microcenter

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ender land, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. ender land macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    #1
    Hello all,

    I have been seriously looking at purchasing a Macbook Pro from Microcenter (via pickup). A few people have indicated they have reason to be suspect of the quality of Microcenter, and I would prefer to verify they are not going to be 'screwing me' if I purchase from them.

    Is there a reason why they are able to sell for significantly less than Apple.com? Should I be cautious buying from there?

    (sorry for what might seem like a dumb question :) )
     
  2. snoopykul macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    #2
    I just bought the macbook pro 13 last week there for $999 and the local one by me only has 3.5% tax!

    it came in a brown box sealed with the normal apple box inside of that sealed as well.

    did not have any problems with my purchase or laptop quality.
     
  3. bakacornelius macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    #3
    I just bought a MBP 13 from microcenter. Originally I pre ordered an open box. I asked them what that meant and they said it was returned...I was led to believe that there would be no damage. Maybe some light scratches. Well, I got home and it had a big dent in one of the corners. These things are tough so I imagine it was quite a drop. Returned it for a new one. The sales associate admitted that, within the return window, customers can return to them in some pretty bad condition. So, if you trash your Mac in the first week or so, you can return it to Microcenter and just pay restocking. They don't seem to do a very good job of repairing the damage. Or maybe they just hope you don't notice.

    Anyway, they were cool with the return and the new one has been fine. Remember to sign up for the rewards program (not a credit card). You will get a 5% discount.
     
  4. ender land thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    #4
    They sell brand new ones too though right?

    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0334909

    That is a brand new one right?
     
  5. bakacornelius macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    #5
    Yes, thats the one I bought (the second time- new one). It's 950 with the 5% rewards discount. Make sure you take a look at the MBA first, they seem to be just as good unless you need it for high end graphics work etc.
     
  6. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #6
    Careful! I suspect they might re shrink-wrap returns and sell them as new.

    If the item you buy has heavy weight shrink-wrap, examine it very carefully. I don't mind a return if it's in new condition. Waste not want not. But today I returned. A nas drive that somebody had obviously opened, returned and not bothered to put the charger and cables back inside. What a rip. They asked me if I wanted another one. I said not today. I'll try again another time when the exact one I want is in stock.

    I looked at their macs and they seemed to be older. None of the new MBAs were on display. So check apple.com for the exact model number of the machine you want before going to microcenter so you will know whether you are getting what you think you are getting.
     
  7. bluesteel macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Earth
    #7
    microcenter is a very reputable computer/tech retail store chain. there is one down the street from me and i shop their all the time and have never had a problem with purchases or returns. i have bought two Macbooks from there, and they were sealed, new, and perfect. they even sell their open-box computers at a really good discount. the 13" 2.53 Macbook i have was an open-box from Microcenter, and i saved $250 off retail. you just need to check to see if the box is sealed as new, if your buying new. if your buying open-box, just check out the merchandise before you purchase and bring it home.

    Microcenter is an authorized Apple retailer with a good return policy. no reason to worry about buying from there at all.
     
  8. bobthecat23 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    #8
    Damn bought a Mac from there 2 days ago wish I would've known about the rewards program and yeah the Mac I got was in a sealed box and the sales person was helpful so can't complain thumbs up to micro center.
     
  9. kingtj macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    Brunswick, MD
    #9
    Yep... agreed.

    The Micro Center here is an excellent computer store. The main problem I've noticed with their Apple section is, they seem not to be able to get on really good terms with Apple themselves. (EG. When the iPads came out, Micro Center wasn't able to get any from Apple for months. Stores like Best Buy got them first.) My local store seems to be trying hard to compensate by stocking lots of 3rd. party products you used to only be able to mail order out of the magazines like MacWorld or Mac Life.

    They did get some of the Airs in stock almost immediately though, to my surprise.

    They do resell returned prducts but those always seem to have red and white stickers on them clearly indicating they're a return.


     
  10. ski2moro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    #10
    I shopped in Cincinnati's MicroCenter for years. It is a stand up company with the highest standards. You should trust them totally, and even if you have a problem, it will be handled in a professional way.

