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Why buy a new Mac, when you can buy refurbished?

Do you find yourself looking wistfully at the screen and counting the zeros on the latest Apple price tag? It’s no surprise that students, professionals, and entertainment gurus around the world struggle to afford the new, super-resolution iMacs and MacBooks. But there is a savior, and it comes in the form of refurbished products. Here’s what you need to know when buying a refurbished — either through Apple or another retailer.

What does refurbished actually mean?

Refurbished is not the same as resold. Resold just means that someone is selling the same item again, often used, with all the problems that entails. Refurbished means that the Apple product in question was sent back to (ideally) a professional because of a minor issue, or because it was no longer wanted. Any malfunctioning parts are replaced, the product is given a once-over to make sure that everything is shiny and working right, and then it is repackaged to be sold again.

Because refurbished Apple products cannot be sold at MSRP, they are typically sold at a discount, which means you save money while buying a product that is often just as good as new.

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