Cheaper To Buy Online or In-Store?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by g00dbye, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. g00dbye macrumors member

    g00dbye

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Raleigh/Boone, NC
    #1
    I am planning to buy a new iMac pretty soon and sell my circa 2005 white iMac (she'll be missed). But I was curious, I know that both the store and online charges for tax, but is the tax representable to your state's sales tax? Or is it the same tax for everyone? And do they honor student discounts online and in-store? I live in NC where there's a 7.5% sales tax if this helps. Thanks!
     
  2. JajoPGH macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    #2
    I think in-store would be cheaper. You wouldn't have to pay for shipping
     
  3. g00dbye thread starter macrumors member

    g00dbye

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Raleigh/Boone, NC
    #3
    But shipping is free online. Is it not?
     
  4. galaxy121 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    #4
    Yes it is.
     
  5. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #5
    Apple will give you free shipping for most online purchases, also because of the way Apple set up their retail you'll also be paying your state sales tax (For US). So honestly It will cost the same from Apple store to Apple online store.

    Now if you get your purchase from somewhere else that could change. I'll really look around. You're also far more likely to run across a special promotion or sale and can save you some cash.
     
  6. psingh01 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #6
    Apple retail and online store will be the same unless you pay for faster shipping. They will charge you sales tax online based on where you live so you can't escape it* (unless you buy Amazon....). If you have a nearby store just go there cause while shipping is free it isn't overnight. Takes a while to get it.


    Of course if you want build to order, then it's online only.

    *Actually sales tax can be different if your nearby stores are in a different city/county than your home and thus different sales tax. I live near Miami and the sales tax is 7%. If I go to the store near Ft Lauderdale the sales tax is 6% :D

    So that is the only way you can get a cheaper price between online and retail.
     
  7. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    #7
    I can tell you that buying it in-store on online will be the same price. Since you are considering online, I'd recommend Amazon. As long as you don't need it customized.

    Same box, same product, same warranty on Amazon. But I don't think Amazon takes returns on opened computers, so that's one thing to consider. It's often cheaper on Amazon as well.
     
  8. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #8
    If it were me, I'd buy a refurb from the Apple website to save a few hundred bucks. Pretty much everyone on the forums will tell you that Apple refurbs are top-notch. Normally I wouldn't touch anything "refurbished" with a 10-foot-pole, but I've had only great experiences with Apple.
     
  9. Freewayjim macrumors regular

    Freewayjim

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Location:
    Metro Atlanta
    #9
    If you buy from Best Buy you can get a free Reward Zone card and get $5 in BB Bucks for each $250 you spend, it's not much but it's something, spending $1500 on an iMac will get you $30 about a month after the purchase.
     
  10. g00dbye thread starter macrumors member

    g00dbye

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Raleigh/Boone, NC
    #10
    The only problem with that is me giving business to Best Buy. Haha.
     
  11. g00dbye thread starter macrumors member

    g00dbye

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Raleigh/Boone, NC
    #11
    See, my iMac now is a refurb and its never done me wrong in the five years I've had it. I'd love to buy a refurb of the new model but I have no idea when they'll be showing up in the refurb section of the Apple store and I have to sell this iMac to my sister relatively soon. Any idea when I might be able to expect them in the refurbs?
     
  12. splitpea macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Location:
    Among the starlings
    #12
    Amazon charges sales tax too for some states (New York is one).
     
  13. skye12 macrumors 65816

    skye12

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    #13
    Online. Shipping will not compensate for upwards of $100 sales tax.
    Amazon has the new i5, for example, at $1972. No tax and minimal shipping expense.
    Only a couple states charge tax with Amazon because they have warehouses in their states.

    If you think you are likely to need a lot of handholding or want no chance of issues, then buy at an Apple store.
     

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