Apple have recently added the M1 MacBook Air released last November to their Apple Certified Refurbished range, for the usual price of ~15% off RRP. Seems likely that the M1 MacBook Pro and M1 Mac mini will also be added soon.
Unlike any other refurbished products I’ve ever come across, the products Apple sells as certified refurbished are totally flawless in appearance, and also inspected and tested more thoroughly than new products – so in practice they’re less likely to have defects. They also come in a new box with new accessories. Check out https://www.apple.com/au/shop/refurbished/about , https://www.apple.com/au/shop/help/online_store_exclusives#r... and https://www.macrumors.com/guide/apple-refurbished/ for more info.
Stock levels fluctuate, so although Apple restocks their certified refurbished range frequently, individual items are pretty much constantly in and out of stock (especially more popular products, like these M1s are sure to be).
Note that for configurations not available from resellers like JB and Officeworks, buying it certified refurbished from Apple is often the only way to get it at a discount. If you want a particular config but can’t see it on the store, you can use sites like https://refurb-tracker.com or https://www.refurb.me/au to track the specific one you’re after.
I switched to buying certified refurbished products from Apple a couple of years back after bad experiences with Macbooks purchased new from Apple that had issues (although both laptops were repaired for free under ACL, it was still a hassle to book in with an Apple store and then be without the laptop for a week). I have been pleased with the immaculate appearance and absence of hardware issues of Apple’s refurbished products.
Stacks with Cashrewards (currently only 1.50% cashback, “Cashback is eligible on the purchase of Apple refurbished products”), as well as Apple employees’ family and friends discount iirc (which would be an additional 10-15% off), but not the Apple edu discount (see https://www.apple.com/au-hed/shop/refurbished/mac – prices of refurbished macs are unchanged). So if you’re eligible and you want both an M1 MacBook Air and AirPods, you might as well buy from the Apple edu store: https://www.apple.com/au-hed/shop/back-to-school