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Amazon Rebate Redux: Save up to $620!!!
#1
Old 04-28-2006, 10:22 PM  
javester
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Exclamation Amazon Rebate Redux: Save up to $620!!!

UPDATE: Now includes MacBooks!!! v2.6 released. Rebates extended to June 20

Find the cheapest way to score your MacTel. This Excel worksheet lets you compare the Apple Store, Amazon and Apple's Developer Connection to see which one gives the most Mac for the buck.

Click here for latest version!

Amazon is currently offering generous rebates:The Excel worksheet computes:
  • Sales Tax rates for all 50 states, including an option to use the standard or maximum rate. The max rate accounts for additional local sales taxes that may be applied in certain jurisdictions
  • Amazon Visa savings, including signup discount and reward certificates
  • A9 Search Engine 1.57% discount.
  • Total Savings. Price differences between the different stores.
  • Apple Developer Connection calculations up the kazoo!!! Check out how ADC Hardware discounts compare to Amazon's promos and Apple's retail pricing. Note that there are actually certain ADC scenarios that are cheaper than Amazon.

NOTE:
Don't fear the Macro message. Its a false alarm. There are really no active macros, its only displayed coz we used checkboxes and picklists. The worksheet still works 100% even if you disable macros.

Changelog:

v2.6 - Corrected MacBook 2.0Ghz URL.

v2.5 - Swapped detailed calc and final price area. Final price area is now on top for ease of use. Added ADC vs Apple Store Total Savings calc for consistency.

v2.4 - Added MacBooks. Added conditional formatting to highlight MacTel choice when selecting ADC selection. Removed unfinished price update feature. Never released.

v2.3 - Added price update logic. Never released.

v2.2 - Leopard upgrade was erroneously being applied to ADC vs Apple Store calculation for Student Level. Added tech specs on product link mouseover. Added link to ADC Store in ADC worksheet.

v2.1 - Student Level ADC members don't get Leopard upgrade for free. Changed worksheet accordingly. With this correction, Amazon will always be cheaper than the ADC Student HW discount once all the Amazon promos are applied.

v2.0 - now includes ADC calculations. Instructions moved to separate sheet.

v1.5 - Reduced iMac rebates to $100 to reflect Amazon rebate changes. Earlier, iMac 17" rebate was $125, iMac 20" - $150. Fixed iMac 20" url

v1.4 - Added MBP 17"

v1.3 - Fixed cross-platform bug. A9 Discount now works properly in both OS X and Windows flavors of Excel

v1.2 - now "MS Office 2004 for the Mac" friendly. Put back comments accidentally removed in v1.1 during cross-platform testing

v1.1 - added mouseover comments and more info on Amazon promos

v1.0 - initial release
Attached Files
File Type: zip Amazon_MacTel_5-15-2006_v2-2.zip (37.1 KB, 32 views)
File Type: zip Amazon_MacTel_5-18-2006_v2-5.xls.zip (38.9 KB, 143 views)
File Type: zip Amazon_MacTel_5-19-2006_v2-6.xls.zip (39.1 KB, 291 views)

Last edited by javester : 06-03-2006 at 12:41 PM.
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Another buying tip...
#2
Old 04-28-2006, 10:47 PM  
javester
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Smile Another buying tip...
Want to max out your new MacTel's memory? Its no secret that Apple's memory prices are up in the stratosphere and people often go to Crucial and Kingston to score their mem upgrades.

Well, here's another MTC find - eBay seller digi4me.com. They're not exactly a household name, but they have great memory bargains!!!

Their eBay rep is rock solid, and I ran Apple's Hardware Test on the 2GB kit I got from em with no problems.

And I only paid $170, shipping included. Compare that to $600 from Apple store and $293 from Crucial.

Last edited by javester : 04-28-2006 at 11:00 PM.
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#3
Old 04-29-2006, 01:07 AM  
JPT
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Awesome! Thanks for the link man! I still prefer buying it straight from Apple Computers though...
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#4
Old 04-29-2006, 07:28 AM  
javester
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Why? Its the same warranty and everything. Also, its not a hypothetical exercise. When the Windows booting hack first came out, I actually bought a Mini Core Duo from the local Apple Store and the computation was bang on. Fortunately, Apple came out with BootCamp within three weeks and I was able to return the Mini within the allowed return period. (Regardless, I had to pay the 10% restocking fee)

I thought to myself that now that its officially supported by Apple, I might as well get a "real" machine I can use for day-to-day computing, settling on an MBP 1.83Ghz. I scoured high and low for the biggest bargain. I was even this close to buying a refurb from Apple.

But when everything else was considered, the refurbs from Apple were actually more expensive than an equivalent brand new MacTel from Amazon.

The clincher is that Apple charges sales tax in all 50 states, while Amazon only applies them in North Dakota, Washington, Kansas and Kentucky. A lot of pure online retailers are able to do this. Apple can't, since they're also a "regular" company. Add to the that the Amazon Visa and A9 promos, and you have an unbeatable bargain.

And the reward certificates came within a week of my purchase too! I have since redeemed them for a 3M Privacy Filter, which IMHO, is a must buy accessory.

So, with the $380 I saved, I bought a $170 2GB mem kit from digime.com, a $30 Targus Mobile-X Cooling Stand, the $49 privacy filter, a hipster $50 Incase laptop bag, a $30 Microsoft Wireless Optical Mouse and pre-ordered Parallels for $40.

I now have a totally pimped MBP 1.83 with $10 to spare!

