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What are the cheapest/best places to buy an iMac online currently

manfrominternet

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 6, 2016
2
0
Los Angeles
I'm asking because I just realized that B&H Photo is starting to charge sales tax, which made the computer I was working so hard to get suddenly out of reach. I'm a young student who had been saving for the past year and a half or so to buy the newer 2019 27" iMac with a 3.6GHz i9 CPU, 2TB Fusion Drive, and a Vega 48 card.

Would any of you have any suggestions where I should look to purchase this iMac model, since it looks like I will no longer be able to afford it at B&H Photo?

I'm looking to use this computer for very heavy photo and video editing.

Many thanks!
 

vertical smile

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2014
5,330
6,192
Apple offers student discounts and the Apple Refurbished store gives a decent discount.

Other than that, I would suggest looking out for sales at places like Best Buy, but they typically do not offer too many of the BTO options.

You could finance your Mac.

If none of these options fit what you want, maybe consider lowering your specs. Maybe stick with the 580X. You can always get a eGPU later if the 580X isn't up to the task.

Maybe do some trading off, stick with the 580X, and get the 512GB SSD and use external storage. That larger fast storage could help with that editing over the Fusion Drive.
 
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ruslan120

macrumors 65816
Jul 12, 2009
1,294
989
+1 for Refurbished.

Kind of a workaround but a variety of credit cards offer sign up bonuses. You can get two that are “spend $1000 get $200 back” and save an additional $400 that way.
 

bpeeps

macrumors 68040
May 6, 2011
3,275
3,225
+1 for Refurbished.

Kind of a workaround but a variety of credit cards offer sign up bonuses. You can get two that are “spend $1000 get $200 back” and save an additional $400 that way.
I second this. For big purchases, I always open a new credit card where you have to spend X to earn Y in cashback. It's an easy way to get an additional $100 to $600 back depending on the credit card offer. And many times those cards will have 0% introductory APR's that give you 12 to 18 months of financing with no interest fee. Just make sure you pay it off in the allotted time.
 
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TheIntruder

macrumors 65816
Jul 2, 2008
1,301
830
Unless one resides in one of the few states with no sales tax, there is simply no escaping it now, and not just for ordering Macs online. Thank the state of South Dakota.

Buying a non-standard/BTO configuration severely limits the options, to Apple, or a reseller that offers them, such as B&H, Adorama, Expercom, etc. Best Buy doesn't offer them, nor does Amazon, Costco, Microcenter, or Fry's (which is on its deathbed anyway).

Within those constraints, you'll still have to do a little comparison shopping for the specific combo you want, as the prices will vary a bit.

B&H and the like have some pretty consistent discounts, which are repeatedly touted by sites through affiliate deals, or just by going direct.

Apple offers discounts to students, military, government employees (barely), and some companies through EPP programs. Apple employees get a limited number of big item discounts within a certain time period, but have more flexibility offering friends and family a flat 15% discount, if you happen to have such a connection.

Apple's refurbished store also offers ~%15 discount, and has the full variety of configurations, subject to inventory in stock. It's an easy way to get among the best discounts available, open to everyone, without having to jump through any hoops. The product is basically indistinguishable from new retail product, and offers the same warranty coverage, except it will come in a plain white box and a different serial number. Refurbs are a safe and proven way to get discounted Apple product.

In my shopping experience, aside from the refurb store, B&H probably offers the best discounts, but there are a few caveats with buying from them:

1) They do not accept returns of opened computers, so you must be absolutely sure it's what you want.

2) Cast a wary eye toward a countdown timer next to the price. A model I was considering actually went down by another $50 after the "special price" expired (WTH?!). That's not to say it happens all the time, but it can happen.

