Advice: where to purchase Mac computers?

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Looking to purchase in the near term, probably an iMac or Power Mac.



Not sure if any online (re)sellers offer significant price breaks compared to Apple itself? It seems that Apple is pretty good at controlling prices even among resellers. Not that that's a bad thing, just my observation.



I read on a thread here that the Edu discount is worthless since you can get better deals (and no sales tax) through online retailers. True?



Where should I look?



Thanks, y'all.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    There are advantages and disadvantages with whoever you buy from.



    If you buy from Apple, they'll charge sales tax, but they have free shipping, educational discounts, and build-to-order options.



    Other places will usually charge money for shipping, but no sales tax. However, they don't have educational discounts available, and you can't get anything built to order. On the other hand, many mail-order places have bundle deals where you get extra RAM or something for free.



    Actually, your best bet might be a refurbished machine from Apple. SmallDog.com also has refurbs. They usually cost about $100-$200 less than a brand new computer, and are just as good (a lot of times they are open-box returns). The warranty is the same as on a brand new computer. The only downside is you can't customize a refurb.



    I'd say look around and find who has the best deals. Avoid some dealers - I have seen many horror stories relating to a few bad ones. I can't remember which though, and I don't want to say bad things about a company that I'm not sure of.
  • Reply 2 of 17
    Another logical spot, is at the Apple store, if theres one near you.



    "Actually, your best bet might be a refurbished machine from Apple"



    Thats what I have always done, and you can even get the extended warrantee from Apple. Free Shipping can be a BACK saving experience. There is nothing like trying to put a boxed G5 into a sub compact...



    With the outside retailers they do sometimes give an extra boost of ram with the deal, but there usually not that great of deal after they charge you for the install of the cheap ram...
  • Reply 3 of 17
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mac_ken_Cheez

    With the outside retailers they do sometimes give an extra boost of ram with the deal, but there usually not that great of deal after they charge you for the install of the cheap ram...



    It's worth a try asking them if they can just send the RAM separately and not charge you the installation fee. A friend of mine did that and he ended up getting the extra RAM, installed, without being charged. I wouldn't count on it, but it's worth a try. Also, RAM is very expensive these days, so a $30-$40 installation fee for 256-512 MB of RAM actually isn't that bad.
  • Reply 4 of 17
    In Kansas City? Tek Solutions! Ask for Beth, Jim or Keith. Tell 'em Dan sent ya!



    http://www.kcsolutions.com



    Mailorder? Call MacMall. Call Robert McDonald: 1-800-555-6255 x7030. Tell him Dan sent ya.
  • Reply 5 of 17
    aslan^aslan^ Posts: 599member
    I like macconnection.com
  • Reply 6 of 17
    chaserchaser Posts: 63member
    I am planning to buy a PowerMac soon, and want to use the educational discounts feature. However, I am confused on what I am suppose to do... I plan on buying from the Apple website, and I know how to make it so they do the edu. discount, but am unsure whether I qualify or not. Here is the scenerio:



    When I use Apples website to buy, I go to the edu. discount and select my high school (St. Charles North High) and it gives me the discount...



    I am a sophmore at that school and my aunt is a teacher at that school, and my dad is a substitute teacher at that school... It says I may have to verify, if I did what am I to do? What I buy w/ the educational discount will be delivered to where I want, or will it go to the school?



    Do you think I am eligible to get a PowerMac w/ a educational discount?



    Thanks for your answers, I am new to Apple, as I want to switch from the unreliable windows/pc.
  • Reply 7 of 17
    gabidgabid Posts: 477member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Chaser

    I am planning to buy a PowerMac soon, and want to use the educational discounts feature. However, I am confused on what I am suppose to do... I plan on buying from the Apple website, and I know how to make it so they do the edu. discount, but am unsure whether I qualify or not. Here is the scenerio:



    When I use Apples website to buy, I go to the edu. discount and select my high school (St. Charles North High) and it gives me the discount...



