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Does it matter where I purchase an Apple product (Macbook Pro), or will I get essentially the same product with the same level of support no matter where I buy it?

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Both purchase point and service point within the US? – GEdgar Dec 21 '11 at 3:02
up vote 3 down vote accepted

If it's a certified apple reseller you will get exactly the same product as when purchasing at or the apple store.

If it's another shop that is not certified by apple, you should ask them (how are we here supposed to know?).

You will get the same level of support. It's worldwide one year limited guarantee with 90 days of telephone support.

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Or from the right shop you can end up with more e.g. in UK John Lewis gives a longer guarantee or there might be other special offers for extras elsewhere – Mark Dec 20 '11 at 19:21
In Germany we have a 2 year guarantee on all consumer good by law :-). – gentmatt Dec 20 '11 at 19:31
and you can argue that EU consumer goods law would suggest that a computer should last longer than that - but that gets into having get repairs through legal actions – Mark Dec 20 '11 at 19:34
@Matt But don't forget the difference between Garantie and Gewährleistung. "Garantie" is totally voluntary and usually everything is exchanged except the seller can (and wants to) prove you actively damaged it. "Gewährleistung" (24 months) is required by law. Within the first 6 months the seller has to prove that the product was okay when he sold it. After that time YOU have to prove that the product was broken when you bought it. It's definitely more complicated then "we have a 2 year guarantee" :-) klugscheiss – Matthias Bauch Dec 21 '11 at 1:38
+1 You're right. I knew that, but I could not explain this in such detail. – gentmatt Dec 21 '11 at 7:00

If you want support at the time of purchase (installing stuff, help with setup, etc.), you will usually (not guaranteed though) find a higher level of expertise and service at the Genius Bar in an Apple Store, due to Apple's required employee training programs.

Exchanges for the rare minor defects (dead pixels, etc.) are easiest if you buy local.

The product should all be identical if it's a official Apple reseller.

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