Gertrude Stein once said 'A rose is a rose is a rose.' While that's not strictly true, you can see where she was going with that. In the modern commercial world we're constantly being (over) sold shiny-brand new-all-improved items in a sleek boxes that will surely improve our lives and make us happier, more productive human beings. Right? Wrong. Sure, we're buying a product for a specific use, but we're all magpies, drawn to glittery things and are easily seduced by cosmetic appeal.
I was at my local supermarket yesterday, and ended up with half a dozen 'perfectly imperfect' (their term) Bramley apples in my basket. They were 40% cheaper than the shiny ones, and weren't waxed to seduce my inner magpie. They taste just as good, help both the growers and my bank balance. Close your eyes and you don't miss the wax. A Bramley is indeed a Bramley is a Bramley.
Outside the box
Brand new Apple Macs have always come beautifully presented from the Mac store - that's always been part of their shtick. After you've unboxed and finished gasping with awe and delight though, it's just a computer. If you've chosen well, it'll be fast enough and capable for your needs, ready to give you years of service. Until you simply can't resist another unboxing, that is. Wait! Stop! Hear that gentle sobbing? It's your credit card. Give it some love.
OK, you've sold me some apples, but Apples?
Apple computers are supremely well designed, manufactured and most importantly maintained - that's why we love them. Regular updates ensure smooth running and security for many, many years, which is why avoiding buying new can be a very wise choice. If you're not buying new, your option is 'pre-loved', 'refurbished', or in plain speaking - second-hand.
Whose hands were First-hand?
My friend Greg treats his 2012 MacBook Pro as if it's his child. It looks brand new. Unlike my eldest daughter's MacBook Air, which after a year looked like it had done a few rounds with Mike Tyson. Crucially though, they both still work absolutely fine. Cosmetically very different, but both still do what they were designed for. It's the cosmetic aspect that necessitate resellers to grade machines. No good reseller is going to sell a computer that does not compute.
Making the grade
At MacKing, we're not going to patronise you with ten different grades with euphemistically delicious names. Our stock is all thoroughly tested, cleaned, repaired where necessary and assessed for resale. We don't sell 'broken' machines, so grading is down to cosmetic condition.
We only have three grades. If a machine resembles my friend Greg's spotless one, that's our regular stock. The other two grades are Wonky Apples. That's plain speaking.
How wonky is Wonky?
Wonky Apples are either cosmetically 'good' or 'cost effective' - but remember that all our machines are in perfect working condition. The money you'll save is based on looks and looks alone.
• Good - this will be a lightly used machine, but there will be light scratches and imperfections on the casing and on metal parts, light signs of keyboard use and reasonably but not significant surface wear on the bottom case. The screen will be in very good condition and will have no visible scratches, imperfections or discolouration. The battery (if applicable) will meet good operating standards and be in 'normal' Condition as defined by Apple. This generally means that it has less than 500 charging cycles.
• Cost effective - There will be scuffs, scratches or dents/chips on the casing and chassis which impact only the visual condition - they'll cause no issues with use. The screen may have visible scratches or signs of wear, but will be fully functional with no chips, cracks or damage. As with 'good' machines, the battery (if applicable) will meet good operating standards and be in 'normal' Condition as defined by Apple. This generally means that it has less than 500 charging cycles.
Are Wonky Apples guaranteed?
Yes. Every MacKing Apple computer carries a 12 month warranty. That equals the general warranties for brand new machines. At a fraction of the price. Look past the shiny. An Apple is an Apple is an Apple.
Thinking of buying an Mac from new? Think different.
Apple are working hard to reduce their carbon footprint, but computer manufacture is notoriously carbon and rare earth heavy - not to mention the sumptuous packaging. Be kind to your planet and your wallet and choose the tech Fair Trade option - buy refurbished.