Buying Apple Products at other retailers?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by kuntryklucker, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. kuntryklucker macrumors member

    kuntryklucker

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Location:
    The Funny Farm
    #1
    Hi All,

    I was wondering, has anyone bought their Apple products at other places than the Apple Store?

    I ask because I am in the market for an iPad. I am an hour+ from the closest Apple store, but have found them at my localnTarget. Can anyone recommend or not recommend buying the Apple products at Target.

    Also, I know that Apple will
    help you unpack it and get it started to make sure all is working well. Should I have any problems would they help me since I did not buy it at the Apple Retail store.

    Thanks
     
  2. Menel macrumors 603

    Menel

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Location:
    ATL
    #2
    You don't need an Apple store to help you get started. They are very easy.
     
  3. kuntryklucker thread starter macrumors member

    kuntryklucker

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    Mar 3, 2013
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    #3
    I know they are pretty easy to set up. I don't think that I need the Apple store for that aspect of the
    purchase. Is it a good idea or bad idea to buy at other retailers?
     
  4. campyguy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #4
    There was one hitch when I bought an iPad Air a few months ago at a nearby Target - getting it registered under my Apple Support Profile. I've bought a few items at an Apple Store and a refurbished rMBP, and each was automatically added to my Profile. I bought an new Extreme and Express at a Best Buy - the Express was added but the Extreme wasn't and it's "sell date" didn't match Apple's internal records, like the Air.

    For the Extreme and the Air, I was asked to transmit the receipt to Apple Support - in a couple of days both devices were added to my Profile. It was the extra steps that were a bit of a PITA to deal with.

    I also bought Applecare for my Air, at a local Apple Store. Target doesn't stock Applecare, and I was asked to bring my Air into the Apple Store to verify its condition. If I'd bought the Air and wanted AC, I wouldn't have had to make that trip to the Store - the AC would have been automatically been added. Next time, I'll likely buy at the Apple Store - the hassle of the trip downtown and dealing with Apple Support wasn't worth the $50 Target Gift Card when I know now that the Air and AC would have been automatically been added...
     
  5. kuntryklucker thread starter macrumors member

    kuntryklucker

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    #5
    Ok, thanks!! your experience is worth while information. I am sorry that it
    was such a hassle for you, I am going to take your advise and buy from apple directly. do you know if there is a difference in buying from the Physical Apply store location or is buying from their website just a good?

    Thanks.
     
  6. troy14 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Location:
    Las Vegas (Summerlin), NV
    #6
    I hardly ever buy from Apple and I have no problems. Even Best Buy open box. If the sell date doesn't match Apples records then all you have to do is scan your receipt and submit it to them via an online forum. Is it an extra 5 minutes? Yes, but it is not hard confusing or frustrating by any means. If you are an hour away, I suggest Target, Best Buy, or even amazon.com.

    Edit: I also have had numerous products fixed under warranty and they do not ask you where you originally bought it, as long as it's under warranty then they will take care of the rest, no need to prove anything.
     
  7. Pharmscott macrumors 6502a

    Pharmscott

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    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    #7
    There are perks to buying at other places too. I bought my rMBP at Best Buy and scored a ton of rewards points that I used for a later purchase. Same warranty so why not get the bonus?
     
  8. kuntryklucker thread starter macrumors member

    kuntryklucker

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    Mar 3, 2013
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    #8
    that is a good point, thanks.

    ----------

    thank you for your post. I am far away so if I don't have to drive to the apple
    store I rather not. I did make the trip when I bought my MacBook Pro simply
    because it was a large dollar item that I did not want to risk with any seller shipping problems. I bought my iPod on line for apple but it is a small dollar item so I did not worry about any shipping problems, it arrived just fine.

    thanks for your input.
     
  9. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

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    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #9
    Since I'm 2 hours from the nearest Apple store, online or other local retailers are my only option. We bought our iPads from Verizon so we could get a discount for extending our contract. Still had 21 months to go so adding 3 more was worth the $200 discount.
     
  10. kuntryklucker thread starter macrumors member

    kuntryklucker

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    Mar 3, 2013
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    #10
    your situation is much the same as mine. thanks for your post, I love apple
    products but being so far from them is hard at times. thanks.
     
  11. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Boston
    #11
    I've purchased my Macs/iPhones from other places, though most of the time its been apple. You really don't lose anything by going to another retailer provided they're an authorized dealer and/or provide good service and support.
     
