones offer that option without your having to locate that information on individual websites.

Can refurbished Apple laptops work for businesses, too?

Businesses have traditionally opted for Windows desktops. The sand is slowly shifting to laptops, though, as this article explains. For one thing, laptops are easy to transport—a big plus for today’s mobile workers.  And by buying refurbished, businesses can keep costs down.

Apple laptops are known for how elegant and lightweight they are. In particular, the MacBook and MacBook Air are super-slim and weigh in at around three pounds. Windows desktops obviously aren’t portable, but Windows laptops are much heavier than Apple ones. Your workers will covet sleek, lightweight Apple laptops for telecommuting and business presentations. And, if you don’t mind after-hours personal use, workers value Apples for side hustles and gaming.

If you’re in a creative field, you may well furnish your employees with Apple laptops. But if your field isn’t known for being creative, you may resist biting into Apples due to cost concerns.

It’s true that the Apple name isn’t synonymous with cheap laptops. However, buying refurbished levels the playing field. There’s a huge and growing refurbished Mac laptop market. An Excellent grade refurbished Apple laptop may well cost less than a new but lower-quality Windows desktop or laptop, and it offers just as much peace of mind.

Why are refurbished Apple laptops a good choice for businesses?

As mentioned above, portability and price are the two biggest reasons for business owners to choose refurbished MacBooks. If the price is no object, go ahead and buy the latest tech fresh from the factory. But if you’re like most of us, and a price is an object, you may want to take a hard look at other options. Go here for more details. 

Furnishing new office costs over $4,000 per staffer, about half of which goes to tech. Minimizing the cost of tech helps stretch the start-up dollar.

One way you can keep costs down in a start-up business is with a BYOD policy. Yes, that’s BYOD, as in Bring Your Own Device. After all, a lot of employees already have their own laptops they’ve configured to their liking. BYOD might prompt some concerns, but it can work with proper security training.

Not everyone will have their own laptop, though, or their laptops might not be able to handle the workload. So BYOD can’t be your only strategy. 

Another option to supplement or replace the BYOD policy is to purchase cheap refurbished Apple laptops. Obviously, we’re a fan of this strategy for reasons sprinkled throughout this article. 

Finally, you may be able to pick up nearly-new laptops for a fraction of what they’re worth from bankrupt businesses. Business is cutthroat these days, and only the fittest survive. The hardest part of adopting this strategy, though, is finding those bankrupt businesses. 

In the US, you can find bankruptcy information online, but there’s a lot of data to sift through. You may also want to follow local news and social media.

Buying from bankrupt businesses and allowing workers to use their own devices may ease some of your tech start-up costs. Those avenues aren’t as dependable as buying cheap Apple laptops from a high-quality refurbisher, though. 

Check out the RefurbMe website for deals from refurbishers like Mac of All Trades. And while you’re at it, check out Mac of All Trade’s strict quality standards.  

Can I find a refurbished Apple laptop right away?

When your old laptop gives up the ghost, you need something right away. In that case, you should be flexible so you’re likely to find a cheap refurbished Apple laptop quickly. But if you have time to spare, and you’re looking for something specific, you may have to wait a bit. After all, you can’t just put in a call to the factory to manufacture cheap refurbished Apple laptops.

Like all good things, finding a great deal on a certified pre-owned MacBook is worth waiting for. But you don’t have to invest countless hours searching for the best deal. Instead, set up an alert on RefurbMe for any product that’s out of stock. They’ll notify you when they post a listing that matches your configuration and budget, as mentioned in this article.


Are you ready to save money and the environment by buying a refurbished Apple laptop for yourself or your business? Head over to RefurbMe to see our outstanding selection of quality refurbished laptops from top-notch refurbishers!