Cheapest way to buy [Apple] or other products

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I thought it would be an interesting topic to discuss the cheapest way to stack deals on popular items or manufacturers. Key points are to use credit crds, Cash Back, shopping portals and maybe discount codes.

I'll start with the ideas I have for purchasing Apple products:
1. Wait for a refurb, if possible. Purchase with the discover card through their CashBack portal for either 5% +1% or 5% + 5% in q4

2. Cash out citi Ty points for bestbuy gift crds. Either buy at bb or buy kindle gcs and buy in Amazon. Use best buy rewards.

Way #1 nets 2 years if warranties.

Any other ideas I haven't thought of? Possible to stack education discover and refurbes discounts?

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If you own a legitimate business, you can get a 10% discount at your local Apple Store.  

Contact the store and ask for the B2B sales rep to set up your account.

Combine this with a rewards card for payment and then you really have something.

 

Buy from Apple's refurb store. They replace every part that touches a human with new material. The products are indistinguishable from new.

MmmmJoel said:   Buy from Apple's refurb store. They replace every part that touches a human with new material. The products are indistinguishable from new.
  source?

gloreglabert said:   
MmmmJoel said:   Buy from Apple's refurb store. They replace every part that touches a human with new material. The products are indistinguishable from new.
  source?

  CNET...

"Apple's refurbs come with a new outer shell and new battery, meaning you get same-as-new appearance and performance. Better still, you get the same one-year warranty Apple extends to new hardware. There is literally no downside."

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-33153_7-57351004-10391733/shopping-...

gloreglabert said:   
MmmmJoel said:   Buy from Apple's refurb store. They replace every part that touches a human with new material. The products are indistinguishable from new.
  source?

  While perhaps you just weren't aware...this has been a well-known fact for quite some time. Not trying to jab you, but just saying... and no, I'm not an Apple fanboy

tennis8363 said:   
gloreglabert said:   
MmmmJoel said:   Buy from Apple's refurb store. They replace every part that touches a human with new material. The products are indistinguishable from new.
  source?

  CNET...

"Apple's refurbs come with a new outer shell and new battery, meaning you get same-as-new appearance and performance. Better still, you get the same one-year warranty Apple extends to new hardware. There is literally no downside."

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-33153_7-57351004-10391733/shopping-...


Amex's extended warranty doesn't over refurbs.
  

^cover

stanolshefski said:   
tennis8363 said:   
gloreglabert said:   
MmmmJoel said:   Buy from Apple's refurb store. They replace every part that touches a human with new material. The products are indistinguishable from new.
  source?

  CNET...

"Apple's refurbs come with a new outer shell and new battery, meaning you get same-as-new appearance and performance. Better still, you get the same one-year warranty Apple extends to new hardware. There is literally no downside."

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-33153_7-57351004-10391733/shopping-...


Amex's extended warranty doesn't over refurbs.
  

  Who said it did? I am not an Apple Fan, in fact I own nothing Apple, but they make good stuff.

That's a downside.

At back to school time the Apple Store was offering 100 dollar itunes card and they gave me a great teacher discount.  I know they were also giving student discounts.  After years of cheap laptops, it was nice to buy such a good machine and the employee sat down with me, opened it up and set it up with me.  She showed me some tricks, gave advice and showed me tutorial websites.

Some things are just worth paying for.

I'm not talking about Apple, but, doing research, reading reviews, knowing exactly what you want, taking prejudice out of the equation. might lead you to an alternative (generic?) product which can cost a lot less.

Pretty much all the credit cards...discovercard, chase freedom etc state they don't do warranty extension etc for "used or preowned items"...ie refurbs. While you can get a good deal you have to be aware of what you are doing and I don't buy a refurb if the price different is only $30 etc..more like 50% off...I recently purchased lands end gift cards from discovercard using my reward points/dollars because I could get $100 for $80....I then used those to purchase a brand new nook hd+ for $150. So I got a new one for what the going rate for refurb's are.

If you buy $200 worth of stuff Sears has a $20 off $200 coupon currently active "SEARSAVES" which you can use with your giftcards.    If you have to pay for your purchase shopdiscover is giving 10% back along with the current 5% for "online purchases"

famewolf said:   Pretty much all the credit cards...discovercard, chase freedom etc state they don't do warranty extension etc for "used or preowned items"...ie refurbs. While you can get a good deal you have to be aware of what you are doing and I don't buy a refurb if the price different is only $30 etc..more like 50% off...I recently purchased lands end gift cards from discovercard using my reward points/dollars because I could get $100 for $80....I then used those to purchase a brand new nook hd+ for $150. So I got a new one for what the going rate for refurb's are.
 