    One example: Years ago, I bought a unknown brand USB network card - $29.95 with a $25 rebate. The card worked fine. I submitted the rebate. I waited. And waited. Finally I got an email message from the network card manufacturer, "We cannot fund your rebate at this time."

    I called Microcenter in Cincinnati. I got a Customer Service woman who immediately took ownership of the problem. She said that she had just gotten a couple of other calls about this. She promised to send me an email with an answer by 11:00 the next morning.

    At 10:30 the next morning, I received an email from Microcenter saying that they were sorry that the network card company was having financial problems.

    However, Microcenter stepped up and funded the rebate to everyone who submitted. They would not allow their vendor to screw over their customers.
    I had my $25 rebate check within 2 weeks from Microcenter, not the vendor.

    Any company that does this has won my lifetime support. Sure, they could have said it's not my fault, yada, yada. But Microcenter knows the value of KEEPING the customer happy.

    I vote yes for Microcenter.
     
  11. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #11
    I'm skeptical of Microcenter. I've been in their store, but they don't impress me as knowing what they are doing. I look at their ads on the web, and they advertise "new" Macs that upon close inspection are previous generation. They do have some interesting non Mac stuff that I can't find anywhere else in a store, but I wouldn't trust them enough to spend over $1000 on a Mac there.
     
  12. ski2moro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    #12
    Just because you have trust issues, it is no reason for the rest of us not to shop at Microcenter.

    I see nothing wrong with advertising previous generation DISCOUNTED Macs as "new" when they are new in a sealed box. It's not a bait and switch, it's an offer for discounted merchandise.

    And yes, I always went back to the racks with the returned merchandise. I could find some real bargains there. It was ALWAYS clearly marked as returned. If a cable was missing, it was noted on the tag. If the product didn't work, you could return it with a receipt, same as any store.

    As in any store, Apple Stores included, there are clerks, sales people, and experts. Microcenter is no different.

    There was a guy in the Cincinnati store named J.D. who was the most knowledgeable Mac person I ever met. He would discuss hacks, upgrades, workarounds - everything. His forte was introducing PC people to Macs and helping them make the switch. He made sure that the Switcher knew that if he had a problem, he could come in to him for help.

    I have probably spent more than $30,000 there over the years, and NEVER had a problem. I wish they had a store where I live now.
     
  13. Pak^Man macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    #13

    No I seriously doubt it.... I was a customer of their's for aver 5 years until I moved. Boughts lots of new and used gear from them.... they are a top notch business in my opnion.

    Of course, when one buys an open package item they are taking the risk. But the stuff they sell as new actually is just that. Also they are :apple: authorized sellers.... and :apple: would send them to hell and back for such shady practices on their gear!!

    Last, but not the least, Macbooks don't come shrink wrapped!!


    As for the MBAs, I doubt any of the :apple: partners have them yet.... new gear usually takes a while to trickle to Best Busy, MC, etc.... :apple: stores get priority.
     
  14. Pak^Man macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    #14

    Also consider Amazon.... depending on speccific machine, you can get a decent price break from them from time to time.
     
  15. bluesteel macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Earth
    #15
    yeah, your right about that. the people that work in the mac section have absolutely no idea what they are talking about when it comes to macs. they have told me incorrect information several times. sometimes i'm not sure if it was just a lie to sell me something, or if they really didn't know much about the Apple computers they are selling. most everyone there seem to be PC Windows people.

    all in all, though, they are an authorized Apple retailer. there really is zero reason to worry about buying from them. plus, they have great deals sometimes.
     
  16. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #16
    Let me make this clear. The drive I bought was marked as new on a shelf next to other new drives. There was no indication it was somebody's return. Only after bringing it back and talking to a buddy of mine that worked there did I get "the skinny" about the heavier gauge shrink wrap that indicates a return being resold. Normally they are put in clearance but the one I bought was not in clearance though it was "on sale". The price I was given was the advertised "on sale" price listed on the internet and in the circular for a NEW drive. Not a refurb discount.

