Where to buy 1st Imac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by seniorgeek, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. seniorgeek, Jun 22, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011

    seniorgeek macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2011
    I think I am ready for my first Mac computer and have settled on the Imac, I am just waiting for Lion to be available before my purchase.

    My question is where is the best place to purchase from considering price, service, and return policy in case of issues such as the yellow display, etc.

    Thank you
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
  3. seniorgeek thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2011
  4. dfine1966 macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2011
    It depends if you want a stock iMac or at BTO(build to order). BTO's you can only get from Apple online. For me I ordered my 2011 BTO iMac online and it was an easy process. I bought the Apple Care, which is great to have. You could buy it anywhere and still get Apple Care(3 year warranty).

    It also depends if you want to buy online or at a retail store. If you buy from Apple, and you have an Apple retail store near you, you could take your iMac to the store to get replaced or fixed. Best Buy has the Geek squad.

    For me, when I use to build my Windows Computers I would just buy parts and do warranty through the companies that made the parts.

    For an iMac, for me, I have no worries buying directly from Apple and bringing it to the local Apple store for problems. My wife has a 24 inch iMac, and in the first six months the hard drive died. I brought it in to the Apple store and they replaced the hard drive with no extra cost and it was easy.

    I would get it from Apple, but that is me. Plus I got a great discount from Apple do to my company gets a very good discount from Apple.
  5. seniorgeek thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2011
    Thanks for your input, I am not a fan of paying for warranties though, I'll explain why, correct me if I am wrong but doesn't the Imac come with a 1 year warranty, so in effect you are paying for a 2 year contract not 3. If I purchase with my AE card they extend the warranty for an addition year giving me 2 years for no charge. For me I like this, however if I did purchase the Applecare and paid with my AE card I would have 4 years of no worry. decision, decisions. If I understand you correctly, I can buy the Imac anywhere I choose and still take ( not bring) it to an Apple store for warranty service.
  6. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    Considering this is your first Mac experience, if you want to the best service and support and the price isn't as large a consideration then buying from Apple directly is your best bet. Their service is unparalleled by any reseller, this goes for either a brick and mortar or online Apple store.

    I saw your post about not wanting an extended service plan, again a foolish choice. Yes I also I have AMEX and am aware of the 1 year additional warranty. One thing AppleCare also covers and is frequently over looked is:

    1. The service also includes telephone support. For a new user this is invaluable. You have someone you can pick up the phone and call. Again this service is second to none in the industry. These guys are talented, speak your native language fluently and don't read from scripts.

    2. If you live within 50 miles of an AASP you can request in-home service if it's is needed. This is in the US, I do not know about other countries.

    3. You can also buy AppleCare discounted from Apple Resellers, Apple sells it for $169 you can get it from Amazon for $131.00 or LA Computer Company sells it for $120.00.
  7. seniorgeek thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2011
    Good information, thanks, I definitely will now consider the Applecare purchase. I guess for a few dollars more I should consider Apple Store online or the local one, I would have to pay the tax with either of them. Any opinion of MacMall, I think I could save the tax there.
  8. Larry MacPhee macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2007
    Apple store is the best place, if you're in or near any major metropolitan area. If you're out in the boonies, like me, I use Apple's online store. If you're an educator, don't forget to go through the Education store for a discount even on a personal machine.

    Best Buy is another option if you want to see one before you buy and there's no Apple store nearby, but your best service and support will come from Apple and forums like this one.

    I agree with you on warranty. If you're considering an iMac rather than a portable machine, I think AppleCare is optional. It extends the warranty to 3 years (2 additional). iMacs are quite reliable, and because it's a Mac, they are already more reliable than cheaper PCs. If it's going to fail, it will likely happen within the first few months while it's covered or not until the components wear out years from now. Run it hard for the first few months. If anything isn't right, you'll discover it.

    If you had been asking about a laptop, however, I would consider AppleCare, since they are both harder to repair and more fragile, and they get rougher treatment because they get lugged around.
  9. likegadgets macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2008
    I too rarely buy extended warranties. However I do get Applecare. In bot, and MBP and iMac (2008) models, I had service performed after the 1 year mark.

