Apple Store offering price matching for business customers

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by macnews, Aug 12, 2004.

  1. macnews macrumors 6502a

    macnews

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Location:
    Idaho
    #1
    Think Secret posted this story and I just had to comment on it:

    http://www.thinksecret.com/news/pricematching.html

    "...The program is being met with dismay by many resellers, who view the move as another attempt by the company to turn dealer business into direct business. "It's a channel killer," one dealer said. The plan is also reflective of Apple's strategy of aggressively courting direct business sales."

    If I were an Apple reseller I would be worried and probably bitching as well, however, why shouldn't Apple do this? As I have seen the computer industry change, people no longer go to little stores to buy their computers. They buy them from larger retailers (Dell, Walmart, HP, Gateway, Costco, etc.) for the MOST part. Sure, some small PC stores do fine selling PCs, but I venture to guess most PCs are sold at the larger stores. Why do people do this? First is probably ease of mind knowing they can easily return the computer to they place they bought it if it goes bad OR at least bitch to someone about it "not working as expected" even if that store CAN'T fix it. This stems from the early days of computing (say early to mid 90's) before a computer could be bought almost anywhere. You would buy a computer and a year or two later that business may no longer exist. The business wasn't crooked, they just couldn't make it in the long run, thus the desire to buy from a place like Dell or Walmart where you know they will be around in 5 years.

    With Apple pushing its retail stores I see this as better filling the consumers needs. Sure, a smaller retailer is selling an Apple product and Apple will be around (most likely) for 5 years but it goes to the mind set of buying from an "Apple store" vs "Joe's Mac shop". This is very difficult to deal with but NOT Apple's fault.

    Lastly, what did these stores think was going to happen with the internet becoming much larger and online buying being more popular? In my opinion, they haven't changed much. What is Apple supposed to do, stop selling on it's store? Not every city or town has an Apple reseller and the online store is the only way some people can get Apple products, well either that or something like through a mac catalog. This is in stark contrast to PC availability. In my home town of under 10,000 people there has been, since 1987 AT LEAST, one PC store in town. Never a mac store though, even in the 80's!

    Now, I don't want to get down on the small Apple resellers, although it may seem like I have been. All I am saying is Apple is doing what is best for Apple, should we really expect anything different? Sadly, it might also be a fact many of these smaller stores may no longer exist. Much like Walmart closed out many smaller mom and pop stores, the Best Buy's and CompUSA's might make the smaller mac resellers go out of business. I know there are a lot of issuses/rumors about Apple going back on deals/agreements with resellers. I think the crux of the problem lies with the slow demise of smaller resellers IN GENERAL (windows or mac) and going to the box retail stores.

    I'm sure I am going to get flammed for this so let it begin. I am just calling it like I see it.
     
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #2
    No flames here. That's business. If Apple thinks it'll sell more systems that way, then that's what it will do. Still, I don't quite get it. Apple surely won't make a ton more money doing that as opposed to selling to the reseller, and they will eventually drive the reseller out of business. Then Apple's exposure will be less. Which, it would seem, wouldn't be good for them. On the other hand, once the resellers are all gone, Apple can jack up prices even more. Not good for us.
     
  3. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Bamboo Forest
    #3
    I don't see it as a huge problem. They're price matching but unfortunately the cheapest I've ever seen a Mac is for $5 less than what Apple has it in their online store. I guess if you're buying a ton of units it could make a difference but... yeah.
     
  4. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #4
    yes it can be bad but i don't find it a threat. for one reason, apple has taken education market away from resellers long ago, they still have survived. also, businesses like working with people they can talk to personally, have somone come to their workplace or headquarters and fix computers, deliever computers, sit down and talk about possibly purchases and optoins, and associate with them on a personal level. some people probably don't understand how much of an asset that is to many companies. the only resellers who aren't surviving are the one's in big towns and have apple stores next to them. that store may be doing well, but with the retail stores next to them there is just no competetion.
     
  5. FightTheFuture macrumors 6502a

    FightTheFuture

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Location:
    that town east of ann arbor
    #5
    price matching happens all the time in retail. circuit city will match a lower price after you purchased, EB games will match best buys price. it doesn't appear to be hurting anyone actually. whenever i plan to buy major electronics, i'll check price grabber - and then i'll call cdw to see if they can match that price. if your a smart shopper, you'll exhaust all options if you can. its not as if we have to buy from the apple store. we can always tell macconnection or macmall that its greener on the other side. maybe they'll beat the apple store. or throw in a free shipping goodie. this will ultimately be better for the consumer.
     

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