You don't need to pay top dollar for Macs, iPods and iPhones. Other sellers besides Apple have the same products for a little less. Plus you can use educational discounts and credit cards to save even more. Here are some useful tips on how to buy Apple products for less.
Seems like every time someone complains to me that apple products are two expensive it seems like they are always quoting the apple store retail price. There's actually ways that are cheaper to get apple stuff than just going to the apple store.
First of all shop around, just because apple has it's own stores doesn't mean it's the only place you can get apple computers and ipods. You can shop around for example amazon.com has all the macs and all the different ipods for sale and usually for a little bit cheaper than apple does. A lot of other online stores as well. I'm going to provide a list of them with this post at MacMost.com just some that you can start checking out, you can also go ahead and search around on the internet for other stores and of course look locally. Best buy carries macs and there may also be some local Mac resellers as well, so check your local directories for that. For instance here's amazon and here is the 21.5 inch imac.
Now regularly it's $1200 but you can see that it does this little click to view price thing. As you can see it's 50 bucks less than apple is.
Sometimes this discounts are even deeper. For example I've never bought mobile.me from apple you can actually buy the box from amazon and a lot of other sites for just over $70, you can save almost 30 bucks that way!
Now you probably know that Apple has educational discounts for students, but these are actually more expansive discounts than you may think. For instance people that work for organizations like hospitals may also get educational discounts if the organization is attached to an educational institution. In addition parents of children in schools may also get educational discounts. So you may want to look at where ever it is you work or relatives work and see if you can get an educational discount through them. There is also corporate discounts some of the large corporations have similar discounts to education if you go through their corporate purchasing so you may want to ask about that in your benefits department if you work for a large corp.
You can also get your own personal discount by becoming an Apple developer. Now when you sign up for the apple developer program you get one discount a year on a major piece of hardware. Now it costs money to do this but there are other benefits as well like getting the early releases of operating systems and things like that. I was able to get my Mac pro last year through the Apple developer program at enough of a discount to pay for the entire developer program itself.
Now Macs are major purchases so you may want to consider buying them through a credit card that provides points so you can save in two ways here. One is that you can get points for buying your Mac and apply them to future things like airline flights, things like that. Or you could actually use points to purchase Macs. Sometime Apple is available as one of the stores where you can buy from through your credit card. I found out on my credit card for instance not only do I get points when I buy from Apple, but I can get extra points if I purchase through the credit card store.
Now one thing to think about is how can you save money by not paying sales tax? I mean when you buy through some online stores like amazon you don't pay sales tax. Other online stores like Apple's you do pay sales tax. Now the deal is if you don't pay sales tax you're supposed to report and pay your own sales tax to your state it's called use tax. The reason you may never have heard of it is because most states don't enforce it, but if you have a business and you're big enough to have an accountant then you will probably have heard of it and you will probably have paid your use tax. So there is really no advantage to buying something tax free online.
Shipping is something you should be concerned about. Now most Mac purchases are big enough that you get free shipping deals, either at Apple or even at Amazon.com. You may want to go and compare shipping prices to the convenience of picking something up at an Apple store or a local re-seller.
Ok so you can also buy refurbished and used Macs. I'm going to provide a list of some places I've heard of that sell used or refurbish macs including of course the Apple store itself which has a page of special deals that you can go to for these machines. Here's some other things you can do one of the things you can do is buy the stock Mac and don't get extra memory and don't get a larger hard drive by third party memory and hard drives, which are always going to be cheaper than Apple's premium prices.
Monitors are another place you can save money if you're buying a Mac mini or a Mac pro the apple monitors look very pretty and they work great, but you can get monitors for less than half the price of that by buying off brand monitors or specials in local stores. There are all sorts of LCD monitors out there, so there's a lot of competition for them. You can get some decent ones for a little over $200.
Now a lot of people complain about how expensive the iPhone is especially if you factor in the monthly service plan from AT&T or another company, but you can get an iPod touch for 200 bucks with enough space to pack it full of apps and if apps and game playing and things like that are really what you want out of the device then an iPod touch is way less expensive than going up to an iPhone. You can get yourself a cheap mobile phone to go along with it and you're about 90% of the way there. So there are a whole bunch of different tips for saving money when buying Apple products. Just remember please shop around before you just buy at the Apple store. I've bought both at the Apple store, sometimes when it's made sense and I've bought form some different websites and local re-sellers as well over the years. Hope you've found this useful, until next time this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.
Online stores where you can buy new, refurbished and used Apple products:
Online stores where you can buy Apple memory:
Learn more about Use Tax:
Please post other ideas and store locations if in the comments below!