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Apple's unadvertised retail store price matching policy

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
In an effort not to be undersold on its own products this holiday shopping season, Apple is quietly re-conveying its long standing price-matching procedures to retail store staffers.

Corroborating a report first published by AppleInsider earlier this week, ifoAppleStore notes that Apple is reminding its store employees that they have "the authority to match the prices of other authorized retailers."

Its unclear whether the Mac maker, which rarely offers discounts outside of back-to-school and Black Friday promotions, plans to promote the policy given the current economic situation, but has chosen not to do so in the past.

An AppleInsider reader on Monday noted that the policy has been in place for some time. "If you bring in a flyer or ad to an Apple Store [showing proof of a lower price], they will match the price after getting it approved through the manager," the reader said.

An Apple retail store manager posting in the comments section of the ifo report offered similar information:

"As a long time Apple Store manager, I can state that retail has always had the ability to match prices with Authorized Apple Retailers with some limits, such as matching rebates and matching prices with Club stores. The policy is very clear and printed in the retail operations manual.
Another commenter reported success in having prices from online resellers matched, not just those from brick and mortar retailers:

Last year I showed an Apple Store manager an online price and asked if hed match it. He agreed and instructed a clerk to ring it at that price.
By better vocalizing its policy to retail staffers this year, Apple hopes to keep pacing with a growing array of aggressive Black Friday sales already announced and in effect through Apple authorized resellers Amazon.com (Black Friday Sale), Best Buy (4-Day Apple Sale), Mac Mall (57 Hour sale), and others.
post #2 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider

Another commenter reported success in having prices from online resellers matched, not just those from brick and mortar retailers:

Last year I showed an Apple Store manager an online price and asked if he’d match it. He agreed and instructed a clerk to ring it at that price.


Yah, but it really wouldn't be a true 'matching price' in most states, unless Apple includes state sales tax into the equation, which I doubt they do. Because many online stores, like Amazon, don't have sales tax, while most states and the retail stores located within them, do.

In California for example, that difference is worth about $100 on a MacBook, $150+ on a MB Pro, on top of any discounts/rebates Amazon is already giving me.

Apple probably can't match that.

But if I was living in Nevada, which doesn't have sales tax (last I checked- maybe that's changed), the Apple retail stores matching Amazon would be awesome (assuming I lived near Reno or Las Vegas, the only two places that have Apple stores).


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post #3 of 24
I find it utterly insidious on Apple's part that they do not make this public.
post #4 of 24
I assume this would be in leu of a student discount, not including.
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post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

Yah, but it really wouldn't be a true 'matching price' in most states, unless Apple includes state sales tax into the equation, which I doubt they do. Because many online stores, like Amazon, don't have sales tax, while most states and the retail stores located within them, do.

In California for example, that difference is worth about $100 on a MacBook, $150+ on a MB Pro, on top of any discounts/rebates Amazon is already giving me.

Apple probably can't match that.

But if I was living in Nevada, which doesn't have sales tax, the Apple retail stores matching Amazon would be awesome (assuming I lived near Reno or Las Vegas, the only two places that have Apple stores).


...

I am not sure why the sales tax issue is relevant, since the same issues (related to amazon.com vs. Apple retail) would apply whether or not there is a special sale?
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I am not sure why the sales tax issue is relevant, since the same issues (related to amazon.com vs. Apple retail) would apply whether or not there is a special sale?


*Sarah Palin voice*

"In what respect, Charlie?"


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post #7 of 24
Apple would be on the hook for the sales tax if they did not collect it from the buyer. That is a huge difference between buying from Apple, and buying online. Moreover, Oregon has no sales tax, like Nevada. Residents of either state can order from Apple directly, and not be subjected to sales tax. However, I'm not sure that price matching would work ordering directly from Apple, as it would in an Apple Store.
post #8 of 24
Here's a list of 2008 sales tax rates. Seems like I'm off 'bout Nevada... they have sales tax, actually. It was state income tax that they don't have, 'parently.