    Are they a first class business? That's difficult to say. Back when there was Computer City, Compusa and Microcenter all within a mile, I would only stop at Microcenter as a last resort. MC had more selection but they never seemed as "professional" as the others and there was a lot of shoddy merchandise mixed in among the name brands. Sometimes I would go there for the knockoff brands to save money but most often when I'm shopping for computer gear, I'm not looking to save 15 bucks by purchasing some brand I've never heard of and hoping I'm lucky enough to have it last. So by today's standards they are a first class outfit, but that bar has fallen a lot lower in recent years.

    Now that the other two (computer chains) are extinct, I have no choice. If the Apple Store doesn't carry something I need, I often go to MC. One advantage is MC doesn't charge restocking in as many situations as bestbuy or some of the office stores (Staples, etc) would charge. And no I don't want to pay $50 for a costco membership so I can take advantage of their no restocking fee policy. That's enough to cover 2 restocking fees. :eek:
     
  17. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #17
    Buying directly from Apple has advantages over authorized Apple retailers. If you buy, for example, a stock MBP in the Apple store and take it home and it is DOA, you can take it back to the Apple store and they will replace it on the spot. Retailers like MacMall and Microcenter can simply try to repair it themselves or send it back to Apple and make you wait for the repair rather than give you a new one. Why take a chance? If your new Mac is DOA is is almost certainly going to have problems down the road.
     
  18. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #18
    I believe that the rewards program is only available at Micro Center's in California.
     
  19. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #19
    Are you saying that you cannot go to an Apple store for service on a Mac purchased at Microcenter?

    I'd also be VERY surprised if you couldn't exchange a DOA Mac at Microcenter. Have you specifically had this problem yourself or are you speculating?

    If I brought a Mac home and it was DOA, I'd be back at Microcenter in ten minutes -- if they didn't give a flat exchange I would raise quite a stink in store. I'm confident I could persuade them to do an exchange on the Mac I'd just purchased. :)
     
  20. kingtj macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    Brunswick, MD
    #20
    But this is everywhere ....

    The people working at my local Apple store can't tell me anything more than the typical Micro Center Mac clerk can, in my experience.

    The Best Buy people are even more of a joke, despite going to one of their local stores here that has a big Mac section. The designated "Mac guy" there was some kid who told me things like, "If you think that Macbook Air boots fast, just put an SSD drive in your Macbook Pro and watch how fast it SCREAMS!" Uh, no guy ... the Air has other unique designs to allow it to boot/resume the OS faster than othr Apple products. My MB Pro is *not* going to make its boot time look slow in comparison just because I fork out big bucks on an SSD upgrade to it. Sigh ....

    You have to do your own research before buying, period.

     
  21. MacSignal macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    #21
    Emphasis is mine. Amen! Trust yourself to know what you are buying. Pay with a credit card in case you are wrong. :D

    But is MicroCenter legitimate? Yes IMO. Happy to have one local along with the Apple Store and Best Buy. I wouldn't hesitate to purchase from MC if I thought the store had the best value on something that I wanted to buy.
     
  22. rhinosrcool macrumors 65816

    rhinosrcool

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Location:
    MN
    #22
    For the past 5 years, I have shopped at Microcenter. Never have I had a problem with a return. For me, the only thing I didn't really care for was their reliance on rebates. However, since they have cut down on this, I can only recommend them.
     
  23. Doc750 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    #23
    I love my local microcenter. I was able to get my MBP 17 for a little over $1400.

    I swing by there alot to check out there open box specials. You can usually get huge discounts on brand new items.

    they have everythinge apple store sells and then some.
     
  24. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #24
    The terms of repair on computers varies with sellers; Amazon and MacMall and others reserve the right to repair anything that is defective before they replace it. I've had horror stories from friends who bought and received defective computers from reputable retailers and had a hard time getting them fixed.
     
  25. MDiddy macrumors regular

    MDiddy

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago
    #25
    I used to work at a Micro Center in Chicago and they've been selling Macs nationally longer than any other retailer. From time to time, they get special configurations - direct from Apple - and can sell them at lower prices. Its been several year since I've worked there, but as long as its a new sealed unit, it comes with the same warranty as any other Mac (90 day software support/1 year hardware) You can get it services anywhere that services Macs - Apple Store included. Typically, an open box model's warranty will run 1 year from its original date of purchase.
     

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