Alleged Apple eBay Store Offers Better Deals than Apple Refurb Store
In late 2012, a new Apple seller appeared on eBay, offering Apple-certified refurbished products. The storefront, known simply as Refurbished-Outlet, is believed to be run by Apple itself.
As 9to5Mac pointed out in November, the Refurbished-Outlet seller makes the same promises that Apple does when selling refurbished products on its online Apple Store, with a full one-year warranty and a quality inspection by Apple.
Refurbished-Outlet has quietly sold over 10,000 Apple products, and as of late (via dealnews) the store has been selling products at a steep discount, offering cheaper prices than can be found in Apple's own "Special Deals" refurbished store.
For example, Refurbished-Outlet was previously offering a 13-inch MacBook Air with a 128GB SSD for $899. Apple charges $999 for the same refurbished setup. Currently, Refurbished-Outlet has an 11-inch MacBook Air with a 1.8Ghz processor, 4GB RAM and a 256GB HD for $949, while the same laptop is $1,049 from the Apple Store.
A fourth generation 32GB iPod touch can be purchased from Refurbished-Outlet for $179, which Apple normally charges $209 for. A 32GB Wi-Fi + Cellular third generation retails for $599 in the Apple Store but can be purchased for $549 from the eBay store.
Though Refurbished-Outlet offers some products at discount, several share price listings with Apple's official refurbished store. For example, the 2.4Ghz 17-inch MacBook Pro with 4GB RAM and a 750GB hard drive is $2,079 on eBay, and $2,079 in the Apple Store.
Prices are unpredictable and inventory changes on a daily basis, but the Refurbished-Outlet does offer significant discounts on Apple-certified refurbished products. Neither Apple nor eBay have confirmed that Apple is running the store directly.