Not sure the list includes all special/local levies... for example, Cali is listed at 7.25% sales tax, but I pay 8.25% where I am (Santa Clara county).



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post #9 of 24
The reason that you pay more than the state tax rate is because you're also paying local taxes, on top of the state rate.
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinfella View Post

The reason that you pay more than the state tax rate is because you're also paying local taxes, on top of the state rate.


I kinda said that already, but, coo'.


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post #11 of 24
I wonder how this would work with advertized rebates...
Mac mall, it seems, always has these rebates where you have to cut part of the box and then mail in a form and wait 6 weeks. If Apple stores price match without the hassle, that would be cool (state sales tax notwithstanding).

Still, I agree with anantksundaram that it is a shame they keep this quiet. But, money is money...
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post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I find it utterly insidious on Apple's part that they do not make this public.



No company is legally or morally bound to advertise that they will price match, make exceptions to a return policy etc.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I assume this would be in leu of a student discount, not including.


i'll lay even odds that you are correct. just like an employee that is a student probably can't do both student and employee discounts.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinfella View Post

Apple would be on the hook for the sales tax if they did not collect it from the buyer. That is a huge difference between buying from Apple, and buying online. Moreover, Oregon has no sales tax, like Nevada. Residents of either state can order from Apple directly, and not be subjected to sales tax. However, I'm not sure that price matching would work ordering directly from Apple, as it would in an Apple Store.

I live in Las Vegas and Nevada most certainly does have a state sales tax. Like another poster mentioned Nevada does not have a state income tax, but it certainly does have a state sales tax. I have bought many items including Macs and iPhones from the Fashion Show Mall Apple retail store and have paid state sales tax each time.
post #15 of 24
If you want to get a Mac during the holidays, use this PM with the Discover card holiday mall promotion for another up to $100 off.

The best thing is, the discover card promotion comes out of discover's pocket, so it won't cut Apple's margin in any way.

You just need to find an Apple store in a participating mall.
post #16 of 24
You have to be careful. Amazon.com may not have nexus in your state, but you will still owe Use Tax, which is usually identical to the Sales Tax rate of your state. Wording usually goes something like this:

"Use tax is also collected on the consumption, use or storage of goods in Nevada if sales tax was not paid on the purchase of the goods. The use tax rate is the same as the sales tax rate."

Nearly all states have Sales Tax (only 5 don't). Enforcement efforts are intensifying and you might get a nasty letter in the mail from your state's Dept. of Revenue threatening you to send some $ in or be subject to an audit, with interest and penalties levied accordingly. Especially now that the U.S. economy is in the dumps. States will be scratching for pennies.

Most people ignore this whole issue and are never audited. But as the various parties involved work together more efficiently, they'll soon be able to track your purchases and will have a good idea of what you need to be sending in.
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanhauer View Post

I live in Las Vegas and Nevada most certainly does have a state sales tax. Like another poster mentioned Nevada does not have a state income tax, but it certainly does have a state sales tax. I have bought many items including Macs and iPhones from the Fashion Show Mall Apple retail store and have paid state sales tax each time.

Sorry, I relied on the accuracy of Baggins, who admitted the error.
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In an effort not to be undersold on its own products this holiday shopping season, Apple is quietly re-conveying its long standing price-matching procedures to retail store staffers.

Corroborating a report first published by AppleInsider earlier this week, ifoAppleStore notes that Apple is reminding its store employees that they have "the authority to match the prices of other authorized retailers."

It’s unclear whether the Mac maker, which rarely offers discounts outside of back-to-school and Black Friday promotions, plans to promote the policy given the current economic situation, but has chosen not to do so in the past.

An AppleInsider reader on Monday noted that the policy has been in place for some time. "If you bring in a flyer or ad to an Apple Store [showing proof of a lower price], they will match the price after getting it approved through the manager," the reader said.

