Is there an advantage to buying Amazon, Bestbuy (Non-Apple Stores)?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by pmcneil, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2011
    I'm in the market for a 13" Macbook Pro Retina Display, I'm just wondering if there is any advantage to buying from the Apple store/site in terms of Warranty, AppleCare etc..

    I'm a college student so I get the educational discount, the model I'm looking at is the base 13" Macbook Pro with Retina Display, 128GB Flash Storage.

    On my total with tax and my educational discount is:


    On Amazon, due to no tax I could potentially get the same model, with 256GB Storage for about the same price:


    I'm just wondering if I go with an amazon purchase that would be cheaper than straight from apple, would I be eligible for the same coverage by Apple, etc as if I did buy it from Apple? I would buy Apple Care from where ever I can find it cheapest.

  2. macrumors G5


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Coverage for warranty is the same. Regardless which vendor sold it to you.
  3. macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2012
  4. macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2004
    The advantage to non-apple stores is finding one that doesn't charge sales tax. Amazon in most states doesn't, and if you live in one that does you can always look at expircom or abt. As far as AppleCare goes you can save a bundle buying it from lacomputercompany - just go to their website and search for it. Instead of $350 for applecare on a 15" retina macbook pro I bought it from them for $235. The 13" applecare is only $167.
  5. macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    Provided the vendor is authorized by Apple, which Amazon, Best Buy, and MicroCenter are (among others). ;)
  6. macrumors 68000


    Jan 21, 2008
    Melbourne, FL
    I bought my rNBP from Amazon to save sales tax--Florida has sales tax but has not yet jumped on the bandwagon to aggressively pursue sales tax from online merchants.
  7. macrumors 68000

    Jan 27, 2007
    If you want to buy from someone other than apple, the choice of retailer does matter, aside from the best price. Apple assigns special serial numbers to machines sold by retailers like Best Buy, but Amazon sells machines with normal Apple serial numbers.

    Does this matter?

    If the machine comes and is perfect out of the box, then no. It is the same machine no matter where you buy it. The serial number is just a tracking code for Apple. But if the machine arrives with a defect or DOA, then the serial number DOES matter. If you bought from Best Buy, you can't walk into an Apple store and exchange it for a new one. You must deal with Best Buy.

    Since Amazon sells machines with serial numbers identical to those sold by Apple, you CAN walk into an Apple store and get a brand new replacement right there without having to deal with warranties or repairs. Oh, the lower level geniuses will hassle you about not having an Apple receipt, but just ask to speak to the manager and they'll help you out. I've unfortunately had to do this 2x before on totally different macbook purchases.
  8. pmcneil, Apr 1, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013

    thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2011
    Thanks for that site! B&H seems to be the best posted price.

    The reviews from B&H seem to be solid, are they a good alternative to Apple Store?

    Thanks for all the replies, very helpful.


    Base rMBP , With Applecare + lojack for laptops (free) from B&H:

    Total : $1,566.00

    lojack for laptops seems like the software that interests me the most. I dont do any photo editing and I'm not sure if Parallels interests me much. However, I would be interested in hearing any free software suggestions?
  9. macrumors member


    Feb 26, 2010
    New York
    The selection of merchandise at B&H is extensive. I live in New York. It's a large store, and the place is always on my list when I want to check out a variety of similar products, and to look at and get my hands on any one product before purchase. Management of the store from sales staff to purchasing is impressive. I don't need to purchase things online, but I have no doubt this department is up to par.
  10. Guest


    Sep 19, 2011
    Ohio, United States
    Well, you could sign up for an Amazon credit card with the purchase, then you could get money off the purchase, and get the points, which will further your discount.

    Just pay it off immediately, and you're setting pretty good.
  11. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2011
    Thanks for your reply!
  12. macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Care to provide proof of this? A quick googling found nothing even remotely mentioning this about Apple products. I'm not saying it isn't true, but I am questioning why Best buy but not Amazon.... In the end a reseller is a reseller isn't it?
  13. macrumors 6502

    Feb 20, 2008
    The advantage is obvious.


    Resellers are able to skirt map pricing. I.e. best buy and micro center ads that show the msrp price on an apple item then have save $xxx right below it. Best buy for example also has a rewards program, and on occasion has bonus days. During the christmas season Wednesdays were 3x points.

    Last fall bh photo was selling rmbps at less than msrp, with discounted apple care available and free parallels. Not a bad deal.

    Chances are the only discount you'll get in an apple store is academic.
  14. macrumors newbie

    Jun 7, 2012
    If you have a Discover Card see if any merchant you are looking at accepts ShopDiscover. Apple does for most (but not all) products which is worth 5% cash back. Last year on a Macbook Air I combined the academic discount with the 5% from Shop Discover and the 5% cash back for online shopping for a nice savings and 10% back.
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2008
    Rochester Hills, MI

    There is no proof because that post is 100% false.


    You're spreading complete BS. You can walk into an Apple store with any machine still under warranty and get it fixed / replaced for any reason as long as it is covered under warranty terms. They don't care if the laptop was stolen found on the side of the road given to you by a llama or bought at best buy.
  16. macrumors 68020

    Dec 13, 2012
    Southern California
    I've never heard of such nonsense as a special serial number.

    However there is a chop shop in LA that will happily sell you a salvaged Lexus with the VIN numbers ground off.

    While their cars are stolen, the prices are great :)
  17. macrumors regular


    Mar 17, 2007
    The thing I have run into a proble with is warrantee coverage. I bought an iPod from amazon and right around the one year mark the battery was shot and needed to be fixed. However, since I bought it from amazon, it went off the date it went to amazon which was a couple months before I bought it. I probably could have argued it or talked with amazon but I didn't make the effort and just replaced it myself.
  18. macrumors 6502

    Nov 12, 2012
    I am going to guess that is less of an issue if you go somewhere you can customise a mac order and do so. It is not like a reseller can keep all possible variations of the products in their warehouse. They probably will not sit on it either as the sooner they ship it to you the sooner they can charge your card and free up the space it was using in their shipping facility.
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2008
    Rochester Hills, MI
    You can submit a validated warranty date, requires a fax or scan of the original receipt to Apple and they will adjust accordingly
  20. macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009

    I was 99% sure it was completely false, but I gave him the opportunity to prove otherwise. There's a lot of FUD out there. Just another example I guess!
  21. macrumors G5


    Nov 25, 2005
    Remember that buying at Amazon is not tax free. It only means that the seller doesn't ask you to pay the tax and sends it to the IRS, you'll have to do that yourself. Buying at Amazon and not paying the tax is tax evasion. Whether you get caught or not is another question, but you should know what you are doing.
  22. macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    Sales taxes are handled at the local/state level, not by the feds.
  23. macrumors 68030

    Mr. McMac

    Dec 21, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    I wonder how many people get caught.. Seriously, do you know anyone who pays the uncollected tax?
  24. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2011

    Anyway, thanks for all the helpful input. I ordered from B&H

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