refurb

How to protect yourself when buying Cheapskate deals

Sometimes it's hard being the Cheapskate. I don't mean the rigors of finding awesome deals on a daily basis, though that certainly can be a challenge. (What? Another tablet?!)

No, the tough part is when a frustrated reader e-mails me because the product he ordered hasn't arrived after three weeks. Or, even worse, it arrived in poor condition. And the company that sold it to him won't help or even respond. Although I have no control over these kinds of situations, and can't offer much in the way of assistance, I feel terrible for indirectly … Read more

Track Apple refurb deals at RefurbMe

The words "deal" and "Apple product" rarely appear in the same sentence, which is why I continue to be fan of buying refurbished Apple gear whenever possible.

While some refurbs prove to be junk, Apple gives you like-new hardware -- complete with a same-as-new warranty. It's the only way to go.

But how do you know when a particular product hits the Apple Store? Short of checking online every day, there's no easy way. Until now: RefurbMe catalogs all the latest Apple Store refurbs and can notify you when price and/or availability changes.… Read more

Three tech items you should never buy refurbished

Here's a deal of the day that normally would make me sit up and take notice:

RedTag has the Proscan PLEDV2488A 24-inch LED HDTV with built-in DVD player for $169, plus $1.95 for shipping.

Just one problem: it's refurbished.

Surprised? Normally I'm a champion of refurbished gear. You'll often hear me touting deals on refurbished laptops, tablets, Blu-ray players, and the like. In fact, I think if you're shopping for any Apple product, you should go the refurb route every time.

But there are exceptions, starting with the aforementioned deal. Here's a rundown … Read more

How to track Apple store refurbs

As I noted back in January, the only smart way to buy Apple gear is to buy it refurbished.

You're guaranteed to save money while getting gear that's literally as good as new.

Just one problem: how can you keep tabs on Apple's latest refurb deals? Suppose, for example, you're in the market for a refurbished fourth-gen iPod Touch, the one with the built-in cameras and Retina display. (As it happens, that's exactly what my kids are after.)

For a long while, there weren't any for sale. I know because I checked the store … Read more

Shopping for an Apple product? Choose refurbished every time

Not all refurbished products are created equal. The very definition can differ depending on what the product is and who's doing the refurbishing.

For example, I once bought a small, refurbished HDTV that had a broken stand, scuffed bezel, and barely there packaging. Bleh.

However, when it comes to Apple products, I see no reason to choose anything but refurbs. I say this not as a gushing Apple fanboy, but rather as someone who thinks most Apple hardware is overpriced--and sees refurbs as a rare opportunity to get it for less.

Here's a great example. Head to the … Read more

Deals to be had on 2010 MacBook Air

Whenever Apple updates its computers and devices, our immediate response is to click over to Apple's refurb listings to see what kind of deal we can get on the last-gen models. Today's MacBook Air announcement was no different, and if you don't mind getting an older Intel Core 2 Duo processor, there are deals to be had.

The biggest discount--at least in dollar amount--is on the 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo 13.3-inch Air with 2GB memory and 256GB flash storage at $1,249--$350 less than a new one, or 21 percent off. The one with … Read more

Apple discounts original iPad to as low as $350

The iPad 2 is official, and it's impressive, but it's not as much of an upgrade to the original as some had thought. No Thunderbolt, no SD slot, and no mini-DisplayPort. That might make those of us who have the original take pause before lining up for the new one.

But for those in the market for their first iPad, the lack of a completely overwhelming difference between the older and the newer device might be a good thing. During today's event, Apple's online store, as it typically does, went down. When it came back up, … Read more

Refurbished iPads now up to $100 off

It was just two months ago that refurbished iPads first hit the Apple Store, bringing a $50 savings to all three Wi-Fi models. (Since then, Apple has added the 3G iPads to the refurb catalog as well, again at a $50 discount.)

If those price reductions weren't significant enough for you, how about this: Apple just lowered refurbished iPad prices even further.

Right now, and for a "special limited time" (Apple isn't saying how long, but my guess is until stock runs out), you can get a refurbished 16GB iPad for $429, a 32GB iPad for $499, … Read more

Refurbished iPads hit the Apple Store

I'm a longtime fan of refurbished gear--especially Apple's refurbished gear, which looks and operates like new and comes with the same warranty as the new stuff.

I speak from experience, having purchased several refurbished iPhones and iPod Touches. But I've yet to land an iPad this way--mostly because Apple didn't offer them. Until now.

For the first time, refurbished iPads are available from the Apple Store (online only).

Like their smaller counterparts, they come with a new battery, a new outer shell, and a full one-year warranty. You also get all the same accessories (USB cable … Read more

How to save money with refurb laptops

Listeners of our Real Deal podcast often ask for advice on buying cheap laptop computers. Often they're asking about machines for family members, or for leave-around-the-house computers. Netbooks can be good for these applications. They're cheap and small. But they're also quite basic and often underpowered; some don't even run a full version of Windows.

There's another solution for the penny-pinching laptop buyer: the manufacturer-reconditioned laptop, or "refurb." These are often gently used machines that have been returned to the manufacturer because they were unwanted. Sometimes they're warranty returns that are repaired, … Read more