Apple's war on repair continues: Amazon now bans refurb Apple products from third parties

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Not buying at Amazon since 2007 or so. You don’t even have to search long for equivalent or cheaper alternatives. For now.


The more people have reason to find stores offering stuff Amazon doesn’t, the better it is for everyone


I don’t see that a right to resell translates into an obligation to do so.

Truth. I buy a fair bit of stuff off Amazon, but I wouldn’t want it to be my only option.

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I have never purchased a refurb anything that worked right out of the box. i think "refurb means only the most haphazard testing took place, if that.

Isn’t buying broken crap from random people on the internet what eBay is for?


I have, a few times. Never had a problem.


Considering Apple initiated a Silicon Valley wage cartel some years back, is this a sign of similar shenanigans?

I’m torn on this one, because for a long time it’s been near-impossible to buy apple accessories off Amazon - especially chargers, power supplies and batteries. Far too many knock-offs, and usually dangerously sub-par ones at that. And Amazon’s inventory “co-mingling” often means that even if the seller was reputable, the item you receive didn’t necessarily come from that seller.

We’ve been begging for something to be done for years. I’m just not sure that a flat “first-party only” ban was what we had in mind.


Are they using trademark as their big stick again?

Remove the Apple name and logo.

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Can’t confirm. Typing this on a refurbished and utterly reliable Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon. Had a refurbished IBM Z-Station that ran for five years as a replacement for a Sun Blade 1000 (made 1996, still running). Even my refurbished HP LaserJet 6 never let me down. I got rid of it only because I didn’t have a computer with a parallel port anymore.


Where does one draw the line between “right to repair” and “Apple’s security model breaks if a malicious actor is able to sell compromised hardware as ‘refurbished’”?

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Amazon has addressed this. As a seller you can refuse commingled inventory. As a manufacturer you can demand source tracking. Most sellers, however, are willing to gamble as refusing commingling means you don’t get the massive advantages of location staging and such.

I bought a refurbished iMac from Apple in 2007 and am still kind-of using it.

I have a refurb camera from Olympus that is 8 years old. Its first problem has just shown up.

I got a refurbished iPod Touch from Apple in 2013 and it’s still functioning perfectly.

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There’s a difference between refurb by original manufacturers and refurb by some dude in his basement.

My first iDevice was a refurb off eBay. Worked great for as long as I owned it. I’ve subsequently purchased two new. When the Inlaws from Hell got jobs at the new Charlotte plant and I got hacked, I decided not to purchase any more devices from Apple. If security is nonexistent, I can do fine with a pawnshop Android.

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What about the buyer, who tries to purchase OEM products in good faith, but thanks to co-mingling, may get the part they ordered, or some knockoff crap (which has a good chance of breaking your equipment)?


As I understand, Apple refurbished is basically “new”, with any cosmetic damage repaired / replaced, a full warranty, and AppleCare eligible.

Many reviews on Amazon and Newegg for “refurbished” tell of disappointment, where products came with large cosmetic damage or didn’t work. Apple is requiring resellers to have some standards, how is this bad for the customer?

You can still find used Apple hardware from reputable companies, but usually not through Amazon.

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I agree - going from “right to repair” to this seems like a bit of a stretch. Amazon is not obligated to provide a platform for anybody to sell anything.

Manufacturer refurbished or seller refurbished? Seller refurbished can mean it’s used and the seller has cleaned some of the fingerprints off it with a paper towel. Or it can mean the seller has frankensteined a working device together from several broken devices, or it can mean the seller has checked the thing carefully for problems and made sure it is properly working in every way. Caveat emptor.

Manufacturer refurbished means that it’s been inspected and confirmed to be in good working order, and is covered by the same duration of warrantee you’d get if you bought it new. If I have the money, I never hesitate to buy a tech product that’s manufacturer refurbished, and have yet to be disappointed.

In the case of Apple, they take refurbished devices to the next level. Their refurbed gadgets always come with a brand new battery, a brand new enclosure, and sell for about 15% off. aside from the plain white packaging (instead of a white with minimalist and arty product photos) and the serial number, it’s impossible to tell their refurbed devices from new. The Apple refurbished store (linked only down in the footer of their web page) is never advertised and little known but it’s the very first place I would go if I was shopping for an Apple device with a manufacturer’s warrantee.