  12. bigeasy_uk macrumors 6502

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    Leamington Spa, England
    #12
    I like to support my local apple authorised reseller, it's always quieter than the nearest apple store so you can have a friendly chat and geek out for a bit.
     
  13. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #13
    I've been purchasing Apple products from a variety of dealers, going back long before Apple Stores existed (my first was an Apple ][ in 1978). :)

    Come to think of it, I only recall buying 2 computers at an Apple store out of literally hundreds for my business and family over the years. Never any issues with Apple warranties.

    Best Buy usually beats the Apple Store prices by a few bucks, and it's a lot shorter drive for me. Just got a Time Capsule there this week and an iPad for my daughter's family last winter. Last summer I got a MacBook Air at B&H Photo in New York. That was the only place in the whole region that stocked the one I wanted (11" i7/8gb/512gb), it was a special order at the Apple Store. And B&H was a little cheaper plus they included a backpack at no charge.

    Like anything else, shop around. As long as they are an authorized dealer you should be fine - but do your due diligence if you aren't familiar with the vendor.
     
  14. kuntryklucker thread starter macrumors member

    kuntryklucker

    Joined:
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    #14
    Ok, thank you for your post. I am considering Target for my purchase of my iPad.
    They are much closer and are an authorized dealer of Apple products.
    Thanks.

    ----------

    I know what you mean. The Apple store that I am closest to is always a zoo.
    I went there to get my MacBook Pro and thought I would never get out of there.
    I honestly don't see how the employees manage to work there. I am sure they
    are used to it but for me it was a little too busy. thanks for you post, I am leaning toward supporting our local apple dealer.

    ----------

    thank you for your time and reply. Target is the closest Apple authorized dealer to me. the apple store is literally over an hour away. I made the trip once to get my Macbook Pro and that was it. For a laptop I found the trip worth while since it had been so long since I bought a computer. Anyway, thanks for you post. I hope that I have no issues with purchasing at Target.
     
  15. campyguy macrumors 68030

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    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #15
    I've had more success in physical stores that also have an online presence.

    I shop around online, but I also have an Apple Store 15 minutes from where I work and live, and Target/Staples/Best Buy are on the Island my office is on - lots of residences, but also a glorified business park between Portland and Clark County WA. BB and Staples do a lot of price matching, however, I'd rather buy locally instead of over the internet and having to deal with exchange headaches. I have also price shopped - taken a low price from Target/Staples/Best Buy for accessories and had the price matched. If it's their policy, I take advantage of it.

    In other words, I'm lucky in where I work and I do shop around, but I'm not going to give into saving a few bucks if I can buy locally. Buying from Apple's Store presence is generally the same as walking into their Pioneer Place Store - but I did buy two rMBPs that I couldn't get in the local Stores. If I could have bought either of my rMBPs in a store, I would have.

    Recently, I had a Motorola cable modem go out. I bought it at the nearby Best Buy. When it died, I saw that Target had a lower price but went back to the Best Buy with my receipt. Best Buy exchanged my cable modem AND gave me a refund to cover Target's newer price. Cool.

    Shop around. I do. I liked Apple's online store for what I wanted for one reason - the 18-month, no-interest financing. The refurb savings of $500 for each of the rMBPs were a bonus, but if I could have got that deal in an Apple Store I would have done it.
     
  16. campyguy macrumors 68030

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    Portland / Seattle
    #16
    Found this funny. I see the local 3 Apple Stores as "busy" but never a zoo - I'm 6'7" and from New York, and see the people at the Stores as a layer of heads, scalps, and hair.

    And, as a "conditioned" NYer, if there's a crowd that's going to take too much time out of my day I'm out of there in 10 seconds or less. When I was growing up, you could find anything on the street (Sixth comes to mind...) but now that's what the internet is for!
     
  17. hologram macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 12, 2007
    #17
    I'm sure someone will tell me if I'm wrong:)rolleyes:), but if you buy it online from MacMall you won't have to pay sales tax unless you're in CA or IL.
     
  18. kuntryklucker thread starter macrumors member

    kuntryklucker

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Location:
    The Funny Farm
    #18
    Zoo might be a misleading word. It was very busy, the only Apple Store within miles of my house . so to say the least it is not uncommon to find people waiting outside till it clears out some. I guess I call it a Zoo because I find myself waiting outside the glass wall for a free associate. Kind of like gazing at the animals at the Zoo. It is funny, but to say the least very busy.

