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View Full Version : Is it worth a premium to buy at the Apple Store?




antonchigurh
Nov 23, 2011, 09:41 AM
I am about to pull the trigger on a 13' MBA and can't decide whether it is worth a premium to buy at the Apple Store. If I purchase at Amazon the computer will be $1,550 with 2 day shipping and B&H will be $1,500. With the Black Friday sale it would be $1,500 at the Apple store, but sales tax would add $110.

Is there a compelling reason (like ease of return if there is a problem) to buy from the apple store rather than on-line?



miles01110
Nov 23, 2011, 09:43 AM
Nope.

crimton
Nov 23, 2011, 09:45 AM
I chose to buy from Amazon for no tax and free fast shipping.

antonchigurh
Nov 23, 2011, 09:49 AM
Thanks. Has Amazon included Mac products in Black Friday sales in the past?

paulrbeers
Nov 23, 2011, 09:50 AM
I choose macmall or macconnection for just about all my apple product buys (unless doing a BTO or preordering). The company I work for even gets a discount form Apple but even with the discount + tax, I end up paying more.

gnasher729
Nov 23, 2011, 10:14 AM
I am about to pull the trigger on a 13' MBA and can't decide whether it is worth a premium to buy at the Apple Store. If I purchase at Amazon the computer will be $1,550 with 2 day shipping and B&H will be $1,500. With the Black Friday sale it would be $1,500 at the Apple store, but sales tax would add $110.

Is there a compelling reason (like ease of return if there is a problem) to buy from the apple store rather than on-line?

There is no premium. You'll have to tell the taxman in your next tax declaration about the purchase and pay the tax then. Amazon isn't cheaper, they just give you an opportunity for tax fraud.

Weaselboy
Nov 23, 2011, 10:17 AM
The only two reasons I can think of going to the Apple store is the ease of return you mentioned and if someone like your mom buys a machine the Apple store is pretty good about turning it on and helping with new user setup and configuring her email etc.

Macman45
Nov 23, 2011, 10:27 AM
But I get better discount and service from Apple directly. The tax issue does not matter in the UK...We already pay high prices here.

Apple's service is second to none. People were waiting for MBP's MBA's and 4S devices long after I got mine...Free Applecare on everything too.

blevins321
Nov 23, 2011, 10:28 AM
I am about to pull the trigger on a 13' MBA and can't decide whether it is worth a premium to buy at the Apple Store. If I purchase at Amazon the computer will be $1,550 with 2 day shipping and B&H will be $1,500. With the Black Friday sale it would be $1,500 at the Apple store, but sales tax would add $110.

Is there a compelling reason (like ease of return if there is a problem) to buy from the apple store rather than on-line?

Amazon makes returns very simple. For computers, it's 30 days, no restocking fee. Only thing you pay is return shipping IF the return reason is that you don't like it. If it's defective, you don't pay a dime. I had a BR player that was defective from Amazon last year. Gave them a call, and they overnighted me a replacement with free shipping. Way it worked for me was that they charged for the replacement and just had me submit a return request online. Sent it back and 2 days later I was credited the original price.

If you're willing to wait a couple days, you can return the machine, wait for the credit, then purchase a new one. Overall, terrific experience.

johnhurley
Nov 23, 2011, 10:34 AM
Is there a compelling reason (like ease of return if there is a problem) to buy from the apple store rather than on-line?

In general one rarely runs into many problems with a new macbook air.

It is kind of nice though if one does have a problem to go into the original apple store ( or any close convenient one ) to be able to go back into the original place of purchase and with a smile ( or polite frown ) say "I bought this here" ( or I bought this at the Apple Store in SF Financial District etc ).

old-wiz
Nov 23, 2011, 10:35 AM
I would much rather deal with the local Apple store in person for a problem with a Mac rather than the hassle of calling Amazon or any other online retailer and having to spend 20 minutes trying to navigate their phone system to reach someone who can help me.

In the Apple store, you bought it there, the people will do their best to help you.

It wouldn't surprise me if the feds finally pass a law that requires all online retailers to collect tax when shipping to a state that has sales taxes.

wordoflife
Nov 23, 2011, 10:38 AM
I am about to pull the trigger on a 13' MBA and can't decide whether it is worth a premium to buy at the Apple Store. If I purchase at Amazon the computer will be $1,550 with 2 day shipping and B&H will be $1,500. With the Black Friday sale it would be $1,500 at the Apple store, but sales tax would add $110.

Is there a compelling reason (like ease of return if there is a problem) to buy from the apple store rather than on-line?

Not really. In fact, I hate buying things from the Apple Store (mine is too far, too crowded, etc).

Just buy it wherever it's cheaper.

Weaselboy
Nov 23, 2011, 11:00 AM
I would much rather deal with the local Apple store in person for a problem with a Mac rather than the hassle of calling Amazon or any other online retailer and having to spend 20 minutes trying to navigate their phone system to reach someone who can help me.

I don't know if you ever returned anything to Amazon, but it takes about 30 seconds. Go to your order page and click return (screen cap from my recent order), then type in why you are returning the item and print out a prepaid shipping label. They will even pickup the package from your house if you like. It really could not be any easier.

https://img.skitch.com/20111123-ja3e4c5g76ksemnwd6t6y3psbt.jpg

summitRun
Nov 23, 2011, 11:13 AM
Nope.

Exactly...

If you have done your research, know what you want and are fairly tech savvy there is no reason to bother with the retail scene...unless you are a mall rat or need your ego stroked by a bunch of skinny 20 somethings :rolleyes:

Amazon is the way to go...

