Do you like big box computer stores or small Apple Stores?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by 63dot, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    I was recently cruising around a mega-store which sells PCs, Macs, software, home theater equipment, music CDs, and musical instruments, and I didn't like the attitude I got from the salespeople when I was looking at the Macs. They were OK with selling them to me and I was OK with buying it from them, but they insisted I also buy a certain third party protection plan they offered as well as a ton of software titles which they happened to carry. It wasn't unlike a similar big box store I worked in within a populated area which considered every customer a one time event and thus sell as much as you can, even if it pisses them off.

    When I worked at the other store, I would try and build relationships and trust so a customer would come back, even though there were dozens of computer stores within driving distance. I thought that if I treated them with honesty and provided for their needs, then they would come back. But the policy of this big box store was that since there were so many other stores with 100,000+ people in the direct vicinity, it was smarter to upsell as much as possible and get the money from them then and there knowing they would eventually see that we upsold them and they would go elsewhere next time. The store went on daily totals and it was expected that the current quarter could be their last since so many big box stores bit the dust back then and since then.

    Personally, I think this sell the whole store to an unsuspecting person on their first and only visit is a bad approach that ended the run of said big box store. I like how Apple stores are not quite as aggressive and while they upsell like anybody else, they still try and sell you products within a range of what you are asking for. I think this honesty has made people return to the usually much smaller Apple Store and led to the success being customer oriented and not profit driven like the big box stores.

    That being said the new Apple employees I have seen start out gung ho and tend to sell similar to the common big box store model, but if they last a few months, which most don't, then they use building relationships with the customers as an approach and a core Apple/Mac crowd is what keeps the store going during these lean times. I know there has been a lot of debate on the best way to sell retail computers, but I like the personal touch of an Apple store or authorized Apple reseller vs. a big box store.

  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    I like big-box stores (think Fry's). I end up either wandering all over the place checking out and buying gadgets, or I rush in, buy the handful of things I'm looking for quickly, and get out.

    For Apple gear, I generally go to an Apple store. I feel like the sales people are more straightforward with me, they're less likely to steer me toward or away from a particular product, and the purchase process seems more streamlined.
  3. R94N macrumors 68020


    May 30, 2010
    Over here in the UK they've recently started opening these Currys/PC World megastores - I'd imagine they're more like the Best Buys and Fry's you have in the US (Best Buy's opening over here as well now!). I like them but I can understand the service can be different; there can be different sales targets that they have to reach etc.
  4. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    I tend to know more than the store personnel and prefer online purchases. This is even though I work just a 5 minute walk from an Apple store. Last time I bought in an Apple store they were trying to sell me AppleCare by giving me misinformation (you can't buy AppleCare later if you have already used in in the first year), so I don't consider them any better than a Big Box store or Radio Shack.

    I do like going to the Apple Store to try out systems (I spent an hour and a half trying out a 27" iMac even bringing in a USB flash drive with a bunch of my photos and videos to edit). But I bought online.

    I like Fry's for convenient purchasing of parts, but online always beats them on price.
  5. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    I like Fry's and Best Buy. You can find deals at Fry's. But if I am buying a Mac which is the usual case, I'll be either buying from the Apple Store or online. There used to be several Mac online fenders that offered Macs sales tax free. However those vendors are less and less. The last time I purchased a MBP, I found TAS had a corporate discount that offset the tax and therefore, TAS got my business. However in some cases it's better (better price) to buy things like Memory from a 3rd party like Crucial. This only really works if you Mac has extra slots. If it is a situation where you must throw away RAM to upgrade RAM, then it's probably better going with Apple's offerings.
  6. bobr1952 macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2008
    Melbourne, FL
    Usually neither--I like to take my time and do my shopping at home via Amazon, Cruchfield, OneCall--places like that. Best Buy usually gives me a headache but I did enjoy playing with the Macbook Airs today--and for that it did serve a useful purpose--but still can't decide--11 or 13. :confused:
  7. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    Apple stores are better for when you know what you want because they're always so damn busy.
  8. SuperCachetes macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2010
    Away from you
    I like Apple stores but TBH my last 4 visits have been for repair/replacements so I didn't have much of a choice. And in every instance I got out for free, so I'm not complaining, anyway.

    The pro is, as mentioned, you can play with stuff.
    The con is, as also mentioned, they are usually crowded as a ********.