    ----------

    you made some worthwhile points to think about. thanks. I am nervous buying from other retailers because I am afraid that I will be out of luck should anything happen. If I bought from Apple directly I guess I feel in a sense I rule that out.

    for example, I bought a macbook pro from Apple, had it 18 days and the hard drive crashed. Because I bought it from the Apple Store, I took it back and they gave me a new macbook pro right out of the box. Was that due to the fact that I bought it at the store, or does Apple always stand behind their products like that no matter where you buy them at?

    not sure if all retailers would do that or if I would just be stuck with a defective product.
     
  19. SusanK macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    #19
    I buy my Apple stuff from Apple. Makes things easier if I run into difficulty. If you are getting a great deal Target may be worthwhile. Doubt you need help setting up an iPad. It's very easy.
     
  20. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #20
    I had a Powerbook G4 back around 2005 that needed two motherboard swaps due to RAM problems. I did not purchase that computer at an Apple Store, but they were more than happy to service it under AppleCare. I'm sure it would have been the same without AppleCare if the problem occurred during the normal warranty period.

    When you reach some threshold of annual purchases at Best Buy you are enrolled in their rewards program that doubles the normal return/exchange window. I used this to exchange a netbook I disliked a few years ago after using it for about a month.

    Of course, the way Big Box stores are going, Best Buy might be gone tomorrow, so there's always some risk. I bought quite a few Macs from CompUSA and Circuit City over the years too. ;)
     
  21. campyguy macrumors 68030

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    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #21
    Oh no, your "tag" of "zoo" is spot on. I stopped by an Apple Store for a few minutes this afternoon and it was the first time I haven't seen the floor slammed with customers. Imagine walking past a class of kids in grade school - you see the sea of heads, and that's what shopping is like for me most times. People wonder why I avoid busy places like that - you see 8-20 people when you look into a store, but I see EVERYONE... :eek:


    Apple's been good to me with my purchases, regardless of where I buy. If it's under warranty, they'll honor it. Back in the mid-90s I bought a 1st Gen iPod, and the hard drive failed; it was under warranty and I called Apple (no Stores back then!). I had given them my work and home addresses, and made that call about 4 in the afternoon. Our lead receptionist called me to the front desk at about 8:30 am the next morning to pick up a box - which had a brand new iPod and a return shipping sticker, and it's customer service like that keeps me considering Apple...

    I've purchased Macs from MacMall, The Mac Pac, Best Buy, and a couple of places that aren't in business any more - Apple's treated me and those in my company exactly the same when I bring in a Mac for service. I've never been offered better service from a company like this. If it's registered with my Apple Profile, or not, for that matter, I've never been asked where I bought an Apple product from - sweet!
     
  22. jmiddel macrumors member

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    Mar 3, 2010
    Location:
    Land of Enchantment
    #22
    Exactly, that's what I do, saves me 7%, and they often have good sales. The same is true of b&h photo, check apple insider for the best prices.
     
  23. Liquidstate macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    #23
    Although my experience was rather unique, I had a serious issue buying from an authorized Apple dealer. I found out the hard way there are a few authorized Apple dealers that have "non-standard support agreements" with Apple.

    In my case, as long as you were buying something out of current existing stock (where they directly hand you the new computer in a sealed box), then everything would be the same. But if you bought something that you could have easily configured on the Apple website, look out. Weirdly, I bought the computer based on this authorized dealer's advice. When it didn't perform as expected, they refused to take it back.

    Apple Customer Support bent over backwards to step in, and they bailed me out. They were magnificent. Whew. I've never experienced anything like this, and I've bought a lot of Apple computers. So I'll most likely buy from the mother ship from now on.

    If anything feels iffy, you might want to ask whether the dealer has a standard full support agreement with Apple.
     
  24. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #24
    When did this happen? Apple used to have a policy of not allowing returns for build-to-order macs also. They have changed this policy now, but it was definitely an issue for some people in the past.
     
  25. Liquidstate macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    #25
    That was about 10 months ago. I was bouncing between the Apple Store and a local dealer. I realized from this experience I made the mistake of trying to support a local dealer with a computer purchase that was too specification specific for the dealer to understand. I think they mainly deal with light users and small businesses.

    Anyway, Apple Customer Support was just amazing. Maybe it helped that I was a loyal Apple customer. I'm even more loyal now.
     

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