Apple's online store has a special refurbished section where you can buy both current and previous generation Mac hardware at an attractive discount.
Courtesy of Apple
I've blogged before about the refurb store, how discounts can range from 10 to 30 percent, and how it offers discounted Mac products with the same one-year warranty as new Macs. You can buy AppleCare protection as well.
So, seeing as how I've suggested the refurb store as a good place to find Apple bargains, it was only logical that we give the store a try when it came time for my wife to replace her older iMac.
We kept an eye on the refurb store, checking each day for a 27-inch Core 2 Duo iMac. Unlike Apple's normal store, the refurb store has no standard stock. Instead, the Macs (and other Apple products) listed in the store can change from day to day. Some of the most popular Macs at the refurb store, the MacBook and Mac mini, tend to be gone almost as quickly as they're posted.
Over the weekend, Apple posted a couple of listings for 27-inch iMacs, and we scooped one up right away. Good thing, too, since by Sunday morning they were gone from the store.
Besides refurb Macs, you can also find refurbished iPods and occasional clearance items, usually third-party products the Apple Store sells, but may have over-committed to, or is removing from stock to make way for future products. Unlike the refurb store, items in the clearance section are all new.
So, just what is a refurb? When Apple replaces a Mac that's under warranty, it's sent back to one of Apple's facilities, where it will be cleaned up, tested, and recertified as meeting or exceeding the original specifications for the product. A new one-year warranty is assigned to the serial number for the Mac and the item is placed in Apple's refurb store or sold to authorized Apple resellers as a refurbished Mac. Refurb items are never sold as new.
We've received confirmation that FedEx is processing the shipment. We'll report back as we learn more about the shipping schedule. We'll also let you know when we receive the iMac, as well as follow up with a review.
Happy bargain hunting! Let us know if you find any good ones.