3) Their sales tax rebate offer involves applying for their credit card, and paying using that line of credit. If the balance isn't paid in full within the specified period, the interest rate is 30%, which is the typical penalty rate that an average credit card uses as a stick to discourage deadbeats. Applying for a line of new line of credit also involves a hard pull, which may affect your credit score. As a student, the possibility of a obtaining a mortgage may be far off in the future, but for everyone else who is looking to secure a large loan, for a house, or a car, it's generally not a good idea to apply for multiple new lines of credits within a short span. I've worked in finance, and opening new credit lines for one time discounts is generally not a good idea, and could end up costing you thousands more. That game can bring benefits, but is not without risk. Something to consider to in order to save about 300 bucks.

Unfortunately, short of an Apple employee being kind and using their big discount on you, 15% is about the best you can do, until the next new model comes out, and these become the old models. But The Man will still get his cut.
 
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mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
1,900
513
The Sillie Con Valley
Yeah, refurb for sure with a student discount.
One or the other but you can't do both on the same item.

On hardware, the Refurb Store is the better deal, normally around 15%.

Software bundles a AppleCare are better in the EDUcation store.

And yes, you can combine both on the same invoice — that way you don't have to register AppleCare separately. It's a little tricky to do online but no longer impossible but, if you need help with that, call the toll-free number.
BTW, Adorama only collects sales tax for NY and NJ. So for most of us, there are sources without sales tax.
Yea, as long as they pay the required sales tax, the states won't mind. I could never get as good a price from Adorama as other places, however.
 

nydennis

macrumors regular
Dec 21, 2011
119
5
Long Island, NY
I'm asking because I just realized that B&H Photo is starting to charge sales tax, which made the computer I was working so hard to get suddenly out of reach. I'm a young student who had been saving for the past year and a half or so to buy the newer 2019 27" iMac with a 3.6GHz i9 CPU, 2TB Fusion Drive, and a Vega 48 card.

Would any of you have any suggestions where I should look to purchase this iMac model, since it looks like I will no longer be able to afford it at B&H Photo?

I'm looking to use this computer for very heavy photo and video editing.

Many thanks!

Portableone.com
Ordered my iMac from them in 2014 and several friends have used them as well.

PORTABLE ONE, INC COLLECTS SALES TAX in states where we have physical presence (or nexus), including CA, MA, and TN. Portable One, and Inc also collects sales tax in Colorado.
 

Glockworkorange

Suspended
Feb 10, 2015
2,511
4,179
Chicago, Illinois
One or the other but you can't do both on the same item.

On hardware, the Refurb Store is the better deal, normally around 15%.

Software bundles a AppleCare are better in the EDUcation store.

And yes, you can combine both on the same invoice — that way you don't have to register AppleCare separately. It's a little tricky to do online but no longer impossible but, if you need help with that, call the toll-free number.

Yea, as long as they pay the required sales tax, the states won't mind. I could never get as good a price from Adorama as other places, however.
They don't let you use edu discount on refurb? That's a bummer.

My first 5K was from Adorama (the base 2014). I think it was $300.00 off sticker, free shipping and the no tax thing/tax later thing.
 

TheIntruder

macrumors 65816
Jul 2, 2008
1,301
830
After the South Dakota vs. Wayfair ruling, most states have moved to enact laws taking into account the subordination of the nexus requirement, and based on a certain threshold of transactions and/or dollar amounts. For SD, it was 200 transactions or $100,000 per calendar year. For the OP's resident state, CA, it's $500,000.

B&H dwarfs Adorama, so it's no surprise they started collection from the get go, but given the gear they sell, and the size of the CA market, the latter apparently hasn't met the requirement, not just in CA, but in other states as well.

Regardless, for the OP's desired configuration, Adorama is charging full list price, $3149, and if they want expedited shipping, it's an additional $50/year for their version of Prime.

B&H is charging $2799, with free expedited shipping, and even assuming a 10% tax rate, is still cheaper.
 

MCAsan

macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
4,562
423
Atlanta
If you are a member of KelbyOne, you can order from Apple at employee pricing. That is about the same as no sales tax. And you can trade in an older machine.
 

iono11200

macrumors regular
Mar 9, 2012
127
21
Bought mine from Expercom back in April when the 2019 iMac was just released. They were running a decent sale and saved me about $125.00 plus no tax and one cent shipping.
 
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