Apple Store vs Apple Reseller Catalogs

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Mac2004, Jun 28, 2004.

  1. Mac2004 macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2004
    Okay, now that the nig WWDC announcement is over with I am going to get my system but here's my dillema....

    Where do I get my new Apple PowerMac G5 system and new Apple monitor??

    Mac Connection (no sales tax)
    Mac Mall (no sales tax)
    Comp USA (sales tax plus hidden commission to salesperson)
    Apple Store (sales tax) online store (sales tax)

    What are the true BENEFITS of buying from the Apple Store vs an Apple reseller catalog? I have yet to hear what the REAL benefits are compared to buying an Apple computer from a catalog like Mac Connection. I like the idea about not having to pay sales tax (2-$300 savings). I could add a lot to my computer with those savings. My friend told me Mac Connections is a good catalog.

    If the catalog option is the better way to go who is the best one to order from?? (reputation, service, etc.) I am NOT interested in refurbished units though.

    Please help me make this decision!!! :rolleyes:
  2. mikeyfern macrumors member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Hey there,

    Buying from a reseller is probably the way to go.

    Resellers give you free RAM, in the case of the G5, Macmall gives you 512 MB or 1 GB (depending on the model) for only a 39.95 installation fee after mail-in rebate. The Apple store is only good if you want to customize or upgrade your machine with some custom option (like built-in bluetooth or upgrading the graphics card) you can't get from a reseller. Macmall also is giving away a cheap DVD player and a printer when you buy any mac.

    Anyway, both of those resellers are reputable businesses and I'd probably go with them just to avoid paying sales tax.
  3. Mac2004 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2004

    I thought a reseller can install an updated graphics card for a small fee before they ship it???? I want to get the G5 (1.8) with an ATI 9600 video card.
  4. furrina macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2004
    In tha 212
    There are some very limited things that a reseller like MacMall will build to order but usually only for certain things that they are running as special offers ( like "free RAM", etc.). Can't hurt to ask, though. Who knows, they might. store allows you to BTO a lot of the basic systems (laptops and powermacs). I got my pb from them, and there is no way I could have got the options that I did from a reseller.

    Also, store offers the educational discount if you qualify.
    Also, store offers refurbished models with limited warranty.

    Personally I think if those reasons don't apply to you, I'd go with the authorized reseller (MacMall's a good one as any) because the pricing is the same and they often offer free shipping as well as no tax (tax can get pretty hefty on big systems) though I think the no tax thing is "unofficial." is same as catalog.

    Apple store itself, the only benefit is you get to walk out with it if you require instant gratification.

    And don't buy it from MacWhiz :(
  5. mikeyfern macrumors member

    Mar 3, 2004
    That's common for RAM, but I don't think it's done for video cards. Which would mean you would have to pay full retail ($180 or so?)for the card, as opposed to having it built to order for $50 from apple store online. Apple retail stores can't customize machines.

    So now you have to figure out whether it's better to:

    A) buy from a reseller (no sales tax) and pay retail for the 9600 ($180?) install it yourself, maybe sell the extra Nvidia card on ebay?

    B) Buy from apple online, have them upgrade the card for $50, and pay sales tax, and buy the 512 MB ram you would have gotten for free if you bought from a reseller (another $95-105)

    I'd probably go with option A. I think you still come out ahead because of the sales tax, depending on your state. Call a reseller like macmall or macconnection to see if they do videocard upgrades. I'm pretty sure they don't, but I could be wrong.
  6. jdbphd macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2004
    Resellers can also BTO

    I just bought a new dual G5 2.0 from Expercom (they are in Utah, no shipping charge if over $1000 and no tax). I had them upgrade the video card and have Bluetooth installed (it was a BTO through Apple, so I had to wait a little longer).

    Just received it yesterday after waiting a few weeks from my order date. They also included 3 years of AppleCare (or you had the choice of free RAM). I added my own 512mb of RAM from them for $109.

    The cost was the same base as ordering from the Apple Store, but with the AppleCare included and no tax or shipping.

    Given this, I'm not sure why anyone would buy directly from Apple...
  7. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    You might want to call Mac Connection to check about the sales tax. At least here in Massachusetts they charge sales tax. I have purchased from them and there service has been great. The part about a reseller not being able to add such things as BlueTooth would give me pause.

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