  And you gave up the extended warranty on that as well, since you used gift cards.

Very true...but I knew that going in as opposed to folks that just assume the credit card is going to do purchase protection, price protection and warranty extension and then find out it won't.

 

Two more of my favorites:

Brooks Brothers - 60-80% off

Here's another approach I do. Redeem discover points for gift cards, 50 for 40. 20% discount. Wait until the semi-annual sale, where 4 shirts can be purchased at the best discount, down to 44.xx each. Coupled with the Discover points gc redemption these are 35 bucks each down from 88 full price.
You can then sell the used shirts on eBay. They go for 15-25 easy.
If you don't have discover, you can buy the gcs on reseller markets like raise, etc. but not as good as 20%

Allen Edmonds
- 40-60% off

Once a year they clear inventory. You can go in person to the store in Wisconsin or call them up over the phone. Prices can be as awesome as 100-160 down from 300+. They usually have a significant inventory. Note that shopping online only is probably a bad call. Best to get fitted first, then call in an order - many models look the same but fit differently.
 

debtinator said:   I thought it would be an interesting topic to discuss the cheapest way to stack deals on popular items or manufacturers. Key points are to use credit crds, Cash Back, shopping portals and maybe discount codes.

I'll start with the ideas I have for purchasing Apple products:
1. Wait for a refurb, if possible. Purchase with the discover card through their CashBack portal for either 5% +1% or 5% + 5% in q4

2. Cash out citi Ty points for bestbuy gift crds. Either buy at bb or buy kindle gcs and buy in Amazon. Use best buy rewards.

Way #1 nets 2 years if warranties.

Any other ideas I haven't thought of? Possible to stack education discover and refurbes discounts?

  Whether best buy levies a sales tax if item is purchased with best buy rewards?

Use AppleInsider's pricing guide.

http://appleinsider.com/mac_price_guide/#

It gives an "apples to apples" comparison of Apple product pricing among authorized retailers.
Note that buying from an out of state retailer can be an additional savings. I usually buy from Mac Connection or B&H to avoid California sales tax.

Staples is starting to carry iPads. Staples rewards can be used towards an iPad purchase. That translates into a big discount if you gather rewards over several months.

1. Get a job with an employee purchase discount at Apple.
2. Go to Portland or another state without sales tax
3. Pay with gift cards you bought off eBay/craigslist for a discount.

A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice device with windows?

The cheapest way to buy Apple products is to buy Android products or PC's that use the exact same components.

Don't forget: Apple devices have residual value.

I sold a four year old macbook in 2010 for $600, which was bought new for $1300.  I recently sold a two year old iPhone 4S for $150, which was bought new for $200 (with contract).  

I have yet to see a windows computer or android phone with any residual value after six months.  I probably could have gotten a comparable computer in 2006 for less than $1300 - but there's no way I could have gotten one for $700.  Similarly, I could have gotten a Samsung Galaxy S 2 in 2011 for $200 - but no one was selling it for $50.  

brettdoyle said:   The cheapest way to buy Apple products is to buy Android products or PC's that use the exact same components.
  what?

gooddealie said:   Staples is starting to carry iPads. Staples rewards can be used towards an iPad purchase. That translates into a big discount if you gather rewards over several months.
  5x ink, 3x portal = 8x UR

brettdoyle said:   The cheapest way to buy Apple products is to buy Android products or PC's that use the exact same components.
  Do you have any similar models or products to list?

use Staples rewards points/Cash Back. apple products are now sold at Staples.

oopsz said:   Don't forget: Apple devices have residual value.

I sold a four year old macbook in 2010 for $600, which was bought new for $1300.  I recently sold a two year old iPhone 4S for $150, which was bought new for $200 (with contract).  

I have yet to see a windows computer or android phone with any residual value after six months.  I probably could have gotten a comparable computer in 2006 for less than $1300 - but there's no way I could have gotten one for $700.  Similarly, I could have gotten a Samsung Galaxy S 2 in 2011 for $200 - but no one was selling it for $50.  

