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How to Save Money on a MacBook Pro

by Ryan Guina

Almost two years ago I wrote an article comparing MacBooks vs. PCs, and why I chose a PC. At the time, the PC was the right choice for me. I purchased a Dell from the business unit for about half what it would have cost me to purchase a comparable MacBook. But as time went by, my needs changed and I recently bought a MacBook. Part of the reason was the software it comes with, and another reason was that I got a very good deal.

How to Save a Ton of Money on a MacBook

Shop the Refurb and Education Stores within the Apple Store

Refurb Store. I saved over $250 on my 15″ MacBook Pro by purchasing it in the refurbished section of the Apple Store. Refurbished Macs are a great deal, and more importantly, they are accessible to everyone. All you need to do is visit the Apple Store and click on the refurb link. It’s not uncommon to save 20% or more on a MacBook, iMac, or other item.

Refurbished items are tested to exact specifications at the Apple factory and come with the same 1 year warranty as new products. They are usually items that have been returned for one reason or another, or that had a minor problem that was repaired, tested, then resold. I’m more than happy to save several hundred dollars buying a MacBook that has been tested and meets factory specs. Visit the Apple Certified Refurbished Mac Pro Department at the Apple Online Store for more information.

Education Store. You can save at least $100 on your MacBook if you are eligible to buy it from the Apple Education Store. To qualify for the education discount you usually need to be a student or faculty member at an approved school, or the parent of a student. Shop the Apple Education Store for more information about eligibility and specific deals.

Take advantage of special MacBook computer rebates

Apple Online StoreApple offers rebates, specials and sometimes freebies like the current back to school special – a free iPod Touch with the purchase of a MacBook or other qualifying Mac computer.

Bonus offer – free iPod Touch with MacBook purchase. If you are a student, teacher, or qualified administration worker at an education institution, you may be eligible to receive a free iPod Touch when you purchase a Mac computer – you choice of any computer from the MacBook lineup or the iMac lineup. Buy a Mac for college, and get a free iPod touch.

$100 printer rebate. You can get a $100 rebate from the Apple Store when you buy a printer on the same invoice as your Macbook or iMac. Based on what I saw, the printers are slightly more expensive at the Apple Store than places like Amazon, but many of them are either around $100, or end up being substantially cheaper when you factor in the $100 rebate. The best part is Apple makes redeeming your rebate easy – it is handled online and in house and the form quick to fill out. I received my printer rebate in a couple weeks, with no hassles!

Bonus tip: Get free printer and iPod! My sister is in college and she bought a MacBook and received a free printer and the free iPod Touch. That worked out to a savings of over $200. A nice deal for anyone!

Shop authorized Apple resellers

Shop with authorized resellers. Apple has many authorized retailers that offer various discounts throughout the year (for example, Best Buy). Apple has a price floor, so you aren’t likely to find too many great deals on the computer’s price compared to the Apple Store. However, you may find other bonuses, such as free software, rebates, and other discounts which make it a better deal in the end. I searched several options, but in the end, I couldn’t beat the deal I found on the refurbished MacBook Pro I purchased.

Shop around and you can find a good deal. If you are willing to put a little time into your search, you should be able to save at least $100 on the purchase of a new or refurbished MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, or other Apple computer. With the number of deals out there, it just doesn’t make sense to visit the Apple Store and pay full price.


Published or updated December 29, 2011.
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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ryan

I actually bought a refurbished MacBook Pro because I wanted the 15 inch screen, but didn’t want to pay $1699. I got mine for $1350, which was easier for me to handle!

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2 Craig

I bought a brand new Mac pro 3 years ago and love the decision. It was expensive, and saved for months for it, but felt it was worth it. You could buy refurbished and a lot of people do, but with something like this that will last years. I would rather buy a new one.

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3 Debt Vigilante

I did the education discount on my MacBook pro about 3 months ago. I am a teacher so I got $100 off and a free iPod Touch. I sold the iPod Touch for $165 on Ebay, so I actually got about $265 off mine. I could not be happier either. Its true, once you go mac, you never go back.

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4 myfinancialobjectives

wow great stuff. However, I’m not a huge dan of apple. I love the iPhone and iPad and iPod and iEverything else, but their computers are sooo overpriced. I could build a computer just as fast for half the price, maybe less than half the price.

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5 Ryan

MFO,

I wrote about the cost comparison in yesterday’s article. It is actually more difficult to compare Mac and PC products than most people think because there is more to the computer than simply hardware specs. One can easily buy or build a PC that meets or exceeds Mac specs. But there are a few other differences, such as the underlying operating system (it takes some getting used to, but it is cleaner, and in my opinion, faster), a better quality build, and overall a more user friendly experience. You can read more about why I switched to a MacBook.

I still have a Dell Laptop, and there are many things I like about it, especially Windows 7, which I think is a huge improvement over past MS operating systems. But the MacBook is, in my opinion, a better made computer that is faster and more convenient to use.

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6 Craig/FFB

I got my Macbook as a refurb and haven’t had any problems with it. Interesting thing…not only did I save versus buying it new but I also got some better specs than the new models that was out.

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7 Zac

If you can, get in real good with someone that works in a non-Apple store but one that sells MacBooks. If you can get them to let you know in advance, sometimes (probably more like rarely) the MacBooks will go on sale when a new version is coming out. I got the last 17″ this way for $450 off about a year and a half ago. Really love it.
Zac

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8 Mark

It’s definitely best to shop around. I like the price comparison sites since they minimize effort on my part. Lately I have been using Apple Sliced (applesliced.com) to find the lowest prices on all things Apple. And it’s best to purchase all upgrades separately – I like dealnews.com/memory for RAM purchases

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9 Greg

Where can i find the rebate claim reference no? thank you very much.

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