Apple Store Rip Offs?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by dotdotdot, Feb 21, 2005.

  1. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

    Jan 23, 2005
    I went to the Apple store tonight and realized something - they rip people off big time. Not money wise, but in the sence that they make you buy things you don't need.

    FOR EXAMPLE, a future switcher walked in, decided on a Mac mini, and then asked the guy do I NEED anything, as I can't spend that much money today? They said he needs Virex, he needs an Apple keyboard and mouse, and he should get speakers they sell there. I was next to him on the G5 PMs. He walked out with speakers, keyboard, mouse, mac mini, and is most likely going to buy a .Mac membership.

    Why do they do this? I know all PC resellers do this, but Apple is supposed to be the light side.

    I don't want to get ripped off if I get a PowerBook, as my dad has no idea about Apple computers...
  2. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    From having worked there previously, I can attest to this.

    The Apple Stores are nothing more than glorified retail.

    I like them just as much as the next guy, but if you get involved with a "Mac Specialist" and know little or nothing about computers, you're likely to spend a lot more than you wanted to. Just as sleazy as the rest of retail!

    dotdotdot, I would spend time here and learn the ropes before you make your purchase.
  3. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    I don't think we can be too disappointed or surprised that Apple is out to make money.
  4. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    And you don't get the upsell every time you go into McDonald's...

    Try ordering a double, they'll try to sell you frys and a drink.


    Everybody tries to sell you much more crap than you really wanted to buy.

    Except in retail electronics, the equivalent of the frys and a drink is usually the "extras" and an extended warranty.

    I don't like using credit cards or checks any more -- find it's much easier to control purchases by using cash and leaving the ATM card at home.
  5. Cybernanga macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2004
    Essex, United Kingdom
    They are sales staff after all, it's in their blood.
  6. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    Some do this, some don't. They don't get paid on commission, BTW. But it depends on who you talk to how much they push a sale.
  7. vtprinz macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2004
    Though I can't speak for Apple directly, a lot of retail stores push this sort of behavior on their employees. It's not a matter of the salesperson ripping you off on things you don't really need, it's more a matter of the salesperson doing what they're told.

    Many retail stores, especially those that sell expensive items, with a lot of possible add-ons, will record each employee's sales. it wouldn't be unheard of for an employee to get a visit from their DM if they haven't been selling any add-ons, whether they're necessary or not.

    Again, whether apple retail stores are like this I don't know. But it does happen.
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    No offense, but the point of retail is to sell products. Now, if the salesperson is being dishonest in his/her attempts to up-sell that is one thing. But suggesting accessories, or other complementing products, is part of their job and as consumers you should be aware of that. If anyone walks into a store all dow-eyed and buys a bunch of stuff they didn't need merely because it was offered to them that's their own fault. Retail employees aren't there to be your friend, they are their to sell their company's products.

    Just because Apple Store employees aren't on commission doesn't mean they don't have other incentives to sell. If a single employee, or a shift, or store as a whole isn't meeting sales goals there will consequences (including termination). And on the flip side their are usually incentives to being the highest selling employee, shift, or store.

    Just curious, what kind of computer (PC) did the switcher have?

  9. bhibbert macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2005
    There's nothing wrong with the AppleStore

    At the end of the day we are all looking at this as bad behaviour because we are educated Mac users. We are at this forum, which means we do our research.

    Anyone that buys anything retail without doing their research first is wide open to suggestion and paying more. At least Apple are reasonably fair with their prices. You will not pay too much more at an AppleStore vs any other retailer online or off. If you were buying hifi equipment or consumer electronics you could be paying 30 - 50% more at retail! In this case sounds to me like the add-ons were reasonable and nothing unfair really happened.

    Here's another example. A guy in an AppleStore near my home just after MacWorld. Trying to decide whether to buy a Powerbook or not and asking questions about whether iDVD and iMovie would run on it. Should the sales assistant have told him that in three days he would have got iLife 05 included for free or should they have sold him there and then with iLife 04? My view, if the customer is so lazy that they will not do any research at all.... good luck to the sales assistant. Oh by the way, Apple had the customers back anyway, a $19 upgrade fee would have provided iLife 05 anyway.
  10. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816


    Dec 16, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
    That's true, but I'd be the first person to argue that us Mac types (as a general rule) are a different breed of customer than your average Joe Sixpack.

    Example - I was recently in the market for a new pair of bowling shoes, instead of going online to shop, I went to my local pro shop. The guy in charge and I know don't know each other very well. Long story short, he didn't try to sell me the most expensive pair, but instead what would best serve my needs. End result - when it's time for me to get a new ball and spend a whole pile of money, that guy will get my business.

    If you build a good rapport with your customers, they're more likely to come back when they need to buy more.
  11. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    i work in sales, and trust me i doubt apple is pushing anything on its employees to sell besides .mac and applecare, those are what apple would get the good mark ups on, and its typical, and apple will keep track of the sales each employee does, there are not only how much a sale was, but how many units per transaction, dollar per transaction averages too, so employees are encouraged to push sales, it sucks i know
  12. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Sep 21, 2003
    Las Vegas, NV
    You seem to be unaware of Apple's prices for RAM and the fact that RAM from Apple has just a one-year warranty. It's nice to buy everything from the same place and at the same time, but when some of the items are more than 100% more expensive and have worse warranties, it's just not worth it even if you have money trees in your backyard.
  13. Jsmit macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2004
    I would be upset if I bought a computer and went home and didn't have everything I needed to really use it. If you buy a printer the salesperson should ask if you need a cable. You need a cable with most printers. You need a keyboard, mouse, and speakers(ok not really the speakers) witha Mac Mini. The .Mac subscricbtionis with Virex is a bundle deal witha new Mac, the customer should be told about the bundle offer. Also the customer asked what else s/he would need. I am sure that there are times when the Apple Stores sell people more than they need but I don't think this is one of those cases.
  14. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    If the consumer is unsure if they really need what the salesman is hawking, they have every right to get an explanation as to why. And in the end, they can always say "No thanks". They aren't being forced.

