Why buy from The Apple Store?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by radpanic, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. radpanic macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2007
    If I buy my new iMac from the Apple Store(online or retail) I will have to pay sales tax. But if I buy from Amazon, I will not have to pay sales tax. So, why should I buy from Apple? Even if I use my student discount, it's still cheaper to buy from Amazon b/c of the added tax. Are BTOs and refurbs the only reasons? Am I missing something? Is there a way for me to NOT pay tax at the Apple Store? BTW, I live in Alabama not CA. Thanks.

    Also, does anyone know why Apple charges tax when most other online retailers do not?
  2. Paix247 macrumors 6502

    Jul 26, 2006
    I think it is because they have physical stores as well as online... but I could be wrong.
  3. dual64bit macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2004
    They charge tax in the states they have a retail presence. So there must be an apple retail store in your state.

    Other online retailers like amazon would have to do the same, if they had retail stores.

    So you want to not pay tax at a store? Isn't that.. like a crime or something?

    But I agree with the online store, don't pay tax if you can buy elsewhere and not pay tax do it.
  4. Le Big Mac macrumors 68030

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    That's right. If they have a physical presence in a state, that state can make them pay the sales tax.

    Amazon does not have a physical presence in most states, so it cannot be forced to pay the tax. Of course, that doesn't mean those purchases are tax free because every state with a sales tax requires people to pay it even if the seller doesn't collect it. But they don't enforce.

    Anyway, you're right--BTO and student discount are reasons to buy at apple store. If neither applies or doesn't give you an advantage, then buy elsewhere.
  5. radpanic thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2007
    I don't think that's the reason b/c when I bought my Macbook(BTO) in 2006 from the online store I paid tax but there wasn't a Apple store in my state. Also, I'm not trying to be dishonest, I just want to get the best deal. If I can skip the taxes through Amazon legally, why not?
  6. whistler222 macrumors 6502

    Nov 8, 2007
    All of you lucky folks with Amazon.

    I live in Seattle, where Amazon is headquartered..
    i always get taxed on amazon purchases.

    :'( :'(
  7. radpanic thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2007
    Cool, thanks.
  8. radpanic thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2007
    Ouch, that's a bummer dude.
  9. pjarvi macrumors 65816


    Jan 11, 2006
    Round Lake, IL
    The main reason to buy from Apple directly would be for BTO. If you're fine with a stock spec then buy from Amazon, especially for a high priced item like a computer. The only other benefits to buying directly from Apple are discounts on .Mac, and possibly other software, as well as the various deals they have like a free printer.
  10. hockeysc23 macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2007
    Very true, or you do not feel like dealing w/amazon for shipping problems, or you have a mac gift certificate.

    I use apple stores because I get extra reward points for my Discover card through them.
  11. LorenK macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2007
    I'm surprised that your price was better from Amazon than Apple Store with an student discount. I just bought the Mac Pro single processor with wireless keyboard and mouse with Apple Care and even with tax was cheaper than what I would have paid JR in New York without tax. And I also was able to get a new printer for a net of zero with the rebate.

    While I generally avoid my Apple Store (I live near the one in suburban Chicago, but it's in a humongous mall), the deal I got was too good to pass up.
  12. Domofloge macrumors regular


    Jan 5, 2008
    New Jersey
  13. GregE macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2007

    I get charged in Kentucky too. :(
  14. Dimwhit macrumors 68000


    Apr 10, 2007
    I don't buy from the Apple Store. I love Macs, but it's an expensive way to go. MacMall is my store of preference. You usually get a rebate, as well as some other extras for free.
  15. MacCurry macrumors 6502

    Aug 28, 2006
    Obviously with the Apple store you have person-person service and can ask questions, but this is of limited utility if you have a little knowledge. Apple stores seem to be more iPod and iPhone stores with less emphasis on computers.

    Places like Amazon offer limited configuration of Macs, but free 2-day UPS shipping if you have Amazon Prime. Next day shipping is only $4.00 more and cheaper than gas to the Apple store and wasting time in parking and so forth. Amzon & B&H Photo sell boat-loads of the standard iMacs and Mac Pros, you're better off with them as you'll get a factory fresh unit instead of one that has been sitting in the store for a while.
  16. Mindflux macrumors 68000


    Oct 20, 2007
    Dont forget, even if you buy from amazon or a non taxed retailer you are supposed to declare it on your taxes and pay them ;)

    damn use tax.
  17. Hmac macrumors 68020

    May 30, 2007
    Midwest USA
    One needs to distinguish between a consumer being liable for paying sales/use tax and whether or not the online merchant has to charge you sales tax. Legally, they have to charge you sales tax only if they have a retail presence in your state. But even if they don't have such a store, and don't charge you the tax, in most states you are supposed to declare and pay that sales tax (use tax). Now, the fact is that in most of those states that have such a law (sales and use tax), there really is no practical way of enforcing that for consumers, so it virtually never happens.
  18. Batt macrumors 65816


    Dec 17, 2007
    Syracuse, NY
    In New York, there's a line on your return to declare your online sales tax, and an income-based formula if you'd rather do that than try and figure out exactly what you owe. I use the income-based formula. It costs me something like $35 bucks at tax time, so it's the cheapest method. And, hopefully, keeps the auditor at bay.
  19. radpanic thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2007
    Oh yeah, much cheaper from Amazon. 2.4 20" Standard from Apple Store w/ student discount and tax(9% for me):$1,524.91. Same thing from Amazon:$1,494.99 plus they are offering a $75 mail in rebate. So, $1,419.99 no tax or shipping from Amazon. Amazon FTW!
  20. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    doesn't have to be a store....it could be sales reps officed there, distribution facilities, etc, all sorts of things give them a presence that requires them to collect tax
  21. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    TECHNICALLY you are on the hook for "Use tax" for something you should have paid sales tax on but didn't. You are supposed to mail it off to your state government.

    So, technically, LEGALLY, you can't avoid the tax either way :) But don't let that stop you, think of all the poor people who need your money so they can blow it on beer and pretzels.

  22. radpanic thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2007
  23. seattle macrumors 6502

    May 15, 2007
    Me too and its 8.9% tax.
  24. BrokenE macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2008
    If you decide to buy on-line, check out MacMall. They ship their computers with Leopard and they give you some freebies to boot.
  25. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    Same. Apple = tax, Amazon = tax. Makes it hard to get deals on the internet if you live in WA. Retail stores all have 8.6% over in Spokane.

    Often it is cheaper to wait until I'm in Oregon to pick stuff up at retail.

    Are there any good Mac retailers that don't nick the WA folks for the sales tax?

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