Apple Mac Computer Buying Guide
My very first Apple computer was love at first site. With the laser printer we added the system cost me and my parents two thousand dollars.
Today you can purchase a powerful iMac or Macbook Air much cheaper, probably for a lot less money than you realize. A few simple shopping techniques will yield much lower prices than what you will find on the Apple website. So before you buy anything from the geniuses at the Apple store, consider a few other ways to get the best price on your new Mac.
The Simple Way - Student and Teacher Discounts Save 5-10%
It seems obvious, but it amazes me how many parents overlook computer student discounts when their child first goes to college. Apple offers student discounts ranging from 5 to 10% on most of its computers. Any college student qualifies, as well as professors and teachers of any grade level (K-12).
You can get the Apple discount in one of three ways.
- At any Apple retail store
- Online at the Apple Store for Education
- At school if they have an Apple Authorized Campus Store
A Smarter Way – Apple Resellers Save 10-20%
The most expensive way to buy a Mac computer is direct from Apple. But authorized Apple resellers like MacMall sell the exact same computers at significantly reduced prices, up to 10-20% lower.
MacMall also throws in a bunch of free extras.
- Free software
- Free printers
- Bonuses for college students, like iPods and cameras.
Your order is fulfilled direct from the Apple factories. All Mac computers sold by authorized re-sellers include the same full manufacturer guarantees.
A Better Way – Buy Refurbished. Save 5-23%
Refurbished Mac computers cost less than student discount prices. For example, the student discount on a new 20” iMac save you only about $50, or less than 5 percent. The exact same iMac refurbished saves $200, or around 15%. I've seen savings up to 23% off. No student discount price can ever beat that.
Some people think of refurbished as meaning a computer that was dropped from a second story window and repackaged as “gently used.” In reality, most refurbished computers never leave the factory floor. They may have a minor scuff or a faulty circuit. They give the computers brand new parts and test them again. Because of the extra testing, some people think refurbished computers may be more reliable.
I own a refurbished iMac. I bought it even though I could have received a student discount. The computer arrived brand new, with a warrantee, and it still works great.
It doesn’t really matter how you buy your new Mac. Never pay full price, and remember to love it.