    I am a sophmore at that school and my aunt is a teacher at that school, and my dad is a substitute teacher at that school... It says I may have to verify, if I did what am I to do? What I buy w/ the educational discount will be delivered to where I want, or will it go to the school?



    Do you think I am eligible to get a PowerMac w/ a educational discount?



    Thanks for your answers, I am new to Apple, as I want to switch from the unreliable windows/pc.




    You yourself are not eligible; only university students are. However, your aunt definitely is eligible, since K-12 teachers can get the discount. Formally, I don't know if substitutes get the discount though, so I don't know about your dad.



    So, so long as your aunt is not planing on buying the same Mac that you are (there are limits as to how many of each model you can order in a given school year) your could order under her name. Be sure to get permission first since Apple can always call the customer, in this case your aunt, and make sure she is actually an eligible teacher.
  • Reply 8 of 17
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    The edu discount is really easy. Just click on the education link at the Apple Store web site and type in your school's zip code. Pretty simple. Pretty much every university or college I can think of is listed.
  • Reply 9 of 17
    remryremry Posts: 10member
    If you are going to buy, double check your tax status (or your aunt's in this case). I bought my PB a few weeks back with an Apple educators discount AND in the great state of Ohio educators are tax exempt for all hardware purchases (for themselves and for gifts). Because of this, I saved a bunch of money purchasing my computer. All the Apple Store asked for was for my current teacher ID card and driver's license.



    Good luck with your purchase.



    ---------------------------------------





    I am a sophmore at that school and my aunt is a teacher at that school, and my dad is a substitute teacher at that school... It says I may have to verify, if I did what am I to do? What I buy w/ the educational discount will be delivered to where I want, or will it go to the school?
  • Reply 10 of 17
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    I buy from Small Dogs when I can. I bought my powerbook from them. They have this odd habit of ANSWERING EMAIL that others seem to ignore.
  • Reply 11 of 17
    alcimedesalcimedes Posts: 5,486member
    yeah, small dog is pretty cool. if it's within $100 i usually buy from them. better service if something goes wrong.
  • Reply 12 of 17
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Scott

    I buy from Small Dogs when I can. I bought my powerbook from them. They have this odd habit of ANSWERING EMAIL that others seem to ignore.



    Have they changed the policy of not allowing online orders for new computers if you haven't ordered from them before? I was looking at a new computer a while back and they told me I couldn't buy online from them because of some policy. If they've changed, that's cool. They seem like a good company.
  • Reply 13 of 17
    alcimedesalcimedes Posts: 5,486member
    you just have to buy something else from them first. i would guess it's to verify your address to cut down on fraudulent computer orders with stolen credit cards, but that's just a guess.
  • Reply 14 of 17
    kraig911kraig911 Posts: 912member
    personally I'd buy from a local small shop in your area, I take all my service, and new computer purchases when I can to a small place. They charge whatever apple is charging, but building a relationship with someone in the community is a great thing. Its a shame they are hard to find. Just make sure to buy your hard-drives and what not in the big boxes (IE, compUSA, Fry's, Best Buy)
  • Reply 15 of 17
    Check Mac Prices They track retailers prices on all shipping Macs and any last generation or refurbished machines still around. Some retailers have good ram/printer bundles. I just ordered an iBook last week direct from the Apple Store for Education; cheaper, build to order, and free shipping. Sales tax wasn't too bad (about fifty dollars).





    -imago dei
  • Reply 16 of 17
    zozo Posts: 3,115member
    buy now



    Apple also has refurb sections...



    IN UK and France its every wednesday at 11am
  • Reply 17 of 17
    Quote:

    kraig911

    personally I'd buy from a local small shop in your area, I take all my service, and new computer purchases when I can to a small place. They charge whatever apple is charging, but building a relationship with someone in the community is a great thing.



    I, too, do all my purchasing from my local Apple Specialist. Prices are comparable, tho sometimes it pays to do one's homework online first just to keep them honest, but the best deal is that they are my advocate with Apple whenever any problems arise. And, they will customize work for my situation in ways that my local Apple store is not allowed to do.
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