Black Friday MacBook Deals vs Refurbished MacBooks

Black Friday is just days away, and that means shoppers will be on the lookout for a great deal. MacBooks are just one product that buyers will be eyeing on Black Friday, but you may be surprised to find that those discounted prices on MacBooks are actually available year-round.

While MacBooks won’t be that hot of an item during Black Friday, some retail stores will be discounting certain MacBook models on the shopping holiday, and you might have already seen a couple.

Best Buy will have a non-Retina MacBook Pro for $899, which comes with a 2.5GHz Intel Core i5 processor and 4GB of RAM with a 500GB hard drive. Best Buy will also be selling a 21.5-inch iMac for $899, sporting a 1.4GHz Intel Core i5 processor with 8GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive.

These are decent prices for older Mac models, and MacMall will have even more deals on Black Friday, including a 13-inch MacBook Air for just $899. However, how do these deals compare to Apple’s refurbished lineup of MacBooks?

Apple’s refurbished products are available year-round at discounted prices that are very much worth taking a look at, and they can provide steeper discounts than those you’ll find on Black Friday.

Black Friday MacBook deals

For example, that same MacBook Air from MacMall that will be selling for $899 on Black Friday can actually be bought right now for $849 in Apple’s refurbished store. That’s $50 less than the Black Friday “deal” that you’ll see.

As for the Best Buy deals, that same MacBook Pro that the store will be selling for $899 can be bought from Apple for $929. This is just $30 more than Best Buy’s sale price, which isn’t bad at all, considering that you most likely don’t have to worry about inventory getting sold out or having to drive to your nearest Best Buy location and fight the crowds.

Back to MacMall, they’ll have a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro for $1,049 on Black Friday, but Apple’s refurbished store sells it regularly for $999, which is $50 less.

Granted, these are refurbished MacBooks and not brand-new models, but the difference is extremely negligible.

There are always pros and cons when buying used electronics. You usually save a ton of money, but it’s at the expense of functionality or looks. There might be a dent in the case or just some general wear and tear, but you can buy it at a discount compared to the price tag of a brand-new one. Apple’s refurbished products are a bit different, though.

Arguably, Apple offers some of the best refurbished products around. Most of the Apple products that I’ve bought over the years have been refurbished, including gifts to other people for Christmas or their birthday, and guess what? They never know the difference between refurbished and brand new.

Black Friday MacBook deals

That’s because when Apple receives a defective item, they fix what’s wrong with it, and then replace the battery with a brand new one, as well as replace the entire aluminum shell with a brand new aluminum shell. This means that you’re pretty much getting a brand-new product from Apple at a decent discount. Granted, the hardware at one point was defective in some way, but Apple fixes that, so you’re left with a fully functional, good-as-new device.

My first Mac was a 2011 13-inch MacBook Pro that I bought from Apple’s online refurbished store, and it was also my first Apple refurbished product ever. It was around $200 off from what a brand-new model would cost me, and since I had never bought refurbished before, I was expecting to open up the box and see a slightly banged-up MacBook Pro, but that wasn’t the case.

I opened it up and was convinced it was a brand-new model that Apple mistakingly shipped me. However, I noticed that it didn’t come in a shiny new box wound in shrink-wrap. While the MacBook itself was in pristine condition, the company sends you the barebones when it comes to packaging, so I wasn’t able to experience the unboxing art form that I’ve heard many Apple product owners drool over.

Even then, you really can’t go wrong with Apple’s refurbished MacBooks, and if you’re looking for a good deal on Black Friday for a MacBook, maybe take some time to look over Apple’s refurbished lineup before heading out into the cold and into the Black Friday crowds.