Buying MBP online (Applestore vs.B&H vs.Amazon)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Anomy, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. Anomy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    #1
    I'm looking to buy a Macbook Pro online, and I am attempting to choose between the stores mentioned in the title. I was hoping to get someone's personal experience about the pro's and con's of ordering from each, and also any experience had with the return policies.
     
  2. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

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    #2
    I prefer to deal with Apple directly for "big ticket" items like a MBP. I've been very satisfied with my Amazon purchases through the years but I've been more impressed with the way the Apple store works and the service I receive. In all fairness I should mention I make most of my Apple purchases through the Apple store (brick and mortar) and my second choice is to use the Apple online store. When it comes to Apple gear, Amazon isn't on my radar any more than ebay or craigslist. When it comes to non-Apple gear, I use Amazon all the time.
     
  3. blevins321 macrumors 68030

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    Dec 24, 2010
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    Winnipeg, MB
    #3
    Apple offers the same warranty service regardless of where you buy it. One thing on Amazon/B&H versus Apple is that you could actually take it in for replacement versus having to wait for return shipping.

    You might try a local Mac shop if you have one. Sometimes they'll be more willing to 'haggle' a little in order to keep the sale. Plus it's always nice to support the local retailers :).
     
  4. dlimes13 macrumors 6502a

    dlimes13

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    Perrysburg, OH
    #4
    If you know what you're doing, try eBay. It's much more than used items regular people are selling. Companies are selling on there all the time.

    I bought a base 17 inch 2011 MBP for $2,025 from a reputable seller. New and sealed, identical to Amazon, Apple, etc. Saved $600+. If I HAD the money to blow, I would probably do Apple, but if you are looking to save money (who isn't), then weigh your options.

    FYI, avoid Craigslist for this type of thing. eBay is different from Craigslist.
     
  5. Anomy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 22, 2011
    #5
    Any experience with B&H? And yea I would love to go to the actual apple store, but unfortunately I can only get the config. I need online :/.
     
  6. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

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    #6
    Sorry, no experience with B&H. My experience with ebay has been rather spotty. There are a lot of "power sellers" with 10,000+ 90%+ feedback who have no time to answer your email when you have a problem. There are a lot of <50 99%+ feedback sellers with so little sales history it's not good to trust them on such an expensive item. I've successfully bought and sold tech stuff on ebay but I've been burned several times as well. It's a lot worse being burned on a MBP than on a cell phone battery or memory stick. I have bought a handful computers from ebay when I could use local pickup and see what I was getting. YMMV.

    The up side of Craigslist is you meet with the seller and see what you are getting in person only don't arrange to meet late at night by the railroad tracks behind the factory with a guy that says "bring cash". There was an incident within the past year where a guy in the Detroit area was killed by somebody from craigslist when he went hoping to buy some gadget from the guy.
     
  7. awer25 macrumors 65816

    awer25

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2011
    #7
    I've bought a lot from B&H and I've found them to be as reliable as any company I've ever used.

    As for Apple vs. Amazon, just go with whoever has the best price - and keep in mind that Amazon doesn't charge tax (unless you're in NY).
     
  8. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    New Jersey
    #8
    I am a photographer so I have shopped at B&H for years, as well as Amazon. B&H does not charge sales tax if you live outside of NYC. B&H also has many BTO models available and the best price anywhere for Apple Care.

    I would not hesitate to buy from either place as they both have great prices, no tax and great return policies. My last MBP came from Amazon last November and I would certainly buy from them again.

    Also, if you apple for a Amazon credit card then all your purchases get 1% towards a Amazon gift certificate in $25 amounts. But, when you use that credit card for Amazon purchases you get 3% return which is like another $50 back. I have used an Amazon-Chase CC since 2005 and love the rewards program. You can save hundreds on a MBP from Amazon vs buying direct from apple bases on the tax and rewards savings not to mention the slightly better list price. Go for it!!! Both places have the same warranty as buying direct form apple, the only difference is you will save enough money to get a RAM and/or hard drive upgrade - which is always cheaper than buying from Apple. My Seagate Scorpio drive came from Amazon for $109
     
  9. Vudoo macrumors 6502a

    Vudoo

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    Sep 30, 2008
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    Dallas Metroplex
    #9
    I've bought from B&H for years and have had no issue.

    Have you considered MacMall? I noticed their prices to be the best.
     
  10. Anomy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    #10

    I'm not too familiar with MacMall, though it has been mentioned in other forums. Do you know if their return policy is any good? And also do you know if there is a restocking fee for B&H?
     
  11. dqpassat macrumors regular

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    Dec 28, 2009
    #11
    B&H is a very reputable company and I have personally bought photo equipment from them several times with no issues whatsoever. As pointed in an earlier post, no tax outside of NY (which can be quite significant).

