Macs are brilliant computers and are arguably better than PCs. They suit creative professionals such as writers and designers, educational needs and personal computing requirements. Why then, do PCs dominate the market?
It’s in the price. Apple don’t allow their products to be manufactured by third parties like Microsoft do. That way, they have all of the costs involved in creating the product but also have all of the profit.
There are two ways to overcome the price obstacle to find cheap Mac computers. Either bite the bullet and cough up the price for a computer with the same specs as a PC but a at double the price or use the Internet to save yourself a packet and have a shiny (new) Mac delivered to your door.
Whilst the official Apple Store is a good place to buy brand new Macs, you can also save hundreds of dollars by buying refurbished and cheap Mac computers from them as well. I did some research and found some models such as a 3.06GHz 21″ iMac for just $1000. That means you save over $200 on the normal price. Savings on MacBooks are even better, some with up to 30% off the retail price.
Until recently, buying “˜refurbished’ computers over the Internet was dodgy to say the least. This was mainly because different people had different perceptions of the word “˜refurbish’. For some, it was wiping the hard drive and shipping it off. For others, it was replacing all worn and damaged parts, wiping the hard drive, updating all the software and sending you a pristine laptop. Thankfully, the latter has become the norm now and because these are from Apple, you know you’re in good hands.
Power Max, an authorised Apple reseller, have become very well known for selling top quality Macs including both new and used conditions. Delivery is free for any item over $100. They also have a customer support line which is comforting.
Their prices are quite good, especially among the used computers. You could land yourself a 17″ Intel for as little as $800. You can also buy components separately if you just need a second monitor or a new keyboard.
I haven’t gotten to the best bit yet. You can save even more money, potentially hundreds of dollars, by trading in old Mac products such as laptops, iMacs, iPods and the like. All you have to do is fill in a form to get a quote back from their team.
Your old computer is then either refurbished and resold or recycled. What’s more, if you trade in your old PC you don’t get charged tax on your next purchase. You can also trade in your old Mac and have funds credited to your account if you don’t want to make a purchase immediately.
Another great site where you can find great Mac deals taken from numerous websites is DealMac. They collect deals and saving on Macs and Mac accessories and post them to their site. It is updated numerous times every day.
Specialising in selling refurbished and used Mac computers, Mac of All Trades is based in the US but also ships overseas for a fee. Their mainstays are MacBooks and desktop machines like the iMac, but you’ll also find iPhones, iPads, accessories and spare parts listed for sale too.
All machines come with a 90-day warranty and all necessary cables and chargers, and shipment takes around two business days. As these aren’t brand new Macs, you’ll miss out on having software like Pages, GarageBand, and iMovie installed so you’ll have to purchase them separately directly from Apple if you want them.
Mac of All Trades will also buy your old Mac from you, whether you’re looking to sell on a recent model (ultimately for someone else to buy) or an older machine that can be used for parts. This can take the sting out of the price of a brand new computer, and you can ask Mac of All Trades to make you an offer before you agree to anything.
The company frequently adds new stock and has special offers on refurbished models. You’ll find everything from cheap 4-year old iMacs for the budget conscious to last year’s flagship MacBook Pro with all the trimmings.
This site, which is based in the UK offers new, used and refurblished, cheap Mac computers to the European market. Advantages of ordering your new Mac from within the EU (if you live here, that is) is the free trade. This means you won’t be charged import duty as you would if found buying tech goods from the US or any other country. The postage is also considerably cheaper and there will be no need to change things such as power adapters and so on.
They have a good selection of computers available ranging from the very new to the very old. You can pick up a Mac which is a couple of years old for just a few hundred Euros and the new machines have up to 30% discounts when compared to their retail counterparts.
This website caters to the Australian market and is an authorised Apple Reseller. Their normal prices are pretty much on par with most other websites with a few variations. When they have sales and promotional offers they can go down quite a bit. However, it’s their ‘Clearance’ section that I’m interested in.
They list plenty of ex-demo Macs and retail returns. For example, I saw thiswhich had been reduced from AUD$3,199 to AUD$2,499. Not a bad saving.
They also have a real-world store in Melbourne so you can pick up your products should you live near them.
Note: Most of the Official European and Asian Apple websites offer refurbished Macs in the same manner as the US site does so make sure to check out your local Apple website for great savings.
A Word of Warning about Asian Wholesalers
Macs and Apple products in general have become status symbols as much as they have become tech Gods. For that reason, there are numerous websites which will offer you discounted Macs as seemingly unimaginable prices. I’m talking about certain Chinese wholesale sites which I won’t mention for legal reasons. I’m sure many of you are familiar with them by hearing or seeing rip-off iPhones and hearing horror stories on online forums.
I have heard both good and bad, but it’s important to take good reviews with a shovel of salt as this is the Internet after all. Bottom line, many cheap Mac computer offers are scams. I did a lot of research for this article to ensure I didn’t inadvertently include any in this list. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Sometimes it’s worth paying an extra couple hundred bucks so the product will actually arrive at your door.
Apple Education Discount
When buying from the official Apple online stores, you can save hundreds of dollars on new Mac computers if you’re a student or a teacher/lecturer. Apple say:
“If you are a student, teacher, lecturer, administrator or other staff member in education you qualify for special discounted pricing on Apple computers, software and select third party products.”
So if you’re at college or university, it may work out cheaper to buy directly from Apple because of the discount. Keep in mind that you will have to prove you actually attend the school you say you do.
Always remember, you can also save even more money when buying online by using coupon sites such as Retail Me Not. These sites syndicate one-off offers from thousands of website, all of which would be impossible to cover here. I dedicated an an entire chapter to the subject in my PDF Guide which you can find here.
Do you know of any other great websites which offer Macs at a cheaper price? Well, share them!