Last edited by javester : 04-29-2006 at 02:27 PM.
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#5
Old 04-29-2006, 10:38 PM  
adezero
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so, when you order from amazon, the computer comes un-upgraded? I mean, when you order from the apple store, they take you to a page where you can upgrade parts of the comp for an additional fee, I was thinking of doing this for the video card. is there any way to upgrade your order through amazon? See, I'm thinking that apple will take away the old product and you'd only have the new one, seeing as I wouldn't have any use for the old-but-still-good video card if I upgraded myself.
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ADC deal
#6
Old 04-29-2006, 10:49 PM  
jeff318
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ADC deal
This actually could be a better deal than the Apple Developer (ADC) student pricing. For $99, a student can get a substantial discount on a mac system (http://developer.apple.com/students) -- 20% for MBP systems. However, don't forget the up to $100 printer rebate through Apple.

Could these options be added to the spreadsheet? I'm going to college next year, and I am trying to calculate the absolute best deal!
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#7
Old 04-30-2006, 01:55 AM  
JPT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adezero
so, when you order from amazon, the computer comes un-upgraded? I mean, when you order from the apple store, they take you to a page where you can upgrade parts of the comp for an additional fee...

That is why I will go to Apple.com to buy my future Apple products, I want 100% top of the line! not 80% top of the line! =D
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#8
Old 04-30-2006, 02:06 AM  
javester
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adezero
so, when you order from amazon, the computer comes un-upgraded? I mean, when you order from the apple store, they take you to a page where you can upgrade parts of the comp for an additional fee, I was thinking of doing this for the video card. is there any way to upgrade your order through amazon? See, I'm thinking that apple will take away the old product and you'd only have the new one, seeing as I wouldn't have any use for the old-but-still-good video card if I upgraded myself.
adezero,
When you buy from Amazon, you only get the stock configuration.

Anyways, the current crop of MacTels don't really have much in the way of swappable components. Mostly additional memory (which you're better off buying elsewhere anyway) and additional HD space.

Once Apple upgrade the PowerMacs to use Intel chips, then your concern about holding on to "obsolete" parts will be more relevant since the PowerMacs have expansion slots like "normal" PCs.

As for expansion, more and more components are using USB and Firewire anyway, which are more "obsolescent-resistant". Nowadays, only ultra high bandwidth stuff like fibre channel, additional video cards and Audio DSP really make sense going the expansion slot route. Witness how even external HDs use USB/Firewire.

Also, if you're a prospective PC switcher, remember that Apple machines have "legacy-free" architectures. That is - no parallel/serial ports, no PS/2 keyboard/mouse ports, no VGA connectors (they just bundle in a DVI to VGA adapter), no floppy drives and no "holdover" PCI/AGP slots. So your risk of being stuck with an "old but still good" expansion card should not be that bad since Apple only accepts "modern" expansions anyway.

Just check out http://www.apple.com/powermac/pciexpress.html. And that is for the current PPC PowerMac. Imagine what Apple will have in store for us when they release the Intel PowerMacs.

Last edited by javester : 04-30-2006 at 02:43 AM.
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a little wrong on this
#9
Old 04-30-2006, 07:44 AM  
Smuth
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Cool a little wrong on this
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff318
This actually could be a better deal than the Apple Developer (ADC) student pricing. For $99, a student can get a substantial discount on a mac system (http://developer.apple.com/students) -- 20% for MBP systems. However, don't forget the up to $100 printer rebate through Apple.

Could these options be added to the spreadsheet? I'm going to college next year, and I am trying to calculate the absolute best deal!

Students can only buy 1 time no matter how long they keep status, I get my machines new every year as a developer. It isn't 20%, it varies by product.

NO other rebates apply such as printers, etc. Even if it is on the same page as the machine the rebates are void for Developers and the Applecare costs are full retail so buy the machine that way and get Applecare elsewhere cheaper after the fact.


I got my 1.83 1 gig 100 HD for a good deal though. A custom build delivered in 4 days.
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Old 04-30-2006, 09:37 AM  
javester
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Smuth,
Can you buy Apple Care separately from ADC? In that way, you get the Amazon deal for the HW, and get the cheaper warranty from Apple.

Also, another guy suggested using Amex Blue instead of the Amazon Visa card. With Amazon Visa, you just get the $30 signup discount and $75 reward certificates for a total of $105 in savings before the rebate and A9 discount.

If you go to the Amex Blue site (www.americanexpress.com/blue), they offer:

Quote:
Return Protection
If you try to return a designated item within 90 days from the date of purchase and the merchant won't take it back, American Express will refund the full purchase price, up to $300 per item, excluding shipping and handling and up to a maximum of $1,000 annually per Card account. (1)

Buyer's Assurance Plan
With the Buyer's Assurance Plan, you can shop worry-free knowing that the terms of the original manufacturer's warranty will be matched up to one additional year, on warranties of five years or less that are eligible in the U.S. (2)

Purchase Protection Plan
Shop with confidence and the Purchase Protection Plan, which protects eligible purchases made with the Card against accidental damage and theft for up to 90 days from the date of purchase. (3)


1 Coverage is limited to $300 per item, excluding shipping and handling and up to a maximum of $1,000 annually per Card Account and is subject to additional Terms, Conditions and Exclusions.

2 Buyer's Assurance Plan is underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company, Administrative Office, Green Bay, WI. Coverage is subject to the terms, conditions, and exclusions of Policy AX0953 and is subject to change with notice. This document does not supplement or replace the Policy.

3 Purchase Protection Plan is underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company, Administrative Office, Green Bay, WI. Coverage is subject to the terms, conditions, and exclusions of Policy AX0951 and is subject to change with notice. This document does not supplement or replace the Policy.


One advantage the Amex has is they also cover accidental damage, Apple Care does not. As for the extended warranty, is there an Amex Blue holder out there that knows exactly how much extra warranty coverage you get?

Also, if you buy Apple Care using an Amex Blue card, do you get any extra coverage? Perhaps, maxing out the warranty coverage to 5 years per Amex's terms and getting accident/theft coverage?
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