Apple charges a premium for everything, so if you’re looking to save on Apple products, I’ll show you how to do it with these shopping tips most people don’t know about.
Or, you can look out for deals like free AirPods with a brand new MacBook Pro purchase. Otherwise, strategies like Apple price matching or getting a discounted price on older phones is your best bet.
1. Check MacRumor’s Buyer’s Guides to save on Apple products.
Remember when I said patience and vigilance is the name of the game? This is where it comes into play.
Apple follows a product release schedule, which directly influences the prices of current and old generation Apple products.
If you’re not keeping tabs on Apple’s product calendar (and why would you be?), then check out MacRumor’s Buyer’s Guides to tell you if you should wait to buy a new iPad or grab it now.
Here’s how it works: A red or yellow light over a product means that product is due for an update, so you should hold tight for the release. If you do, you’ll see price drops everywhere on the older version.
2. Does Apple price match? Not exactly.
When I say “price match” I mean that a store will match another store’s price to keep your business. Apple, however, doesn’t “price match” in a traditional sense, but they “price haggle” a little.
Here is how it works: If you find an Apple product at Target, Walmart or Best Buy that’s cheaper than the product in the Apple store, show a sales person in the Apple store. Apple will knock up to 10% off their retail price to attempt to get closer. (Don’t believe me? Check out this Reddit thread). They don’t “price haggle” with Costco or Amazon, though.
The downside is that while Apple will give you up to 10% off their own list price, they won’t match the competitor’s price and give a 10% discount, like some retailers do in order to get your business. They throw you a disinterested crumb. But a crumb is better than nothing, I always say.
So if you’re looking at a MacBook Pro at the Apple store that sells for $1,799 and you find the identical model at Best Buy on sale for $1,499, Apple will give you 10% off $1,799, bringing the price down to $1620. Still not as good as Best Buy.
3. Buy previous generation Apple products during Black Friday, after new generations are released.
Stores like Walmart, Costco, Target and Best Buy offer older generation iPhones and iPads for a discount when Apple’s latest generation hits the shelves.
Look for the best deals in November, during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
In 2019, Walmart offered gift cards with an iPhone purchase, Target offered 24% savings on iPads and $200 gifts cards with an iPhone X Pro Max purchase, and Best Buy offered up to 23% savings on an iPad Pro.
RELATED: The Best Apple Black Friday Deals
4. Use your Target RedCard and save 5%.
Create your own discount anytime you use your Target RedCard to buy Apple products that Target sells like iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV.
5. Purchase your Apple products through TigerDirect.
TigerDirect (MacMall ) is an Apple Authorized reseller (AAR) which means you can get the same Apple warranties for your Apple products, plus you can save a few hundred dollars. Look for Openbox and refurbished items.
- TigerDirect: Apple Openbox 27″ iMac w/ Retina 5K Display – 10th Gen Intel Core i5 6C 3.1GHz, 8GB RAM, (reg. $1663.32)
- Apple: 27″ iMac w/Retina 5K Display, 3.1GHz 6-core 10th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM (reg. $1799)
6. Buy AirPods at Target and save 5% more than at other retailers.
In July 2020, second generation AirPods were on sale at major retailers for $140 (they’re usually $159.99). Here were the prices you’d find:
- Best Buy: Apple AirPods with Charging Case (reg. $159.99), $135.99
- Walmart: Apple AirPods with Charging Case (reg. $159.99), $139.99
- Target: Apple AirPods with Charging Case (reg. $159.99), $139.99
If you shopped at Target with a Target RedCard, you’d save an additional 5%, cutting the price down to $133 before tax (a $7 savings).
7. Trade in your old Apple device for credit towards a new one.
Apple’s trade-in program gives you credit towards a new Apple purchase (or you can get an Apple gift card) when you trade in your old device.
For example, here’s a breakdown of what you can expect to get when you trade in your old iPhone:
- iPhone XS Max: up to $450
- iPhone XS: up to $370
- iPhone XR: up to $270
- iPhone X: up to $280
- iPhone 8 Plus: up to $220
- iPhone 8: up to $170
- iPhone 7 Plus: up to $130
- iPhone 7: up to $110
- iPhone 6s Plus: up to $70
- iPhone 6s: up to $70
If you want to trade in a laptop, desktop, iPad or Apple Watch, just select your device from a list to see how much you can expect to receive.
8. Save up to 9% at the Apple with your student or teacher discount.
College students and their parents, educators, school staff and faculty (even homeschool teachers!) can get up to 9% savings on a MacBook Air and up to 7% savings on a MacBook Pro.
To get the Apple student discount, shop the Apple Education store. When you shop online, you might not have to provide proof that you’re in college, but in the Apple store you will need to.
Apple says to be prepared to present proof that you qualify (like a transcript) when you’re shopping online.
PRO TIP: Active duty military and veterans can get a 10% Apple military discount as well!
9. If you’re a government employee, get an Apple government discount.
The discounts aren’t steep on Apple’s government store, but still worthwhile. For example, I found a deal in July 2020 on the iPhone XR:
10. Buy refurbished Apple products at Apple.com and save up to 24%.
Refurbished Apple products are used, but when you buy them from the Apple store, they’re tested and certified with a one-year warranty.
In theory, a refurb could end up being more reliable than a brand-new product because it’s been exposed to extra testing, making that refurb discount a great bargain.
11. Get 3% cash back when you use your Apple Card.
If you use Apple Card to pay for products at select merchants, like Exxon, T-Mobile, or UberEats just to name a few, you get 3% cash back for your purchase.
Plus, you’ll also get 3% off anything you purchase from Apple when using your Apple Card.
12. Look for a deal on iPads, MacBooks and more at Apple Insider.
You can get up to 38% off Apple Products when you shop the deals section on Apple Insider.
These are coupons for new Apple devices offered by third-party sellers. Many come with Apple Care guarantees.
Sign up for the Apple Insider newsletter to get alerts when there’s a new Apple deal available.
13. Save 50% on AppleMusic if you’re a student and get Apple TV+ free for a limited time.
Plus, you can enjoy Apple TV+ for free for a limited time with your new music subscription.
14. Get Apple TV+ one year for free when you buy a new Mac product.
That’s $60 in savings (it’s $4.99/mo). Check your eligibility to see if you qualify!
Don’t scroll up — here are your links:
Major Retailers That Price Match Competitors
The Best Apple Black Friday Deals
Target Circle Offers Savings for Everyone and We Are In Love!
Ingenious Ways to Save Cash On Electronics
Used Items You Can Trade In for Target Gift Cards