    I believe they are an Apple authorized dealer too.
     
  12. Vudoo macrumors 6502a

    Vudoo

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    #12
  13. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    Location:
    New Jersey
    #13
    Both B&H and Amazon have no restocking fees and are authorized Apple dealers - no true for most ebay sellers. In most cases Amazon pays for return shipping and sends you a shipping label to print. Also, it is faster to credit from Amazon but if B&H has the better price and model you want then that is the better place for you to shop. Both have free shipping

    MacMall does charge sales tax in some states, I believe NY and NJ are some of those states so check first if you are considering them for your purchase. Sales tax adds up on a big purchase like this
     
  14. maclaptop macrumors 65816

    maclaptop

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    Western Hemisphere
    #14
    I've had extensive experience with all three for years. There's very little difference. The computer is in a sealed box, and well protected when shipped, so all three will be identical. Based on the huge volume of business they each do, the age of the product you are getting is going to be about the same.

    I would go with the best deal.

    Ironically last year I ordered my new MBP from Apple and it was so scratched up, that even the store genius could not conceal the expression of great surprise that came over his face as he stared at the long and deep scratches in the aluminum. Being a BTO item it was pure hell waiting for months as they continued to send a series of defective MBP's to me. Finally they got it right just as I was about to give up.
     
  15. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    New Jersey
    #15
    something to think about, if you can wait a month or so, then your new MBP will include 'Lion' either preloaded or as a free upgrade
     
  16. Anomy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 22, 2011
    #16
    I believe the press release stated that anyone who purchased a mac on or after June 6 would be able to update to Lion for free.
     
  17. Vudoo macrumors 6502a

    Vudoo

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    #17
    Anything ordered after June 6 qualifies for the free Lion upgrade.
     
  18. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

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    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #18
    I'll join the group praising B&H. I've spent thousands of dollars there over the years and never had a bad (or even marginal) experience with them.

    I've bought MBPs from both Amazon and Apple online. No difference, really, except that before Amazon started collecting NY State sales tax, the total package was cheaper there.
     
  19. Kuray macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2010
    #19
    I live in Tarrytown, New York here is my ZIP code: 10591

    I dont want to pay sales tax, Apple, Best Buy, MacMall adds tax but not sure about B&H and Amazon

    Where should I buy my MBP without paying tax?
     
  20. Vantage Point, Jun 23, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011

    Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    #20
    If you have a friend in NJ then have it shipped there. Take a drive to a Apple store in New Hampshire, no sales tax in that state - perhaps not an option unless you have a secondary reason to go there. I live in NJ and love to hike and camp there.

    Also, if the MBP you want to buy happens to be a 13" base model then there is hope. MicroCenter.com has an ongoing special for only $999, a $200 savings. The catch is that the special price is for 'pickup only'. The Microcenter.com store in northern NJ has an additional perk, 50% off sales tax, or only 3.5% tax. So a 13" MBP goes for only $1,034 with tax. I bought one there last June (then sold it for more than I paid six months later on ebay with some software loaded). This lower tax rate, 3.5% applies to all purchases so if you are looking for a higher end MBP, or anything else in the large store, the tax rate would still be only 3.5% and that store, Paterson, NJ, is relatively close to Tarrytown and right off the highway. They even let you reserve online so you just take your reservation to the pickup window - they do not bill your CC until you pick it up.

    Some day in soon congress will mandate sale tax, at the time of purchase, for internet sales. Right now sales tax must be included if the seller has a presence in the state the item is shipped to.
     
  21. Kuray macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2010
    #21
    I dont have any friend in NJ, I can go there with railway(if exist) or can take taxi from tarrytown(if taxi cost less than tax

    Im planning to buy MBP 15" 2.0 base model or MBA 11" 1.6 4GB 128GN configured.
    Maybe MBP 15" 2.0 with AntiGlare
     
  22. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    Mar 1, 2010
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    New Jersey
    #22
    My only other suggestion to get around tax is to try to find a highly rated ebay seller - that doesn't charge tax, some powersellers do if they are in your state.

    I just did a search and found this thread for NYers the last post mentions http://www.sweetwater.com/
     
  23. Kuray macrumors regular

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    Jul 24, 2010
    #23
    So, SweetWater or PowerMax ?
     
  24. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    New Jersey
    #24
  25. crzdcolombian macrumors 6502a

    crzdcolombian

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    Nov 16, 2010
    #25
    buy what ever is cheaper its covered under apple care for free regardless anyway. I got a brand new one from Microcenter in Boston for 1000 bucks(promo still going on) which is $200 cheaper than the apple store.
     

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