“Apple” and “affordable” are not synonymous terms. You want the shiny new MacBook? You’ll inevitably pay the full, very high retail price. But one new French company hopes you’ll be willing to risk the sheen and new-CPU smell to save a lot of dollars.
The Paris-based Back Market launched over three years ago, but just made its way to the U.S. in April (and landed $48 million in new funding this week), offering refurbished smartphones and tablets at seriously reduced prices. The site partners with an array of refurbishing operators (170+) and centralizes the buying and selling of the used tech goods.
Each product at Back Market is rated on a five-point scale from “Stallone” (visible scratches, dents) to “Shiny” (basically, something that looks brand new). To allay consumer fears, Back Market promises all of the tech is resurrected to be “100% good-as-new” and will arrive with both a six-month minimum warranty and a 30-day trial period.
Besides the save-the-world appeal of reusing old tech — a point the site makes repeatedly, often in a green font — there are great deals here, particularly with Apple laptops and tablets. A $1,200 MacBook for $304 is a steal, as is a first-gen iPad mini for $109 (76% off). Unlocked phones are more in the 30-40% discount range, while the few TVs here are ... well, something the site needs to work on (5% is less than your average daily Amazon deal).
But if you need a quick laptop replacement or a second (or third) tablet, Back Market seems like a bonne affaire.
Photo: Hazma Butt/Sole Treadmill (via Flicker CC)