Apple or Retail store???

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by absolut_mac, Dec 21, 2003.

  1. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a

    absolut_mac

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #1
    Okay all you Mac shopping experts, your sage advice is desperately needed for my first Mac purchase.

    I intend to buy an iBook for my daughter's 15th birthday sometime after the first week in January ;) I still haven't decided whether to get the 12" or the 14" one yet, but either way, your help and advice is needed.

    Because my wife works for a school I can get the educational discount. In order to afford both the Apple Care and some software for her, I will probably be using Apple financing.

    So, here are my options and which one is my best bet overall?

    1) The Apple store, and if so, online or the one at the local mall? (My local Apple store is the one on Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica)

    2) Retail store? Can I get the eductaional discount at my local retail store? The one that I like is Unitek, also in Santa Monica - www.eunitek.com - as they usually take care of the sales tax, a huge 8.25% discount right off the bat.

    All comments and advice is greatly appreciated :)

    TIA Gary.

    Happy Holidays to you all!
     
  2. voicegy macrumors 65816

    voicegy

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Location:
    Sandy Eggo - MacRumors Member since 1-1-2002
    #2
    Call the local retail store in question and ask if they accept an education discount. (my guess would be no). Factor in the "discount" they give by paying the sales tax, and write down that amount.

    Call the Apple store in Santa Monica and price out the machine(s) you're thinking of getting, and mention you're (actually, your wife) is eligible for an edcuation discount. Write down that amount.

    Compare.

    Of note: Apple financing, as with all financing, will make one actually pay MORE over the long run, obviously.
     
  3. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #3
    retailers will go out of there way to do lots of things for you, you said it yourself with the tax. they will not be able to match the ed price, but it seems like with the their tax deal that that is pretty good. its up to you.

    iJon
     
  4. pinto32 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Location:
    PA
    #4
    Most resellers don't give an education discount, but maybe you will get lucky. The Apple Education Discount is 10% to 15%, so unless you are getting some freebies like extra memory or something from the retail store, its probably a little cheaper to get it direct drom Apple (assuming you can't get an education discount from the reseller). Also, you have up to a year to purchase Apple Care (although the basic phone support ends after 90 days), so if possible you might want to forgo the Apple financing, as it is generally a bit of a ripoff.
     
  5. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #5
    he wont be lucky, they dont give it cause they cant.

    iJon
     
  6. CmdrLaForge macrumors 68040

    CmdrLaForge

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Location:
    around the world
    #6
    Yep - I guess that is the best way. Just ask both for the price and then compare. Thats the best way.
     
  7. gemio17 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    Location:
    NYC
    #7
    I would seriously consider buying it online and customizing it (def. go for 60 gb hd and at least the 384 memory-I am looking at the 14" 933mhz- which you can't do at the brick&mortar store) so that she can continue to use it for college and you won't have to add a new computer to the list of "stuff" she needs in two or three years. If you just get the base model, in three years it would be more obsolete and more expensive to upgrade (not to mention confusing and annoying) than souping it up from the get-go. (I've been dealing with the same exact situation.) Another thing is that you do have up to a year after you purchase the computer to purchase applecare-if you want to spread the cost out a little- you can use the edu discount to purchase applecare separately, no matter when you buy it it will only last two years after the original warranty runs out...
     
  8. voicegy macrumors 65816

    voicegy

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Location:
    Sandy Eggo - MacRumors Member since 1-1-2002
    #8
    Damn good suggestion, gemio17. Yes, by all means absolut_mac (and I'm WAY jealous of your name..well done!) gemio17 spouts major wisdom there. Take that into account while you're price comparing, if you can afford up front the upgrades.
     
  9. absolut_mac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    absolut_mac

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #9
    THANKS!!

    (Thanks to Absolut Vodka for that one :))

    Thanks a lot for your helpful input and advice.

    Normally, I'm a reasonably astute shopper, but one's options are greatly limited in Apple's case due to their tight control of their products and dealers.

    I plan on purchasing about the middle of January, so I'll let you know which option works out best for me.

    By the way, for those that are interested, Apple financing for eductional purchases is around 10% currently, but the APR is NOT fixed, so can be changed at any time :(

    Enjoy the Holidays, Gary :)
     
  10. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #10
    absolut_mac, your daughter is very lucky to have a father willing to buy her an iBook. If you purchase at your local Apple Store, then you will easily be able to get all your questions answered. Our local Apple Store accepts educational discounts. You will just need your wife's ID card. Good luck with your purchase. Your timing is on track because of the Keynote Address by Steve Jobs on Tuesday January 6th. That way if there are any updates, you won't miss out. ;)
     
  11. gemio17 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    Location:
    NYC
    #11
    Thanks for the compliment voicegy-I speak of experience after making my rookie mistake right out of college-bought a base iMac and really regretted it later when I finally realized what I wanted to do with a computer (I'm a photographer, so imaging and web design, etc.) and only had the basics, there have been so many advances in the last 3 yrs. that my iMac was obsolete before I even realized 128mb of ram and a 10 gb hard drive suck. Thank God I smartened up and started to learn a little something more about computers besides the fact that macs are so aesthetically pleasing..Alas, pb here I come....

    Another thing absolut_mac-along with my rookie mistake of buying the base model I too did apple financing (the regular not the edu)- if you have to use it, try pay it off as soon as possible - my apr went from the mid teens up to 24% after a couple months!!! (no reason given by MBNA for that one, tricky tricky ) :mad: So I got a new credit card and switched over my balance from MBNA to the CC-I don't know how the edu financing works, but that was my experience with them and my $.02!!
     

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