need advice: Buy new ibook online or at local store?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 26, 2002
hey everyone -

you all seem to be veterans at this --

the new ibook would be my first computer purchase in several years (leaving the PC world !) (actually i started off on an Apple IIC and Mac color classic.. but then went PC for the last 9+ years, oh how terrible)

do you suggest I buy it from or any other online vendor or is it easier if i Just buy it from a local retailer -- that way if there are any problems i can just go back to that store.



PS. sucks that tax is >$150!


macrumors 68030
Nov 4, 2001
Kent, UK
I posted this a while back in response to a similar question

Originally posted by yours truly
I don't think it really makes much difference who you go and buy your new apple from. By and large, you'll be charged the same price wherever you go, as resellers base themselves on apple's r.r.p. On the one hand, if you purchase directly from apple, then they get more of a profit from that item (direct sales are worth more to a company individually than sales to retailers, where they have to offer 10/20...% discounts). On the other hand, buying your new computer from a reseller provides support for the growing number of places selling macs, making it just that bit more likely that we'll see macs available in more and more places.
Others points mentioned by others included that you quite often get free extras such as a printer, more ram... from retailers. Also, it's perfectly possible that a retailers will go out of business before your apple dies on you.

Enjoy your mac, wherever you get it from :)


Moderator emeritus
Nov 28, 2001
down in Fraggle Rock
if you buy from you might pay sales tax (depending on where you are), but shipping is free.

if you buy from a different online vendor no tax plus freebies like ram, printer, carrying case, zip drive, etc (often you get a couple hundred dollars worth of stuff)

if you buy from a local vendor you can check it before buying to make sure the screen is good and everything is working properly. also you can make sure the os is up to date. apple and online vendors like giving you old OSes.

if you resgister your new mac apple will give you a bunch of coupons for money off so any apple extras you want from apple you can get later no matter where you buy.

apple rebates are offered from any apple authorized vendor so make sure you go to an authorized reseller (you can find a list at apple's website)


macrumors 68000
i'm all for buying locally. if that puppy's DOA you can always take it right back and exchange it ( make sure they have an exchange policy ). you might pay a little more with tax but it does help your local stores stay in business and local people stay employed.

also, if you also take the time to develope a relationship with your slaesman you can get better deals in the future and they might be able to find gear for you that no-one else has.

i had one nitemare mail-order purchase that changed my ways...the seller and ups argued for weeks over who was at fault for a dead piece of gear..and the whole time my $$ was tied up AND i had no equipment....


macrumors regular
Jan 17, 2002
London (or virtually here)
I see in your profile you're a student. Might be worth checking the Apple Edu store (you'll probably get a hundred or hundred-fifty bucks off the full price) -- and compare that price to other retailers...


macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
Natick, MA
Originally posted by whfsdude Unlike the apple store which has tax both online and offline :(
I have yet to be charged sales tax from the Apple online store. I also go up into NH to the Apple store there when I make purchases (tax free). No, I do NOT fill out that obscure form and pay taxes later... Only tax attorney's or worse would do that. :D

Be careful of the supposed 'deals' both online and off. Most of the time, that free memory really is not free (they charge in the area of $30+ to install memory that takes all of a minute or two to put in). Printers might be free, but make sure it is not an 'after rebate' kind of free.


Moderator emeritus
Nov 28, 2001
down in Fraggle Rock
if you are in CA you pay tax through apple. (maybe some other states) but most states will be free. really sucks too because tax is way more than education discounts, so educators get screwed.

the education discount someone else mentioned probably isnt worth looking into. apple on gives $50 off. so buying from a different party will still be cheaper, expecially if apple charges you tax. it really depends on where you are though. if you are in CA dont buy apple. if your states has no sales tax then your local vendor can probably give you the best deal. if your state does have sales tax then buying online is probably cheapest (espcially since you get all the freebies). but the big advantage of buying at a local store is you get to see the product and make sure it work before paying.


macrumors 65816
Jan 21, 2002
Tampa Bay Area, FL, USA

If you're concerned with money over convenience, definitely buy your BTO from the store. If you're buying a stock configuration, buy it wherever you can get it cheapest. I bought my iBook at the Tampa Apple Store and wound up overpaying by about $150. I didn't get a .edu discount on my extra memory and airport card, had to pay to get both installed, and wasn't able to get the smaller hard drive. However, there was the instant gratification of having my computer to play with on the drive home. :D
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