The Apple Certified Refurbished program refers to Apple products that the company has refurbished per their highest quality standards. These include iPhones, Macs, Apple Watches, iPads, and even accessories like the Apple Pencil. Should this program matter to you if you are looking for a refurbished Apple device? Yes, it should. Keep scrolling to know why.

What does Apple Certified Refurbished mean?

An Apple Certified Refurbished device is a refurbished product that has gone through Apple’s in-house refurbishment testing process.

A product with the Apple Certified stamp is tested and certified by Apple itself, ensuring it meets the company’s functional standards and the device looks and works like new. In other words, these products have the same high-quality standards as brand-new ones.

Apple Certified Refurbished banner
Image by: Apple

Products that have gone through Apple’s refurbishment process include a one-year warranty, allowing you to return the product to receive repairs when applicable. In other words, you will be able to receive a free replacement if any of the product’s components—or the product itself—are faulty. In addition, most refurbished products by Apple have up to 90 days of complimentary technical support.

These products will also arrive in a plain white box with the Apple Certified Refurbished logo on the front, and the packaging will include the relevant documentation. Like all refurbished products, supply is usually short, though Apple guarantees availability once it has received your full payment.

iPad mini from Apple Certified Refurbished

Apple is both the refurbisher and the merchant since it can put the refurbished products in its online store or retail store. Price comparison websites such as RefurbMe (that’s us!) have permission to list these products. For example, check these compared refurbished iPhones sold by Apple on our platform:

👉 Learn more: 6 Best Places to Buy Refurbished iPhones in 2023

Apple vs. third-party refurbishers

Only Apple itself is able to sell Apple Certified Refurbished products with this specific label. It ensures that the company has tested the products to its own highest standards. Thus, they are fully functional and almost indistinguishable from a brand-new model. A device refurbished by Apple is always graded with excellent cosmetic condition.

Nonetheless, Apple is not the only refurbisher or merchant selling refurbished Apple products. Several third-party retailers perform their own certified refurbished processes. The main difference is that they grade their products with different refurbished grades. You will be able to purchase devices in Excellent condition, the same as in the Apple Store, but others can be graded as Good or Fair with a lower price—and 100% functional!

For example, many third-party refurbished retailers we work with also put their products through rigorous testing. Gazelle, Mac of All Trades, Decluttr, and Amazon Renewed are some of the leading merchants we have partnered with. They pride themselves on the steps they take in testing their refurbished products.

Apple MacBook with a clean background

It’s worth noting that Apple Certified Refurbished iPhones and iPads get a completely new battery and a new outer shell. On the other hand, most third-party refurbishers replace them if the battery health is below 80%.

And what about the warranty? Fear not! A third-party seller listed on RefurbMe also offers its own warranty and hassle-free returns policies.

As another example, you can check these refurbished iPads sold by third-party sellers and compared in real time on RefurbMe:

👉 Learn more: 7 Best Places to Buy a Refurbished iPad in 2023

How to buy Apple Certified Refurbished products

The mint condition, the extended warranty, and the technical support Apple offers are also three significant benefits of buying from this program. However, as seen in this article, you can also opt for professional third-party retailers offering refurbished devices in good condition.

Keep in mind that Apple Certified Products are often more expensive than those sold by third-party retailers. Additionally, not all Apple products are available through the Certified Refurbished brand, so you’ll have to browse other merchants to find them, such as the iPhone X, the iPad Air 3, or the MacBook Air 13.3″ (2019 release).

In contrast, Apple’s refurbished iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max are available from March 2023, although third-party vendors sold them much earlier. Following this example, you can check our iPhone 12 stats page on RefurbMe to better understand the release dates and entry prices.

So, how can you easily compare products sold by Apple Store and products sold by third-party merchants? We compare hundreds of refurbished Apple products from multiple professional merchants on our platform, making the process much easier. You can browse our best deals and compare prices, warranties, cosmetic conditions, and sellers at a glance.

For instance, have a look at these refurbished MacBooks sold by Apple Store:

👉 Learn more: 10 Facts to Know If Apple Refurbished Is Worth It

Final thoughts

Buying a refurbished product directly from the manufacturer’s store has its benefits. In the case of Apple Certified Refurbished products, they need to pass the highest quality checks from the company before being put on sale and are delivered with unique packaging. However, they can be more expensive.

If you choose to buy from third-party retailers, you’ll get access to a broader catalog, discontinued products, and even lower prices due to different cosmetic conditions and special deals, discounts, or coupons. At the same time, you’ll be able to find refurbished products sooner than in the Apple Store.

Whatever your choice, you can count on RefurbMe to compare every available product in real time and have a more effortless experience when buying refurbished Apple devices.

Good luck!