How to buy Apple Computers with out breaking the bank!

Apple Logo Filled With Money

Adapted from Photo by @borman818

The trick to buying apple computers without breaking the bank is getting comfortable getting rid of your depreciating assets and having a lease not buy mentality! This method requires some up front saving and initial purchase but once your in you can stay on that latest technology curve from year to year with very little out of pocket money. The way we do this is to buy used or refurbished and then only hold on to the gadget until the next version is just about to come out.  At that time we sell the item on craigslist or ebay and take that money and use it to buy the next (latest and greatest) version of the gadget or another device that we want more!  Read past the break to see how I used this method to “purchase” my last macbook for less than $300 for 18 months!

Using the method above I was able to purchase a Macbook Pro and use it for the last year and a half for less than $300!  Here’s how I did it:

  1. I purchased a refurbished Macbook Pro from Apple.com.  It was shipped to me for free (this is almost always the case).  I made sure to purchase right after Apple released the second generation of Unibody MacBooks.  I did this using an alert from the Mac Buyer’s Guide.
  2. I immediately bought 2 things to ensure I could sell it for top dollar later on.
    1. I bought a keyboard protector, which is used to protect the keyboard from the oils on our hands.
    2. I bought an “Invisible Shield” whole body wrap for the Macbook Pro.  This clear plast wrap protected my Macbook Pro from any scratches and even from dust buildup.
  3. Listed and sold on Craig’s list for Top Dollar.  I was able to sell it at a premium as compared to other MacBooks listed on Craig’s list because of the immaculate condition it was in as well as the time I spent taking great pictures and filling out a template that i use to list items on Craig’s List.

I ended up selling the Macbook Pro almsot 18 months later for only about $250 less than what I paid for it from Apple.  That means that essentially I leased my MacBook Pro for about $17 / Month (when you factor in the invisible shield & keyboard protector).  I then took that money and used it it to purchase a “brand new” refurbished (if that makes any sense) Apple iMac from the Apple store.

I think the key to being successful at purchasing using this method is to get comfortable with a few things.

  1. You need to be comfortable purchasing from Apple.com’s refurbished store as soon as the new generation comes out.  By doing this you are buying what was essential a week prior the current generation at a very deep discount (most time 25% to 30% off the brand new price.  You’re getting that deep discount because it’s refurbished and it is no longer the current generation (even though it was the current generation just a month or two prior).
  2. You need to be comfortable always keeping your Mac backed up and be very comfortable restoring from backup.  Apple makes this beyond simple using Time Machine.

You might say “Well, josh, I don’t really want to be buying a product that was broken and apple fixed… so why would I even want to consider purchasing a refurb?”  If that’s the case you should rethink your decision.  I say this because the computer that you’ll get from apple under the refurb program has a high likelihood of being brand new anyways.  People often purchase a macbook online and then realize they can get it in the store and return it, or they decide they can’t afford it, or that they want a different model.  The bottom line is that a lot of the refurbished machines haven’t even been turned on.  The other thing that should make you feel comfortable is that they carry a full warranty from Apple and additionally it’s in Apple’s best interest to make sure these refurbished machines are in tip top shape.  I can tell you that I’ve only had one problem with the many refurbished machines that I’ve bought from the Apple store. That problem was easily fixed in a matter of minutes after stopping by an apple store.

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