    And before one goes blaming Apple Stores for "ripping off" consumers, you would really want to ask the consumers that did the buying and not the guy that was standing next to them.
  15. dotdotdot thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 23, 2005
    I don't know, I was using a Mac mini and the guy was just asking an employee if he needs anything and I was laughing to myself as the guy was believing him...
  16. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2003
    Dallas, Texas
    As others have already pointed out, if the salesperson only sold you the item that you asked for, then they haven't done their job.

    Your job as a consumer and customer is to find out what you need, what the available options are, and how much you can afford to spend.

    Even Bill Gates would be upset if he bought the wrong thing because of inadequate research before hand.

    Nobody likes to waste money, so it's up to you to do your homework before you even step into the store.
  17. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    So the customer could have an older (heck, even not so old) PC KB/M w/PS/2 ports that, obviously, wouldn't work w/the Mini and the employee saved the guy frustration and an extra trip back to the store. Plus, if it's a Windows KB, even a USB one, it won't have the same button configuration as an Apple Pro KB. Not a big deal for seasoned Mac users, but could be a point of irritation/confusion w/a new switcher.

    I bet Apple makes a pretty penny on it's KB/M too. I'm sure Applecare and .Mac are supposed to be pushed on all new computer sales, but I bet there are also specific up-sells that are trained as well (if customer purchases X suggest Y). For example, if they purchase a laptop suggest a laptop bag. If they purchase an iPod suggest an iPod accessory. If they purchase a Mini suggest a KB/M. Etc.,. When I worked retail there were specific up-sells that were almost always a priority, but we were also trained to suggestive sell on every single transaction (failing to do so on a consistent basis were grounds for a write up).

    Of course there are individuals in retail like the one you described, but those are the acceptation not the norm. And a local pro shop would be more akin to a local reseller than an Apple Store (which would be more like a national chain sports store). The dude at the pro shop is probably gonna be there in 6 months if you go back. The same can't be said for a typical retail employee.

  18. bhibbert macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2005
    Quite right. I am aware of the RAM prices but I was referring to the Apple products, Macs, iPODs, etc. RAM is a commodity and should be bought as such. Finding the best price on the day you want to buy it.
  19. vtprinz macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2004
    So if you're so appalled that the guy was "ripped off"....why didn't you speak up and tell him he didn't need the stuff ;)
  20. maya macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2004
    somewhere between here and there.
    The Apple Retail Store is out to make money, duh. :rolleyes:

    The ARS is not your family or friend, they are out to sell and take away as much money as they can if you do not know anything about computers and Apple in general, duh. :rolleyes:

    Common sense people, do your research and you can always say, "no thanks" maybe at a later date. It's your hard earned money and you have all the say in the matter of purchase. ;) :)

    Take a friend who knows something about computers and Apple, if you can before you purchase at the ARS. :)
  21. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    The people who work at the Apple store are retailers first, computer enthusiasts second (if at all).

    For example, if you come here to MR and ask if your new iBook is good for gaming, people will generally say no (as well as, "hey n00b, do a search we've disscused this a million times before"). However, if you go to the Apple store, they will point you to the wall of games and tell you that it can run every one of them. Which is true in a sense, but not excactly what you need to know (i.e. many new games will run unbearably slow).

    Apple is trying to make money - MR members are not.
  22. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    Having said that, the guy perhaps did need a keyboard and mouse. If he'd said to the saleperson earlier that he intended listening to music through the Mac mini, then the speakers weren't a bad sell up either. The sub-$50 bucks he might have saved picking up a set online, perhaps didn't make up for the convenience of having everything he needed immediately, looking good together and knowing they'd all work.

    I have been in an Apple store where the sales assistant (I thought they weren't on commission on individual sales but did get bonuses if the store hit sales targets?) was trying very hard to explain to someone that if all they wanted to do was check email and go online, they really didn't need a Powerbook and the iBook would be just fine.

    End result - the customer bought the Powerbook because they preferred the silver colour :rolleyes:
  23. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    Hehe, I've seen that too. Someone bought a 17" PowerBook because they wanted the extra screen space to check their email. ~shrug~
  24. dornoforpyros macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2004
    Calgary, AB
    meh sales ppl trying to get impressive sales record. Even if your not working on commision it still looks alot better if you sell say 5 powerbooks instead of 1 iBook and so on.

    As for ppl buying powerbooks just to check e-mail...the fact of the matter is some ppl have to much money and simply get a buzz from saying they spent $3000 on a computer.

    My uncle has a 12" powerbook, he keeps it in the magazine rack next to his couch and just surfs the web while watching TV. Sure an iBook would have sufficed but he likes buying toys. All the power too him.

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