Where to buy a Mac?
Want to buy that shiny new Macbook? It seems that everyone is buying a Mac today.
Macs are definitely more expensive than an equivalent PC. Altough prices are fairly uniform, there are ways to pay less than other people.
Here is a review of what your purchasing options are.
- Premium: For those with money to burn and want the full Apple experience, go to the Apple store. This is good if you’re not sure what you want. You get your own personal (hopefully not annoying) Apple employee to help you out. You can spend as much time as you want. The best part is that you get to take your prize home right away.
- Bargain: If you know exactly what you want and can wait a short time for shipping, then this is the best option. Not only can you save on sales tax, but you can often get cash rebates or bundles that aren’t usually available at Apple. The most popular places for this are Amazon, MacMall, NewEgg and MacConnection. Remember, these are Apple Resellers so all warranties apply. Any problems and you can take it to the Apple store just as if you bought it there.
- Refurbished: Excellent option. You will pay sales tax, but there is usually a significant discount. I’ve bought 4 Macs this way and they all look brand new. Warranty is exactly the same as if you bought brand new. Unfortunately, the Apple experience is degraded since it comes in a generic brown box rather than the fancy Apple packaging. Tip: the popular, great discounts often sell out quickly here but are replenished early in the morning. So check early in the day rather than later.
- Student: Students can qualify for small discounts at the Apple Store for Education. I don’t find this a good option because sales tax often wipe out the discounts. You might as well buy it at Amazonor MacMall.
- Student Developer: If you are in college and have taken a CS course (which they may or may not verify), you qualify for a 1-time (per lifetime) 20% discount for any Mac and monitor. The catch is that you have to pay a $99 Student Developer Fee. Good if you are buying a more expensive Mac.
- Used: For the true bargain hunters, this is the way to go. Your options are Ebay or Craigslist. Great potential but high risk. Although you might get the best bargain this way, you are increasing your risk of fraud (and potential headaches). Be wary!
Random tip: If you can wait for new models to be released, old models will be discounted
Other tips to save on Amazon
- Use 5% discount trick
- Get the Amazon Visa Credit Card, currently giving 6% back as an Amazon rebate (i.e. $2000 purchase nets you $120 credit)
Check out online options below: