3 Ways to Save When You Buy Apple Products

by Miranda Marquit · 20 comments

Another new iPhone is on sale, proving yet again that the “cult of Apple” has staying power. But purchasing Apple products can get expensive — I know. My husband and I each have a MacBook Pro, and I also have an iMac, an iPad, and an iPod Touch!

The good news is that we’ve found ways to save a little bit of money when we buy Apple products. As long as you’re not too picky about having the newest gadget as soon as it comes out, these tips might also work for you:

1. Only Buy What You Will Use

We don’t have iPhones, because I’m pretty sure we don’t need them. A smart phone isn’t really necessary in our situation. My husband has an unlimited talk and text prepaid plan that is relatively inexpensive at $50/month. I have a pay-as-you-go plan that costs me an average of $10/month. We don’t usually need our phones for anything other than keeping in touch.

So, instead of spending on the iPhone, we focus on buying products that we will use. And we choose Apple products that can handle the workload.

2. Use Your Products for as Long as You Can

Instead of trading out your gadgets each time a new one is released, consider using your products for as long as possible. I just bought a new iMac to replace the one I’d used for four years. My MacBook Pro is going on three years of use. As long as your products are still getting the job done in an efficient manner, there’s no reason to replace them all the time. Constant turnover in your products can lead to large expenditures year after year.

Take care of your Apple products, and you probably won’t have problems with them. They should last a long time, often three to five years, allowing you to reduce your per-year cost over time.

3. Buy Refurbished Items

As long as you don’t “need” something brand new, you can save a little bit by purchasing refurbished Apple products. We’ve found that refurbished products (we buy them through the Apple store online) work just fine, and have minimal problems. The units I’ve purchased always last a long time, and they cost less, too.

Plus, when you buy refurbished, you often get last year’s model. Since I don’t need the latest thing, I find that buying refurbished models from the previous season works out well. I get more bang for my buck, allowing me to buy a better product with the set budget. Since I keep my products for three or four years, even last season’s model is a definite upgrade.

There’s no reason to break the bank over your Apple products. They will still cost more, but if you planned to buy Apple anyway, a little advance planning and flexibility can help you save some money in the long run.

How do you save money on Apple products?

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Gwen says:

    Johnathan – I’m a Windows/Unix gal but I like my iPad for around the house, reading in bed, looking up random information, using Skype, and traveling. When traveling, I use it with a Zagg wireless keyboard which also works as a cover. No, I don’t have buyer’s remorse. I tried a Samsung Android phone when I finally decided to get a smart phone. Ick. I returned the phone and bought a iPhone 5 instead. I think it is good value for my needs.

    Thad – I completely agree. If you aren’t using a device, return it, sell it, donate it, or recycle it. Don’t let equipment, old chargers, manuals, whatever, clutter up your life.

    My strategy has been when I need to upgrade, I get the maxed out model of hardware and don’t upgrade for at least 7 years, more if I can get it. Get the most RAM, disk space, processor speed you can. This applies to any electronics, cameras, printers, whatever. For a short time, you will have the latest and greatest. Yay! But you’d go broke trying to keep up. Then, wear that puppy out. With software updates and patches slowly using up resources, applications that keep getting bigger and offer more features, you’ll be able to keep upgrading without the hardware creating too many limitations. The other thing to consider is End of Life. Software and hardware companies stop supporting old equipment. If you buy something older, keep in mind it’s service life is shorter.

    As to PC vs. Mac. I say it’s better to be multi-lingual and stop arguing over which platform is superior. You might as well argue over whether it’s better to speak only in German or only in French. It really is about what you are trying to accomplish, not the hardware.

  • Nikhil says:

    I have an MBP, MBA, iPad 2, two iPods – touch and classic, and iPhone 3GS. I wanted a 4S, but I am prioritizing. My daughter’s tuition fees are more important, any day. That is not to say I won’t be getting the 4S – or maybe, 5.

    I use the education discount since my cousin (we stay in the same house) attends college. But a better way is to just work more and earn more and set aside some capital and use the rest for an iProduct!

    I love Apple products for the sheer quality. I don’t bother about who says what about them – I find them the best bet for me … plain and simple.

    I don’t like to throw my hard-earned money into anything inferior. Even if it costs less – because it doesn’t, actually … if you go to see.

    That works awesomely well!

  • expatinasia says:

    “How do you save money on Apple products?”
    I have friends that work at the Apple Cupertino campus, and they get me a 25% discount.

  • Discosteve says:

    Considering that a Sony Vaio ultra book costs as much as a MacBook Air, you have no idea what you are talking about. I doubt that your 20% comment has any truth to it either…

    • Kiwikid says:

      The 20% is pretty normal… all those Apple fanboys/girlz salivating over the newest/latest/”oh mah gawd gotta have it” new machines that there isn’t really much of a big market for iOS devices. Macbook Air is NOT an iOS device…

      Not having a laptop myself I have no idea of the price of a Sony Vaio ultra book or a Macbook Air. I have no inclination to go down that route. I don’t like my screens smaller than 22 inches. Apart from my phone where that size might be ever so slightly problematic.

    • CCF says:

      really? and which Vaio model are you talking about? Let’s compare screen size to screen size, spec to spec before you say something like that. And of all the PC brands, why only look at Sony … which is also overpriced (although not as much as Apple) and low in spec.

    • CCF says:

      And also just as a point of discussion, Vaio series T 11.6 inch model SVT11113FGS cost just S$1199 while a mac book air with only 64GB SSD cost S$1388. So similar? …

  • Kiwikid says:

    Not in New Zealand it doesn’t. iOS devices aka iPads and iPhones go cheap as. Come on the market about 1 week after the latest model hits the stores. Usually get no more than about 20% of the original cost, often less. So, why bother?

    • Greg says:

      20% of original cost? That’s a $100 iPad 4th Gen. or iPhone 5. Give me a break! eBay equalizes everything.

    • AlsoFromNZ says:

      On a scale of 1 to full of shit, you’re full of shit. If I could get Apple products for 20% of their original value I would own pretty much every Apple product there is. I recently sold a 2007 Macbook for $420NZ. 20% of it’s original value would be closer to $280NZ. Multiple revisions of the Macbook came out between 2007 and 2012 and I was still able to get >20% of it’s original RRP. It’s also worth noting that comparable Macbooks were selling for up to $600NZ, that’s just under half the original value. I priced my Macbook lower to get rid of it quick and I did, sold within a three days for that price.

      I’m going to put your comment down to one thing: Ignorant PC users are ignorant.

  • Thad P says:

    Another way, and this is a trick used by serial Apple product buyers, is to sell their existing Apple gear. Used Macs (any type) and iOS devices retain value. Sell them and put the procedes from the sale to the new item.

  • Kiwikid says:

    Save on Apple products? Well I just don’t buy them. Saves me 100%… and that isn’t because I hate Apple products, it is because the PC’s that I use, Windows and Linux last me at least 10 years. Besides, why would you pay twice the price or more for Apple when Windows is so much cheaper?

    I bought a “new” PC in early 2003. My wife was hassling me at the time, old story, oh its so old and I’m ashamed my friends are laughing about it behind my back garbage. My previous PC was bought in 1993 and had 1 upgrade of motherboard and ram, and a larger hard drive. Anyway, that 2003 PC (Compaq Presario) chugged along happily til 2009 when the motherboard clapped out. New motherboard and she’s all hunky dory and still going fine.

    I have another PC box which a friend of mine sold me 2 years ago for NZ $300. He’d paid NZ $500 for this for his wife. But, being as tight as he is (accountant, what do you expect?) he hadn’t got round to buying a copy of Windows to run. Wanted to “borrow” someone else’s if the truth be told. Never got round to it and his wife got so fed up that when she went to visit her mum, on the way home she stopped in at a major chain store and bought a Vista laptop.

    This new (to me) PC is my everyday machine and chugs along happily. It does everything I need it to do and I’m sure it will last at least 6-7 years in which time the landscape will have changed so dramatically I will have no idea what I will use then.

    • Teddy says:

      If you hate Apple products so much, why did you even bother to stop in to read the thread in the first place? People that are looking to save on Apple products (you know, the ones that actually are interested in being here) likely could care less about your narrowminded opinions.

      Obviously you have a secret lusting for Apple products but can’t afford one flipping burgers for McDonalds, even with the free rent of living in your momma’s basement.

  • Lorena says:

    Since I work at a university, I get an education discount on Apple and other technology products (usually about $100 off an iPad or Macbook, along with other freebies, like a printer). If you or someone you know is a student or works at a university, I’d suggest checking out the college bookstore and/or investigating online to see if you can purchase your new Apple product at a discount.

  • William @ Drop Dead Money says:

    I’m finding that there is a lot of overlap in our use of a laptop, iPad and smartphone. The way things are sorting out, we think in the future we’ll go from smartphone to dumb phone (if that’s even an option) because the iPad is small enough to take with us and if we need to read anything “smart” we can do that easier on the iPad. That includes emails. The only thing that’s left for the phone to do is text messages and phone calls (yep, we still actually use the phone now and then to make phone calls!)

    It probably won’t make any difference in our costs, because our phones are free and the data plan covers the iPad and the phones. The bottom line is whichever phones we get, we won’t pay any extra for them.

    Things change so much anyway. By the time we make our changes laptops will be making phone calls, tablets will not only have maps, they’ll be driving our cars while we think thoughts into the phone for our blogs. 🙂

  • Jonathan says:

    I’m not an Apple user myself and have been reluctant to make a switch because I’m so used to using a PC and an Android smartphone. Anyone ever make the switch from PC to Apple and regret it?

    • d4m4s74 says:

      Only big nerds who want every bit of “freedom” they can get, people who are unable to learn how to use new software, gamers and people who don’t have much money. Though the latter usually forget about their regrets a month later.

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