  +1 to that. Total cost of ownership isn't so bad with Apple products if you take care of them. I sold a 5 year old Macbook Pro for $500. If you really want the latest and greatest every couple of years, it's not going to cost that much overall if you can sell them when you're done.

Doesn't this belong in the deal discussion forum?

TravelerMSY said:   
oopsz said:   Don't forget: Apple devices have residual value.

I sold a four year old macbook in 2010 for $600, which was bought new for $1300.  I recently sold a two year old iPhone 4S for $150, which was bought new for $200 (with contract).  

I have yet to see a windows computer or android phone with any residual value after six months.  I probably could have gotten a comparable computer in 2006 for less than $1300 - but there's no way I could have gotten one for $700.  Similarly, I could have gotten a Samsung Galaxy S 2 in 2011 for $200 - but no one was selling it for $50.  

  +1 to that. Total cost of ownership isn't so bad with Apple products if you take care of them. I sold a 5 year old Macbook Pro for $500. If you really want the latest and greatest every couple of years, it's not going to cost that much overall if you can sell them when you're done.

  But you're paying more to start. That's like saying ///M3 has more residual value than a crown vic. Yes so?

lpreddy said:   
brettdoyle said:   The cheapest way to buy Apple products is to buy Android products or PC's that use the exact same components.
  Do you have any similar models or products to list?

  TCers can stop themselves from TCing.

rufflesinc said:   
TravelerMSY said:   
oopsz said:   Don't forget: Apple devices have residual value.

I sold a four year old macbook in 2010 for $600, which was bought new for $1300.  I recently sold a two year old iPhone 4S for $150, which was bought new for $200 (with contract).  

I have yet to see a windows computer or android phone with any residual value after six months.  I probably could have gotten a comparable computer in 2006 for less than $1300 - but there's no way I could have gotten one for $700.  Similarly, I could have gotten a Samsung Galaxy S 2 in 2011 for $200 - but no one was selling it for $50.  

  +1 to that. Total cost of ownership isn't so bad with Apple products if you take care of them. I sold a 5 year old Macbook Pro for $500. If you really want the latest and greatest every couple of years, it's not going to cost that much overall if you can sell them when you're done.

  But you're paying more to start. That's like saying ///M3 has more residual value than a crown vic. Yes so?

  So...that M3 can be sold faster and for a higher percentage of its original purchase price than the crown vic. It would appeal to more buyers, those that want the status without the price.

Take a look at your local CL posting (if you live in a major city), you'll see apple products selling for a higher percentage of its original price than any other like product.  They are also one of the few products that can be sold for more than its purchase price on initial release day. 

stanolshefski said:   Amex's extended warranty doesn't over refurbs.
  Are you sure about that? From http://www.cardhub.com/edu/credit-card-extended-warranty-study/
"Many consumers purchase refurbished items from companies such as Apple, and American Express is the only network that will extend any manufacturer’s warranty provided with such purchases."

I tried to look that up directly with Amex, but they have separate benefits info for each card and I couldn't find anything explicitly mentioning refurbished https://www.americanexpress.com/us/content/card-benefits.html

money2011 said:   
rufflesinc said:   
TravelerMSY said:   
oopsz said:   Don't forget: Apple devices have residual value.

I sold a four year old macbook in 2010 for $600, which was bought new for $1300.  I recently sold a two year old iPhone 4S for $150, which was bought new for $200 (with contract).  

I have yet to see a windows computer or android phone with any residual value after six months.  I probably could have gotten a comparable computer in 2006 for less than $1300 - but there's no way I could have gotten one for $700.  Similarly, I could have gotten a Samsung Galaxy S 2 in 2011 for $200 - but no one was selling it for $50.  

  +1 to that. Total cost of ownership isn't so bad with Apple products if you take care of them. I sold a 5 year old Macbook Pro for $500. If you really want the latest and greatest every couple of years, it's not going to cost that much overall if you can sell them when you're done.

  But you're paying more to start. That's like saying ///M3 has more residual value than a crown vic. Yes so?

  So...that M3 can be sold faster and for a higher percentage of its original purchase price than the crown vic. It would appeal to more buyers, those that want the status without the price.

