What are the differences buying from Apple and other stores?

hajime

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
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829
Hello, given that prices are the same for most devices, what are the differences in buying Apple products from Apple Store vs. other big name stores such as Bestbuy, Staples, Costco and Walmart?
 

techwarrior

macrumors 65816
Jul 30, 2009
1,204
458
Colorado
Knowledge of products and services, ongoing service.

For simple accessories, no difference. But I have yet to find a knowledgable Apple Specialist at any of the above resellers that comes anywhere near Apple Store associates.

If you buy in an Apple Store, they will gladly help with setup if you need it, and advice on getting started. Other stores will look at you cross-eyed if you ask for this kind of help.
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
33,491
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Hello, given that prices are the same for most devices, what are the differences in buying Apple products from Apple Store vs. other big name stores such as Bestbuy, Staples, Costco and Walmart?
Apples return policy and customer service direct from them supersedes other places from my experiences. And when you Purcjase direct from them, I always find that the Apple store has helpful staff when you have questions or issues with the device. Much more knowledgeable staff in the Apple store.
 

hajime

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
6,018
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I always buy from Apple Store but some big retailers have more than two-week of refund policy and sometimes they sell iPad and Mac at slightly lower price. So, I wonder if I should buy from them.

I am also worry about the possibility of getting one with dead pixel and scratch.
 

Easttime

macrumors 6502a
Jun 17, 2015
598
422
The customer experience is superb. Clear pricing, rapid and clear receipt and shipment notification, easy returns process, can talk to a human who is polite and knowledgeable, and they stand by their stuff. Easy to find order history online in my Apple account. I recently bought from Best Buy online. Whole different experience. Turns out B.B. online is like Amazon, so unwittingly I bought from a third party. Messy experience.
 

hajime

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
6,018
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How about Costco which offers a generous refund policy?
 

kohlson

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2010
2,379
703
Day-to-day, I don't think any place beats Costco in like-for-like. They have a very generous return policy. I've purchased several non-Apple products that aren't normally discounted at Apple. And within the window, it's a great return policy (Will my wife find these Beats 3 headphones really comfortable?)
BB and Staples often have very good coupon/sales.

I have made purchases at all of these - sales people can be hit or miss at any one of them.
 

akadafni

macrumors regular
Nov 8, 2015
229
162
IIRC, if you buy an Apple anything from a non-Apple store, you cannot return it to the Apple store for exchange or refund.
This is very true. If you purchase from a 3rd party retail outlet the on thing the Apple Retail store can do is repair your device. They won't exchange it from their inventory.
 

hajime

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
6,018
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This is very true. If you purchase from a 3rd party retail outlet the on thing the Apple Retail store can do is repair your device. They won't exchange it from their inventory.
I am a bit confused. I think Apple Store has a 2-week no question asked refund policy. As for Costco, it has a 3-month no question asked refund policy. So, isn't it better to buy from Costco?
 

akadafni

macrumors regular
Nov 8, 2015
229
162
I am a bit confused. I think Apple Store has a 2-week no question asked refund policy. As for Costco, it has a 3-month no question asked refund policy. So, isn't it better to buy from Costco?
Depends on your needs. All I'm saying is if you purchase from Costco and have a warranty issue an Apple Store will not replace/exchange the device. They will only repair
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
33,491
34,581
I always buy from Apple Store but some big retailers have more than two-week of refund policy and sometimes they sell iPad and Mac at slightly lower price. So, I wonder if I should buy from them.

I am also worry about the possibility of getting one with dead pixel and scratch.
I find when you purchase something from Apple, if you’re not content with the product or you have an issue, they will exchange it immediately in store and make exceptions in certain cases. Some retailers don’t always abide by their own return policy and with Apple, I’m confident that they will rectify the situation. Even if that means I spend a little bit more money with Apple over a third-party store sale, then it was worth it to me.
 
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hajime

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
6,018
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I find when you purchase something from Apple, if you’re not content with the product or you have an issue, they will exchange it immediately in store and make exceptions in certain cases. Some retailers don’t always abide by their own return policy and with Apple, I’m confident that they will rectify the situation. Even if that means I spend a little bit more money with Apple over a third-party store sale, then it was worth it to me.
I have seen posts saying that Costco does not always accept returns of electronic products even within 60 days of purchase. It depends on the store manager. Is that right?

If I buy an iPad Pro from Apple Store, say today and within two weeks we know the 2018 version will come out at the end of the month, can I exchange for the 2018 version?
 

techwarrior

macrumors 65816
Jul 30, 2009
1,204
458
Colorado
If I buy an iPad Pro from Apple Store, say today and within two weeks we know the 2018 version will come out at the end of the month, can I exchange for the 2018 version?
Yes, they have a no questions asked 30 day return policy @Apple Stores. This is why so many N-1 products become available on the Apple Refurbished store following new model releases. Also, older models tend to get a price drop when newer ones come out, and some folks have been known to use the 30 day return policy to get the same, older model at the lower price when the new models arrive, or get a model with more storage at near the same price as the original purchase.

Good luck with timing your purchases to fit in the 30 day window. The only products that tend to be fairly regular with regard to release cycles are iPhones which tend to always launch in the same month, give or take a couple of weeks. All others hit the market at various times.

MacRumors does as good of a job of listing anticipated releases on the home page as anyone. They currently state iPad may be getting a refresh this month, but iPad doesn't generally come out with a whole new lineup (standard + Pro) and the same time. Keep your eye on the rumor mill!

For any big releases, there tends to be an Apple Event to 'splain it to the market. For minor spec updates, they can hit with little notice, though rumors will tend to start appearing a week or two in advance when current supplies\shipping dates start to slip, or resellers start dumping current models with discounts to clear inventory for the new models. Resellers tend to know of upcoming releases a week or two before consumers know.
 

hajime

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
6,018
829
Thanks. The most I lose will be the screen protector and case in case a new model comes out.
 

mlac007

macrumors newbie
Sep 13, 2007
17
0
Don't forget that wicked cool white bag with the apple logo that the Apple store puts their products in :):):)
 

hajime

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
6,018
829
I double checked with an Apple Store in Canada. They said that the return policy is 14-15 days (don't remember which) rather than 30 days. Why Apple in the US offers 30 days return policy but not in Canada? She also mentioned that as they sell brand new products, there should not be scratches or dead pixel. She said that they would not want to accept an iPad with scratches.

I read the cellular + wifi version of Apple's iPad PRO are sim lock free. Thus, they can be used anywhere around the world. However, the Apple sales had no idea what sim lock free is! After some explanations, she said that I have to check with the carrier in the country where I want to use it. Who is correct?
 
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