Are you in the market for buying a Mac, iPhone or iPad? Would you like to get the best deal possible? If so, here are some suggestions on how to do some comparison shopping and some encouragement to consider buying a refurbished product.
MacPrices lets you select the device you’re interesting in purchasing and then lists current prices from a dozen or more online vendors. They indicate that they update their prices daily. They also have a Latest Deals section, for each product, which lists current and recent deals so you can see what sorts of deals can be found. This includes both new and refurbished items.
Buying a refurbished Mac or iPad is not for everybody, but it appeals to some. As you may know a refurbished device is one that was sold, but had some sort of problem. The manufacturer takes back the product, reconditions it and sells it again. When Apple does this they reduce the price by approximately 10-15% and they sell the product with the same built-in 1 year warranty. You can optionally extend this warranty to 3 years by buying AppleCare.
Buying a refurbished product has some drawbacks. First, the supply can vary daily and existing inventory can be sold quickly. Thus, you need to have good timing and/or the ability to wait to make a purchase. You cannot be in a hurry to purchase, typically. Also, if you need a particular hardware configuration or color then you might not be able to find precisely what you want.
Apple offers the largest inventory of refurbished Apple products, but Other World Computing, Small Dog Electronics and PowerMax all have some refurbished items.
If you have time to make your purchase and you want to be notified when Apple adds more refurbished Macs to their inventory you can sign up for email notifications at Refurb Tracke or RefurbMe.
You might also be interested in MacRumor’s guide to buying a refurbished Apple product.