Where To Buy Apple Computers

There’s a reason Apple products boast such an outspoken and devoted following: they’re pretty, they’re user-friendly, and they’ve topped the American Consumer Satisfaction Index’s annual consumer satisfaction survey for the past 12 years and counting. So why doesn’t everyone have one? Blame the price tag, because quality doesn’t come cheap.


We’ve written before about why buying a Mac at the Apple store is a waste of money, but just because the brick and mortar store doesn’t offer many (read: any) discounts on its gadgets, doesn’t mean you can’t find a deal on an iPhone, MacBook or iPad directly from Apple. How? One word: Refurbished.

Apple reserves the right to refuse or limit the quantity of any device for any reason. In the Apple Store: Offer only available on presentation of a valid photo ID. Value of your current device may be applied toward purchase of a new Apple device. Offer may not be available in all stores. Some stores may have additional requirements. Product Title Refurbished Apple MacBook 13.3' Intel Core 2 Duo T8300 2.4GHz 2GB 160GB Laptop Average Rating: ( 2.0 ) out of 5 stars 17 ratings, based on 17 reviews Current Price $299.99 $ 299. Apple MacBook Pro MLH12LL/A 13-inch Laptop with Touch Bar, 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 8GB Memory, 256GB, Retina Display, Space Gray (Renewed) 4.0 out of 5 stars 116 $1,049.00 $ 1,049. Explore the world of Mac. Check out MacBook Pro, iMac Pro, MacBook Air, iMac and more. Visit the Apple site to learn, buy and get support.

Apple will buy your unused smartphones, laptops and tablets (and they don't have to be Apple products!) and issue you an Apple Store gift card as payment. If I wanted to buy a new laptop right now, I could get about $400 off by turning in my old iPhone and my 2011 MacBook Pro.

A word of warning: we’re going to get really deep into the weeds here. Here’s a quick summary of what we’re about to cover, the links will jump you down to more detail on each topic:

If you’re interested in making a purchase right now, use the links below to scroll down to our deals on each of the following products.

If you want to learn absolutely everything there is to know about refurbished Apple products and learn a few hacks that will save you some serious cash, keep reading. We promise it’s worth the ride.

What does “refurbished” mean in this context?

We get a lot of reader questions like: “Are refurbished Apple products worth it?” or “Can I trust refurbished Apple devices?” The answer to these questions is, in a word, yes. BUT — it depends on where you buy them. Refurbished electronics have a reputation for being buggy, broken or without any kind of meaningful warranty, but when you buy an Apple Certified refurbished item, it’s guaranteed to be just as good as something brand new — as long as you buy it directly from the Apple Certified Refurbished section of Apple’s website. Apple Certified Refurb items aren’t going to be drastically cheaper than buying new (discounts hover around the 15 percent mark) but it still pays to go straight to the source for a few big reasons.

Whereas most companies that refurbish Macs (think Mac Connection, B&H, Best Buy and Abt Electronics) offer only a 90-day warranty and charge you for a longer one, Apple offers a one-year warranty that is the same as the warranty offered on its regular products, and gives refurb customers the option to purchase Apple Care as well. So if you purchase your refurbished Apple product somewhere other than the Apple Store, you’re not going to be able to take it back to Apple for repairs — your warranty will be tied with the store where you bought it, and that’s where you’ll have to take it if anything goes wrong.

And then there’s the messy issue of open-box sales. If you buy an open-box Apple product from another retailer, you could be stuck with no warranty at all, because some resellers will only provide a warranty that’s based on when the item was originally purchased. So if you’re buying an open-box MacBook at Best Buy on March 1, 2016, and the previous owner of that MacBook bought it at Best Buy with a year-long warranty on March 4, 2015, you’re now the proud owner of a laptop with a warranty that is set to expire in three days. Lucky you!

Where To Buy Apple Desktop Computers

So what’s the difference between “open-box” and “refurbished?”

A refurbished item was returned to the retailer because there was something wrong with it. When this happens, the retailer (or a third-party refurbishing outfit) takes it apart, fixes the problem, and returns it to the operational status before selling it again under a refurbished banner. Apple runs its refurbished items through pretty extensive testing. And since they are the ones that are making these products in the first place, that testing is going to be a lot better than the testing done by a resale company.

Cheap

An open-box item is something that was returned to the retailer after the original buyer changed his or her mind. Often the store in question will inspect the item to determine whether or not it has anything mechanically wrong with it. If they deem it safe for resale, they call it an open-box sale. It’s worth noting that this “inspection” isn’t an official test, meaning the retailer usually doesn’t take the item apart to make sure it’s in pristine condition. Apple doesn’t offer-box items, although many of the items it sells under the refurbished banner are likely open-box returns, it still has to call them refurbished because they’ve been previously owned.

