Used and refurbished Apple products page
This page is divided into these topics:
1. Why to buy used or refurbished
2. How to prevent buying a lemon
3. Websites to mail order and classified stores with used and refurbished Macs and Apple products.
On a separate page, I've included tips for Selling Used Macs.
If you can't afford a modern Mac, or some of your software that you can afford still runs on older Mac operating systems,
it might be wise to have an older Mac. Macs have historically always run only the operating system available at the time of their release, and
new Mac operating systems. The two exceptions were during the transition from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X (page links
to the transition period description), where Mac OS 9 booting was still supported, and later Classic environment was available, but both those are currently gone.
Fortunately older versions of Windows will still run on newer Macs, which allows some older software to still run legally without having
to rip a ROM from an older machine. For that you can use various virtualization solutions for Windows on Intel Macs, that have
been available since the first Intel Mac release in 2006. For all others, an older Mac probably will be needed for older Mac software to run.
Know the machine you need, by reading the specs for
all the machines, and compare with what you need to run.
The listing of the stores at the and of this FAQ include some that just software or accessories for older Apple products.
Note, this listing was obtained by looking at other websites that discuss used and refurbished Macs.
I have not verified the quality of any of these stores, and if you believe something is too good to be true, it probably is.
Be aware that most do not offer any warranty on these Macs, and when you get replacement parts, they often are refurbished too.
If buying a notebook or Mac Mini, check to make sure the power adapter has no signs of being frayed,
and if it does, take a look at this guide on what to do about it.
In addition, if a store sells a Mac, they should provide the original installation disks that came with the Mac. If they
don't offer it with the Mac, someone has either taken the disks for their own keeping (which is against Apple's license agreement), or the disks got lost,
in which case, they should contact Apple
for a replacement set to give to you before selling it to you. The disks that come with each Mac
have good hardware and software testing programs which may not work on other Macs. Here are the
directions for the hardware test on a link for Intel Macs
on their restore discs, and PowerPC Macs
on their restore disc will help you determine if any user detectable hardware issues are
present. These will not give you bad RAM all the time. See my Bad RAM FAQ, in event you have any
possibility of bad RAM, due to Kernel panics, and inform the seller to check too before selling it to you.
In addition, the installation software from another Mac
may not work on the Mac in question. So don't accept an eMac with an iMac's installation disks, or an iMac G4 with an iMac G5's installations disks.
I discuss in this FAQ why that is important. In addition verify
when the machine last had its PRAM battery replaced. All Macs except a few notebooks have a PRAM battery, which is also known as the
backup battery on Apple's knowledgebase article 86181, which describes which PRAM battery each Mac gets.
Unless otherwise stated they have used and refurbished Macs and parts, and sometimes software. Also check Exchange Repair Programs
to verify the Mac you are buying isn't under one of these programs, and if it is, check the seller to make sure they aren't selling it
because of a problem they are having which may be covered by one of these programs.
In addition, I strongly
recommend you learn the specs of any new Mac you buy before you get it. I've written a section of my migrating
from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X FAQ with different links on identifying Macs.
It is by no means complete, though if you wish to see another added, or feel one shouldn't be recommended
please sign the guestbook:
Mail order shops with tollfree U.S. order lines:
http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac - Yes this is Apple's own special deals page on a static link!
Lowendmac's Deals page - lists multiple vendors.
http://www.pcprices.net/desktops.shtml - lists multiple authorized desktop resellers of used and refurbished Apple desktops.
MicroReplay buys and sells used computers and parts
Teksale - refurbished Macs and PCs.
http://macreviewzone.com/html/reviews/guides/archive/refurb/refurbwatch.shtml - lists multiple vendors and their refurbished prices on Apple products
http://www.pcprices.net/refurblaptops.shtml - lists multiple authorized laptop resellers of used and refurbished Apple laptops.
http://www.iresq.com/ (formerly Macresq)
http://www.macsales.com/ offers numerous upgrade options, and older operating system software
http://www.transintl.com/ upgrade specialist of older Macs
http://www.dttservice.com/ parts and service of old and new Macs.
http://www.powerbookmedic.com parts and service for old and new Mac notebooks.
http://www.notebook-batteries.net all kinds of notebook batteries.
Mail order shops with toll numbers:
http://www.cpused.com/ (in Canada)
http://macsruscomputers.com/ has many old Newton products
http://www.usedmacs.us - no phone number listed. Web form only.
http://www.pbparts.com/ parts and service for Powerbooks and iBooks
http://www.usedmac.ca/ - Canada Mac classifieds
http://www.cancomuk.com/ - European Mac dealer
http://www.themacmarket.com/flash/sell.html (in Canada)
Additional pre-Mac OS X links may be found on my Macintosh Related Links