Apple Store vs. Apple.com

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by afro4president, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. afro4president macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    #1
    This weekend I will be purchasing a macbook with RAM and Hard Drive upgrades. I am a college student so I will be using the education discount, but my question is, is it better to purchase a computer online or at a store?
     
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    Jul 17, 2005
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    5045 feet above sea level
    #2
    how would it make a difference. online you can custum configure though
     
  3. valdore macrumors 65816

    valdore

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Location:
    Kansas City, Missouri. USA
    #3
    Custom configs are probably easier with ordering online. Someone correct me if I'm wrong though please.
     
  4. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    Clemson, SC
    #4
    The only difference between ordering online and in store is the wait time. Shipping is free, so there's no "extra" cost.

    Ordering BTO (ie: upping the HD and RAM) is typically done online, however. Sometimes your local Apple store can do some upgrades on the spot, but mostly they just carry and sell stock machines. I think you'd be able to get the RAM done in store, but the HD is a lot more tricky, so most likely you'll have to do that online. I'd call your local store in advance, though, just to be sure.
     
  5. astarling06 macrumors regular

    astarling06

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    Nov 9, 2006
    Location:
    Manhattan, KS
    #5
    apple store vs. apple.com

    I say check out your student union computer store if you have one and if they carry Mac products. I just got a MBP 15.4 refurb for $899. The guy(student I'm sure) said they got them directly from Apple. It is a Core Duo but it does more than enough for me and at a ridiculous price, I couldn't pass it up! The price gave me the chance to upgrade the ram (add 1GB) and buy an external HDD.
     
  6. pianoman macrumors 68000

    pianoman

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    #6
    there are costs associated with upgrading in-store. not service fees, but additional costs. here's an example:

    when you upgrade RAM online, Apple keeps the RAM they take out and puts in the RAM you want, not charging you for the RAM you're not using (the stock RAM). when you upgrade RAM in the store, the store does not keep the RAM, so you're forced to buy two sets of RAM (the stock RAM + the RAM you put in). this cost can be as much as hundreds of dollars, depending on the upgrade.

    your best bet is to order online.
     
  7. DMBGuru macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    #7
    I was in this exact situation yesterday, discount and all. I went to the Apple Store and asked to buy a macbook with upgraded ram. They said that you had to buy the macbook, and then the of ram, which could cost up to $300 more. I ended up buying it online *at* the store and buying the applecare in the store because it helped out my salesman who needed some points or something.

    Anyway, I purchased it yesterday with upgraded ram, and it's already been given to FedEx, I should be getting it on Saturday. Now that's FAST!

    I dropped another $190 today on a Tom Bihn sleeve and Crumpler bag to carry my lovely new 'book in, and I unfortunately can't take my lappy to school until I have the bags... so wait I must!

    Yeah, order it online, whether at home or in the store, it's cheaper.
     
  8. /"\/oo\/"\ macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    #8
    Apple stores can't do hard drive upgrades on portables in store. so that should narrow it down a bit.
     
  9. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    Clemson, SC
    #9
    You can get those extra costs "waived" (for lack of better word) if you complain - they'll end up matching the online price.

    But yeah, pretty sure you can't do HD upgrades in store anyhow, so that should make the OP's decision pretty easy anyway. ;)
     
  10. Mac'Mo macrumors 6502a

    Mac'Mo

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    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    NYC
    #10
    i hrd that the store charges more for ram upgrades. online its only like 150 for 1gb+
     
  11. siurpeeman macrumors 603

    siurpeeman

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    the OC
    #11
    i completely agree with this. check your student store first. at worst, it will cost the same as apple. i usually find my student store to be much cheaper than apple's online edu discount. and $899 for a refurb mbp?? wow. that's all i gotta say.
     
  12. stevento macrumors 6502

    stevento

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #12
    when i got a macbook i got a basic white one with a step up upgrade in RAM, so i went in the store thinking they could do it in the store, but they couldn't so they i went online in the store and bought it and it took two weeks.
    if i were to do it again i'd go with a basic macbook black 1G ram and 120 HD
     
  13. Lorelai macrumors member

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    Jul 16, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #13
    Wow... I want an $899 MBP! My student store only had a couple Apple products (no refurbs). I'll have to stop by and check again!
     
  14. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    Nov 7, 2006
    Location:
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    #14
    With access to such deals I am surprised you don't own your own Applecentre already. You can get so rich reselling those on ebay.
     
  15. astarling06 macrumors regular

    astarling06

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2006
    Location:
    Manhattan, KS
    #15
    apple store vs. apple.com

    Our student union computer store has a limit on the amount of Mac products you can buy. For instance you can only buy one iPod per year. You can only buy one computer per year also (iMac, MB/MBP, or Mac Pro). It would be awesome if I could buy as many as I wanted.
     
  16. siurpeeman macrumors 603

    siurpeeman

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    Location:
    the OC
    #16
    you're allowed only one educational computer purchase per school year.
     
  17. mrmma macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Location:
    Missouri
    #17
    This is amazing timing because I'm in the process of emailing our University Apple store about the same thing. I want a macbook but want 2GB ram. This is a departmental purchase, though so it's much easier to buy through the store than online. I'll see what happens, maybe they'll cut me a deal.
     
  18. Bettstkd macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    #18
    I really wouldn't worry about the difference unless you want to have the computer TODAY. Then- the Apple Store obviously is the place.

    Upgrades- like everyone else- best to do these online.

    If you need help or want questions answered or need to play with the machine to make sure it's what you expect, the Apple Store is it.

    Otherwise... it's all the same thing. I like to have the personal touch and develop relationships with the salespeople so that when I go back they remember me and I get more questions answered and generally get a bit more personal service. The online store just doesn't allow that very well:rolleyes: .
     
  19. ShermDog macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    #19
    I'm a college professor, and I frequently make use of the education discount. The only difference I've ever noticed between the retail and online stores is how much sales tax I get charged. If I go to the Michigan Avenue store in Chicago, I pay Chicago sales tax (which is 9%) whether I use the education discount or not. But when I puchase at Apple.com using my educational discount, I get charged the sales tax rate where my college is located (a suburb of Chicago)--which is only 6.5%.
     
  20. mrmma macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Location:
    Missouri
    #20
    So it turns out that my store would "upgrade" the ram to 2GB for $170/GB and give me the extra 512MB sticks (the BTO price difference was only $152)...if I had any use for them I'd have gone for it...anyway, they do special orders and so I ordered it and they said 1-2 weeks...the same time as ordering it online.

    Need some coffee...
     

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