Take a look at your local CL posting (if you live in a major city), you'll see apple products selling for a higher percentage of its original price than any other like product.  They are also one of the few products that can be sold for more than its purchase price on initial release day. 

  You keep talking about percents. That has nothing to do with actual cost after you sell it.

oopsz said:   Don't forget: Apple devices have residual value.

I sold a four year old macbook in 2010 for $600, which was bought new for $1300.  I recently sold a two year old iPhone 4S for $150, which was bought new for $200 (with contract).  

I have yet to see a windows computer or android phone with any residual value after six months.  I probably could have gotten a comparable computer in 2006 for less than $1300 - but there's no way I could have gotten one for $700.  Similarly, I could have gotten a Samsung Galaxy S 2 in 2011 for $200 - but no one was selling it for $50.  

  
That's kind of a bogus argument. Firstly, PCs have residual value. ex: I bought a cheap laptop (Asus X501A) last year for $249.99 and sold it a year later for $228. Secondly, even if PCs had zero residual value, you'll probably take a bigger net loss with Apple:
Buy new macbook for $999, resell it a year later for $700 vs. buy a new PC for $249.99 and has zero value a year later. Loss on the first might be -30% and loss on the second is -100%. But in real dollars, you're losing more on the mac (-$300 vs. -$249.99).

Apple products are simply not a good financial choice. They are pretty, more or less well made, have pretty good support, some people feel elite or special when they buy them. But you pay a huge Apple tax for the luxury and you lose flexibility. That said, if you have the money to spend on Apple products and value the real or perceived benefits, more power to you.
 

novocane said:   Buy new macbook for $999, resell it a year later for $700 vs. buy a new PC for $249.99 and has zero value a year later. Loss on the first might be -30% and loss on the second is -100%. But in real dollars, you're losing more on the mac (-$300 vs. -$249.99).
True, but I think most people would gladly pay $50 to have a macbook over a bare bones PC.

LiquidSilver said:   
novocane said:   Buy new macbook for $999, resell it a year later for $700 vs. buy a new PC for $249.99 and has zero value a year later. Loss on the first might be -30% and loss on the second is -100%. But in real dollars, you're losing more on the mac (-$300 vs. -$249.99).
True, but I think most people would gladly pay $50 to have a macbook over a bare bones PC.

  
Really?  I'd rather have the $750 in the bank.  While I see a lot of iPads and iPhones out there, I do not see that many Macbooks...... 
What does a macbook do that a regular PC can't?

LiquidSilver said:   novocane said:   Buy new macbook for $999, resell it a year later for $700 vs. buy a new PC for $249.99 and has zero value a year later. Loss on the first might be -30% and loss on the second is -100%. But in real dollars, you're losing more on the mac (-$300 vs. -$249.99).
True, but I think most people would gladly pay $50 to have a macbook over a bare bones PC.


But $50 isn't even the real loss. I was going along with hypothetical worst case for pc resale (100% loss). For my case specifically, I resold the $249.99 laptop for $228.99 (on eBay, net loss around $40 after fees and shipping). In reality, $700 is a high resale value for 1yr old macbook - but let's use it, net loss around $350 after shipping and eBay fees. So you're paying $310 for the apple device for a year. To me, that's not good value.

PC/Android/etc = tool
Apple/iDevice/Dyson/Keurig = bedazzled tool

If spending your money makes you feel special then have fun. I would rather get the most bang for my buck. Apple/iDevice/Preimum Products have a place but for most people luxury is a weakness and they will leave this world penniless. I would rather retire early and provide growth/advancement opportunities (not money) to descendants.

Skipping 28 Messages...
I am thinking of getting the Time Capsule 3TB.

I have lots of AmEx points. Want to redeem them. The only "good" gift cards are for Staples (1:1). ShopAmEx is a joke (0.7:1). The maximum value for a Staples gift card is in $50 increments. I would redeem 6 x $50, 1 x $25 for a total of $325.

I would pay the remaining balance with another Staples gift card: AmEx is running a promotion through 12/31: if you buy $75 or more from Amazon, get $25 statement credit. So I would buy $75 Staples gift card from AmazonI will ask Staples to price match the Apple Education store or Amazon

Unfortunately I read the fine print for Staples gift cards: max of 5 can be used for a purchase. What if I buy a $200 item from Staples and then return it instantly? Would I get a $200 in store credit from Staples - as a single card?

Thoughts?



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