    Having Applecare also makes it much easier should you want to sell it in year 3...
  10. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Correct. Regardless of where you buy an Apple product from, you can bring it to an Apple Store for warranty service. Just be sure to make a free online Genius Bar reservation before you show up in the store!
  11. Larry MacPhee macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2007
    I have a very negative impression of MacMall from both personal experience and word of mouth. I think they are probably the worst of the catalog/online sellers and would steer towards any of the others.
  12. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    At one point, MacMall was known for not accepting returns on non-DOA Apple products that had problems. i.e. if your hard drive crashed 4 days after buying from them, they'd insist that you go thru Apple warranty services vs. returning the Mac back to them. Don't know if they're still like that.
  13. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    Your welcome. I haven't done business with MacMall. I bought my first Mac directly from Apple and have bought 2 others from Mac Connection which was a pleasurable experience.

    Remember when you buy from Apple you have 14 days to return the computer. When you buy from other resellers you need to investigate their return policy including shipping charges. Buying to save a buck can backfire if you don't do your due diligence. One thing I always tell customers that are money sensitive is long after the money is spent the experience is what you remember. If you buy something and you're unhappy with the service what you remember 6 months later is the service you received not the money.
  14. mekyoung macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2011
    We recently purchased our first Apple product. An iMac, just after the refresh. We didn't need the BTO option, so we made a trip to the nearest Apple store. We could have saved a few bucks by ordering online, but the experience at the Apple store was well worth it.

    They took the time to go over many of the features, and basic navigation around OS X. Once we decided to buy the iMac, they un-boxed it and took it out to one of the tables, and plugged it in. We proceeded to set it up right there in the store. We set up our user account, iTunes account, took care of AppleCare, and submitted our rebate for a printer. I knew our email info, so we went ahead and set up our email account while we were at it.

    It was nice to get home and plug it in, and it was ready to go. The only thing we had to do was sync up to our home wi-fi network, which was a breeze. Anyway, that was our experience, which I am pleased to say was one of the best I have had from a retail purchase.

    Good Luck
  15. AbeFroman77 macrumors 6502

    May 29, 2010
    Anyone recommend bhphotovideo.com? No sales tax for me and free shipping.
  16. seniorgeek thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2011
    B & H has great service, however a friend just purchased a MBP from there, he purchased AppleCare elsewhere and then discovered that the warranty started when B & H received the computer not when he purchased it, in this case it was a difference of 4 days, but something to consider.
  17. Bolo4u macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2009
    I am in the same boat as you. I have done quite a bit of savings research on the iMacs and have come up with the following info about MacMall vs. Apple vs. Best Buy.

    MacMall does offer a BTO option, but the upgrades are more expensive. The iMac 3.1 i5 1gb starts at $1899, but if you upgrade to the 2 gb card the cost is $194, and the i7 option is $294, and $164 for Applecare . You do get free shipping and no tax. Apple (education discount, yes I am a student) is $1899 for the same base model but the upgrade video and i7 is $80/$180 respectively and $119 for Applecare, but you pay tax and get free shipping. So it's almost a push moneywise. Best Buy just has "stock" models.

    Now since you are buying with your AMEX card, as will I, if you earn reward points, do this:

    If you decide to go with Apple shop for your purchase through the earn rewards points portal. It will link you to the Apple store directly, and you earn 3X rewards points, and if you get Applecare, the AMEX warranty kicks in AFTER APplecare expires, so you would get 4 years total coverage.

    My plan is to do this very option, but to buy a 2010 i7 refurb, and Applecare. I'll save some money, get 4 years coverage, and 3X AMEX reward points.:eek:
  18. silentbob007 macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2010
    Little Rock, AR
    I purchased my iMac from Best Buy the week the refresh came out. The very first week they had it on sale (and it still may be) ... it wasn't quite the education discount, but it was close. Also, I was able to bundle a wireless printer that I wanted more than one of the free-after-rebate ones offered by Apple. Third, I was able to walk away with it right then (nearest Apple store is an hour away). Fourth, got a bit back in RZ points. Finally, was able to use 18 month interest-free financing with my BB credit card. Since I was going to go with an off-the-shelf option, this just made sense to me.
  19. mojobebop macrumors newbie

    Jun 29, 2011
    in 2001 i bought a imac from them and it was defective from day one. in that it wouldn't start up. i had to constantly unplug, & restart it. tried returning it. because i purchased it w/a credit card which (i forget exactly), but it was thru a particular bank, and they said i'd have to go through them, or whatever. so i was stuck w/this computer and they would take no responsibility.
  20. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    If you go through the retail or apple online store, think long and hard about getting one to one for $99. A year's worth of unlimited training on whatever subjects you want to learn about (that's mac related).

    I have used the hell out of this service, and have found it to be incredibly useful. In 2012, I fully expect to see my picture posted near the registers of my local apple store bearing the title.."Do NOT sell a new mac to this person..".:D

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