Everybody who loves Apple products (and there are a lot of us who do) knows that they can be fairly expensive even when they’re on sale. MacBooks in particular are pricey pieces of hardware, but big discounts await anybody who’s willing to buy a cheap refurbished MacBook, which is one of the best and easiest ways to score gently used, professionally recertified tech at deep discounts. There are some pitfalls and other considerations to be aware of before you buy, but if you’re a dedicated Apple fan or someone looking to make the switch to MacOS without overpaying, let us save you the trouble: We’ve already smoked out all the best refurbished cheap MacBook deals and sales here.
MacBooks aren’t the only refurbished products with amazing deals. We’ve also rounded up the best refurbished iPhone deals, refurbished laptop deals, refurbished tablet deals, and refurbished iPad deals.
MacBooks aren’t cheap, but they remain a hot item for some very good reasons: Apple’s laptops are well built, thoughtfully designed, and few can deny that MacOS is pretty solid software, which is why they command such a premium. That said, refurbished MacBook deals abound online from a wide array of retailers, so there are bargains readily available year-round if you know where to look.
Shopping refurbished MacBook sales is a great way to save — with some caveats. Most important among these is that you want to make sure you purchase from a trusted retailer and that the cheap refurbished MacBook you’re getting has been inspected, tested, cleaned, and repaired (if necessary) by professionals. We generally recommend avoiding outlets like eBay for this sort of thing. A professional, trustworthy seller should have its own online storefront and offer some sort of warranty. Amazon, Best Buy, and the Apple Store itself are great sources for refurbished MacBook deals that are backed up with good post-purchase customer support.
Another pitfall to avoid is buying a cheap refurbished MacBook that, despite its low price, is too outdated by modern standards to be worth it. There are more than a few refurbished MacBook deals floating around on models that are now nearly a decade old. While these may be tempting, you will likely end up disappointed with their dated, sluggish hardware. Also bear in mind that even the best computers don’t last forever — age and heat lead to parts wear and eventual failure — so a refurbished MacBook that’s long in the tooth might not have much life left in it anyway, leaving you shopping for another one before long.
Our suggestion? Stick to refurbished MacBook sales that feature relatively new models, ideally those released within the past five years (so since 2016 or so). That’ll get you a nice machine with reasonably up-to-date specs that will perform admirably for a while. You can even find good refurbished MacBook deals on more recent models from 2019 and 2020, which is a good way to save on one with newer hardware. With certain recently discontinued MacBooks, such as the non-Touch Bar Pro models and the standard 12-inch MacBook, buying refurbished might be your only option for finding one of these at all if there is no new stock for sale anywhere.
Finally, when shopping these refurbished MacBook sales, you want to make sure you’re actually getting a good deal. Before you hit that Buy Now button, do some quick comparison shopping to see how much you’re saving versus buying new. Also know that not all cheap refurbished MacBooks are the same. Some, like those purchased from the Apple Store, may come with OEM accessories and tighter recertification standards. As a result, they might be more expensive than a similar model from another retailer, but the higher premium may be worth it if those quality considerations are important to you and if you’re still getting a nice discount.
If all that sounds good to you and you’re ready to get shopping, then give our MacBook buying guide a look-through to get an up-to-date picture of the current Apple laptop landscape and what options are available to you.
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