discount options in the uk (where is the refurb stock?)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by nickane, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. nickane macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    #1
    I am a student hoping to get a powerbook as my first computer. I'm not a switcher in the strictest sense, but I know far less about macs than about wintel, and i was wondering what were my options when it comes to buying stuff on the cheap. i've been awarded a disability allowance for £800 for a laptop owing to an eyesight condition, and i want to spend it as wisely as possible, altho i can add to it as much as is necessary i would not want to spend much more than a grand all told. The laptop must be bought from a retailer for the purposes of the grant, and so altho i think refurb and ex-demo models will be ok, i cannot buy 2nd hand. I will mainly be using the laptop for learning to use FCP, but there's a ton of other professional programs i'd wanna try and get to grips with, NTM the typical array of videos and music I'd need to store.

    My plan was to hit the refurb shop, ideally picking up a 15in sd model, pref the latest as i need bt and airport anyways. I guess i could get an ibook, but by the time i expand the ram and get all the add-ons that do what i need from a pb, I'd probably end up spending as much but having as accessories what could be built in. Unfortunately, I've been on the uk refurb shop 2 weeks now, and there's been no laptops at all. In fact, I've gone there most wed. afternoons this term, and its rare there's any mention of laptops even with 'sold out' next to them, so presumably there weren't any at 10 either. I've only been there at 10 last week, however, so perhaps they delete sold-out items from the page throughout the day and i just got there way too late.

    I read somewhere about a student developers program in the US, where u can get equipment at good prices, which sounds fine, as software development is an area which interests me (never got that far with it, not owning a computer and all - OPL on a Psion 5, anyone?) almost as much as discounts do.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? I really just wanna get something i can sell on for a g5 without too much depreciation (am i right in thinking that g5/g4. If the refurb shop would just put up a couple of powerbooks i'd be a much happier man, but if there's still nothing a week this wednesday i will give up and buy a new 12in sd with student discount, but fcp on a 12in sounds like a nightmare.

    apologies for the longevity, thanks for bearing with me.
     
  2. stevehaslip macrumors 6502a

    stevehaslip

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Location:
    The Ocean Floor
    #2
    You say you are a student, if you are at a uni in the UK apple give not the normal 9% but 12% off purchases. But you have to place the order from within the college network.

    I bought a refurb powerbook about a year ago now i spose, its patience thats all it is. I didn't have the cash for a new one so I knew i would have to wait so i looked early and althogh some of the others looks very tempting i waited til i got the 12" i wanted. It was worth it too. Yes sometimes there aren't many models to choose from but thats the way it goes, the UK is a small market compared to the US. To answer your other question i think that they keep everything that they have or had on show just without the buy option once its been bought. So if there haven't been any powerbooks for a while then i'm sure that there will be soon.

    I would stay away from ex demo models as they could have been on for days straight, my refurb was flawless when i got it and it still is. I recommend holding off til what you want comes around at the refurb store. I wouldn't buy refurbs from places like cancom as they don't always have the full 1 year waranty that apple puts on theirs. I think cancom offer 3 months which is crap.

    Just try and wait, it will make it all the sweeter when you get it. Be there every wednesday at quarter to 10 refreshing your apple store page and enter all your details in beforehand to ensure that no-one beats you to the punch. Once you order you have 24 hours to opt out if you choose.
     
  3. raeble Guest

    #3
    I've been watching the refurb shop for a while and I've yet to see a 15 inch powerbook for under a grand. Of course it could have been posted while I wasn't looking... The most they knock off the refurb powerbooks seems to be about 40% but those usually aren't the latest ones, they are like the 1ghz ones.

    Does it need to be a laptop? The last couple of weeks that they've had stuff it has been the powermac g5 beasties, quite a few of them have come in at under a grand when you take in the discount. I've seen some powermacs with 55% off. They are going to be much faster than the powerbook anyway.
     
  4. stevehaslip macrumors 6502a

    stevehaslip

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Location:
    The Ocean Floor
    #4
    I've seen a 1.25ghz 15" Powerbook for £900 about 3 months ago. It is possible to get what you want, it just depends how patient you can be?
     
  5. nickane thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    #5
    cheers guys, I guess I'll just have to keep checking. i didn't realise they sold such old models, I thought anything older than rev. c would not get returned to apple so late in the day, what with warranties etc. Didn't know about that 12% student discount either, but i'm not sure i can get uni to order it for me, as the laptop they recommended was a toshiba, and they said if i wanted something else i had to get it myself and have them reimburse me, so I dunno (or do you simply mean order it off one of the uni computers?). I've thought about asking if I can get a desktop, but I'd need an imac, as I could never get a PM & screen on the train, besides those dual 1.8s have only been going for 25% off, which would leave me broke with no monitor. I guess I can wait a few weeks, but eventually I'm gonna have to buy something as I need a computer, and i'm worried that the allowance might run out. I read in the brochure that if you're close enough to the end of uni, they make you rent a laptop instead, and I only have another year to go.

