Time to buy a new machine for editing. Needing advice please.

Started Jun 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Tom_N Forum Pro • Posts: 10,015
Re: Comparing the Retina and non-Retina MBPs

MikeFromMesa wrote:

Online store 1 sells several iMacs that fit this spec, but they are at widely different prices. Some are list price, some are bundled with 3 year AppleCare and Parallels at almost the same price. Very tempting, but why are their prices so low?

Online store 2 sells a single iMac fitting this spec at the same price as Apple, but offers free Parallels software.

Online store 3 sells a single iMac fitting this spec at about the same price as Apple, and offers no free software.

Online store 4 sells this iMac for about $600 more than the listed price but gives a phony list price.

Prices on current, new machines that are a lot lower than Apple's list price should set off MAJOR alarm bells.  Even with DSLRs and lenses, which are frequently discounted, when you see prices a lot lower than those of B&H Photo Video or Adorama, it is time to start looking for the hidden scam.  Current Apple products tend to sell for list price or near list price most of the time, everywhere - do you really think Joe's Fly By Night gets better wholesale deals than Best Buy or B&H Photo Video?

Prices that are slightly lower than Apple's list price, accompanied by "free" or discount deals on useful accessories ("free XX amount of RAM", "free Parallels", etc.) are one way that legitimate online stores offer sales.  This way they can maintain the fiction that they aren't offering any big sales on the Macs themselves, just on the accessories.  (You still should check that the stores in question are reputable.)

You may also see discounts on previous-generation closeout models, like when MicroCenter gets rid of previous-generation 15" MacBook Pros with anti-glare screens.  (The Apple Store itself sells refurbished Macs, most of which are previous-generation ones, at modest discounts from their original list prices.)

Online stores that sell Macs for $600 over list (with no extra goodies or services to justify the markup) haven't earned your business.  Just ignore them.  If the store gives a phony list price to boot, that would put them on my personal "do not spend money there" list.

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