    As far as price, I got my local to store to admit they will price-match, even with online, as long as it is a reasonable, legitimate deal.
  9. trigonometry macrumors 6502


    Jun 19, 2010
    South Carolina
    I prefer big box retailers. I research first then ignore whatever info/advice they try to give me. Every Apple Store I've been to the employees are rude or ignoring you.
  10. MacVixen macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2009
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Fry's? No way, no how. The stores are dark, always a mess, the salespeople non-existent, I hate feeling like a shoplifter everytime I try to walk out with my purchase and it seems as though they are always getting caught performing shady practices (or at least used to. Maybe it's not as much as an issue now).

    I don't mind a big box such as Best Buy nearly as much. Maybe because the stores are a little neater and I don't feel like they put as much sales pressure on as Frys. If I'm not buying an Apple system, then Best Buy is probably my go-to store.

    For Apple computers I will definitely go directly to the store as I tend to find personnel a little better versed in Apple products than random BB guy. Got burned ordering online once so I won't spend the big bucks that way, but will order cases, etc.
  11. ender land macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2010
    I like larger stores for one reason alone - to see a variety of things I can not see in smaller scale stores.

    I demoed a fair bit of speakers in Best Buy prior to buying myself $1000 worth of audio equipment - all online.
  12. NickZac macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    I like small scale stores but I am biased since I can get personal-use computers from the educational institution I am affiliated with for a discount and that the people who work at the school's 'bookstore' are Mac people themselves and so we can chat it up and they actually know what you are talking about.

    I tend to avoid Best Buy when I am in a time crunch as I always wind up playing those stupid 3D videogames for what seems like the entire afternoon. There was one where I was on a raft with my brother and we were jumping, dodging, dashing, and leaping to avoid obstacles and catch pineapples. It was some serious business. I would buy one but then I would never do anything outside of my house again as I would then gain a passionate pursuit of pineapples. By the time you finish these games, you have worked up a sweat and forgotten the initial reason you came. It's worse than free samples at Sam's Club.
  13. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    I always find Apple Stores packed full of self-absorbed, pretentious hipsters. I'll go to PC World thanks.
  14. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    I make use of all three, I think each has its purpose.

    Big box stores

    Pros: Wide variety of non-Apple merchandise, useful discounts

    Cons: The employees are usually snotty teenagers who either know nothing, or think they know an awful lot more than they do, and it's rare that you'll meet a helpful salesperson. Also, their corporate rules compel them to try and sell you extra things like extended warrianties, store credit cards and so forth. You have to refuse three or four services every time you buy something. Some big box stores have a service/repair section. My experience with these is not good.

    Apple Stores

    Pros: You needn't hunt around for the Mac section, the employees are focused on Apple-related products and there are usually a lot of employees in each store available if you have a question.

    Cons: The "Genius" bar is not always stocked with genii; the employees, while generally more knowlegable than big box store employees, are still not always well-versed in dealing with issues. This is especially true if you bring in older Macs - try taking an older G4 to an Apple store and watch the blank stares from the employees (some stores are much better than others with this). I also haven't seen much in the way of discounts there, the one by me always sold everything at MSRP apart from the hardware. Also, they tend to get a little crowded at times.

    Independent Authorized Apple Service Providers

    Pros: These places tend to have the most experienced technicians, many of them have been selling and servicing Apples for over a decade, some since the 80s. It's usually the best place to go for repairs if you can't DIY. Also, many of these places sell off-lease/trade-in used Macs at good discounts.

    Cons: Since such stores are independently owned, their quality is pretty variable. Back in Cleveland, I had extremely good luck with Quadstar, they've repaired a couple of my Macs and their work was professional, honest, and saved me money. On the other hand, I recently went to one of the two authorized Apple service centers in Anchorage AK and was confronted with a small gang of rude hipster employees who sulked when I asked them questions and did not give me a good impression. I've only been there once so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, but not all such places are created equal. Still, In my opinion, the better independently owned authorized Apple service centers potentially offer the best service of all the brick-and-mortar stores, if you can find one.
  15. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    The Mac was the first computer I bought from a store - the Apple Store. Everything else has been online.
    I can't comment for big box stores, but as for the Apple Store .... I'm not buying from there again.

    Here are a few reasons.
    1) I already know what I want, I don't need the employees to walk me through all the Macs/Services/software

    2) The Apple Store is way too crowded. I hate going there just because its more of a social gathering place and theres no space to walk (in my local store anyways)

    3) My Apple Store is far.

    Next time I'll just be buying from online. I only went to the Apple Store to get my Mac faster. It was a last minute decision one night and all of a sudden I was like "I need to have it now" so thats why I went to the store. Otherwise, I would have just purchased it from online.

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