    Also, and I know i may be pushing my luck here, but does anyone know if its possible to get a student discount on a refurb product?
     
  6. raeble Guest

    #6
    I haven't noticed a student discount on refurb products. If you access the online store from your university - make sure you go to the educational section, you will see the discounts. The discount is bigger than accessing from your home computer. The laptop is still going to be about £1300.

    I did go into one mac reseller and they told my mother I could get an ibook with no-vat if I produced a letter from the uni stating that I was a student - this is a bigger discount than the online store. I think it was KRSC or whatever they are called. This could just have been the salesman talking rubbish.
     
  7. deebster macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Location:
    Olde Englande
    #7
    I know you said the grant was for a laptop, but you also mentioned having considered an iMac, so I was wondering why you haven't considered a Mac Mini?

    For 800 quid you could have a nice Mini with a monitor, keyboard, mouse left at both your home and at Uni. Then you could just carry the Mini to and fro.

    OK, it's not a laptop, so you couldn't use it on the train or bus, but then isn't that what iPods are for? :D

    Failing that maybe a 12" iBook at student discount price, plus the monitor you (tell the Uni that you) need to up the screen size to something more easily viewable?

    Interesting dilemma you have though. I'll be interested to see what you decide on in the end so please keep us posted.
     
  8. MemphisSoulStew macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    You could try Cancom, who are the only Apple-approved UK seller of refurb Macs.

    A quote from their website:
    They don't have any laptops on their refurb page at the moment, but it may be worth getting in touch with them to see if they are likely to get any.
     
  9. stevehaslip macrumors 6502a

    stevehaslip

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Location:
    The Ocean Floor
    #9
    I mentioned cancom earlier, last time i checked they don't offer the full 1 year warranty on "cancom refurbs" but they do sell "apple refurbs".

    But don't bother anyway because they always seem to try and ask for more money than its worth. For instance when the iBook G4 came out, you could get the last iBook G3 for £50 less than a brand new one, why would anyone do that?

    Also to clear it up you can't get an edu discount on a refurb. Its a big no no. And yes the 12% i think is only through unis linked with apple. But its worth a try, just go to a uni computer and try to access the uni edu store.

    You're talking about spending alot of money, whether it be yours or your unis (if they reimburse you) I wouldn't go rushing in and getting something that you aren't gonna be TOTALLY satisfied with for some time as no one knows when g5s/dual core g4s will be released.

    Either wait, be patient
    or...
    Buy now but (under no circumstances) complain in a month/a week/a day that you didn't get what you wanted/got a raw deal.

    If it were me, I'd be patient. I know that the wednesday after i drop a load of cash on something that was a 2nd choice, my first choice would be in the refurb store for much cheaper.
    Either way let us know how you get on! :)
     
  10. MemphisSoulStew macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    Ah, didn't spot that.
     
  11. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    cancom suck for refurbs, they are barely cheaper, wait for a powerbook on the refurb site, and be there a 10
     
  12. lsfz88 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    #12
    You can either go to the Apple education store website (with the bigger discount for unis) by going on the site through uni computers or thru nusonline.co.uk (you have to register and have a password, but that's not a prob) and can access from home. I recently bought a 12" PB 1.5 GHz, 512 ram from them for £902.40. So maybe you could add the extra £100 and get that.
    You can also phone them on : 0800 039 1010 and then they'll ask you questions and tell you to email a scanned pic of your uni ID card, or a letter the uni have sent you. I'm pretty happy with my PB! :)
    hope this helps! and good luck with studies
     
  13. nickane thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    #13
    I had already seen and sussed out cancom, and they are indeed wank. i didn't even notice the warranty, that's just not good value by any stretch. I tried looking online at uni and they do 14% which leaves me with a 15in sd at £1358 but its still too much, I can bring that down by sacrificing the processor and getting the 15in combo (graphics card expansion not an issue) but i'd still have to get a sd installed (£86 edu) so its still £500. My hope was to buy refurb so I could sell up and get a rev.a/b g5. I'm working on the assumption that when all macs go g5, i'll need a g5, especially if i'm editing video. pismos etc. may had their longevity, but when all mac soft is designed for a 64-bit platform accessing a 64-bit chip, g4s are gonna get pretty redundant much quicker than their predecessors, surely? My friend who told me about the refurb shop said he gets a new pb every year and has only ever lost £100 at it, so my plan was to perpetuate the grant for as long as possible. to be honest, they might not even pay out if they see refurb on the invoice, but i'll be in a much better position to get it once i've irreversibly bought the laptop, so i'll wait til then. As for a 12in, it just wouldn't meet my needs i fear (screen real estate, graphics card etc). I'm pretty much convinced that come june 30th, tiger and g5 powerbooks will make however much I add to the grant look like wasted money, so I guess I'm looking for some way to invest that £800 in a laptop I can later sell on without losing too much. Which is a pretty ridiculous expectation from a product so prone to depreciation.

    I think I better ask my LEA if the grant can be applied to desktops, my mate just got a 20in imac. Computers just weren't meant to look that cool.
     

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