Buying Your First iMac: Best Places To Shop & How To Get A Good Deal – Know Your Mobile
Apple’s iMac line has been around for almost two decades now; the first launched inside the late 90s. But the consumer-grade Mac has changed a lot in that time. Gone is the CRT display and, later, the flower pedal design.
Now the latest iMacs feature a flat all-in-one design: everything is built into it behind the screen. Though iMacs feature some of the largest displays of any device in Apple’s lineup, they’re actually much cheaper than virtually any other Mac (save the Mac mini).
And while it’s easy to pick up an iMac from an Apple Store or apple.com there’s actually plenty of other places you can grab one–and usually, save a fair amount of cash in the process.
iMac: Where To Buy Them
The first stop most people make when considering to buy an iMac is an Apple Store or at apple.com. Both of these are excellent choices because Apple generally has some of the best customer service out there.
An added bonus of popping into an Apple Store is there are plenty of demo models on hand with all the latest apps and software, so you could really play around with the machine as you would at home to see which is right for you.
That being said, buying an iMac through Apple means you’ll always pay the retail price (unless you buy a reformed model (see below). So don’t expect even a single pound discount on any new iMac you buy from Apple.
Though these brick and mortar locations don’t have the amount of display units or software you’ll find at an Apple Store, you can sometimes get a good discount at these locations. Both John Lewis and PC World will frequently offer £50-100 off the latest iMac.
Other places you can pick up a new iMac online include Amazon, Argos, and smaller e-tailers like specialty photography and computer stores.
While Amazon rarely discounts new iMacs, it is possible to get free shipping through them, which is nice so you don’t have to pay an extra cost and not have to worry about lugging the iMac home from a brick and mortar store.
Argos and other e-tailers also frequently offer small discounts and free shipping on iMacs.
iMac: How To Buy Cheaper (Used) Ones
Of course, to save even more money, you can buy an older generation iMac or a refurbished new iMac online. Apple has an official refurbished store where you can catch good deals sometimes.
Also, Amazon third-party sellers frequently sell heavily discounted refurbished and used iMacs.
Another great place to find good deals on used models is Ebay.
And finally, classified sites like Gumtree are a great place to snap up iMac deals right from their previous owner.
iMac: What To Look For When Buying Used
But if you are planning on buying used or refurbished, there are a few things you should look out for–depending on where you buy it. If you are buying a refurbished unit from Apple directly, you’re good to go.
The company makes refurbished Macs like new before they sell them again. If you buy used or refurbished from a third-party seller on Amazon, you’re also pretty safe since Amazon offers a generous 30-day return policy and it usually sides with the buy in disputes with the seller. Ebay has similar policies.
Portable Universe is definitely worth a look if you want to go the reconditioned route, as you will save a FORTUNE.
The only place you need to be super-aware of what you’re buying and who you’re buying from is when buying a used or refurbished iMac from someone on Gumtree.
Here’s what you should look out for:
- Make sure the iMac doesn’t have any cosmetic defects other than what was listed in the ad when you pick it up.
- Meet in a place where you can plug the iMac in and use it for at least 10 minutes before handing over the cash to the seller. If the seller balks at this, walk away.
- Make sure no other person is logged into iCloud in the Settings app.
- Go to Apple menu > About This Mac and confirm the iMac actually has the amount of RAM and storage as the seller is saying.
- After buying the used iMac, do a full restore to erase any old documents or software that may have been left on the system. You never know if it might have keyloggers or spyware.
Keep in mind most classified sellers are honest, but also protect yourself by following the steps above.