MacMost Now 97: Better Prices on Mac Software

Gary Rosenzweig looks at how you can save money on Mac software by shopping around at online stores.

Video Transcript
Hi! This is Gary with MacMost Now. Today I'm going to show you how to save money on Mac software when shopping online.
So what better place to buy Mac software than at the Apple store, right? And here we are, just about to buy a copy of Leopard. But can we do better than the $129.00 price tag? Let's go and take a look at some other sites.
Small Dog Electronics at SmallDog.com is another great place to buy Mac software. They have it for about the same price -- even 99 cents more expensive. Let's go ahead and look at another Mac site: ExperCom.com and we see -- ah, here's a little bit of savings. We get it for just under $120.00 at this site.
Let's continue with NewEgg.com, a well known gadget, software, and computer site. And, hey, that's got it for $110.00. And also if we go to good old Amazon.com we also see it for $110.00. And a lot of these sites offer free shipping, including the last two. So you can see there are a lot better deals out there for getting Leopard than buying them directly from Apple.
So while the Apple store may not be the best on price, it still may have some advantages. For instance, the Apple store may be the only place locally to just get a retail box of some Mac software right now, whereas ordering online, you have to wait a few days for shipping.
Here's another one: iLife 08 Standard is $79.00 at the Apple store. At Small Dog Electronics, it's $79.99. At ExperCom we get a discount here. It's $75.00. At NewEgg we get it for $69.99. And Amazon's got it for $68.99. So another example of different prices and better prices at other sites besides Apple.com.
So there are two hidden costs to buying anything online. There's shipping and there's sales tax. Now shipping, of course, varies from site to site and there are a lot of offers for free shipping out there. But make sure you check the free shipping and see how long that's going to take. Sometimes it takes a lot longer than shipping you pay for. And then check to see what the total shipping costs will be and see how much you'll save by buying it in a nearby retail store, like your nearby Apple store.
OK, so sales tax. Now a lot of sites let you get away without paying sales tax. Some charge you sales tax, like Apple.com. Here's the thing, if you get away with not paying sales tax, in all states that charge sales tax, they expect you to pay that anyway. That's called use tax.
Now, most individuals don't even know this exists and get away with not paying it when buying small items online. But if you're buying things like copies of Photoshop online for your small business, then you might expect the state to catch up with you if you don't pay sales tax or use tax. Ask your accountant about that.
Now you can also do this for non-Apple software. For instance, say you want to buy a new copy of Standard Photoshop from Adobe. Here it is at the Adobe site for $649.00. Now if we look at some other sites, we see that it's also $649.00 at ExperCom, but at NewEgg, it's $629.95, and $629.99 at Amazon. But Small Dog Electronics has it for $609.99. So in this case, Small Dog is the winner.
This is also true for games. Apple is selling Guitar Hero III for about $70.00. If you look at a lot of other sites, you actually find that that's a pretty good deal. It's as much as $80.00 at other sites. But Amazon's got it for $60.00.
Now, if you don't mind shopping at sites you've never heard of before, one trick is to go to Google and actually type in the name of the product you're looking for. So, for instance, let's type in iLife. And once you get to the results page, go to the top and click on 'shopping.' And what you're going to get here is a whole bunch of different prices for the product you're looking for from all sorts of different stores.
Now, there are a lot of different problems with this type of thing. For instance, here it claims that you could find $13.00 copies of iLife and you'll find out that if you click on that,that that's not really true. It shows a store there selling it for $13.00, but if you look closely, it's something called the iLife 08n Media Set.
So you've got problems like that where the key word searches in shopping aren't exactly going to show you what you want, but sometimes this will turn up a little gem: some store you might have heard of or are willing to try selling it for much less than everybody else.
So the basic idea here is to learn to shop around. Don't just assume that the price on the main site, like Apple or Adobe, is the best price out there. It usually isn't. Go ahead and look at Amazon, look on a bunch of other sites. Find a good deal from a company you trust and order from them.
Until next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: One Response to “MacMost Now 97: Better Prices on Mac Software”

    Daniel
    6/23/08 @ 9:17 pm

    Good reminder to shop around. It’s easy to fall into the shop “only at Apple” for Apple products.
    You should post links to the sites you featured in your show notes to make it easier for others to find them quickly and to visit your page more often and not just in iTunes.

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