An Apple retail store manager posting in the comments section of the ifo report offered similar information:

"As a long time Apple Store manager, I can state that retail has always had the ability to match prices with Authorized Apple Retailers with some limits, such as matching rebates and matching prices with Club stores. The policy is very clear and printed in the retail operations manual.
Another commenter reported success in having prices from online resellers matched, not just those from brick and mortar retailers:

Last year I showed an Apple Store manager an online price and asked if he’d match it. He agreed and instructed a clerk to ring it at that price.
By better vocalizing its policy to retail staffers this year, Apple hopes to keep pacing with a growing array of aggressive Black Friday sales already announced and in effect through Apple authorized resellers Amazon.com (Black Friday Sale), Best Buy (4-Day Apple Sale), Mac Mall (57 Hour sale), and others.

Better yet Yanks, if you live near the Canadian border, you can get an even better deal. With the US dollar at a premium, (20-25%) it would be prudent to check out an Apple Store in Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal. Their list prices as posted on the Canadian sites have been significantly lower when calculating in the exchange.

Although there are sales taxes, i.e., GST and Provincial, they are normally refundable for non-residents.

Note, it is still better to fill up on your side though. Much of our higher gas taxes go for better road, bridges and healthcare. So don't knock it. Our beer is better too.

P.S. It would be nice to thank us also for acting as a buffer between continental US and the State of Alaska. Unfortunately, we couldn't keep the good Governor down.

And don't feel shy to come and take advantage of our lower costs. Actually, we drove down to Buffalo on the weekend to pick up Wegman's 39¢ a pound turkeys. Not sure if they have been approved by the US Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) as the store is located near the Love Canal. However, I always let my brother-in-law (another turkey) take first divs and wait to see if he glows.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Better yet Yanks, if you live near the Canadian border, you can get an even better deal. With the US dollar at a premium, (20-25%) it would be prudent to check out an Apple Store in Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal. Their list prices as posted on the Canadian sites have been significantly lower when calculating in the exchange.

Good point.

New MacBook is $1299 in US, $1399 (Canadian $) in Canada which is $1,142.22 US based on today's conversion rate.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Although there are sales taxes, i.e., GST and Provincial, they are normally refundable for non-residents.

Nope. Canadian GST (5%) and HST (13% in Atlantic provinces) are no longer refundable according to:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goods_a...g_for_visitors
http://wikitravel.org/en/Canada#Taxes
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I find it utterly insidious on Apple's part that they do not make this public.

Nasty bastards!
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Our beer is better too.

Better watch what you say, coming from a town that has Iron City, those are fighting words!
Just say no to MacMall.  They don't honor their promotions and won't respond to customer inquiries.  There are better retailers out there.
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Just say no to MacMall.  They don't honor their promotions and won't respond to customer inquiries.  There are better retailers out there.
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post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AHeneen View Post

Nope. Canadian GST (5%) and HST (13% in Atlantic provinces) are no longer refundable according to:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goods_a...g_for_visitors
http://wikitravel.org/en/Canada#Taxes

You are right.
As of April 1, 2007, non-resident consumers who purchase goods in Canada and remove them from the country cannot receive a VRP rebate for the GST/HST they paid on goods if the tax became payable after March 31, 2007.

However, there will still be no GST/HST charged when goods are shipped directly by a Canadian business to a non-resident consumers residence.


http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/gi/no...tice221-e.html
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

I wonder how this would work with advertized rebates...
Mac mall, it seems, always has these rebates where you have to cut part of the box and then mail in a form and wait 6 weeks. If Apple stores price match without the hassle, that would be cool (state sales tax notwithstanding).

Still, I agree with anantksundaram that it is a shame they keep this quiet. But, money is money...

Purchased my 1st Mac yesterday in the wonderful sales tax free state of Delaware and the Apple Store not only matched the sale price from Amazon but the mail in rebate as well.

Would not have been aware of this policy if not for this very website, so thank you all.
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