How does a retailer's refurbishment process differ from the manufacturer's?

When you buy a refurbished Apple product, you could get it from one of two places: a retailer such as Mac of All Trades or Gazelle, or the manufacturer; Apple itself.

A refurbished product is one that has been owned (bought by someone) or pre-used (as a display item for instance), and has been refurbished to work—and sometimes even look—as good as new.

What are the differences between a retailer's refurbishment process and the manufacturer's refurbishment process? We have an article dedicated to answering this question. You can read it here.


Well, as far as we know, there are no major differences. The following steps are followed:

  • Testing of hardware and software 
  • Troubleshooting of any faulty part
  • Repair or replacement of any faulty part
  • Full product testing again

A refurbished product, whether sold by its manufacturer or by a professional refurbisher/retailer, will be in perfect functional condition. The differences between a retailer refurb and a manufacturer refurb are related to three points:

  • An Apple Store refurb comes in its official packaging and includes any extra accessories usually included with a new product (e.g. earphones that come with iPhones). A retailer refurb does not come in the official Apple packaging.
  • An Apple Store refurb is always in excellent cosmetic condition. Retailer refurbs can be in excellent cosmetic condition too, but retailers also sell products that show signs of previous use, so-called grade B and grade C products. They work just as well but are cheaper because of the scratches they may have.
  • You can purchase an AppleCare warranty extension only when you buy a refurbished product from Apple. However, lots of retailers also offer a warranty extension option. But you will need to go through them and not Apple should you want to use your warranty policy.

Updated 3 weeks ago

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