There’s almost always a way to get a new MacBook at a decent or even a deep discount. Here’s how.
For starters, you need patience. If the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or 12-inch MacBook you’re eyeing isn’t on sale at the moment, chances are it will be soon.
That’s because spot sales at retailers like Best Buy, B&H Photo, and Amazon are actually pretty constant over time.
For example, Best Buy’s sale this weekend is typical. MacBook Pros are seeing student discounts as hefty as $500 but typically $200 on both the 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro.
The 12-inch MacBook is also getting discounted up to $200 at Best Buy. Like the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, discounts on the 12-inch MacBook are repeated many times throughout the year.
Also, B&H Photo often offers typical discounts of $100 on about a dozen MacBook Pros (and up to $200 on select models). And very hefty discounts on 2016 MBPs, ranging up to $1,300* on 15-inch MBPs.
It’s not just the up-front discounts
In the case of B&H, a discount isn’t the only way to save money. You get the MacBook tax free if you live outside of New York or New Jersey. That alone can save you anywhere from $50 to $200 (on top of the discount), depending on what state you’re in and what model you buy.
Adorama is another example of consistent discounts with tax savings. Enthusiast site AppleInsider posts a regular list of deals at Adorama (and others like B&H). Deals can be pretty hefty ranging up to $400 on current MBP models.
This is one case where getting it directly from Apple is a good idea. Apple posts a list on its site of Apple Certified Refurbished MacBooks.
These are slightly-used, returned, or virtually-new MacBooks with a one-year warranty. (Longer explanation of a refurbished unit here.) Discounts can be hefty in some cases.
Apple says its refurbs undergo “a rigorous refurbishment process to make sure it’s up to Apple’s high standards.” Apple refurbs are typically a safer bet than refurbs from retailers.
So, with a little patience and research there’s really no reason to pay full price for a MacBook.
*It’s a given that older-model MacBook Pros will be heavily discounted since they have older components and, in some cases, have been discontinued by Apple.