By Kelli B. Grant
Want to save an easy $100 on your next Apple purchase? Just wait a few days.
A new pricing study from sale-tracking site DealNews.com found that deals start popping up within days. Apple rarely offers sales, so cutting prices even a little bit is online retailers’ best chance of luring customers away from buying directly from Apple.com or one of its stores. For example, when the MacBook Air launched in October 2010, MacConnection offered a $30 off deal the next day. Deals on other Apple product lines popped up within a week or two of their debut.
But price savings aren’t likely to be enough of a lure to deter Apple devotees away from pre-orders and lengthy day-of-launch lines, says Gary Singer, chief executive for Buyology Inc., a marketing research firm. “Apple understands ‘cool’ much better than its competitors,” he says. Functionality and price take a backseat for such early adopters, especially with Apple, whose buyers have traditionally had little to worry about on either count. (The rare bug is almost always easily fixable via software, and the company is notoriously sparse on new-model price cuts and sales, he says.)
It’s also important for Apple buyers to consider when the next product is due out. “They don’t seem to mind cannibalizing sales,” says David Shepherd, a professor of marketing for Georgia Southern University. “They’re happy to bring a new product to market even if it will eat into sales of the old product.” Apple tends to announce new products just a few weeks before their availability, but the rumor mill starts swirling months in advance — so pay attention. And rest assured that even if you do buy at the wrong time, Apple products tend to hold their value well. You can easily resell an item for close to what you paid (and maybe even more than what you paid, if it’s an iPhone).