Get a great deal

There’s a sur­pris­ing amount of choice when it comes to who you buy your Mac from – make sure you spend at the right place


Once you’ve set­tled on the Mac you want, the ob­vi­ous thing to do is take your­self to your lo­cal Ap­ple store or visit its prod­uct page at ap­ple. com/uk to make your pur­chase. But just hold off for a sec­ond. There are some pit­falls to avoid – and, more im­por­tantly, some op­por­tu­ni­ties to get a bet­ter deal if you think out­side the box and con­sider the un­think­able: pur­chas­ing your Mac from some­one other than Ap­ple!

Buy now, or wait? Be­fore you hit the buy but­ton, ask your­self this: how long has the Mac model you’re plan­ning to pur­chase been avail­able? When did Ap­ple last re­fresh the prod­uct line? If it’s less than six months, then it’s un­likely to be su­per­seded in the very near fu­ture – move on to the next stage of your pur­chase. How­ever, if the Mac has been around for longer than six months, then stop and con­sider the pos­si­bil­ity that a newer, faster model is on the hori­zon.

It’s dif­fi­cult to know when Ap­ple is about to launch new mod­els, but you can gain some use­ful in­sights be­fore you be­gin. Turn to our Up­grade pages at the back of the mag­a­zine, where you’ll get a handy ‘days since re­fresh’ guide to ev­ery sin­gle Mac cur­rently avail­able, cou­pled with our rec­om­men­da­tions about buy­ing or wait­ing now.

It’s also worth not­ing that even if you’re happy with the cur­rent model, there’s a fi­nan­cial bonus if you wait for its suc­ces­sor to launch. You may find lim­ited stocks of the Mac you de­sire are made avail­able at a dis­count as lo­cal stores strive to clear them from their shelves ahead of the new model’s ar­rival.

Shop around The mar­gins on Macs are so tight that you might be for­given for think­ing you won’t get a bet­ter deal than Ap­ple’s prices, but dis­counts can be found. Currys oc­ca­sion­ally of­fers 10% off most Mac mod­els, for ex­am­ple. It’s also worth pop­ping into your lo­cal Ap­ple Pre­mium Re­seller store or brows­ing a few on­line to see whether they of­fer dis­counts – most don’t, but there are ex­cep­tions, such as KRCS ( Even so, dis­counts will be slim. Just make sure the model on of­fer is the right model by match­ing the specs with those avail­able on Ap­ple’s web­site.

Nev­er­the­less, there are other com­pelling rea­sons to con­sider pur­chas­ing your new Mac from a Pre­mium Re­seller. There’s the con­ve­nience of be­ing sup­ported lo­cally, ob­vi­ously, but also look out for stores of­fer­ing dis­counts on previous-gen­er­a­tion mod­els, such as Jig­saw24 (jig­saw24. com), or ex­tended guar­an­tees as op­posed to the stan­dard 12 months. John Lewis is one ex­am­ple, of­fer­ing two-year guar­an­tees on all Mac prod­ucts, but it’s trumped by Pre­mium Re­seller Storm­front (storm­front., which of­fers three-year guar­an­tees as stan­dard when you buy from one of its 23 stores across the UK.

Re­fur­bished bar­gains Another way to save money is to in­ves­ti­gate the sec­ond-hand mar­ket, par­tic­u­larly if you’re happy with an older model that doesn’t have the lat­est com­po­nents, or is eas­ier to up­grade than the cur­rent one. The ob­vi­ous place to look is eBay (see its closed auc­tions for the kind of prices you’ll pay), but re­mem­ber you’re usu­ally buy­ing pri­vately, so there’s no pro­tec­tion, and no guar­an­tee.

It makes more sense to pay a bit more from a rep­utable dealer that of­fers some pro­tec­tion. The ob­vi­ous place to look is Ap­ple’s own Cer­ti­fied Re­fur­bished store (go to http://ap­

and use the side­bar on the left to fil­ter down your choices). Here you’ll find ex-dis­play mod­els and re­turned Macs that have sub­se­quently been re­fur­bished and re­paired to Ap­ple’s ex­act­ing stan­dards for 10-20% less than the nor­mal price, com­plete with 12-month guar­an­tee. Make sure the model you’re buy­ing is the one you think it is, and bear in mind that stocks are lim­ited, so be pre­pared to wait un­til the model you want is avail­able.

You can also pick up re­fur­bished mod­els from some Ap­ple Pre­mium Re­sellers – typ­i­cally in-store rather than on­line. Also take a look at sec­ond-hand seller CEX (uk. we­, which of­ten of­fers the best prices of any store, while in­clud­ing a 12-month guar­an­tee on all its Ap­ple prod­ucts.

If you can’t af­ford to pur­chase your new Mac out­right, many stores, in­clud­ing Ap­ple, of­fer some form of credit, with the cost spread over a num­ber of years. If you can af­ford to pay over 10 months, then Storm­front of­fers in­ter­est-free credit on all pur­chases over £400, while the bench­mark APR on of­fer from Ap­ple and oth­ers is around 14.9% if you need to spread the cost over a longer pe­riod.

Fi­nally, if you plan to buy your Mac in-store, don’t be has­sled. Ap­ple and Pre­mium Re­sellers are not sup­posed to be pushy.

Pre­mium Re­sellers like Storm­front of­fer the same ex­cel­lent ser­vice as Ap­ple’s own stores, and some­times even ex­ceed it.

One ad­van­tage of buy­ing from Ap­ple or a Pre­mium Re­seller is the re­laxed en­vi­ron­ment – you shouldn’t be pres­sured into buy­ing what you don’t want.

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