Store vs Online

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by nmerriam, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. nmerriam macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2003
    I'm going to pick up a dual G5 (whatever is best bang-for-buck after MWSF) but I don't know the pros and cons of buying online via Apple or physically going to the Apple Store that is 30 minutes away.

    I work at a University, so I'll get the educational discount -- I can get it online easily, can I get it at the normal Apple retail store with my Employee ID?

    If I buy it at the store, are you obligated to the stock configurations or can changes (like upgrading video card) be made?

    If I buy online, and there is a problem with the system when it arrives, can I bring it into the store or do i have to ship it back? (This assumes that if I buy it at the store I can bring it in for repair/replacement!)

    i know these are questions i could ask someone at the store, but I hate not knowing if the sales droid is just telling me what i want to hear, or if the real world experience is different from the official policy.

  2. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus


    Oct 8, 2002
    The Bamboo Forest
    You can only get "stock" computers from the physical Apple store... no build to order stuff... once you've recieved your G5 from the online Apple store, if it's broken you can take it to the physical store... I'd say get it online unless you want a pre-configured machine... but typically you'll want to add or remove a thing or two.
  3. madru macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2003
    If you want a custom configured system, you'll have to order online. Apple store will only sell preconfigured systems. When it comes to warranty related issues, you'll be able to go with either option (apple store or online). Two main advantages of purchasing from apple store is that 1). you get your product as soon as you purchase and 2). Apple store will take multiple forms of payment, whereas online you'll have to make one full payment. Also keep in mind that if Apple store doesn't have what you want, they won't sell it to you, but instead will refer you to the online purchase option.
  4. TheBunnellFarm macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2003
    This is straight from the horses mouth so listen up.

    There are destinct differances from the online to the local store.

    Listen carefully, here is a not always known fact and they do not tell you.

    If you buy from the Apple Store online and make any changes it is considered a custom configuration and you can not return it.

    What that means is if you upgrade the memory or harddrive or add software etc etc you do not get any kind of return policy, period.

    If you do nothing to your order but order the basic unit you have 10 days that you can return it or exchange it.

    Now at the Brick and Morter store you can return or exchange your computer with the same changes that you can`t exchage at the online store.

    In other words with a memory upgrade or harddrive upgrade if you buy from the physical store it is returnable or exchangable for the 10 days.

    If anybody wants to argue that they are wrong, I just went through it.

    My online salesperson sold me a CD-Rom only iBook instead of a ComboDrive and they would not take it back, untouched, unopened direct from Apple bought through the online store, the day it arrived at my home, fact.

    I had ordered a memory upgrade and a harddrive upgrade making it a custom order.

    They told me had I bought from one of there stores it would have been returnable,fact.

    You need to be really certain of everything.

    I was new and learned a hard lesson.

    So there is one major differance between the two.

    Next time I will travel the 200 miles to the closest Apple Store from me.

  5. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus


    Oct 8, 2002
    The Bamboo Forest
    Except that you can't make a memory or hard drive upgrade at the brick and mortar store. You *might* be able to get them to do a memory upgrade as that is upgradable by the user. But you will not be able to do a hard drive upgrade (at least on a laptop). You can *only* do a hard drive upgrade at the online/phone Apple store.
  6. TheBunnellFarm macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2003
  7. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Not quite...but good point

    I think they do tell you quite clearly that custom configurations cannot be returned Policy

    Tom does have a point, if you wish to configure in any way, make sure you know what you want or be prepared to eBay if you are not happy.

    Personally, I used the Apple Store retailer and they even honored educational pricing since my wife's a teacher. We did have to fill out some paper work too.
  8. TheBunnellFarm macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2003
    they do have it all posted on there site and they email you the same information after you order your non-stopable non-returnable item, the problem I had was with the "custom", I thought that was having something other than the basic offerings for your purchase, which I know now they don`t even have, it is definitly vague for a new user, experts have no problem...I`m rapidly becomming expert....
  9. Steven1621 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2003
    you should note whether or not you have to pay tax online or in the store. this could save you a bit of money.
  10. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2003
    Dallas, Texas
    Different opinion

    Umm, I beg to differ.

    I think that a lot of what consumers can and can't return - either for a full refund or an exchange - largely depends on your state's consumer protection laws.

    Thank G-d in California the consumer rules, so exchanges and refunds are very liberal here.

    Concerning your particular case, there's no doubt in my mind that if you lived here in CA and you either got the wrong product or made a mistake in your order, especially in light of the fact that you didn't use the machine, you would be entitled to a refund or an exchange.

    Or at the very least they would change the drive to one of your choice.

    Sorry about the headache :(
  11. zip macrumors member

    Dec 6, 2003
    If I understand correctly, a computer needs to have a certain number of dead pixels for Apple to exchange it.

    If your brand new "stock" computer has one dead pixel will it be easier to exchange it if you bought it from either the online store or the local Apple store?

    Are there any States that do not need to pay sales when ordering online?

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