Keeping up with Apple is no easy feat for the average person. If you want the latest iPhone, Mac, iPad, or what have you, you’ll need to have some serious cash ready. And with the release of the iPhone X, the price points have reached ridiculous heights. That’s from someone who’s a solid Apple user.
So what is the everyday guy to do?
One, not buy every new release. Makes most sense, really.
Two, sell your current gadget and use what you get to cover a portion of the new one.
Three, go for installment plans. Apple has its own program for qualified customers.
Four, look for pre-loved options online.
I’ve used all options, and they’ve turned out to be very good experiences. Admittedly, there is some hesitation when it comes to buying refurbished Apple products, but if you do your due diligence, you’ll end up having the device you want and make significant savings.
You’ve got three options.
Buy refurbished Apple products straight from the online Apple Store
Let’s get it straight from the get-go: when we say refurbished Apple products, we mean units that Apple has repaired, available on its online store, and are certified by Apple itself.
Certified refurbished Apple products are pre-owned. They are returned by the owners due to one defect or another. Each unit undergoes Apple’s rigorous repair and restoration process, which can include replacement of parts. According to Apple, refurbished items are as good as new and includes a one-year warranty.
Depending on the item, you can save anywhere from 15 percent to 40 percent. I’ve bought a refurbished MacBook from the Apple Store, and yes, it was totally worth it.
Check out the Apple Certified Refurbished page for current items for sale.
Note: Not all countries offer this program.
Buy refurbished Apple products from third-party resellers
If you’re rather unlucky and are based in a location where there is no Apple Certified Refurbished program, don’t despair. You can still find and buy refurbished items from third-party sellers.
The Apple products that third-party retailers sell often come from customers who have traded in their old units for new ones. The deal, then, is that the items may be in perfectly good condition or a bit banged up when accepted by the retailer. However, you have to remember that these retailers would not accept units in bad shape (under whatever trade-in program they have).
Related reading: How to Sell and Recycle iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Macs
The upside to buying refurbished Apple products from third-party retailers is that their discounts are usually bigger than that of Apple’s. The downside is that their products aren’t Apple-certified, so you don’t have the one-year warranty that Apple offers. Still, you are bound to have some sort of warranty from the retailer.
Buy pre-owned Apple products from buy and sell sites
Some people may consider this a risky option. After all, you don’t really know who you’re dealing with – unlike Apple or known retailers. However, if you do your due diligence, you will be able to make huge savings and still get your hands on excellent units.
In my experience – both from the selling and buying side – this is a very feasible option. Just make sure you use reputable sites and follow their tips on making transactions safely. It’s mostly common sense, really, but make sure to:
- Do a background check on the seller. What’s their selling/buying history? Check the reviews. Google them – you might find information from other sites.
- Don’t do business outside of the platform.
- Do your research about the product so you know what you are supposed to get.
- List down all your needs, requirements, and questions about the product.
- Cover your bases. Get some sort of insurance if the product is being shipped, to avoid getting scammed.
- If you’re doing a meet-up, do it at a safe place and examine & test the product thoroughly.
Buying the latest iPhone, iPad, or MacBook brand new is awesome if you can afford it; but if it will strain your finances, there are other avenues to explore. There really is no reason not to buy refurbished Apple products. Forget the stigma. There’s nothing to be ashamed about buying a pre-owned gadget.