I have been known–from time-to-time–to be an impulse buyer, especially when it comes to gifts. When I want to purchase a gift for Mandy or the kids, price is often the last thing on my mind (although I have always spent within reason). With larger purchases, or purchases for myself, I often try to do a bit of homework before handing over the cash.
Now, I understand that people are busy, but I am fairly confident that I have the same amount of free time (if not less) than the average American, yet I still find time to find good deals. I know that it is a choice, but it feels like such a simple one to me, which is one of the reasons why I do not understand why Apple Stores are the most profitable retail floor space in America.
Case in point: My recent purchase of a MacBook Pro.
I wanted to see, touch and feel what the 13-inch MacBook Pro looked and felt like in my hands so I visited my local Apple Store after reading up on the available models. The salesperson that greeted me was friendly and knowledgeable and was not pushy at all when I left the store without making a purchase. The model I wanted retails for $1,499 both on apple.com and in the Apple Store. Add in the nearly 10 percent sales tax that I pay in Tennesse, and my total, out-the-door price would have been nearly $1,650.
Within 10 minutes of being home, I found the exact same MacBook Pro on Amazon for $1,454.99, with no sales tax and free shipping thanks to my Amazon Prime membership. Total cost savings to me: Nearly $200. I may have been able to save even more money if I had taken the time to look at some other, less known online retailers.
If we all have the same number of hours in the day (24 for those of you counting at home) and time = money, then why do more people choose not to do a little research to save what may be a significant amount of money? Is the experience of shopping in the Apple Store really worth an extra $200 to me? I know that they employ Geniuses, but something tells me I would not have gotten equal value for what I was paying.
[Disclosure: In my house are two iPhones, one iPad, and one MacBook Pro so I am not just beating on Apple.]