For serious discounts on Apple products, utilize trade-in programs.

Have an old iPad, MacBook, iPhone or iPod laying around gathering dust? If you’re looking to buy a new Apple product at a significant discount, look into the Apple Reuse and Recycling Program. Apple will buy your unused smartphones, laptops and tablets (and they don’t have to be Apple products!) and issue you an Apple Store gift card as payment. If I wanted to buy a new laptop right now, I could get about $400 off by turning in my old iPhone and my 2011 MacBook Pro. That would make a refurbished MacBook Pro or 21-inch desktop around $600 – nearly 50 percent off retail.

Even if the device you want to trade in for a discount isn’t eligible for a trade-in at the Apple store, there are still a lot of places that will buy it from you. If you want more information on electronics trade-in programs, check out these related blog posts:

How do I buy a refurbished Apple product like an expert?

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We’re going to break down the best refurb deals we could find on all your favorite Apple products in a minute, but before we do that, we thought we’d let you in on a couple insider tips and tricks for refurb shopping:

  1. If you’re going to buy an Apple Certified refurbished item, make sure you check the prices against the brand-new models at other retailers. New products are never discounted at the Apple Store, so while the price on an Apple Certified refurb will be lower than the Apple Store price on a new model, it might be selling for more than a discounted new item at another store. For example, this past holiday season, Walmart was selling the iPad Mini 2 – brand new — for $199, but the Apple Certified refurbished model was going for $229.
  2. Once you’ve done your homework and are sure that the refurbished price is the best out there, don’t wait too long to buy. Apple refurbs sell out quickly and often take weeks to restock. This is especially true for laptops, iPads and the Mac Mini.

With this expert knowledge under our belts, let’s dive into the deals…

Refurbished Laptops

Apple offers a variety of different kinds of laptops, but because they don’t update their styles very often, it can be tricky for the average consumer to tell the difference between a brand new model and something that’s a few years old. Brad’s Deals editor Casey has a special trick that can help you make sure the refurb you’re buying has the same specs as a brand new model: check the part number.

We added two 12-inch, ‘Space Gray’ MacBooks to our Apple Store cart. The top MacBook is new, and the bottom is Apple Certified refurbished. We circled their model numbers in red, and as you can see, they match exactly except for the first letter.

As a rule, Apple Certified refurbished items will have model numbers that start with “F” but will otherwise match their new counterparts, so this is a good way to double check the specs before you spring for a refurb.

As we outlined earlier, Apple Certified refurbs go quickly, but here are a few things you can get right now:

  • 13.3″ MacBook Air from $849 (retail price $1,299)
  • 13.3″ MacBook Pro from $1,019 (retail price $1,299)

Refurbished iPads

Apple Certified refurbished iPads get brand new cases, cables and packaging, which no other refurbishing outlet will offer you. Right now, the Apple Store is offering these deals on refurbished iPads:

  • 10.5″ iPad Pro from $489 (retail price $649)
  • iPad Air 64GB from $419 (retail price $499)
  • iPad Mini 4 + Cellular from $319 (retail price $509)

Refurbished iPhones

Apple refurbished iPhones feature the same warranty as their new counterparts, a brand new battery and a new outer shell. Right now, the Apple store is offering these deals on refurbished iPhones:

  • iPhone 7 from $379 (retail price $449)

Refurbished iMacs

As with laptops, make sure to double check the model number so you know exactly what you’re getting before you decide to purchase an iMac. Right now, the Apple Store is selling quite a few different kinds of refurbished desktops, here are two that stood out to us:

  • 21.5″ iMac from $929(retail price $1,099)
  • 27″ iMac from $1,529 (retail price $1,799)

Refurbished Mac Minis

Mac Minis offer the Mac desktop experience at a much lower price tag. They’re essentially an entire computer stuffed into a smooth 7.7″ square frame, and you can plug them into your TV or monitor and customize the size of the screen you want.

Refurbished Apple TVs

Currently, Apple is selling the Apple TV 4K for $179 for 32GB or $199 for 64GB in addition to its Apple HD TV 32GB counterpart for $149. Look at the refurbished models, like the Apple TV (4th generation) 64GB model can go for as little as $129.

Refurbished Apple Watches

The hottest smart watch on the market is now available for less from Apple when you buy refurbished. Apple is currently selling Series 1 Apple Watches from $169.

Got questions about anything we outlined above? Feel free to drop us a note in the comments!

