Nor'adila Hepburn | 

The Apple Certified Refurbished Program, Explained

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If you want to splurge on your favorite Apple products without putting a strain on your wallet, check out the Apple Certified Refurbished program. If this is the first time you’ve heard about it, it’s a great way to get Apple stuff like iPads, iPhones, Macs, watches, TVs, and other accessories at a discounted price. And I’m talking about discounts anywhere from 15% to 70% off.

What I also love: the concept is eco-friendly because it keeps these electronics in use instead of being dumped into landfills.

But what exactly does Apple refurbished mean, and what’s the catch? I’m about to get into all of it, leaving no questions unanswered. For more savings on Apple products, check out the early Apple Black Friday deals happening now. Also, download The Krazy Coupon Lady app so you never miss out on the best tips and discounts.


Apple refurbished essentially means it is pre-owned.

A person opening an iPhone 11 box next to a stack of Apple products.

Apple Certified Refurbished is a program where you purchase pre-owned Apple products at discounted prices. You can save hundreds of dollars on used items by browsing through their refurb pages. Keep in mind that this isn’t the route you want to take if you’re looking for new releases. There could be long waiting times (depending on the item) before they’re stocked. After all, someone has to own it first because it can then become refurbished.

Also, orders can’t be customized, so you have to either buy what’s there or wait until the item you’re interested in is posted on the site.

RELATED: Is The Latest iPhone Release Worth It?


The older the refurbished model, the more you save. But you can still save 15% on newer models.

A person holding an iPhone 11 pro box and looking at the product on Apple's Refurbished products website.

Buying Apple refurbished saves you up to 15% on iPhones, iPads, Apple watches, and more products that are practically brand-new. But you’ll definitely get the best savings on slightly older models. For example, now that the iPhone 15 models are out, you can save $320 on an Apple refurbished iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro. As for iPads, you can save $up to $110 140 on a 3rd generation 128GB refurbished one — versus saving $70 on a 9th generation 256GB iPad.

Related: Is the iPhone New Release Worth the Cost?


You should only buy Apple refurbished from Apple.

A person opening an old iPhone box next to a laptop displaying the Apple Refurbished products page.

Sure you can buy Apple refurbished from eBay, Amazon, or Overstock, but you won’t always know what to expect from your purchase. What makes Apple different from some third-party sellers is that their products undergo a strict quality control process, including cleaning and inspection. You also get extra perks, such as a 1-year warranty, free shipping, and technical support.

Apple refurbished products are almost new because of rigorous testing that involves the company replacing faulty parts if necessary. On top of that, all purchases from their program come with new packaging, batteries, outer shells, cables, and a manual. There’s one tiny difference though: refurbished buys come in plain white boxes, not the original packaging you usually see.

You also get Apple’s standard 1-year limited warranty, which covers all manufacturer defects and free technical support for 90 days. If you need additional coverage, you can sign up for the Apple Care Protection Plan and pay a monthly fee for up to three years.



Apple refurbished items have free shipping and return policies.

A person taking an iPad pro out of a shipping box with another Apple product inside.

Refurbished products have the same shipping policy as other Apple products. Shipping is free for all items, although the time it takes to ship differs depending on what you buy. Most items come with 2-day shipping, but there is next-day delivery available for some products like Macs, iPhones, Apple watches, and Apple TVs.

If you aren’t happy with what you bought, you can always return it. You’ll get a full refund as long as you send it back with all the accessories and the original receipt or gift receipt within 14 days from the time you receive it.

Have you checked out refurbished electronics at Apple before? Any tips to share? We would love to know!

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