Dunbar
Nov 23, 2011, 11:31 AM
I would much rather deal with the local Apple store in person for a problem with a Mac rather than the hassle of calling Amazon or any other online retailer and having to spend 20 minutes trying to navigate their phone system to reach someone who can help me.

This is the only reason to buy it at the Apple store, they will let you exchange it for pretty much any reason if you are dissatisfied. I don't think it's worth the 15-20% premium but if you want a perfect Macbook Air it may be worth it since you can keep exchanging them until you find the perfect specimen.

johnhurley
Nov 23, 2011, 01:27 PM
but if you want a perfect Macbook Air it may be worth it since you can keep exchanging them until you find the perfect specimen.

Oh man this is going to get ugly here ... just my prediction.

ZBoater
Nov 23, 2011, 01:35 PM
I have bought and will always buy all my Apple stuff from the Apple store. I like them a lot, so I will happily give them my money. I like the service, I like the return policies, I like the selection, and I have two Apple stores within a 45 minute drive of my house (one 15 minutes, one 45 minutes).

mobilehaathi
Nov 23, 2011, 01:38 PM
The biggest benefit to buying in the Apple store is you get your new toy NOW.

:D

Sonhascome
Nov 23, 2011, 01:54 PM
If you don't get the education discount probably not. I used my shop discover partnership with apple which gave me 5% back which essentially paid for tax, then got the education pricing and the free printer. so for me it was worth it, but it's probably not for most

antonchigurh
Nov 23, 2011, 05:59 PM
OK, thanks for the replies. Another question that I have is if I buy the MBA tonight at an Apple Store and it goes on sale, can I get the price difference refunded without going into the store?

jsolares
Nov 23, 2011, 06:04 PM
the advantage i see at the apple store is you go in you go out with your computer, whilst using the others you wait for them to ship.

Kendo
Nov 23, 2011, 06:04 PM
I bought a MacBook Air from Amazon. One of the keys didn't respond so I brought it to the Apple Store to have it looked at and they replaced it with a brand new MacBook Air. I saw the Mac Genius remove the shrink wrap off the box and just hand me the sealed MacBook Air.

It doesn't really matter where you purchase the product as long as it is an Apple product and has a serial number. Buy it from wherever it is cheapest. Apple is still getting your money because it is their computer!

Beanoir
Nov 23, 2011, 06:09 PM
No point at all. Go wherever is cheapest, the Apple store is just a shop.

Kyllle
Nov 24, 2011, 10:31 AM
Wait so if you buy it from Amazon and you want to return it just because you don't like it you can't bring it to the Apple store?

What if you return it because it's defective? Then will Apple take it?

And what about later down the road in a few months, will Apple repair it if something goes wrong (under the 1 year warranty)?

blevins321
Nov 24, 2011, 10:42 AM
Wait so if you buy it from Amazon and you want to return it just because you don't like it you can't bring it to the Apple store?

What if you return it because it's defective? Then will Apple take it?

And what about later down the road in a few months, will Apple repair it if something goes wrong (under the 1 year warranty)?

Apple will handle all warranty service. You can't return an amazon purchase to the Apple Store though. They will do warranty replacement as repair however.

Kyllle
Nov 24, 2011, 11:17 AM
Apple will handle all warranty service. You can't return an amazon purchase to the Apple Store though. They will do warranty replacement as repair however.

ah ok i see, thanks

flynz4
Nov 24, 2011, 11:23 AM
I am about to pull the trigger on a 13' MBA and can't decide whether it is worth a premium to buy at the Apple Store. If I purchase at Amazon the computer will be $1,550 with 2 day shipping and B&H will be $1,500. With the Black Friday sale it would be $1,500 at the Apple store, but sales tax would add $110.

Is there a compelling reason (like ease of return if there is a problem) to buy from the apple store rather than on-line?

Several states (including mine) do not charge sales tax. We get a lot of people who travel in from neighboring states or from Canada.

/Jim

SDColorado
Nov 24, 2011, 11:39 AM
I had to do a couple of exchanges on my MBA 13". The first one had a really weak hinge, the second a bad backlighting issue where the bottom looked really wavy. Both times the techs agreed they were bad and swapped them out with no problems. The third one has been great. In that regard it may have been easiest just dealing with the local store, so I am happy I did. I did also get business discounts on the computer, Apple Care and accessories. Not a huge discount, but it added up since I purchased 3 computers at the time.

ctyhntr
Nov 24, 2011, 11:49 AM
You can tack on the one on one program for $99 when you buy a new computer from Apple. You can't get this from any other retailers or when you buy refurb.

http://www.apple.com/retail/onetoone/

I recently started playing around with Final Cut Pro X, and found out that Apple has alot of one-on-one workshop scheduled for Final Cut Pro X, and iMovie 11. So, for my next computer I would buy it at the Apple Store so I can add the the one-on-one membership.

Internaut
Nov 24, 2011, 12:07 PM
Same prices as the Mac Store and they were clear that they only sold the latest. They were able to sell me the MBA, process the Apple Care on the spot and they did something the Apple Store won't do; freebies:

- A free padded sleeve for it
- A three desk license for MS Office for the price of the one desk license I'd ordered (so Office on both my Macs :))
- Subscription to their own cloud service*.

Since I bought Apple Care, I expect any Apple Store I walk into to provide assistance for any issues.

* Though I don't have a clue if that is any good.

old-wiz
Nov 24, 2011, 01:19 PM
Apple will handle all warranty service. You can't return an amazon purchase to the Apple Store though. They will do warranty replacement as repair however.

Exactly why I purchased from Apple instead of Amazon or MacConnection or the others.