Related Apple Deals:

Straight Talk Prepaid iPhone 7 $199Apple TV 4K 32GB $169 ShippedRefurb Bose Home Speaker 500 $250Refurbished iPhone X from $549 ShippedApple iPad Air 64GB $559 Shipped

There’s nothing special about a Mac purchased from the Apple Store. The ghost of Steve Jobs doesn’t sprinkle magic iDust on it, and the Geniuses haven’t loaded it up with bonus software.

It’s exactly the same computer as one purchased at any otherauthorized* source. The difference is the price. On any given Mac laptop or desktop computer, you’ll always find the highest price at the Apple Store. With very few exceptions, the price for a Mac at the Apple Store will remain consistent from the day it is released to the day it is discontinued.

Shopping for an Apple Mac

Apple’s done a great job catering to Mac fans with stores that are monuments to aesthetically pleasing design and staff that are as Apple-focused as the shoppers. By all means, go, check out the newest models, and take care of your repairs. But you should never buy a computer in the Apple Store, no matter how cool the hipster Genius makes you feel. So where is the best place to buy a Mac? You’ll always find a better deal by getting online and checking out the alternatives in the form of Apple Authorized Resellers and Apple’s own special pricing departments.

Look for an Authorized Apple Reseller

Apple Authorized Resellers frequently have the best deals on Mac computers and laptops. The big names in the game include: MacMall, Mac Connection, B&H, Best Buy and Abt Electronics.

There are a number of advantages to shopping at these stores. First off, they provide discounts on the retail price.

The next big advantage to buying from online retailers is free software and rebate offers such as free trials of software and rebate offers for free or discounted printers or accessories.

Best Buy even has started offering exclusive weekly discounts on select Apple products to members of its free My Best Buy loyalty program, kicking its special deals off with up to $200 off select Mac Book Pro models. If you’re in the market, it’s worth signing up.

A quick note: if the website you are looking at has a shoddy design and the prices are too low to be believed, it probably isn’t an Apple Authorized site and may not be a trustworthy business. Any site you see on Brad’s Deals is safe.

Purchase Through the Apple Education Store

Students, teachers, and education staff can save up to $200 on Macs by purchasing through the Apple Education Store. With these price reductions, buying through Apple can be a good deal, even though you will pay sales tax. Ground shipping is always free with a Mac purchase (from any of the Apple Stores). The best time for a student to purchase is in the summer months when Apple usually runs a back-to-school promotion. For a few years now, Apple’s been offering students a $100 Apple Store Gift Card with the purchase of a Mac, and a $50 Apple Store Gift Card with the purchase of a qualifying iPad or iPhone.

Consider Purchasing Through Apple-Certified Refurbished Mac Department

Where To Buy Apple Laptops

The Apple-Certified Refurbished Mac Department is the other big way to buy from Apple and save. Getting a great deal on a refurb can have a lot to do with timing. Apple refurbs are current or previous generation models that have been tested, refurbished, and re-certified. They carry the same one-year, extendable warranty as regular Macs. These purchases also often qualify for printer rebates, and students can purchase refurbs through the education store to get the gift card.

Wait for Apple’s Black Friday

Best Prices On Apple Computers

This is the exception to the rule. The one time of year you can find variations in pricing at the Apple Store is on Black Friday. Sadly, these sales usually consist of the same 5 percent off deals year after year, so if you’re looking to score a good deal on a Mac on Black Friday, we recommend shopping anywhere but the Apple Store. Resist the siren’s call of the Apple Store’s shining halls and come to us for the best online deals.

Additional Tip: No matter where you buy your Mac, you can save even more if you use a cash back credit card. For instance, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ Card currently offers 5% cash back on quarterly rotating categories and 1% cash back on everything else. Plus, new cardholders can earn a bonus of $200 when you spend $500 within your first three months. Additionally, when buying any type of electronics, using a credit card is especially important because of card benefits such as purchase protection, price protection, and extended warranty.

* David in the comments section pointed out that if you want to participate in Apple’s paid One-to-One training program, you must purchase your Mac from the Apple Store, or the Apple Store online (including Education and Refurbs). You cannot take part in the program if you purchase from an Authorized Reseller.

Where To Buy Apple Computers

Where To Buy Apple Computers

Related Apple Deals:

Straight Talk Prepaid iPhone 7 $199Apple TV 4K 32GB $169 ShippedRefurb Bose Home Speaker 500 $250Refurbished iPhone X from $549 ShippedApple iPad Air 64GB $559 Shipped

Where To Buy Apple Computers In Edmonton

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